Lilly's log - French, Russian and Spanish

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Fortheo
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby Fortheo » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:24 pm

blaurebell wrote:

As for bizarre ideologies: I'm a roboticist by training and I can tell you that we could abolish work and money altogether in less than 100 years if we wanted it. We would live in a paradise where everyone would have all the time in the world to learn languages, further their knowledge, create art or solve the social problems on this planet. We barely even use a minute fraction of our automation potential because we simply can't quite imagine yet what freedom really looks like. Even the communists never went as far as to imagine a world without work! In any case, it's not what's going to happen anyway. Of course capitalists and communists would unite to string up the lunatic who would want to abolish both capital AND work in one go! The ideology of only-who-works-should-eat is too deeply ingrained to to allow us even the freedom to dream about such a world. So, instead of building a roboticist's utopia we will produce another gazillion gadgets we don't need and another 100 spring collections that will end up in a landfill before the year is over. Another few generations will waste their lives on meaningless jobs in pursuit of meaningless pieces of paper and the world will keep on turning. C'est la vie.


I don't usually broach these topics because the people around me will look at me like an alien when I express my opinions, but you reminded me of a quote that I've always loved:

Image


Also, I've been trying to get back to reading in English again, and I noticed you mention the Belgariad series several times, so I picked that up :) Thanks for the recommendations.
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blaurebell
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:44 am

Arnaud wrote:Did you check on the CeLT site: the version here contains a lot of pauses (they were added after the recordings, when you listen with headphones, the background hum is regularly cutted). Problem: this version contains also a lot of english...


Thank you! Yes, that version has longer pauses, but all that English is so inefficient! Maybe it's actually good that this version is keeping me on my toes. Yesterday there were some phonetics drills in there with long pauses and they somehow seemed a lot more boring!

Fortheo wrote:I don't usually broach these topics because the people around me will look at me like an alien when I express my opinions, but you reminded me of a quote that I've always loved:


Thank you for the wonderful quote! I get some weird looks for my opinions too, probably because I've always been a bit between cultures.

Fortheo wrote:Also, I've been trying to get back to reading in English again, and I noticed you mention the Belgariad series several times, so I picked that up Thanks for the recommendations.


It's a real page turner. Not really great literature and very long, but it's a story that stays with you somehow. I remember the story in a lot of detail although I've read it more than 20 years ago when I was a child. Re-reading it in Russian feels a bit like time travel for me. I think we might be 4 on the forum reading these books right now: Systematiker and Hundetier were reading it in Spanish I believe, you're reading it in English and I'm reading it in Russian now, in German as a child. Yay for translations to unite language learners with different TLs! :D
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby Rebecca » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:01 am

Hi Lilly!

I've been reading through your log and I'm greatly intrigued (and impressed!) by your success with teaching yourself French in such a short time using LWT. :)

I'm also learning French. It's my first foreign langauge, so often I feel I'm struggling a bit, although I have made some progress in the last year despite several major setbacks. I had never considered using LWT before and did not know much about it, but reading about your experience with it has made me really want to try it out. As I am a voracious reader, it seems like it might be the perfect method for me and, importantly, one which I might find fun!

I have not downloaded the software yet, but I have played with the demo a bit. If you have the time I would really like to know a little more about your specific method of using LWT, as at first glance it does not seem very user-friendly:

1) You mentioned that you read about 5,000 pages over about 3 months using LWT and afterwards had something like 28,000 terms saved in the database, if I recall correctly. Does that mean you literally looked up every new word you encountered and manually typed a definition for it 28,000 seperate times in the course of 3 months?

2) How did you deal with verb conjugations? For example, did you make a note of the infinitive in your translation too, etc? How did you deal with words which can have several different meanings?

3) Did you make a note of gender for nouns in the translation box?

4) What French dictionary/dictionaries did you use?

5) Did you make use of the 1-5 colour coding system for different stages of learning words? If so, at what point did you mark words as known?

6) Did you make use of the tag feature when defining your translations? If so, what sort of tags did you use?

7) Did you upload a whole Harry Potter book at a time, or did you take it in smaller chunks, like a chapter at a time, for instance? Did you listen to the Harry Potter audio books as you read?

8) I've read some things about people finding the installation a problem and being concerned about the security aspect of installing LWT and running your own server. Did you encounter any problems?

9) At what point did you start watching your dubbed series? Did you watch concurrently with your reading, or wait until you had finished your 5,000 pages? What was your comprehension like?

10) Readlang seems to provide almost the same service as LWT, except the definitions are already saved and are seen by just hovering over the words in the text. This seems to be a much more time-efficient way of essentially doing the same thing, but I'm wondering if the act of manually entering all the word definitions for yourself in LWT is part of its 'magic'? Do you have any experience of using Readlang?

Sorry for the interrogation, Lilly, but I find all this fascinating! :lol: I would appreciate any tips you may have for me to get the best out of LWT.

Thank you! :)
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:01 am

Russian

Yesterday's Modern Russian lesson took me more than 1 1/2h to finish with the exercises in the workbook. They finally asked for some Russian and I put the exercises onto lang8 in the end. I made 1 real mistake: I used Accusative instead of the prepositional case with location in one sentence, not in the others though. Might have been a typo actually. I also put commas in the wrong places, but well, my punctuation is manic in most of my languages. The worst is probably my German punctuation, because of the spelling reform that happened halfway through my school years.
In general I'm not disappointed with my first Russian writing exercise though!

The Assimil lesson was easy, both in text and in pronunciation. Still tempted to replace it by Glossika, but I would like to try to finish Assimil at least with one language! And with that I mean both Assimil Le Russe and Le Russe Perfectionnement. The latter course was actually the incentive for learning French in the first place. It would be a little silly to give up on Assimil before I even reach that course! Russian needs definitely a lot more discipline than French - it's harder, so the temptation to give up or reduce the "torture hours" is always there at the back of my mind. By the way, thanks to all the Assimil shadowing I can actually read aloud fairly well now, at least the Assimil dialogues. Not sure that I gain much from it with regards to grammar or vocabulary, but at least for the pronunciation it's a good path to follow.

I'm still continuing with 5 minutes of Duolingo a day and I'm down to the last 6 skills, one of them long. Also Clozemaster is still part of my routine, exposing me to lots of strange but natural sounding sentences with the occasional swearword here and there. 5% done on the fluency fast track and I'm also doing dictation on the word groupings. I find it useful while I'm still banging my head against the comprehension barrier. Once I can read fairly well I'll probably ditch it though. I continue to listen to the audiobook of Ночной дозор at a rate of 10min a day and I follow the story already. Every now and then there is a full sentence I understand now. Still quite fuzzy on the details though.

No reading again. I will try to get some done today. Russian hours: 3.3h

French

One episode of Angel French dubs, another 40 pages in the Kundera book. Didn't put much time into it yesterday because I was tired and Russian kept my mind occupied: French hours: 1.5h.

Total hours: 4.8h.

Stats

I miss my 6WC stats. My own stats are a little more fuzzy and I keep them separated by study activities and macro skills. Activities: Pronunciation, Vocabulary, Lessons and Grammar. I usually put FSI style things and Duolingo in the grammar skill while still doing strengthening, otherwise Duolingo falls under vocabulary, Assimil will be lessons and Clozemaster falls under vocabulary, Glossika goes as pronunciation. For macro skills I usually have plenty of stuff for reading and listening and Assimil active wave under writing. The speaking category will still remain empty for quite a long time I suppose. I also have colour coded target values for the skills and activities. Skills are ideal when they are above 2h, study activities when they are less than 1h, encourage native content engagement, discourage activities that might make me burn out. And in general I only do study activities for my focus language, so that I avoid spreading myself too thin - this year it's Russian, last year it was French, next year it will be Spanish. I find stats encouraging and it makes sure that I don't neglect any skills too much. It's helpful to know that I've spent 100h less on listening comprehension than on reading comprehension with French. I don't have such detailed stats for Spanish, otherwise I would have realised much earlier that I need to focus more on reading there.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:41 pm

Rebecca wrote:I would appreciate any tips you may have for me to get the best out of LWT.


I wanted to write a post for the forum about the details of this method after finishing with Russian, but your questions helped to write a preliminary draft, thanks for the prompt! I hope I didn't miss any of your questions along the way! So, work in progress, feel free to ask more questions if you have any!

So let's call this post:

How I use LWT for learning languages

First of all this method only works for people who can have fun with a dictionary and are voracious readers. If you can spend hours with a good book and sometimes can't seem to put certain books down, this is the way to go.

I tend to start very early with intensive reading, when I can barely even decipher a sentence with a dictionary. It helps me get lots of examples of real world grammar in realistic scenarios, so it's good practice even when it's hard. In some languages that have a lot of cognates in common with a language I know and share grammar structures with one of my languages, reading early is actually easy. With French I had 60-70% known vocabulary right from the start through English and Spanish and the grammar was pretty much like Italian grammar. It was so easy that I understood about 40% of any text without ever having learned a word of French. With a difficult language containing lots of crazy grammar a simple thing like parsing a sentence can seem impossible though. If every sentence you are trying to read makes no sense whatsoever even after looking up all the words, it's too early to be reading and you should go back to studying a bit more grammar. One impossible to parse sentence per page is fine, you'll just need a translation to check what it really means. However, most of the sentences should make sense with all the words known or else you'll spend way too much time with grammar tables.

Preliminary preparation

Pronunciation

How to get to this stage? Before you start reading you should have the sound system of the language in place or otherwise your own subvocalisation while reading will give you a horrible accent and problems understanding native speakers later on. I can't stress the importance of this enough. DO NOT SKIP THIS! You will hurt your learning process if you do. So, the first thing you need to focus on is pronunciation. The method I use is minimal pairs listening drills in combination with daily shadowing. There are different sources for minimal pairs listening drills, like the first few lessons of FSI and for some languages FSI has specific pronunciation courses, like for example FSI French phonology. Another excellent source for such drills is Gabriel Wyner's Pronunciation trainer for anki. These drills will make sure that you can actually hear the difference between the sounds that you're supposed to produce and those that you think you are hearing / producing. For French I used first Wyner's pronunciation trainer and followed it up with a few lessons of FSI French Phonology. At the same time I already started to shadow Assimil dialogues, at one lesson a day. You can also use Glossika for shadowing, but aim for at least 15 sentences a day, doing your best to reach the speed and exact intonation of the native speaker on the recording while speaking at the same time as the recording. Using a software like Audacity helps, since you can just mark one sentence and play it over and over. With no prior knowledge shadowing is much easier with Assimil sentences - they increase in difficulty - than with Glossika, and in general this is hard, because you will stumble over your own tongue a lot. Don't get discouraged, it will get easier with time and it really works to develop a good accent.

At the same time already try to listen to at least 10 minutes of native audio from day one - audio only preferably - and make sure you listen to the melody rather than trying to understand what you hear. If you are dealing with a language where the pronunciation isn't totally obvious from the spelling, do listening-reading with an audiobook for this, otherwise listening only. Not sure? French, Italian, Spanish, German - listening; English, Russian- listening-reading! The cool thing is that if you continue with Assimil, and intensive reading you will start to understand bits and pieces without even making an effort to understand. Depending on the difficulty of the language after about 1 or 2 months you will start to pick out full sentences that you already understand and you will be able to roughly follow what's going on.

Grammar

The other thing you need is grammar, otherwise you won't understand the sentences even if you look up every word. The fastest method to get a quick grammar overview is Duolingo. It's so efficient because it gives you this overview without forcing you to produce too much of the grammar actively. Grammar heavy courses normally focus on production and this involves slow painful drilling. Not what we need right now! On average half the Duolingo tree will give you enough grammar to start reading, even if you don't have prior knowledge from a closely related language. And yes, this worked also for a language as difficult as Russian for me. I tend to power through most of the tree with 100XP a day, 50XP new lessons at least, trying to keep the tree golden as I go along. This is a means to an end - if you don't enjoy Duolingo and know enough grammar of your language to decipher sentences, skip this. If you think you've got all the basic grammar covered after doing half the tree, drop it.

Why I use LWT

There are other reading systems with integrated dictionaries, Readlang, Lingq, Kindle, but I prefer LWT. The reason is that LWT is free, has colour coding, I can integrate 2 different dictionaries of my choice + Google translate and I have to type in each translation into the database myself. The latter seems inefficient *but* it's actually why this method is so effective for me. I read about 2500 pages with my kindle in Spanish and can't say that my precision in understanding improved through that in any noticeable or quantifiable way. I just remember words better when I type them rather than just read the translation in the dictionary.

The only problem with LWT is that it's not easy to install. You need to have a web server running and that can also create all sorts of issues if you're in a public network - university campus networks, cafés etc. If you're in a public network and don't know what a web server is and what the heck you're doing, stop! You need to know how to make your web server only available for your own computer and that's not always trivial. If you get this wrong, people might try to hack your computer for the fun of it, and that's only fun for the hacker, not for you. However (!!!), don't be afraid of using LWT when you're not in a public network though. There is no way LWT can compromise the security of your computer when you're in your home network. Just remember to turn off your web server when you use your computer in a public wifi. If you've concluded from this that LWT is not for you, you can try one of the other options I mentioned above. Those are not quite as good and flexible as LWT, but tend to be easier to use at least.

How I use LWT to read

Depending on whether this is a new language or a language where I already have plenty of experience reading extensively I will use LWT a little differently. For new languages I copy a single page from an epub of the book I'm reading and then read along paying special attention to the blue / new words, looking them up, typing in the definition. Generally I will almost never click "Well known" even if I know the word reasonably well, so that I get a maximum amount of practice out of each word form I see. If you start reading very early almost none of the words are well known from the start anyway, unless it's a very obvious cognate. Those I tend to mark as well known right away so as not to waste my time.

For each new word I write down the translation and the infinitive or nominative singular masculine form into the Romanization field, and this seems to help my memory a lot. I don't pay attention to the gender at all because lots of nouns come with articles or adjectives and after enough exposure the wrong article will sound wrong anyway. I use the colour coding like this: 1: Can't remember ever having seen this word before. 2: Damn, I have seen this word before, I should know this. Brain, do your work! 3: I can guess the meaning from context, but can't be sure I'm always exactly right. 4: Yay, I got it exactly right this time, but I think the context helped a lot. 5: Don't interrupt my flow with this easy stuff!

For languages where I'm further along and have read extensively a lot, I will read along trying to ignore the blue words and mark every word with which I have some measure of insecurity about them. I look up every word where I don't know the exact meaning, even when I can guess it in context or if I marked it as known before. When I have marked all the words that give me trouble, I will then click "I know all" for the rest.

What do I mean by "some measure of insecurity"? Let's take the word "oak" as an example: If I don't know what it is, it gets either 1 or 2 as a rating. If I can guess that it's some kind of tree it gets rating 3. if I can tell you about the shape of the leaf with more or less certainty it's going to get a 4 or 5. Some very low frequency words with very specific meanings that I don't really care about might stay at 3 forever - all sorts of "boat crap" for example ;) Or they might advance to 5 even though I'm not really bothered about learning them. Depends on the kind of books I'm reading. Why might I end up learning them anyway? Because I verify whether I know the word with every single word that isn't green or white! This way LWT turns into a sort of SRS on steroids with lots of context. And the longer you read, the more extensive the reading will become and you will have to type less and less.

How to deal with difficult words and opaque languages

This method of course depends very much on a good dictionary that guesses the word stems mostly right even with highly inflected languages. For Spanish and French I found wordreference.com very good, for Russian Lingvolive.com. However, if your dictionary fails you and the translation it gives you makes no sense there are two different options: One is that it guessed the wrong word from an inflected form - google the word with "conjugation" or "declination" added in the search box, usually that solves the problem and you find the right infinitive quickly. The other option is that it's an invented or extremely archaic word, and then you're in big trouble. The only advice I can give you about invented and archaic language is to pick a different author. Some genres and authors just tend to do that a lot and they are better left for a time when you haven't needed to use LWT in a very long time.

Opaque languages like Russian or English also have the added difficulty that you can't guess the pronunciation from the spelling. For languages like this I actually listen to every new word either with the dictionary pronunciation e.g. for Russian on lingvolive, Forvo or Text to Speech on my mac. This will usually only give you the pronunciation of the infinitive, so you will not be able to deal with changing stresses according to word form, but those are usually easy to guess because most words that change stress do so according to a general pattern. As long as you keep up your grammar lessons, this should become easier with time.

How long does this take and how much will I understand at the end?

This is generally hard to predict, because it depends on how close your target language is to a language you already know, how much experience you have with language learning in general and how difficult your target language is. For French it took me only 3 months to read 5000 pages in this fashion, but French was super easy for me, I had already 60-70% known words just through cognates, I was very familiar with the grammar and word order through Spanish and Italian, and it's an easy language in general.

Here some numbers: With French I started with about 60-70% known vs unknown ratio in the LWT database after my first Harry Potter book. It took me 55h to finish and it was about 300 pages long - that's about 11min per page. Harry Potter 7 took me 48h, but it is 800 pages long! 3.6min per page, a substantial improvement. In total it took me 320h to read 5000 pages. After 5000 pages my LWT database had about 28,000 word forms at 87% known vs unknown ratio. After this I could read with ease and precision when reading extensively, so that I can now feel perfectly comfortable reading any contemporary novel without a dictionary. To read this much in 3 months it actually took an average of 3.5h of reading a day, that's a lot of time when you consider that there was also Assimil and Duolingo involved which took up another 1.5 to 2h a day! The funny thing is that I actually wasn't planning to read this much, I was aiming for an hour a day! I just got really into the story and had nothing better to do with my time. In general I would recommend to stop reading when you get a headache. That's your brain saying that it had enough and that any more will probably be counterproductive and inefficient. At the beginning this might happen after one page, later you might be able to read 50 pages in one go and have fun while doing it.

Let's take a difficult language for comparison with hardly any cognates, hairy grammar and really confusing word order: So far for Russian I have spent 61h reading 126 pages. That's an atrocious rate of 29min per page! My database started out below 45% known words, but I can't quite quantify it yet because I haven't yet read 300 pages. Taking into account this atrocious reading speed I expect to need about double the time to read 5000 pages in Russian - that's a whopping 600h - and since I'm scraping along with barely 50% known vs unknown ratio right now I doubt very much that I'll reach 85% known even after 5000 pages. I wouldn't call this a short cut or easy "fun" in any way, at least not for the first 300 pages. Understanding longwinded Russian sentences with a gazillion of verbs is hard work! Still, it is damn good practice and exposure to a lot of real native content which normally is avoided like the plague in Russian courses, because it is just too difficult even after following a whole beginner's course. In Russian there are specific upper intermediate courses that are supposed to teach you how to deal with native content and literature, so native content in Russian is really very difficult in comparison. That I have already read 126 pages at all at this stage and barely have to confirm the translation of very long and difficult sentences is pretty amazing progress and wouldn't be possible without a tool like LWT. After all I'm only halfway through Assimil!

Why don't I just wait until later when I have more vocabulary? Well, I'd be waiting forever with Russian, since even beginner and intermediate courses taken together don't give you enough vocabulary to read - there are simply too few cognates in Russian. Not being able to understand native content is a usual complaint among intermediate Russian students who can already have every day conversations! In fact, I actually use intensive reading for vocabulary acquisition because I get relevant vocabulary repeated according to frequency in the story. I don't need to use flashcards or anything boring like that and I always have lots of context to make things easier. And additionally I get so much exposure to real world grammar that courses become a lot easier to handle in general. With French I ditched Assimil halfway through because it wasn't teaching me anything anymore!

And what if you realise that after your first 300 page book it's not really getting easier, because you actually hate reading and you're starting to hate the damn dictionary and learning languages and your questionable life choices? Well, stop! No need to torture yourself any further! This only works if you're having fun! If you have more fun with Anki, or watching target language TV, just do that! The idea is not to torture yourself, but to trick yourself into learning while you're having fun. I learned French in 3 months almost by accident because I was having fun! I was actually planning to reach my first 5000 pages after a year! Well, apparently picking a page turner tricked me into learning a lot faster than I had planned :D And that's the beauty of this method! With Russian I'm reading much more slowly and less hours a day, because it's much harder work and I'm not really having much fun yet. I'm certain that the speed will pick up when I'm through my first 500 pages though. By then it should be much less of a cryptography meets black magic exercise.

What do I do afterwards?!

So, you've read your 5000 pages and have 25,000 know word forms but don't feel comfortable yet and your library is at below 85% known versus unknown? Read some more! Don't obsess about know word forms, it's not a good measure for predicting proficiency - different languages might have different values - Russian will need substantially more word forms than French, because there are cases and double the amount of verbs! Aim for 85% known vs unknown ratio and then move on to something else.

So once you reached that magical 85% ratio, it's time to jump start your listening comprehension! If you continued with your 10min of audio every day, you're probably already understanding a lot. With French I didn't keep it up, so I just started listening to all the Harry Potter audiobooks without the text, then watched all the movies. After reading the book with LWT I knew that all the words would be familiar to me, so I just concentrated on recognising the words. After listening to the audiobooks - not all books are available in French - I watched all the Harry Potter movies in the space of a few days. By the end I was already feeling pretty solid with my understanding. Then I started watching dubbed series again. I had already watched a season of the Simpsons with TL subtitles before, so I jumped into Buffy without subtitles. I was getting maybe 80-85% at the beginning. After 2 seasons I was up to 95%, by the end of the series I understood virtually everything with some words here and there missing. From there I continued with another couple of seasons of Angel before moving on to France culture documentaries, which I understand without problems. I can now even listen to audiobooks, which always gave me trouble with Spanish.

Of course you can also read more: Read another 5000 pages extensively, preferably away from the dictionary! Take a good old-fashioned paper book to the beach or the park and leave your smartphone at home (always a good idea by the way!). And then just continue to have fun with the language! Read, listen, watch! You have a whole culture to explore!

If you want to speak, the best time would be after improving your listening comprehension, since people will have much more fun speaking to you when they don't have to dumb down what they're saying. Even though you might struggle a little, you can probably already make sentences in your TL after reading so much and the Duolingo at the beginning. Try doing the Duolingo reverse tree and always throw in a few runs of timed practice to get practice with producing sentences on a deadline. Once you feel comfortable with that, go look for an italki teacher. If your grammar feels wobbly and you get most of your TL sentences marked wrong in Duolingo, do some FSI or progressive grammar courses to get better at it before looking for a tutor. Bad habits from early speaking with bad grammar are more painful to correct than drilling good grammar habits in the first place. I'm still kicking myself over starting to speak Spanish too early.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby iguanamon » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:55 pm

blaurebell wrote:I wanted to write a post for the forum about the details of this method after finishing with Russian...

Great post, Lilly. Even though I don't use LWT, readlang or duolinguo, I can see where this will help a lot of people. You should definitely contact rdearman and have this be a guest post on the main site!

Learners sometimes get confused about how to learn by reading- intensively, extensively, getting discouraged because they can't read as well as they can in their L1, read only and then wonder why they have trouble listening, etc. You've laid out a good case for why this method of yours works and how to do it. The answer between extensive reading and intensive reading isn't an "either/or" proposition, but people have to get to where they can read extensively. This is a great stepping stone to turbocharge learning with reading. It's also not an either/or proposition between courses, grammar study and reading. In my experience, these resources work better together, as you've shown.

Again, well done!
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby outcast » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:35 pm

blaurebell wrote:
outcast wrote: Argentina needs protectionism to be allowed to reach a state where they could be in a position to compete on the market beyond soybeans and meat. A country of farmers will always remain a poor country.

As for bizarre ideologies: I'm a roboticist by training and I can tell you that we could abolish work and money altogether in less than 100 years if we wanted it. We would live in a paradise where everyone would have all the time in the world to learn languages, further their knowledge, create art or solve the social problems on this planet.


I think the whole thing with robots abolishing work for humans is all too real now. The problem is the I fear the result won't be Star Trek, where we all have no want or greed and can pursuit purely intellectual and spiritual goals, but rather we are all unemployed and done for! And only the robot makers like you holding the trillions in profits haha.

Argentina is not poor, it is just poorly run. Actually a country can be pretty well off based off resources, like Australia and Canada, which have always been the talked about examples for a large country with sparse population to follow. So strictly speaking you don't need a massive industry complex as long as you have a stable political policy and lower corruption. If on the other hand one follows the model you mentioned, protectionism for protecting local industry in order to industrialize, the historical problem is that this model only works in conjunction with a serious education and science development policy, so that you feed graduates into the industries and develop high added-value products, and eventually, you can drop the barriers and allow them to sink or swim in the world market. That is where Argentina fails time and again. So for example when Kirchner put of protections for the Tierra del Fuego assemblers, great. No problem with this as long as you then have a plan to have those industries innovate and come up with unique local products people nationally and eventually abroad will be ready to buy. That never happened, so then when the subsidies become too onerous, the whole industry is suddenly opened to the world and as you said, they can't compete. So then people blame the "market policies", or the "protectionism" that had come before, when in reality this is like blaming the broken bone cast and the pain pills for your broken leg. Those are just tools to achieve a goal. If you then go once more being reckless and break your leg again, you can't say it was because the pills and cast were useless. It's a complex problem, but I think that slowly things will stop being so extreme. CFK wasn't as far left as conservatives claim, and Macri is not as conservative as the left claims now. I think the generation from the 60s and 70s is fading slowing (very extreme left or right), and more pragmatic people that never lived the days of dictatorship, or communism vs neoliberalism are taking over.
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Rebecca
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby Rebecca » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:40 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to write out your method in so much detail, Lilly! I really appreciate it! Your results are really inspiring and, as I would spend all day reading if I could, I think it's a good idea if I give LWT a go; I think it will suit me very well. ;)

I am glad to hear you think LWT is completely secure on a home network, as I had been quite concerned about that aspect and opening up my PC to who knows what.

I absolutely think you should share this post in a more visible part of the forum - we can't have such a treasure trove of advice buried away in a personal log. I'm sure it will be of use to many others as I can't be the only person who has questions about the usage of LWT. It seems to be rather a neglected tool by most learners, but perhaps your post can be responsiblle for a revival. :D

Anyway, thanks again for helping out a fellow learner, and I'll be cheering you on as you progress with your Russian!
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blaurebell
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:11 pm

iguanamon wrote:Great post, Lilly. Even though I don't use LWT, readlang or duolinguo, I can see where this will help a lot of people. You should definitely contact rdearman and have this be a guest post on the main site!


Thank you iguanamon, glad you enjoyed the post! It's still a draft, because I don't think the Russian numbers are quite right. I haven't yet reached the end of the first book yet and I can only make a proper comparison after the first 300 pages, not quite halfway there. The bottleneck with this method is the typing, especially at the beginning when most words are new. The time it needs to get through a page will drop and over the last 10 pages I was already at 19min. So, if the bottleneck is the typing, Russian should only take double the time if it also has double the word forms for the same amount of text. I don't think it's quite that bad. Numbers I found elsewhere estimate more like 10-20% more. Once I have that comparison I think the post will be a little more useful still!

Rebecca wrote:Thank you so much for taking the time to write out your method in so much detail, Lilly! I really appreciate it! Your results are really inspiring and, as I would spend all day reading if I could, I think it's a good idea if I give LWT a go; I think it will suit me very well.


I'm glad to help! Just make sure you pick a page turner, otherwise it's very annoying to get through the first 300 pages! Translations are best for the first couple thousand pages, otherwise slang and idiomatic expressions might make things difficult. Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Hunger Games, that sort of thing. Those might be an affront to your reading standards in your own language, but when starting on a new language, silly genre fiction like that is perfect. I take it as an excuse to read books that I would normally find a waste of time in the original :D I do the same with series actually. Series with singing demons and aliens representing mythological figures are definitely a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. Watching this kind of stuff dubbed is a good excuse - I can pretend to be learning a language while really I just want to know what happens to the demons :lol: And well, I might accidentally learn something too!
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blaurebell
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:09 pm

Russian

Bad health day yesterday, so things were super slow, because I couldn't concentrate properly. It's the first time I missed an Assimil lesson since I started up Russian again. I managed the Modern Russian lesson though and somehow did all the exercises from the workbook without a single mistake, even the translation exercise where I had to write full sentences! The language was a bit outdated in this 4th lesson of "Modern" Russian - on lang8 I got a whole bunch of comments on those exercises explaining that nowadays nobody has to stand in line anymore and that there are beautiful shops in Moscow. :lol: I bet I'm going to exasperate a few Russians with my future exercises! They are very good practice though and somewhat amusing to someone who knows those old days out of vague childhood memories and stories from relatives. The vocabulary will come in handy when reminiscing about Soviet times with my relatives!

Looks to me that I can indeed finish one audio file a day, especially since the later chapters have often 3 or 4 audio files. Since I only do the exercises after finishing all audio drills this means that on some days I won't have to do any written exercises. Should be doable unless the written exercises take up too much time. In that case I will have to throw in an additional day for those.

As for Assimil: Since I missed one lesson yesterday you can already guess that it's not a priority anymore. Although I believe it still teaches me something, I'm not exactly sure what and if it's just more pronunciation practice, I might as well do it only on those days when I really have the time for doing two courses. The last few dialogues were also rather boring, so that doesn't really help. In any case, I'll keep going with it and at least try to do a lesson each day. I probably won't always succeed, since the priority will be intensive reading and Modern Russian now.

Yesterday I finally got some reading done after taking a break from it for a week. Slow slow slow, but I finished another chapter. There were also a couple of extremely odd sentences and a dense page with a fight scene that was all shades of orange and red. Looked just like one of the pages right at the beginning :? But then one page was very green too, so I think it actually evened out. Russian hours yesterday: 3.25h.

French

One episode of Angel French dubs. French hours: 40min.
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: 12 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Владычица магии
: 8020 / 35000 LWT Known

: 16 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 22 / 116 GdUdE B


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