Re: Yuurei's Language Log (ZH, KO, FR, JA, ES)

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Yuurei
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:57 am
Languages: German (N), English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Italian
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (ZH, KO, FR, JA, ES)

Postby Yuurei » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:51 pm

Greetings!

I have been a lurker for a long time - first on HTLAL and now here - and I think it's finally time to overcome my shyness become an active member of this awesome community.
I've been learning languages as a hobby with varying degrees of intensity for about 10 years now. I often beat myself up over the fact that my language learning efforts are so inconsistent and that I could already be so much farther if I didn't keep interrupting my studies for various reasons. But still, I've learned a lot and with a bit of luck keeping a log here and taking part in this community will keep me on the ball a bit better. :)

A brief overview of my language learning history:

English
I speak and understand English pretty much at native level (my pronounciation is not as good as I'd like it to be), having learned the language first at school and then through lots of reading, watching movies and talking to my friends (all of whom I've turned into English speakers, over the years >:D)

Japanese
Japanese was the first language I consciously picked up (English kind of happened on its own) and after a few years off off-again on-again learning I reached a pretty solid B2 level some time ago. I've mostly put the language on hold for a variety of reasons (I've lost interest in a lot of the things that drew me to the language in the first place, there's nothing I want to be able to do in the language nor things that I want to watch/read in it right now, I'd rather spend my time and energy on other languages, etc.)

I often despair (still!) that I didn't learn Japanese to the level I desired (C2, basically) and sometimes beat myself up over it, but I don't really regret my Japanese learning path. Besides the fact that B2 level Japanese skills are still pretty cool (I need to remind myself of that sometimes XD), learning Japanese taught me a lot about how I learn languages, how to self-study and how to make learning languages enjoyable. It made me find out about Anki and AJATT and Tadoku(!) and, of course, find HTLAL and set me down the path of polyglottery.

French
I originally learned French in school (more or less, anyway), then promptly forgot everything. It took me several tries to pick it back up, because it was more of a rational motivation ('It would be a shame not to capitalize on what I learned in school') than true passion for the language that made me want to (re-)learn it. I finally managed a couple of years ago (2011? I'm not quite sure), when my friend and I just low-key started watching Buffy in French once a week. We've been having French night once a week (nearly) every week ever since, having moved on to Angel, Arrow, Firefly and now Merlin after we finished Buffy. At times where I felt particularly motivated I supplemented this by reading some novels in French and watching other series or movies in the language. I also declared French to be my default video game language, though I'm thinking of changing that to another language soon (not that I play all that much anymore, but those 100s of hours I played Skyrim in French were certainly helpful!). All in all, I'd rate my level pretty much at B2, with my passive skills a bit higher and my active skills somewhat lower for lack of practice.

Latin
One of my main languages right now (together with Spanish). Learned it to that level where I could translate stuff more or less well a few years ago, then left it lying unattended for a while. Now I picked it back up with a friend of mine about 2.5 months ago and we've been reactivating our Latin by working through the excellent Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata: Familia Romana.

Spanish
Knowing French (and some Latin) certainly makes learning Spanish feel like cheating. Besides a couple of levels on Duolingo at the beginning, I mostly learned by jumping right into watching TV shows and reading novels in Spanish. As such, my passive skills are not too bad (hard to judge accurately, but I could pretty comfortably read the first three books of Canción de hielo y fuego this year). My active skills, however, are basically non-existent - something which I hope to remedy next year.

Dutch
Dutch has been on my language wishlist for a long time (it's just such a cute language, it always makes me smile!), but it was never at the top of the list. I didn't mean to start learning Dutch right now - I was going to concentrate on my Latin and Spanish, but the wanderlust struck and I ended up starting the Duolingo Dutch course a little over a week ago. I'm quite enjoying it, so I thought to myself what the heck and decided to add it to my active languages. It'll be a low-priority language for a while at least and I've no idea where I'm going with it, but hey, gotta have a hobby. XD



Vague goals for the more-or-less near future:
*Improve my Latin to the point where I can read classical texts fluently without a dictionary.
*Reach a level of at least C1 in Spanish (both passive and active!)
*Learn some Dutch (told you it was vague :P)

Language wishlist (because there's too many languages and too little time):
*Ancient Greek
*Polish
*Chinese
*Italian
*Portuguese
*Esperanto



Inspired, among other things, by Elenia's log, I've decided set myself weekly language learning goals. This will give me something to aim for each week and give my learning some structure, without tempting me to set exceedingly ambitious goals, like long-term goals always do. Posting these goals and my results here will hopefully also make me feel more accountable. So, without further ado...

Weekly Goals for Week 51 (2015)

Latin
*Do Anki reviews every day
*Learn present subjunctive forms
*Read chapter 20 of Familia Romana

Spanish
*Finish reading Los juegos del hambre (Started reading the novel this weekend and am about half-way through right now, so that should be quite doable)
*Watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy (Started the series last week and watched 4 episodes so far)

Dutch
*Duolingo every day
*Watch an episode of MLP (I know, I know. I've never watched it, actually, but I thought it might be easy enough for me to follow along and it's on Netflix, so I figure it's worth a try.)
Last edited by Yuurei on Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:14 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Elenia
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Elenia » Tue Dec 15, 2015 4:31 pm

It's always good to see lurkers coming out of the woodwork :D and always worrying to see someone taking their cues from me ;) your goals look great, and fun too, which I think is the important thing. Good luck with them! Also, I like that you have a video game language! I haven't made it official, but most of the games I play are in German (which I think is at least a little bit because of Cavesa).

Welcome officially to the forum, and I look forward to reading your progress :)
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Yuurei
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Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:57 am
Languages: German (N), English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Italian
Studying: Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Maintaining: French, Spanish
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Yuurei » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:06 pm

Thank you! :D

I have found video games to be excellent learning tools, especially the text-heavy, immersive games (with audio!) I'm particularly fond of, like Skyrim, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Uncharted... (And you get to learn useful everyday vocabulary like axe, dagger, mead and quest XD). Plus, nothing beats spending a couple of hours playing around and calling it learning. ;)
Unfortunately I don't really find the time to immerse myself in these sorts of games since I got a full-time job. :cry:
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Elenia
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Elenia » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:10 pm

Yuurei wrote:Thank you! :D

I have found video games to be excellent learning tools, especially the text-heavy, immersive games (with audio!) I'm particularly fond of, like Skyrim, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Uncharted... (And you get to learn useful everyday vocabulary like axe, dagger, mead and quest XD). Plus, nothing beats spending a couple of hours playing around and calling it learning. ;)
Unfortunately I don't really find the time to immerse myself in these sorts of games since I got a full-time job. :cry:


They are excellent for absorbing vocab without really noticing, even at my level where I have to look up pretty much everything. Have you been following the thread on text based games with different languages of play?
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Yuurei
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Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:57 am
Languages: German (N), English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Italian
Studying: Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Maintaining: French, Spanish
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Yuurei » Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:23 am

Elenia wrote:They are excellent for absorbing vocab without really noticing, even at my level where I have to look up pretty much everything. Have you been following the thread on text based games with different languages of play?

I saw the thread, but I haven't really been following it, since I never had a problem procuring games in French. Basically 99% of the games I wanted to play were available - fully dubbed - in French. I've definitely filed away the existence of the thread for future reference though - in case I want to play games in languages where video game dubs are not as commonly available (I'm looking at you, Dutch).
I could probably add a couple of games though. :)
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Yuurei
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Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:57 am
Languages: German (N), English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Italian
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Yuurei » Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:58 pm

Time to reflect on the past week, language learning-wise!

Weekly Goals for Week 51 (2015) - All done \o/

Latin
*Do Anki reviews every day : No real problems here.
*Learn present subjunctive forms : I underestimated the number of forms I had to learn and stupidly didn't start to learn them until Thursday night, which made the whole endeavour unnecessarily stressful, but what's done is done and I'll make sure to plan my time better next time.
*Read chapter 20 of Familia Romana: Chapter twenty was slightly more difficult than previous chapters and I have a feeling the book might be a bit less smooth-sailing from this point on. We shall see.

Spanish
*Finish reading Los juegos del hambre: I again underestimated this task. Or maybe I underestimated how much time I'd spent on on reading the first half of the novel last weekend, so this took longer than I'd thought it would. Luckily I quite enjoyed the novel though and was happy to put in the time. In the end I even got started on the second book of the trilogy.
*Watch an episode of Grey's Anatomy: Nothing much to say here, except that I didn't enjoy the 5th episode as much as the previous ones.

Dutch
*Duolingo every day : Doing some Duolingo lessons on the way to work is a great way to start the day and I have a feeling that I'll be unable to resist starting a new language on Duolingo once I'm through with Dutch. XD Though, to be fair, that's probably still going to be a while, seeing how I'm only on skill 16/64.
*Watch an episode of MLP: My new favourite Dutch word is 'de duisternis'! Damn, it's hard to explain my feelings for Dutch. It's just-- so damn cute. XD Watching MLP went pretty much as expected - I understood some bits and pieces because of the similarity to German and English and a couple of times I recognised words I'd learned on Duolingo (accompanied by much excitement), yet was easily able to follow the story. I guess I'll continue the series for now.



My friend and I will be spending Christmas with our respective families, so there'll be no joined Latin study sessions or French night this week. Thus I decided to add a little French to the agenda for maintenance purposes and replace the usual LLPSI reading assignment with some general Latin reading (anything I feel like, basically, just so I don't end up doing nothing). Other than that, this week's goals will look a lot like last week's. :D

Weekly Goals for Week 52 (2015)

Latin
*Do Anki reviews every day
*Read a couple of pages in Latin (anything goes)

Spanish
*Read chapters 3-9 of En llamas (Already read the first 2 chapters last week)
*Watch Los juegos del hambre (I already watched the movie in English some time ago, but it seems a good opportunity for rewatching it)

Dutch
*Duolingo every day
*Watch an episode of MLP

French
*Watch a Christmas movie (Gotta create that Christmas atmosphere somewhere, after all)
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Yuurei
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Posts: 263
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 8:57 am
Languages: German (N), English, French, Japanese, Spanish, Latin, Italian
Studying: Japanese, Chinese, Korean
Maintaining: French, Spanish
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Yuurei » Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:05 am

Another week, another weekly review! Let's see...

Weekly Goals for Week 52 (2015) - All done \o/

Latin
*Do Anki reviews every day
*Read a couple of pages in Latin: Had some trouble finding something appropriate to read that is not Lingua Latina Per Se Illustrata, so after 10 exceedingly boring paragraphs of Ora Maritima, I ended up reading 6 of the Fabellae Latinae that accompany LLPSI.

Spanish
*Read chapters 3-9 of En llamas: I'm really enjoying these books more than I thought I would and continued reading way past my goal up to (and including) chapter 18.
*Watch Los juegos del hambre

Dutch
*Duolingo every day: Duolingo still works well, though it's not quite as effortless as in the beginning anymore. Im' currently at 18/64 completed skills.
*Watch an episode of MLP

French
*Watch a Christmas movie: This was a rather spontaneous goal, which means that I hadn't actually checked which Christmas movies I'd have available on Netflix in French and was rather disappointed by the choice. So after an hour of forcing myself to watch the Grinch I realized my folly and decided not to take my goal too literally. Instead, I watched my favourite Doctor Who Christmas special (Voyage of the Damned) in French, followed by 2 more DW episodes and another Christmas special, so it turned out quite successful in the end. :D

Additionally, I went through the first 3 (effectively 2) lessons of Language Transfer: Complete Spanish. It's very basic, of course, so I didn't learn anything new yet, but I was curious and wanted to give it a spin. I love etymology, so I most certainly like their concept of pointing out the regular derivations from Latin that both English and Spanish share, and since my Spanish output is currently non-existent, I figure I can probably profit from the course to jump-start my output before I dive into completely freestyle output (like talking to myself XD).

It's still early days, of course, but so far I am very happy with this weekly goals format, which gives me some structure without tempting me to be super ambitious, nor forcing me to commit myself for a long period of time. Not to mention that I can (potentially) have the satisfaction of meeting my goals once a week. Consequently, I'm not sure whether I'll do any New Year's resolutions at all for the upcoming year *gasp*. If I do end up making any, they'll probably be more rough guidelines to keep in mind during my weekly goal-making than anything else...

Weekly Goals for Week 53 (2015)

Latin
*Do Anki reviews every day
*Read chapter 21 of Familia Romana

Spanish
*Finish reading En llamas (ch. 19-27)
*Watch Catching Fire
*Do lessons 4 & 5 of Language Transfer

Dutch
*Duolingo every day
*Watch an episode of MLP

Japanese
*Watch an episode of Supernatural (This is an experiment to see whether I can find some way to fit a bit of Japanese maintenance into my weekly goals. I'm very much on the fence about this because, on the one hand, my Japanese motivation is pretty much non-existent these days, but on the other hand, it seems such a waste to lose it all after the time and effort I put into learning the language.)
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solocricket
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Languages: My good languages: English (N), French (C1), Spanish (B2), Italian (reading knowledge)
Languishing Languages: Dutch (~B1), Icelandic (delapidated passive intermediate skills), Yiddish (basic passive), Japanese (smattering of reading knowledge, lots of vocab, maybe I'll get back to it someday)
Studying: Polish (A1)
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby solocricket » Mon Dec 28, 2015 8:11 pm

I'm also going after Dutch and [some] Latin-- I'll have to check out MLP! You should look athttp://jeugdjournaal.nl/-- it's a Dutch news site for kids, so the language is really simple. And it has news videos that are easy and fun to listen to :)
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Yuurei
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby Yuurei » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:34 pm

solocricket wrote:I'm also going after Dutch and [some] Latin-- I'll have to check out MLP! You should look athttp://jeugdjournaal.nl/-- it's a Dutch news site for kids, so the language is really simple. And it has news videos that are easy and fun to listen to :)

Another lover of Dutch (and Latin) - excellent! :D
Thanks for that recommendation. I briefly checked it out, but I think it's still a tad early for me to enjoyably use it as a resource, seeing how my knowledge of Dutch is still virtually inexistent. XD
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solocricket
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Languishing Languages: Dutch (~B1), Icelandic (delapidated passive intermediate skills), Yiddish (basic passive), Japanese (smattering of reading knowledge, lots of vocab, maybe I'll get back to it someday)
Studying: Polish (A1)
Wish List: Chinese, Urdu, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew... yep
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Re: Yuurei's Language Log (Latin, Spanish & Dutch)

Postby solocricket » Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:29 am

Thanks for that recommendation. I briefly checked it out, but I think it's still a tad early for me to enjoyably use it as a resource, seeing how my knowledge of Dutch is still virtually inexistent. XD


Haha, understandable :) Still, I think you'll improve fast since you have both German and English!
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