There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

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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: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby Ogrim » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:20 am

Ogrim wrote:The most popular, and longest-running quizz show in France is Questions pour un champion. It may not be the easiest show to follow though, as they tend to speak rather fast.


A similar long-running quizz show in Spain is Saber y ganar. It's been running continuously since 1997, and always with the same presenter, Jordi Hurtada.

Edit: Apologies for quoting myself, I was going to edit the first post, but pressed the wrong button. :oops:
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MamaPata
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:40 am

Thank you for the recommendations - they sound great! :) It's much appreciated.

Language learning is ticking along - I have done a lot of italki lessons this month, which I know helps me. I am also pushing on with Colloquial Russian - I probably won't finish it when planned, but I'm making good progress. Colloquial French has rather disappeared but I'm not too worried about it. I have two weeks until I go and stay with a family in Yakutsk, so Russian is the main thing! I am really looking forward to this: Yakutsk looks fascinating, the family seem nice, it will be a much more immersive experience than I have ever had. But obviously, it's also a little stressful.

That said, while I am doing far more active Russian study, I am getting a lot of French input. We are now about a third of the way into the Super Challenge, and for the first time I am slightly ahead of target for French. It looks like I will only manage a half challenge for Russian but I will continue aiming for the full one to keep me motivated. The Super Challenge has been amazing for me in terms of my French - I was skating along with it last year, despite doing a course, but this has really made me integrate French into my life and I can see the benefits.

Growing up, my mum always taught us that children ought to learn a language, an instrument, and to swim. (I did not succeed with music! :lol: ) As a result, languages have always been one of the things I view as a key skill? And that building that skill is also part of building your character. Currently I'm reading a translation of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I read a ton of books like this when I was growing up (Little House on the Prairie, Pollyanna, Pippi Longstocking...) and it's funny seeing how much they influenced me. They're all about self-improvement and battling your faults, working hard, etc, etc, and while I'm not very successful at these things, they're very much the background of how I make plans and decisions. And especially for languages! It's a very useful thing for me to read at the moment, in a funny way. I am trying to use this year in Russia to build my language skills, but also to work on some of my faults, as I now have far fewer commitments and lots more time than I would in the UK. And learning languages forces you to build so many other skills: you have to learn to be patient, to be committed, to do what you can, to listen to others, not to compare yourself to others... None of these are my natural skills! So it's nice to read something where the characters are struggling with these things, but you also know they will succeed! I'm not entirely sure what my point was here, but it's something that I have been mulling over, and that has helped me these last few weeks. I'd be intrigued to know how you all think about these things (both in regards to language and otherwise!). I'm always interested in people's goals and the way they think about them.
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SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

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Fortheo
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby Fortheo » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:33 am

Just stopping by to let you know that I've been following your log. We have interest in similar languages—I may even join you on the Russian journey come new year. Keep up the good work. I'm interested in where your studies will take you with Russian!
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MamaPata
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:43 am

Fortheo wrote:Just stopping by to let you know that I've been following your log. We have interest in similar languages—I may even join you on the Russian journey come new year. Keep up the good work. I'm interested in where your studies will take you with Russian!


Exciting! I'll look forward to hearing about it! (Fingers crossed you do pick it up!)
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SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:32 am

Life is ambling along! I am still trying to sort the homestay (I love Russian bureaucracy :cry: ) as I had been planning to leave today and now probably won't until this time next week. In more fun news, however, I finished the French Duolingo tree! Duolingo is a very imperfect resource and I am obviously doing other things for my French. But it does have its uses, and it's made me more motivated to keep plugging away with it for Russian, which is where it will be more useful. I have also reached a 100 day streak on memrise! (These are the benefits of a competitive girlfriend who is also on memrise). I have also now done 300 hours of language work since May this year.

I have been feeling a bit down about things (not helped by navigating endless bureaucracy!). I am in an incredibly lucky position that many learners on this forum would love: I am in a country where my TL is spoken, and I have a ton of free time. And I really want to take advantage of this situation and push my languages as far as I can over the next six months. I love reading this forum and it's incredibly inspiring to see how much people manage to get out of their time. And this has been incredibly useful to me. I would not have done anything like as much work without this forum, without all of your examples and advice. But lately I've started to feel a bit like I am running into a brick wall, and I have started to feel very irritable with Russian. And it got me to thinking a bit about how I learn and why I am learning the languages I am.

I have been learning French and Spanish (with some gaps and at very different levels of intensity) for around ten years now. Both languages are now inextricably tied up with teachers I've had, people I've met, places I've been, books, film, etc, etc. There are so many reasons I study/have studied these languages, and there are lots of things I want to do with them (read Allende, watch films, read the 3 Musketeers, potentially live there, etc). Whereas I did slightly end up doing Russian by sheer accident (and then again studying it, which is potentially more worrying). And I do love Russian and I love being here. But when I'm asked why I'm studying it or what I want to do with it, beyond, you know - graduating, I'm not entirely sure what the answers are. And I'm not at the point like I am with French where I can do stuff in Russian and find out those answers. (I am slowly reading Winnie-the-Pooh and it's intensely painful).

And I'm also not someone who manages having time well. :lol: Self-motivation isn't one of my strengths and I have always managed that by being very busy, and so having to make the most of the rest of the time, because there is no other choice. I am never going to sit down and study for more than 25 minutes at a time, unless I'm actively being made to. I am amazed by people like PeterM who can keep themselves focused on one thing. But I am very happy being a jack of all trades! So, for the next few months, I want to try and relax about language learning. I am going to try and play with a wider variety of things: read more, do more cultural activities, pick up my very neglected Spanish, maybe muck around with some Latin, learn more history, work on my university project. I am definitely going to keep going with Russian (I have to! It's my degree! And I do love it, even though it's a pain at times), but I'm going to try and relax about it.

TL;DR: I need to calm down and breathe a little!
4 x
SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:51 am

I made it to Yakutsk! :o My visa finally came through last week, and I have been staying with a family here since Friday. I will be here until Wednesday, and will then be travelling around Russia with my mum for a fortnight. So posts will continue to be few and far in between, but I will be doing lots of language work!

This is a brilliant experience for my Russian - I am exclusively speaking Russian, I am listening to the family talking to each other, plus I am getting to explore Yakutsk and learn about the Sakha Republic. It's an incredible place and I love it here. I have been to two productions at the theatre entirely in Yakut, which was fascinating. My teacher also put me in contact with someone from the university, so I met with a group of students learning English. When we met we primarily spoke in Russian, and I am hoping that we may do some language exchanges via skype in the future. I have also been going around all the city's museums, which has been a brilliant choice. Obviously they are in Russian, so I have been reading quite a lot. But also, I have mostly been the only person there and the staff have personally taken me round to explain all of the exhibits and about the museum.

Otherwise, things are ticking along. I have been to the cinema in Russian, and have been trying to read some Harry Potter (I have finally finished the first chapter). I am also continuing to read in French - I suspect the next few weeks are foing to be good for my French SC reading scores! I have also downloaded some crappy romance novels in Spanish, to get me back into that.

Most amusingly though, in the Mammoth museum, they have a short film which is only available in English. The head of Collections showed it to me, and noted this. When I said that was fine, he congratulated me for my English. :lol: (The TV then stopped working and when I tried to explain this in Russian, he quickly realised I'm not actually Russian! But it was still nice, even if it bore no relation to my Russian skills). And as a result, he spent over an hour talking to me in Russian, and even made me translate the video for two other people (this was largely a failure but I tried!).
7 x
SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

whatiftheblog
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby whatiftheblog » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:41 am

MamaPata wrote:This is a brilliant experience for my Russian - I am exclusively speaking Russian, I am listening to the family talking to each other, plus I am getting to explore Yakutsk and learn about the Sakha Republic. It's an incredible place and I love it here. I have been to two productions at the theatre entirely in Yakut, which was fascinating.


When I had my DNA mapped, I was delighted to learn that a (very small, but still!) percentage of my lineage is Yakut! :D There's apparently a very vibrant youth music scene as well - lots of Yakut rap (!) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNa038MBgHk

Hope your stay continues to go well!

ETA: Sorry, and this :lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSvPw_Qzj8
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MamaPata
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:59 am

whatiftheblog wrote:
When I had my DNA mapped, I was delighted to learn that a (very small, but still!) percentage of my lineage is Yakut! :D There's apparently a very vibrant youth music scene as well - lots of Yakut rap (!) on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNa038MBgHk

Hope your stay continues to go well!

ETA: Sorry, and this :lol: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSvPw_Qzj8


Yeah, it's really fascinating! I went to a music show, which had acts from local kids including breakdance (no rap) and they were really good! There's real effort being put in to expand the musical scene and increase musical education, which I find very interesting!

Maybe you should learn Yakut.... :D

(Edited for typos)
1 x
SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

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MamaPata
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:10 am

I am now half way through my travels and I'm having a brilliant time! We're seeing so many different parts of Russia, and it's fascinating to see the similarities and how they vary. It's also so good for my Russian, and I can really see that I have progressed since my meltdown earlier in this log! We are taking the train, so I have been talking a lot with women we've met. Although my production is incredibly limited, I am actually understanding what they're saying (though this is definitely the gist and not full comprehension). I'm getting a lot of compliments from people we meet, which is also nice! I'm not taking it seriously, but it helps! So that's a huge turning point for me, and it's making me feel far more motivated to watch and listen to more stuff in Russian. Might finally start making some progress with the Russian side of the Super Challenge. :lol:

In addition, I am translating for my mother, who speaks no Russian. She wants to know everything, so this is definitely pushing me to learn more words (my food vocabulary is far bigger now!) and practise more than I would on my own. This may be very dangerous for our relationship, but it's definitely good for my Russian. :? We also have a lot of train time so I am reading in both Russian and French (and a few English Christmas presents).

I have also made friends with some Chinese people on trains and in museums, which is making me feel more than ever that I really ought to learn some basic Mandarin... It's not a language I ever want to study seriously, but I'd like to be able to have a basic conversation.
3 x
SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000

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MamaPata
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
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Re: There are worse things I could do... (FR, RU, ES)

Postby MamaPata » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:50 am

Well I am back home again! It's been an incredible experience, but I was ready to have my own room again! :P I now have about two weeks until classes start again. So I am planning to have a fairly low key time - a lot of self study, lots of museums, italki lessons, etc. While I have time on my hands, I really want to consolidate the progress I've made, so I'm set up well for the final term.

Now that Russian is becoming more fun, and I've got a bit of momentum, I really want to prioritise it. Last year I actually spent more time on French than Russian (not including classes), which is somewhat foolish given the degree in Russian. As a result, my stats for the Super Challenge are really lagging behind for Russian. So planning lots and lots of input. But I also have signed up for a (written only) Output Challenge in Russian. I suspect that when I return to university in September, we will be expected to do a lot more writing than previously, so this should set me up well for that. Now I just need to find things to write about...

Italki is having a February Challenge and I have signed up. (I seem to have an automatic response to anything called a Challenge... I'm not sure I like what that says about me!) Honestly, I am getting more annoyed with the italki challenges. I really liked the first one because you got money for a lesson when you completed. It wasn't masses, but it made a difference and it felt more equal. Whereas now, it's a certificate, a t-shirt, or they make a donation (and don't say how much). I don't know how much they take in commission, but I am sure that they make a fairly reasonable profit from these challenges. Whereas I will be cashing out, but not actually receiving anything? It feels quite underhanded to me and very capitalistic, which is not how they present themselves. But it didn't cost anything to sign up, so I will see how it goes. Does anybody teach on Italki? How much do they take?
1 x
SC French Hours: 162 / 225 SC French Pages: 5597 / 7500
SC Russian Hours: 155 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1742 / 5000
Output Challenge: 13456 / 50000


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