A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

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kennyaa
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby kennyaa » Wed Apr 15, 2020 1:09 pm

I learn from basically input only as well but numbers are one of the few things I will again drill when I decide to learn another language. If you think about it it's one of the things that kids actively learn. Play bingo or do keepie uppies.

I remember watching Matt Vs Japan on Youtube saying in his interview with Steve Kauffman that he pretty much never got a handle on big numbers (and I guess you talk about those a lot more in Japanese with the Yen), despite immersing in Japanese for years, and had the experience you describe. I guess it would come eventually but it seems many people have the same experience.
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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Wed Apr 15, 2020 6:56 pm

cjareck wrote:Perhaps you are making the mistake of translating the number in your head instead of just visualizing it? It could explain the reason why you need extra time to process them and can't catch up with the rest of the sentence.

It's not translating that I do, but I do try and visualise them (although I'm generally really bad at visualising). Plus, I don't need to visualise a number I hear in English, I just know it. I bet I have never heard the number 233,198,354, but if I heard it I'd know exactly what I had heard and would be able to say it back, or store it in my brain to do a calculation with or whatever. I just can't do that in Spanish.
kennyaa wrote:I learn from basically input only as well but numbers are one of the few things I will again drill when I decide to learn another language. If you think about it it's one of the things that kids actively learn. Play bingo or do keepie uppies.

I remember watching Matt Vs Japan on Youtube saying in his interview with Steve Kauffman that he pretty much never got a handle on big numbers (and I guess you talk about those a lot more in Japanese with the Yen), despite immersing in Japanese for years, and had the experience you describe. I guess it would come eventually but it seems many people have the same experience.

I've just looked up that video, and he phrases it the same way I feel
Matt vs Japan wrote:I realized for a while in my mind when I heard a big number I'd just go "Oh, a big number" and I wouldn't really train myself to process exactly what that was

Perhaps it is something I should eventually drill. I think I came across a big number generator that did different languages, so I should try and find that at some point.

Thanks for dropping by, both :)
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Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:24 pm

I've decided that when I'm done with professional exams and after a few months for preparation (and possibly for lockdown to end), I will be taking the SIELE exam - so some time around the start of 2021. I would like to get a C1 result all round, but I don't know if that's too ambitious. I've looked at the example material and definitely think I'm ready for the listening/reading part, so all I need to do is start speaking and writing in the latter half of this year. I suppose I shall need to look into different writing styles, write assignments to be graded by a tutor, and find someone to talk in Spanish with. Easy... I'd like to avoid studying grammar for it because I seem to be picking that up well just from input, so it would be interesting to see if someone who's never actually studied grammar can pass a C level exam :?

One day I would like to get the DELE C2, but if I were to do another exam after the SIELE, I'd like to get a certificate in Catalan from the Institut Ramon Llull. I'm not really bothered which level, I'd have to see nearer the time, but they're a hell of a lot cheaper than the Spanish exams (€30 - €40 compared to €150+ for SIELE/DELE) so I'd be happy to shoot low and then get a better one if I passed the first, or just retry. It's a weird one because I understand so much written Catalan already, but it would be quite a challenge to speak it.

I've tried listening to a few Catalan radio stations and none of them stay in Catalan all the time. They always have guests on who speak Spanish, or they play excerpts of Spanish speech and it messes with my brain. I tried one station from France, but I found the accent strange, then the same thing happened and they had a French speaking guest on. I think I'll just stick to Catalunya Ràdio and hope my brain doesn't mix the Spanish and the Catalan too much.

Edit:
I just realised "I shall need to look into different writing styles" and "I'd like to avoid studying grammar" contradict each other a bit, but I meant styles in general rather than word order or use of the subjunctive or whatever. Eg a task one might have to do in an exam (and the example on the SIELE website) is to write a letter to a newspaper editor. It's common in the UK when writing to a newspaper to start the letter with "SIR", this is a general style, and if something similar happened in the Spanish speaking world that I wouldn't normally come across, I'd like to know what to do.
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Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:45 am

I took some reading speed tests in Spanish to see how fast I read to determine how I should approach the Super Challenge. I couldn't find any for learners, so I set about finding tests for natives. The advantage of doing this over just reading and timing myself is that they have comprehension tests at the end. I can't exactly test my own comprehension with just a source text and a stopwatch.

I've put a table below of how it went (although the formatting may have come out strange I'm not sure) with links to the tests so others can try if they wish, and a rough indication of the level of reading from Duolingo's CEFR checker















Test Words per minute Comprehension CEFR level (from Duolingo)
Curso Genius 112 90% C
Tecnicas de estudio 180 100% B2
Psicotecnico 151 64% C


I should note with the last one that the quiz part seemed to mostly be names and dates which are the parts I skimmed because they're not that important, but whatever.

In short I read somewhere between 100 and 200 wpm with decent comprehension which seems reasonable to do a double SC for Spanish and Catalan together. I've seen some sources say that my comprehension is a bit too high, and that I should read faster with lower comprehension, but that's a bit difficult with Spanish because sometimes I need to pause on a word to decide what I think it means. Also the Curso Genius one was the longest Spanish text I've read since August, so I think it took me a while to ramp up my speed, although it was pretty difficult in general.
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1,000,000 sentences of Spanish: 725000 / 1000000
Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:42 pm

In practice for the Super Challenge, I read a novella (48 pages) this week in Spanish on my Kindle. It's a prequel to an audiobook I've listened to, so I know the author's style and some background. I got through the whole thing without using a dictionary which I guess is unsurprising given my knowledge of the author and the book it relates to. However, I did notice quite a few words that I didn't know the meaning of. I don't really notice this when I'm listening, so I hope reading will help to grow my vocabulary more quickly.

I also noticed that unfortunately I read more slowly than the above tests show. I guess real life is different to a speed reading test, but it's still disappointing. I will have to catch up at the weekend during the double Super Challenge because I'll no doubt fall behind during the week :(
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1,000,000 sentences of Spanish: 725000 / 1000000
Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Fri May 01, 2020 4:17 pm

Just a quick one to get affairs in order before the Super Challenge (I have entered in the Double SC for the Romance family) takes over my log.

I had a bit of a bumper month which was a result of getting up in the middle of the night to take my new puppy out for a wee, and listening to an audiobook to get back to sleep which always takes me aaages. Because I can't plan for this, I kept to an average of 2.5 hours of input during the day, but just so happened to have this big bumper at night.

I've changed my visualisations a bit so I can compare months, see how I'm doing compared to the Double SC etc, but if I just narrow it down to April it looks like the below. I got 89.2 hours of AV input which is a record, and read 60 pages of books in prep for the SC which is the highest since August.
The black bar on the column charts is the requirement for the double SC that month, and so are the black dotted lines on the area chart.
Consumption Apr 2020.PNG
Consumption Apr 2020.PNG (34.99 KiB) Viewed 266 times


Clearly the AV consumption is easy for me, but I tried really hard for a few days and barely kept the reading line parallel with the Double SC requirement.

I might as well show October to the end of April as a sort of final hurrah to this high audiovisual input, no reading or anything else strategy.
Oct to Apr AV consumption.PNG
Oct to Apr AV consumption.PNG (24.14 KiB) Viewed 266 times


Inevitably the SC means I will consume less AV content, and read more, so it's like the end of an era for me. I've had fun, but I'm excited to turn a new page (literally) and see what reading can bring!
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Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Sun May 03, 2020 12:40 pm

I've decided to take a crack at Harry Potter in Catalan. I would prefer to have lots of comprehensible audiovisual input, but Catalan's a bit lacking in that area, so what can you do? I've put below an extract of some of the first page of the Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone or Harry Potter i la pedra filosofal in Catalan. I've colour coded it to give an idea of what it's like for me to read it. Grey text is obvious from my knowledge of Spanish, green text I know from Duolingo, black text are proper nouns, and the red text is words I don't know.
Harry Potter Catalan.PNG
Harry Potter Catalan.PNG (83.1 KiB) Viewed 235 times

As you can see, most of it should hit that comprehensible 98%, and indeed I'm pretty sure I know what all the red words in the first few paragraphs mean from their context and my knowledge of the story. The final paragraph is a bit more tricky, but is still fine to work through given I know what happens in the book.

Anyway, I just thought that extract would be interesting for people who know a romance language (and like Harry Potter). Catalan is supposed to have a similar overlap with French as it does with Spanish, and even more so with Italian, so I'd be interested to hear if it's comprehensible for people who know those languages, but have minimal exposure to Catalan. Of course if you know Occitan then it's almost cheating!
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1,000,000 sentences of Spanish: 725000 / 1000000
Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

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Gustav Aschenbach
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Gustav Aschenbach » Sun May 03, 2020 12:58 pm

That's cool. I think I will do the same with Dutch or Spanish, just for the heck of it and to see how much I actually understand. The thing is, even if my comprehension rate was 98+% and I started extensive reading, I don't think it would make me more proficient when it comes to my active skills. :lol:
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Cenwalh
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby Cenwalh » Sat May 09, 2020 4:56 pm

I've hit a few milestones since my last post so thought I'd check in.
  • I've listened to over 10,000 pages worth of audiobooks for native speakers
  • I've hit the 720 hours of Spanish input I said I wanted to reach in my last log from July
  • I finished the first chapter of the first Harry Potter in Catalan. It wasn't exactly easy going, but I did it in the end. By this time next week I want to have read the next chapter in the first Harry Potter book in Catalan, then read a couple of chapters each week thereafter.
  • I've managed to pick up my reading speed in Spanish a little bit. I was initially troubled by unfamiliarity with the written language, but that's changing a little bit as I plough through a mammoth 800 page book that I accidentally started
  • I've already gone well past the double SC requirements for films this month. It looks like I should complete this in about 6 months time.

Unfortunately I'm not able to use gains in the films part of the Super Challenge to increase reading time. The problem is that I just don't have much time when I can sit down and read a book, and at the moment I'm doing it very last thing at night when I'd ordinarily be trying to sleep. It's not ideal, but for the moment it will have to do.

Some niche advice for anyone who's interested in listening to a lot of audiobooks in a European Spanish accent and/or audiobooks in Catalan: the website Audiomol has a decent selection of audiobooks, mainly classics, little known modern literature and kids stuff, and they do an unlimited subscription service for €8/month. A fair amount of their catalogue appears on Audible and Scribd, but the former only gives you one book per month and the latter seems to throttle you. It is not a site for slick user experience or for the latest biggest hits, but it does have a lot of content.

Something I'm going to do when I'm a little better at Catalan is listen to the Spanish first, then the Catalan afterwards for audiobooks Audiomol has both languages for. I've avoided doing something similar with Spanish because there's always been Spanish content at my level and I see listening to English as a waste of time, but listening to Spanish isn't a waste of time and there's very little content for learners that's pure Catalan.
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1,000,000 sentences of Spanish: 725000 / 1000000
Double SC films: 156 / 200
Double SC books: 54 / 200

kennyaa
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Re: A Million Sentences: Cenwalh's 2020 Conquista

Postby kennyaa » Sun May 10, 2020 9:33 am

I will check out Audiomol it looks decent. I have audible but the catalogue isn't as good as it is for English, French and German.
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