Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

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Sgt Schultz
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Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:51 pm

I haven't had a language log since the old HTLAL, so, I thought it might be time to start tracking my language learning activities again.

Spanish
Spanish is mostly taking care of itself these days. My significant other is a native speaker so Spanish has become less of something to be studied and more of a daily used skill. I'm still reading in Spanish daily but could use more listening practice. While watching Narcos on Netflix I've found it difficult to catch everything said when the speech isn't spoken clearly. On the fun side, watching this show has helped me learn to curse like a native :)

A third language
I've decided it's time to pick up another language. Over the past few weeks I've been doing the intro parts of MT Italian and MT German to get a feel for both. Italian is a beautiful language and would be low hanging fruit since I already speak Spanish well. I'm also a Roman history nerd and would like to visit Italy in the near future. Learning it would come in handy for that trip.

German, on the other hand, is part of my family heritage on my mom's side, although nobody in my family speaks it any more. I've had great fun tracing my ancestry back to Germany. I also have a friend of many years that is a native speaker from Austria that is more than happy to help me with the language. In fact, we had a Skype session this past weekend for exactly that. I will admit I'm a little intimidated by the pronunciation. Word order, while strange at first, has become second nature now.

I still have a dream of living in Europe for a while. As a software engineer I think German would be a good asset to have in making that come true.

I'm still undecided on which of these to go with. I think I will give myself the rest of this week to play with both languages and then make a decision.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:55 pm

I found German pronunciation a bit tough at first too, but after a few months of shadowing my Assimil lessons every day, it was second nature. Now I find it easier than Spanish. Spanish is clear and easy to pronounce, but somehow I find myself getting tongue-tied a lot, or the syllables come out in the wrong order.
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iguanamon
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby iguanamon » Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:16 pm

Welcome to the new Forum!
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Fri Sep 09, 2016 4:25 pm

@Brun Ugle Thanks for the encouragement. I hope I find the same thing. Last weekend my Austrian buddy said he could understand me but it was obvious that I wasn't a native speaker. I think that was his way of politely telling me to work on pronunciation haha

@iguanamon Muchisimas gracias amigo.

Spanish

Last night I started watching Gran Hotel. It seems like it will keep my interest. I'm using subtitles as a crutch as some of the speaking is extremely fast and I'm not used to the Spain accent. I'm sure this will improve as I watch though. My girlfriend said she, a native speaker, couldn't understand the accent well and watched the entire series with subtitles. I laughed a little at that :)

I've continued with my Cervantes reading list of short stories. I've finished 6 so far. Most of these stories haven't been very interesting but I do think they have been good for me.

Third language update

I've spent the week playing around with both Italian and German and promised to pick a winner by the end of this week. Being that today is Friday and without further ado, the winner is….German. While I still want to do Italian, I've got a friend that has offered to be a free tutor and that is too good to pass up. I'm also not sure I'm ready for another romance language and all those many conjugation forms. So, I'll switch and do something different for a while.

My initial goal is simply to reach a solid A1 with good pronunciation. I may take the Goethe A1 exam to prove to myself that I did it but I can decide on that down the road.

As far as a study plan, I'm going with what I consider a classic plan:

MT Foundation
MT Advanced
Assimil

I'm going to loosely plan on starting Assimil sometime during MT Advanced. I'm currently on disc 3 of MT Foundation so I will continue with that today I hope. My allergies and breathing have been a mess due to the awful midwestern weather so I hope they will allow me to get some studying done. What I wouldn't give to get out of here and to a coastal area. Anyway, I'm off topic.

Hasta el proximo....
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Mon Sep 12, 2016 1:09 pm

I had a fairly productive weekend for language learning....

Spanish
I watched 2 episodes of Gran Hotel and have to admit I'm rather hooked. So far I'm enjoying the show. I also managed to get a couple more short stories completed. I decided to read through all three levels they had and I'm just about finished with the first level. So far these stories have been pretty easy reads.

I spoke a lot over the weekend, I feel that my speaking and listening have taken a good jump in ability. I'm not sure what I did other than just talking more. Whatever the reason, it's very rewarding after all the time I've put in.

I also watched Barcelona play this weekend. I always enjoy this because I can see real life Spanish around the stadium and I try to understand the very animated TV announcers. Sadly, they lost to a newly promoted team. Que lastima!

German
This weekend I completed disc 4. There was some odd word order/grammar to get my head around and because of that I re-did disc 4 this morning on the drive to work. Monday traffic is always awful so I finished all but the last lesson on disc 4. I'll wrap that up on the way home and start disc 5.

As an example of what I mentioned above:

Ich kann nicht gehen, denn ich bin müde. (I can't go because I am tired)

But using weil:

Ich kann nicht gehen, weil ich müde bin.

I'm not sure exactly why the word order changes when using denn vs weil. It's rather odd but I'm sure there is a reason for it that I just haven't understood yet.

As I'm pass the halfway point in MT Foundation, I'm debating when to start Assimil. My first thought was to start it either when I start MT Advanced or when I finish MT Advanced. If anyone has any opinions or thoughts I'd be happy to hear them.
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:10 pm

Started disc 5 yesterday. MT has become upset with the students. It's funny hearing him get upset when the two students aren't getting things fast enough. The guy student, in particular, seems to be frustrated. I have to admit that I have some sympathy for the two students because I'm a bit frustrated with German right now as well. The grammar has become a bit of a pain. As is the word order and pronunciation. It's like someone took the words, put them in a cup, shook them up, poured them out and voila, this is how word order has to be :)
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Wed Sep 14, 2016 6:39 pm

Currently doing Disc 5 and 6 of MT Foundation. Can't say I'm enjoying this much. I may pull the plug on MT Foundation.

In early times some sufferer had to sit up with a toothache, and he put in the time inventing the German language.

- Mark Twain's Notebook
Last edited by Sgt Schultz on Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tastyonions
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby tastyonions » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:32 pm

I have never tried an MT course. What in particular makes it less than enjoyable? Is the pace too fast?
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:37 pm

Spanish

I watched another episode of Gran Hotel. The story is interesting, I'm enjoying it a lot. The Spanish accent is getting a little easier to understand. I'd say I'm understanding around 70%, enough to follow the plot.

I've read a couple more short stories. They haven't been too interesting. I'd like to find a good intermediate level book. Either history, mystery or sci-fi. I may look around after work today.

German

I'm feeling a bit better about German today. MT is nearing the end and I think I will jump into Assimil this weekend.
Last edited by Sgt Schultz on Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Sgt Schultz knows nothing!

Postby Sgt Schultz » Fri Sep 16, 2016 5:10 pm

tastyonions wrote:I have never tried an MT course. What in particular makes it less than enjoyable? Is the pace too fast?


No, it's not too fast. The students are struggling so that is throwing me off a bit. The male student you can hear the frustration in his voice. The student's pronunciation is bad and on occasion MT tries to trick the students on some grammar point he just taught. It's left me a bit frustrated.

Prior to MT I did Paul Nobel's German course. It was fairly basic but I flew through that without any problems and enjoyed it a lot. I'm just about to wrap up MT Foundation and I'm leaning towards not doing the advanced one and jump into Assimil instead.

I've been following your German log. Did you do anything prior to Assimil? If not, did you find there was a major learning curve?
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