Lisa's Language Log

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Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
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Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:23 am

I seem to go for about three weeks before I have an overload and meltdown in Anki. I'm just about due again :roll: It's hard not to get too excited by new works, and rather just chip away slowly. Holding now at 20 cards a day, only 10 words, and I'm sure I spend too much time learning unimportant words (I really don't need shark, fern, or racoon, but these words are fun and easy to learn, unlike the slippery words for getting or throwing).

Hard to believe I've gone from 2094 to 4101 cards... seems like a lot for just 20 days, but I sorted the easy ones (this is from a downloaded deck) into a separate deck, and could just whip through them, so I have a regular, interesting deck and a simple, boring deck. The reading comes out (I think) to about 20 pages a day, but LOTR (just started book three) continues to have way, way too many words. What am I doing with four words for mud?

Listening OTOH is hard, and frustrating; the transcript would really help, reading is so much easier, but you can't just find a printed book and expect the translation to be anything at all similar. (Something to be said for native-spanish books...).

E.g. the sherlock holmes audiobook; I went looking to see if I could find the transcript. This is a sentence from the english original, two other translations, the audiobook (very laboriously taken down by me) plus google translate (not in that order):
-----------
I should have fallen into the hands of the murderous Ghazishad it not been for the devotion and courage shown by Murray, my orderly,
who threw me across a pack-horse, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the British lines

Habría caído en manos de los ghazis asesinos, de no haber sido por el valor y la lealtad de Murray, mi ordenanza,
que me atravesó, lo mismo que un bulto, encima de un caballo de los de la impedimenta y consiguió llevarme sin otro percance hasta las líneas británicas.

Debería haber caído en manos del asesino Ghazishad si no hubiera sido por la devoción y el coraje mostrados por Murray, mi ordenado,
que me arrojó al otro lado del caballo y logró llevarme a salvo a las líneas británicas.

Habria caido en manos de los asesinos ghazis, a no ser por le lealtad y el valor de que dió muestras Murray, mi ordenanza,
que me tendió sobre un caballo de carga y logró llevarme a salvo a las líneas británicas.

Y a iba a caer en manos de los feroces ghazi, cuando el cariño y el valor de me ordenanza Murray me salvaron la vida;
logró cargame sobre un caballo de tiro y conducirme así hasta el campo inglés.
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Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:39 am

Finished Lotr3 - even appendices, although I skimmed the one on analysis of the languages and translation from elvish into english in spanish. Started Harry Potter 1... whenever I start a new book there are a lot of new words, it's always a bit discouraging.

Okay in anki, no meltdowns at 20 cards/10 words per day. slow :| but steady. I keep trying to learn conjugations with anki but I don't enjoy it and thus don't keep on with it, while I do like learning words... I'll have to hope to get grammar by reading. I have learned that I need to be careful about the order I learn some kinds of similar words; some word pairs are giving me serious trouble and I think it's just that the were learned the same day and are too similar, like turbio and tupido.

Happy with progress on listening - on the drive today I was listening to some self-help book on CD and by the second disk I was following the speaker, enough to keep my interest, although it's a very casual style of speaking. And I have more stamina to listen for more than 15 minutes at a time. Tried the news, could mostly follow, but got very little of anything said by the people that were interviewed.

No writing whatsoever, and I don't have any convenient way to have conversation, but I do sometimes talk to myself (aloud), it's slow but I get farther before I run out of words... but german STILL pops out, so if I the sentence has, say, the phrase "every day"... what comes first is "jeden tag". That is a problem that won't get solved, obviously, by reading and listening, I probably have to do a lot of speaking. Talking on the phone or by video just doesn't have any appeal. I'm considering a week-long immersion program in Mexico. I think I'm at a level I could make a lot of progress fast, and would be rather further in a few months when this would work best.

Of course this would push back any schedule to shift from spanish to german. I don't know at what point I could safely start learning words in german or reading in german. I feel like I've just got german sort of squished down and under control, and if I'm not careful and start letting german leak in, do any reading or studing in german, it will come back and overwhelm the spanish and I'll lose all my spanish progress.
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User avatar
Lianne
Green Belt
Posts: 422
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:29 pm
Location: Canada
Languages: Speaks: English (N)
Actively studying: French (low int), Italian (beginner)
Dabbling in: ASL (beginner)
Wish list: Swedish, Esperanto, Klingon, Brazilian Portuguese
Has also dabbled in: German, Spanish, toki pona, Swahili
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=12275
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Contact:

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lianne » Fri Sep 27, 2019 1:45 pm

It's pretty epic that you're reading LOTR in Spanish! I once tried The Hobbit in French. In a couple of pages I had probably 100 unknown words. :lol: Words for things like doorknobs and coat hooks and porthole windows. I decided to set it aside for a long time! I've been finding contemporary YA novels a little more my speed, at present.
4 x
: 2 / 100 French SC (Books)
: 4 / 100 French SC (Films)
: 1 / 50 Italian Half SC (Books)
: 3 / 50 Italian Half SC (Films)

: 377 / 2500 Reading 2500 pages of French in 2020 (updated June 5)

Pronouns: she/her

Christi
Orange Belt
Posts: 208
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:56 pm
Languages: Dutch (N), English (C1), German (B1), Korean (high A2-low B1?)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=7574
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Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Christi » Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:38 pm

So cool that you've been reading LOTR! Wish I could do that in my target language already.
And don't worry so much about ''useless'' words. Those words might be uncommon in daily conversations perhaps, but if you want to read novels then those words will appear in them and you need them to make reading enjoyable. I've learned a bunch of ''useless'' words by reading myself. I know the words for inheritance, skull and cane in Korean. And also know a bunch of animal names :lol: Those words are unlikely to pop up in any conversations I might have, but they sure turn up while reading!
1 x
2020 resolution words learned: 472 / 1000
Pages read at end of 2020: 220 / 1500

Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Sat Sep 28, 2019 6:58 pm

LotR drove me crazy with the landscape words - all sorts of kinds of trees and plants and every term for cliff, rock, etc. there's something satisfying about simple nouns like owl and bat, those I'd learn just for the fun of it; but groups that are really close, like cliff, crag, pinacle, precipice, well, I have no idea how to even figure out the exact mapping to the set of words in Spanish since I don't know I have all that precise an understanding of the english and it would take so much time, that's a C2 task... I skipped learning a LOT of words... and I did probably miss a fair bit of detail in the first book, my spanish improved a lot over the course of 1500 pages and several months.

@Lianne - the hobbit isn't as enjoyable for me as LotR, so I wouldn't have kept on (I gave up on the hobbit movie in spanish)... but I don't know if the start of a book is very indicative of the whole experience. Every book I start (ha, I've started only about 10 so this is an early generalization!) seems full of words I don't know, after getting past that it seems to run okay... well, LotR there were occasional sets of pages, where there's another flood of unknown terms. After finishing LotR I picked up an elementary age book, still I was looking up words on almost every page in the first few pages! I don't know if it's the author, or the topic, or differences in target dialect of Spanish, but every single one of the books I've started needed to start slowly with a dictionary.
3 x

Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:46 am

Reading hasn't been the same since I finished LotR... Harry Potter was just too much work to read; maybe the vocabulary is different, or something, but I never settled into reading and was always having to look something up. So I went back to finish up Ramona (the children's book) and I was having to lookup words too, but at least they were more useful words. After that, I started a Dan Brown thriller, Inferno, and while it would be too cheesey for me in English, it's surprisingly easy to read. What I think my point is: how easy something is for me to read does not seem to be closely related to the target age group. Partly it may be that a thriller is generally predictable while Harry Potter makes a point of not being predictable.

Still, I'm reading slowly, about an hour for 20 pages. I've been feeling a little discouraged about my progress. It's hard to get a sense of difference between reading slowly, and reading slightly-less-slowly, and understanding 50% to understanding 65% of what I am listening to. But I went back to re-read something that I'd read probably back in August and it was much easier to read, so perhaps I am getting better. And I wrote an email in spanish and while I looked up a few things it was mostly my own, ungrammatical but (I think) clear. Yes, german tried to come out. I think whatever I'm doing is not pushing me over into the "safe to park language" level... maybe since it's been almost entirely passive (reading and listening). Hubby wants to go to Germany so I'm going to have to switch sometime. He has declined to spend a week at a spanish class in mexico.

The other curious thing is that in spite of the new 70k words (paper) dictionary, I seem to rather often not be able to find the word I'm looking up. Crenellated, shallot, pewter... I guess probability means a few really rare words will show up now and again. While I like to think I should add any word I come across to anki, it's so much easiest to add words to Anki via reading online - I can copy-and-paste into spanishdict, then copy again into Anki if it seems like a word worth knowing. I'm keeping at 20 cards/10 words a day, that seems to be sustainable.

I think it helps to learn spanish (or probably other latinate language) if you have a large english vocabulary. Even if the meanings aren't identical, it makes memorizing related words very easy, e.g. equivocars/equivocate, pretender, provenir/provenance, percebir/percieve, lector, demorar/demur.
4 x

Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:13 am

I was feeling a bit in the doldrums as of a week ago, and started getting excited about maybe a week in Mexico at one of these immersion classes to get me really going. As was pointed out, these classes might not be that great, especially if they slot you into a beginner class. Since I remember hardly any grammar, it would actually possibly be the case that might happen... arrk! Time to study!

As it happens someone somewhere in this ocean of information mentioned kuiziq. I got myself a one-week trail. The placement test put me at A2. I shotgunned around for a while before I figured I should start with the basics, and I've gone though A0 and A1 and am chugging along on the A2s. I spend a lot of time trying to trying to remember various irregular verbs in past tenses and dredging up vosotros forms. It's pretty amazing software in that it's very compelling - I don't seem to be able to stop. The writing exercises are challenging even at the A1 level, but the B2 reading seems easy enough. I have paid for a subscription but only month-to-month, since I need to switch to German. Alas, kwiziq doesn't have german. I bet I'm going to miss the wealth of resources that I have now with Spanish! Spending all this time on kwiziq, I haven't been spending as much time herding my Anki decks, though I still do my daily routine. Luckily I had plenty of words added that can keep me going for a couple of weeks. This stuff is compelling and I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it taking over my life.

The interesting thing is that, although I wouldn't say I've improved my skills all that much (I wasn't suffering from not being able to form the familiar plural of nationalities, and I still mix up ser and estar most of the time) -- I think my reading might be smoother or less effortful. I'm not understanding more... I don't think... but previously after reading for a while (I'm still working on The Inferno), I would get tired, and yesterday I couldn't put it down and read much longer than I really ought to have.
5 x

Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Thu Nov 14, 2019 2:42 am

Just had my first italki 30-minute trail conversation! The spanish parts of my brain are fried. I can understand pretty clearly... but trying to produce was painful, as each word came out, in between the ums and uhs, I could tell how wrong it was. But we did it all in Spanish except for a few words here and there.

Completed the process of rejoining the homestay program, and got information for Mexico but haven't had time/concentration to figure out logistics of a potential trip.

I subscribed to KwizIQ, and after blasting through A0, AI, and A2 in less than 10 days, I've been going much slower in level B1 and just got to the 50% mark. The problem is that I could get the conjugations for present, preterite, imperfect, and future in my head but as soon as I added subjunctive I started to forget the others, especially preterite. So I'm having to go back and drill in each of the tenses. I like KwizIQ for finding the holes... but their reward system doesn't really account for retaining/redrilling. So I spend a lot of time in A2 preterite. I only made it to the 50% in B2, since conditional was a breeze.

Not been reading as much... possibly lack of compelling books. I started Locos, Ricos, y Asiaticos but it's somewhat cross-culturally jarring. All the time I used to spend reading online in spanish I'm now studying. Still working down an earlier backlog of Anki words, but I'm going to have to add some new ones soon.

For listening, I started listening to another Narnia audiobook, and felt a strong emotion of some kind when I was reading along and (Narina has talking animals), I hear the word "tejon". Which is one of the words I thought - and still think - was a completely useless word to know. I never, never, ever use or see the word badger, right? I hardly know what they are. Yet. There it was --and I understood it-- unexpectedly in audio... which is kind of a gold star on the word's forehead. I don't want to know --this-- word that well!
5 x

Lisa
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:08 pm
Location: Oregon, United States
Languages: English - N
Currently: German, speak and understand A2-B1, reading and writing A1
Immediate past: Spanish, read at B2, write, speak, understand at A2
Bits and bobs of French, Italian, and Malay
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=10854
x 139

Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby Lisa » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:43 am

It's quite amazing how compelling learning grammar can be. I had kind of a block on kwiziq going round and round on the tenses. But I made small anki decks containing 5 complete conjugations for a few verbs in anki, so I could study one single verb in all conjuations, and a few days of drilling there seemed to work to get them sorted out, enough so that I could make progress. Am now at 75% on B1. It really is working remarkably well.

However.... all this reading and all this grammar study has not left me with any ability to talk or produce. Disappointing: I thought the right constructions would just start coming out of my mouth, if I just read enough and listened etc. But no. All this work and I really can't talk much better than I could in March. However, I do nicely on tests that rely on multiple choices since I recognize correct constructions. But speaking requires that you come up with entirely new constructions. The italki tutors are great - I can see the improvement even after just a few sessions. I ought to have done this a long time ago.

An unexpected problem is not the wrong case, but the wrong person. I seem to use third person rather than first person when talking about myself. Worse than using the wrong case. Also I have discovered that a lot of the words I learned based on reading are not the words you might use every day. The easy cognates I didn't bother to put into anki... so they don't come into my mind when I look for them. I'm thinking to not focus quite so much on learning new words since that's not the weak point now.

All this grammar study and word learning and reading and listening and now italki appointments... it's really started to suck up all my time. And with kwiziq and italki there are now running costs (besides books which I never mind spending money on). Starting to feel like this is taking over my life...
2 x

StringerBell
Blue Belt
Posts: 949
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:30 am
Languages: English (n)
Italian
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Re: Lisa's Language Log

Postby StringerBell » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:05 pm

I just read through your log and really enjoyed it! I'm very much looking forward to seeing how you progress.

Lisa wrote:An unexpected problem is not the wrong case, but the wrong person. I seem to use third person rather than first person when talking about myself.


I also have this issue; I still sometimes swap 1st person and 3 person verb conjugations. I doesn't happen every time, but at this point it really shouldn't be happening anymore. I have no idea why. I look forward to seeing how you deal with this - maybe it will help me to figure out what to do!
1 x
Italian: Read 5,000 pages : 2045 / 5000
Italian: Write 50,000 words : 9100 / 50000
Season 4 Lucifer Italian transcripts I created: https://learnanylanguage.fandom.com/wik ... ranscripts


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