Team Me: Foxing around

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reineke
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Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:45 am

Initially I wrote that I "intend to :idea: refine my language learning methods, develop new ones and learn as much as possible. I'd like to brush up and improve on what I already know..." I edited the title of my previous log to remove any reference to studying. I am not really studying anything. I might learn something along the way but I'm not studying anything.

My languages:

Italian - I acquired Italian thanks to Italian TV channels. My acquisition was rather odd as I was able to follow my favorite programs only during summer months. It dawned on me that I could understand the language after my father challenged me about wasting my time watching something I didn't understand. Later I studied the language formally. Currently my Italian is in a sort of atrophied, mummified state but I have successfully drawn on this knowledge to ease my way into Spanish and Portuguese.

French - learned through very conventional means in the past century ( red & blue Mauger, school, some TV). Some 400 hours in the 2000s? I occasionally read poetry in French. My French feels a lot stronger than it should based on the number of hours I invested in this language. I can only credit Mauger and/or Italian for this.
German - acquired the same way as Italian. I was a bored teenager. Astra had a lot of free-to-air TV channels. I can easily follow TV shows and audiobooks. In 2009? my Dialang score was: listening comprehension C2, vocabulary 820.
German is still a work in progress. I don't feel like guesstimating the number of hours I spent on German-language media.
Russian - I first started playing around with this language in 2007. I used one 40-hour audiobook and a couple of movies to get accustomed to Russian. I maybe spent 100 hours in total on Russian between 2007 and 2017. In 2017 I spent 300 hours on Russian (TV, mostly).
Spanish - 500 hours of Spanish-language TV programming in 2016 and 150 hours so far in 2017.
Portuguese - 350 hours of TV watching in the second half of 2016 and some 150 hrs in 2017.

The following is my log history from the moribund HTLAL website (heavily edited, includes some new developments).

2007
...
Hardware: Two computers hooked to 2 TVs, a 400 DVD changer, one 1TB external hard disk drive, media players, wireless earphones. I'd like to hear from others regarding their use of hardware in language learning. Hopefully I will not prove that fancy gadgets do not a language learner make. Edit: Powerful stuff. In 2007.

April 14 - April 20 2007 Pronounce it Perfectly in Japanese 1st lesson, wrote some sentences and vocabulary. Brain struggling to find familiar roots. Read a little about the writing system. Learned that "banzai" means "ten thousand years". Pimsleur Japanese I (1-5). Vocabulearn track 1. Heisig (some kana). Read up on parts of speech. Made notes, copied a few sentences. Made hiragana flashcards. Played with a dictionary and copied a lot of words into a notebook. I overdid it with the dictionary thing a little bit - I have a notebook with some 3800 entries, but I learned a lot (2017 edit: I learned jack).

I've been reading on the 10,000 sentence method. http://learnanylanguage.wikia.com/wiki/10000_Sentences

I'll need to read some more before I try to incorporate it in a modified form. I will most likely start collecting interesting sentences from a couple of grammar books. I bought some new materials today. Walking around the mall with Pimsleur on is not very beneficial. Yesterday I fell asleep with headphones on. Not on purpose, and no, it didn't turn me into a Japanese speaker. My head buzzed for an hour afterwards. Pimsleur Japanese is rather boring but I do find it useful. Takeoff is very lively.

06 May 2007 I think I worked a couple of days after the previous post but after that my computer crashed along with my course. Back in action. Reineke's crash(ed) course in Japanese continues.

May 07-May 08 Pimsleur Japanese 1-6. This is so boring that it's an incentive to study every day - so I don't have to redo the course again.
Vocabulearn track 1. Takeoff in Japanese lesson 1.

19 May 2007 at 1:08pm Crashed soon after takeoff. I will have to redo everything. I have peeked in other people's logs and took some comfort :) Resurrecting my efforts.

June 18, 2007 A short update, a very busy weekend (not necessarily language-wise). I managed to do 6 lessons of Japanese. I did a fairly decent amount of reading in German (which felt exhausting), I watched German documentaries and I spent some time on Italian message boards. I received a couple of rather indirect and therefore very pleasing compliments. One was in the form of a question - whether I was an Italian studying abroad on the Erasmus program. That felt good, although I'm afraid I abused my Italian too much. I feel guilty about my French as well. Am I doing the right thing in tackling Japanese right now? Maybe I should devote my attention to other languages first and reward myself with Japanese last :(

June 23 2007 Installed Screamer Radio. It comes with a whole lot of preset stations - especially for European languages but you can also find things like Persian pop and "dance party". While adding stations to my favorites list (a rather long process) I discovered a Russian audiobook station.My willingness to learn the language instantly jumped 30%.

Installed foobar2000 player. Very efficient and plays anything you throw at it. Bought even more language materials. From next week on I will have a lot of free time and I intend to use it. French and German feel a little squeaky. Italian does not. It will be interesting to see what's the best way to brush up on these languages.

I have been reading about Krashen's theories. His initial idea on the silent period (in a classroom setting) was around 12 hours. Certain proponents of this approach now talk about 600-800 hours. FSI can bring a student up to level 3 proficiency (speaking and reading) in a level I difficulty language in about 600 hours (+ homework). Now, how best to structure a "silent" 600 hour period? A few things I cannot get out of my head. One is that you do not need grammar books. I did learn Italian this way, and I am a "believer" but later I also found formal grammar study beneficial. Krashen maintains that one can use grammar books as ordinary input. I will use grammar books in several ways. I will come back to that later. (EDIT: I likely won't use grammar books at all for some languages). The din effect. Krashen's din. I like the expression:
http://web.pdx.edu/~fischerw/courses/advanced/methods_docs/pdf_doc/wbf_collection/0601-0650/0646_FLA83_Krashen_D.PDF

Now, my specific problem is how to construct an enjoyable and efficient course based on some the elements of the comprehensible input approach and a few of my own ideas. Efficiency is the key word here as I can certainly mimic how I learned Italian... I first need to understand Krashen and his critics better as I have yawned through all my classes on the theory and methodology of teaching foreign languages.

June 30, 2007 Listened to most of Takeoff in German in one sitting. Yawn. Bought it on impulse a while back together with Rosenberg's German, How to speak and write it thinking that I "must" finish some sort of a formal course. Boy, was that boring and it's one of the more interesting courses out there. I like the Japanese version better. I also like Rosenberg's book and all the illustrations.

Finished listening to Takeoff. Way to go, leaving us hanging about Susanne und Hubert! Bought some new books: La telarana de Carlota, Harry Potter y la Orden del Fenix, Las Cronicas de Narnia, El libro de la Selva, Mi vida de Bill Clinton (don't ask) and Don Quijote de la Mancha.

July 1st 2007 Changed whatever I was able to easily change to Spanish on my computer and the media player. Sigh... Taking a deep, zen breath...

Pimsleur Spanish 1-10 in one sitting. Boring and easy. Topcat in Spanish (a few episodes). Spongebob Squarepants. Some 8 hours of Spanish today.

July 3, 2007

Pimsleur Spanish 11-20. I had to restart no. 20 several times. Not because it was difficult, but because I had totally zoned out. I'll add more variety. Some vocabulary work. Maybe some 6 hours of Spanish. I think I'm finally in the learning mode. I'm glad I had to dig deep for my learning log since so many people are writing log entries as well.

14 July 2007 at 10:16pm This week was uneventful. I watched cartoons in Spanish every day with my daughter. One day I will write an essay why I think cartoons are such great tools for adult language learning. I also listened to the Russian audiobook channel. I understood a thing or two but my comprehension was overall rather disappointing. Anyway, hopefully next week I will get out of my Russian dilemma and finally settle on my future language lineup. I do not intend to drop anything I "officially" adopt. Spanish is in, that's why I added it to my profile. (EDIT: And I'm back at it, 9 years later!).

16 July 2007 at 9:53pm I have been huffing and puffing today and I decided to tackle Heisig...

17 July 2007 at 9:12pm Did over 80 kanji today. Listened to vocabulearn most of the day. It was a good day.

01 August 2007 at 2:05pm Kanji are at 200 now. Kinda disappointing, but I've been doing a few other Japanese-related things. Heisig rocks, btw, although some stories simply won't stick. Got a mnemosyne file for it. I purchased a Japanese pictionary, a storybook and the remaining 9 cds of Vocabulearn. I also devised a pictionary of my own, looking up basic words in thematic fields that are not well covered elsewhere and coming up with pictures for them. I wouldn't bother doing it for any other language but Japanese is special in this regard. (Edit: I still like this idea). Bought breaking into Japanese literature and Read Real Japanese. I also bought 13 secrets to learning Japanese and Akiyama's 2001 idioms a while back. I see an uncanny correlation between the Starbucks, Borders and Amazon shareprice and my buying binges and dry periods. (Edit: I couldn't save Borders).

17 December 2007 at 7:59pm Update. During the last four months I experimented for a few weeks with Russian. I watched movies here and there, mostly in Italian. It's possible I did a few other things but I honestly don't remember and this is one big reason why I'm continuing with this journal.

23 December 2007 at 7:13pm Some 9 hours of German fairy tales while commuting and at work. Useful time probably around two hours. A couple of Italian movies. A few pages of Maupassant.

07 February 2008 at 6:01pm Played with Japanese, Russian, Italian and German (mostly movies). I have "sampled" so much Russian that I might as well say I'm studying it.

07 March 2008 A lot of Russian. Random reading, often just titles of well-known classics and book reviews. Some listening. I saw several children's movies, Ilya Muromets etc and a crime miniseries Brigada. Spent a few minutes with the picture dictionary. I should listen to some Pimsleur... Hmgrmble.

German - movies, documentaries. A pinch of French - watched an entire animated series. Italian - very little.
Japanese - ALMOST NOTHING. Vocabulearn. (Edit: this was painful, slow and ineffective).
Spanish - bought more material. The DK picture dictionary and two collections of children's stories.

May 2-4 2008 During the last few days I've been looping two Russian movies. One of the movies is Skazka o poteryannom vremeni (The Tale of Time Lost) which is appropriate punishment for my laziness. It's near perfect for language learning. A few scenes with chases etc. and no talk but otherwise great. My other expeditions into Russian cinema were not so successful. I'll probably turn to cartoons and later to documentaries.

03 May 2008 I am out of exercise with language learning. I will try to refresh what I have already learned as far as Japanese is concerned, but I will tackle Russian first and likely Spanish. I can afford to make mistakes, lose time there. Making mistakes with Japanese is similar to steering an ocean liner - it takes time to notice any errors and go back on course.

04 May 2008 Yawn. I've been tugging at it and I think I can see progress. It's difficult to judge, language sort of creeps up on you. I need to sleep more. Seriously.

08 September 2008 I stopped listening to Pimsleur I soon after that last post in May. Also stopped listening to Vocabulearn I. All in all, I listened to the two a lot less than might be concluded from the above notes. I probably spent 95% of the time listening to Russian media. I didn't do much during the past few months but I kept tugging at it - like grandpa and grandma with that turnip. Maybe I'll pull it out by January. Tonight I finished my first Russian book. (Edit: after this I only listened to audiobooks).

13 December 2008

My “plan” for 2009

Russian: meh
Italian: uh, I guess I’ll do something
French ugh
Spanish: uh, oh
German: aarrgh!
Japanese: d’oh!

1 Sleep more
2 sleep less but use the time wisely
3 try to relax; if unsuccessful, see no.4
4 try not to burst a vessel
5 stop posting

18 December 2008 I don't have a chance in heck to start Japanese in 2009. Or 2010.

Italian: TV, reading etc.
French/German: movies, books; bonus points, sugar plums and treats for every major reading effort in German. Continue with vocabulary experiments. Continue with Russian. I'm not sure I will have much time for Spanish, but I'll try. (Edit: in translation that probably meant I didn't feel like doing it).

01 January 2009 The goal remains the same - get a lot of work done in 2009. I will periodically provide updates on my blog.

03 January 2011 Mehehe

09 January 2011 I have been thinking about the usefulness of keeping an accurate log of my learning efforts (passive learning thankfully does not require much effort). I think I will continue with this log. Or not. The best way to ensure failure is to make a firm plan about something.

My most recent efforts were related to German so I suppose I should provide a short intro. I picked up German in the 1990's purely by accident - watching TV from time to time. After a multi-year break I resumed consuming German content in 2009 and 2010. I am not a big believer in any method. I respect grammar and give it wide berth. A language log may be motivating or depressing, depending on circumstances. Or just plain boring. It goes against my chaotic nature.

10 January 2011 I managed to stick with German for two years. That's pretty awesome. During this time I listened to dozens of audiobooks and I saw hundreds of hours of TV shows. I only read maybe 20 - 30 books. In 2009 I attended two Goethe classes (B2 and C1) hoping to "activate" my German. I did not activate. At this rate I will need another two to three years before I am comfortable with my language skills.

20 November 2012 The past two years were not conducive for language learning. I can say that with clear conscience.

Japanese - nothing
Spanish - nothing
French - nothing (well, maybe a little)
Italian - occasional movie
German - some audiobooks, a few movies, TV shows, documentaries etc. No substantial reading of any sort. I don't feel like I made a substantial measurable progress with German. At intermediate-advanced stage it is difficult to measure or feel progress, especially if one is only listening to the language.

Russian - one audiobook, listened to repeatedly. In the past I did something similar with one movie, watching it repeatedly ad nauseam. Still no nausea with the audiobook. I feel good about the progress made there.

I did make a bit of a breakthrough with Russian. I was able to read a short story by Chekhov yesterday on LingQ without much difficulty. I am now proceeding with Russian as I did with Italian and German, only I am using audiobooks instead of TV programs.

01 December 2012

Ryunosuke Akutagawa Racconti
La Fontaine Fables
Mann Buddenbrooks 20 tracks
C'era una volta il West
Per Un Pugno di dollari

I re-watched that "ad nauseam" Russian movie. I was happy to notice that several scenes I was not able to understand two years ago are now crystal clear. Courtesy of listening to American pulp in Russian. Eventually I will have to look into Cyrillic handwriting. Terence Hill - saw one movie in German. The shock of hearing German and not Italian was such that I was not able to follow for at least 3-4 seconds - an eternity.

I didn't keep a log after this. I'm not happy with any method of keeping notes. I have edited the log title to reflect the fact I am not really studying anything. It's a working title. My mind is a total blank. Too much TV I guess.

09 January 2016 Captain!, I cannae keep her flying, I haven't got the power!

In 2014 I signed up for another German course but I missed half the classes. Between Jan 2012 and Aug 2015 I did not have time for language learning. However, in 2015 I managed to finish the Dark Tower series in German. I don't think I listened to any German or Russian after that.

In 2016 and 2017 I played with Spanish (700h) and Portuguese (500 h) through (in)comprehensible input and I listened to around 350 hours of French. Unfortunately that appears to be all I did for French in the last 10 years. I also listened to a few hundred hours of Russian.

Master Reineke's List of Resources
http://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2900
Last edited by reineke on Tue May 01, 2018 8:40 pm, edited 26 times in total.
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Teango
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☆ (beginner) Irish, Hawaiian Pidgin, Jamaican Patois, Japanese, Latin, Lowland Scots, Middle Egyptian, Spanish, Swedish, Toki Pona.
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby Teango » Sat Jan 09, 2016 6:18 am

Keep pulling on those turnips, Herr Kaleun! Your posts always crack me up, and I respectfully tip my cap to the godfather of the TAC. Wishing you all the best in whatever you plan or don't plan to do this year!! :)
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reineke
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Sun Jan 10, 2016 7:25 am

At ease, sailor! All righty, now a recap of the past few years so as to fill in the blanks I left above. In short, I got smoked and soaked, quite literally, after an accident involving a sleepy neighbor, two cats, and a pot of beans. It might have been a bowl porridge for all I care as that's exactly what my place looked like after the firemen were gone. That, and a few other things (for when it rains it pours) dampened my spirits and my so-called studies have suffered as a result. I was able to listen to audiobooks during the daily commute and during lunch breaks. By Friday I usually felt like I lost a pint of blood. Based on my "6WC" experience, I'm probably underestimating the number of hours I listened (to) or watched various types of programming.
Last edited by reineke on Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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reineke
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Mon Jan 11, 2016 4:41 pm

A continuation of my update. I did a fair amount of traveling. Honolulu and Oahu were of course beautiful but that's not something I need to discuss here. I'm mentioning Honolulu since it has taught me a few things. Among other things the trip significantly alleviated my ardent desire to learn Japanese. It also made me remember that I have a Hawaiian course somewhere. My language skills were put to good use in startling one of those tourist-devouring praying mantes that stand around on street corners in Honolulu poorly disguised in Hawaiian garbs.
I visited several European cities and had a bit of fun around the Alps. Grass withered under my feet as I walked silently from place to place like some unholy version of AntiBenny. I purchased a fair amount of books in Vienna. I spent almost a whole day in a bookshop and I was a bit hesitant to approach the cash register as I had purchased more than a few books about Hitler and a couple of other WWII themes.
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reineke
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Mon Jan 11, 2016 8:58 pm

I was about to provide an update regarding my language learning but I lost what I had written. I wish draft saving was automatic. I also learned that David Bowie died which bummed me out. I believe I will put "TAC" in the subject heading, to show some support if nothing else.

If we look at the languages that provide the highest number of translations from some key world languages both past and present we'll get the perhaps most relevant comparison:

Original Top target languages (translations)
Sumerian: German English
Egyptian: French German English
Greek (ancient): German Spanish Fr. Engl. It.
Latin: German Spanish French Italian English
Sanskrit: Hindi German English French Spanish
Hebrew: English German French Spanish Italian
Chinese: Japanese English French German
Japanese: French English German
Korean: Japanese French German English
Thai: Japanese English French
Burmese: Japanese
Khmer: French English German Japanese
Vietnamese: French English Russian
Indonesian: English Japanese
French: Spanish German English Italian Japanese
Italian: Spanish French German English
Spanish: French English German Portuguese It.
Portuguese: Spanish English French German It.
Romanian: English French German
Catalan: Spanish English French German
Russian: English German French
Polish: German English Russian French
Czech: Slovak German English Hung. Russian Fr.
Croatian: English German Italian French
Bulgarian: Russian English German French
English: German French Spanish Japanese
Dutch: German French English
German: English French Spanish
Danish: English German Norwegian Swedish
Swedish: Danish Fin. Nor. German English
Norwegian: Danish German English
Finnish: Swedish English Estonian German
Hungarian English German French
Arabic: French Spanish English German
Farsi: English Russian German French
Turkish: German English French
Hindi: English Russian German French
Former USSR (CIS) languages: Russian
Swahili: German French English

Looking at Unesco's index translationum and eliminating the main Western languages as sources (English, French, Spanish, German and Italian) the following languages offer the highest number of translations for the majority of the world's languages.

1 French
2 German
3 English
4 Spanish
5 Japanese
6 Russian
7 Italian

http://learnalanguageortwo.blogspot.com/2007/12/books-in-foreign-languages.html
Last edited by reineke on Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Teango
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☽ (intermediate): French, Hawaiian, NZSL [New Zealand Sign Language], Russian.
☆ (beginner) Irish, Hawaiian Pidgin, Jamaican Patois, Japanese, Latin, Lowland Scots, Middle Egyptian, Spanish, Swedish, Toki Pona.
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby Teango » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:40 pm

I was also gutted to hear that Bowie had died whilst I was reading some French news this morning....

Incidentally, I use a Firefox extension called "Lazarus: Form Recovery" to automatically save form drafts online. I've literally lost count of the number of times this little add-on has resurrected a lost post from the depths of Duat and virtually saved my bacon.
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reineke
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:59 pm

Thanks! Lazarus, that's funny. I just finished watching a video of a shark "devouring" a seal off Alcatraz. I am recording this to admonish myself about my use of time. Don't look it up, I got tricked into watching a badly shot video of a shark burping up lunch.

The role of morphological awareness in vocabulary acquisition

A central aspect of language that affects L2 fluency is vocabulary. We will survey research on the use of morphological awareness in vocabulary acquisition, showing that morphological awareness is important for decoding individual complex words and for extending vocabulary.

Learning whole words, without analysis of their morphological structure, is less effective than learning the rules of English word formation. Skills of morphological analysis are important not just for English-speaking children learning higher levels of spoken and written English, but for older learners from various language backgrounds who are learning English as a second language.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... tRPGd1BMXg
Last edited by reineke on Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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reineke
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Tue Jan 12, 2016 11:59 pm

Speaking of Lazarus... here I am again. Ok, a few words about the TAC which may also stand for totally awesome or annoying challenge depending how you feel about it. My hat off to "sheetz" again, many years since, who nailed it at the HTLAL forum and for all practical purposes annihilated Japanese. I've always hoped I'd see more of that. See his progress (and a great list of resources) here:

http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=6241

If you don't like the negative connotations of annihilating something in frontal assault think of it in the sense of the word "assault" used by our Polish listening-reading friend, or total immersion, or any other intense program/system/method. You're expected to "crush" any other challenge. In my case, it would be going from my monolingual self, represented by the cute, stubby, mono-tail:

qtfox.jpg
qtfox.jpg (159.04 KiB) Viewed 576 times


...to a fire-spitting, nine-tailed fox demon.

Sorry, I have no good pictures to share. My real tails are too shabby to share with the world. Profesor Reineke is tired of being serious and professional all the time. He will try to stick to the language and form employed in his professional life:
Reineke professional photo.jpg
Reineke professional photo.jpg (8.48 KiB) Viewed 3203 times

But he is not making any promises.
Last edited by reineke on Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby Woodsei » Wed Jan 13, 2016 2:18 am

Love your log, and will be following it with interest :)
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reineke
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Languages: Fox
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Re: Team Me: Foxing around

Postby reineke » Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:21 pm

I just completed the Cervantes online placement test. The results suggest I could be placed at C1.3-C1.4 levels. Hooray for Italian!

Update: September 2017

By September 30th I will have completed 800 hours of listening. I am looking forward to Cervantes (the writer).
Last edited by reineke on Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:18 am, edited 4 times in total.
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