Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:28 pm

I have exciting things to report! :D Both reinforce to me that the power of listening should not be undermined.

#1 I never had an interest in the JLPT and so have no idea where my Japanese skills fall on the JLPT scale. But, lately, I’ve been wondering where I stand, especially in terms of vocabulary. The more I read, the more and more I am convinced that vocabulary is my biggest obstacle to proficiency. Until recently (that is, until starting this log), for about 5-6 years off and on, my only ‘studying’ was watching TV series. Because I’m not studying grammar, vocabulary, etc, at my desk, I’m insecure and lament that I should putting in more hours of proper toil. I’ve seen awesome improvement in my listening — which is, of course, something to celebrate in itself! I won’t deny myself that achievement. :D But, where does my vocabulary stand? What about my grammar? Although I don’t care about testing at a certain JLPT level, deep down, I’d like to think that I could sit for the N2 with little prior effort. With these thoughts in mind I did the sample questions for N2 on JLPT’s website.

They were surprisingly easy! If these 15 sample questions are truly representative of the N2, I could probably pass it with no prep. Compared to my daily TV listening, the listening was a piece of cake — remarkably so. For the grammar and structure-type questions, at first, I thought they were going to stump me because I never ‘learned’ or ‘studied’ what they were testing. But, the right answer just seemed right; the other answers just seemed wrong. I only did the first reading because I didn’t feel like reading passages that I have no interest in (I hate doing that in English as well). That one, though, went without a hitch — again, the answer seemed obvious. I’m stoked and reassured that I know some Japanese! You really can assimilate a foreign language with enough input. Of course, years ago, I had put in some serious toil with learning kanji, vocabulary, grammar, dissecting ’learn to read Japanese-type books’, etc., which I’m sure gave me a nice base from which to more easily benefit from the input. And, perhaps, I would be much further along if I studied from JLPT targeted materials. But, the feeling of ‘the answers are obvious’, without need for analysis, has to be from so much input. I’ll try the sample questions for N1 next, but I want to ride this wave for a while before testing myself again. I suspect N1 will not go well. Nothing here changes anything in terms of vocabulary and difficulty of reading native materials, but it is a great motivator :D .

#2 Tones were my biggest concern when I took up Thai. Some weeks ago, heeding some words from Bakunin, I started to focus on just hearing and understanding the language, less on tones. I can now say that it is OK to stop obsessing over tones. I'm relearning to read and... Something amazing has happened! :D When I see the transliteration and the English meaning, I automatically hear the correct pronunciation in my head, tone and all. If I'm sounding out a word (in my head) I know from Thai script, and I get the tone wrong — it won’t ring a bell. But, once I look at the English translation, the pronunciation with the proper tone immediately jumps out. Even then, I’m not focused on the tone itself, but the overall sound. It is fantastic. :D I have to credit Glossika with this as it has been the main material I’ve used to study Thai. I’ve put in 100+ hours (50+ hours with GMS files when I first started, and 50 hours over the last half year with GSR 1). My listening skills would likely be better off if I put those hours into listening to native material, but I think this ’tonal’ understanding would be much slower to gain using faster native speech. So, it’s a trade-off and I’m OK with it.
3 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:57 pm

Three notes:

(1) I find it amusing and humbling when I meet a word that seems so basic, but I don’t know it at an intermediate level. A word I should probably be well acquainted with at my level. A word that once I learn it, I hear over and over and over. I wonder, how did this word escape my notice for so long? Am I alone in this experience? This has just happened with the word せりふ in Japanese. I learned this word about a month ago and this word seems to come up at least twice, if not more, in every TV episode I’ve watched since. Why didn’t I know this word sooner? How did it escape my attention for so long? Fortunately, I know it now!

(2) My spelling in atrocious in English. :oops: Always has been. I aced my spelling tests in grade school only because I studied hard for them every week. The only subject I ever remember deliberately studying. Studying though didn’t make me a better speller, it merely allowed me to pass my test that week. Anyways, studying French is making me a worse speller in English, something I didn’t know was even possible. For example, I now don’t know if blue is spelt as ‘bleu’ or ‘blue’. My trick is to reason that the feminine version in French needs to add an ‘e’, so in French it must be ‘bleu’ to allow this additional ‘e’. So, the English must be the other way: “blue’. I know, this is so twisted! But, it is what has become of my already dismal spelling abilities. My spelling in French is likely be as atrocious as in English. So, here I will have two languages that I’ll be a hopeless speller in. :roll:

(3) This note is not in line with my language studying, but about language diversity, specifically English diversity. As with most regional varieties of a language, there are certain peculiarities to my regional standard of US English that get noticed by those not from my area. Most are in slight differences in pronunciation and vocabulary. But, one feature of my English has provoked comments about grammar. My sister was even criticized in a job evaluation for not speaking properly because of it. I was just reminded of this peculiarity when I used the word ‘spelt’ in the above paragraph. Generally, in the US, the past tense and past participle of ‘to spell’ is said as ‘spelled’ with a ‘d’, Same with ’to stop’ — ‘stopped’. But, where I come from, we say it with a ’t’ — spelt, stopt. I even say chopt and shopt. I understand that at least ‘spelt’ is common in British English, but I’m not sure about the other verbs. After my sister was criticized she did some research and it turns out our variety of English uses some of these now archaic, in the US, verb forms. In speech, I’d always use the ’t’ for these sorts of verbs. But, in writing, I have a 50/50 chance of writing either the ‘ed’ form of the ’t’ form. If I wrote ‘stopt' and ‘shopt’, I’m likely to change it to ‘stopped’ and ‘shopped’ on reread, but I’m less likely to change ’spelt’ and 'chopt', but again in all cases I would always pronounce it with a ’t’ .
Last edited by tuckamore on Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
2 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

dampingwire
Green Belt
Posts: 458
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:11 pm
Location: Abingdon, UK
Languages: Italian (N), English (N), French (poor, not studying), Japanese (studying, JLPT N3)
x 450

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby dampingwire » Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:00 pm

tuckamore wrote:Generally, in the US, the past tense and past participle of ‘to spell’ is said as ‘spelled’ with a ‘d’, Same with ’to stop’ — ‘stopped’. But, where I come from, we say it with a ’t’ — spelt, stopt. I even say chopt and shopt.


Here in the UK (or maybe just my bit ...) the "spelt" pronunciation is (I think) more common but "spelled" would be the more common written form. Same for "blest" and "blessed", although "blessed nuisance" would always be pronounced "-ed" (you hear the "ed" as you would in "education").

Stopped, chopped and shopped are all pronounced with that final "t". I'm sure you must come from whatever area makes the American TV shows I sometimes watch because any of those pronounced with a final "d" (or especially a final "-ed") would surely have made me raise an eyebrow ...

Oh, well done with the Japanese. I'm truly envious. Now I'm going to stopp scribbling and go watch something Japanese :-)
3 x
新完全マスター N2聴解 : 94 / 103新完全マスター N2読解 : 99 / 177
新完全マスター N2文法 : 197 / 197TY Comp. German : 0 / 389

jeffers
Orange Belt
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:12 pm
Location: UK
Languages: Speaks: English (N), Hindi (A2-B1)

Learning: The above, plus French (A2-B1), German (A1), Ancient Greek (?), Sanskrit (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7991
x 392
Contact:

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby jeffers » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:41 pm

The British example I'm certain about is "learnt", because the Reading Greek textbook from Cambridge University has, "Vocabulary to be learnt" in every chapter.
1 x
Fresh new progress bars for the 2018-19 Super Challenge:
Fr books: 14 / 100films: 24 / 200
Hi books: 0 / 50films: 0 / 50

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Sat Apr 01, 2017 12:24 am

Not much progress for the last 2 weeks. I’ve been away — unexpected travel to help a family member who had a bad accident. I thought at a minimum I would have read, but I was too restless or exhausted for that. Any type of intensive, book studying was most defiantly out — e.g. French in Action, intensive reading, etc. So my goal for 300 pages in Japanese this month is a bust! But, because I was a head of schedule for French in Action, I am still on track for finishing by year’s end (what I said in previous post about 9 months is now too ambitious).

During this time, however, I did discover Memrise and found some courses that required just the level of focus I was able to muster. I’m quite enjoying them. I liked that I could use Memorise on the fly for just several minutes here and there and, yet, still feel that I was moving forward. Even if I wasn’t moving forward, at least I don’t think I’ve regressed. I just finished a course for reading Thai that suited me well. I’m not sure I could have learned to read Thai using it, but it worked out perfectly for me trying to re-learn to read. I also found a course using the Book2 materials for Thai that was not too difficult, was all audio, and, most importantly, fit my mood. I think I’m getting a good feel for the tones. I also happened upon a subs2srs type course using a Japanese TV drama, which is quite a nice course.

I wish I could have kept up with my subtitles+audio deck in Anki. But, this deck is huge and I don’t have enough storage on my phone to use Ankidroid. So, now I’m behind. The ‘timed’ nature of Anki is one of the main drawbacks for me. I know this is THE feature of any SRS. But, I feel stress now that I’m behind. This deck is totally worth it, though — with just about 300 cards under my belt, I already see (err, I should say ‘hear’) huge gains in my listening.

I have only a few days at home before I go back to help my relative. I’m not sure how I am going to use this time for languages. Whether I will only continue the Memrise courses+play catch up with Anki+watch some Japanese TV? Or, whether, I will try to tackle something new, like a chapter in Read Real Japanese or French in Action, even though I may not be able to continue it in a few days?
0 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Wed Apr 26, 2017 8:08 pm

This month has certainly NOT been a month of language progress. Helping my relative, a soon-to-be centenarian, after her accident has been time and energy consuming. I came back home last week, but have been in recovery mode myself. And, now, being gone a month, I got stuff to do — e.g. taxes are due this weekend — so, I’m slow to come back to my language hobby.

That said, I did have some language highlights for the month. In short: Thai was the winner; French was the loser.

Why is French the loser? Because I don’t remember doing a single thing in French. (*shame*)

I am very pleased with my progress in reading in Thai. So much easier than the first time around when I was still learning the fundamentals of the language. I’m now undecided about when it is best to learn a foreign script. I was squarely in the camp of learning a script right at the get-go. This is how I approached Japanese. I sparingly used romaji as a crutch and, even then, the crutch only lasted 2-3 months. Six months into Japanese and kana was decisively easier and more comfortable for me to read than any romaji transliteration. With this success in Japanese, I set out trying to do the same thing in Thai. But, it didn’t work as smoothly. I could pair sounds with writing forms, but I struggled to learn and extract meaning at the same time. So, I put reading on hold and concentrated exclusively on listening. Perhaps if I struggled through at the beginning longer, it would have had eventually worked out. But, I think I may have given up in despair. So, for my situation with Thai, postponing reading seemed to have worked out well. One aspect of this story that probably makes a huge impact is that while I wasn’t using Thai script, I wasn’t using transliteration much either. I only used transliteration to verify vowel sounds, tone, or whether a t and p was aspirated or not, but very very very rarely to read a word. Might have been different if I used a lot of written text for studying.

I had some exposure to live, spoken Japanese this month, which I rarely experience. There was a Japanese festival in the city where I was helping my family out. Sadly, I didn’t speak any Japanese, but I listened to conversations around me. A few observations about my level in listening. 1. No matter what random conversation, the words seemed familiar, but I was slow to figure out the meaning. Given enough time, I think I could have gotten the meaning, but by then I was already listening to the next person or next sentence. 2. If I knew the context, such as two Japanese vendors talking after a customer asked a question (in English) or entertainers talking with people involved in the production, then I had less trouble. Specifics would have passed me by, though.

At first, I was disheartened that I couldn’t get meaning from words that were clearly familiar. I shamed myself for thinking I actually ‘knew’ some Japanese. I felt like a poser. I still do, somewhat. But, I also rationalized that I actually haven’t interacted in or spoken any Japanese in 6 years. And, eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations is probably one of the harder foreign language skills. In fact, at risk of being an authentic poser, I’ll make a couple claims. I think it would only take me a handful of hours of interacting in Japanese for the meaning to become automatic, as the words, sounds, etc. seemed so familiar. I just couldn’t pin them down. Basically, I’m not thinking fast enough to follow a native conversation. I think a week or two spent in Japan using Japanese or some weekly tutoring for a several months would rectify this for me. For the conversations that I knew the context, I think if I were actually a participant in the conversation, I would have been able to ask for clarification on what I missed. Although, speed being the limiting factor, I may have to ask in English. Otherwise the conversation would be on to the next topic or the next after that or the next after that…
0 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:42 pm

Well, well, well…. I cannot believe 1.5+ years have passed since I last updated this log. :shock: The disbelief is not so much directed towards my log per se, but rather that so much time has passed since the life changing events that triggered my absence from this log. In short, among other things, I moved my life back to the states (but not to a state I’d ever been familiar with). And, this 2.5 hour time zone shift was accompanied by an even larger career change. (For those geography whizzes, where did I move from? There is only one answer within North America.)

To boot, I have not had internet access at home since my move 1.5 years ago. Not quite back to the language learning dark ages, as I still have use of my computer. But, it is a genuine handicap. For language learning and for keep abreast here at LLORG.

(For those keen minds wondering how I added this entry to my log — I do have internet at work, at the library, at cafés, etc.)

So, where am I with my languages? In summary, I haven’t given up, but my progress wouldn’t be the envy of anyone.

We’ll start with the negatives. A move in itself can interrupt my daily flow where it can take weeks/months for me to recover. But, lack of internet was the nail on the coffin for French and Thai. Without internet (1) I couldn’t watch the videos for French in Action — so that came to a standstill, (2) I couldn’t work with the Thai Cat Cartoons, which had started to become part of my weekly routine before my move, (3) I couldn’t watch new Japanese programs, and (4) I couldn’t tool around on the web to seek out new material, etc. For the first year, I was working 7 days a week, so I also had little energy to devote to figuring out what I should be doing instead.

Now for some positives. (1) My Japanese studies have benefited from having no internet as I’m reading more. (One of my main objectives in starting this log.) It’s still a tough slog, but not having the luxury of watching Japanese TV forced me to seek out input from text. (2) I finished all three levels of Glossika Thai (but I haven’t done much with Thai since I finished with the 3000th sentence — so much for a paragraph of positives). I’ve read a few books in French (but I haven’t done anything else — ibid).

Where to go from here?
Fortunately, things began to settle down a bit towards summer’s end and I’ve been actively and slowly developing some new daily language learning habits. I know from past experience that adding too many new things at once to my daily routine ends in failure. So, I’m taking my time.

I’ve met my first goal: daily exposure to Japanese again. Japanese remains my first priority. I have three focuses: extensive reading, advanced grammar, and pronunciation.

Next, I just started working with Living Language Thai, which I received as a Christmas present. Solves the problem of what to do without internet and gives me concrete material to work with for a while. Not sure it would’ve been my first choice, but it is better than nothing. Thai remains a side project.

French has taken a back burner for now. Mostly because I don’t know what to do. I’ll read a book here and there, but otherwise I’m at a loss. Let’s revisit this in a month or two.

I don’t know what is a realistic frequency for updating my log considering I don’t have access at home. Let’s say at a minimum once per month, but once every week or two would be better.

Until next time.
1 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Thu Feb 07, 2019 12:08 am

I am reading my first book written in Japanese with real paper pages, not a book on a screen pretending to be pages. And, no integrated dictionary crutch. How liberating

The book is ピーターと影泥棒. I don’t know what the published English title is, but it translates into something like Peter and the Shadow Thief. It is a spin off of Peter Pan. So, although I have not read the English version, I am familiar with some of the characters like Peter, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, etc. I’ve had it on my shelf for years, but, I admit, I was too timid to leave the security of my e-reader (or more precisely, its integrated dictionary). But, it is quite an easy book and I’m surprisingly hooked on the story — so, it’s been an easy leap once I had the courage to try.

What I love about this book is that it allows me to just read. I’m reading with fluidity. No puzzling over kanji. I’m legitimately picking up words from context rather than spending scarce cognitive resources deciphering what the kanji may mean. Reading is more like listening (not sure how to explain it). And, listening is my strongest skill, so I’m internalizing more with each flip of the page. The con: This style may be of limited help for gaining fluidity in books that are more kanji dense. The pro: All the benefits gained from reading fluidly, plus greater exposure to Japanese per unit time (faster reading).

I do have a bit of a dilemma. The book is broken into two volumes. I am about to finish the first volume, but I only own the first volume. I looked into buying the second volume, but the cheapest I can find including shipping is upwards of $30. Yikes! OK, not going there. I am not that hooked to the story. 残念 Ah! but there is another book in this spin off series and I actually have one of its volumes. Unfortunately, I only have the second volume. So, do I dive right into the second volume, not having a clue of what went on in the first half of the book, or do I see if my library has the English version and spend an hour or so reading the beginning?
1 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:18 pm

I have been reading a lot in Japanese these past weeks and I’ve noticed a remarkable increase in my reading speed. It looks like I may finish a 300 page book in ~10 days! Huge milestone for me. I was able to jump into the second half of this book (ピーターと星の守護団) with no problem. This surprised me as I thought losing the context from the first half of the book would throw me for a loop. (Captain Hook still has two hands and there is no sign of Tinker Bell, yet. So, I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress.)

I have a few observations after about 500 pages from these 2 books:

1. Vocabulary is my biggest obstacle. I already knew vocabulary was a weakness, but I usually blamed kanji for my rudimentary reading skills. Since these books use kanji sparingly and have furigana for most all kanji that are used, deficiencies in vocabulary are all too obvious.

2. The limited use of kanji is both a blessing and a curse — for my learning and my comprehension. One example of many, kanji help me to more easily define word boundaries than a continuous stream of hiragana. But, for those phrases/chunks that I’m most familiar with — have more or less internalized — it doesn’t matter one bit whether there is a stream of hiragana, a whole page in fact. It’s as if I’m hearing the text rather than reading it. Likely a result of my learning thus far being biased towards listening. It’s only when I encounter less familiar vocabulary or syntax that I stumble on figuring out where the word boundaries are and often have to pause to sort things out. Pausing to consider whether は or も are particles or not are two reoccurring offenders. Overall, I’m becoming more aware of where my proficiency with certain types of syntax is strong and where it is weak.

3. For comparison (and to keep my ego in check), I picked up a book written for adults, and the first sentence had a 9-10 kanji-based compound word. I could puzzle out the meaning (something about cretaceous period dinosaurs), but I wasn’t reading, I was deciphering. And, honestly, I get tired of having to puzzle out meaning. Conclusion, it may be more effective if I stay with books written for younger audiences for now.

4. My katakana reading fluency has improved a lot over the course of these books. It went from being a large speed bump, if not a car-size pot hole, to being a small bump on the road. There was even a sentence in katakana-French that was easy enough.

5. My retention of new kanji readings/vocabulary can be extremely low. I can read some kanji 10, 20, 30+ times and the reading just does not stick. Really, though, it boils down to a vocabulary retention issue. For example, I am having a hard time remembering the reading for 砦 (とりで、fort). Fortunately, in these books, readings are given for the first use of kanji per every pair of facing pages. So, I only have to scan two pages for the reading. But, geez!, after the 20th+ time, you’d think the word would stick.

Main conclusion, vocabulary vocabulary, vocabulary. But, overall, I'm enjoying the read. I'll write a bit about Thai next time.
3 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages

tuckamore
Orange Belt
Posts: 121
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:41 pm
Languages: English (N), Japanese (intermediate), French (intermediate), Thai (beginner)
x 234

Re: Tuckamore: slow growing and gnarly (Japanese, French & Thai)

Postby tuckamore » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:16 pm

THAI

Thai is a low investment, side project that I started almost 2.5 years ago. I started studying before a trip to Thailand, and for various reasons I decided not to completely abandon it after I returned home. One reason, among many, was that I was enjoying it and enjoying seeing my progress. An equally strong reason was that the beginnings of this language were the hardest among all the languages I’ve ever studied. Painful. It was a brutal start. :? So, seeing how far I’d come and for fear of having to repeat the beginnings again if I ever wanted to return to Thai, I kept at it. But, very slowly and recently with long stretches of minimal contact.

Anyways, why am I bringing this up now? Keep reading…

In January, I started the Living Language book that I was recently given. The first dialogue teaches introductions and includes the phrase for “nice to meet you” (ยินดีที่ได้รู้จัก/yin-dii-thii-dai-ruu-jak-- sorry, no tone marks) This reminded me that this phrase, this one phrase, was impossible for me at the very beginning. And, yet, it was in the very first lesson of almost every course I looked at. :( It was too much for me too soon— I couldn’t hear it. I struggled with ‘hello’ (สวัสดี), too, but I could wrap my ears/mind around that a bit better. Not so with ‘Nice to meet you’ or, more broadly, the general pace of introductory dialogues.

A smarter me would have done one of two things: (1) accept that this phrase and any dialogues will take some time to absorb and move on to the next lesson while constantly reviewing previous ones or (2) say the hell with Thai and be grateful I could spend more time with Japanese.

The stubborn and dumber me, however, kept trying one beginner course after the next, rarely getting past the first page in any. (I think I tried 6+ beginner courses that were all too hard.) I needed a super duper dumbed down course to start. Everything I looked at was too hard, too soon. It was so discouraging! That’s when I settled on Glossika — totally disregarding Glossika’s advice about it not being suited to total beginners. At first glance, it may not look like a super duper dumbed down course, but it worked better and was easier for me than the others I tried. Mind you, these were the old Glossika files. I don’t think I could have done what I did if I had used the current Glossika format. But, I’ve not tried it, so I don’t know that for sure.

[[Not integral to this topic, but I’ll add it here anyways. What I liked about Glossika for building my foundation was:
— it was sentence by sentence. A whole conversation at the beginning was too much for me. But, I could more easily work with one sentence. (In hindsight, it would have worked the same if I had isolated individual sentences from any of the dialogues from the intro courses, but I didn’t think to do this at that time.)
— it used IPA. Thai transliterations drove me crazy. I didn’t know IPA before I started Thai, but I found it easier to follow than transliterations.
— It had word for word translations in addition to sentence by sentence translations.
— so many sentence with audio!
Since I was a total newbie, I didn’t and couldn’t use Glossika as instructed. Instead, I did my own thing with it.]]

Anyways, my foundation in Thai is totally thanks to Glossika. As I slowly dip my toe into native media or other learning material (listening/watching only) here and there, I’ve realized I’ve gotten a fairly solid foundation. I also had some successes in speaking and understanding Thai when I was in Thailand. (Don’t mis-read, though, I’m still a beginner.)

Which brings me back to Living Languages and the other courses I tried at the beginning. I didn’t skip a beat when I first heard ยินดีที่ได้รู้จัก (nice to meet you) in Lesson 1 of Living Language. A bit dumbstruck, relieved, and, I’ll admit, a bit impressed with myself, I went back to check out some the resources I looked at when I started that gave me so much despair. And, wow!, night and day. :o I know this shouldn’t be surprising since I’ve learned a lot in the meantime. But, painful memories = deep seated horror towards these materials. And, now Joy! My stubbornness paid off. :D

Moving Forward

With these new discoveries, I’m designing a new study plan. First, I am going to finish Living Language — I’m on chapter 8/15. I predict I’ll finish it sometime in March or April. It’s mostly review in terms of vocabulary and sentence structure, but I’m gaining a lot in terms of following a dialogue (in contrast to individual sentences) and in reading.

Then, I’m thinking of alternating between Beginning Thai by Benjamin Poomsan Becker and FSI Thai. I heavily relied on the FSI Introduction to Thai phonology and Benjamin Poomsan Becker’s Thai pronunciation course at the beginning of my studies, but as described above I couldn’t hack the dialogues. I would’ve liked to try Essential Thai by James Higbie again, but when I went to open my book the other week the CD was snapped in two — bummer.

Plans always change, but this is my current proposal.
0 x
: 10000 / 10000 10000 Japanese pages
: 16 / 10000 the next 10000 Japanese pages


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest