2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

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Cavesa
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby Cavesa » Fri Mar 26, 2021 12:34 pm

LunaMoonsilver wrote:
jeff_lindqvist wrote:Wow. I can't imagine reading an author like Terry Pratchett in a target language. I've only read him in Swedish, and only the first four in the series. (Eventually I got to know the translator of those.) This was 30 years ago, so I might be able to pull it off in English now. But not in German. Impressive and inspiring.


Oh, thank you! I mean, it's definitely helped by the fact I've read them all before and that I'm very much on Pratchett's cultural wavelength :lol: (his original books were a bit before my time, but I got there in the end) - but we'll see how it goes. The first four to five Discworld books I found the least transparent even in English, and I'm halfway debating reading through the 'series' within the series (like the Wytches books, the Night Watch books) once I've re-listened to the first two. Ultimately, though, Pratchett was great and I'm just glad I have another excuse to read his books again! ;)


Actually, I'd put Pratchett on the list of "the top 10 bookseries for learners not despising translations". Why: people considering reading Pratchett in a new language are usually fans. The language is not easy, but knowing the books almost by heart (including the jokes), that helps a lot. Pratchett has a very strong fandom, the passion of the people easily rivals that of the LotR or HP fans.

A second, and even more important reason: the translations tend to be of high quality. I've read Pratchett in only three languages so far, but it is one of the very few authors, where I trust the publishers to not let out trash. The quality of the translation matters a lot, they know it, and there was never such a huge pressure on speed, as in the case of the HP.

The language used is not easy, it is very rich (and I agree the first books are somewhat less accessible no matter the language, no idea what is the cause). And that's what also makes it so useful. I've learnt tons from Pratchett books, when my Spanish reading was around B1 or B2. And expect to do so in other languages as well.

Yes, I want to rereading him again and again too. His books are a wonderful support, in the harder times of life. And fun in the good times too. And the language is enriching, win win :-)

Any tip on which Pratchett book might be the "easiest" one in German, please?
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Fri Mar 26, 2021 6:10 pm

Cavesa wrote:Any tip on which Pratchett book might be the "easiest" one in German, please?


Maybe the trilogy of children's books?
Truckers, Diggers and Wings - or in German: Trucker, Wühler and Flügel.
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Sat Mar 27, 2021 12:17 am

Cavesa wrote:Actually, I'd put Pratchett on the list of "the top 10 bookseries for learners not despising translations". Why: people considering reading Pratchett in a new language are usually fans. The language is not easy, but knowing the books almost by heart (including the jokes), that helps a lot. Pratchett has a very strong fandom, the passion of the people easily rivals that of the LotR or HP fans.

A second, and even more important reason: the translations tend to be of high quality. I've read Pratchett in only three languages so far, but it is one of the very few authors, where I trust the publishers to not let out trash. The quality of the translation matters a lot, they know it, and there was never such a huge pressure on speed, as in the case of the HP.

The language used is not easy, it is very rich (and I agree the first books are somewhat less accessible no matter the language, no idea what is the cause). And that's what also makes it so useful. I've learnt tons from Pratchett books, when my Spanish reading was around B1 or B2. And expect to do so in other languages as well.

Yes, I want to rereading him again and again too. His books are a wonderful support, in the harder times of life. And fun in the good times too. And the language is enriching, win win :-)

Any tip on which Pratchett book might be the "easiest" one in German, please?


The translations being good is definitely a big part of why I'm willing to re-read - I think Andreas Brandhorst did most of them (he also translated Good Omens, which is Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and is a book I know like the back of my hand which must have been an amazing nightmare to translate lol) and he's both a very skilled translator and author, so the German ones are as solid as the rest, imo. Sadly (or not) I did binge the books when I read them the first time around so there are a few that stand out when I think of the series (Monstrous Regiment, Going Postal, Small Gods) but generally it's a big blur :lol: But it does come back as I'm re-reading, which is nice.

As for which one's the easiest, I'm not sure yet. I've only really been through the first four in German (and not fully), and it's only around the fourth (Gevatter Tod / Mort) that I started to feel like I was getting into the groove of things. Obviously, you've read them before in other languages, so maybe the Tiffany Aching ones? Although the Wee Free Men are already difficult to understand by design ofc :lol:

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Maybe the trilogy of children's books?
Truckers, Diggers and Wings - or in German: Trucker, Wühler and Flügel.


Aside from the ones Jeff mentioned there (which I haven't read) and Tiffany's series, the other Discworld book I know was aimed at younger readers (and therefore might have 'easier' language) was The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents but that's actually the one I stalled on in English (got kind of bored) and I'm 50/50 on whether I'll skip it this time around. Idk about Pratchett's sci-fi etc.; the only other book I've read by him is Good Omens.

So, short answer: I'm not sure. But I do think once I've relistened to Das Licht der Phantasie, I'm going to try reading them this time by theme/characters rather than chronologically, just so I can follow particular characters a little better.

For anyone unfamiliar with the Discworld books/Pratchett's work who wants to work out a way to dive in (our man wrote a lot of books!), then this site lists a bunch of different ways to do that, covering the chronological/thematic series, semi-standalone books, books for younger readers, and a list of other things Pratchett wrote.
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:00 pm

26.03.2021

  • [es] Anki reviews.
  • [de] Made some more Anki cards - this time grammar-based. Found that I've got a whole Hueber book about prepositions so definitely need to get on that.
  • [ar] Added audio to Anki cards (L3).
  • [ar] Studied some of DLI L3.
  • [zh] Re-read the graded reader 花木兰.
  • [de] Read more of Ein Gutes Omen.
  • [ko] Watched Crash Landing on You E06. Drama is happening. What I'm enjoying, too, is that there's always about 4 mins left once an episode's done and you get to see a little missing scene before it shows you the preview for the next one. It's nice, I like it.

Today's the final day of Expolingua and a Day of Multilingualism event is running through the Polyglot Conference, so I've been working a lot of the morning. I don't mind it; the two things I've held onto after ~a decade of working in retail are 1) the ability to say literally anything with the friendliest smile on my face and 2) precisely zero attachment to weekends and bank holidays. I'm taking Monday off instead, which'll be a nice change of pace.

Gonna dip in and out of talks the rest of the day, I think, and probably do some Anki around that. Obviously, I'll be watching another episode of CLoY later. Things look like they're gonna get sad~ :lol:
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Mon Mar 29, 2021 12:49 pm

27.03.2021

  • [ko] Another episode of Crash Landing on You.
  • [es] Anki reviews and adding new cards from past lessons.
  • [zh] Watched one episode of Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures.
  • [zh] Watched two episodes of Dreaming Back to the Qing Dynasty.
  • [de] Wrote a piece for r/WriteStreakGerman.
  • [es] Got through the dialoge/grammar for Living Language L15.
  • [de] Read some more of Ein Gutes Omen.

So, I finally did what I said I'd do at the beginning of the month and started a new Mandarin show! I started with Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures because it's on Netflix and the trailer looked good - but it turns out it's a sequel to Yanxi Palace, so I felt like I was missing a lot - plus I didn't really like the main character. After that, I went back to Viki to take a look and found Dreaming Back to the Qing Dynasty, which is a regular time-travelling romance - perfect! It's a lot of fun so far and it's interesting to see the difference between my comprehension of this and CLoY. With CLoY, I'm just listening out for the handful of words I've already learnt; whereas with DBttQD, I'm obviously understanding decent snatches of conversation here and there (though as with all historical dramas, they all love to quote poetry every now and again :lol:).

28.03.2021

  • [zh] Watched four episodes of Dreaming Back to the Qing Dynasty.
  • [es] Watched one episode of Las chicas del cable.
  • [ko] Watched one episode of Crash Landing on You.
  • [de] Wrote about aliens for r/WriteStreakGerman.
  • [de] Read some more of Ein Gutes Omen - but intensively for the first half, to pick up new vocab.

A bit more TV today, as I'm still lagging behind on the SC and it's just fun! I've been studying pretty well the past few weeks, so it's time to reinforce that with something a little more relaxing.

Anyway, I started watching Las chicas del cable (on Netflix), which seems great so far. There are a few other shows I've added to my watchlist, including La valla, El vecino and El caso Alcàsser, but there are six series of Las chicas del cable to get through first. I also decided to read intensively for half my time today; I've been looking up a fair few words as part of my writing habit this month, but I thought it'd be good to also grab some from what I'm reading - so I can use those and reinforce them that way, instead.
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:49 am

29.03.2021

  • [ar] Anki reviews and added new cards.
  • [gd] Anki reviews and added new cards.
  • [gd] Studied some of TY L6.
  • [de] Wrote about donating blood for r/WriteStreakGerman.
  • [de] Read some more of Ein Gutes Omen - I'm 90% done with the book now!
  • [ko] Watched Crashed Landing on You E09.

Had to mess around with Anki/Audacity a bit yesterday because for some reason, I decided to cut up the new Arabic words WITH the English, which kind of defeats the point of having the audio on one side of the card. :roll: But on the plus side, I took all my language-specific Anki spreadsheets (the ones I use to collect all the vocab/sentences together to bulk import) and just threw them into a massive Google Sheet. It means that now, when I need to import, I just download that sheet as a .csv and use that.

Oh, and I've already passed my target hours for this month. Adding TV helped, of course - I'm still a little behind for Scottish Gaelic, more so for Spanish and Arabic, but I should manage to hit the numbers for at least the first two (I hope!).
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:38 am

30.03.2021

  • [de] Anki reviews.
  • [zh] Anki reviews.
  • [es] Anki reviews.
  • [de] Wrote again for r/WriteStreakGerman - I've got a 30 day streak now, with almost 6k words written.
  • [ko] Anki reviews.
  • [gd] Anki reviews.
  • [ar] Anki reviews.
  • [ko] Finished working on Living Language L2.
  • [de] Read some more of Ein Gutes Omen.

So, first of all, all those Anki reviews meant that I was finally down to 0 reviews for the first time in... since I started this 143-day streak, I guess! I mean, I have ~300 reviews and 100+ new cards to do today (across all my languages) but I cleared it, yay! Plus, all that watching/listening to Korean has paid off - I got through L2 (which was a re-do) with 76% on the final exercises; I feel like I'm finally starting to remember words because I'm hearing them in context. Shockingly, the advice on this forum works. ;)

Still, I didn't watch anything yesterday because things were a bit all over the place, but I'm at 97% of Ein Gutes Omen, so I definitely plan to finish that today. Usually Wednesday would be a day for focusing on German, but I've done a lot of German this month (and I still have to write), so I'm going to try and finish TY Gaelic L6 and work on DLI L3 for Arabic. CampNaNoWriMo starts tomorrow as well, though, so another non-language (or non-foreign-language) thing I'm doing is finishing up my planning; I need to finish the new outline for the novel I'm rewriting.

Hope everyone else is having lovely weather as we go into April!
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:50 am

31.03.2021

  • [de] Anki reviews.
  • [de] Wrote for r/WriteStreakGerman.
  • [gd] Finished Teach Yourself Complete Gaelic L6.
  • [gd] Anki reviews.
  • [ko] Watched Crash Landing on You E10.

A good final day to the month! I didn't entirely catch up on my numbers for Arabic/Spanish/Scottish Gaelic, but since I've made progress in all three, I'm not too concerned. Getting through the TY lesson was an accomplishment in and of itself - having the 'cheatsheets' I made for each lesson helped as an easier way to reference the grammar points that are listed; I feel like I'm starting to understand them all better. I still had issues with the translation exercise, but then I seem to run into problems with that in most of my languages.

After taking a break the day before, I also finally watched another episode of CLoY. To be honest, I wasn't sure where they were going with it, as one problem had been wrapped up and then another seemed to be... but they've pulled it back around, even if I was laughing a bit at how ridiculous it was. It's still good, though; the cast has great chemistry (not just the leads) that makes every scene pretty compelling.

It was also why I liked this post from iguanamon yesterday (in the thread about someone looking to learn French; bold emphasis mine):

iguanamon wrote:While we all like to have fun when learning, some of this stuff just flat out ain't fun and a learner just has to get through it- boredom be damned. I don't like doing courses and I try to get through them as quickly as I can, but I get through them. My fun comes from gradually parsing native material as soon as I can, while I'm doing a course. It comes from synergy with working through two complimentary courses. I have fun listening to native music and catching words. I have fun trying to parse a tweet or a song lyric. All of this leads me to want to finish the course(s) I'm doing.


I knew that watching something would help the language I was learning to stick (repeat exposure in a fun way), but the final sentence is also true. I've had trouble finding the motivation to work through courses I have for both Korean and Mandarin - but getting exposure to native materials that I can understand (albeit with the help of subtitles) has also helped with this.

I'll write up a monthly/Q1 review and goals for April/Q2 later... but it's been a solid month and I'm excited to get started on April!
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:34 pm

W A R N I N G: long post ahead ;)

March Review

Target hours: 70
Actual hours: 83

German: 37h41m
Mandarin: 8h58m
Spanish: 8h31m
Korean: 16h57m
Scottish Gaelic: 4h49m
Arabic: 6h46m

Image

Top categories this month: TV/Film, writing, and reading. Apps were a little over 10% of my total time spend - but I added a lot of audio as a catch-up this month, and refined my workflow for this a bit in the process.

I'm still up-to-date with my 365-day language challenge targets, and this month I read:

  • 425 pages in German.
  • 16 pages in Mandarin.
  • 83 pages in Spanish.

Obviously, I watched a lot of TV as well, but I'll get onto that in a minute.

March 2021 Goals:

I did actually set goals last month - most of which I then promptly ignored, but I think I did achieve one or two!

  • 20 hours of Arabic. - Nope. (See above.)
  • One film in German a night until caught up for SC. - No, didn't do this; all the writing skewed German heavily this month, so I didn't really want to add this on.
  • Keep a streak on r/WriteStreakGerman. - Yep, got a 31-day streak! And I can feel the difference already.
  • One film in Spanish a night (after caught up from German.) - No, but I did start watching Las chicas de cable.
  • One episode in Mandarin per day. - No; started watching 梦回 towards the end of the month (I'm six eps in).
  • One episode in Korean per week. - Although it wasn't one per week, I'm counting this as done because I've watched 10 episodes of Crash Landing on You. Yay!
  • Fitness challenge - strength workouts / splits training. - No, didn't do any of this; have started doing 45-min walks at lunch, though.

Q1 Review

It's been three months (+ a year's worth of tracking before that), so it's time to take a look at what has and hasn't worked before I make any goals for April.

So, March was best for hours by a long shot - and a lot of that was down to changing my routine. I've started returning to my office area after tea, which gives me more of a chance to study, but also to watch TV, which was a big factor in that boost. I'm always leery of watching too much at the expense of not progressing, but I think as long as I stay aware of that (which my spreadsheet is good for), then I should keep going. Plus, like I said in my earlier post, watching TV is making me want to study more - so let's hope it keeps that up!

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I did set myself some goals at the beginning of the year for things I want to complete; here's how I'm doing on those (and on my courses in general):

Image

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I've done a great job on pulling some of those up (looking at you, Spanish), but for the SC especially, I've got a lot to catch up on. Reasonably, I think I can finish the whole thing for German - and maybe for Spanish, and the films for everything except Scottish Gaelic. Honestly, that was a tricky one from the get-go, but I'll just keep it there as a space to track for now.

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And for anyone who's curious, this is what March looked like day-by-day (wrt overall time). I've started tracking weekly numbers too in the very right hand column (it goes: minutes, hours, weekly hours) and uh it's really obvious where I started adding in TV again! :lol:

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The lowest day this year was still around 45 minutes; I have a higher average in March because I added in that daily task of writing in German, which usually took 30 mins - one hour.

(Oh, and here's my 2021 Google Sheets 'dashboard'; with lots of data that probably isn't even relevant or useful but I like to keep track of - and it takes, now, probably 1% of my time to update, if that. I stole the very top right table from someone on this forum but can't remember who :( but it's a nice way to visualise long-term plans, which is an area I struggle in a lot.)

Image

Q2 / April Goals

So, there are a couple of things that have become apparent to me throughout last year and the beginning of this one:

  • I'm looking for some kind of challenge.
  • I'm finally finding methods that work for me.

By 'looking for some kind of challenge', what I mean is, that for a solid month or two last summer, I seriously considered applying to do a PhD. I mean, it's not off the table - I'm just very aware of the fact it'll be a lot of work (even before I apply, if I do!) and I don't want to set aside the time for that right now.

But I want to work toward something, I guess, and since I'm not going to be travelling anywhere until next year at the earliest, preparing for a trip is out. So, what I'm thinking about, is preparing for the German C2 exam. I've been learning German for a really long time now and although my degree is in it, 1) I've been graduated seven years now, so who cares, and 2) if people know anything about languages (a.k.a. they're not from the UK in my experience lol), then they know it doesn't mean anything for my language ability.

I'm going to do a bit of research, take a look around, and see how I feel about this as a goal. There's no rush, of course; the earliest I'd be looking at taking it would be next year, but it seems like something I'd like working towards and it'd be nice to finally have a certificate showing what I can do.

As for the second one - well, it's just like finally I'm really starting to understand more about how I learn. I think this is as much down to the extra time I've had as it is due to consistent study, but having all this data I've been collecting has helped. I can see how long it takes to do something (important as I am terrible at estimating time :lol:), how much I've understood, what I've enjoyed... It's useful, for me at least; and I've also learnt how to not let all this data get in the way of my learning (a.k.a procrasti-planning or data collection instead of working).

So, by the end of June, I'd really like to have my German and Spanish SCs back on track. Again, for reading, I'm tracking how long it should take - if I can put in the hours, I'll eventually get there and I don't think (???) I can make negative progress re: understanding, so I'll still be learning! Those courses I've listed are also ones I want to finish by the end of 2021, so I'd like to be halfway through at least one for each language by then. (Arabic will be a s t r e t c h.)

But, for April:

  • German: keep up my r/WriteStreakGerman streak.
  • Mandarin: get at least halfway through 梦回.
  • Spanish: read at least 15/30 days.
  • Korean: find a new drama to start! (After finishing CLoY, ofc.)
  • Scottish Gaelic: start watching Speaking Our Language.
  • Arabic: finish at least DLI Vol. 1.


I'm also taking part in #40h7dLC from Monday - I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't hit that target, but it's going to be a fun experiment in a busy, busy month!
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Re: 2021: The Learned and the Loquacious [de, zh, es, ko, gd, ar]

Postby DaveAgain » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:13 am

LunaMoonsilver wrote:But I want to work toward something, I guess, and since I'm not going to be travelling anywhere until next year at the earliest, preparing for a trip is out. So, what I'm thinking about, is preparing for the German C2 exam. I've been learning German for a really long time now and although my degree is in it, 1) I've been graduated seven years now, so who cares, and 2) if people know anything about languages (a.k.a. they're not from the UK in my experience lol), then they know it doesn't mean anything for my language ability.

I'm going to do a bit of research, take a look around, and see how I feel about this as a goal. There's no rush, of course; the earliest I'd be looking at taking it would be next year, but it seems like something I'd like working towards and it'd be nice to finally have a certificate showing what I can do.
1. Looking at German saturday schools in the UK, I found out that the one near me is also a TELC exam centre (in non-Covid times).

2. The BBC have a German language film I liked called Land of Mine, currently available on their catchup service.
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