Dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus improving my English)

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AndyMeg
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Dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus improving my English)

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:35 pm

I decided to create this new temporal log. For now I just want to dabble in some languages.
It may take some time before I decide to focus only on one language again. When that time comes I think I’ll properly update my focused languages logs, but for now this will be my main log.

The pandemic brought big changes to many aspects of daily life. The situation is ever changing. New regulations/restrictions/norms are revised every few weeks and updated or modified according to the situation at that point in time.

This year has been really chaotic and full of uncertainty. My anxiety levels have been fluctuating a lot and have spiked to new heights a few times. So much stress has also affected my health, but I’m getting better.

I missed the forum a lot!

I was taking two different Korean language classes before the pandemic started. One was with a volunteer from KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency), but all the volunteers had to go back to Korea when the pandemic started hitting my country. The other class was given by the owner of a Korean restaurant, but all in-person classes were prohibited for the time being, and he was rather busy just trying to keep his restaurant afloat amid the economic crisis, so the classes with him have been on indefinite hiatus ever since. But I’m happy that he has managed to keep the restaurant open and that a lot of people showed support when he was about to close it.

Now that the classes I was taking are no longer available, I want to continue learning/improving languages but in a more casual/relaxed way. That’s why I’ve decided to dabble in different languages instead of focusing in one as I was doing before.

These are the languages I may dabble in for the time being:

ENGLISH

I want to improve my listening and speaking, which are my weakest skills in this language.

KOREAN

I’ve been learning the language for around 3 years and a half now and I’ve experimented a lot with different methods and approaches.

With so much experimentation going on, my learning experience has been non-linear and quite chaotic (even the Korean classes with the restaurant owner were rather “random” in the topic covered each week, and I had only spent around four months with the KOICA volunteer’s class, which was more structured and linear as it was following the book series “Sogang Korean” (서강 한국어)).

JAPANESE

I started learning japanese about a decade ago, but stopped to actively try to learn/improve it around the time I decided to focus on Korean three and a half years ago. Though I’ve never completely lost contact with japanese because I occasionally watch japanese dramas and/or movies either raw or with subs in English or Spanish and I’ve occasionally dabbled in the raw version of japanese manga that I’ve been usually reading in English or Spanish.

I would say my current level is a rusty, weird mix of upper beginner and lower intermediate.

MANDARIN CHINESE

I dedicated to it about three months while I was taking a break from Korean near the end of 2018. My main goal at that time was to learn some written chinese so that I could understand even a bit of the Chinese dramas that I could only find with Chinese subs and not with other kind of subs that I could have understood better (like English or Spanish).

To this day I’ve never studied Pinyin (thus I don’t know how to read/write Pinyin) and I don’t plan to do so in the near future.

If you want to know more about my short but very exciting adventure with written Chinese, you can read this log: A bit of chinese and a novel draft in english

THAI

Some time ago I downloaded a few apps but only dabbled in them for a few days (less than a week, I think) and then stopped.

I like to watch Thai dramas and movies either raw or with English or Spanish subs from time to time.

Besides my very ephemeral interaction with the apps I downloaded I’ve never really actively studied the language.

FILIPINO/TAGALOG

I got interested in it some years ago while watching my first Philippine television drama. It caught my attention because of the peculiar mix of complete English sentences/expressions with some Spanish words sprinkled here and there plus an unkown language (Tagalog) as the main basis. One of the characters in that drama even said a complete Spanish saying/proverb: “Hierba mala nunca muere” and that furthered my interest in why such a distant country would have such a mix of languages integrated in one.

From time to time I like to watch Filipino dramas either raw or with English or Spanish subs.

A year or so ago I found a free Tagalog grammar online and I skimmed through some of it but I never studied it. Besides that, I’ve never actively studied the language.



Over the years I’ve collected a decent amount of resources for learning all these languages (plus some others), so I’ll probably dabble in those resources and/or use the subs in Viki and Netflix.

I’m not sure how often I’ll update this log. I think I’ll just update it whenever I feel like it.

I’m happy to be back! :D
Last edited by AndyMeg on Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyMeg
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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:36 pm

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AndyMeg
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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:37 pm

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AndyMeg
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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby AndyMeg » Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:00 pm

I really love being able to jump from one language to another without feeling guilty. :D

THAI

I had previously watched a Thai series called “The Stranded” (เคว้ง). Now I kind of started to watch it again, but I’m mainly focusing on copying/transcribing the Thai Closed Captions (CC) in my smartphone. As I haven’t learned the Thai script it was a difficult task, but very interesting at the same time. I downloaded an input method for Thai in my smartphone and then I just tried to copy what I was seeing in the Closed Captions. There were a lot of similar letters/characters so I had to pay attention to very small details to tell them apart, but fortunately my previous experience learning Chinese characters has helped me to improve my ability to notice small details/differences.

I didn’t take the time for the first line I wrote, but on another day I took the time for a two-lines segment:

[เสียงผู้หญิงประกาศ]
คนที่จะเดินทางออกจากเกาะในวันนี้

I took me 12 minutes and 55 seconds to transcribe this in my smartphone via the Thai input method I downloaded. I noticed that the more I wrote the easier it became to find again previous letters.

As I want to get better at quickly telling apart the different Thai letters/characters I’m using one of the apps I had previously downloaded. The app lets me practice the writing by hand and also shows me the direction of the strokes and it has templates I can write over. I think that app doesn’t teach the pronunciation but that’s fine; for now I just want to get familiar with the Thai script without the sounds.

JAPANESE

I’ve been doing a lot of things related to Japanese.

I finished rewatching, with Japanese audio and without subs, an anime called “Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day” (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない). I had watched this anime twice before, I think; so this was my third time watching it. The first two times were many years ago and with English or Spanish subs. This is one of my favorite animes of all times and it holds an important memory in my Japanese learning journey. I watched it for the first time about a year or so after I had started learning Japanese and I remember that I felt really happy that I could remember the Japanese name, even if it was long, because its meaning actually made sense to me in Japanese. Transcribed into rōmaji the tittle is: “Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai” and it means “We still don’t know the name of the flower we saw that day”, so I just had to remember the meaning and that made me remember the Japanese equivalent.

“Anohana” is a beautiful anime and its ending made me cry again. Actually, as I didn’t want to miss any part of the emotional ending, I decided to activate the English subs two thirds into the last episode. But, as I was crying while watching, I couldn’t read the English subs well, so I ended up half reading the subs and half paying attention to the audio to try to complete the meaning.

Besides “Anohana” I also started to rewatch two other animes: “Naruto” (ナルト) and “Saint Seiya” (聖闘士星矢-セイントセイヤ). Both with Japanese audio, but “Naruto” without subs and “Saint Seiya” with Spanish subs. I watched Saint Seiya (the first arcs at least) for the first time in my childhood with Latin American Spanish dubs, so this was my first time watching those early arcs with Japanese audio. It was a novel experience. Maybe I’ll eventually start to watch the rest of “Saint Seiya” without subs and just the Japanese audio, but I won’t force it.

Besides rewatching old animes, I started to watch a new anime called “Violet Evergarden” (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン). I watched the first episode four times: 1) Japanese audio and Spanish subs 2) Spanish audio and Japanese Closed Captions 3) Japanese audio and Japanese Closed Captions 4) Japanese audio-description and no subs. After that I created a customized group in the “Kanji Study” app with all the kanji used in the first episode (347 kanjis in total) and I divided it in 9 groups of 35 kanjis each and 1 group of 32 kanjis. In the future I would like to copy the Closed Captions using my smartphone’s Japanesse input method, so I decided to practice the stroke order and stroke direction of every kanji in episode 1, so that when I’m copying each sentence I’m familiar enough with each Kanji and can draw it fast. Later I may try to copy it again but this time writing in kana and choosing the right kanji when needed, but I haven’t decided about that yet.

The way I’m studying with the “Kanji Study” app is by means of the “Caligraphy challenge”. These are the settings I chose:

- Automatic detection of strokes
- The cue is the character’s main associated meaning
- It doesn’t show the Japanese readings (because each kanji usually have many possible readings and that confuses me a lot) but it shows the Korean readings in hangul (because it usually only shows one or two readings for Korean, which is way more manageable that the amount of readings for Japanese)
- Normal stroke detection (the other options are “Permissive” and “Strict”)
- Show answer (it shows the whole kanji in gray and I can write/draw over it while my strokes are shown in black). I chose this option because right now I’m not trying to test my ability to write a character from memory, but just practicing how each character should be written)
- Show clues (If I’m struggling too much with a kanji it shows me, with a small animation, which one should be the next stroke and how it should be written)
- Repeat a kanji until I get it right from start to finish (so if I make a mistake while writing a kanji, I have to correct my mistake and finish writing it right, and then I go back to try to write the same kanji from the beginning. I can’t move on to a new Kanji until I’ve perfectly written the previous one from start to finish)


At the end of the challenge it shows me a summary of my performance for each kanji and where I made mistakes and it also shows an overall percentage of precision for that group of kanjis. So far my precision for all groups of characters has been between 92% and 98.3%. I would like to eventually get my precision for all groups up to 100%

KOREAN

I finished watching the K-drama Train (트레인). I watched most of this drama’s episodes twice. The first time without subs and the second time with English subs. I didn’t especifically do it with the intention of studying Korean, but because I was too impatient to wait for the English subs when a new episode had just aired.

There are two terms that I used to mix up a lot: 범인 [(convicted) criminal, culprit; suspect] and 피해자 [victim] but I think thanks to this K-drama I’ll finally be able to tell them apart. What I mean is that in the right context I could tell apart those terms in other K-dramas, but when I was not watching those K-dramas but just trying to remember the meaning of each word, I knew one was for the criminal and the other for the victim but I could not remember which was which. But in this K-drama Train (트레인) there was a very distinct feeling/emotion when the characters used those terms, so I ended up associating each term with the particular feeling/emotion the characters were transmiting and that suddenly made those terms quite easy to tell apart.

I remember something similar happened many years ago when I couldn’t remember which was which between “aunt” and “uncle” in English. At that time I just remembered that those terms referred to one’s parent’s siblings, but I could not remember which one was for males and which one was for females. But when I read (with a lot of effort and a dictionary at hand) a book from the Harry Potter series in English (so far I had been reading the series in Spanish but this book was new and it hadn’t been translated into Spanish yet) it made it really easy to tell those terms apart because I would immediately think/remember “Aunt-Petunia”, “Uncle-Vernon”. And now that I remember… I also learned to tell the colors in English apart thanks to the Power Rangers XD!

Just out of curiosity I looked at the “Law and Order” chapter of the book “Essential Korean Vocabulary” by Kyubyong Park and found these terms that are associated with 범인 (criminal) and 피해자 (victim):

범죄 —> crime
죄 —> crime, misdeed
피해 —> damage, harm
해 —> harm, damage
범법 —> law-breaking
범죄자 —> criminal
범법자 —> law-breaker

I know that 인 and 자 are associated with the meaning of “person”. So it makes sense:

[피해 —> damage, harm] + [자 —> person] = 피해자 —> victim
[범죄 —> crime] + [자 —> person] = 범죄자 —> criminal
[-범 —> an offense, a violation] + [인 —> person] = 범인 —> criminal
[범법 —> law-breaking] + [자 —> person] = 범법자 —> law-breaker

Writing this made me want to read the book “Handbook of Korean Vocabulary: A Resource for Word Recognition and Comprehension” by Miho Choo and William O'Grady. I remember that book has a big section for words with roots of Chinese origin and also another smaller section for words with roots of Native Korean origin.

As briefly mentioned before, while studying Japanese I also ended up learning a bit of Korean because I activated the Korean readings for the Chinese charactes I’ve been practicing from the anime “Violet Evergarden” (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン). I didn't enable the Japanese readings because a single character may have many readings in Japanese, but for Korean the app usually only lists one or two readings, so it’s more manageable and if while paying attention to the readings I remember a Korean word associated to the meaning of that character, then I’m also kind of studying Korean while also sudying Japanese. And as there’s an overlap with characters used in Mandarin Chinese then with that activity I’m actually progressing in three languages at once, which is great! :D!

Changing topics, I’m also watching a K-drama called “It's Okay to Not Be Okay” (사이코지만 괜찮아). I watched the first episode with dual (Korean-English) subs using the Chrome extension “Language Learning with Netflix”. Then on another day I watched episode two, the first few minutes with just Korean Closed Captions and then I went back to the beginning and watched the whole episode with English subs only. I could understand a good chunk of what I watched with the Korean Closed Captions, but I was missing important details I wanted to know, that’s why I decided to go back and watch the whole thing with English subs (I watched episode 2 in my tablet, so I didn’t have the dual subs option available).

For the next few days I continued watching up to episode 7 of the drama (with Spanish subs this time) and it has already made me cry many times. It's a healing journey for the main characters and those around them. “It's Okay to Not Be Okay” (사이코지만 괜찮아) is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites.

FILIPINO/TAGALOG

I rewatched the first 30 minutes of a Filipino movie called “Can’t help falling in love” which is about a woman who is preparing to marry her fiancé but finds out she is already married with an unkown man she briefly met a year ago in a friend’s wedding. As I had already watched this movie before with English subs, this time I focused on paying attention to the Filipino/Tagalog Closed Captions. In general I’m trying to see the words and phrases/sentences as images so I just glance at them and pay attention to what I’m hearing, but I don’t try to go letter by letter or syllable by syllable. Something interesting I noticed was that the parts when they talked in English were translated into Tagalog. As they use quite a lot of English in this movie, I use that time to pay attention to the Tagalog subs, compare both languages and try to guess the meaning of some words.
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AndyMeg
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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby AndyMeg » Sat Aug 29, 2020 3:19 am

I've been reading again the book "The little book of Talent" by Daniel Coyle. It has given me some ideas I would like to apply to language learning.

ENGLISH

As I improved my English mainly from reading and writing, my listening and speaking skills are lagging behind (they are not bad, but they are not on par with my reading and writing). One of the problems I have is that sometimes I'm not so sure about how I should pronounce some words, so I'm trying to connect the written words with how natives actually pronounce them. Here are some activities I've recently done:

- I rewatched the movie "Inside Out" with English audio and no subs.

- I listened to the first episode of season 1 of the TV series "The Crown" with English audio-description and my eyes closed (this was an idea I got from "The little book of Talent"). As I'm not used to this my mind wandered off from time to time and I got a bit sleepy, but overall I could follow what was happening (with just some minor confusions).

- I watched half of the movie "Thor" (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with English audio while paying close attention to the English Closed Captions and the way words are pronunced.

KOREAN

I finished watching the K-drama “It's Okay to Not Be Okay” (사이코지만 괜찮아). It has definitely become one of my all-time favorites. I'll probably start rewatching it with Korean audio and Korean Closed Captions.

I've also been watching (with English subs) a Reality TV show called I-LAND. It's about the selection of the seven members of an all-male K-pop group that is planned to debut soon. Global votes play a big part in the final decision about who those seven members will be and the elimination or salvation of current participants and I have mixed feelings about it. All the participants have great potential, but some of them have strong shortcomings that I'm not sure if they would be able to overcome on time for debut. So I'm worried that the global votes might lead to a not that well-balanced group.

Now, on other news... I started studying with the website "Learn Korean Through K-pop". I started with a BTS (방탄소년단) song called "Fake Love":



I really like the Website because it comes with grammar points, literal translations, "pretty" translations and a small list of terms/expressions used and their meaning.

Here an example for the first part of "Fake Love":

BTS - Fake Love ( May, 2018)

널 위해서라면 (G109)
you for
( For you,)

난 슬퍼도 기쁜 척 할 수가 있었어 (G20,80,1,18)
I sad even happy pretend (I) could
( I could pretend like I was happy even when I was
sad.)

널 위해서라면 (G109)
you for
( For you,)

난 아파도 강한 척 할 수가 있었어 (G20,80,1,18)
I hurt even strong pretend (I) could
( I could pretend like I was strong when I was hurt.)

사랑이 사랑만으로 완벽하길 (G40-1,48)
love love only as perfect (I) wish
( I wish love was perfect as love itself.)

내 모든 약점들은 다 숨겨지길 (G48)
my all weaknesses all hidden (I) wish
( I wish all my weaknesses could be hidden.)

이뤄지지 않는 꿈속에서 (G6)
come true not dream in

피울 수 없는 꽃을 키웠어 (G1,18)
Bloomed can't flower (I) grew
( I grew a flower that can’t be bloomed in a dream
that can’t come true.)

I'm so sick of this fake love, fake love, fake love
I'm so sorry but it's fake love, fake love, fake love

단어) 널 : you ( a short form of 너를 , 너 : you , 를 :
object marker) , N 위해서 : for N ,
난 : I ( a short form of 나는 , 나 : I , 는 : topic marker)
, 슬프다 : to be sad , 기쁘다 : to be happy , 아프다 : to
be sick , 강하다 : to be strong , 사랑 : love ,
N만 : only N , 완벽하다 : to be perfect,
내 : my ( casual) , 모든 N : all N , 약점: weakness ,
N들 : N ( plural) , 다 : all , 숨겨지다 : to be hidden ,
이뤄지다 : to come true , 꿈 : dream ,
N속에서 : in(side) of N , 피우다 : to bloom ,
꽃 : flower , 키우다 : to grow,


The actual grammar points are apart. Here are some from the first lines:

109. V - 는다면 / ㄴ다면 , A - 다면 , N -(이)라면 “ assuming a condition “
This is used when you assume a situation which isn't likely to become reality. When the verb stem ends in a consonant, add 는다면. When ending in a vowel , add ㄴ 다면. For adjectives, add the stem to 다면. For nouns ending in a consonant , add 이라면 . When ending in a vowel , add 라면
내일 : .tomorrow, 한국 : Korea, 가다 : to go , 좋다: to be good
내일 한국에 간다면 좋겠어요. : If I go to Korea tomorrow, it’d be good.
제가 : I , 부자 : a rich man , 기부하다: to donate , 많이 : a lot
제가 부자라면 기부를 많이 할 거예요. : If I were a rich man, I would donate a lot.

21. V/A -지 않아요 (안 V/A - 아/어/해요 ) “not”

For present tense, add V/A stem to -지 않아요 or (안 V/A - 아/어/해요 ) . For past tense, add V/A stem to 지 않았어요 or (안 V/A -았/었/했어요) When using 안 , you should conjugate the V/A.
Without '요' at the end, it becomes a casual talk. Its infinitive form is V/A- 지 않다 (안 V/A- 다)

한국어: Korean language 쉽다: to be easy 어렵다: to be difficult 내일: tomorrow 어제: yesterday

한국어 쉽지 않아요. = 한국어 안 쉬어요.(formal) -> Korean language is not easy.

한국어 어렵지 않아. = 한국어 안 어려워. (casual) -> Korean language is not difficult.

* in case of N+ 하다 ( N+ to do) verbs like 공부하다 (to study), 노래하다( to sing), 일하다( to work), place 안 right between N and 하다.

내일 일 안 해요. .(formal) -> Tomorrow (I) don’t do working = Tomorrow (I) don’t work.
For past tense:

어제 일 안 했어요. (formal) ->Yesterday (I) didn’t do working =Yesterday (I) didn’t work


What I'm doing is that I first listen to the whole song. After that I just look at the first Korean line and hide the rest. I think about the meaning. Then, if there's an unknown grammar I read about it guided by the number of the grammar point. If there's an unknown word I look for it in the small list at the end of each part. Then I think about the meaning again. After that I read the literal translation and then the "pretty" translation. Then I move on to a new line and start the same process again.

THAI

I tried to improve my speed of writing (in my smartphone) the same two lines from before:

[เสียงผู้หญิงประกาศ]
คนที่จะเดินทางออกจากเกาะในวันนี้

I went from my initial 12 minutes and 55 seconds to 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I wanted to go even faster but I realized that by doing so I was starting to just write from memory and not paying too much attention to the differences of each letter/character as I was doing before; so I decided to stop and try something new later (I'll tell you about it after I actually try it).

JAPANESE

I watched a bit more of “Saint Seiya” (聖闘士星矢-セイントセイヤ) with Japanese audio and Spanish subs. As I read fast in Spanish it actually leaves me time for listening and pay attention to the Japanese audio and try to extract meaning from it.

I also improved my drawing precision for some of the Kanji groups I've been practicing from the anime “Violet Evergarden” (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン), but I've yet to reach 100% precision on any group.
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AndyMeg
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Posts: 604
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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby AndyMeg » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:24 am

While getting up to date with Bex's log, I thought of an idea I want to try: make mini-challenges for each language.

Making long term challenges hasn't worked well in the past because I eventually give up on most of those challenges at one point or another, but I do think I can do a lot better with mini-challenges.

Juggling different languages has been fun but it has dispersed my attention and energy a lot, so I decided to make some changes:

From now on I'll have two main languages "active" at any given time. For each one of those two languages I'll create a mini-challenge. After I've completed the mini-challenge for both languages I'll decide if I'll create another mini-challenge for each of the currently "active" languages or if I'll replace my currently active languages with another pair of languages (and thus another pair of mini-challenges). For the "non-active" languages I'll just interact with them in a more relaxed way (for example, by watching a program with audio in my TL but with subs in Spanish or in English).

The pairs will be as follows: Korean-Japanese, Thai-English, MandarinChinese-Filipino/Tagalog.

Currently non-active languages:

ENGLISH

I watched some episodes of different TV series.

THAI

I re-watched an old Thai drama with some friends (with Spanish subs) and I watched (with English subs) the first episode of season 2 of a Thai drama for which I watched season 1 almost two years ago. This drama is called "The Gifted" and I want to rewatch season 1 so that I'm better prepared for season 2. Here is the first part of episode 1 season 1 from the official channel in Youtube:



After my very short activity copying Thai sentences in my smartphone it has become easier and more interesting to distinguish between different Thai letters/characters.

Currently active languages:

KOREAN

I watched a Youtube video about techniques for reading faster and I want to try to apply one of the techniques to Korean. The technique I want to apply is the exercise number 1 (Ejercicio 1, minute 5:17 --> Usa una guía visual/Use a visual guide). Here is the video:



This exercise is not about comprehension but just about getting used to process words/lines-of-text as images faster.

So here comes my first mini-challenge:

I'll apply exercise number 1 to speed-read the following children's book: "휘그와 거인"

JAPANESE

I watched (with Spanish subs) 17/25 episodes of season 1 of the anime "Blue Exorcist" (青の 祓魔師) and all 12 episodes of season 2. The reason why I skipped episodes 18-25 of season 1 was because I read somewhere that those episodes didn't follow the original manga and in season 2 they were treated as if they never happened, so the people who watched all of season 1 felt quite confused with the start of season 2 and I just wanted to save myself from that confusion.

My first mini challenge for this language will be:

To reach 100% drawing precision for all of the Kanji groups I've been practicing from episode 1 of the anime “Violet Evergarden” (ヴァイオレット・エヴァーガーデン).
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus improving my English)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Sep 10, 2020 3:03 am

Watching The Crown with your eyes closed!?!! but they spent so much money on costumes!

I’m kidding. I watched with German dub, although I’m sure I would have enjoyed their original extra posh English accents. You have to take full advantage of language learning opportunities!
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AndyMeg
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Re: Dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus improving my English)

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:03 am

The things I've been doing keep accumulating, not many but not few. So I was postponing updating this log until I could dedicate enough time to talk about all my activities since my last update. But as time goes by, little things keep accumulating even more. So I decided to make small updates from time to time, and then when I finish both mini-challenges I'll make a big post talking about it and other activities.

Besides the mini-challenges I've been doing other activities in my focus languages, but the mini-challenges help me to keep focused on my active languages when I feel the temptation of dividing my attention between too many languages. I tell myself: "If you want to work so much in those other languages then focus on the mini-challenges and finish them ASAP", and then I realize I prefer to keep focusing on my current languages.

Lately my sister and I started to play from time to time an online game called "Among Us". It's about a group o players that go into a spaceship. Most of the players are part of the crew of the spaceship but for every game between 1 to 3 players are randomly selected as impostors who try to sabotage the spaceship and kill the crew members. Every crew member has tasks to do, if all the crew members complete their tasks or if they find out all the impostors, then the crew wins. If the impostors sabotage the spaceship to a point of "no return" or if they kill enough crew members before they are found out, then they win. To be fair, the game doesn't allow for direct communication between palyers when they are moving around the spaceship (doing tasks if they are crew members, or sabotaging and killing if they are impostors); but if a body is found, then the player who found it (and that includes even the impostors) can call for a reunion via text-chat. That's when people start acussing one another, saying what they saw or didn't saw, who were together with who, who was acting suspicius, etc. At the end of the reunion there's a voting and the result may be that one player is ejected from the spaceship (but there are times when no one is ejected). After the ejection the players are usually informed if the ejected player was an impostor or not. (The other way to call for a meeting is by pushing a red button in the cafeteria area of the spacechip, but those calls are usually limited to 1 per player).

The game allows for rooms in different languages and I decided to try a room in Korean, but when I entered it most people were talking in Spanish XD! And the few Korean that entered seemed to leave the room ASAP.

For the first round only one Korean person stayed. He always spoke in Korean (well, he actually "wrote" in Korean because we had a text chat, not a voice chat). I could understand what he was saying (things like "Are all the people here foreigners?", "I don't speak much English", etc.), but at that time the Korean input method wasn't working as it should and I could only write back to him in English.

For that round he ended up being the impostor and he won the game. After that round I had to leave but I came back a few hours later to try another room in Korean. This time it was harder as the Koreans left all the rooms as soon as they realized most of the players were foreigners. There was one time were we had a full room and all players (Koreans and non Koreans alike) were asking the host to start the game, but he/she never did. In the chat two Koreans were talking and one was asking the other why the host wasn't starting the game and the other replied that it might be because of the foreigners in the room (I had to look some words in Papago to understand their conversation).

Some time later I finally got into a room full of Korean-speaking people (I knew because all their nicknames were written in hangul) but I got kicked out because I was the only odd one with a name in Latin letters. So I decided to change my name to one written in hangul and after that I had better luck and could finally play two rounds.

That's when I realized that I had never really seriously studied the colors in Korean, so I was having difficulties knowing who were the players suspected as impostors because in the chat people usually refer to other players by the color of their avatar and not by their nickname. I also didn't participate in the chat except for a short "it wasn't me" (나는 아니야) when one of the players seemed to be accusing me of being an impostor.

The formality levels used by the players were quite varied and interesting to read, some were very casual/informal using expressions like 그 새끼야, while others seemed to be rather formal adding 님 to the color of the player they were talking about/ talking to.

The two rounds were very exhausting for me and I left the room after that and stopped playing altogether. Then I took out a piece of paper and started to look for and write the name of the colors used for avatars in the game, so I could have a list for reference in future tries. I'll also need a list of Korean vocabulary related to the different parts/areas of the spaceship plus some objects and tasks, but I haven't done that yet.

After that I thought I was done with Korean "practice/study" for the day, but I remembered a book I have about writing novels that is in Korean and decided to read the table of contents just to get a better idea about what I would find in the book. I was amazed at how much I enjoyed recognizing some terms and even how happy I was to look up the unfamiliar terms in the dictionary/translator. I think I'll probably keep trying to read this book for a while and I'll probably look for other creative-writing related texts to read because, in contrast to other texts I had tried to read in the past just because they seemed "easier", it really hit me different to try to read something I'm passionate about no matter the language it's written in. I never enjoyed the other texts as much as I enjoyed just reading the table of contents of this book about writing novels.

Just to end this post, today my sister (who is also learning Korean) showed me this scene from a Kdrama and I could understand most of what they were saying and enjoyed watching it. I felt happy about that:



(If this was my "short/small" update I can't imagine the size of the longer one... :lol:)
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AndyMeg
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Re: Dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus improving my English)

Postby AndyMeg » Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:23 pm

Some days ago they launched a new BTS game called "BTS Universe Story Game".

In this game you can play "choose your own adventure" stories. There's their official universe storyline to play, but you can also play storylines made by other players. If a story is popular enough it gets translated into other languages (I think they use an automatic translator, but I'm not sure if that's always the case as some translations look really good while others are just decent enough to enjoy/understand the story/game).

If a story has a translation in your "official" language, then it plays in that language. If there's not translation in your "official" language then it plays in the original language.

There's a story written by a Korean that I played the first episode of in English (I manually changed the language to English because it wasn't translated into Spanish which is my current "official" language in the app). But yesterday, when I came back to the story to read episode two I forgot to choose the English option, and so I was presented with the original version in Korean. As I've been using the app more for recreation purposes rather than as a "language learning activity", I hadn't planned to read the story in Korean. But you have to use tickets to play each episode and I didn't want to use another ticket for changing the language, so I decided to just continue in Korean.

The story is really funny and creative. I could completely understand or at least get the gist of more than 50% of the dialogue lines (maybe around 60% or 70%? I'm not sure) and it felt great :D . But there were also expressions I'm sure I've come by before, but I couldn't remember their meaning. As I really want to understand the whole story and not just most parts of it, I'll probably use another ticket and read/play episode two again, this time in English.

Here's is the trailer of the game for the official storyline:



And here is a guide in case you feel curious enough to give the game a try and create your own stories:



I'm still in the "getting used to the creation tools" stage, but in the future I'd like to write some stories using the available tools in the app.

And here is a recent BTS speech video at the 75th UN General Assembly I've been wanting to share:

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Re: Just dabbling in some languages for the time being (mainly Asian languages plus English)

Postby Xenops » Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:32 am

AndyMeg wrote:
THAI

I had previously watched a Thai series called “The Stranded” (เคว้ง). Now I kind of started to watch it again, but I’m mainly focusing on copying/transcribing the Thai Closed Captions (CC) in my smartphone. As I haven’t learned the Thai script it was a difficult task, but very interesting at the same time. I downloaded an input method for Thai in my smartphone and then I just tried to copy what I was seeing in the Closed Captions. There were a lot of similar letters/characters so I had to pay attention to very small details to tell them apart, but fortunately my previous experience learning Chinese characters has helped me to improve my ability to notice small details/differences.

I didn’t take the time for the first line I wrote, but on another day I took the time for a two-lines segment:

[เสียงผู้หญิงประกาศ]
คนที่จะเดินทางออกจากเกาะในวันนี้

I took me 12 minutes and 55 seconds to transcribe this in my smartphone via the Thai input method I downloaded. I noticed that the more I wrote the easier it became to find again previous letters.

As I want to get better at quickly telling apart the different Thai letters/characters I’m using one of the apps I had previously downloaded. The app lets me practice the writing by hand and also shows me the direction of the strokes and it has templates I can write over. I think that app doesn’t teach the pronunciation but that’s fine; for now I just want to get familiar with the Thai script without the sounds.



OMG I just finished "The Stranded"! It is so good! I really hope they get the second season on Netflix. :D

I have also been exploring SE Asian stuff on Netflix, and saw the Thai horror film "Shutter". Not sure if it's your cup of tea, but I enjoyed it.
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