I Like Languages [German, French, Urdu]

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EmmaC02
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I Like Languages [German, French, Urdu]

Postby EmmaC02 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:07 pm

This year, particularly the first half, I really need to step up my language game. I have two very important 'deadlines' coming up, one for each of French and German. I figured started a language log would hold me accountable, and I have been lurking on this website for ages! :D I will outline the details regarding these deadlines, the level I am at/need to be at, and how I hope to achieve said level.

French

I have had a very long and frustrating relationship with French. As I live in a bilingual Canadian city, all elementary and high schools offer a program called "French Immersion", which I participated in. Basically, all of my schooling from grade 4 to grade 10, after which I quit, was done in French. Unfortunately I didn't appreciate the opportunity when I was younger and never put in any effort. It has been 4 years since I stopped studying French, and that takes us to the present day.

I am now studying at a bilingual University, pursuing a degree in a program that requires me to become fluent (or at least functional) in 3 languages; English, French and a third of my choosing. My degree requires that you earn a certain number of credits for each language, or for you to pass an exemption test. This is what I am hoping to accomplish, as it would allow me to diversify my studies. The test is in the beginning of April.

The exam is broken into the typical 4 parts; oral and written expression as well as oral and reading comprehension. I have no worries about the oral or reading comprehension. If I had to guess, I'd say they are already at a C1 level. I have no issues watching French television such as the amazing show "Engrenages" without subtitles, as well as listening to and reading about complicated world affairs. I've also taken university history and political science courses in French and had no trouble understanding the material. I'll still continue to watch French TV, podcasts and read books of course!

Oral and written expression on the other hand, I am unprepared for. Probably somewhere between B1-B2. It has been years since I have done either, and my active skills are weak. Unfortunately, I'm not 100% sure how I'm going to tackle this yet. For the speaking I'm going to register for the FLS mini discussion groups my university offers a few times a week. I'll also hopefully find some language partners to Skype with.

For the written expression I'm going to first work through the Complete French Grammar textbook for a refresher, although I'll probably focus on mastering the tenses and concepts that are 100% necessary for my exam, and skip over the others. Since I have accurate mock questions for the written part of the exam I also plan to brainstorm the types of vocabulary I should focus on as well as sentence structures, mots de liaison, etc. Naturally I will also be focusing on output, output, and more output, and forcing my poor francophone mother to correct them. :D

German

My journey with German has been short, but very very sweet so far. I chose it as my third language for my university program and am determined not to make the mistakes I made with French. That brings me to my next deadline. At the end of this August I will be moving to Germany to study there for a full year. I am currently A1, but I hope to achieve B2 or AT LEAST B1 by then. German will be taking a backseat to French until I'm done my French exam, however I will still be putting in some extra time into the language.

I am currently taking a German course at university, which is nice. I'm able to go to my professor's office hours and have free speaking practice as well as pronunciation help. I also have many resources such as Assimil, FSI German Basic, Michel Thomas, Duolingo, Anki, and Memrise. Since this is my first language I'll be attempting to seriously learn on my own, I'm not sure which of these resources will suit me and which work well together, etc. In terms of input I really like podcasts, music, children's books and Readlang.

I'll basically work on German when I'm sick of French :lol:

I'm sorry for how long winded this post ended up being, I guess I just had a lot to say! Thanks.
Last edited by EmmaC02 on Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:17 am, edited 11 times in total.
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EmmaC02
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Location: Germany
Languages: English (N)
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:49 am

Today was a fairly busy day as I worked and had uni, however I did manage to accomplish something regardless.

French

I plowed through the first two chapters of the Complete French Grammar which went through the conjugation of verbs in the present tense, as well as the interrogative forms and negation in the present. It was a nice refresher, if nothing else. Tomorrow I hope to be able to get through the next two or three chapters.

I reviewed all of my items in Memrise that were due - although I didn't learn any new ones. I've been doing the 450 Most Common French Verbs as well as the vocabulary from the Intermediate French that I think could be useful. I already know the majority of these verbs and vocabulary, but passively, and generally without its gender. It sucks that I have to basically relearn so much vocabulary because I was lazy as a kid!

I also created sample sentences with connectors and went over them with my francophone mother to see if I understood in what contexts they are used. I'll probably try to find a way to use Anki to ingrain their usages into my head. Some of the words I studied include: enfin, mais encore, non seulement, cependant, malgré, tandis que, etc. I honestly think being able to use these types of words naturally will be key for my exam.

Lastly I listened to about an hour of France 24 news content. I'm a huge fan of their debate series.

German

I barely accomplished anything in German today. I reviewed my due items on Memrise for the A1 German and the 5000 Most Frequent Words, made sure all my skills on Duolingo remained gold, and read up a bit on the very common word 'mal'. I only kind of understand its usage.

That's all today folks! I'll be back tomorrow :)
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EmmaC02
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:37 am

Another busy day! Well, I'll be busy the rest of February since it is my exam period, so I should get used to it I suppose!

French

Today I got through the next two chapters of Complete French Grammar which covered the present tense of common irregular verbs and their usages. Again, this was all review for me so I was able to speed through it. I don't mind doing this review because I need to get back into the rhythm of even the easiest of grammar since it has been so long since I've done anything with the language.

I also kept all my words on memrise reviewed and planted new ones. The best thing about vocabulary on Memrise is that I'm finding that I'm regaining my intuition in regards to masculine or feminine. I'm finding the 450 Common Verbs course nice, although I wish they also noted the past participle. I think I may make Anki cards of important verbs along with their past participles, as it it very useful for the construction of many tenses.

I watched and listened to about 4 hours worth of high level native content; this includes France 24 current affairs news and debates as well as a few episodes of Engrenages.

I will be going to the library tomorrow or Friday in order to pick up some books. I'll mainly be looking for fairly academic work, something that makes an argument. I'll definitely pick up some fluff for fun too though.

German

I barely did anything for German today. I kept my Duolingo streak going and kept all skills in my tree gold. I don't want to progress further with Duolingo until I am more comfortable with some of the vocabulary I don't know yet. I'll have to make some anki cards, especially for all the adverbs. I think I'll try to listen to the Slow German podcast along with the transcription, pick out adverbs, pop them into Anki with their paragraphs and make some cloze repetition cards.

I also continued on with the A1 German course on Memrise. The one thing I do like about it is that it builds nicely onto itself. All the levels start with words, then go to independent clauses, then add on dependant clauses and adjectives and what not. I find that it has helped me understand the construction and rhythm of the language.

Tomorrow I hope to take a peek at Assimil and get going on that.
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jennybenny25
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1743&p=17622#p17586
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby jennybenny25 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 9:30 am

Bonjour!

Sounds like you are doing well :) What degree are you doing? Good luck!

Following your progress- I am learning french :P

x
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SpanishDuolingo: 20 / 64

SC Films: 1 / 50

SC Books: 0 / 50

Outputchallenge: 220 / 50000

FirstSpanishReader: 5 / 29

CoffeeBreakSpanishSeason1: 10 / 40


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
FirstFrenchReader: 15 / 29

Writing: 243 / 1000

FrenchDuolingo: 29 / 78

CoffeeBreakFrenchSeason1: 15 / 40

LiveFrench: 2 / 25

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EmmaC02
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:16 pm

jennybenny25 wrote:Bonjour!

Sounds like you are doing well :) What degree are you doing? Good luck!

Following your progress- I am learning french :P

x


Bonjour! I'm studying International Studies and Modern Languages with a minor in Economics. So I basically just study a lot of political science, economics and then languages on top of it. It hits a nice balance for me, I think.

Good luck with your french! I'll be following your progress also :D
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EmmaC02
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:43 am

Alright, another day gone! I think I'm going to start setting clear goals for the next day to provide some direction for myself. Today was exciting though because I got a lot of new resources for German. I discovered lyricstraining which is awesome, as well as a huge amount of graded readers!

French

I worked through chapter 5 and 6 of Complete French Grammar which covered devoir and pronominal verbs. Once again I got through it quickly. If I keep up this pace I should be able to knock through the whole thing by the end of February easily, which is the goal. I don't want to be learning any basic or intermediate grammar during March, as I need that month to be about output, output, and more output.

I spent about 2 hours today listening to France 24 current affairs debates and news. I'll probably watch a couple episodes of Engrenages tonight before bed as well. I don't have issues understanding the content, although it is nice that I have been noticing some of the vocabulary I've been revitalising on Memrise while watching. As they say, hearing a word in context a few times will make it stick.

I'm looking forward for my university break to be over so I can get to work on my speaking.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Chapters 7 and 8 of Complete French Grammar
- At least 2 hours of native French, high level content
- Review the mots de liaisons and create sentences with their correct usages - I really need to get comfortable with these

German

I'm happy with what I accomplished today in German.

I did something that I think will benefit me greatly. I listened to an episode of Slow German while reading the transcript. I then copied and translated the transcript sentence by sentence, underlining any words I needed to look up in the dictionary. I then listened to the episode again with the transcript, and then once more without it. I then created word lists with those underlined words, as well as cloze repetition anki cards with their contexts. I feel like doing this just once or twice a week would be super beneficial for me.

I also reviewed and learned some more on Memrise with the A1 course and frequency list. I'm able to breeze through the A1 course now because I'm beginning to get a feel for how the German language is structured, which I'm pleased with. I should be able to start on the A2 course by the end of February. I also kept all my skills gold on my Duolingo tree.

Lastly, I discovered lyricstraining! This is really really awesome. I'll have to brainstorm the best way to use this tool, but I'm excited to use it.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Review word lists tomorrow and start learning their anki cards
- Push through a couple levels of Memrise A1 German course
- Take a peek at DLI and see if it's something I may find useful, I'm not too keen on Assimil
- Maaaaaybe intensively read a little bit of a Graded Reader if I have time

Swedish

I was a little naughty today. I dabbled in Swedish even though I shouldn't have, and I found it really interesting. I'm going to spend a little bit of time on it every day, but not much. I may have to postpone this until a later date though once university starts up again. We'll see!

I went through the first Pimsleur lesson last night and another one this morning. I created Anki cards for the sayings as well. I also went through the first few Duolingo skills, but not much. Like I said, I just dabbled. I think one Pimsleur lesson in the morning and one Teach Yourself Swedish lesson at night should suffice for now, so that's what I'll do.

Goals for Tomorrow
-Pimsleur lesson 3
- Teach Yourself Swedish lesson 1
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EmmaC02
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:20 pm
Location: Germany
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For the Future: Arabic, Farsi/Persian
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2169
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:51 am

As you can see above I didn't quite hit all my goals today, but that's okay because I'm so busy. My goals for the rest of the week (until Friday) are going to be pretty small in comparison due to university exams. The bulk of my time needs to be spent on school work.

French

Today's two chapters of Complete French Grammar went through passé composé as well as imparfait. Apart from the present tense, these are the two tenses that I am the most comfortable with, so it didn't take me long to get through the chapters.

I watched a few episodes of Engrenages as well as watched a panel discuss the potential ''Brexit'' from the EU. I was happy to listen to them discuss it as it is a topic of importance to me as a British citizen! I'm happy I found native French content that I enjoy listening to and doesn't feel like a chore.

I as always reviewed all my memrise words. I didn't however review some mots de liaisons like I wanted to. That'll have to wait until after my exams I think.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Work through chapters 9 and 10 of Complete French Grammar
- Listen to 2 hours of native content

German

I completed all of my 'absolute' goals, but didn't have the time to look at a graded reader at all.

So I did manage to go through my word lists from my Slow German intensive reading and review them. Tomorrow I will review them once more and then if I am successful I will begin the cloze deletion Anki cards I created.

I kept all of my Duolingo skills gold, and I downloaded a whole slew of German music and popped it on my phone for my upcoming commutes to university.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Push through the next level of Memrise A1
- Review word lists and begin Anki cards

Swedish

I'm really enjoying Swedish! I went through lesson 3 of Pimsleur as well as the first unit of Teach Yourself Swedish. I think in March (if possible), I'll add in a unit of FSI every week. I didn't do any more Duolingo for Swedish.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Lesson 4 of Pimsleur
- Unit 2 of Teach Yourself
- Review of Swedish Anki Pimsleur cards
Last edited by EmmaC02 on Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:19 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Fortheo
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby Fortheo » Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:18 pm

EmmaC02 wrote:
jennybenny25 wrote:Bonjour!

Sounds like you are doing well :) What degree are you doing? Good luck!

Following your progress- I am learning french :P

x


Bonjour! I'm studying International Studies and Modern Languages with a minor in Economics. So I basically just study a lot of political science, economics and then languages on top of it. It hits a nice balance for me, I think.

Good luck with your french! I'll be following your progress also :D


That sounds like my dream major, but I'm 26 and have already changed my major three times. Sigh.

How are you liking Complete French Grammar? I really like that book because of the ample amount of exercises in it. Also, if you didn't know, there is audio available for that book:

http://www.mhprofessional.com/apps/stud ... main.html#

Just click practice makes perfect and then go to the books title. I personally find the audio useful at times.

Good luck with your studies!
2 x

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EmmaC02
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:20 pm
Location: Germany
Languages: English (N)
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For the Future: Arabic, Farsi/Persian
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2169
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Sat Feb 20, 2016 9:44 pm

That sounds like my dream major, but I'm 26 and have already changed my major three times. Sigh.

How are you liking Complete French Grammar? I really like that book because of the ample amount of exercises in it. Also, if you didn't know, there is audio available for that book:

http://www.mhprofessional.com/apps/stud ... main.html#

Just click practice makes perfect and then go to the books title. I personally find the audio useful at times.

Good luck with your studies!


I quite like the book. I find that it serves my purposes well, in that it moves through the content quickly. It's all mainly refresher for me as I'm quite familiar with French grammar, so I'm happy it's not too dense. I'm a big fan of the translation exercises. It gets me thinking in a French way as opposed to an English one, if that makes sense.

Thank you for the link, I'll definitely be checking that out!

Good luck to you also!
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EmmaC02
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Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 4:20 pm
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For the Future: Arabic, Farsi/Persian
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2169
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Re: Emma's 2016 French and German Log

Postby EmmaC02 » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:23 am

Not much to report today as I was occupied with exam prep for university. My goals for tomorrow will be very small unfortunately.

French

I didn't get to the Complete French Grammar at all today. I did however start reading Harry Potter in French, since I've never actually read it before. I'm using learning with texts, and I think it'll be good to see things in context. It's a nice break from the denser stuff I typically read in French.

Goals for Tomorrow
- 1 hour of high level listening content
- Read a chapter of Harry Potter in learning with texts

German

Completed my small German goals today at least! I'm finding a nice rhythm now, so I'm finding it easy to be motivated, unlike French.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Review word lists and cloze deletion anki cards
- Complete the next level of Memrise A1 German

Swedish

I just don't have time right now to spend on Swedish. I'll continue to do a Pimsleur everyday, and then once uni settles down, I'll invest more time.

Goals for Tomorrow
- Lesson 5 of Pimsleur
- Review of Swedish Anki Pimsleur cards
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