2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

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LunaMoonsilver
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2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Sat Jan 01, 2022 11:10 pm

2021 log (all 6 months of it!)

2022 is here and it's time to get back to basics!

For me, anyway.

My journey with German has been a long one and there are gaps to plug, but I'm happy with my level right now. I'm still working on it, of course, but I interact with German every day without even really noticing it. I translated one book last year and - if things go well - I might be translating the second book in the series this year, which is always a good vocabulary builder! :lol:

My Spanish journey has been about as long as my German one, just with much less focus. I'd love to get this up to a good B2 level this year; again, a lot of it is about plugging gaps before I move back onto more intermediate/advanced material.

And poor, poor Mandarin. I was hoping (pre-2020) to go to China again this year but that's not on the cards for all kinds of reasons - but also, my knowledge of the language has dramatically decreased since I graduated. Again, I need to refresh, get things back to about where they were, and then likely work with a tutor/exchange partner to push up the spoken stuff. Reading and writing are going to be my downfall, though, so need to get a plan for those.

These are my core three languages. I've been working on them forever, I love them, and I want to really push through what's been holding me back the past few years and make some progress.

What about the others?

I'm not committing to adding a full-time language this year - though I will be spending some time on Polish until May. I'm not going to even pretend to know whether international events are likely to go ahead in 2022, but if the Polyglot Gathering is on, I'm likely to be there, and in that case I wouldn't mind spending some time in Poland as well. Plus, I've dabbled in Polish before, it seems fun, and useful in the UK as well. I got Teach Yourself Polish for £1.99 a couple of weeks ago, so I'm going to work through that and Pimsleur and see how it goes.

Goals for 2022

  • Read 20 books in German.
  • Watch 100 episodes/films in German.*
  • Read 5 books in Spanish.
  • Watch 50 episodes/films in Spanish.
  • Watch 50 episodes/films in Mandarin.
  • Finish Teach Yourself Polish.

This is my tentative list of goals for this year - with a heavy focus on media consumption because 1) I know it's helpful and 2) I know I like doing it.

* I know there's a difference between films and episodes - but I'm likely to go over this number if it's just episodes anyway, especially for Mandarin, where one Mainland series is usually at least 50 episodes long!

I'm hoping to keep up a daily / every other day little overview of what I've done here, too, to keep on track. I don't think I'll have monthly goals as such; I just need to get on with being consistent, which means finishing things I start (unless, of course, they're really not helping me reach any goals).

Happy 2022!
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Sat Jan 01, 2022 11:11 pm

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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Mon Jan 03, 2022 12:33 am

01-02 Jan 2022

Travelled back to my flat today, so have been busy with organising, tidying, what have you - but I'm off to a good start!

German: Started reading Der Hobbit, which I've actually never read in English! I made it through Fellowship of the Ring as a teenager, but gave up part way through The Two Towers (idk, I just found the Ents really frustrating :lol:), but I'm thinking I'll get through them all better this time, especially since I've seen the films and enjoyed them - so at least I know the basic plot points/characters if nothing else. It's not too difficult a read so far, I guess because it is technically a kid's book, so I'm hoping to be done with it in a couple of weeks (I'm reading ~15m or so a day).

Mandarin: Literally starting from the beginning - I'm running through NPCR 1 again and am hoping to refresh a lesson every couple of days. There's no need for a rush, and yes, I basically know all of it, but I am working on my (frankly, terrible) pronunciation. Now I'm back at home, I'll probably start a new series this week as well.

Spanish: Making progress with the Living Language textbook - I'm up to lesson 21. Most of the vocabulary isn't new (maybe around 5 words per lesson?) but the grammar is where I'm still getting stuck. But we're onto the preterite; I just need to memorise a couple of verbs. Keeping up my writing streak (which I'm still on for Spanish and German) has really helped reinforce some of the more common ones for the more common conjugations (i.e. I need to learn all my vosotros forms!).

Polish: Did Pimsleur L1 today. I've done it before, ngl, so it wasn't a strain, but a nice easing into things. I can say a whole sentence! Yay!

Total time 1st Jan: 1h27m
Total time 2nd Jan: 1h58m

Total time 2022: 3h25m
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:20 am

03-05 Jan 2022

Well, I've already lost my 365-day streak! :lol:

Didn't keep good enough track yesterday when I got distracted reading about commonplace books (side note: has anyone got one of these? and I mean like a physical one; I've read enough about digital PKMs to last me a lifetime, though they are very cool), so I ended up only doing stuff for... 24 minutes. Argh! More annoying because I have done Pimsleur Polish every day since the 2nd, but I'm not counting Polish in case I drop it, so while I did study for longer than 30 minutes... I can't count it.

Start as we mean to go on, I suppose!

Anywayyyyy, I've done four lessons of Pimsleur Polish, which I'm pairing with playing Stardew Valley. Sounds counterintuitive but it's not - I can't concentrate on just audio unless I'm doing something else, and I've got a save where I'm only leaving the farm once a year, so it's a lot of repetition I don't have to focus on. I'm just watering my one (1) crop, fishing, and learning Polish.

Powering through Living Language, but I think I need to slow down and practise things more. I like this textbook, but it needs more exercises in the grammar bit because I get to the exam at the end of the chapter and don't feel like I've learnt anything.

And by 'it needs more exercises', I mean, I need to go search out and do more exercises. Clearly.

Mandarin's pretty straightforward so far, though I have to do some tone drills. Maybe one for the weekend. I haven't read any German for the last couple of days either.

I have been attending (and taking part in) Kris Broholm's New Year New Language summit this week, though. It's aimed at beginners but there've been some talks I enjoyed, so that's been fun. Still, it's made for a busy week - at least the weekend is almost here!

Total time 3rd Jan: 1h49m
Total time 4th Jan: 53m
Total time 5th Jan: 1h16m

Total time 2022: 7h23m
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby IronMike » Thu Jan 06, 2022 11:58 pm

LunaMoonsilver wrote:Didn't keep good enough track yesterday when I got distracted reading about commonplace books (side note: has anyone got one of these? and I mean like a physical one; I've read enough about digital PKMs to last me a lifetime, though they are very cool), so I ended up only doing stuff for... 24 minutes. Argh! More annoying because I have done Pimsleur Polish every day since the 2nd, but I'm not counting Polish in case I drop it, so while I did study for longer than 30 minutes... I can't count it.

I don't have a commonplace book, but I wonder if they're related to Common Readers? I read Virginia Woolf's Common Reader years ago and loved it.

I tried a diary years ago and nah. I did write a daily log on my deployment to Iraq and my deployment to Afghanistan, but that's mostly to leave something for my kids. And I certainly didn't write terribly intelligent stuff in it. ;)
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:28 am

IronMike wrote:I don't have a commonplace book, but I wonder if they're related to Common Readers? I read Virginia Woolf's Common Reader years ago and loved it.

I tried a diary years ago and nah. I did write a daily log on my deployment to Iraq and my deployment to Afghanistan, but that's mostly to leave something for my kids. And I certainly didn't write terribly intelligent stuff in it. ;)


Ooh, I do wonder - there seems to be talk about Virginia Woolf having had one (which I imagine, if she did, it might well have helped getting ideas together for The Common Reader), so maybe so. As per, lots of people have lots of different ideas about them - I'm more or less using mine like a mini reference book/personal Wikipedia with my own notes added. Less a diary (i.e. not overly introspective) and more an ideas notebook.

Haha, I'm trying to keep a little diary too and yeah... I thought it'd be different to when I tried as a teenager but it still feels basically the same :lol:
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Tue Jan 11, 2022 12:41 am

06-09 Jan 2022

Been having the same login/loading issues as everyone else, it looks like, hence the absence. It would be less of a problem if I didn't consistently post after midnight - just before bed - but it is what it is.

Last week ended up being busy, too, thanks to the summit - I was watching stuff/working until like 9pm every night, so had a very very chill weekend (well, plus a visit home for my niece's birthday; a little more hectic! :lol:) and got back on things properly this morning.

Polish is going pretty well, though the last few Pimsleur lessons I've had to replay the next day before moving on. That is working, but ugh I wish they provided a transcript. Hopefully I'll start working with the Teach Yourself book sometime this week to get a better idea of spelling and help cement those words a little better - it's definitely useful to learn pronunciation this way but the cost is I find it much harder to memorise.

Still, it's fun! I know Pimsleur's slow but I like that they build up sentences, so I feel like I can form things nine days in, rather than just looking at dialogues and not being sure what I can produce.

German - I found out they finally dubbed Schitt's Creek at some point, so I've started watching that. Slowly working on Der Hobbit. Still writing. It's very chill.

Similar for Spanish and Mandarin, too. I was doing pretty well on actively studying last week but that (naturally) fell by the wayside - but I'll get back on it. I started reading La noche del muñeco viviente (a Goosebumps book) at the weekend; there's plenty of words I don't know, but it's not too difficult to follow.

Also! I re-read Kató Lomb's book last week - mostly so I could actually take notes this time and try and remember some of it. There's some stuff in there that's a bit outdated (I mean, it was first published 52 years ago!) but her method is solid, even if it's being repackaged nowadays. Got some good quotes out of it - including one for the prescriptivists :P - and a few tips on learning.

Total time 6th Jan: 1h33m
Total time 7th Jan: 1h08m
Total time 8th Jan: 1h38m
Total time 9th Jan: 1h11m

Total time 2022: 16h12m
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Sat Jan 15, 2022 8:07 pm

Me, two weeks ago: Just gonna add Polish this year. Just a little bit, like a treat.

...

I had my first iTalki lesson (ever!) yesterday for *cue drumroll* Maltese!

There are reasons for this - I got some iTalki credits through work and I thought it better to take classes for a language I'd never tried before because I wanted to see how it works from scratch (plus I'm doing it for work, it's a whole thing) and uh I may have looked up flights and hotels in Malta over Christmas and realised I could go in February for a week for £100.

Now, I'm not going in February but plague-permitting, I might be able to go in the autumn, so time to get studying! The tutor was really good, too; we went through the alphabet and a basic conversation in the half-hour trial lesson and she was impressed with my pronunciation :lol: I haven't had an actual class in a language in years and forgot that they can be fun. Plus, this one-on-one format means I have to be on the ball and working, which is a nice little bit of pressure.

(Oh also omg my favourite word I've learnt so far is 'orrajt'. It is, literally, 'alright'. Amazing.)

I've purchased a five-lesson package to keep going - I'm probably going to do two half-hour lessons per week for the next little bit, then take another look when my credits run out. They're cheap, though, and it's pretty difficult to find resources for Maltese, so this may possibly be the easiest way to learn.

Other than that, I've still been working on Polish. I slowed down on Pimsleur because we got to giving out the time for appointments and stuff and it's so difficult to remember everything. I'm still around lesson 10 but think I'll start working on Teach Yourself this weekend.

I've been watching more stuff in German - I saw that post here about Language Reactor; I thought to use it at all you had to pay, so I'm pleasantly surprised to find this is not the case. What's less pleasant is that, after logging in, they've immediately given me a free trial to pro (fine) without any overview on their site of which features are pro and which are free. Inevitably when it runs out next week, I'm going to be annoyed that some features suddenly don't work, and that's not going to make me want to pay for it more :lol:.

Mandarin/Spanish have been a tiny bit neglected but I'm gonna find something to watch in both of them this weekend. I did read some more in Spanish, though - another chapter of La noche del muñeco viviente, which is a lot of fun and I think just about the right level for me!

Total time 10th Jan: 4h06m
Total time 11th Jan: 1h43m
Total time 12th Jan: 31m
Total time 13th Jan: 1h36m
Total time 14th Jan: 1h57m


Total time 2022: 23h08m
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Feb 08, 2022 8:28 pm

LunaMoonsilver wrote:Didn't keep good enough track yesterday when I got distracted reading about commonplace books (side note: has anyone got one of these? and I mean like a physical one; I've read enough about digital PKMs to last me a lifetime, though they are very cool), so I ended up only doing stuff for... 24 minutes.
I was just looking for something about Elizabeth I, and came across a mention of something that sounds like a commonplace book.
A halfway house between reading and writing is the collection of Latin tags she gathered in Sententiae.

https://blogs.bl.uk/european/2021/11/el ... uages.html

and searching for a copy of that brought up someone's thesis "Educating a Princess: Elizabeth I’s Commonplace Book"

EDIT
Yet another commonplace book sighting, possibly. :-)

I was listening to an interview with a polish writer and at 10 minutes into the video she mentions something that sounds like a similar tradition:
... as a children we used to have such a small notebooks and we used to gave to people then they supposed to write something wise let's say.

I remember that my mother wrote me a small poem and it was something about swimming in the water in the ocean and that we have to be very strong swimmers and from time to time when I am tired or really desperate er this some a few sentences is coming back into my mind that I am the swimmer and that I am swimming in the you know endless ocean and I have to have strong muscles and my body is also involving [evolving?] into this process of swimming.
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Re: 2022: 2 learned 2 loquacious [de, zh, es]

Postby LunaMoonsilver » Wed May 25, 2022 5:37 pm

hello it has been a thousand years since i bothered to write anything here no judgment pls

To be fair, I have very much managed to keep up a German and Spanish streak - I'm at 451 days of writing/posting to reddit in German (even though my recent hol/attending a friend's wedding in the US - lovely weather in Chicago, thank god :lol:) and that means I'm at almost a year for Spanish too, I think. I obviously also signed up for the SC in German and I'm kind of on track - I'm tempted to sign up for Spanish as well, but I might give myself another month or so before I jump into the deep end.

Importantly, is anyone else attending the Polyglot Gathering next week? I'll be there and I'm excited to meet anyone who'll be there too! I took on that language challenge they posted so have been frantically cramming Polish and despite all the declensions (... for real), I think I really like it. (Although my textbook seems to be uninterested in telling me what gender any of the nouns are though that seems very important for all the cases :roll:)

Going to try and get into a semi-regular habit of writing here again. I sometimes feel like I don't have a lot to say - which is fine - but I think the reappearance of sunlight and possibility to travel have boosted my motivation and excitement a bit.
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