alaart's log (JP/CN/KR, Chinese focus for the next 2 months)

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cjareck
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Posts: 774
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: Poland
Languages: Polish (N) English, German, Russian(B1?) French (B1?), Hebrew(B1?), Arabic(A2?), Mandarin (HSK 1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8589
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Re: Korean vs Reality

Postby cjareck » Fri Sep 11, 2020 9:56 am

alaart wrote: I wonder what other source I could use for language exchange.


I would recommend this one: https://www.conversationexchange.com/
I found it somewhere on this forum. As far as I remember, rdearman recommended it. And yes, I am very satisfied with the results.
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Please feel free to correct me in any language


HE vocabulary: : 6976 / 10000


MSA DLI : 15 / 141ESKK : 6 / 40 vocabulary : 534 / 2000


Mandarin Assimil : 22 / 105 Vocabulary : 834 / 2000

alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Languages: DE (N)
EN
B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Language exchange week - review

Postby alaart » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:56 am

Thanks for the recommendation. For now tandem.net worked in finding practice partners - and until yesterday I spoke 7 times in 8 days. But the next 3 days I have not found anyone, but that is fine, will speak again next Sunday.

I must say, at the weekend I was tired, because I was also going out and then doing the language exchange on top of a busy day, but the other days (without much obligations) it was just right - I reviewed every conversation and I'm sure my speaking ability improved a lot. I'm beginning to correct myself, and can find the right conjugation and endings if I think for a bit more often.

On Sunday I spent the day with a Nikkei-Brazilian (日系人), which is a Brazilian of Japanese ancestry. It was fun talking Portuguese, it has been a while - and at the beginning it took 20-30 minutes until I was comfortable speaking again, but after that everything returned, that made me happy :)

So, the next couple days I'm going through some grammar, this really is the bottle neck now, and hindering conversations - as there are just things I want to express, but can't. I have not studied grammar for a while.. yes I sometimes don't study grammar at all, just never feel motivated to do it, but now I think I can. I will try to finish the KoreanFromZero.com course 1 segment quickly , and afterwards also the howtostudyKorean.com segment 1. In both courses there are only a couple lessons left, and I kind of encountered the grammar in conversations already, so it will stick quicker I think (today I went through two chapters, so I guess I can do it).

Motivation seems to be high, I have been a bit more focused and productive and started to bring my life in order in other areas as well. Will see how long it lasts.
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alaart
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Korean Update

Postby alaart » Mon Sep 21, 2020 4:25 pm

So last week I focused on grammar, I finished the Korean From Zero Course 1. And I must say, that it worked better for me than the howtostudykorean course (I think I stopped on lesson 19 in June), but that might just stem from the fact, that I did it much later.

Enough grammar for now. Last week there was not much language exchange, but this week I'll do 6 times - so nearly every day. I'll also try to have a look at other input means, maybe some songs, or some easy videos or Netflix - will very likely be too difficult, but I'll just give it a try. My aim would be to get conversational to some degree before I leave Japan. Studying in Japan is good because it shares a time zone with Korea, so doing language exchange is convenient, from Germany it will be much more difficult.

Japanese does help in an indirect way, not like you would expect with cognates, but just with the general logic.

My pronunciation is still bad, I think I fixed ㄹ , but I now have to spent some time on the difference of single and double consonants like ㄲㄱ , I think I'm starting to hear the difference, but pronunciation is not correct. In Chinese 2 years ago, I did some dictation, where I would write without the subtitle what I heard , and then compare it with the subtitle.. - this is very time intensive but would certainly get the job done here too, if only I had more motivation for pronunciation. For now getting sentences out while speaking and vocabulary seem to be more important.

Korean is currently the motor that pulls me out of depression and gives me the energy to tackle other things, so I can't really stop learning it - still some weeks of vacation remaining, but reality is knocking. I have also been focusing on health and I try to do sport every day, trying to get rid of my chronic pain at least partially. I went to the hospital, but I think I have to go again.
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alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Korean Update

Postby alaart » Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:23 am

I did the next couple lessons on Korean from Zero. And did around 7 or so language exchanges and added most vocabularies from there to Anki, so vocabulary should be growing. Have not found the time to watch much video material. I watched a bit the "Super Easy Korean" series of Easy languages on youtube and could understand it. Tried normal videos, but understood next to nothing.

Since Taiwanese and Korean borders remain close I booked a flight back to Germany for the end of November. There I will take the HSK3 , and will start preparing for it from now on, alongside the Korean language exchanges. I had one Chinese language exchange, my tones seem off and it was hard to understand me, my exchange partner wasn't too patient and switched to English immediately.

I read some stuff on North Korea, I find this actually much more interesting than starting to get interested in K-Pop.


More language exchanges upcoming, also more organization.
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alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Languages: DE (N)
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B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Korean Summary & Chinese Restart & Semester Start

Postby alaart » Tue Oct 06, 2020 2:39 pm

Korea had its 추석 holidays, and everybody had some time to talk with me. So I used the opportunity and had like 8 language exchanges in 7 days. Was exhausting and after the 5th, I was not talking anything that made much sense I guess but just tired gibberish. I also tried watching some videos again.

Anyway, German university is starting soon - and I will be very busy. My honeymoon with Korean will be over in no time. It is a shame, since I feel that I'm very close to a breakthrough. I'm reducing my study time now, and putting that in organization and other stuff I have to take care of. I will drop most of my language exchanges. I have one language exchange who is a native in Korean and Chinese, and fluent in Japanese (very handy) - and we switched to Chinese last week.

So Korean Summary:
I studied from around 15th March until 10th June, and then again intensively from late July to now. So a bit more than 5 month of intensive study, I would say 2-3 hours on average per day. I have around 3000 cards in Anki, a lot of are sample sentences, maybe I have a vocabulary of 1000 words. I can say simple things like what I do, did and will do - can and can't do, and want to do. I can conjugate verbs quickly, that's good. I cannot really talk about experiences still, I often don't understand a reply. I can't pronounce Korean correctly, but I'm starting to hear the differences in the letters at least. Korean videos, very difficult.

Korean language exchange, I had around 12 study partners, maybe even more. Of which with around 4 I had very good experiences, all girls. I must say that I had bad experiences with men. my first 3 partners where men and dropped me quickly without a reason, another two men stood me up and didn't keep their scheduled time, and the last one is nice - but so busy, that he only had time every now and then. I have similar experiences from my other languages, so that's why I tried to get male speakers this time. I guess male to male conversation needs a higher language level to be interesting? Any opinions?

Korean Grammar approach: I just read howtostudykorean and KorenFromZero, and I googled the occasional question in Japanese and used some Japanese sites. My approach was this: Read the grammar, and I wouldn't understand - but I would move on anyway. I just put in sample sentences with audio in Anki and repeat them everyday. And over time I would learn the grammar patterns, kind of without understanding them.
This worked for some grammar, (mostly verb conjugations), but not for other grammar patterns. Well, for me studying grammar is so exhausting so this was kind of my way to go around it. I don't know if it was a good way or not. Actually I feel kind of stupid. There were some Japanese learners here in my class who just needed to hear a grammar pattern once, and would use it correctly right after that. Crazy.

-------------------

Chinese is gonna be the new focus, I registered for HSK3, which will be difficult. Although my Chinese level should be higher, I have to finally learn simplified Chinese °_°, I downloaded a lot of sample exam's and I'll take Chinese classes on HSK3/4 level in University. I already took those classes back in 2018, but I failed the exam because of simplified Chinese (for homework etc. we always had both, only in the exam we didn't). So I'll have to learn it now the hard way. Also my classmates who are now a year above me are having a private course, and they invited me to join. I will join, but most likely this course will be too difficult since everybody was in China or Taiwan in the meantime.

There are also Japanese university classes, I'm a bit undecided how much I should take. Or if I should even ignore Japanese. There is financial pressure now and I probably need to job too. It is unclear if I can get a scholarship for this semester (I applied though), although if I do my best with Chinese, I can get one for next year. So focus should be more on Chinese, but I'm close to Graduating in my Japanese bachelor. I will consult with most of my friends this week, had a talk with my parents who are against everything I do - so whatever. Course registration will close next week, so that's when I will have to decide.
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alaart
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Posts: 136
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Re: alaart's log (JP/CN, but currently mainly KR)

Postby alaart » Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:11 pm

So.. I have been very busy with organization. Canceled most of my language exchanges, only had 3 last week, and this week only two.

I spoke with my old teachers, and set the things in motion to get the Chinese scholarship. Could be difficult to move to China next year due to Corona, but I will try. Also spoke with my old classmates, everybody is very supportive of me getting back into Chinese, and I feel welcome.

Ah, one thing that is unclear is, where in China I should move to. Places in mind right now are Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Heifei - this kind of area. Or maybe Qingdao or Beijing - but I will for sure pick an area where Mandarin is dominant, so no city in the South. I have to pick 3 Universities until end of November.

I have not studied much, I spoke Chinese 1 time this week, and I watched a bit of a travel vlog in Chinese, this is a group that traveled North Korea (like the restricted tour guides, but I think they will show more to Chinese tourists than to Westerners). And they subtitle their videos in Chinese, very helpful - especially since I need to learn the simplified Chinese letters now. This is also my first time hearing North Korean in those videos. Not, that I understand anything :lol: - but I would definitely say that to learn stuff about North Korea interests me more than K-Pop. I have been to South Korea 3 years ago, very spontaneous to attend the wedding of a friend. I didn't prepare and understood nothing. I also tried translating some K-Pop songs too, still work in progress.

So yes, Korean is also still ongoing. I was planning to drop Korean and not study, but after a couple days I learned again. Apparently I feel like shit if I only do stuff I have to do, so I need to study something I like to feel free and relax. Weird right?
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alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Languages: DE (N)
EN
B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 314

University starting & struggling with Chinese characters

Postby alaart » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:48 am

Oh dear, university is starting in a couple days and I'm so busy.

So for Japanese we will follow the book みんなの日本語中級I (Minna no nihongo chuukyuu I) - and I'll have to start doing some book exercises, and study the grammar for class. It should be below my current level, but I still have to attend classes and put time into it. There is certainly stuff to learn and deepen, review and relearn. So it will be useful.

For the advanced Chinese course I will be taking.. the first assignment is reading this article on patriotism in education from the peoples daily. Holy shit, is this difficult. I just translated the first paragraph with a dictionary yesterday, and it took me 2-3 hours. This course will be so far outside my comfort zone.

I noticed, my lack of reading is hurting me now. Although I sort of "know" most characters, as in "have seen them before somewhere" and would maybe recognize them in context and get the meaning right, I still "don't know" them really. The recognition is slow, if I see them without a familiar context I just stare at them puzzled. I cannot write them. I forgot many readings, and tones. Often times I look up a character and think: "Hm, that's a new character" - but if I input it in my Anki database, it will show that I have studied this character in both Japanese and Chinese before and learned at least 15 words containing this character before (note: I deactivated Japanese reviews since March or April, and Chinese reviews since last year). I'm shocked, I have to relearn it - but after I did, the memory is coming back really quickly, to the point where I can even write most characters I have relearned instantly again.

So I hope I can relearn Chinese reading, but it is very work intensive. Another point is: I have to learn all the simplified characters now, and I will do this the hard way, just with texts in context and exercises, not systematically. It is my first time using simplified characters, though if I write them I always write the traditional version first, and follow with the simplified version later. For example for this character: 発 , I would start with this Japanese version, then write the traditional version: 發 , and finally the simplified version 发.

So very work intensive, but it is also a chance to finally get into reading and develop some comfort for characters and really start using them, both for Japanese and for Chinese. So this year, I would think my goal will be to achieve some sort of reading capacity in both languages. - speaking Chinese is still fine I guess, I forgot a lot of tones, but I think they will come back if I'm in an environment, where I will hear the correct tones and listen to Chinese being spoken.

Korean..! Had my last two language exchanges last week. And from my 7 study partners I will from now on keep 2, and alternate between them, so I will speak once per week. My goal will be to just not forget, I will continue doing my daily Anki set of those words, that is 30 minutes of reviews more or less. Anki has now blown up because I have to write like 50 characters or more, and also have like 200 words already in Chinese and Japanese containing these words, but this is "relearning", so I guess it will not be as work intensive as normal Anki learning, which is with new material.

The other stuff I am busy is, is organizing my return to Germany. So: Busy times ahead, I'm under a lot of pressure, at times I'm desperate, but I spoke to most of my close friends recently, and I just received a lot of support from everybody, and I think I will be going strong. :arrow: - forward it is!
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