Perchta's 2020

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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
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Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Sun Mar 15, 2020 12:41 pm

Hi!
Last year, I entered this forum and I enjoyed it. But unfortunately, I had a lot of things to do with my final year of my university studies, the new job etc. I didn't have enough time for it and eventually, I absolutely forgot it :o Now, my life has settled down a bit, so I am back ;)

So what languages am I learning?

French
I spent a year in Belgium, so I speak French the best. Last year, I passed the DALF C1. I was attending a C1 French course at Prague's IF (no higher level available)... until last Tuesday. Now all the courses are closed because of the coronavirus :( The French library the same :( So I have to rely on myself.
The next month:
- write all the homeworks we got before the course stopped
- listen to all the France Culture podcasts I have downloaded
-write some texts on Lang-8 and iTalki
- review some legal French terminology.

English
It used to be my first language. But I hated my high school English teacher, so I stopped learning it. At the university, I met a great teacher who gave me the will to continue. I learn on myself, now beginning with a CAE textbook. I hope to pass it the CAE this year, but I'll see if I'm good enough. I want to take a course at the British Council before.
The next month:
- write a lot to find where I do mistakes
- read English websites on various topics
- review some legal English terminology

German
I started learning German when I was 8. I often visited Germany and Austria and I found it unpleasant to not understand a word of what they say. All the time long, I learn it on my own. Now I have a B1+ textbook. I'm thinking about taking a German course once, but I want to do what I can on my own. I'm a bit specific learner (compared to my usual classmates): I'm not able to sit down and learn 30 words for the next lesson. I'm pretty good at the grammar, but I have to use the vocabulary to remember it. I'm not able to concentrate on the grammar exercises (ADHD). So I found I'm my best teacher until high levels ;)
The next month
- write a lot
- read a lot various internet websites + remember one word of any article
- begin learning legal German

Dutch
I began to learn it when living in Belgium. Dutch is pretty similar to German, so after having understood the pronunciation and the main differences, I reached the A2 level quickly. Now, it's a bit more difficult...
The next month
- write a "diary" in Dutch
- begin with writing articles on various topics

Hungarian
I began to learn this language because I find it interesting - it is so different! Now I'm struggling with the object conjugation.

Hebrew
When I was a small child, I learnt the Hebrew alphabet. Now I would like to learn the language as well. I also like the Jewish culture.

I'll write here something sometimes :) I'll (try to) write things that might be interesting for you, not just "I'm in the next unit of the book" as I did last year ;)
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Fri Mar 20, 2020 8:09 pm

Since Monday, I work from home, so theoretically, I have more time for languages, but in fact - no. Every day, I sleep until noon, so I have the same amount of time as usually. :(

As to my language learning: I’m not a big fan of the idea that you learn languages only by watching TV series or films. But certainly, it helps. And it’s quite fun to watch it :)

Some months ago, I made a subscription on Netflix. Well, I don’t have much time, so I managed to watch the first and second year of The Big Bang Theory. I feel more comfortable in American English (even though I don’t understand all the scientific stuff). One question for you who have more experience with this website: do they have the dubbing versions? The Czech version of The Big Bang Theory is not available (what doesn’t matter, I don’t have to see it in my tongue), but I don’t see the others either.

I also discovered a Czech website where you can watch films. It’s owned by a distributor for cinemas, so only the films distributed by them are available. They’re in the original version, but the offer isn’t too large. I was thinking about it, but there aren’t many things to see, so no.

Other possibility are films on Google Play. They seem a bit expensive and I didn’t find any subscriptions... (do you know about it?)
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 4th Dan
Posts: 4189
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Cavesa » Sat Mar 21, 2020 12:05 am

Perchta wrote:The Czech version of The Big Bang Theory is not available (what doesn’t matter, I don’t have to see it in my tongue), but I don’t see the others either.

Be grateful. I saw/heard a few minutes of the Czech version (on Prima Cool). One of the worst dubbings ever. Not only Sheldon would really require an exceptional actor and translation. The overall translation was unimpressive, and the acting of everybody too. The days of high quality dubbing are long gone, as the process has become much faster in the last decade or so.

Unfortunately, Netflix is not giving access to more versions, than the native+original usually. :-( Which makes it a much worse site. And it is well known that the offer on the Czech (and not only) site is laughable, compared to the original site, but for the same price.


I also discovered a Czech website where you can watch films. It’s owned by a distributor for cinemas, so only the films distributed by them are available. They’re in the original version, but the offer isn’t too large. I was thinking about it, but there aren’t many things to see, so no.

Other possibility are films on Google Play. They seem a bit expensive and I didn’t find any subscriptions... (do you know about it?)

Well, no wonder the Czechs are all on the "illegal" streaming sites (streaming is not illegal, storing and giving access is). There is no alternative. People would gladly pay, but there is nobody wanting the money and offering high quality service in exchange.
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:48 pm

Cavesa wrote:Be grateful. I saw/heard a few minutes of the Czech version (on Prima Cool). One of the worst dubbings ever. Not only Sheldon would really require an exceptional actor and translation. The overall translation was unimpressive, and the acting of everybody too. The days of high quality dubbing are long gone, as the process has become much faster in the last decade or so.


I know the Czech dubbing, my dad (who doesn't understand any other language than Czech or Slovak) is watching it every day. I meant it rather that I would watch the French, German or any other dubbing to learn the language. I agree that the "golden ages" of Czech dubbing are over. People who like watching a high quality production are able to find it in the original version. People who aren't as good in searching internet or don't like reading subtitles are grateful for any possibility of hearing the program in Czech. So the broadcasting corporations have no motivation to do it better.

Cavesa wrote:
Well, no wonder the Czechs are all on the "illegal" streaming sites (streaming is not illegal, storing and giving access is). There is no alternative. People would gladly pay, but there is nobody wanting the money and offering high quality service in exchange.


I agree. I hate it when some program is restricted for some areas. I loved VRT's website a year or two ago when the corporation had enough money to pay the copyright for the whole EU (+ no dubbing). Then it stopped, nowadays, it's only Belgium (or was, I haven't check it recently). I watched films and the first year of "Occupied" there. The second year wasn't available for non Belgian users when they had it there. In the CR, it meant watching it between 12 and 1 am (I have to get up at 6 am), or watch it on the iVysílání ONLY with dubbing. What is a really awful idea, because a half of the series is in English or Russian, that wasn't dubbed. So the main character was dubbed when he was speaking in Norwegian in the original version, but not when he spoke English... So a big rubbish :evil:

So yes, I want to watch the foreign TV series and I'm prepared to pay for it. But obviously, nobody wants my money.
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:52 pm

I realized again how a fatigue is influencing my language skills. I realized it two years ago when in Belgium. I was sick and the shop assistant almost sold me 50 pieces instead of 5. It happened after 6 months in Belgium when I was able to speak pretty good.

Two days ago, I wrote a text on Lang-8 and iTalki. There were mistakes, obviously. But when I read them, I was ashamed. The mistakes were like by a beginner. Yesterday, I wrote a text in French. It was the same - quite simple mistakes that I don’t do anymore (I wrote de échaper what I sooo bad that I haven’t written it since ages).

The fact is I don’t feel well the last days. No, it’s no coronavirus. The temperature is ok, I have no respiration problems. But I feel really exhausted. I guess that my body just took the possibility to sleep, sleep, sleep and recover from the work. I felt like I needed a break for some time. But back to languages. I find many things to do during the day and it’s near the midnight I remember I wanted to write a text. Normally, the late night is my most productive time, but now I feel exhausted. So I make obvious mistakes.

So... I will have to learn languages earlier during the day.
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:56 pm

Further to the Netflix-like web sites:
When looking for Babylon Berlin in German, I found that some films and series can be found on HBO Go... Maybe one day, I also downloaded ZDF’s app and found out that their films and series are available in the Czech Republic (when still in the app)! So I watched the first episode of Ku’damm 56. I also have VRT Nu app for Dutch content. So far I only watched the Pano (long reportages on various topics like pedophiles’ websites, people who caused a car crash...), but I found two series I think I could watch with subtitles (a Dutch crime series and something what they call "Flanders’ most popular soap opera" - that sounds like so easy in content I could understand).

Today, I was thinking about finding a teacher on iTalki... I have no experience with it, I’m too shy to begin and still have the idea "do as much as you can before you go to a teacher" in my mind, so it will take some time before I’ll try it...

And when reading a post here, I discovered LingQ. I signed up there... Let’s see if it helps, but it should I guess. Still wondering where the free content ends... I managed to put there all the languages I learn and skipped through the first German text. The web site looks useful, but nothing what my mean soul would give money so far.
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Tue Apr 07, 2020 9:33 pm

After thinking about having an online course on day, I finally had it. As usually, I had to be forced to that for the first time... It is that IF decided to replace the three remaining courses by an online class. It was decided today, so I hadn't really time for thinking. As I'm from an "anti-computer" course (not officially, it just happened that we don't use the modern technologies so much), the teacher has been replaced for the online classes, which made me even more nervous. And yes, as I'm from that class, it was only me on there... Finally, I told myself it's a great opportunity to get familiar with this and to learn what I like/don't like. So...

- Now I really understand why the lessons on italki don't last more than 60 min. Ok, someone would like to have it longer, but I was exhausted after the class. In fact, it was my first one-to-one class and it's now that I realized how difficult it is... I got used to have a long class for more people where my brain can think about something different for a while, but not here! And I realized it's hard for me to stay concentrated for 1.5 h. But it has always been.

- I realized how I hate doing grammar exercises in a class, mainly on the high level. It seems to me it's better to do them on a home work than to waist the common time by watching a sentence and thinking.

- And I realized how it makes me uncomfortable being corrected. I don't say I speak without any mistake and when I'm thinking about the lesson again now, I can say I didn't do too much of them. But the teacher tended to correct me immediately that made me think about my mistakes rather than on what to say and how to say it. Finally, I only said "I don't know" on some questions and it had to look like I'm someone who's not interested in anything... I also tended to choose an easier way to say it where I was sure I won't do any mistake than try a more difficult one where I knew there was something I don't know properly.

- The online communication made me a bit stressed. I don't know if it's because I have a problem to speak (but not as much as I had, I'm even able to talk to people I don't know and to make phone calls), or because it was so quick and I had no time to prepare for the lesson and I didn't know the person or what to expect, or if it's only the online communication that makes that... Good to find out.

There will be further lessons, maybe with others if they connect, so I'll have the possibility to try out why I had the problems above. It could be that I was tired after the day and too nervous from something I didn't know. (But in any way, I hope the lock down ends soon and the normal class will begin.)
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
x 66

Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:50 pm

Yesterday, I had another online French course of the IF. Again, it was a one-to-one course, as nobody else of the class connected. So...

- I learnt that knowing the person does a lot. The only fact that I knew who would connect with me, how he speaks, how he behaves, made me more comfortable, so more able to speak.

- For this lesson, I could choose a topic. The first lesson was prepared like a general lesson for any kind of public, so we spoke about Covid. I’m overwhelmed with this and I have almost nothing to tell about it. A course where I can speak about what I was much more fun, but also I could say more.

- The course was very structured, but I would also say too structured. I got used to my (normal times) French teacher who let us speak about one topic we chose in the beginning and then gave us texts and we discussed them. It could (and it did!) happen that we got a text about some French news and we finally spoke about history. That was great! Here, there were texts, but also questions for the text. Twice or thrice it happened that I said something and we spoke a bit about it, but we followed the structure a lot. I guess I like more to improvise and less structure.

- I realized my knowledge of French got down a bit during the last month. I was thinking about it. In fact, about a month ago, I stopped to watch Belgian TV news, because it was another hour filled with Covid news. However, the news were my everyday connection with French and I lost it. So since yesterday, I watch it again (even I hate it). I’m also thinking about pay for a Belgian newspaper in pdf after Easter.

I also got to the end of free LingQ (quite fast). I find this website interesting and useful. On the other hand, I already use a lot of free apps and websites that, of course, can’t replace it, but it already takes a lot of time and I think I wouldn’t have time to use it in a way that could be equivalent to the money I spend for it. So maybe another time...
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 4th Dan
Posts: 4189
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Cavesa » Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:11 pm

When I was asking (years ago), the inividual lessons at the IF cost 1800 crowns (that's approximately 80 euros nowadays. Or 1/12 of the average czech salary per month, just for the non czech readers. And it's 5 times as much as an average tutor in the country, without the IF teachers being in necessarily 5 times better). So, you are getting these hyperexpensive individual lessons for the price of the group lessons? :-D That's some luck! Your classmates are stupid not to participate, and it's your advantage. But yes, 60 minutes of 1-on-1 can be intense.

I see why you prefer the more free lessons, with less rigid structure and more you-friendly topics. But the bright side: you need to learn how to speak about stuff you don't like, if you are serious about improving :-) And I have no doubts the practice will help. But yes, reconnecting with regular French input will be necessary. I wish you the best of luck.

Perhaps you can agree with the teacher on some parts of the lessons, such as not wasting time on the grammar exercises you can do on your own? Who knows, perhaps they'll prefer that too.

Which level class are you doing, if I may ask?
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Perchta
White Belt
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:13 pm
Languages: Czech (N), French (C1), English (B2), German (B1), Dutch (B1), Hungarian (A1), Hebrew (just began learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=13798
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Re: Perchta's 2020

Postby Perchta » Sat May 02, 2020 7:50 pm

Cavesa wrote:When I was asking (years ago), the inividual lessons at the IF cost 1800 crowns (that's approximately 80 euros nowadays. Or 1/12 of the average czech salary per month, just for the non czech readers. And it's 5 times as much as an average tutor in the country, without the IF teachers being in necessarily 5 times better). So, you are getting these hyperexpensive individual lessons for the price of the group lessons? :-D That's some luck! Your classmates are stupid not to participate, and it's your advantage. But yes, 60 minutes of 1-on-1 can be intense.

I see why you prefer the more free lessons, with less rigid structure and more you-friendly topics. But the bright side: you need to learn how to speak about stuff you don't like, if you are serious about improving :-) And I have no doubts the practice will help. But yes, reconnecting with regular French input will be necessary. I wish you the best of luck.

Perhaps you can agree with the teacher on some parts of the lessons, such as not wasting time on the grammar exercises you can do on your own? Who knows, perhaps they'll prefer that too.

Which level class are you doing, if I may ask?


Yes, I really had one-to-one IF course for the price of the regular group course :) Only three lessons, but that counts... Do they really cost 1800 CZK? It’s incredible (even now), I don’t know who would pay that for it... But there might be some employers who do (in my course, I was the only one who’s course wasn’t paid by their employer, so some might do that for the individual lessons?

I didn’t ask the teacher to alter the course just to see what I like and what I do not in individual lessons.

Learning how to speak about stuff that doesn’t interest me is my general problem in any language (including Czech). But now, rethinking it three weeks later, I guess the main problem was talking to a person I don’t know (another problem I have in general). In any way, I think it’s not a problem of my language level, but of my psychological problem (I don’t say I don’t have to treat them, but in another way).

It was a C1+ course. I did DALF C1 last year, but no higher group course is available, so I’m in this one...
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