Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

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eido
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Sunshine Sparkling In The Sky (A Summer of Language Variety)

Postby eido » Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:05 pm

Hello everyone.

Welcome to my humble log, where I struggle through myriad languages. Not a day goes by where I’m not doing something with different tongues, or at least thinking about how to manage my interest.

I’ve decided to pare down how many languages I focus on for summer 2021, trying to follow the advice of multiple people to narrow my focus.

These will be:
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Polish
I might occasionally poke my head up from a book to poke my head into another about Hindi or Burmese, but these should be my main focus areas for now.

Summer’s a great time to get going on various projects. I’ll have a bit more time during a period of two months to do so, so I hope I can make some decent progress in the languages I’ve chosen.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere - happy summer! Officially the Summer Solstice is June 20, but it’s never too early to celebrate what, for a lot of people, is a time of increased leisure or holiday fun. I hope to see ya ‘round :)
Last edited by eido on Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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eido
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Tue Dec 08, 2020 5:06 pm

In my absence from the forum I’ve been working mainly on Korean and Japanese, the lazy way. I have been listening to a lot of Korean- and Japanese-language songs on repeat and watching lyric videos to memorize words and get better at pronunciation and prosody.

I recently listened to TTMIK’s level 5 dialogue and understood about 86% of it. I call that a win. I got the main gist and then some.

I ordered a bunch of books from their website for Christmas as my gift to me, and I plan on slowly going through them with the aid of their other books. (Gotta make use of your resources!)

I also plan on using my intermediate reader.

I’m trying to decide if I can commit to Korean lessons once a week, and Polish lessons as well. I know I’m not nearly as afraid of Spanish as I am those two. I recently got a really good grade in my upper level Spanish class so I feel pretty confident.

For now the roster is just those three: Spanish, Korean, and Polish. Japanese might flit on there from time to time.
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:08 pm

eido wrote:Hello everyone. I’ve had several logs here, none of which have been outstandingly successful. But I’ve learned a lot.

Maybe you need to reevaluate your definition of success because if you've learned a lot that sounds successful to me. Like you, I also tend to start new logs fairly often, but even if I only work on a specific project for a month, I still consider that to be a success because I have fun and learn new things.

There's a saying that people can be like hedgehogs or foxes; a hedgehog knows one big thing, and a fox knows a lot of little things. You and I are foxes. We're interested in a bunch of little things and it's hard for us to stay focused on one thing at a time. I don't think we'll be able to turn ourselves into hedgehogs, but I think there are a lot of benefits to being a fox. We look at hedgehogs in awe of how committed they can stay to one language for so long, and the great results they can get in that one language. But some hedgehoggy people may look at foxy learners like us with the same kind of awe and think, "how can they know about so many different languages, when all I know is this one language? I wish I could do that".

I think "no expectations" is the right attitude! Good luck and have fun!
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eido
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Wed Dec 09, 2020 12:14 am

Deinonysus wrote:Maybe you need to reevaluate your definition of success because if you've learned a lot that sounds successful to me. Like you, I also tend to start new logs fairly often, but even if I only work on a specific project for a month, I still consider that to be a success because I have fun and learn new things.
...
I think "no expectations" is the right attitude! Good luck and have fun!

I like the hedgehog and fox analogy.

Commitment is something I really admire, but I'm quite commitment-shy when it comes to new hobbies or interests... so there I think you have me pegged. ;)

I start new logs usually because there are new phases in my learning or new pedagogical concepts I want to explore within my own sphere. My guess is this time I'll be more influenced by Polish's whims and fancy than Korean's, because I want to get good at a new language. However, who's to tell?
--
As you all (I'm lumping all of the people who've followed my previous logs together) know, I'm an evaluating woman, and I like to reflect. So this post will be a bit of a reflection on my learning style as well as resources.

So I just mentioned I'm commitment-phobic, and that's been a real problem for Korean. I can't form a decently complex sentence even though I can understand at the low- to mid-intermediate level. I tried getting partners on Tandem, but that didn't work since they're all busy, don't check their messages, or unreliable... maybe some combination of all three.

But I know two Korean guys who live in Korea that I found through italki before they shut down their language exchange feature. They're both pretty typical in their interests from Korean standards, which is good if you want a dose of culture. And their English isn't bad, which helps if you need to communicate a critical point.

So I think I'll give up searching partners on Tandem, because it's just too chaotic. I thought I could win, you know? Give me points for trying.

But in order to build my confidence in sending messages, I'll have to write some first. I could of course use langcorrect to splatter all my language atrocities on, but I think I'll use this log instead. I mean, you already have my frank emotions displayed in all their glory... why not my badly written Korean sentences? (And probably soon Polish...)

I want to write here and then get corrections... and then talk about those corrections. Hopefully some of that will be useful here.

I'm really starting to get a feel for Korean sound shapes thanks to listening to those songs over and over. I was recently able to sing a few songs from memory with correct pronunciation and not with any nonsense words. I started out singing nonsense words, as you might think a baby might and as sometimes little kids do listening to for-adult songs. I'll remedy any gaps by listening more to vlogs and RUN BTS and SHINee content.

Absorb the pattern... absorb the pattern... it'll only take you five years :lol:

I'll start my mission tomorrow.
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby Adrianslont » Wed Dec 09, 2020 10:24 pm

Hey, Eido. I just want to say I like the name of your new log and echo D’s comments that you actually seem to have been very successful!

I sometimes have too high expectations of myself and it really isn’t productive - I think it’s much better just to turn up regularly, keep going, follow your interests and enjoy whatever you reap.

I do realise that this only applies to hobbyists such as myself and less to people who have to pass exams to get places in life.

I don’t always read your logs because Korean and Spanish are not of particular interest to me but when I do I often admire your insights, skills and attitudes. What happened to the angsty young person who first graced this forum? (rhetorical question) :D I hope you don’t mind that comment but I like seeing people bloom.

I will drop by occasionally to check out some interesting reflections.
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eido
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:00 am

Adrianslont wrote:Hey, Eido. I just want to say I like the name of your new log and echo D’s comments that you actually seem to have been very successful!
...
I don’t always read your logs because Korean and Spanish are not of particular interest to me but when I do I often admire your insights, skills and attitudes. What happened to the angsty young person who first graced this forum? (rhetorical question) :D I hope you don’t mind that comment but I like seeing people bloom.

I will drop by occasionally to check out some interesting reflections.

Why, thank you! I appreciate the appraisal. I always like hearing from more experienced members of the community and pondering on what they have to say on my performance. I know in the past it may not have seemed like it, but a lot of, for instance, @iguanamon's advice stirred around in my brain for years. And I spent a lot of the past couple years reading the forum in my downtime, getting used to it, getting used to certain approaches, etc. It was just a matter of figuring out a practical use for theory, which I'm notoriously bad at. I also had to discipline myself in college, and I was a bit of a "late-bloomer" in that respect. I'm not done with my journey there, but my personal journey with languages has helped immensely with me getting better at life, not just in college. I've said it in "angst-filled" ( ;) ) ways on this forum, but I'm glad to have my little corner of the Internet, and even in my earlier days, I was careful not to pollute it too much.

There's a quote by Maya Angelou I've loved since I was a teenager, and I continue to be enamored with it: "I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."

I've always tried to be kind to myself since I know I'm still young and inexperienced. That's why I like BTS, because they're kind to youth and young adults who are just as goofy and silly as me and make stupid mistakes. Over the years I've become more self-aware, and each day I aim for just a little more on the meter.

I think this next year will really be something spectacular. A rough start to adulthood, but maybe that's what I needed, huh? :P See @iguanamon, I'm not a sausage anymore! I'm the hot dog!
--
Tonight I read through my intermediate Korean reader and the main struggle with it is vocabulary, as to be expected of me. But it's also written in a more academic style, so that doesn't help. I have two intermediate books I'm working with at the moment, a TTMIK one and the Nam-kil Kim one, and the two are quite different in their use of language. Two totally different registers.

I made a list of words from the reader to use in sentences and took grammar points from the TTMIK book and made five simple sentences to send off to my friend in Korea. The trouble is, just like any other learning aid, TTMIK's books are textbooks, so the language can still be very formal(ized) even if the register is brought down to the lowest- or second lowest one. So I need to figure out a way that my friend can explain the formal grammar to me without flying off into wild informal or dialect territory, though that has its place, too.

I'm just happy I got this far!

I also explored japanese.io and noticed they had news to read, which is awesome. I believe @devilyoudont recommended this site at some point... whoever did, thank you, 'cause it's really cool. A LingQ for Japanese, just what I need :) In the future, I'll do what they suggest and read some news with my favorite drink. It'll be painful, but the pain builds character! Raa~

Tomorrow I hope to at least translate the text from the reader into English. I already read it and wrote what I thought it said, with the openness to being wrong. It's a technique I learned in the days before college, a basic comprehension trick. I'll also try to investigate Polish...

...hmm, the possibilities.
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eido
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:40 am

I didn't manage to translate the passage today. I decided to watch a video from Cordura Artificial (a Spanish-language advice YT channel) instead and watch a brief (8-minute) Japanese learning video from Udemy. I have all these resources. It's time I used them.

The YT video was themed "what they don't tell you about being an adult" and contained some of the pretty typical information but also some unique insights to the YouTuber.

The Japanese video had some basic information in it, but it was enjoyable to watch, and I like ticking the boxes off for completion, so I think I'll slowly continue through the course (and its sister courses) until I'm finished.

I'm trying to find a learning rhythm. I have a philosophy, now I just need to fill that in a little. I appreciate @Adrianslonts' comments about just showing up and doing. In the past I tried to be more organized about my efforts, but I realized that's not my bag.

"Do something". There, brain--is that simple enough? :lol:
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:36 am

Today I studied Japanese and Korean.

I watched a 39-minute episode of RUN BTS with English subtitles, trying to actively absorb new words being spoken as I watched the ones on the screen flash by. What's cool about variety shows like this is they sometimes subtitle various long segments in Korean, and a member might say something incredibly casually, but the production crew will put the more formal, "book-language" version in text. Then, I can see how it might be said in everyday Korean and in the written form. If I can't understand what's being spoken on first shot, the target language written out helps me decipher it and put it to active use.

In the next several days I should be getting my shipment of Korean texts, and they contain a range of registers, from literary to casual. I also have exceptionally literary texts in the form of Korean-language biographies of famous people I need to get reading. They probably are a bit advanced for me, so I'll start out first with the intermediate reader and my new books, then switch back to the classics. At least, that seems like a good plan--but how long it'll hold up for, I don't know. :P I'm trying to not plan much either these days. It's part of "no expectations" and "just do something". But "quality is better than quantity" in my book, since as I mentioned in a previous post, I am a detail-oriented learner as opposed to a big picture one.

...in my view, at least.

I watched a total of 24 minutes of Japanese learning content on Udemy. I finished up Unit 2 of the course. It's playfully wonky, and I like that kind of charm.

I have a year subscription to OPLingo (formerly Language Tools) and it allows me to upload Polish texts if I want to, so I think I'll try to do that when I go on winter break. I have many Polish books to learn from as well; it's just a matter of finding the best way they can be used.

A moment I particularly enjoyed from today's RUN episode was BTS' youngest member telling his fanbase to slow down and think things through before acting, and that he should know better because he's Korean. He said this because "Korean verbs come at the end of the sentence, and that's what you have to listen for in order to know how to act." There's even a quote I saw about this once, but I can't find it using my poor Google-fu now. It was something like, "If you really want to know what a Korean man has to say, listen to the end of the phrase."

I'm not sure if I've mentioned that before. If I have, I'm sorry. It's just an interesting, powerful observation even if Sapir-Whorf is dead! (I don't know if it is, but I've seen arguments about it. Don't come at me :cry:)

I hope to continue working hard this weekend on getting quality study time in. "Just show up!" I gotta pin that to my wall or something.
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby eido » Mon Dec 14, 2020 1:57 am

I went through four levels of TTMIK's intermediate and advanced end-of-level dialogues and I say I average about 75% percent on them. That's a C, so I'd say it's decent. Not great, but decent.

I also got my books! I'll be using them in the near future when winter break comes a-calling, or possibly sooner depending on what I have to do next week.

I said a few posts ago I was starting to make out more and more Korean by listening, and I've improved vastly just in the past week by really focusing my efforts, with and without things I've heard before. (Or had lyric videos to use as an aid.) It's no longer mush I can just ignore. And for that, I thank God.

I did Duolingo for Polish today. I realized the OPLingo should probably be saved for later. Let's see if we can keep up a steady study schedule with this. Not an obsessive one, but one where I can succeed at a good rate.

@księżycowy recommended a South Korean YouTuber living in Poland in their log, and I checked her out. She's so cute! And she seems to speak Polish well, so I'll use her as a resource for when I get more advanced. Her name is Koreanka if anyone's curious.

Also today I watched a 20-minute video in Spanish on the history of the last Korean royals. I missed a few words here or there, but I understood about 99.9% of it. A win!

I'm slowly getting into more music, as well. I remember saying on my previous log that I wanted to get out of BTS and into something more "adult" and suited to a growing moral taste and maturing ability to analyze, and I think I'm starting to find that for Korean. With other languages it's not so bad since I never got attached in a specific "fandom" the way I did in the k-pop sphere.

For instance, I've discovered I like older French music, say 1990s and older. New stuff is good too, but older stuff is quite interesting. Therefore, I'm diving in deep. I of course like @cjareck's suggestions for Polish tunes, and for my degree I'll need to know Spanish well, so I need to find various songs that expand my knowledge there. I love music so much. It's a world unto itself--worlds upon worlds.

The second song in this list cracks me up due to the onomatopoeia, but I'm sure as my knowledge of French advances, I'll understand its point.

YouTube recommended me some clips from a show called Immortal Songs. On it, performing, was a band called 6Band. They were playing a BTS song. They had been tasked with remixing it into their personal style, which my dad, when he heard it, described it as "Tex-Mex" or something of the sort. I liked the re-do, and I'm now checking out theirs and similar music to fill my need for practice and just good sound.

I'm not sure if this song is a cover, but even if so, it's a lovely rendition. It's off an album I think is themed around Busan, and my friend is from there... so that's cool!


I'm carefully tuning my YouTube rec feed around music and vlogger content in other languages. Suggestions in a certain direction are always welcome, especially those that combine several of my target languages together :) Think the SK girl or a Pole living in Colombia, etc.
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Re: No Expectations, No Problem

Postby księżycowy » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:40 am

I'm glad you liked the Koreanka channel. Hopefully our Polish will get to were we can actually watch and understand her videos soon! :D

(Also, I probably never clearly said this anywhere, but I'm a guy, so you can use he/him/his.)
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