Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

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gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
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Re: gsbod's language log (DE|FR)

Postby gsbod » Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:38 pm

When the lockdown started, I expected that I would have lots of free time to fill, and had anticipated I could maybe use some of that time for language learning (hence my early, short-lived thoughts about dusting off my Japanese). Things obviously didn't work out as planned. The first few days were filled with a combination of existential dread, unexpected work stress (I mean, I was expecting work stress, but things came up that I definitely wasn't expecting), and just generally finding a new rhythm and routine to fit the drastic changes to my lifestyle.

Now I seem to have settled into a new routine, and the existential dread is mostly relegated to those moments just after waking. I do have more free time to fill. What I wasn't anticipating, however, was how unevenly distributed it would be throughout the week. When I'm working, the days pass quickly - filled with work, keeping up with colleagues, dinner and TV with my husband and then a couple of hours to myself before bed. The weekends, on the other hand, feel almost unbearably long. And since this weekend is Easter, it's twice as long again!

Still, now my head is in more of a balanced place (i.e. I've mostly accepted the situation and am content to manage it from one day to the next) I have at least got my concentration back and can look to apply it somewhere. So I've decided that this long weekend, I'm going to do a little language learning project with a language at the beginner level.

I decided it needed to be at the beginner level to ensure that any activities I could do would be in direct contrast to anything I might feel like doing in German. Also I'm bored with French and I'm maybe not quite ready to tackle Japanese reading again.

The other constraint is I needed it to be something I already had some decent print materials for. I don't want the project, which is already short term in nature, to be scuppered by problems with my internet connection (we had an outage for a few hours last weekend, and it was terrifying). By the time I decided on the project, it would have been too late to place an order for materials, and to be honest I feel somewhat uncomfortable about ordering anything strictly non-essential at the moment anyway.

So the choice was between Italian, Spanish and Swedish. I've gone for Spanish, because that's what my gut said. I'm working with the textbook ¡Nos Vemos! A1 A2 which is a fairly standard beginner textbook within the CEFR framework. There's a reasonable variety of exercises and plenty of audio material. The format means that I can study as much as I feel like at a time. The plan for the Easter weekend is to study as much as I can (or at least as much as I feel like) and see how far I get. No pressure, just something interesting to fill these long days with. Also, listening to Spanish I can just about remember the smells of the Mediterranean, and the feel of the sun on my face, and the warm sand on my back, which makes me happy.
7 x

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
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Re: gsbod's language log (DE|FR)

Postby gsbod » Mon Apr 13, 2020 5:29 pm

So, it's Easter Monday. How far did I get? I finished working through the first chapter of Nos vemos. This has given me an overview of the pronunciation rules, the definite article, noun gender, plural forms and conjugating regular -ar verbs in the present tense. None of this is completely new to me, since I have dabbled with beginner Spanish before, however it's new enough to be worth it, particularly getting used to handling the verbs.

One limitation of beginner textbooks: there was an exercise where you had to give your reasons for learning Spanish. It gave some example phrases to help you out, like "para viajar a" or "para trabajar en". Unfortunately there was nothing there that would help me construct my real reason, "to dampen the sense of existential dread which naturally arises from time to time during a pandemic lockdown". I guess I'll have to keep going to C1 for that.

So now I've done my Easter weekend of Spanish, do I continue? I think the answer is a cautious yes. It's actually been really nice to have something different to turn to - particularly if I find myself mindlessly scrolling news sites on my phone and I've already done so much crafting I'm risking an RSI... I think the main thing is to keep things simple and not create any unnecessary pressure. So there are no goals, I'll just keep going as long as I feel like it. And I won't diversify too much in terms of methods and materials. I have my course book, pencil, paper, online dictionaries plus a couple of Anki decks I am building myself, one for vocabulary and one for verb conjugations. It would probably work sufficiently well if I spend some time studying at the weekends (when I need the distraction) and then do the Anki reviews throughout the week.
10 x

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: gsbod's language log (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:16 pm

With all my excitement about Spanish, I forgot to post an update about German. It's not as if I've been neglecting it (I really haven't...)

I've dropped reading Die Hauptstadt by Robert Menasse for now. I'm sure it'll be worth picking up again at some point in the future, but with the whole pandemic situation, an EU satire packed with metaphors and more explicit references to death and decay and soaked in the grey Brussels rain just doesn't really fit with my mood. Instead I'm now reading Das Nebelhaus by Eric Berg, a thriller I picked up in a charity shop a year or two ago. So far, it's pretty trashy and ridiculous, which means its an easy read, i.e. just what I need right now.

In complete contrast to my reading choices, I've got an audiobook on the history of western philosophy, Erkenne die Welt - Antike und Mittelalter by Richard David Precht, which is without doubt the most challenging thing I've listened to in German and a step above the typical content in the radio podcasts from Deutschlandfunk which I tend to listen to. I usually stick it on when I'm crafting, which means from time to time my attention drifts to what is in my hands and I find myself having to rewind quite often so as not to lose the thread.

My new favourite Tatort team are Dorn and Lessing in Weimar. I like the dialogue so much I'm considering spending some time doing some detailed study of an episode.

I'm still managing to get some regular speaking practice as people haven't lost interest yet in our virtual meetup group, which is nice.

And finally, with May just a couple of weeks away, I'm wondering whether I should sign up for a German Super Challenge, with a view to pushing towards C2. But I don't have a good track record with the Super Challenge (or most internet language challenges, to be honest...)
5 x

jeffers
Green Belt
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:12 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Speaks: English (N), Hindi (A2-B1)

Learning: The above, plus French (A2-B1), German (A1), Ancient Greek (?), Sanskrit (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13383
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Contact:

Re: gsbod's language log (DE|ES|FR)

Postby jeffers » Wed Apr 15, 2020 7:32 pm

gsbod wrote:And finally, with May just a couple of weeks away, I'm wondering whether I should sign up for a German Super Challenge, with a view to pushing towards C2. But I don't have a good track record with the Super Challenge (or most internet language challenges, to be honest...)


I don't have a good track record either: I've participated since the origin of the Super Challenge, but so far I have not completed the book section ever. I've done fine with the film half since I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks while walking and commuting. With the reading portion I have always started out strong and then petered out. Nevertheless, every time it has had a remarkable affect on my reading fluency and comprehension. THIS TIME I will finish 100 books! Maybe... :lol:
3 x
Starting the new Super Challenge!

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: gsbod's language log (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:52 pm

You know you're a language nerd when your latest algorithmically generated Spotify playlist of "the songs you can't get enough of right now" features 12 different languages (unless you insist I should combine Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Old Norse into one? Also, wow, maybe I *should* learn a Scandinavian language. Also, I know I've been listening to songs in Polish, Welsh and Occitan too, disappointed they didn't make the playlist, Spotify should do better...)

The weekend was a bit of a write off as far as Spanish (or anything else) is concerned as I was completely wiped out. I kept up with my Anki reviews and it actually helped a bit to get through the backlog of new cards from the first chapter of the textbook. Still, it was nice that this evening I'm starting to feel a bit more like myself again and was able and willing to crack open chapter two. One thing I'm really liking about the textbook so far as that it is clearly, unapologetically aimed at working adults, e.g. model dialogues of self introductions are at a conference and the end of each chapter has a focus on Spanish in the workplace, even at A1. The other thing is that from the outset, Spanish is presented as a truly international language, which is actually quite a novel experience for me, since the geographic reach of German and Japanese is much narrower, and French was generally presented in class and teaching materials as the language of France, with the Francophonie tagged on as an afterthought. The only thing I think I would prefer is if the textbook had a few more grammar drills. I own the Gramática de uso del español A so can supplement with that if I feel the need, but for now I'd still rather keep things simple with a single textbook.
5 x

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Sun May 03, 2020 3:39 pm

In a swell of enthusiasm for the latest Super Challenge, I thought about setting up a brand new log, but since I'm already quite attached to this one I've settled for a name change instead.

I'm going for a double challenge in German, as I've already explained at length on the questions and discussions thread. 500 pages a month and two and a bit Tatort episodes (or similar) a week is definitely doable, so I just need to get on and do it.

I'm halfway through reading that Eric Berg thriller, Das Nebelhaus, but I'm not going to count that towards the SC so as not to complicate things. Also I'm not really that into it, although I'm willing to keep going to see if it improves as the story develops. Interestingly, although it's not a difficult or complicated read in terms of style or vocabulary, I'm still picking up new words here and there which fall into the category of words for everyday things which everyone knows and may need from time to time, but are relatively low frequency. Things like "getüncht" or "im Schneidersitz sitzen".

I have just started reading Elf Tage in Berlin by Håkan Nesser, so that I have something to work on now that will count for the challenge. I picked it up in Dussmann a year or two ago from a display of books about Berlin. I'm feeling nostalgic. Anyway, it's in translation from Swedish, but scores extra points because as far as I can tell it's not been translated into English, even though a number of his crime novels do have English translations.

I'm also still keeping up the Spanish, more or less. I'm finding it a bit more taxing, in the sense that it seems to be taking me a bit longer to memorise things or to figure things out, than I would expect based on previous language learning experience. Is it because I'm getting older? Or is it just a side effect of stress, which I'm definitely feeling a bit more of over the last couple of days? Hopefully just the latter, which should hopefully pass soon enough. Anyway, I'm still trying to not make too big a deal out of Spanish, although part of me is already saying "keep this up, and in two years time you'll be ready for a Spanish SC".
5 x

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Fri May 08, 2020 8:34 pm

My ability to concentrate and short term memory is pretty shot at the moment. I'm feeling increasingly anxious. A lot of people I know seem to be having good days and bad days, mentally speaking, under the lockdown, and I'm no different, but recently my bad days seem to have been getting worse. I hate lockdown, but I fear the consequences of lockdown being lifted too soon even more. And right now, I have limited confidence in my government to do, if not the right thing, then at least to not do the worst thing. Obviously, don't want to go into that in more detail on here, but it's relevant to language learning for two reasons: firstly, my general sense of anxiety is reducing my ability to learn, and secondly, I'm spending too much time scrolling on my phone, which is also affecting my ability to learn.

Today is a Bank Holiday in the UK and I've really made the point of not accessing news sites at all and spending limited amounts of time on other websites. I managed to spend an hour and a half doing some needlework and listening to an audiobook about Chinese history. It's not language learning, but I'm hoping it will help get my brain back.

My work on Spanish has pretty much petered out. I've even been forgetting to do my Anki reviews every day. Still, I said at the outset that there wasn't meant to be any pressure, it was just supposed to be a distraction, and obviously in that respect it's not working. (No disrespect to Spanish, an awesome language and definitely worth learning).

I'm also way behind on the Super Challenge, but I need to be in this for the long game. It's not time to quit yet. I'll get my reading brain back at some point.
4 x

jeffers
Green Belt
Posts: 377
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:12 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Speaks: English (N), Hindi (A2-B1)

Learning: The above, plus French (A2-B1), German (A1), Ancient Greek (?), Sanskrit (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13383
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Contact:

Re: Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

Postby jeffers » Fri May 08, 2020 8:47 pm

gsbod wrote:My ability to concentrate and short term memory is pretty shot at the moment. I'm feeling increasingly anxious. A lot of people I know seem to be having good days and bad days, mentally speaking, under the lockdown, and I'm no different, but recently my bad days seem to have been getting worse. I hate lockdown, but I fear the consequences of lockdown being lifted too soon even more. And right now, I have limited confidence in my government to do, if not the right thing, then at least to not do the worst thing. Obviously, don't want to go into that in more detail on here, but it's relevant to language learning for two reasons: firstly, my general sense of anxiety is reducing my ability to learn, and secondly, I'm spending too much time scrolling on my phone, which is also affecting my ability to learn.


I'm in the UK as well, and I totally get what you're saying. I've had anxiety on and off during the lockdown, including a lot of trouble sleeping the first couple of weeks. However, I've basically stopped looking at news websites, and I've only watched the news 2-3 times per week, just to keep informed. That has helped me a lot. I'm still not studying as much as I would have expected or hoped in the time that I've gained, but if I focus on my enjoyment of my languages rather than some feeling that I should be making the most of this time, I find that I'm doing a little better.
5 x
Starting the new Super Challenge!

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Sat May 09, 2020 10:37 am

jeffers wrote:I'm still not studying as much as I would have expected or hoped in the time that I've gained, but if I focus on my enjoyment of my languages rather than some feeling that I should be making the most of this time, I find that I'm doing a little better.


If we come out of this crisis with our health, sanity, and bank balance reasonably intact, that will be a huge success story in itself. As it is, we've all had to adapt to huge changes to our routines and our expectations for the future and the psychological impact of this is bound to affect "productivity" one way or another. So yes, I think you're right, it's good to focus on enjoyment and not put any additional, unnecessary pressure on yourself.

My situation in life at the moment is such that this lockdown is pretty much as comfortable as it can be for me. I'm well aware that had this happened ten or twenty years ago it would have been a lot harder for me to cope, for a number of reasons, and my heart goes out to those who are having to deal with this in more difficult circumstances. So I have a lot to be grateful for. But I also think it's ok to feel like crap at the moment. Just doesn't help with the language learning, and this is a language learning log after all :)

Anyway, I've crossed the start line for Super Challenge films, as I watched the film Tschick last night. It's an adaptation of the novel by Wolfgang Herrndorf which I read a few years ago and really enjoyed. Like most films of books you love, the adaptation didn't quite stack up for me. Visually, it was a really good fit, but it just felt like something was missing from the characterisations and, as always, there were some tweaks to the story line which I think were quite unnecesary. On the whole I'd say it's worth watching, but read the book first.

The soundtrack also features a German language cover of Stereolab's French Disko by the Beatsteaks which I think is brilliant so here's the video (also features some scenes from the film):

5 x

gsbod
Green Belt
Posts: 457
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:22 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Native: English
Also speaks: German
Certificates: Japanese (JLPT N2)
Currently de-rusting: French
Dabbling: Spanish
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=1152
x 1304

Re: Tatort und Chill (DE|ES|FR)

Postby gsbod » Sat May 09, 2020 4:07 pm

Super Challenge Films

Since I'm not going to use the Twitter bot to track my listening and reading, I'll try and keep a running list of films I've watched here, in the hope that it might help other people looking for things to watch:

Tschick (DVD)
Tatort Bremen: Schlafende Hunde (ARD Mediathek)
Dark S1, S2, S3 (Netflix)
Tatort Berlin: Das perfekte Verbrechen (ARD Mediathek)
Tatort Köln: Gefangen (ARD Mediathek)
Tatort Weimar: Der irre Iwan (ARD Mediathek)
Die verlorene Tochter S1 (ZDF Mediathek)
Magical Mystery (DVD)
Last edited by gsbod on Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 14 times in total.
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