Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:20 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:If you feel you might need every bit of extra information to assist in making it to the end of FIA, a pretty massive course, then I'd recommend them as 'support measures'. But, as I said, they're not essential.

Alright, thanks. You convinced me to buy it once it's time to start the course.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:26 pm

Stefan wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:If you feel you might need every bit of extra information to assist in making it to the end of FIA, a pretty massive course, then I'd recommend them as 'support measures'. But, as I said, they're not essential.

Alright, thanks. You convinced me to buy it once it's time to start the course.


Be sure you get the right edition - depending on which edition of the textbooks and workbooks you have. It would be a pain if the information in the SG's didn't match up with the other books.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Xenops » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:29 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Stefan wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:If you feel you might need every bit of extra information to assist in making it to the end of FIA, a pretty massive course, then I'd recommend them as 'support measures'. But, as I said, they're not essential.

Alright, thanks. You convinced me to buy it once it's time to start the course.


Be sure you get the right edition - depending on which edition of the textbooks and workbooks you have. It would be a pain if the information in the SG's didn't match up with the other books.


What I did was look at the year of publication, and matched all of my books to that year. It's a bit of a pain, but it's better than spending $40 on each book. Rather, I spent that much for all of my books, or close to it. :D
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Thu Jun 29, 2017 8:23 pm

extr@ (A2)

Image

If you ever ask for TV recommendations I'm willing to bet that this will be one of the suggestions. It's the language learning show. Not necessarily thanks to the plot or production value but it's a sitcom made specifically to be easy to understand. I enjoyed it and will probably watch the French later. My only complain is that it's a bit over the top but it's made for teens so I guess it can't complain about them trying to hit their target group.

Plot:
extr@ (Extra) German is the story of Sascha and Anna, Sam and Nic, four young adults who are thrown together to play out their romances, life crises and contrasting interests in a familiar sitcom setting. The two girls share a flat in Berlin and Nic is their neighbour. When Sam, with only a very basic grasp of German, comes to visit, everything starts to go wrong. Or right! His efforts to get to grips with the language provide the central dynamic for the series and its language learning content. The scripts have been carefully written so that the language is simple and accessible at all levels.

It's available in English, German, Spanish and French.

Read more about it on Wikipedia.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:47 pm

André Klein - Mord am Morgen

Image

A detective story for intermediate and advanced readers with accompanying vocabulary and exercises.

I love the idea of learning through graded readers but often find them to be a bit dull and aimed at younger readers. Surely it should be possible to write a thrilling and interesting book while using simple vocabulary? So I got my hopes up when I found this book with great reviews on Amazon.

Each chapter consists of 1-3 story pages, a list of vocabulary and a handful of questions about the chapter. I like the idea of short chapters with vocabulary because you can read the chapter, skim the vocabulary and then read through the chapter again without spending too much time. It happened more than once that my mind skipped an idiom and then was surprised to find it in the vocabulary list. The questions at the end of each chapter are great because they made me consider if I understood everything.

Unfortunately there are a few issues. The story is short and I mean really short. There are 12 chapters and the whole story covers about 22 book pages. As a result, there's no character development, no red herrings, no nothing which made it a rather dull story. They find a body, do a handful of interviews and the case sort of solves itself.

The questions are sometimes peculiar by asking things that wasn't explained. At one point they order "die Pommes rot weiß" and afterwards I'm asked what it means. Surely that's an expression that should be in the vocabulary section and not a question unless the story explains it? The main issue with the questions though is the location of the answers at the back of the book. A Kindle isn't really suited for going back and forward like that so I just skipped the answers and used the questions about the story to see if I understood everything.

Overall, I reckon the idea to be better than the execution. $3.74 isn't much but I can't justify buying the rest of the series for such a short and underwhelming story. Just a few weeks earlier I bought a 400 pages long book by Neil Gaiman for $2.49 and obviously you can't compare them but it shows the competition it's up against.

Read more: Mord am Morgen on Amazon.com
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:43 pm

My main problems with such books (especially the colour-coded Easy Readers series from Ernst Klett Verlag) are the control questions at the end of each chapter (I just want to read a text that gets a bit more difficult little by little - I don't want a test), and the word lists. Nearly everyone I've seen has had English as the "L1", i.e. supposed difficult words in the text are translated to (or explained in) English. I've even seen the German word Hund get translated to dog, while I already know that it's hund in Swedish.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby DaveBee » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:47 pm

Stefan wrote:Surely it should be possible to write a thrilling and interesting book while using simple vocabulary?
A graded reader history of the Citroen 2CV (ISBN: 2010183517) is so far one of the better french language books I've read. :-)
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:04 pm

Summary of 2017

This thread has been quiet for a while but for good reason; I began my new job in the beginning of October. A great job which I really enjoy but it involves 90 minutes of daily commuting and afterwards I spend most of my spare time completing work projects or doing research for the next day. Not ideal but that's how I function whenever I find a new passion project.

What did I accomplish in 2017 then? I rediscovered MediathekView and began recording German TV series such as Tatort and Die Rosenheim-Cops. I also signed up for Netflix to access subtitles for Der Tatortreiniger, Stromberg and Türkisch für Anfänger. All in all, I completed 109 hours of German TV (9 hours above my goal) and as long as I keep using MediathekView, I'll have more material than I can consume.

The main drawback of using public service is that you rely on their schedule and it can take years to collect a full show. So I went out and found a French version named rePlay.fr long before I knew a word of French. It didn't take long before I struck gold and found Avatar le dernier maître de l'air (1403 min), La légende de Korra (1196 min), Les aventures de Tintin (858 min) and Les grands mythes (520 min) with subtitles. Sadly I'm missing a handful episodes but that's roughly 66 hours of TV I can create flashcards from!

Speaking of French, I went out and bought Assimil Französisch ohne Mühe which turned out to be a painful experience. I made sure to buy the sliced MP3 version and expected it would take me a few hours to turn it into Anki flashcards but the book and audio didn't match. It took me days to figure out but apparently they ship the same CD with all the books, yet every publisher is allowed to create their own book version. As a result, I have a book often claiming 19 lines of dialogs in a chapter but only 12 audio files. So I began slicing MP3s and manually entering translations into their meta information but sadly lost interest and time. I guess I'm halfway through with many hours left.

I did write a complete plan for my French endeavour though and still reckon it to be a great plan.

I also went through my old Spanish notes. Not much to learn there but I was genuinely surprised by how little we were supposed to know to complete the final exam. Mostly vocabulary.

Lingvist also released their German course so I spent about 14 hours there. Some days were alright but others it just felt like I was going through the same words over and over again without learning them. I liked typing the word because then you really had to know the answer but there's no coherent story and I lost interest so it quickly became a daily chore.

One of the main things this year was my purchase of a Kindle Paperwhite. In contrast to my iPad, it doesn't impact my sleep so I often read a few pages in bed before falling asleep. I completed both Tintenherz and Harry Potter while abandoning LWT. All in all, I read a total of 5126 pages this year but more on the stats below.



Stats

Hours watched

Danish: 11
English: 245
German: 109
Norwegian: 1
Swedish: 2
Total: 367 hours

Pages read

English: 2634
German: 1215
Swedish: 1277
Total: 5126 pages

I tracked dedicated hours watching TV (not Swedish) and book pages read but this system is deeply flawed because it excludes a lot of content. I read hundreds if not over a thousand articles on Pocket. One of them being We’re the Only Plane in the Sky spanning over 16k words which is said to equal 50 book pages but I didn't count a single one. I'm also excluding hundreds of hours on YouTube and podcasts because it's so tricky to measure. Then there's all the time I spent on Reddit...



Takeaways from 2017

The one thing that really stood out is how little time I spend with Swedish content. I began 2017 by reading a book I was given for Christmas and two other books from my book shelf so I could give them away. Then it was basically all English and German. I watched one Swedish movie (En man som heter Ove). Podcasts, YouTube, songs and video games are almost all in English...

Overall I reckon it to be a decent year despite the Assimil failure. I accomplished my original goals and have my resources sorted for 2018.
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:10 pm

Today I finally completed the job of splicing up the audio of Assimil Französisch ohne Mühe to match the textbook. Ridiculous amount of mind-numbing job. In lesson 104, for example, I ended up with 36 audio files of which 11 are original. In other words, I had to create 25 new audio files for one single lesson! Just to get the audio to match the accompanying textbook. Ridiculous.

Somehow I also ended up with an orphan file. The label says lesson 53 - exercise 5 but it's a different line in the textbook. When I do a Google search of the phrase, it matches lesson 53 from the old Assimil French With Ease textbook but this specific line is gone from my version. No idea what's going on there but it looks like the German publisher just decided split the previous line into two and then skip this one.

Elle n'a pas encore eu le temps de le voir.

In hindsight I wish I had given up and just bought the English version but I never imagined it to be such a big issue.

Now the real task begin of updating all the meta data, adding German translations and exporting them to Anki.
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:29 pm

Alexander Argüelles and Shadowing

The recent Alexander Argüelles thread made me download his old posts and watch a few of his videos again. It truly is a different world with him talking about spending 14-16 hours a day on languages, before he had a family. I'm sure some of the current Assimil popularity can be attributed to Argüelles and the ripples he started.

Decided to add his quote (my outline) here to have a summary of shadowing Assimil:

First and foremost, I edit the tapes by getting rid of all the gaps so that I obtain at least two hours of solid and continuous narrative in the target language only.

1) I then shadow this tape repeatedly [without using the book] until I begin to grow familiar with the pronunciation and intonation, and until I have figured out as much as I can of what is being said on my own.

2) Then I turn to the book and shadow while reading the teaching language so that I understand globally what I have been saying.

3) Slowly I switch to shadowing while reading the target language so that I learn to read it. Each day I go through the notes of several lessons to catch the fine points.

4) When I have done them all, I then write or type out the target language lessons in their entirety, sometimes several times. In other words, I thoroughly internalize the contents of both books and tapes. I know that I am "done" when I can successfully "play" the advanced lessons through my brain while I am taking a shower.

Depending on the difficulty of the lesson, I might have to listen to the tapes hundreds of times, and likewise repeatedly review the book. However, by taking a chunk of the language like this and peeling it layer by layer like an onion so that you come to ever greater understanding of how it works, this rarely grows boring, and when it does, I am advanced enough to move on. With "easy" languages, I can then generally cope fully with both texts and all sorts of conversation, with "difficult" languages I then go through systematic grammatical exercises and begin reading primers.

One major takeaway is how many times he repeats each course. My understanding is that he can sit down and write the two hour long course from memory. I don't think people truly realize this when they hear about Assimil and Argüelles.

His three videos talking about shadowing. The first one is an example of how he pace back and forth in front of the camera. The second one includes a short example with him "shadowing" a recording of himself so you can see exactly how it works. The third and last video goes a bit more in-depth, talking about the different kinds of shadowing you can use during the learning process.







Code: Select all

1st Step (Blind Shadowing): 20:00
2nd Step (Shadowing + Book right side): 24:45
3rd Step (Shadowing + Book thumb): 27:25
4th Step (Shadowing + Book both sides): 29:05
5th Step (Shadowing + Book left side): 30:39

Aim for 15-20 minutes each session.

This bonus video is an interview with him, talking about how to maintain languages and how he kept track when spending whole days learning. It's basically a lot of regular reading (books), writing, listening (audio books while running) and keeping track of the minutes he spend on each task.

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