Systematiker's attempt at a log

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Systematiker
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Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Tue May 17, 2016 12:48 pm

Hi folks,

I'm "back", so to speak. In the other forum I was "belardur", forgot that continuity when I re-registered here. Back there I was active in 09/10, and again in 13 or so, but dropped out when things got wild. I'm back because 1) I've got time to get back into doing some stuff with my langauges, 2) some aspects of what I can and can't do irritate me, and I appreciate the support, and 3) I'm really irritated by what's happening to my German.

So I'm going to try to update things here, maybe knowing that some of you are reading this will motivate me.

It's a different situation than it ever was: before, I was in college or grad school, and my wife (or whatever she was at the time, gf, fianceé) was also into language learning (it's actually how we met). Since then, I've gotten a "real" job (seminary and university professor, and Lutheran pastor, as well as doing DE-EN academic translation) and we've had a child, which means we're not switiching between four or five languages in conversation any more (because OPOL). And, of course, we now live with my native language around us all the time. Oh, and resources are nothing like what was around us in München.

When we moved to the States, I quickly regained an accent in German (I could pass before, with regional dialects), but in the last few months I've noticed myself also making grammar mistakes and not being able to recall words - which surprises me, since I still consume a great deal of DE media, and about half my work library is in German.

I've got to work on my Spanish, and I'd like to work on French. In both languages, I can read academic works, literature, and popular novels, struggle a bit with movies and podcasts, and usually flop when it comes to conversation. I've noticed with Spanish that I can "charge it up" in a few hours by spending that time in the language, and I'm much better, but I'd rather have it naturally than have to do that, plus I don't always know when I'll be in that situation. I imagine French will work the same. So I don't even really know what to do with them, since I'm missing bits from advanced stuff in my active capacity, and lower-level stuff bores me to tears.

I'd like to be able to produce Latin, and perhaps Greek, simply because I want more facility with the languages. I can usually read both without a dictionary. Unfortunately, I've lost most of my Hebrew, and I really need to get it back (need, but not want...)

Somewhere out there also is a desire for these various other languages. Dutch, because it was easy to pick up, and at one point I was doing academic-level conversation and reading in it, but now it's pretty much all gone. Italian because it's a shared langauge that my wife and I have both let drop, and we like the culture. Other Romance stuff for various "it's pretty" or "why not this, too" reasons. I've played with Old English and found it fascinating. I'm interested in pretty much everything I've tried over there on that "languages" section, though I realize I probably can't get to all of it. And Korean. Korean is my nemesis. I've tried to learn Korean three times. My best friend in the world (apart from my wife) is Korean. At one point, I traveled in-country using no English. I just can't get over the hump with it, and I lose it super fast.

Yeah, so in light of all of that: I managed about half a podcast in French this morning....
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Ogrim
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Ogrim » Tue May 17, 2016 2:10 pm

Welcome "back". An interesting mix of languages you have, I will follow your log systematically :)
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Systematiker
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Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Tue May 17, 2016 2:30 pm

Ogrim wrote:Welcome "back". An interesting mix of languages you have, I will follow your log systematically :)



Thanks! Don't expect there to be anything systematic about my langauge learning, though... I'm a mess! (The name's actually an old joke based on my major, Systematic Theology, because "Dogmatiker" was less funny ATT)
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reineke
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby reineke » Tue May 17, 2016 7:31 pm

Welcome back and best of luck with your language learning.
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Systematiker
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Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Thu May 26, 2016 2:02 pm

In casting about for a method of solidifying Spanish and French, I'm taking a page from Reineke's log. So I'm trying to increase input significantly, and see what happens.

I was traveling a bit as well, so there was more time (on the plane) and less time (because extra stuff) at the same time.

For Spanish, I ran through the review discs from MT as a refresher, and have started listening to more podcasts. Some things I'm at 90-95% understanding, getting the jokes, etc.; others I find it a struggle. The divide has to do with topic, what I'm more familiar with, but also runs along SA/Euro lines. I've also begun watching a terribly cheesy telenovela, and rewatching some stuff on Netflix dubbed into Spanish.

French being less of a priority got, of course, probably more actual time. A few podcasts, and then almost a season and a half of Les Revenants. Started Marseille as well, but I won't go back to it until I finish Les Revenants.

I've been careful to consume a bit more media in German, as I've realized I'm not really doing much besides reading it lately. So a bit of pointless TV and some podcasts hit the spot. I also hit the ancient languages in sermon prep (not currently a weekly task), but there's been no organized learning on any other language front. I did take more time parsing the Greek than normal, to practice grammar. And people got to hear why two different words for "know" were significant :lol:

Not sure how much more I'll manage this week, I have comprehensive exams to prepare for a doctoral student and reviewer markup to correct for an article, so I'm pretty swamped. And if I don't get these leaves raked, it won't matter how many languages I can make excuses in :D
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Systematiker
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:56 pm

Wow, so I procrastinated an update for an entire month...

In the time I have:

In French: Finished Les Revenants, but not done much more in French besides podcasts, and those few and far between. Read the news a few times. Oh, and singing Alouette to my son, who thinks it is hilarious.

In Spanish: Watched a bunch of El Ministerio del Tiempo, Gran Hotel, and El Tiempo entre Costuras, all of which have been fun. El Ministerio del Tiempo's subtitles don't work on my tablet, though, so I'm forced either strain a bit more or sit at the laptop. I've really been enjoying El Tiempo entre Costuras, perhaps surprisingly. Had a couple of brief conversations, read some bits of news and FB posts, and listened to more Spanish podcasts than normal.

In German: Preached once in German, with no real errors (used "Gerecht machen" when I meant "rechtfertigen," but it worked; if anyone wants to read the manuscript, I think I can attach it to a post or something), the normal complement of podcasts, and even a couple of films (how had I managed to never see "Er ist wieder da"? I died lauging). And translation, of course, there's always this stupid translation project. I'm supposed to be done in three weeks, I'll be ever so happy to be finished. With this add-on project, I've been doing these volumes for almost a year. At least the present work is all native-language writers (some of the previous stuff, I was to translate DE-EN that had been from Turkish to German first, or in some cases, Arabic through Turkish, then to German. Fun stuff). Reading a neat book ATM as well.

In everything else: actually started dabbling with Swedish, but my schedule pretty much dropped that for me. Got a bit of Afrikaans with a friend, and watching the SA-EI tests, but not enough to count for, well, anything.

Not much, for a month.
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Olekander
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Olekander » Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:10 pm

very interesting log!

what's your background!!?
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Да нет. :roll:

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Systematiker
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Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Sun Jul 10, 2016 8:33 pm

Olekander wrote:very interesting log!

what's your background!!?



A response, combined with a pathetic update. I managed to have lightning strike my router and phone system, which means I lost internet until a new one could be delivered - after the holiday weekend. So there's been 0 progress on watching or listening to any of this streaming stuff. I'm still doing the translation project, so I guess that counts, but I think doing so much translation is probably bad for idiomatic German. I'm supposed to be done at the end of the coming week.

As to my background: when I was like 20, I started working at a church that served a lot of foreign exchange students. Part of what we did was English comprehension courses, because somehow the uni was able to bring them over without TOEFL or anything and make money off them being in remedial English courses until they could pass. So I hung out a lot with students from many, primarily Asian, countries, and came up with the bright idea "I'm going to speak seven languages by the time I'm 27." By the time I was 27, of course, I was in a doctoral program in another country, and I only spoke to a handful of people that knew me at the time, but I still wanted to do it (and my best friend still asked me if I was going to make it, haha). My original target list included Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, and Russian (all due to friends), and of those, I've never become conversational in any of them (I don't even talk to any of the Japanese speakers I knew any more).

I had to learn German for the program, and had a little in high school, but I had pretty much forgotten all of it by the time I moved there. Since I've got degrees in theology and in philosophy, some of the ancient languages kind of came with it, but the program where I wrote required state-level examinations or equivalent in Hebrew, Ancient Greek, and Latin. They counted nothing I had done, so I had to not only re-learn pretty much everything, but had to take the translation tests translating into German.

Alongside all of that, my wife and I met through one of those language-pen-pal things, and were both interested in langauges, so we actually did a lot of language learning together as a hobby. She was way better in the Romance langauges than I was, she had had Spanish and French as a part of her degree at uni and done Italian courses, and that sort of ended up a priority for me - which was made easier from Latin, and frankly, the Romance langauges are way easier from my starting point.

Now, I'm kind of revising and solidifying what I want to be able to be an academic professional and pastor in, what I'm cool with just having access to some neat stuff in, and what is in the category of "that's neat, but I'm not learning it in-depth"; before, my attitude was one of wanting to be professionally capable in every langauge I study. I'm still not sure where everything is going to land, but being OK with not even aiming at mastery is a big step for me.

Was that what you meant by background?
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Olekander
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Olekander » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:43 am

Systematiker wrote:
Olekander wrote:very interesting log!

what's your background!!?


Was that what you meant by background?



Thanks for the interesting reply! It was kinda what I meant by background! you got all the language info in there! I guess I was confused as to your nationality and background related to that, as you said you were giving sermons in German. I was wondering whether you might have come to America having been born in Germany to a religious group there and perhaps relocated to another German origin religious group in the states, forgotten much of your german and then had to relearn it ahah!

I'm still wondering why your German is so good now if you are finding it hard to aim for mastery in 4 other language. c2 german is no mean feat!!!!!!!!! well done basically
0 x
Да нет. :roll:

: 1000 / 1000 1,000 Russian words: started 15/06/2016 :)
: 15 / 365 365 scriptorium transcriptions: started 19/06/2016
: 2 / 1010 Russian books: 4/06/2016
: 3 / 2121 units of Parla.cat

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Systematiker
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Posts: 829
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Systematiker's attempt at a log

Postby Systematiker » Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:13 pm

Olekander wrote:
Systematiker wrote:
Olekander wrote:very interesting log!

what's your background!!?


Was that what you meant by background?



Thanks for the interesting reply! It was kinda what I meant by background! you got all the language info in there! I guess I was confused as to your nationality and background related to that, as you said you were giving sermons in German. I was wondering whether you might have come to America having been born in Germany to a religious group there and perhaps relocated to another German origin religious group in the states, forgotten much of your german and then had to relearn it ahah!

I'm still wondering why your German is so good now if you are finding it hard to aim for mastery in 4 other language. c2 german is no mean feat!!!!!!!!! well done basically



Ah, gotcha. Nope, born and raised in the States, monolingual English speaker aside from the handful of classes in school until college.

The sermon in German came because I had been traveling, and when I'm in a certain area, I often help out at a congregation that has services in English and in German. The pastor there and I had both needed to be at a meeting, and we arranged to share the Sunday (he did the liturgy, I preached); he did the driving.

Yeah, the German got where it is because I wrote my dissertation in German, then taught for a while there, also in German. I can pretty much do anything in German that I can do in English, though occasionally my writing takes a nosedive. I've always found that most difficult. I am, or was, equally eloquent across the full range of my interests, plus my professional specializations, and probably have a comparable vocabulary.

That's where the mastery comes in as well - I mean, that's what I'm talking about when I say I don't need to speak, say, Spanish or French at that level. Competency, casualness, comfort in conversation, sure. Preach, at least in Spanish, to be sure. But I simply have to admit that I neither need, nor am able, to reach the level of facility that I have in my native language. Now, if I land somewhere where it's dominant and I need to function at that level, well, then priorities change. There's just diminishing returns for me after reaching a certain point, given the situation and my other stuff.

So in that I'm distinguishing between "C2" and "mastery"; I would like in the long term to speak especially Spanish and French at a level comparable to C2, while realizing that there is a huge gap between that and what my native or longtime-equivalent counterpart could do. And it's a longer-term goal; I don't need to learn as quickly as I did German, so I don't have to push myself. It's not so much that I have found it hard to aim at mastery, it's rather that I've found it difficult not to use German as my standard for what and how I need to learn other languages. So being ok with not aiming at mastery is a matter of letting go of a tendency toward perfectionism.
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