CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Fri Aug 28, 2020 10:15 pm

My yearly log post. :D

My streak for Memrise is currently 303 days. I've turned off the counting clock--I don't think it made me come up with answers any faster, and I seemed to spend too much time looking at the clock to see how much time was left.

I just signed up for Ollie Richards German 30-Day Verb Challenge, to start Sept. 1st. He has different challenges for Spanish, French and a few more. This one is for proper verb placement. They let you download Day 1 now, and I can already see that it's a bit over my current level, so the 15 minutes a day to read the chapter, listen to the teacher and do the exercises (as stated in the class info) will probably be closer to an hour for me if I'm having to look up words.

I'm hoping this will get me over the semi-burnout. Half the time I want to set German aside for the rest of the year, and the other half I want to do All The Things.

Maybe I'll take a break after the 30 day verb challenge.
1 x
366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000

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CarlyD
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Location: California, USA
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:05 pm

Memrise is broken. You can do your reviews or learn new words, but it doesn't acknowledge them and the streak count is frozen at Sunday's count. They're working on it, but my streak is well over 300 days, and I'm hoping it doesn't get lost. :(

Otherwise, I'm just plugging along. It seems like my reading is better--running across some post on Facebook, I'm more likely to either be able to read it or at least figure parts of it out--but I'm still "officially" at A1 according to the tests. Frustrating.

Olly Richards just came out with a new book, about using social media in your language. It's Spanish, but he asked people if they wanted it in other languages, so hopefully enough people requested German. Most of my Spanish now is just in my online cactus group, where we have a lot of people from Mexico and South America posting cactus pictures. It's nice to go back and forth in Spanish, but I probably should find more places to practice before it starts to slide.
1 x
366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000

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CarlyD
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Location: California, USA
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:43 pm

To finish the last post--I talked to the people at Memrise and my streak was preserved when it got fixed. My streak is currently at 345 days. :P

So I started a 90-day Challenge/Project/Whatever. I'm tired of hearing about the election, about covid, and people just aren't being nice, even in my neighborhood watch group, so I plan to ignore it all until the end of the year. I'm putting a lot more time into German, but still don't have a formal plan in place. I guess at least if the ignoring/working harder is working, that's ok.

I just finished Day 12 of the German Personal Pronoun Challenge being run by Ollie Richards. My understanding of pronouns even in 12 days has more than doubled and I'm amazed at how such a simple concept--take anything and hit it everyday for 30 days--can make such a difference.

I'm already thinking how I can make my own challenges. A particular verb tense? The dreaded Dative? (Which I've studied so much it isn't really dreaded anymore.) Word order, clauses? I'm still running 45 minutes a day for the challenge, but 30 or more of that is reading the 1 to 1 1/2 page chapter, which is well over my level, considering they're teaching basic pronouns. So this could seriously be a 10 to 15 minute a day project. Hmmm..... I have some plans to make.

Right now, I'm doing:
* German Uncovered. Just starting Chapter 9. Each chapter is very involved--read the chapter (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pages), then there's a lecture on cognates, on vocabulary, 15 to 17 pages of vocabulary homework, lecture on grammar, 15 to 17 pages of grammar homework, lecture on pronunciation, speaking assignments and a short test. It can take a week per chapter.
* German Personal Pronoun Challenge
* Clozemaster--about 15 minutes a day
* Memrise--2 vocabulary courses, a travel phrase course, German 3 and German 4 (both of which have a big emphasis on Learn with Locals)
And I'm supposed to be doing GermanPod and Rocket German, but I haven't figured out how to fit it all into my day.

And lastly--I took another German placement test. I scored a solid A2. I just wish it had been a more "official" test and I could truly trust the results.
5 x
366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000

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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:14 pm

I am broken.

In German Uncovered, I'm on Chapter 9. Apparently they decided that the first 8 chapters were enough to get you fluent, and they can throw anything at you in 9. In the lecture, she gave a number of sentences in English that "I'm sure you can easily write in German by now" Um....no, I couldn't.

In one of the vocabulary exercises I got every question wrong. Later exercises were in paragraph form--fill in the blanks to make a complete sentence. Then gave sentences I couldn't even translate, let alone figure out which word should go there. I took a look at the grammar exercises, and this week's theme is prepositions that take either dative or accusative, and figuring out motion and location and what process they're expressing.

My other project is the 30-day German Pronoun Challenge. While we were on personal pronouns, it was ok. The daily chapter was difficult but I was using Google Translate as a back-up and was mostly figuring it out. Now we've started the possessive pronouns, which I understand, so it's a matter of sorting out the endings depending on gender and case. But the daily chapters are killing me. Even Google Translate can't figure them out. In the daily lecture, she goes over 3 sentences in the chapter to explain that day's concept. And it's not making sense. Part of me is ready to bail--does it make sense to do something for 30 days if you don't know what you're doing? The other part says to stick it out.

*deep breath*

Ok, I'm going to skate this weekend. Do my Memrise and Clozemaster and regular stuff and set both of the above aside. Then I'm going to restart Chapter 9 from the beginning, and take it slower, no matter how long it takes.

The daily challenge I'm still not sure about. I could either let it slide for awhile, or go slower. The only reason to keep up was the daily check-in in the Facebook group, but very few people have been doing that anyway.

This is the kind of thing that makes me run back and hide in Spanish.
1 x
366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000

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CarlyD
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:20 pm

tl;dr: I'm frustrated that doing it the easy way is not making me fluent. Time to do it the hard way.

I'm going over all that I'm doing, and starting to make plans for next year. In other words, do I truly want to be A1 for yet another year?

So what am I doing wrong? I just read a reply that cavesa made in another thread talking about language learning progress, and to wildly misquote--it's not the busyness of learning that makes progress, but the pain involved.

So going from 30 minutes a day to 2 hours a day doesn't create progress if you're still doing the same thing. I still remember fondly a Spanish class I took. It was horrible. The teacher pushed and prodded and took me far out of my comfort zone. I was exhausted and traumatized after every class. But I learned more Spanish from that one class than from years of other classes.

I've spent probably hundreds of hours so far learning German. Wonderful, comfortable, happy stay-in-A1 hours. It's time for some pain.

I had signed up a while back for Rocket German when they had a special. It's good--but it forces you to talk, to think, to produce. In other words, not happy-learning. It's time to get serious with that.

I also had a subscription to Busuu from a Black Friday deal--did it a bit, but again, they wanted to you be all in--lessons, connecting with other members, actually (shudder) writing something every lesson that people correct. I just looked at that again, since it was about to expire. Actually expires Nov of 2021--and they've revamped their site. A1 went from 29 lessons to 68, A2 from 29 lessons to 70, etc. I need to get back into that also.

Clozemaster and Memrise have been my happy places. Yes, I've learned a good bit of vocabulary there--but it's easy. And I've sometimes found that I remember new vocabulary better from reading it in context than just the word. So, I'm just keeping the official Memrise courses--I'm in German 3 right now.

And German Uncovered--I'm returning back to Chapter 2 and making sure I actually know everything presented, rather than assuming that I do.

I think I will be doing a 365-day Challenge for 2021. But I think it will be a minimum of 60 minutes, rather than 30. I've had too many 30 minute day where I met that goal, but made absolutely no real progress otherwise. And 2021 will be the year that I finally actually learn German.
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366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000

Cavesa
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby Cavesa » Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:57 pm

CarlyD wrote:So what am I doing wrong? I just read a reply that cavesa made in another thread talking about language learning progress, and to wildly misquote--it's not the busyness of learning that makes progress, but the pain involved.

Being (mis)quoted should be flattering, but this is a bit scary :-D I am not sure whether I am advocating for pain :-D :-D :-D But I think I know what you mean that I mean (or at least I'm trying) and I'll take you quoting me as a compliment. And hope it turns out for the best for you. But yes, pressure works. But only until some point, and only if it is the right kind of pressure. It should not be pain just for the sake of pain (that's what my medical faculty's teaching style was like. I don't recommend that. Lots of suffering, lots of time, bad results). It should be a challenge, meant to help you achieve more and be happy with the results and proud of yourself.

So going from 30 minutes a day to 2 hours a day doesn't create progress if you're still doing the same thing. I still remember fondly a Spanish class I took. It was horrible. The teacher pushed and prodded and took me far out of my comfort zone. I was exhausted and traumatized after every class. But I learned more Spanish from that one class than from years of other classes.

Yes, these things stick. If it is traumatizing (to a certain point. beyond that, there is no excuse) but efficient, ok. It should never include humiliation though.


I've spent probably hundreds of hours so far learning German. Wonderful, comfortable, happy stay-in-A1 hours. It's time for some pain.
Yes, I've been an eternal A1 too, but because I haven't invested those hundreds of hours (and took looooong breaks)
I had signed up a while back for Rocket German when they had a special. It's good--but it forces you to talk, to think, to produce. In other words, not happy-learning. It's time to get serious with that.

Hmm, not that I wanted to try Rocket German (it somehow didn't convince me despite some of the reviews. But I'll be happy to read your experience!), but I feel like asking: will you be a not-happy-learner with me? :-D I need a fellow sufferer. (To make it clear to the innocent readers: no, neither of us wants to be unhappy or to reeeeaaaally suffer, we just both seem to be tired of not progressing in German).

Clozemaster and Memrise have been my happy places. Yes, I've learned a good bit of vocabulary there--but it's easy. And I've sometimes found that I remember new vocabulary better from reading it in context than just the word. So, I'm just keeping the official Memrise courses--I'm in German 3 right now.
I'm more lucky than you on Memrise, it seems, as I found a course fitting my main coursebook! Somebody did it! All of it, not just a few units! Just a few words are missing (the person put in all the wordlists but not the extra words from the sauce in the units). What do you think of the official courses? I was rather disappointed with the French ones (I don't think Memrise or anybody should call them "professional", as it is a chaos both in terms of content and form, and likely to cause some bad habits in beginners)

And German Uncovered--I'm returning back to Chapter 2 and making sure I actually know everything presented, rather than assuming that I do.
That's the spirit! Your post is inspiring me more than mine inspired you today :-)


I think I will be doing a 365-day Challenge for 2021. But I think it will be a minimum of 60 minutes, rather than 30. I've had too many 30 minute day where I met that goal, but made absolutely no real progress otherwise. And 2021 will be the year that I finally actually learn German.
I feel like starting a small team log. Something like: Suffering Our Way Out of the German Beginnerland! :-D :-D :-D
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CarlyD
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Location: California, USA
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Re: CarlyD's 2020 Log--mostly German

Postby CarlyD » Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:50 am

Cavesa wrote:
I feel like starting a small team log. Something like: Suffering Our Way Out of the German Beginnerland! :-D :-D :-D
[/quote]

Yes!! We need a Bailing Out of A1 team. Are we the only ones?

The official Memrise German courses are pretty good. They have a ton of dialogue videos in their Learn with Locals part so you get actual speakers rather than the measured clear tones of the people doing the basic recordings.

What textbook are you using that has a Memrise course?
0 x
366 Challenge German and Spanish: 274 / 366
Super Challenge German Films: 20 / 4500
Super Challenge German Books: 223 / 2500
Super Challenge Spanish Films: 0 / 9000
Super Challenge Spanish Books: 0 / 5000


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