Was learning Korean, now I'm doing Mandarin. The hard way of course.

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kraemder
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Re: Kraemders lazy Korean log

Postby kraemder » Tue Jun 02, 2020 4:22 am

I tried thinking in Korean a little bit for a couple of days but haven't really kept it up. I think it would be a good habit to do just like Anki and I'm very sure it would help me become more fluent at the very least. It seems good. But a bit tiring and not something I'm going to try too aggressively right now. Just a little bit every day I think is plenty. A couple minutes even.

I've been pretty motivated about Korean in general all week. After posting here I of course did some flashcard cramming but also continued looking on YouTube mostly for videos on how to study Korean better. I watched a video by Yoga MIA . Actually, I watched several of his videos as well as some others. Sometimes you read about someone else's experience studying Japanese and you think... this must be an exaggeration of what really happened.. he went from basically zero to N1 in 3 years. Possibly less than 3 years but he didn't take the test until 3 years later. If he were Chinese that would be one thing but he's not. Well, I know I went about learning Japanese the hard way so maybe that's why it took me so long. But I digress, the video I linked above discusses his thoughts on SRS sentence cards. He's very much in favor of them and it's a good listen. I say listen because he chose not to video himself reading his short essay on it. I will say that was probably a good idea because his delivery was must stronger than his other videos. After watching his video I pretty much decided to go back to sentence cards, using howtostudykorean.com for most of the sentence mining as it's the only resource I know of with tons of sentences for beginner/intermediate learners.

I'm still very intrigued with the speed review method I was trying out but I'm finding it's really not good for newly learned material and not if you're not ready to really focus. It's particularly not so good for sentences that aren't i+1. It's inevitable that you will need more time to puzzle over those cards.

In Matt's video he discussed why he was so much against pure vocabulary flashcards as opposed to sentence cards too. However, neither of them really discussed the option of doing both. I'm choosing not to do Evita's deck at the moment (another flip flop :cry: ) but I am experimenting with another deck based on the book Essential Korean Vocabulary published by Tuttle. It has 8000 words per the description. I have it in PDF form and I'm using that to make flash cards. It's organized by topic and I'm trying out putting the topic/chapter on the card as well to give me a little hint as to what the word means. Just a little but maybe it will make doing reviews a little more easier and less tiring.

I still think Anki is a really good tool for learning but as I watched Matt's video going over MIA, it discussed the importance of immersion and how that is where the real learning takes place and Anki or SRS is just a small supplement to speed learning up a bit. From my experience, when I changed or improved how I immersed in a foreign language is when I made better progress. Changing up my flash cards really didn't matter. I've done both sentence and vocabulary flash cards, probably more vocabulary than anything, but both, and I don't think it truly mattered which one I did. With sentence flash cards, in effect, it's like studying off a graded reader in a lot of ways. You're only reading sentences that have one new word per sentence and the grammar isn't too much above you - if you get proper sentences. Matt said by using Anki you can forego having to do the graded reader method - but to me you're just substituting one for the other. That said, aside from English, most languages do not have many graded readers available so that makes a tool like Anki so nice I think.

Oh, I stumbled on this crazy log about an Australian guy I think learning Swedish. He had experience with German and had done all the Pimsleur courses for Swedish and wanted to strengthen his vocabulary before moving on to the rest of the language and basically doing native material I guess. Anyway, he got a frequency list of sorts from a vocabulary book. It started with the first 3000 cards. He made all production cards with English on side 1 and Swedish on side 2. He went through the deck adding 200 cards per day. His study time varied but it was roughly about 2 hours a day. Sometimes 3 hours or so but 2 hours seemed standard. He would post brief statistical entries like Study Time 192 minutes, reviews etc. He said he used mnemonics to create a hook for each card and then it stuck generally. Basically he related the word to a German or English word or maybe another Swedish word he knew, or maybe used another mnemonic but it didn't see he had to try too hard. He did the 3000 words and then moved onto the next 3000 and then the next 3000. I believe he took about 2 weeks between the sets to get his daily reviews down a bit before going back to adding 200 new cards a day. A few other people following his log tried to duplicate what he was doing but nobody could. It made me think of the doctor I saw spending about 2 hours a day on Anki doing 1000 reviews. Some people are just really good at remembering things. I don't think that's going to work for me unfortunately.

Yeah, so as I was mentioning before getting totally sidetracked, the real learning is in engaging native material. There's the option of learning where someone will just go at native material or maybe a textbook before taking on native material, not doing any rote learning really, but just using a dictionary to look up stuff as he encounters unknown words. He doesn't save the words for later study, just moves on, absorbing more and more native material. This is how I studied German, Spanish, and French. Rote learning just didn't stick for me but if I read a book and or listened to radio/internet programs then somehow, things would slowly start to stick. It's not that I didn't try rote learning but that it failed me so horribly that I eventually gave it up. I would make word lists and study them for a few days, maybe even a week, but then go back to them later a month later and only remembered a few words. It seemed to me I would have remembered those particular words without writing them down and making an effort to try to remember them by rote. I thought I had a great learning method but then I tried learning Japanese and that didn't work for me. I just couldn't engage native material. Well, I could watched subbed anime. That was it. And take classes and do Anki. And be very patient. Very very patient. I think maybe I should have really engaged the native material more despite the difficulties instead of relying on Anki. Anki kept me moving forward though when nothing else seemed it would at least.

Studying Japanese I think made me a too reliant on SRS. I think I need to make it the supplemental tool and force myself to engage Korean head on. I've given this some thought. When I watched Japanese anime with English subs, I of course tried some to hear the Japanese while reading the English to understand what was happening. I was very bad at connecting the English to the Japanese I listened to I think mostly because the word order is so different. I'm used to Subject, Object, Verb, post positions languages now so that's less of an issue but I still think that my Korean would be better served if I just turned off the subs. I'll be very reliant on the visuals to understand the plot and this is going to be hard for me. Thankfully there are English summaries of most k-dramas online so if I watch something and I feel like I'm just lost and need to get back on track I'll head over to the summaries to catch myself up. This is how I hope to keep myself from turning the subs back on. I am not one to watch a show twice. I am also not one to read the summaries and then watch the shows. I need the uncertainty of not knowing what happens next to keep me interested in the plot and motivated to try to understand. I know kids, and even some adults, enjoy re-watching or re-reading books etc., and many language coaches or people on YouTube champion this as a great way to properly learn the language. It seems so logical. But it's not for me (for most things). When I studied German I felt like such a terrible language learner in that I went from book to book and rarely re-read anything. There were a few exceptions but I never re-read something directly after finishing it. More like a year later or so. I think this is the way I like to study and despite being such a terrible student at German (in my mind), I learned tons of words and a lot of grammar.

So I'm going to embrace that philosophy and try not to think about reviewing too much. I am certainly not going to mine sentences from native material. I think that distracts from engaging the material if you're constantly thinking of how to get it into a flash card in Anki. I know I had that mindset in Japanese constantly and I want to get rid of it for Korean. Korean shouldn't be as difficult of a language for me as Japanese was. Even if I am 10 years older :cry:
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eido
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby eido » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:12 am

What if the sentences from non-native sources have errors in it?

I know a lot of sentences of HTSK are a bit unnatural. The grammar they cover isn’t—the concepts are sound—but the native qualities are missing.

Just curious as to your opinion. I could see why you might choose to do things differently, but I want to hear it straight from you.
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kraemder
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
Languages: English (N)
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:58 pm

eido wrote:What if the sentences from non-native sources have errors in it?

I know a lot of sentences of HTSK are a bit unnatural. The grammar they cover isn’t—the concepts are sound—but the native qualities are missing.

Just curious as to your opinion. I could see why you might choose to do things differently, but I want to hear it straight from you.



As you said the grammar on the site is sound. I don't think there's errors aside from a typo or two in the Korean. I haven't found any typos really although I changed a couple English translations but there too I am happy with 99% of them. I think the sentences are ok and really natural Korean sentences would be too hard right now. But I really want to practice with simple patterns that I can absorb. Textbook style examples are where it's at for me right now. It wouldn't hurt to add a few cards with natural Korean that is above my level but just a few. I think it's something I might want to add later. I'm only on lesson 30 out of 150 on that site and I think he's still adding lessons. I have a ways to go. I really don't know if he'll add more natural sounding sentences in later units but it would make sense to me that he might. If he doesn't, after I'm more confident in my grasp of textbook grammar, I could add some sentences myself. But I might not. It depends how much natural Korean I pickup on my own just from reading, listening etc. I really want to try to 'immerse' more, earlier with Korean than I did with Japanese. Even with Japanese, I picked up a lot of casual speech patterns from watching English subbed anime.
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kraemder
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Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:10 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (JLPT N2)
German (read several books)
Spanish (read a couple books)
Korean (studying for about a year semi seriously)
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Sun Jun 07, 2020 5:29 am

*edit* Me Reading this on YouTube
Weekend update. It's been a good week I think as I'm still motivated and enjoying studying Korean. I stumbled on MIA Matt's old video about him talking about his AJATT experience.



He literally sat down and decided to just go over and sum up everything in one video, in one go, and just started talking. 3 hours later he was done sort of. I'm working from home and it was kind of slow so I just watched it while I worked mostly and finished it up after work. It's not the first stupid long video about language learning I've watched - I am a sucker for this stuff. (Seabolt Speaks is one of my new favorite channels). As is typical, I was influenced by some of what he said. First of all, AJATT, or all Japanese all the time, may have put a few personal spins on language learning, but he's not the first person by any means do try to learn a language by well doing everything in that language as much as possible. I did that with German way back in the day and I know many other learners did similar things. Everyone's approach of course was a bit different and AJATT incorporated Anki into his method and got very good results. And I think he might be the first one to start an online cult for language learning. Anyway.

So Matt talked about what he did and his experiences with Japan. I think his experiences had a lot in common with many other westerners trying to assimilate into the culture and well not having it be quite what they hoped for despite a lot of hard work. But that's not Japan's fault and Matt later said that he was depressed when he made the video so it emphasizes the bad more than it should. But I didn't think it was all bad even if he was dwelling on the bad a bit more than people usually would especially if they care about offending people and a culture etc. I was super impressed with what he achieved and of course curious about his routine.

I should have written down exactly what he did but essentially it was Japanese all the time as much as possible. And he was a high school student and then a college student so he had a lot of control over how he spent his time - it was a lot of Japanese. He says he started his day waking up early to do Anki reps. It was about 2 hours. This 2 hours of Anki seems to be a magic number of sorts with people that really push Anki to the limit. He focused on immersion right away even as a beginner, turning off the subs and watching anime without really understanding a thing at first. He went to Japanese High School but was barely conversational it seems and didn't enjoy socializing at all as a result and spent as much time alone as possible studying Japanese - reading light novels even though they were very hard and making Anki cards etc. The most enjoyable time he had in Japan at that time was teaching English. He was a sort of teachers assistant in the high school English class and dropped all his other subjects to do that as he couldn't understand the other classes anyway. And then he worked as a counselor at a camp for a couple weeks teaching English and really enjoyed it. His host family thought he was weird just studying all the time instead of spending time with them - they thought he would learn Japanese better being with them but Matt didn't think so. I don't know who was right. I do know that when I was in Germany and later Japan and sucked at the languages, or at least couldn't keep up with natives, I wanted to study by myself too in order to get better. He left Japan ahead of schedule as he wasn't happy in Japan and thought he could just self immerse at home anyway and be happier (and he was right).

Anyway, his story is pretty interesting and if you're into Japanese his video is a very good watch. I wonder how he got so many views. (Just because it's interesting maybe? haha who knows how YouTube works). Well, back to his method. He really felt that I+1 was very important and suggested making 10 to 15 new sentence cards a day and no more. He says that towards the end of his studying he started breaking the I+1 rule and regretted it as it made doing anki reviews a lot more difficult. He talked about how the idea is to get a hook for a word in your head and then adding a definition for a word was much easier. I guess that's where Anki helps out. I tend to agree that getting a hook in your head or a word in your dictionary in your head is the hard part, so that your brain stops tuning this word out when it hears it, and then once it stops filtering the word out then you will start to learn what the heck it means afterwards.

So I'm kind of playing with the idea of waking up early to do Anki reviews. I wouldn't want to wake up a full two hours earlier. I think I've talked about my sleep difficulties already and so this might not be a good idea but I'm curious and want to try it out. Today I have done about two hours of Anki. It's Saturday so that's not a big deal for me. Actually, I adjusted how Anki counts time. It was set to stop counting at 60 seconds before but I sometimes spend a few minutes on a card particularly if I am looking up words in a sentence on Papago or Naver. I fixed that so hopefully it counts correctly. I guess if I put it too high and then accidentally fall asleep while doing Anki it won't stop or something. I don't really know why that setting is there. When I was learning German through immersion, I focused mostly on reading. It's natural to look up words while you're reading but weird if you're listening to a podcast or audio book even. I did listen to tons of German but only while I was doing something else - mostly playing Everquest (an online MMO) or working at my job where I did data entry. Or doing anything really - cleaning, exercising, commuting. I'm working from home so there's no commute. I don't clean enough - I might try to work that into my study routine but this would not be reliable. So I'm going to have to make myself do some listening - I watched 1 hour of Goblin (the k-drama) without subs tonight. I know the characters already since I've been watching it with subs so it wasn't too terrible. I am going to say I understood about 5% of the Korean but it might have been less. Thankfully, they didn't just sit on their butts talking to each other but actually did stuff so I could watch them and get the gist of things. The hour went by pretty quickly - I hope this continues.

I got back into LingQ again and I'm continuing Harry Potter book 1. I'm about 1/3 of the way through now. I will probably be doing a lot of reading with LingQ in the near future so I may complain about the app. It has its shortcomings. But I'm happy to see that after clicking many many words a lot of pages are mostly white instead of all blue/yellow words like before. That's a nice effect I think of the app. I can sort of see the progress by looking at the lack of colors on the page. One shortcoming is that you can't copy and paste text from the website. Really. What the heck? I changed my mind about native material and I want to copy 10 sentences a day from Harry Potter into Anki. I am not so big on I+1 but there's another rule Matt had that I might break but really don't want to. He says you need to understand the sentence (well after looking up the words). Sometimes you don't. That's actually pretty often for me but it seems to be noticeably improving. It helps that I know Harry Potter already for sure.

He's also pretty big on the whole monolingual thing. I am for it if I can get a good language learner's dictionary. I did reach a point with Japanese where I usually understood the definition of a word after looking it up in a Japanese dictionary - but sometimes I only partly understood and maybe didn't even realize my understanding was vague or off a little until after I'd reviewed the card a few times. Matt really liked his ability to remember actual Japanese definitions. I don't think my memory is so good that I would be quoting the dictionary very much so I don't see that as a plus. I'm probably going to stick with bilingual dictionaries at least for the rest of this year. Since I'm using sentences I also like having an English sentence translation on side 2. It really gives a nice context in my head to associate with the target vocabulary (and sentence). Of course, I know Matt had a lot of success so I may reconsider this later. It would be nice to duplicate his success. Then again, he only studied 1 language (although dabbling in Chinese a little but didn't get too far from what I understand). I think that helps a lot. I find having so many languages in my head does wear me out and make it a bit less sharper than it otherwise could be.

Oh, I started another K-Pop song deck again. The last time I just grabbed sentences and mixed them right into my main sentence deck. That sentence deck basically got too many leeches, not just from K-pop but also from me getting excited about the example sentences in Naver a while back. But songs have crazy grammar, spellings, and are probably a terrible way to really learn the language. They are good to have fun with though but I think you need to be careful. So I'm keeping the deck separate so as not to contaminate my real deck. And I'm using the real audio from the songs and importing it into Anki. It's a little time consuming but so worth it. Then lastly I'm not doing sentences. Songs don't really have sentences anyway as there's not much grammar. It's more like stanzas in a poem or a paragraph maybe? Anyway, when they sing a bit, before stopping to rest or whatever, there's breaks and it's usually about 4 'lines' of script in the lyrics. With the actual music on the card, not chopped up into sentences but in the stanzas so that it flows properly, the cards really come to life. Definitly not i+1 though. They are truly begging to be leeches but they literally sing to me :D .
Last edited by kraemder on Sun Jun 07, 2020 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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kraemder
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:47 pm

Ever read someone's log and think... yeah.. they have ADD.

I am switching up my Anki routine some and made a YouTube video talking about it: https://youtu.be/NVfvlzbolXo

Instead of watching the 15 minute video you can also just read this entry.

I'm really excited recently with how I am noticing my Korean reading ability getting better. Actually, my listening ability is too but that's not so exciting because my vocabulary and grammar still stink so I don't see how better listening is going to get me very far. As I've probably mentioned, I'm reading on LingQ and it's pretty easy to look up unknown words. Even if I have to look up a lot of words in a sentence, it's not a deal breaker basically. I would put my vocabulary at about 1000 words or so although I'm starting to retain some of the Harry Potter world words too. My grammar is my weak point. I am at least partially familiar with most of the Korean Grammar in Use Beginner book but not all of it and could use a refresher. But I know none of the intermediate grammar concepts or very very few of them. I think they actually get used a lot. They just aren't as vital for regular conversation but especially in writing they are used constantly. So it would really behoove me to well hit that intermediate grammar book. I was totally intimidated by it because learning grammar was so slow and painful for Japanese. Really slow. Because I didn't immerse beyond doing the Core deck on Anki. If I learned a grammar concept, it didn't get reinforced unless I sat down and studied it again basically. I didn't really think about that so much at the time (damnit!) but as I'm reading Harry Potter, and thinking "Hey, this reading thing is actually gonna work! There's no kanji!" I'm reflecting and realizing just how and why reading is SO important to learning. I could literally sit down and cram that intermediate book and if I then go read Harry Potter then it's going to be reinforcing those grammar points really quickly. So it wouldn't be all gone in a couple days. Well, some of it would but some would stick. Quickly.

So that's what I'm going to do. I made another deck using Korean Grammar in Use but this time both Beginner and Intermediate. I made it a sentence deck. No closed delete production nonsense or even audio cards. This will make it easier to cram. I've been doing very well with my other sentence cards even when they're not i+1 since a few words in the sentence card will help give a context helping me to remember. Previously, I didn't want to study with sentence cards because I was thinking this was a crutch and if I couldn't recognize it out of context then it was useless. I don't think like that at all anymore. If I can get it from context on my card well I might get it from context in a book too. And that's plenty good enough for immersing and if I am immersing properly I'll see it more and more and it will get stronger so that I won't need a context to understand it. Well, for some words anyway. You could say I'm finally totally convinced that sentence cards are the way to go. But I would hate to be a new Japanese learner staring at 10 unknown kanji on a sentence card. Eww. There's a reason why I fell back to doing vocabulary flash cards when studying Japanese but I think I should have made it work somehow like putting furigana on all but one word or something.

The Beginner book typically has 3 example sentences for each concept and the Intermediate book 2 (but longer examples). the deck has a total of about 530 cards. I think I can cram a couple hundred right away and that should get me familiar with a lot of grammar fast. I'm hopeful that this will work well and I will see quick results.
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kraemder
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:58 am

Another ramble on my Korean language studying. (Me reading this on YouTube) Well I'm happy with how the grammar deck is going. According to MIA, they don't recommend grammar decks but don't forbit it outright instead saying if you have to do it, make sentences. They stress vocabulary decks for SRS over grammar basically. I'm doing it backwards. I am stressing the grammar over the vocabulary right now and even toyed with stopping vocab completely but decided not to. I actually like reviewing the vocabulary sentence cards. I will say the grammar cards are a bit painful. The examples from the intermediate grammar book are longer and the target grammar is surrounded by grammar worthy of the higher level target grammar too. It's overall harder. In order to help myself focus on these harder sentences, I decided, "screw it," and added the native audio from the CD's for both books to my Anki deck. Every card has native audio on it now. It took several hours to do but if I use the deck for a year or so, then that's well worth it. It was annoying to do though.

I enjoy studying vocabulary so how could I even consider ignoring my vocabulary sentence decks? Well, I was watching Matt's video that came out shortly before he announced the MIA Anki retirement add on. It was basically a confessions of an Anki addict video and this addon is an attempt to reign in that addiction and maybe keep others from falling into that trap. Or maybe some people might see that trap coming and quit Anki altogether only to miss out on the benefits it does have to offer. Anyway, he made this add on to have Anki auto suspend or delete cards after a certain interval. In his video he was thinking that an interval of a year would be a good cutoff. After you've remembered something a year later, you probably never need to see it again in Anki. Otherwise, you are kind of a slave to Anki. After the add on came out, he sort of adjusted that assuming you grouped your decks a bit by frequency so that beginner cards could be retired in maybe 4-6 months, intermediate cards maybe 8-9 months, and advanced cards at a year or something like that. Roughly. As I watched this video that was like confessions of an Anki junkie, I completely identified with it. That's not to say that I had an Anki deck that I had been working on for years and years and had never once quit. I get the impression that Matt was that hardcore. I quit constantly (maybe every 3-4 months, although I did have an unbroken streak of about 1.5 years or so while living in Japan), but switched to another SRS app instead or made a new deck. However, I was always a slave to SRS when it came to Japanese.

For Japanese but not for any other language I studied previously. If you read my original Japanese language study log back in the day I think I complained about this. Due to kanji, it's very difficult to just immerse yourself in Japanese by reading, and since reading was the most important learning tool for foreign languages I didn't know what else to do except SRS. And when it comes to reading kanji, if you're looking to expand your listening/spoken/overall Japanese ability by reading, it's not enough to just understand a word from the context - you also have to know how to pronounce/read it. Kanji just messed with my head. Even with rikai-sama or furigana I just couldn't get into that zone where I felt immersed. I learned (I roughly estimate) over 10,000 words in German from reading alone and no rote memorization. Reading can be amazing.

Well, Korean has no kanji. Actually, I do occasionally see hanja/kanji in texts but it's always accompanied by the reading. And from what I have seen from talking to Koreans, they don't remember more than 50 or so hanja from their school days. Really, probably less than that. Anyway, the point is, I'm noticing how easily I can immerse myself in Harry Potter using lingQ. Probably any decent dictionary would do but LingQ is what I'm using for now. I am so tempted to just let the SRS go and see what happens from pure immersion. Matt made the observation that due to SRS'ing, you kind of trick the brain into thinking that some uncommon words are more common than they really are, making your speech patterns a bit weird. You would think that if the intervals of said words got big enough then immersion would fix that but maybe it doesn't. I'm on the fence on this - I think that foreigners just kind of don't have a good natural grasp on a language that natives have and funny words sometimes come out as a result unless you make an effort to speak naturally. I never really spoke German to any great extent so I can't say if uncommon words ever popped out of my mouth or not. But maybe it would help if I learned my vocabulary as naturally as possible.

So I'm going easy on the vocabulary sentence deck and still considering doing away with it. Or just not adding to it. And seeing what happens from just immersion instead. If I were to hit a plateau from just reading, at that point I could turn to Anki maybe. Or just use Anki to drill vocabulary that I would definitely want to know if I were travelling maybe. I'm still considering. And focusing on the grammar right now. Some people argue you can just learn grammar from context but I don't think so. When it comes to Japanese, I can actually look up most 'grammar' in the dictionary as I have tons of experience using Japanese dictionaries but not so much when it comes to Korean. I really think a grammar Anki deck is very beneficial.
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kraemder
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Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:21 am

Update on my Korean. I still had/have (I'm about to cancel it) my Japanese Audible account active. It makes me buy one book every month at a discounted flat rate of about $13 or so. I should have turned it off ages ago but I had accumulated so many coins and didn't know what to buy. They scare you if you try to cancel making it seem like you'll lose all your coins and you have to spend them before you cancel or something. So I procrastinated. I finally got some books today and I'll cancel it. I actually pre-purchased 天気の子 which I'm excited to listen to. I have the e-book but didn't get too far into it. I haven't seen the movie.

I've been making more videos for my YouTube channel. I don't have many viewers but they're fun to make the same way posting here is fun. I really appreciate anyone that reads my posts so thanks for that. I might try doing one in Korean. One weird thing about MIA is that they tell you out put isn't just not helpful, it's BAD for you if you do it too early. A lot of what Matt says in MIA makes sense - a lot of sense, so people take this at face value too. I don't think it's bad to output early. If you speak Korean every day from day one it is possible you'll get some bad habits but for something to be a habit you have to well do it a lot. Like speak everyday. I doubt anyone not living in Korea is speaking it every day. And if you're living in Korea you better be speaking it everyday. Yeah. And even if you are making some bad habits.. chances are you're learning as you go and you are double checking how to say things if it's important to you so you'll learn from your mistakes so to speak. I think it's good.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter because I'm not in Korea and I barely have any chance to speak Korean at all. Only via iTalki tutors. I currently have one whom I meet with about once a month because she's so popular you need to reserve a lesson about a month in advance. Also, I'm focusing on input and don't feel the need to use her very much now anyway. But I like her personally as a friend so I don't want to just stop either. Yeah, I'm paying her to be my friend but still.

I put a lot of work into and was very proud of the Anki decks I made from the Korean Grammar in Use series. But I have decided I'm not using them. The stuff from the Beginner book is all good but everything from the Intermediate book is basically too hard to put on an Anki for me. My brain feels overloaded when I try to do reps and it's just not working out. Instead I'm going to use the deck I made from this grammar cheat sheet PDF I found somewhere on Google. I'm liking the sentences so far and find they are not too challenging and there's no brain freezes etc. I added it to Anki in case any other Korean learners want to check it out:

Korean Cheat Sheet Anki Deck

Harry Potter is going well. I'm reading it on LingQ of course. I am looking for other options to read stuff in Korean. I haven't found anything too good yet although Learn with Texts looks interesting. It also looks hard to setup. So I'm procrastinating setting it up. What I'd really like is the ultimate pop up dictionary that worked not just in a browser but everywhere. One that would even work in games. That would be wonderful.
3 x

kraemder
Green Belt
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:10 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (JLPT N2)
German (read several books)
Spanish (read a couple books)
Korean (studying for about a year semi seriously)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1204
x 341

Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Sun Jun 28, 2020 5:23 am

You can listen to this on my YouTube Channel

Another Saturday and another update on my Korean. Oh, and I cut my own hair again. I'm still afraid to go to the barber to get it done properly. For better or for worse, instead of trying to trim the top, I just used the longest attachment on the buzz clipper and now it kind of looks like I'm maybe MIA, but running from the military or something.

I was doing really well on LingQ and had a 10 day streak or something going but then I missed a day. And well this week I haven't gotten too much LingQ in. I guess I sort of burned out on Harry Potter and reading in general. I did get back into LingQ last night, hitting my daily goal of 100 new links, and I didn't stop Korean either so I'm not worried. But I had been on track to finish my first book in Korean within 10 days and that's obviously been pushed back. Some people say that you should just read something until it gets boring and then immediately switch to something else. I don't follow that philosophy. I really get a sense of accomplishment from finishing a book and especially my first book in a foreign language. I wouldn't want to just switch to another book because this one got dull. Of course it got dull, my reading skills are bad, I'm going slowly, and in fact I've been reading this book since November of last year. But I will finish this book. Oh yes.

But not this week. This week I somehow got into watching tv/videos and listening to real Korean a lot more. In particular on Netfix. I like fantasy, sci-fi, anthing that is a break from reality. So I started rewatching a k-drama I really enjoyed about a year ago or so called, "Black". It's a kind of ghost or fantasy story involving a lot of murder, betrayal, cover ups, and the co-lead is a shinigami (ok, that's Japanese, I don't know the Korean). He basically goes to collect souls when people die to lead them to the afterlife. It doesn't have any Korean subtitles on Netflix unfortunately as i would love to download them and read them in LingQ if I could. Well, maybe because I know the story already (although I don't remember everything), it seems to leave a bit more brain power to focus on the Korean and it seems I'm picking stuff out better than usual. But it's still just bits and pieces.

Which leaves me to the other thing I'm wondering about as I sit through this drama (and some other shows on YouTube etc too) in Korean but which my understanding is fleeting and less often than not. Just how helpful is this anyway? I'm pretty sure it's something Matt and Yoda enourage as part of the immersion and they say you should do it from the get go I think. But strangely they also say not to do Shadowing early on. I don't know how early on I am in their estimation. I guess until I can get the gist of a drama without any subs even Korean I will feel like a beginner. I was on a Discord channel going off about this a bit. I was told it's a bit like a leap of faith. You really have no evidence at all to show that what you're doing is helping but you need to believe anyway and devote yourself to it. That sounds accurate. I tried looking on YouTube for other people's thoughts on this and Google and found a lot of people saying that until you can start understanding most of what's being said that it's a complete waste of time. Not so encouraging.

I haven't given up the faith in it though. It does feel a lot like reading a book in Korean without using a dictionary at all. Ever. Even though I'm completely lost. I am assuming that there is still something going on behind the scenes in my mind and it's making adjustments to deal with this barrage of input, trying to make some sense out of it, and making some progress. Even if it's slow. I'm also assuming that hearing the language everyday (preferably for several hours, but I can't always make that happen), is telling my uncoscious mind that Korean is more important so that when I go to sleep every night, and my subconcious brain decides what information to cut, and what gets retained into long term memory, it will choose to retain more Korean grammar, phrases, and vocabulary. I hope.

I've been doing nearly 2 hours of Anki every day. I'm focusing on the new grammar deck I made from the cheat sheet, the TOPIK 1 and 2 vocabulary book I got from Japan, and my sentence deck with material mostly mined from HowToStudyKorean dot com. I suppose it's weird but I enjoy Anki. Immersion may be the most important studying I'm doing but Anki at least gives me confirmed progress. Just listening to tons of Korean, you can walk away wondering "What just happened?? Did I just get better? Did nothing happen? I got worse. I know I got worse." Anyway, I'm off to go jogging, while listening to Korean YouTube.
2 x

kraemder
Green Belt
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:10 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (JLPT N2)
German (read several books)
Spanish (read a couple books)
Korean (studying for about a year semi seriously)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1204
x 341

Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:09 am

My Saturday update. YouTube blog of me rambling about this. It's the fourth of July weekend in the US and it's a three day weekend so I was off yesterday and got to relax and do language stuff. Although I have a channel, I'm not a YouTuber but I have a subscription to YouTube (for the non ads) and watching YouTube is one of my favorite things to do. It blows my mind watching people make videos about so many things that they're interested in and obviously language learning is high on that list but I like gadgets, technology, gaming, and just about anything is great too.

So I stumbled upon a polyglot's YouTube channel and I don't know how many languages he claims to speak (maybe 8 per a brief glance at his channel) but he's really prolific when it comes to making videos about his language learning and you can tell he puts a lot of thought into the videos. He's also a student of Japanese and studied it 3 years in college before going to Japan to work as an interpreter (I don't know what kind of interpreting) but that sounded impressive. Anyway, I could comment on a number of his videos because they're interesting but he recently made a nice video about reviving his German.
Ever since starting my Japanese studies, I've felt bad because I made a decision to stop using, reading, watching, or even thinking about German in order to give myself the best chance at learning Japanese. Getting my brain to think in this language that was literally backwards from English in every way was so hard I knew I couldn't pull any stops and had to give it everything I had and even then it might not be enough. Part of me thinks that this was due to the fact that I started Japanese later in life as opposed to college age like I did German but I don't know. What I do know is that I can quickly and readily switch to thinking in German even after not using it for such a long period of time. I can also think in Japanese now having put in a stupid amount of time studying it and having lived in the country for 2 years but German still feels like it's rooted more deeply in my brain. Part of me is really frustrated that Japanese can't achieve that. Korean might be ill fated to be even less deeply rooted than Japanese no matter how much time I put into it or not I have no idea.

I actually think that 'thinking' or talking to myself in German was a big part of my language routine. I'm not even sure because it's so long ago now, and I think it's something I kind of gave up on with Japanese. I remember taking Japanese at Pima Community College and walking through my apartment complex parking lot and trying to think in Japanese really hard but German just kept coming out. Even if I started the sentence in Japanese, German just came out. I hadn't been specificaly studying German while I was studying Japanese but I hadn't completely tried to turn off that switch in my head either and was still thinking in German sometimes. I was thinking of myself as a multi-lingual person who could (or would after I studied more) speak German, maybe Spanish (I had some under my belt) and Japanese. But it seemed apparent to me that at least for the time being, if I didn't literally turn off the German in my head, I would never 'think' in Japanese and this would of course mean I would never speak it. Speaking a language and thinking in a language really similar.

So now I'm going to try to revive German. I'm a little nervous. Just switching back and forth between Japanese and English was hard for me. If I were having a Japanese conversation in Tokyo, and we switched to English, switching back to Japanese was really difficult. Other good Japanese students (mostly my friend from India) could switch back and forth really well but for me if I switched to English if I went back to Japanese you could tell I was struggling. Obviously, this isn't how one imagines polyglots or multi-lingual people to operate. You should switch back and forth between your languages with ease or you look like a fake and everyone will only speak English to you as a result (the worst outcome ever!).

So Robin recorded a video of himself speaking German into the camera a week ago and then another video just yesterday. I personally could see the improvement in his German after just a week. I don't know how much time he's putting into it each day. I don't know what his level was before he stopped and how long he stopped for. He's talking about reading his first book in German as part of this experiment, but I think he lived in Germany for a time perhaps so he probably focused almost exclusively on speaking the language over reading it before. Of course I'm the opposite.

My opportunities to speak German were very few and as a result my German was a bit sloppy I think and probably foolishly, when given the choice of phrasing something short and succinctly or dragging it out into a huge run on sentence, I preferred the latter. I think I just liked showing off that I could put the verbs at the end of a long clause or something. Looking back, although native speakers can and probably do do that when appropriate, my everyday thoughts probably sounded a mess to them.

At first I was thinking of halting my Korean studies completely except maybe Anki reviews (no new cards) but I changed my mind. I'm kind of against working on two languages at the same time but German is something I'm brushing up and not a new language and I'm not looking to push it beyond what it once was at least for a while. Getting it back to where it was should be hard enough. I also recorded myself speaking German on my YouTube channel as a reference. I was going to do a video in a week even but I've changed my mind. Especially since I'm not giving it my complete attention, just consistent attention every day, the improvement will be slower I think and not so interesting to see after just one week. Although Robin does say that when brushing up a language you see huge improvements right away say in the first two weeks then it slows down a lot which makes sense. I think I'll do a video after a month. I plan to do about 1 hour a day on German. I was thinking absolutely no anki / SRS but I'm not sure now. I might just toss in interesting vocabulary that I like into a deck and well limit it to 10 a day at most. I hate limiting the daily amount of words per day but I know it's good advice.

And then what about my Korean? Well, I think it has the priority over German. It needs more love for sure. There's certainly no time limit per day on how much I will study it but I guess the minimum is also an hour but likely it will be more than that. I've been enjoying the TOPIK 1 and 2 vocabulary book I got in Japan with its native audio and Japanese translations in Anki but I think I am going to switch to adding new cards to a new deck I will actually do in Flash Cards Deluxe. I know that reading Harry Potter in LingQ was helping my overall Korean ability (mostly reading ability but still) but I was only improving the vocabulary that repeated on almost every page. A lot of that super high frequency vocabulary was also vocabulary I had already studied from beginner vocabulary lists / sentence lists. But I found a way to add good new flash cards to a deck. While studying on my phone just high light the target word, then screenshot it, and then tap it to bring up the LingQ dictionary and take another screen shot. Then swipe over to Flash Cards Deluxe (you could do this in Anki too) and make a new card using the two images. It's a few more taps than if you have a proper dictionary app linked into Anki like exist for Japanese and probably other languages but it's fast enough that I don't mind doing it so this will be easy to maintain I think. I'm actually a bit excited. It's not a true sentence card as per MIA in that I'm only testing myself on one word and not the whole sentence but this also makes review the cards less work because Harry Potter sentences are not usually i + 1 and the sentences are often long. I kind of like the idea that I'm seeing a literal screen shot of the original text I originally encountered the word.
1 x

kraemder
Green Belt
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:10 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Languages: English (N)
Japanese (JLPT N2)
German (read several books)
Spanish (read a couple books)
Korean (studying for about a year semi seriously)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1204
x 341

Re: Learning Korean the hard way

Postby kraemder » Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:33 pm

I really enjoy this polyglot’s (Robin’s)YouTube channel but in this video he’s describing his Italian as a strong C1 and saying he was starting to read his first book etc. I’m like his first book and he’s a C1??? Is that possible? I often read my first book an A2 level... yeah it’s hard but I guess I don’t know how you move through the intermediate stages without lots of reading?

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