Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

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aokoye
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:30 am

To anyone who says they can't understand people who speak the Viennese dialect of German, they haven't heard anything yet and I'm what, an hour and a half outside of Vienna in Pinkafeld in Burgenland. I just got to my friend's parents' house yesterday afternoon and I feel like I'm finally on vacation, a lovely German/English speaking vacation.

Language wise, I'm speaking 100% in German with everyone other than when Mercedes and I are having conversations 1:1, at which point 75% of the time we're speaking English. Yesterday evening was an example of people remarking on my German in a way that was actually them giving me complements as well and also being genuinely interested in where I learned German. Mercedes' parents had three of their friends over for dinner so I was only speaking German outside of answering the question, "what is the word for X in English?" I think it was also probably the most Mercedes had heard me speak German at that point so she was also like, "no really, your German is actually really good." At some point the dialects became an amusing phonological study for me in part because that was the only way I could pick out some of the words. An easy example is, [tyːɐ̯] (Tür) becoming [dyːɐ̯].

I suspect Mercedes' dad and I are also going to end up bonding over cooking. I've never been in such an amazing kitchen in my life. I have another friend whose previous house had an amazing kitchen, but this trumps anything I've seen. Also I am going to end up flipping through a lot of cookbooks. There's a very large bookshelf full of cookbooks, a smaller one also full of cookbooks, and then multiple stacks of cookbooks on top of the small bookshelf along with 40 some cooking magazines (probably more). He also has the full set of Modernist Cuisine.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby Elenia » Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:33 pm

The kitchen sounds like a dream! My dad loves cooking and entertaining big groups of people, so our kitchen at home reflects that (a double oven, a single oven, a microwave with a grill function, a gas top and an induction cooker). I really, really miss our kitchen! I'm a lazy cook - I don't like cooking for myself - but I like cooking with and for people.

About switching: I'm finding most people here start off in Swedish, then ask me (still in Swedish) if Swedish is okay or if I want to switch to English. It probably helps that I'm in a very multicultural town. I don't know how different it would be in a small village out in the countryside. My boyfriend and I usually speak English together when alone (as much because his English is a dream to listen to as because that's the language we started our relationship in) but the only time a restaurant server switched upon hearing us was when the server in question was in fact from Toronto. He spoke amazing Swedish, though, and code-switched with us throughout the evening. I get a lot of 'du är så duktig' in Swedish, as well as questions about how I learnt so quickly. But then I get 'you're so clever' from English speakers too, so I don't make much of it. Thankfully my Swedish has never been called 'cute'.

On the t/v d/S distinction: I don't pick up on it, and so do not get offended. I might notice after I have started a conversation that I am automatically using tu form, and will apologise and ask if it's okay. I usually only have informal conversations in French though, so my interlocutors have always been fine with it. I also often mix them up, as I remember some verbs more easily in one form than another. I have never really thought of it as indicative for the respect you have for your interlocutor as a person (instead I have always simply separated it into formal vs. informal, which is definitely not the same thing). I will definitely try to keep it in order, although 12+ years of a misinformed understanding might be difficult to correct.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:38 pm

Small and not so small victories: doing everything involving my flight back to Berlin in German. I mean I'm I used the kiosk in English which was smart, but otherwise it was all German including in flight stuff. I also went through customs without any English. Needless to say they were very confused as to why I had so much Zotter chocolate and I'm glad I know how to explain why I have testosterone in backpack in German. Perhaps more than that I'm glad that there's an M on my passport. I find it odd that we went through customs at all but I suspect it was an issue with having a different gate than we were originally assigned and said baggage claim gate had a customs area (though only the EU area was open).

Right now I'm on the bus (and then the ubahn) to my host mother's house at which point i will introduce myself to the new person they have staying there and then find food (probably döner) unless my host mother beats me home.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:25 pm

So where do things currently stand?

First and foremost I still start my language log posts with "so" on a frequent basis ;) Also I'm back from my short unintentional hiatus which was caused by school, some general interpersonal annoyance, busyness, and general exhaustion. Language wise, I'm still studying German though not nearly as intensively because there aren't enough hours in the day nor do I have enough energy. That said I go to twice monthly German speaking groups which has been really good for me and am picking back up my flashcard regimen with Learn with Oliver. I churned through something like 800 plus reviews a few days ago - it was quite a way of procrastinating that's for sure!
I'm also getting paid to do German stuff which is great! I have a grant funded research assistantship for this school year (so through June 2018) that requires me to collect, transcribe, and analyze German language data. The transcriptions are using conversation analysis conventions and then I do two interlinear translations, a morpheme-by-morpheme translation and an English gloss. My transcripts end up looking something like this. Needless to say with about an hour of video that needs to be transcribed my German will likely get a lot better though this. I'm also slowly working through the Wortschatzübungen für Fortgeschrittene book that I got in Berlin which, is actually interesting. We'll see if I stay through the entire book (unlikely) but it's fun going so far and I like that everything is in one book. I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting their listening comprehension book when I was in Berlin but oh well. Given that it seems rather difficult to get online I might see if one of my friends in Europe can get it for me (obviously i'd either pay them back of ship them something in return). I might think about actually taking a proficiency test in the fall of 2018 after I've graduated with my BA but we shall see - it's really dependent on what I'm thinking about for grad school.

So yeah German:
I'm transcribing German data and including two types of translation in my transcription
Going to stammtisch twice a month
Vocab

Other language stuff - I am sloooooowly working on Japanese for the billionth time. Japanese breaks my, "I'd like to spend time in this country" rule because I am really drawn to the writing system. It is the one think that keeps me coming back to it. I am going through Wanikani very slowly and downloaded the newish smartphone app LingoDeer. I'm not looking for miracles here, rather how can I study Japanese at a relaxed pace while still maintaining my interest. I think the current goal is to learn no more than 10 items on wanikani a day (so two complete lessons) and then keep things on Lingodeer low key. I have no real limits to that at the moment because there's just so much easy review. That said I'm doing all of the lessons in Kanji without furigana.

I am also seriously thinking about taking ASL - because ya know, that's totally sustainable and I have tons of time. It is a language that I think is beyond foolhardy to learn on one's own without any local external input if you want to actually communicate with people who speak ASL (I think this is the same of other sign languages as well) and the best ASL classes in the city are a five minute drive from my house. It potentially takes longer to find parking than it does to actually drive there (and no, it's not walkable unless you want to arrive very very sweaty - and it's especially not walkable for me until probably April of 2018). I have two friends who speak ASL at fairly high proficiencies which isn't helping matters in terms of me telling myself that I really should wait on this. We shall see - depending on if I get into a specific program I might take it this summer.

In other news I have knee surgery in 5 days. Assuming things aren't running late I will be in the OR at this time on Thursday. It's the same surgery I had last year but it does mean that I am going to have even less energy for the next 8 weeks minimum. I think it took about two months for me to feel normal energy wise after my last surgery, probably a bit more. My immune system also took a hit which is no surprise - the whole being under anesthesia for three hours thing. Plus major physical trauma in terms of my knee and tibia.

I still have the makings up that Learning with Oliver review on my computer so we'll see if I can get that up by the end of December. I, per usual, am not promising anything.
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Re:

Postby Morgana » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:44 pm

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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:16 am

Thanks! So far relaxed Japanese is pretty awesome. I feel like things, or at least kanji, is sticking better because I'm going so slowly and not pushing myself. On WaniKani I make sure that I do my reviews but otherwise I learn no more than 10 new items (radicals, kanji, and/or vocab) a day. It's funny because I think a lot of people are are in the, "how can I do this as quickly as possible?!?" mindset, but so far this, slow drip fed like way of doing things is quite enjoyable. It's just not as stressful.

I don't actually care right now about how fast I do or don't get through WaniKani's 60 levels. Frankly I have way too much going on in my life and far too little time to bite off study any language intensively. Classes, surgery on Thursday, research assistantship stuff, soon PT, mental health stuff, and so on. I am more dedicated to German but I won't be able to study terribly intensively until at least the summer, if not the fall.
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Re:

Postby Morgana » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:05 pm

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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:46 pm

This has been my day today:

"I'm awake! I should put some German vocab words in one of my lists on Learn with Oliver!" and then five minutes later I pass out because really I'm not awake at all. Welcome to post op Adam who is doing some pretty major stitching together of bone and thus exhausted. I'm in really good spirits which is kind of shocking, but I'm asleep more hours than I am awake which makes total sense. I tend to be very awake in the early morning when I wake up for my first dose of pain meds for the day, but I suspect part of that is because I'm in more pain and also because it's after my longest amount of solid sleep.

I got to take my bandages off today and take a shower which was awesome. I have a boat load of incisions which is to be expected. The main one from the tibial tubercle osteotomy (TTO) looks amazing and there isn't any surgical glue nor scabs for me to be tempted to pick at on that one. It's also not painful at the moment. The two from the arthroscopy are scabby but that's normal and not exciting - they also don't hurt at all. The two MPFL ones are scabby and super painful which is totally normal and annoying. The issue is that they rub up against my brace which is especially bad when I'm sleeping. Right now I'm going to see what happens if I wear cycling tights on that leg as a barrier. If that doesn't work well this evening I will find some sort of foam or silicone disk. The two screws on my right tibia also got taken out and my current goal is not picking at the scab (I have been failing at that goal).

I am going to try to work on some German after I post this but we shall see. I'll probably put something on ZDF on and doze off.
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:50 am

Recovery wise things are physically going well. I'm stronger than last year and I'm doing massive amounts of sleeping. I've been awake since, probably 4pm, but I spent most of the rest of the day asleep, waking up occasionally to eat, but almost all of my morning and afternoon were spent sleeping. PT is also going well. Pain levels are super low and I'm quickly weening myself off of pain meds with no ill effects. My knee is achy sometimes when I'm in the CPM (like right now) and then when i wake up in the morning. It's not hurting enough in the CPM to take oxycodone though we'll see how I'm doing tomorrow when I plan on longer sessions when I'm awake - it only hurts when I get above to above 55 degrees of flexion and even then not that much and not at every cycle (the max for the next some odd weeks is 60 and I'm at 60). It's also not my actual joint that hurts, rather one or two of the MPFL replacement incisions.

Depression wise I'm completely and utterly miserable and it sucks. It makes a ton of sense, but it still is awful. I'm not sure that there's anything else that I can do to mitigate it either which makes it that much worse. My regularly scheduled therapy appt for today got canceled as well because my therapist is sick and then Thursday (the other day I normally have therapy) is Thanksgiving. One of my friends is going to try to come visit on Friday which would be lovely.

Language wise - well I'm doing a lot of sleeping so not a lot of studying. I have been adding words to Learn with Oliver every few days and just finished with chapter 1.2 of the advanced vocab book I bought in Berlin. I also watched a documentary on ZDF this afternoon (I've been watching one every few days it seems).
I played around on the desktop version of DuoLingo's Japanese lessons and they are laughable. I'm not exactly surprised, but given how many people seem to use Duolingo without any other resources, help, or prior knowledge, it's a mess. It's a somewhat amusing way to waste time for me if only because I do have some background knowledge, but the way it's constructed is horrible. You could maybe blame some of it on the fact that kanji have multiple readings, but there are other things like the introduction of particles and things like, "oh if I hover over the sentence it won't give me the translation." As of now I would recommend it to...maybe someone who is taking Japanese at school/uni and wants an easy and lazy way to review between school terms. It's like a horrible excuse for people who don't want to study Japanese with a textbook of any kind. I've tried their German, Dutch, French, and Norwegian courses and, while I haven't finished any of them, all of them are significantly better than this Japanese course. The app I was talking about in my last post, LingoDeer, is better than Duolingo's Japanese course.
I'm also slowly making my way through WaniKani which is more enjoyable for my purposes (and, I would argue, actually useful).
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aokoye
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Re: Aokoye's Journey Through German (and other languages?)

Postby aokoye » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:24 am

Lots of drama is going on with post op stuff which is, interesting. It's not awful drama, but it did involve an ER trip on Friday night and I have a follow up tomorrow morning (with potentially more poking at the uninfected but draining hematoma).

Language wise things are shifting ever so slightly. I'm still doing German (always with the German) but I've decided to only do Wanikani after taking a brief detour into vocab from Genki 1 on Renshu. I've also decided to restart Dutch on Duolingo because I keep toying with the idea of applying to a few grad schools in The Netherlands. Neither of the programs is in Dutch but I'd obviously like to have as good a handle as possible on Dutch if I were to do either of them. I also just like Dutch as a language so there's that. Duolingo is also useful because I can do it while I'm on the go and waiting for things like appointments (of which I have so many).

I also need to ramp up my German studying and will probably buy a C2 book this evening. I suspect that there might be a German proficiency test in my near future (within the next 12 months). It's been feeling weird to only be focused on vocabulary (I haven't had the energy to read anything of substance in any language outside of the bare minimum for school stuff). I also need to watch more German stuff in general. I don't suspect there's going to be an issue there because historically it's been my prefered method of procrastinating, but given that I've been dealing with post-op stuff I just haven't had the energy which is pretty logical.

In reality what I want to do is this:
Dutch
- Go through all of Duoling specifically with the goal of increasing my vocabulary
- Work through Nederlands in gang (also I need to download all of the online material now while I still have access to it)

German
- Start Erkundungen C2
- Keep up with the vocab book
- Work on grammar in a really impactful way so that I can produce it as opposed to read it and know what's going on.
- Watch more stuff on ZDF and the like

The only thing in those lists that involves buying anything new is Erkundungen C2. I was going to say that I wanted to work through the C1 book I used this summer in a more comprehensive way before working on the C2, but I looked at the samples of the C2 book and the reading isn't a stretch for me. I have more grammar books that I actually need (I need to sell some to Powell's), and ZDF is free. I also already have the ebook version of Nederlands in gang and well, duolingo is what it is.

So yea, here's to winding my way through two very closely related languages, both of which I like and one of which will make learning the other significantly easier.
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