Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:45 am

Russian

Interestingly I already finished 7% of the new book. It seems that I'm getting sufficiently hooked on the story now that I simply want to know what happens next and keep on reading. Usually at the beginning of a new book in the same series all the characters are introduced again, topics are reiterated, stuff from previous books is mentioned, so theoretically the number of new words should go down in that part, but then that never really happens, because things are abbreviated, written from a slightly different perspective or using slightly different vocabulary so as not to become repetitive. In the end, the difference between such passages and new action is usually not so great and sometimes there are even more new words, because there are longer descriptive passages than in regular chapters. In any case, I'm definitely noticing that I'm making progress! Occasionally I even have pages of dialogue with just a few words that aren't green. I think I might have a page of all green words soon.

Russian hours: 4.2h

Spanish

We listened to a very interesting talk by Ricardo Piglia about how technology influences literature. It was very enjoyable and I really like the way he speaks. I should definitely look for more talks by him! And besides, I'm actually enjoying the Piglia book I'm reading too. It's a bit confusing, but definitely interesting and I'm about halfway through now. The funny thing is, I kinda picked it up to take a break from PhD reading and it turns out it's 100% relevant. There is no escaping! No grammar yesterday, because I was still feeling rough and didn't want to push it.

Spanish hours: 2.11h

French

We watched the movie Le mari de la coiffeuse, which I enjoyed a lot. My husband had trouble understanding though and we couldn't find French subtitles so in the end I had to concentrate on not looking at the English subtitles. Of course DH started understanding the French as soon as there were English subtitles to help, so it's simply a problem of parsing the unexpected. Strange that. In any case, I had very little trouble with this one, none of the actors mumble too badly. And of course, finally some French again, I was starting to miss it! We found some more French movies to watch, so there will be more French again the next few days. My brother also sent me another book which is by a Canadian author for a change. I haven't yet tried anything like that and I'm looking forward to it.

French hours: 1.36h

Italian

Another episode of Star Trek TNG in Italian. By now I have already watched 14h of Italian dubs and I'm already used to them. I think all of TNG will be enough to reactivate the dormant vocabulary that is buried somewhere in my brain and this way reading will be a lot faster once I get to it. Getting my Italian to B2 comprehension will be super fast as it seems.

Italian hours: 0.75h

Total: 8.42h

General

Yesterday I actually used all my 6 languages! Additionally to Russian, Spanish, French and Italian content I also spoke in German with my Dad for over an hour and apart from the usual long conversations in English with my husband I also read out loud in English. By the way, one day I really have to make an effort and work on my English accent. I don't have a terribly German accent or anything like that, but I make some pretty obvious pronunciation mistakes when I don't pay attention - especially v gives me trouble sometimes. 4 years in England and this never changed. Even now, 10 years later it's still a problem, but since we have no plans of moving back to an English speaking country it hasn't been a priority. I guess reading out loud and having my husband laugh at me whenever I mispronounce a word starting with v should be enough to get this nasty bad habit sorted out eventually :lol: One day I'll find the time to work on it properly!

Funny that as soon as I stop caring about how many hours I read in Russian suddenly my hours are going up again and I happen to use all my languages! Lesson learned, forcing things is a bad idea.
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: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:48 am

Weekly Update

Russian

: 11 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 13889 / 35000 LWT Known
: 573 / 5000 Russian pages

Despite a bit of a health setback the other day I managed an awful lot of Russian reading last week and have now another 1800 new known word forms in my LWT database. I finished my second book in Russian and already finished 11% of the third one. My average reading speed doesn't improve steadily, because it's very much dependent on the single chapters and how much dialogue they contain. Since I started to keep track of it though some 3 weeks and 70h of reading ago it went down from roughly 16min per page to 11-13min per page. There is definitely progress, even though it seems that Russian has infinite amounts of vocabulary and that there are always more words to learn.

I also decided to improve on the LWT stats a little and incorporated them into my Excel spreadsheet:

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 10.17.33.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 10.17.33.png (20.52 KiB) Viewed 666 times


I know categories Learned and Well-known with precision, can guess or vaguely know categories Learning 3 and 4, and categories Unknown and Learning 2 are the ones I don't know. I only mark those words as unknown that I've definitely never seen before. If it seems vaguely familiar because I have seen it before or it's somehow related to a word that I should know, it goes into category Learning 2. What I find surprising about this is that so many words seem to stay in the unknown category, which means that I've pretty much only seen them once. That's an awful lot of low frequency words! In any case, these stats also mean that I guess or know 68% of the words I've seen so far, which isn't bad.

Russian hours: 21.47h

Spanish

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 90 / 116 GdUdE B

Since I've been concentrating on Russian and had a bunch of bad health days I haven't done all that much Spanish these days. I'm slowly getting towards the end of GdUdE B though, which is a step in the right direction. I've also read a little this week which I hadn't done in a while. I still find it not too comfortable, so I will continue to wait with it until I have time to read more with LWT. With all the Russian LWT I certainly don't want to spend even more time on LWT with Spanish. I have also decided that I will go back to Duolingo with Spanish. Knowing my dad and his reluctance to translate for my mum into English, he'll probably be even more hesitant to translate into Spanish. And since my dad's listening comprehension isn't the best and he's not used to Argentinian I'm not even sure he'll be able to understand everything. It's very likely that I'll be stuck with that joyless task for 10 days! It's very straining to translate simultaneously and usually someone at the table will get pissed off for being left out, which makes it even more frustrating. The additional problem is that my mum and my husband's dad talk a lot and fast. I can only imagine what's going to happen when we throw them in the same room without being able to communicate without simultaneous translation! In any case, since I pretty much never translate from or into Spanish, I'll have to practice. So, I've decided to finally do the Duolingo reverse tree. I actually wanted to do it from French, but now I will have to do it from German for practice. So, Spanish speaking month prep is starting properly now!

Spanish hours: 7.32h

Italian

I've been pretty consistently watching an episode of Star Trek TNG dubs a day and I really enjoy it. It's not a focus and I'm not following any concrete goals or plans there, just messing about to see whether all of TNG will improve my listening comprehension or not.

Italian hours: 5.25h

French

Since I've reached my French goals for this year already, I'm not paying too much attention to it right now with my focus on Russian and Spanish. And since I've been reading in Spanish this last week, French has had less attention than it normally gets. After I finish the Ricardo Piglia book in Spanish I will go back to reading in French though until I finish my Russian intensive (binge-)reading challenge. I simply find it much more comfortable to read in French and it's more relaxing for bed-time reading. That said, we still watched two movies in French last week which I enjoyed. Also, we've been looking for apartments for our trip to Paris in October. Apart from taking my in-laws there this trip is actually a reward for my super fast progress with French. I thought of trying to activate the language before going, but it's actually unlikely that we'll need much French beyond basic tourist French, so it would probably be a waste of time. I'll be mostly speaking Spanish there anyway, so I better concentrate on that! That said I'll definitely buy a ton of books and comics over there and it's likely that I'm the one who understands spoken French best, which means that they will call on my French skills whenever there is a flood of too fast French happening.

French hours: 3.06h
3 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:38 am

Russian

16% of my third book done! I have now done 12 days of Russian reading of usually more than 2h every day and I'm definitely noticing that it's helping. I really like how binge-reading makes progress less straining because the brain starts to resist less. I also simply want to know how the story continues now, so I will continue reading until I reach the end of the series. The whole series must be between 2500 and 3000 pages long, so I will have made quite a bit of progress by the end of it. I'm on book 3 of 10, so still a bit to go until I have to think about what I'm going to be reading next.

Russian hours: 2.71h

Spanish

An hour of grammar study got me to 80% of GdUdE B. Right now the lessons take me 20min each, so it's going to take a little longer to finish, but I'm still already quite close to finishing. I'm also doing Duolingo on the side, which doesn't take much time yet, because I'm still at the very beginning of the tree. I'm also doing it as automatically as possible, no thinking, just typing the response as fast as possible so that I make sure I have the grammar down automatically. So far no real problems and I'm making only few mistakes. We'll see whether it becomes any more difficult soon. I also continued reading my Piglia book. It's not exactly easy reading before bed, but I think I'm starting to get used to the flow of it at least.

Spanish hours: 2.08h

Italian

As always a bit of Star Trek TNG in Italian to cheer me up!

Italian hours: 0.75h

Total: 5.54h

General

In case you ever wish to have nervous breakdowns, panic attacks or crying fits I recommend dealing with the bureaucracy of 3 different countries at once on a deadline, when all of them are trying to win the award for being the most incompetent and kafkaesque bureaucracy on this planet. Asterix' dealings with Roman bureaucracy were completely harmless in comparison. What happened so far? The German office A told us to start the process with the German Consulate in Spain. The German Consulate of course then said to start the process in German office A, because they are by law responsible for this sort of thing. German office A now might actually agree to start doing their job, but they need my birth certificate which was also needed for the bureaucracy in Spain, so I asked for an international one in German office B in another town. Surprisingly that actually went without a hitch, or so I thought at first. The only thing is, German office A will only accept the monolingual version specifically meant for only that purpose, so I actually have to request another piece of paper from German office B, because not all birth certificates are equal. Way to go Germany, not confusing at all! And for no apparent reason whatsoever the Germans also want certain documents from Argentina that are really none of their business, which already infuriated us to the extreme. But well, in the end we decided not to be stubborn, there is simply no other way than complying with their ridiculous request. But then since we don't have the Argentinian stuff yet, we can't start the process yet anyway.

So, Germany is already driving us to tears before we even started the request for the piece of paper we need from them, but Argentina is doing a really great job too so far. My father in law waited for 5 hours in a queue in Argentina only to be given the wrong document - he obviously requested the right one, they simply gave him a different piece of paper than he requested! On top of it this document, which is the wrong one anyway, also contains outdated information because one part of the Argentinian bureaucracy hasn't updated the data in another part of the Argentinian bureaucracy, yay for double incompetence! And of course we only realised that this piece of paper was entirely useless after it had taken 2 weeks before finally arriving here, yay for added postal incompetence! And all of it for nothing! Incidentally the right document might finally have arrived in Madrid in the Argentinian consulate, because we had already asked for it through a different channel ages ago and only requested it directly because it was taking forever. But now, so that we don't have to go to Madrid to collect the piece of paper we have to send a prepaid envelope to the embassy that they will then return to us with the document and additionally to that there has to be a fee deposited into a certain bank account. This deposit can only be done in person at the bank though, not via bank transfer, which of course can't be done today because, of course, today of all days is a bank holiday, naturally only in this particular region where we live and nowhere else! :roll: Yes, the whole universe seems to align to make the whole operation as difficult and full of delays as possible! And of course, until we see the document we won't know whether German + Spanish bureaucracy will accept it or not, so we will be worrying and fretting for another few days, before we can start to worry and fret about another piece of paper coming from somewhere else. So, Argentinian and German bureaucracy are already being entirely useless! And the Spanish bureaucracy is actually the instance that set us the impossible deadline and that might in the end be the instance that makes this whole process entirely useless by suddenly requesting paperwork from Italy too, which wouldn't be too surprising actually for matters of double citizenship and all that. Of course, Italian bureaucracy on a deadline ain't ever going to happen, so this possibility is looming over us like some impending disaster that you can already feel in the air. What a nightmare!

And I haven't even mentioned the official translators yet who behave as if computers were still a thing of the future. The only one who replied to our email request at all DId so wIth aPParent ProBLems with the keYBOard - seriously, that's what the email looked like. Gives us all sorts of confidence in her work :roll: I bet we'll be waiting for a week for the translation only to be entirely shocked by its apparent uselessness.

:cry: :roll: :evil:

What's the relevance for language learning? Well, if you guys ever intend to move abroad, be advised that this frantic scramble to get paperwork together from 2, 3, 4 different countries on a simply idiotic deadline is part of the joys of living abroad. Bureaucracy is annoying enough when you're dealing with one country, but dealing with 2 or 3 is absolutely insane! And of course having to deal with all this non-sense and having one setback with it after another isn't exactly helpful when you're trying to make progress with your languages! Argh!
2 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:42 am

Now, yesterday was definitely the most unproductive day I had in ages. Just a bit more than 1.5h done. The reason was that I was simply bored with more and more input or grammar, I wanted to do something rather than just watch or read, or drill. In the end I decided that it was time to play a game again, maybe in Spanish or in French and looked for something to play that let me do something more than just point and click. For a moment I was tempted by World of Warcraft, but that's a terrible time sink and I don't need a world that is this big or has multiplayer functionality. I just need a temporary change to my routine and I definitely don't want to waste the next few months playing WoW!

In the end I decided to pull out one of my old favourites, Gothic, and see whether it would run on the virtual machine. Well, of course I couldn't get it installed from my own installation CD, because of old DRM! Grrr! I don't know how many times I have been burned by having actually bought something. Not being able to play CDs I bought or having some old-fashioned DRM stop working when some piece of software was updated, that's just totally commonplace with DRM. Only the other day I had to struggle to bypass the DRM of an ebook I bought for the Kindle because some very clever person had totally messed up the formatting. Half of the information was simply not readable without converting it into a different format, but it was locked in this format only! And well, same goes for my old games. Sure, I could just give in and buy it again, it's not actually expensive, but steam has a tendency of breaking in the virtual machine, so I didn't want to buy a game that I already own just to realise that it doesn't run! I had that before and that's just infuriating with the no-returns policy of those digital game vendors. So, to be able to play a game I actually own I had to find a pirated copy that I could install without the DRM. Welcome to the 21st century and digital idiocy!

Well, it's an old game, so not too easy to find and in the end my Russian came to the rescue. The funny thing is ... I actually wanted to play it in Spanish, but accidentally got hold of a Russian only version. Oops! So, what do I do? Of course I start it up in Russian and see how much I understand! The Intro video I didn't fully understand, but got the gist at least. I played it the last time about 10 years ago, so I don't really remember it well. Not a good start. But wait, here comes the fun part: the first dialogue was super easy! It's not a particularly dialogue heavy game, so I could actually just try to play it in Russian and see how far I get! This is also how I picked up some of my English - playing games without actually understanding everything. My brother and I already sat around playing Ultima Underworld with a dictionary when I was little, which helped me later on when I started reading Fantasy in English. So this shouldn't be too different either! I definitely know some of the vocabulary already from reading fantasy and playing RPGs is a great way to pick up even more fantasy related vocabulary.

So, somehow DRM fail actually tricked me into trying to play my first game in Russian! But then, 5 minutes later I was already swearing again at stupid policies, DRM and the fact that smart phones are still silly toys instead of adult technology. A few days ago I bought the lingvo dictionary for the mac, because it's a great Russian dictionary and the lingvo live online version sometimes goes down during the day for no reason. I think it's a really good investment, especially for situations when I don't have reliable internet. And the offline version even has a Russian only dictionary which the online version doesn't have. Nice! So, why did I get annoyed? Well, lingvo also have a smart phone app and they actually want me to pay a subscription for offline functionality! I actually wanted to use the app so as not to switch out of the game to look up a word, but now I have to deal with the somewhat unreliable online version again although I just bought those stupid dictionaries for the Mac! Also having to pay a subscription to get the same functionality on a different device? That's just highway robbery! In any case, by the time I had everything set up, my phone adjusted for typing and text to speech in Russian it was so late that I didn't actually have any time to start playing. So, that's my plan for the rest of the afternoon now, test the game controls and maybe make some first forays into the world of Gothic in Russian! Fun fun!
2 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Fri Jul 28, 2017 11:23 am

So, my experiment with Gothic in Russian - also known as Готика - was not very long-lived. Although I can follow and sort of get what people want me to do, I'm actually totally lost on the details and I remember that they were sometimes important to do a quest right. Also, it's an Open World game, so there is lots of stuff, that I would possibly miss if I can't understand it properly. The problem is that it's really audio mainly and the rest is subtitles, not dialogue screens. Everything just rushes by too quickly and I don't have time to look anything up. So that's not going to work yet.

Then I wasted time on getting my hands on a Spanish version which was to my dismay English Audio + Spanish subtitles. Well, in the end I deleted the Spanish version again and decided to keep only the Russian one for later when I can handle it. After that I spent quite a few hours trying to find an RPG with full Spanish translation that works on my computer. I even got my hands on Mass Effect although playing something with guns wasn't really what I had in mind. For the first time ever I managed to install it on my Mac. A friend of mine is a huge fan and I always failed to make it work in the virtual machine, until yesterday (it was a game that I couldn't get to work and then couldn't get a refund either). To install it took quite a long time and it was a huge download. Well, same problem, English Audio, Spanish subs only, GAH! Well, I keep it for later when I feel like playing something with guns.

After more hours of digging around for a nice game on steam with full translation I decided to give up and do the inevitable: Back to World of Warcraft it is! It's actually the closest thing to the kind of game I would actually like to play - Gothic. There is Witcher 2 which might have been an option to play in French, but it doesn't run on my laptop. So well, WoW. As an aside, I blame Cavesa :D

Of course the saga of getting pissed off at stupid company policies continues even there. I own the EU version of WoW, but want to play on the Latin American server. Spanish from Spain makes my teeth hurt after a while and I tend to play in the morning when normal players are at work or school. On the Latin American Realm I can possibly catch the night owls and I prefer that accent anyway. But of course to play on the American server I have to buy it all over again! So, out of stubbornness for now I'll just play a few races up to level 20 and then decide whether I really want to continue. That shouldn't be too different from playing a single player game which I actually wanted to do anyway. And since I'm playing it in Spanish and there is lots of text to read it isn't even a waste of time! Well, if you don't count the time I wasted on trying to find something I would like to play in the first place!

In other news, out of general bureaucratic incompetence we have been forced to give up our endeavour to defeat the Argentinian, German and Spanish bureaucracy in one fell swoop. Spain set us an idiotic deadline, Germany made our life immensely more complicated by requiring paperwork from Argentina and Argentina decided to be utterly incompetent and fail to update their records correctly. The record now says something completely idiotic that according to our lawyer isn't even supposed to exist! She was completely baffled by all of it and will try to sort it out for us. However, the paperwork necessary for sorting out the mess they made will make it impossible to meet the deadline. We'll make our life easier by trying to figure it all out in Argentina next time we are there. There seems to be a way to bypass Germany and Spain under certain circumstances and do the paperwork required by them later without any deadlines, but well, that course of action has other complications that need careful planning. In any case, at least this utter failure means that I now don't have to worry about it anymore until next year. Phew! I can now relax and October will be much less stressful too. That's something at least.
2 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:01 am

Spanish

Since I've been feeling rough rough rough the last few days I've decided to drop the Russian for a few days until I feel a bit better. That's another reason why I've been looking for games to play the last few days and finally settled on WoW. Yesterday I levelled a character to level 10 in an area where I've never been, all in Spanish. There is lots of text to read for quests and since reading is one of my weaker skills for Spanish the game is actually encouraging me to do something I subconsciously avoid. Since I'm not playing for the multiplayer stuff I'm actually reading all the quests and the story isn't half bad. Level 10 took me about 6h of gameplay. It can of course be done faster, but I was looking at the flowers too and trying to enjoy it as much as possible. I have played every single Warcraft Game and the single player stuff in this one is simply huge! Trial accounts don't have a time restriction now, so theoretically you can play all the races up to level 20. So, that's about 10-12h of questing per race and there are 13 races in total. That's about 150h of totally free content in many different languages, for free! I've installed the Spanish AL version, French, Italian and Russian and they have even more languages. Not bad I would say! And every language has their own community so you can find guides, written ones and video, in all sorts of languages too, which is why I've been doing all my WoW related googling in Spanish too. I think the language learning potential of it is huge! Besides, it's totally addictive, mainly because most of the time you get a new quest as soon as you finish your last one. Bitesized bits of gratification, especially in those first 20 levels, because they want you to buy the game, pay for a subscription and keep playing. So, basically I'm tricking myself into more Spanish reading by doing it in a game universe that I find enjoyable. And since it's all in Spanish, it's not even a waste of time! So, now my mission is to level a character of all the different races to level 20 in Spanish. That should keep me entertained for a while!
4 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

User avatar
blaurebell
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Posts: 840
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2+ passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:36 am

Spanish

So, I spent another day with WoW and it's definitely a sort of immersive experience. Kind of like moving to a TL country, only that everyone seems to want to talk to you - of course, single player is all passive - the only bit of player interaction I had was someone saying hola while passing me somewhere -, but it's all a lot of exposure at least. And whenever I got confused about something - like which ability to choose for my class - I start to google in Spanish. I spent my whole day in Spanish and ended up with a bit of a headache, because i'm not used to so much Spanish reading. My current character is at level 17 and I still have some quests to do in the 10-20 zone, so I might end up with about 15h played on one character all on the free trial. In case you're wondering I'm playing an elfo de sangre paladín, a much parodied choice apparently. I like playing paladin though and I wanted to play Horde for a change. Apart from the elves they all look ugly in my opinion anyway. I guess I might give no-muerto a try next, borderline acceptable looks ;)

General

I'll be starting Russian reading up again once the 6WC starts. All the playing right now is a welcome change and I was really starting to get bored with intensive reading. After this bout of intensive playing intensive reading will be enjoyable again.

Yesterday we watched a couple of Andrew Graham-Dixon documentaries on the art of China and my husband, who hates travelling with a passion, voiced the wish to go visit China. Then he said "I guess it would mean learning the language" and looked at me significantly. My reaction was: "Hey, I'm already learning Russian so that we can travel there. You'll be responsible for Mandarin!" Well, that ain't going to happen :D I suppose my dearest husband just added a language to my list :roll: Well, after Swedish and Japanese perhaps.
4 x
: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

User avatar
blaurebell
Blue Belt
Posts: 840
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:24 pm
Location: Spain
Languages: German (N), English (C2), Spanish (B2-C1), French (B2+ passive), Italian (A2), Russian (Beginner)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:16 am

Spanish

So, yesterday I reached the end of my World of Warcraft trial for my blood elf paladin. Once you reach level 20 you won't level up anymore and you can't get more than 10 gold either. This basically means that there are no rewards anymore for completing quests, and it suddenly starts feeling very pointless. I could have bitten my way through the boss quests but they would have been tricky on a Level 20 character and since I had done most of the quests in the area, I just decided to move on to a new character. I picked No-muerto brujo - a class that can invoke a demon to help. While I was playing I had a strange sensation of deja vu and then realised that I had picked the exact same combination another time. It can't have been the last time though, because I remember distinctly playing only Alliance, Night Elf and Draenei. Turns out that I completely forgot about another time I had tried WoW. This was for university though, because my supervisor had asked me to give him a short crash course on how the professions work in WoW. We were always discussing about the border of what work is and what a game/play is and having a concept of work in a game is just odd. So, that time I must have played No-muerto brujo! In total I have now played 18.5h all with ambient Spanish, lots of quest texts and not having the feeling that I'm doing any "work". This might indeed be a good trick to level up my Spanish!

We also watched the movie El bar yesterday and that's a totally mad movie. Not exactly the traditional Sunday feel good movie. It was the kind of movie one can barely watch because it's so harsh. Probably never going to watch it again, but it was actually a good movie! Spanish from Spain by the way and strangely enough a suggestion coming from my husband. We might watch some other movies by the same director once we recover from this one ;) There is one with clowns, but well, clowns are super scary so I'm not sure I can make it through that :lol:

So, basically my foray into WoW is getting me to Spanish immersion and improving my Spanish reading skills. I'm still struggling my way through my Piglia book too, but there are so many references to things I know nothing about - Argentinian history and not very well-known literature - that I'm somewhat lost most of the time. Oh well.
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: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German

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Ani
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby Ani » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:36 am

I found a youtuber I really like. He has a channel I really like called Astronogeek. As I was poking around though, it seems his main channel is all about photography -- so of course I thought of you. Popping over here to pass it on in case you need to waste time in French. I really like his voice :) Arnaud THIRY
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But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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blaurebell
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3235
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

Postby blaurebell » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:37 pm

Thanks Ani, I'll definitely check it out!!

--

So I've been wasting my time with a nice little youtube series called Crash Course Games, which is a sort of quick history of Video and Computer Games in 10 minute chunks. Perfect length to watch while having lunch. I actually know most of it already having studied a bit of Game Studies when it was still very new, and of course growing up with all of this stuff taught me a lot too. The channel is quite entertaining though and I was hoping for a few Game recommendation here or there, since I don't really keep up with new stuff much. And it totally worked out! Thanks to a short mention in one of the videos I've just spent some time watching some Let's Play videos in French for Lord of the Rings Online while the game is downloading in the background. It's "free to play" now, so they'll probably make me pay at some point for extra content, but it's at least not a subscription model which I find somewhat of a thieving practice. Also, the LotR universe is much more serious than the WoW universe, so maybe there is less eye-rolling about the flimsy storyline involved in this one! While playing the undead character on WoW I definitely started to get a bit fed up again with all the childish elements of WoW. This is why I quit playing it back in the day. WoW is definitely one of those games where the story is just a tacky excuse to give you stuff to do that's awfully close to being work rather than fun. Collect 10 items that 20% of a certain monster kind occasionally drops, requiring you to kill 50 mobs of the same kind ... boooring ... then accidentally sell the item off as junk because it's not locked as a quest item :evil: For whatever reason did I have to collect that stuff? Can't remember, since it was utterly made up and pointless part of a story I didn't really care about in the first place! I don't think they can get away with something like that with LotR where the story is so central. So, this one also looks somewhat closer to the kind of game I was actually hoping to play in the first place, something more serious with an actual story! The only downside is, that this one only comes in English, German and French. Still useful for me with French only, but not quite as much as an all Spanish game would be right now.

Well, WoW lasted a long weekend before I got sick of it again for having the crappiest storyline in the history of storylines and too many grind quests that feel like work. I could only half enjoy the Blood Elves and Night Elves storylines in general, because they treated them with a tad more dignity than the rest. Undead, Draenei and Goblin were just meh, really. So, in the end this would be a fair language learning tool if only it had less of a crappy story. Such a shame! And the worst thing is, it used to be so much better too! They really dumbed it down a lot to appeal to a wider audience and now even the hardcore players think the storyline is a joke and hate levelling because it feels so pointless. In any case, if you have lots of tolerance for silly storylines, this is still a really great tool. Lots of different languages, lots of stuff to read, addictive game play to motivate you to continue, lots of guides for it in the TL as videos and written guides. And if you feel like socialising there are lots of people there who like to communicate, form guilds, troll each other on the forums and discuss the details of the silly story.

Just like Hollywood movies these days, it would sure help these games to hire some writers who have cracked open a book at least once in their life. Lately I feel like every major mainstream movie was written by someone who is barely literate beyond comic books. Or maybe not even that, since comics tend to be more coherent than the non-sense they call a plot these days. Here's to hoping that the LotRO game has a better story. It certainly seems so from the reviews I've seen! LotR fans would cry bloody murder if the story was bad and so far I've only heard happy voices about it being very faithful to the books. I just wish these games weren't so awfully big! Downloading gazillions of GB just to see whether I like a game is a tad excessive. From what I've seen so far part of the gameplay is somewhat similar to WoW, it being also a MMORPG, but the quests seem a bit more thought out, story heavy - reviewers who didn't read quest dialogue got lost - and apparently less of a grind in general. We'll see whether it holds up to closer scrutiny beyond watching beginner content Let's Play videos.
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: 20 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - В поисках камня
: 14325 / 35000 LWT Known

: 17 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 100 / 116 GdUdE B
: 8 / 72 Duolingo reverse Spanish -> German


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