Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:32 am

Hi! After lurking here for several months I've decided to start a log, in an effort to make better progress with my language-learning. Languages are my absolute favourite thing, and my brain wants to learn a lot of them. :D

Current goals
I'd like to reach at least an intermediate level in anything I study. At the moment, I'm mainly focussed on 3 languages. The most important one for me to learn (ideally to C1-2/native) is German, because of my family background. I also really love Russian, and then there's French, my main high school/university language.

Current ability
Generally, I'd say poor. That is, nowhere near where I should be given the number of years I've spent formally studying. I know a lot of French and German grammar, but little vocabulary, so I feel I can't actually use the languages, or understand much. I did a semester of Russian a long time ago, but I've forgotten virtually everything.

The 'Wanderlust'
By nature, I'll be super-interested in something specific for 2 weeks, declining interest over the 3rd week, in the 4th week a new interest has grabbed me and I've forgotten the other one, then the cycle repeats ad infinitum. After an 8-year break from languages in general, I returned to German in April, French in mid-September, and started Russian at the beginning of October. I haven't progressed very far because I'm stopping/starting every few weeks, and it's getting increasingly frustrating. Sometimes I've done two languages at the same time. And periodically I'm exposed to another language in some way, and then I really want to learn it as well ("Oooh, Hungarian!...Oooh, Norwegian!...Oooh, Basque!"). Eurovision's a killer. :lol:

The Plan
Although starting from scratch has been highly beneficial for me overall, I've finally realised that one Pimsleur and Assimil lesson per day, for a steady few months, just isn't feasible for me. So I'm going to change tack and embrace my 'mini-obsessions'. :D I've been inspired by AML's Assimil Hebrew in 2 weeks, and I'm going to try a sort of 'how much of this course can I get through in x weeks' challenge. Based on my overall progress this year, and the base languages in my Assimil collection, I think I'll do French, then German, then Russian.

I'm starting with FSI French Phonology. I previously reached chapter 5, so I think I'll carry on from there after doing a quick review of the first 4 dialogues. I'll try to get through most of that on Day 1, and finish it during Day 2. After that I'll alternate Pimsleur and Assimil throughout each day (I'll come up with a more detailed routine by then).

I think I can keep this first experiment/challenge going for 2 weeks, or hopefully three. Then I'll evaluate the process and my improvement.
Last edited by Ingaræð on Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.
7 x
: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil

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MamaPata
Orange Belt
Posts: 233
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:25 am
Location: Moscow
Languages: English (N), French (B1), Spanish (A2), Russian (low B1), Latin (A2 once upon a time!), Arabic (abandoned)
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby MamaPata » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:22 pm

I look forward to hearing how it goes! Why these (current set of ;) ) languages?
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SC French Hours: 134 / 150 SC French Pages: 4858 / 5000
SC Russian Hours: 69 / 150 SC Russian Pages: 1119 / 5000
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iguanamon
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Posts: 932
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby iguanamon » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:03 pm

Welcome to the forum, Ingaræð! I hope you can do as you wish and reach intermediate in a language. Wishing you good luck!
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shandra
White Belt
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Location: Italy
Languages: Italian (N), English (B1), Chinese (HSK1) Spanish (B1), French (A2), Japanese (A1) Frozen: Danish, Forgotten: Romanian
Language Log: http://www.forum.language-learners.org/ ... =15&t=4916
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby shandra » Mon Nov 28, 2016 3:04 pm

That thing about Assimil in Two Weeks sounds intriguing 8-)
Thanks for sharing the link!

Please allow me to pat you on the shoulder: I know what you mean with Wanderlust. It is exactly the same for me! :oops:
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Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby Ingaræð » Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:01 pm

Well, I was really hoping to start this today, but life got in the way, which is disappointing. I did at least manage to review chapters 1-4 of FSI. Fingers crossed, my brain will be refreshed and able to take new input tomorrow!

MamaPata wrote:I look forward to hearing how it goes! Why these (current set of ;) ) languages?

I'll try to keep this short! :)

German is mainly so I can communicate with a lot of my family (my Grandmother was German, but fluent in English), and be more connected to my roots. I also like the language for itself now, if that makes sense.

I was 'allocated' to French when I began high school, and then I wanted to become an interpreter/translator, so I continued it to university. I'm doing it now to get to the level that I should be with my qualification.

As for Russian... After I started uni, I realised that I wanted to study an additional language, and the staff directed me to the Russian department (I think all the other courses were full!). Although I left that university at the end of the first semester, I'd become fascinated by the language and culture, so I've always hoped to return to it at some point.

Also, with everything going on in Europe/the West right now, I'd like to get news directly from other countries, not just the British media's version. I've realised that it's not the full story... (I hope that's not too political! :oops:)

iguanamon wrote:Welcome to the forum, Ingaræð! I hope you can do as you wish and reach intermediate in a language. Wishing you good luck!


Thank you, I think I'll need it! :D

shandra wrote:That thing about Assimil in Two Weeks sounds intriguing 8-)
Thanks for sharing the link!

Please allow me to pat you on the shoulder: I know what you mean with Wanderlust. It is exactly the same for me! :oops:


You're welcome! I thought it was an interesting concept, and quite fitting for me now ("The square peg won't fit in the round hole... How do I adapt the hole?" :lol:).

Edit: typo.
1 x
: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil

Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby Ingaræð » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:35 pm

Ok, today hasn't gone to plan either. My brain refused to focus on anything non-English until late this afternoon, so I've only done chapter 5 of FSI. I'd also forgotten that a half-hour tape actually takes me a whole hour to go through, so it's going to take longer to finish this course than I anticipated. :(

On the plus side, my brain was still able to mull over my plan quite well. When I've finished FSI, I'll try 2 lessons of Pimsleur a day (from scratch), morning and evening, and inbetween I'll do Assimil. I wasn't sure which one to use, so after reviewing Assimil French without toil vs New French, I listened to lesson 60 of both courses. I understood virtually all of NFWE, but only about a quarter of FwT. Decision made!

On a more general note, I've revisited serpent's "Optimized" learning for females. This is something that makes a lot of sense to me in terms of biology, so I'll be tracking how this fits in with my cycle of mini-obsessions (although not the root cause, I suspect that hormones are having some effect).

I've also set up a makeshift Seinfeld calendar on my computer's desktop. Thank you to emk for sharing it.

Finally, something that I've just noticed: my ability to write well in English has really deteriorated. I've rarely had to compose anything over the last 8 years, and it's taken me more than 2 hours to put this post together. Now I have another reason to maintain a log. 8-)
2 x
: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil

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Iversen
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Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian,
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby Iversen » Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:16 pm

One question (born out of sheer irrepressible curiosity): how did you come to choose the name "Ingaræð"? The only two source languages I can imagine are Icelandic and Anglosaxon, but a Google search only gave one dubious Icelandic hit and not one single one from Anglosaxon. And your language profile doesn't refer to either language.
1 x

Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby Ingaræð » Thu Dec 01, 2016 10:05 pm

Iversen wrote:One question (born out of sheer irrepressible curiosity): how did you come to choose the name "Ingaræð"? The only two source languages I can imagine are Icelandic and Anglosaxon, but a Google search only gave one dubious Icelandic hit and not one single one from Anglosaxon. And your language profile doesn't refer to either language.


Thanks for asking! :D

I've always found Anglo-Saxon names interesting, and for some reason it popped into my head that I should have one for my username here. So I searched Wikipedia for Anglo-Saxon names, which brought up a list of Germanic names. I didn't like any of the given examples, so I picked ræð (apparently meaning "counsel, wisdom") as I feel like my intelligence is the only good thing I have; and Inga because I think it sounds nice, it's definitely female, and it's a kind of geolinguistic 'bridge' between my anglicised-British and East Prussian roots (conveniently ignoring the fact that I'm mostly Welsh...).

As for the lack of connection in my language profile - I was trying not to list most geographically-European languages in my wishlist! :lol: (Hungarian gets a special mention because I've particularly wanted to learn it for several years.) On reflection, I think Germanic is probably the language group that I'd like to learn as a whole, so I'll add that in now.
3 x
: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil

Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
x 170

Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle

Postby Ingaræð » Sat Dec 03, 2016 8:06 pm

Well, Sod's law I fall ill the day after I start my log and announce my plans to the world! :roll: But I was determined to finally finish at least one French course, even if it's taken me twice as long as I wanted. FSI French Phonology has definitely improved my pronounciation and intonation, and I think I'll review a few bits of it during my next French phase. I have at least learnt that you're not supposed to pause the tapes... :oops: :lol:

Some further revision to my French plan: I'm dropping Pimsleur for the time being. I don't have the energy for it right now, and my main goal for this phase was to increase my vocabulary and passive understanding, so that it will be easier to use Assimil with a French base.

The Anglo-Saxon talk is really making me want to do something Germanic, but my Seinfeld calendar is helping me resist. :D
1 x
: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil

Ingaræð
Yellow Belt
Posts: 83
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
Studying: German (?), French (?), Russian (beg.).
Previously studied (beg.): Italian, Welsh.
Wishlist: Hungarian, most other European languages, Mandarin, Hebrew.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
x 170

Re: Ingaræð's Fluency vs. Wanderlust Battle (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:43 pm

All the talk of knitting on here last December made me realise that I had some emergency knitting to do for Christmas, followed by crazy stress, so I haven't done any active learning for about 3 weeks. :( I watched Trapped, The Out-Laws/Clan (really good!) and the first series of Cordon, but I'm not counting the latter two as study because they have minimal French. They did remind me that I wanted to learn Dutch, and I think I might focus on Flemish, because I like how it sounds even more. :D

But back to French...

After powering through 7-14 lessons of French without toil a day, I'd reached the start of the active wave. I really like using Assimil intensively - it feels nicely immersive, like I'm putting my French head on. My passive comprehension has definitely improved, particularly of pronouns in context. Maybe that's having a degree of automaticity, instead of trying to translate all the time..? Also, rather than just doing French until wanderlust hits, I'm now feeling motivated to finish this course (and possibly Using French as well) before moving on to German.

I'll review what I've done so far of FwT - listen to the audio, and anything that I can't remember the meaning of I'll do scriptorium with (when I was doing Russian without toil, it seemed that the lessons I reviewed on following days via scriptorium were the ones where the vocabulary stuck the best).

After that, my daily aim will be: 1 lesson of Pimsleur; scriptorium of previous day's FwT passive wave; ~7 new lessons of PW (and corresponding active wave); 1 lesson of Pimsleur. Exactly how many new FwT lessons I do (and the 2nd Pimsleur) will depend on how long I'm feeling tired for during the day.

Here are my specific methods, in case anyone finds them useful:

Pimsleur
Pretty much as you're supposed to. I'll pause if I know that I'll be able to recall the answer, but not in the time given. I'll also pause to look up a new word for the IPA spelling, and/or so that I can visualise it (especially with Russian). I also do Pimsleur in a darkened room (eyes closed) when it's fairly quiet, using in-ear, noise-isolating headphones. (Thank you, Asperger's auditory-processing difficulties. On the plus side, repetition is fun. :D )

Assimil
For the passive wave, I follow the instructions in the Dutch course, but for no. 3 I listen to each sentence before reading aloud. Each lesson takes me 12-18 minutes (Russian, longer), depending on how much new vocabulary there is. I haven't decided on an active wave method yet.

Scriptorium of Assimil
1. Listen to the 'paragraph'/sentence.
2. Visualise it and check it against the book (I don't want to write down mistakes).
3. Copy the sentence from the book, saying it aloud.
4. Look at the translation.
5. Say the sentence aloud again.
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: 10 / 100 Russian without Toil


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