Jeffers' German, French and Hindi

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jeffers
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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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Jeffers' German, French and Hindi

Postby jeffers » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:50 pm

It's been a while since I've been on the forums but I've been working fairly steadily with French (mostly reading and listening to podcasts). However, I am going to Munich for a long weekend in May, so as usual my next trip is refocusing my language interests and I started studying German in earnest during the Christmas holidays.

My main resources for German, which I'm using almost every day:
  • Assimil L'allemand (which is also helping me keep my French active)
  • Duolingo (because a few of my friends who are going to Munich are using it as well)
  • Easy Readers by Brian Smith (I'm listening to a story or two every day on my commute, and read a story or two every few days)

Assimil L'allemand is a fairly new edition (2016 I believe) and so far it is very good. It has a couple of features I haven't seen in other Assimil courses which I quite like: many lessons have a paragraph or two of general language or cultural comments which are interesting additions, and the weekly review chapters have dialogues.

So far I've only gotten to Assimil lesson 34 since Christmas, so I guess I've averaged about one lesson every two days. I'd rather complete a lesson well (e.g. take two sessions) than complete one every day but not really practice everything. One thing I have done is to review the previous week's dialogues (reading out loud) and mentally completing the fill in the blank exercises before working through the weekly review. I also often review the audio of previous lessons while walking the dog or other similar activities.

EDIT: for my own reference, my previous log (French and Hindi) was: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7991
Last edited by jeffers on Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Fortheo
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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby Fortheo » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:39 am

I remember enjoying your old language log. It's good to see you back! It seems like you're making steady progress with German. Good luck
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Tue Mar 03, 2020 11:12 am

I'm making pretty good progress with Duolingo, keeping up a streak of 59 days so far. Yesterday I passed checkpoint 3. I seem to be averaging around 200 xp per day, and I'm advancing leagues almost every week. One thing I like about Duolingo is that it is a relatively painless way to practice and drill things like case endings. One thing I wish it would do is to show you a list of sentences you got wrong at the end of a lesson. I havebegun taking notes in a little notebook, starting with the dative case, and I'm referring to the basic rules as I do the lessons. I will probably start writing down sentences that I keep getting wrong.

When I tried to study German before the wall I hit was always cases. I could handle the verbs, even the odd word order (Michel Thomas' "weil situation"). Gender was a chore but I've dealt with three genders before in ancient Greek. I've also dealt with cases before, but what made German tricky is the fact that the endings for one gender in one case become the endings for another gender in another case, e.g. the masculine article der is the feminine dative article. I read about the rules, but I didn't do enough practice to get the rules to sink in.

In the spirit of doing drills, I have been thinking about adding a bit of FSI into my study mix. I'm currently considering doing one lesson of their FAST German course each week (since I'd be able to finish most of it before my trip).

I'm also making progress with Assimil, but not doing as many lessons per week as I probably should do. Yesterday I completed lesson 35 (review lesson) including doing some of the exercises from the previous 6 lessons.

I didn't read much from Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3 (1 chapter read, several listened to).
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jeffers
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Posts: 377
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:42 pm

I've decided to steal the idea of making a task list from Amanda. It may be a disaster or it may help keep me organised. Who knows?

Goals for Monday-Sunday

French
[ ] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.


German
[ ] Work on Duolingo every day.
[ ] Complete at least 4 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand.
[ ] Continue reading Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3.
[ ] Listen to FSI FAST German in the car.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:49 pm

jeffers wrote:I've decided to steal the idea of making a task list from Amanda. It may be a disaster or it may help keep me organised. Who knows?

Goals for Monday-Sunday

French
[X] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.


German
[X] Work on Duolingo every day.
[X] Complete at least 4 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand.
[X] Continue reading Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3.
[X] Listen to FSI FAST German in the car.


I met my goals for the week, and it went quite well in my opinion. One nice thing about using multiple types of courses is that they reinforce each other, usually at different times. But there are also moments of serendipity which for me make for an enjoyable learning experience. Having started with dative forms last Sunday on Duolingo, my Assimil lessons this week have been covering the dative case as well, which has been very helpful. Then this morning I listened to a lesson of Deutsch Warum Nicht? and guess what the grammar point was?

On Duolingo I am currently working on the five lessons below checkpoint 3.

I finished reading Easy German Reader 3, but I will continue with another read through while still listening to the audio in the car. I've begun to shadow the audio while listening.

I also listened to FSI FAST German dialogs 2 and 3, along with the vocabulary tracks, repeating where instructed. I think this will be a useful addition to my current study programme.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Sun Mar 08, 2020 7:54 pm

Goals for Monday-Sunday

My goals for this week are the same as last week, but I am reducing my Assimil lesson from four to three, in order to give me more time to review the lessons.

French
[ ] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.


German
[ ] Work on Duolingo every day.
[ ] Complete 3 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand.
[ ] Continue reading Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3.
[ ] Listen to FSI FAST German in the car.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:50 pm

jeffers wrote:Goals for Monday-Sunday

My goals for this week are the same as last week, but I am reducing my Assimil lesson from four to three, in order to give me more time to review the lessons.

French
[X] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.


German
[X] Work on Duolingo every day.
[X] Complete 3 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand.
[-] Continue reading Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3.
[-] Listen to FSI FAST German in the car.


Duolingo and Assimil continue to take up the majority of my language study time at home. I felt like I was making good progress with both, but I'm going to aim for 2 chapters of Assimil in the coming week to give me time to review the last 7 chapters.

I didn't read any of Brian Smith's Reader, but during commutes I finished listening through all 3 of the easy readers. I'll probably read 3 one more time and then start on the "Pre-Intermediate Reader".

I'm not finding myself too enamoured of FSI FAST now that I've tried a couple of the lessons. I may still listen, or I may work on other things. I found a recording of Pimsleur German Ib, of which I worked on two lessons this week.

I'm beginning to feel the need for some vocabulary building, so I dusted off Memrise this week, and I'm experimenting with vocab courses related to courses I'm using: Comprehensive German Duolingo Vocabulary, Duolingo German Sentences, and Assimil German with Ease (2014). I'm wondering if the Duolingo sentences course is a bit of overkill, since it's essentially just duplicating what you do on Duolingo itself, but so far it's an okay way of reviewing so I'll stick with it for a bit longer and see how I feel.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:55 pm

Goals for Monday to Sunday (16-22 March)

I'm changing my goals somewhat from last week, but sticking with the same core programmes.

French
[ ] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.


German
[ ] Work on Duolingo every day.
[ ] Complete 2 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand, review the previous 7 thoroughly.
[ ] Start final re-read of Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3.
[ ] Work on Pimsleur or FSI FAST German (or a little bit of both!)

From tomorrow I should be on Diamond League in Duolingo, so I'll see if there's an opportunity to finish in first place. There is a special medal for finishing first in Diamond League, but it's really a matter of luck and depends a lot on whether you have anyone else in your league competition who is going for top spot or simply one of those crazy Duolinguists who gets 2k-3k experience every week.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French (and now Hindi, क्यूँ नहीं?)

Postby jeffers » Thu Mar 19, 2020 8:55 pm

It's not really a surprise, but my upcoming trip to Germany is off now, which was my reason for restarting German this year. I had intended to work hard on German for 4 months, get a bit of practice in while visiting Germany, and then to drop German and pick up French again. So I began to wonder if I should simply drop the German right now. However, when I began to think about what to do I realized that am enjoying my German studies too much to stop it. At the same time, I've been itching to get back to more French than just the notes in Assimil l'Allemand. Late Monday night, while thinking about the fact that my school would probably be closing soon, I decided that I would continue with German but also begin to work in more study of French. And also a bit of Hindi, because it's been a while and why not? I'll have a lot of time being bored.

I'll probably change my mind in a week, but I'm now working on all three languages every day. At least a little bit of each.
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jeffers
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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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Re: Jeffers' German and French

Postby jeffers » Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:00 pm

Everything has changed, but we are adapting! The same goes for society as a whole and within my family. Last Wednesday my wife had a high(ish) fever so I had to leave work immediately and self-isolate for 14 days. We don't think she has coronavirus, but you can't be too sure. So far she is feeling fine and the rest of us haven't gotten any symptoms.

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm now working on 3 languages daily: French, German and Hindi. But German is still getting the most attention.

For German I'm working on Assimil l'allemand every day and will probably complete 3 lessons per week for the foreseeable future. The reason I'm not completing a lesson per day is that I am reviewing previous week's lessons while starting a new lesson. I know Assimil is designed to keep moving even if you haven't mastered everything, but this time I want to have a firmer grasp on tricky bits like when to use accusative and dative, and simply keeping on top of what all the forms look like! I'm even beginning to wonder if it would be worth drawing up, learning and practicing paradigm charts like I used to use for ancient Greek. Assimilation is a bit easier if you can stop and think through a paradigm from time to time. On the other hand, I have learned my lessons from my old studies of Greek, and simply learning lots of paradigms without loads of practice is useless. My Greek studies were probably 70% vocabulary flashcards, 20% revising paradigms and maybe 10% (if that much) of actual practice by reading. Without enough practice a lot of the vocab and paradigm studies slipped quickly from my memory. For German, the practice is currently coming from Assimil: reading, listening to and shadowing the texts.

In addition to Assimil I'm using a bit of Duolingo every day, and I've made Memrise another cornerstone of my studies. I'm using three four German decks on Memrise: Assimil German, Duolingo German vocabulary, Duolingo German sentences and Memrise's own German 1. The first three of those are to review what I'm learning with Assimil and Duolingo, while the Memrise course is another way to build vocabulary. I quite like the Memrise repetition method, which uses low-stakes testing in a variety of ways. Also, Memrise's own courses have little video clips of locals saying the words and phrases, and not always the same person: a single phrase will be spoken by 4 or 5 different speakers so you hear it spoken differently quite often.

For French I'm currently just working on Duolingo and Memrise's own French 1 course. Both are way below my level, but it's a bit of fun and good to be reminded of the basics at a time when German basics sometimes slip in when I'm thinking of French basics (e.g. when the courses ask me for the French for "I am" I'm tempted to type "ich bin".)

Finally, for Hindi I'm just dabbling in the Duolingo course. Again this is way below my level, but it's fun anyway. Duolingo Hindi is currently quite a short course, so I may finish it fairly quickly. There is one very serious problem with Duolingo Hindi: it uses the most familiar form right from the start. Hindi has three levels of familiarity:
आप (aap) which corresponds to French vous or German Sie
तुम (tum) which corresponds to French tu or german du
The third is extremely familiar: तू (tuu) which is only used for intimate relations, children, God, a lover, close friends, and possibly servants.
Duolingo not only uses this form extensively, but even uses it for things you would only ask a stranger, like "Where do you come from?" and "What is your name?" For an experienced learner of Hindi this isn't a problem, but for a beginner it could lead to serious awkwardness.

Here's how I did with last week's plan:

jeffers wrote:Goals for Monday to Sunday (16-22 March)
French
[X] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.

German
[X] Work on Duolingo every day.
[X] Complete 2 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand, review the previous 7 thoroughly.
[ ] Start final re-read of Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3. (This is on hold for now)
[ ] Work on Pimsleur or FSI FAST German (or a little bit of both!) (These were for commuting, which isn't happening)


And here is the shiny brand new plan for this week, Monday to Sunday (23-29 March):

French
[ ] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.
[ ] Duolingo every day
[ ] Memrise French 1 every day

German
[ ] Duolingo every day
[ ] Complete 2 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand, review the previous 7 thoroughly
[ ] Memrise every day, keep the streaks for all 4 courses going

Hindi
[ ] Duolingo every day
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