Brun Ugle explores the Final Frontier (DE, EO, ES) TAC 2016

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Brun Ugle
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Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
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Brun Ugle explores the Final Frontier (DE, EO, ES) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:33 pm

Edit: New log name. I am revealing my true purpose in learning German – to read Star Trek books – and thus renaming my log from “Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew” to “Brun Ugle explores the Final Frontier.”
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Original:
Yes, once again, I’m biting off more than I can chew. Fortunately, owls don’t need to chew. (Brun Ugle = Brown Owl)

It’s a new year and a new TAC. I’ve joined with Spanish, German and Esperanto and am on teams for those languages.

I have lots of plans for this year. I still want to go to the Polyglot Gathering in Berlin in May, so I’m going to try to get my Spanish, Esperanto and German into reasonably good shape by then. I don’t expect too much of my German since I haven’t been studying very long, but I’d like to be able to manage basic communication. I’m hoping my Spanish and Esperanto will be reasonably comfortable by then though. However, I still have a long way to go on that front too. I’ve realized that I need to do some serious output to achieve that. I considered joining the output challenge, but I kept getting stressed out about it because I knew I couldn’t start right away and because I have more than one language I want to work on. So in the end, I decided to do my own output challenge. I will be regularly (several times a week) recording myself speaking my various languages until I can speak them at least as easily as I can currently think them. I’m also going to be writing in all of them several times a week, possibly in this log to some extent, in my diary, on the team logs and in the Spanish sub-forum.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I learned Norwegian and it made me realize that a lot of the things I’ve been trying to do with my current target languages, I didn’t do at all in Norwegian. Not that my Norwegian experience is a good model in every way, it isn’t. It was a long and frustrating process, mostly because I had no idea how to learn a language at the time. But certain key things stand out. One is that I never was corrected. I’ve been very hesitant about writing in other languages because I keep feeling like I need to be corrected, which means submitting to lang-8 or similar and of course taking time to correct other’s writings, and going through the corrections I receive. That’s very tedious, and I think perhaps unnecessary, at least for someone who is reasonably attentive. I was never taught Norwegian. I taught myself. I was never corrected in my speech or my writing. In the beginning, I didn’t even have a lot of exposure to the language, which is probably one of the reasons it took so long to become fluent. But I think what helped me, once I had studied the basics, was that I read a tremendous amount of ridiculously easy things like Donald Duck and a lot of easy novels like Agatha Christie, and I wrote a lot. The final polish came when I started studying for a new bachelor’s degree. I wasn’t studying the language, but I was using the language to study something else and I had to write loads of papers. So, this year, instead of waiting until I have time to write something special for lang-8 or italki and correct someone else’s stuff and everything else that goes along with that, I’m just going to write and write and write. I will make a lot of mistakes, but with time, I will learn to correct most of them myself as long as I make sure to keep studying and to get sufficient input. (However, if you see me making a mistake and want to point it out, that is very welcome.)

Speaking is my worst skill in any language, so I will be making lots of videos to practice. I tried making a couple in English just to check if I needed a microphone or not and to figure out how everything worked. I tried both with and without the microphone and in both cases, the video turned out with about half a minute of “ :shock: ...um…..uh… :? …..er…… :oops: ....um…..” before I finally managed to say something about testing the microphone. So, I have a long way to go. I can’t even speak fluently in my native language on video. I figure that forcing myself over that hurdle will lead to great improvement though.


My plans and goals for this year:

Spanish: Finish “FSI Programmatic” and “Basic”. Finish “Gramática de uso del Español” level B and hopefully level C. I’m near the end of level A already, but it’s really easy. Continue my vocabulary work as long as I find it beneficial. (I’m still not sure if it is the best approach or not.) Do my videos and writing. I haven’t set a number of hours or words, but I’ll work that out. Try to take more italki lessons and talk with my exchange partner. Join the Super Challenge and read books and watch movies.

German: Finish “Assimil” both passive and active. I’m more than a third of the way through the passive part, so I should finish before the Gathering. Finish “FSI Basic”. I did the “FSI Programmed Introduction” already. Finish “Duolingo” which I’ve been doing at a rate of about one skill per day. Find some other courses to do and hopefully something similar to “Gramática de uso del Español” for German, if such a thing exists. Do some writing and make videos, but maybe not just yet. Find an exchange partner or a tutor to talk to. Join the Super Challenge and read books and watch movies. German will also be my language for the February 6WC as it’s the only of the three that really qualifies, I think. I don’t know about the May 6WC because hopefully I will be in Berlin in the beginning, but that’s only a few days, so maybe it will be OK anyway.

Esperanto: I’ve already completed the Duolingo tree, but I plan to finish the extended tree whenever that comes out. I also intend to finish the TY course. Maybe I can find somebody to talk to, but I don’t know how easy that will be. I will in any case do lots of writing and videos. I plan to join the Super Challenge for this language too, but I don’t think there is much to watch that qualifies so I will probably do a books-only challenge if that’s still a thing. And I will watch things I find on Youtube and such even if they don’t count.

After the Gathering:
As I mentioned, I’m sticking to those three until after the Gathering. I don’t imagine I will finish everything above by May; those are my goals for the whole year for those languages. And after the Gathering, I may add another language or two. I’m still a little undecided.

I’m considering learning French even though I’ve always said I wouldn’t. (That’s why you should never say you’d never do something; you just look extra silly when you actually do it.) I’m enjoying Assimil so much that I thought it would be nice to be able to make more use of it and there are a lot more cool languages available for French speakers than for English speakers. So, maybe I will start French.

There’s also Japanese, rusting away in some damp corner of my brain. I may try taking it out again. It is a frustrating language and it knocks me down every time, but I am determined to wrestle it into submission someday, even if it takes me the rest of my life. It’s already taken half.

And then there’s Finnish. Sweet, beautiful, lovely Finnish. I must admit, I am rather smitten with Finnish. It feels sort of like a teenage crush and it’s quite exhilarating. I have to return to Finnish someday even though I have absolutely no use whatsoever for it.

And of course, there are dozens of other languages begging me to learn them, but I try to cover my ears and tell them to go away until I finish the ones I’m working on.
Last edited by Brun Ugle on Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brun Ugle
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Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:57 pm

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Brun Ugle
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:58 pm

Progress bar garden (idea stolen from Cavesa)

Spanish
: 90 / 90 Language Transfer Complete Spanish 8-)
: 50 / 50 FSI Programmatic Spanish 8-)
: 29 / 55 FSI Basic Spanish
: 107 / 107 Gramática de uso del Español A 8-)
: 114 / 116 Gramática de uso del Español B
: 0 / 106 Gramática de uso del Español C
: 300 / 300 La fea más bella 8-)
: 156 / 156 Yo soy Betty la fea 8-)
: 26 / 26 Ecomoda 8-)
: 21 / 21 El ministerio del tiempo 8-)
: 174 / 174 Grande pá 8-)


German
: 100 / 100 Assimil German passive wave 8-)
: 100 / 100 Assimil German active wave 8-)
: 25 / 25 FSI Programmed Introduction to German 8-)
: 14 / 24 FSI Basic German
: 27 / 100 Language Transfer Complete German
: 13 / 13 Extr@ German 8-)
: 145 / 183 Übungsgrammatik Deutsch als Fremdsprache A


Esperanto
: 6 / 15 Teach Yourself
: 16 / 16 Pasporto al la tuta mondo 8-)
Last edited by Brun Ugle on Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:14 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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Brun Ugle
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Location: Steinkjer, Norway
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Jan 06, 2016 1:58 pm

Just in case
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Cavesa
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Cavesa » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:41 am

Happy New Year and lots of success, Brun Ugle!
Your plans look awesome, as usual, I am looking forward to reading your new log :-)

P.S. I feel honoured by you "stealing" a log idea from me :-D
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Brun Ugle
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Location: Steinkjer, Norway
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:50 pm

I reached two milestones today, one small, one big. :D

First, the small one: I just reached checkpoint four on the German Duolingo course. So far, I'm still enjoying it and it has yet to get difficult.

And now, the big milestone. I finished the first volume (A1-A2) of Gramática de uso del español! I wasn't scheduled to finish until next week, but I got so excited about the prospect of starting the second volume, that I did a few extra lessons. The second volume should be closer to my actual level, so it might be a bit harder. I didn't find the first volume very difficult.

So, am I winning yet? Let's go team!
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Anya
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Languages: Russian (N), French (C1), English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, German, Turkish, Mandarin, Sanskrit, Catalan, Portuguese, Hungarian, Greek, Romanian, Occitan, Latin ...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=21&t=754&p=11667#p11667
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Anya » Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:07 pm

Happy New Year, Brun Ugle, good luck with your studies!
Me too, I will work on German and Spanish this year and I wonder whether Spanish/German team is running or this project is abandoned?
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Brun Ugle
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:33 pm

Here is the Spanish/German team. Since Cavesa wasn't around, I started a log for it, but I haven't gotten around to adding links and stuff yet.
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Brun Ugle
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:56 pm

Update for week 1
It’s been a busy first week with all kinds of stuff besides languages, but I’m still relatively pleased with my progress there too, even though I didn’t get much output or vocabulary work done. And I did nothing at all for Esperanto besides Duolingo reviews. Oh, and I might have written something on the team thread, or was that the week before? Anyway, TAC sign-ups are slowing down, so I’m almost caught up with that. I also signed up for the Polyglot Gathering. I’m really excited about that. I haven’t paid yet though because apparently you have to call the bank to activate the service to pay to other countries. I wasn’t really looking forward to calling, but I decided I might as well get it over with today. I figured the phone call would mean twenty minutes of elevator music interrupted every other minute by a recording reminding me to keep holding. But no! My bank has this new mind-reading robot guy who connected me almost immediately to someone who already knew who I was and what I wanted. The whole phone call took no more than a minute and afterwards I just sat staring at the phone in amazement, wondering what happened. I felt like I was in the zone, so I decided to call my landlord too and ask him for the zillionth time to fix the internet. I explained to him the problem and what I think the solution is and he even seemed to listen, so maybe this time it will be fixed properly. It sort of works, but it’s not good enough for Skype and Youtube and things like that. I lose the connection a lot and have to sit in the cold, dark hallway to have any hope of it working.

German
Assimil passive: 70-75
Assimil active: 21-26
Language Transfer Complete German: 1-10

In addition to Assimil, I reviewed the first lesson and a half of FSI and I did several new lessons of Duolingo. I also listened to the first ten lessons of Language Transfer. I think it will be as good as the Spanish one once it’s finished, but that might take a while if he doesn’t get more contributions. I really like his methods. He gives you a different way of looking at the language and at the same time gives you a nice overview. Assimil is so random that I feel like I have no overview of the grammar at all. I’m going to look into Cavesa’s recommendations for grammar books.

I can’t believe I’m already ¾ of the way through the passive wave of Assimil and ¼ of the way through the active way. It’s amazing how easy the active wave lessons are compared to how they were when I went through them on the passive wave. I guess I really am learning something.

I also watched several episodes of Deutschland 83, which is a show about East German spies in West Germany in the early 80’s. It’s very good. I had to watch four episodes because I was a little behind and they were going to take them off the net soon. NRK shows them and they have them on their app for about three weeks. I still have two episodes left, but I have nine days left to watch them. They have Norwegian subtitles, of course. I also watched a few episodes of Derrick which is a crime show that apparently ran from the early 70’s to the late 90’s. They show it every weekday on NRK, and I can watch it on their app, but I can only watch it when they are actually showing it. They don’t leave it online. The German in Derrick seems very clear and easy to understand, so I would recommend it for beginners. I’ve been watching with Norwegian subtitles, but I see that there are loads of episodes on Youtube, so I might try watching some there without subtitles and see how much I understand.

I also did something a little crazy. I agreed to read Tintinherz with Cavesa and Elenia. At my present level, I have to look up almost every other word, so I’m not sure how this will go. However, now that there is finally a “book club” doing a book I can get as an e-book, I want to join in. I’m planning on uploading it to Readlang. That should make it easier.


Spanish
FSI Basic: 23
Gramática de uso del español A: 100-107

I did a few more lessons in the Gramática so I could finish up. Now I can finally start on book B. Cavesa is going to try to catch up with me and then we will work through it together, more or less. That should be fun. I’ve never had a language study-buddy before working on the same things as me. In previous TAC’s we all had our own things we worked on. We discussed things and helped each other, but I’ve never experienced studying the same materials at the same time before with anyone.

My Spanish feels like it’s suffering lately from me spending so much time on German. So I need to start watching more Spanish TV and reading more again. I found a Star Trek novel in Spanish and I’ve started reading it. I looked everywhere and it was the only one I could find, so I’m going to read it very intensively and make it last. However, I found dozens of them in German, so now I’m more motivated than ever about learning German.

When my internet gets fixed, I’m going to start weekly italki lessons in Spanish. I feel like I’m in a good place in my studies where having a teacher could help me to gain some fluency.
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Re: Brun Ugle bites off more than she can chew (EO, ES, DE) TAC 2016

Postby Elenia » Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:48 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I also did something a little crazy. I agreed to read Tintinherz with Cavesa and Elenia. At my present level, I have to look up almost every other word, so I’m not sure how this will go. However, now that there is finally a “book club” doing a book I can get as an e-book, I want to join in. I’m planning on uploading it to Readlang. That should make it easier.


That's basically what I have to do, too. I have it in English, too, which is pretty much the only reason I managed to get four chapters in. The hörbuch used to be available on YouTube, although I am not sure if it's still there. So you'll be able to use that too, when your internet gets fixed.
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