Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:08 pm

No significant news on the moving/job searching front. Just tiny progress through the process.

My language learning is sloooowly making its way to my life again.

I like Speechling and seem to stick to it a bit, which is great. I've encountered a curious problem :-D Falsely "wrong" answers. It was weird to get so many Spanish words back for reworking, including stuff like "No", "Por favor" etc. :-D No, I am not totally horrible after so many years, just the tutor doesn't know how to use Speechling. Normally, the tutors either give their ok (I guess they've got a button for that), it shows me one of the "excellent" messages (there are several variations), it colours the answer green, and it is considered finished. But this one was instead recording the "perfecto" feedback, so the words are still marked yellow and mixed with the actually incorrect ones :-D :-D I left her a message, I hope she'll read it and do it correctly next time, I left approximately 150 sentences there, getting them all back and sorting the correct ones out, that would be too difficult and annoying.

Still no choice concerning the paper vs eversion issue of Nuovo Espresso, but I am not in a hurry, need to finish the first one first anyways.

Hebrew: I am learning the alefbet with an app called "Write me" by Simya Solutions. I like that it is not only doing the passive recognition thing, but it also lets me write the cursive letters. It includes a few example words (I love the sounds of Hebrew). It is nice, not too serious for now. You might like it, it teaches plenty of alphabets. Or perhaps you know a better one? I am a bit hesitant to give 10 euro for it, until I get answers to some questions that I am about to send (the website and fb is not too informative and I found no real review). Like will it make me write some whole words too? I am also considering a youtube +paper version, anyone has a favourite writing teaching video? There are tons of youtube videos, so if someone would help me with a shortcut to a solid one, I'd be excited :-D

The same company also made "Readle", which looks like the old Lingua.ly, which was discontinued. It seems to serve people cefr labeled content in the phone, like news. It might be really nice, I just cannot see the full list of features, like whether you can also save and export vocab etc. ....... Aaaah, so I've tried it out. It is only for German learners (good for me now), it is a bit different from Lingua.ly though. It offers only picked content, you get fewer articles to choose from, they are all with computer voice (a good one, but still. it is chopped, that's one of the problems). But they already have a list of keywords, you get the translations and sound, and you get some (rather random it seems) grammar notes. It looks like there is no vocab saving. So, I am a bit hesitant, I am not sure I'll pay for this. I'll use the few free articles in the next few days and decide.

Curiously, I have also been considering getting a tutor, to get some regularity in my learning. A recent thread made me think a bit more about it https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... a76a556300

I think I won't go for it, at least for now. I don't really have the time or mood to search, to be discouraged or disappointed repeatedly etc. Perhaps later. Who knows.

Truth be told, I don't think the most contributing factor is the language learning desire, I can do well without a tutor. I miss human contact. Someone, who is not my boyfriend (I love him, but it looks like I am a bit of an extrovert than I used to think. Btw he deserves a medal for the way he manages to live much more isolated than me, due to the current situation), and who is not my coworker or patient. That's what makes me consider a language learning tutor. But I am not sure I'll go for it, there are many disadvantages.
6 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:47 pm

Learning Spanish actively again is making me happier, which is the main point. For now it is not too serious. Speechling (we'll see, whether the tutor finds out how to correct the stuff without creating a mess. She is probably new. But I count on her being as meticulous as the German one. Two or three corrections were already a good sign!), I'm rethinking my GrdeUso strategy (just completing it? ankiing cloze deletion questions?), and I need a new tv series to watch.

CarlyD has been starting some dangerous ideas of suffering through the basics of German. They claim to have found them in my posts :-D :-D :-D But they may be onto something. Perhaps I need to stick to this and finally get out of this mud. For now, I have started a new habit I plan to stick to: at least 20 German words on Speechling before going to a more fun language! if this works, I can apply the same pattern elsewhere.

Hebrew is really tempting. It sounds beautiful. Of course it also looks rather intimidating. I've been doing a bit of a resource research. The list of resources on this forum is a good start. But is it just my impression that many of them are ridiculously expensive? Also, I am re-encountering an old problem. You know, I can buy my coursebooks now. It's not as when I was a medschool student. I would like to. But avoiding piracy is damn hard with the totally unfriendly approach towards the customer. For example amazon (and other booksellers) gives a sample. Sounds cool, until you click on it. But the sample is the beginning of the book (+the index at the end). That's not ideal even for the normal coursebooks, as I like to judge them by a sample from somewhere in the middle, not just the introductory word and perhaps unit 1. But books going from the right to the left are totally messed up in this system. And sometimes not even the ones going from left to right, but with a bit different structure (Routledge has tons of alefbet lessons at the beginning). No real unit of the famous Routledge book is shown! And some are even worse. And there is often no ebook, or (which should be the golden standard and a few medicine textbook publishers do it): I would love to get the paper and ebook for one price. I wouldn't mind the price being a bit higher than just paper, but I will not buy anything completely twice.

So, after my rant about the bad habits of the sellers and publishers, back to the topic:

Do you think Assimil Hebrew is ok right from the start? Some of the more exotic ones are known to be a bit rough for a true beginner. How is the Hebrew one?

The Routledge Book (the second edition of which was published last year) looks rather intimidating. Is it just my impression? Please, I hope it is, cause everybody is praising the book!

For the alefbet, I will probably not buy the app I wrote about in the previous post. I found the one by Zenmonkey https://alphabetsnow.com/slideshow/hebrew_alphabet_now/ and the description is rather promising. And I found this video (which is the first in a series): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTSlu-ij_nU the guy has a serious problem with the filler words, but he is teaching very progressively and shows both the print and cursive letters + adds some comments. That's cool. I may have to speed the video up and pause at times, but it looks very good.

I found some stuff definitely not for a beginner, like what seems to be an audiobook library http://www.haarchion.co.il/

Aaaaand to the people not believing Argueles, that we should learn either French or German (or both) to get much more resources for other languages, I can tell them one thing: He is damn right! And it's not just about the Assimil.

One of the things I am definitely gonna buy (if I decide I really want to learn this) is the beginning of a new series of courses/references that are meant to be systematic, user friendly, pretty, and go well with anything. http://www.oulpanpratique.com/ There are sample pages on amazon and it looks great. And there is a video with the author on the publisher's site, which was very encouraging. It is a book meant to be used by the independent learners too. I want that!

There is also Petit vocabulaire actuel de l'Hébreu, that comes with exercises. Not sure about this one yet, I'd need to see it. I also had a look at the Asiathèque books and they really look totally not meant for the independent learners. Scary, and confusing.

And there are two lists of resources that some of you might appreciate, I will not copy all of that: https://www.ac-paris.fr/portail/jcms/p6 ... =p1_147183
https://www.ac-paris.fr/portail/jcms/p6 ... =p1_147183

https://www.formationhebreu.fr/ aaaand this is a good looking video course. Not a tutor for skype, but a video based course. I am not sure about this one for now, but it might really make up for the comparative lack of listening resources for beginners.

So, if I throw myself into this, I need to not spend too much at once. I think I'll go for the colourful companion to everything, and either Routledge or Assimil.
7 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:37 pm

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16213

This is a minigroup log, called CarlyD and Cavesa:Escaping the Eternal A1. It is just about German

If I manage to stick to the 30 min of serious learning a day, it will be a huge improvement. The other languages are a reward for that.

We're planning weekly goals, and reaching B1 by the end of December 2021.

And Spanish news: yay! the Speechling tutor uses it correctly now! It's interesting. In German, my main problem are some of the consonants. The vowels are easy, but the consonants are more about where to use them a lot, where to let them be barely heard, and so on. R,G,CH are the main ones. In Spanish, it is a lot about placing the stress on the right syllable to sound much more authentic. In Spanish I am normally understood, I am not a beginner, but I think fixing old problems and nitpicking will definitely help me move forward to the advanced levels.
4 x

guyome
Green Belt
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:41 pm
Languages: French (N)
x 1234

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby guyome » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:05 am

Cavesa wrote:Do you think Assimil Hebrew is ok right from the start? Some of the more exotic ones are known to be a bit rough for a true beginner. How is the Hebrew one?
Hi Cavesa,

I'm probably not the best person to answer your question (I've only worked through the first 35 lessons, or so) but since no one else has chimed in...

The "new" Assimil course starts really slow. The first few lessons are only a couple of sentences long and the alphabet is introduced over 28 lessons, if I remember well. Of course I already knew Yiddish, but I don't think the course would be too rough, even for someone without this background. Each of the 'alphabet' lessons even has a supplementary section with right-to-left translitteration under the Hebrew text to help the student match each Hebrew letter with the Latin equivalent. Overall, it felt like there's a lot of hand-holding, not just for the script. I can't say if the difficulty ramps up later in the course though.

If I'm not mistaken, it's part of the same generation (mid 2000s) as the Persian and the Yiddish courses and that's what I used to learn Yiddish (without knowing the Hebrew alphabet) and the Persian-Arabic alphabet, so their approach was quite efficient for me. For what it's worth, I'd definitely use Assimil as my main resource, should I ever tackle Hebrew again.

You can check lessons 1-50-86 on Assimil website.
3 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:47 am

guyome wrote:
Cavesa wrote:Do you think Assimil Hebrew is ok right from the start? Some of the more exotic ones are known to be a bit rough for a true beginner. How is the Hebrew one?
Hi Cavesa,

I'm probably not the best person to answer your question (I've only worked through the first 35 lessons, or so) but since no one else has chimed in...

The "new" Assimil course starts really slow. The first few lessons are only a couple of sentences long and the alphabet is introduced over 28 lessons, if I remember well. Of course I already knew Yiddish, but I don't think the course would be too rough, even for someone without this background. Each of the 'alphabet' lessons even has a supplementary section with right-to-left translitteration under the Hebrew text to help the student match each Hebrew letter with the Latin equivalent. Overall, it felt like there's a lot of hand-holding, not just for the script. I can't say if the difficulty ramps up later in the course though.

If I'm not mistaken, it's part of the same generation (mid 2000s) as the Persian and the Yiddish courses and that's what I used to learn Yiddish (without knowing the Hebrew alphabet) and the Persian-Arabic alphabet, so their approach was quite efficient for me. For what it's worth, I'd definitely use Assimil as my main resource, should I ever tackle Hebrew again.

You can check lessons 1-50-86 on Assimil website.


Thank you! That's exactly the kind of answer I needed!!! I'll get Assimil.
2 x

guyome
Green Belt
Posts: 362
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:41 pm
Languages: French (N)
x 1234

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby guyome » Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:55 pm

You're welcome! I hope you'll enjoy it!
1 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Tue Oct 27, 2020 10:29 pm

I bought Assimil today, it should arrive in a few days. It is expensive, so I'll wait with any other investment in the new language. Btw, when you have a notebook for practice, exercises, notes, do you keep it from right to left or left to right? As it is bound to be bilingual, I am sort of unsure :-D

The Big Minigroup Project: 30minutes a day, that's realistic. We have a bit different approach, CarlyD and I. They take the 30 min as the minimum and plan to constantly overachieve. I take it as my gateway to other languages, that bring me more joy. My biggest challenge: actually fitting the half an hour into each calender day, as I go to sleep rather late. So, for practical purposes, my day ends around 1 am, as my usual study time is around midnight. But no carry over, sleep is the border between two days.

Speechling: The word "Kirche" haunts me. I got it back for like eighth time. I rarely need to correct something more than once. It is also interesting to see the differences between the tutors.

The Spanish one finally uses the "correct button" and sends back recordings only to the mistakes. Unfortunately, I have a hard time noticing what exactly I am doing wrong, differently from the recording and correction. I think it is mostly stress on the right syllable, and the nuance between s/c/z in some words.

The Italian one: wow, the correction recordings are long. she explains what is wrong and does it perhaps every time. Italian seems to be my best pronounced language (which is funny, as it is otherwise my weakest romance language), so I've got only a few phrases back so far. She explains that I haven't made the question really a question by the tone. And I did doppio R wrong. Just a thought: I love these corrections. But as they are in Italian, I am pretty sure they could be a bit scary for a real beginner.

The German one: The one I know the best. Usually provides extremely clear feedback, which is great. The comments are not in full sentences, more like efficient fragments "langes e" etc. My only complaint: Her pronunciation is different from the model pronunciation of the original audio. A few times, I think I got corrected because I followed the original audio and there may be a regional difference. But, I am glad to be corrected and follow that. I improve, some things get more automatic, which is the point. But I really hate the word "Kirche", not sure I'll ever get it right! :-D
5 x

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Ogrim » Wed Oct 28, 2020 11:00 am

Cavesa wrote:I bought Assimil today, it should arrive in a few days. It is expensive, so I'll wait with any other investment in the new language. Btw, when you have a notebook for practice, exercises, notes, do you keep it from right to left or left to right? As it is bound to be bilingual, I am sort of unsure :-D


With Arabic I kind of do both :) - for example when creating wordlists I write the Arabic on the right half and the translation/meaning on the left. It just makes sense. However as I use a "paper tablet" I cannot start "at the last page" (seen from my perspective) because it is created with left-to-right languages in mind.

I look forward to reading about your experience with Assimil. I found Assimil Arabic way too slow for my taste. I've bought Colloquial Hebrew (for future use, not starting on Hebrew yet) which looks good but also challenging, as it does not use vowel signs at all. Unfortunately there is no Langenscheidt "mit System" course for Hebrew.
3 x
Ich grolle nicht

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3949
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)
x 12092

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby Cavesa » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:24 pm

This is the vocab course on Memrise that I'm doing: https://app.memrise.com/course/2078609/ ... b1-german/ The author's website is: thomasprofesoraleman.com and it is clearly someone passionate enough to gather resources for learners, and to create high quality support with srs for his students, which definitely admirable! Btw he created the same course fitting my coursebook with two base languages: English and Spanish! The nouns come with articles, which is extremely useful to me, and I have yet to spot any mistake.

The vocab is not absolutely complete, there are words within the units that are not on the lists (the lists in the coursebook itself) and didn't make it to this srs deckas a consequence, but that doesn't matter much. The deck includes 4121 words (a few of them are phrases) which is awesome. It sort of fights the idea "all you need is a few hundred words learnt really well and the rest is not that important". And the words are also very different from those on Speakly, which also teaches 4000 words. I plan to use both resources and others.

Btw should you happen to choose your German coursebook also by availability of the srs with its vocab, Berliner Platz (3 volumes) have been done by this person too!
3 x

User avatar
tiia
Blue Belt
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 11:52 pm
Location: Finland
Languages: German (N), English (?), Finnish (~B2), Spanish (B1), Swedish (A2?)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=2374
x 940

Re: Back to the roots and water them with coffee

Postby tiia » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:42 pm

Cavesa wrote:Speechling: The word "Kirche" haunts me. I got it back for like eighth time. I rarely need to correct something more than once. It is also interesting to see the differences between the tutors.
[...]
The German one: The one I know the best. Usually provides extremely clear feedback, which is great. The comments are not in full sentences, more like efficient fragments "langes e" etc. My only complaint: Her pronunciation is different from the model pronunciation of the original audio. A few times, I think I got corrected because I followed the original audio and there may be a regional difference. But, I am glad to be corrected and follow that. I improve, some things get more automatic, which is the point. But I really hate the word "Kirche", not sure I'll ever get it right! :-D


Do you know from what region your tutor comes from? There are probably a few local variants. I remember my mother being a bit picky when it came to pronouncing this word, because my parent's (standard?) German way did not match the local variant.
2 x
Corrections for entries written in Finnish, Spanish or Swedish are welcome.
Project 30+X: 22 / 30


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chove and 2 guests