Ingaræð's Language Labyrinth (DE/FR/RU...)

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Ingaræð
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Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:15 pm

Urgh, I hate the change between GMT and BST - it completely throws my daily routine off... :evil: :cry: I have at least (finally!) started Assimil's New French with Ease this evening: did lessons 1-5, and reviewed 1-5 of French without toil. I've reached lesson 18 of Pimsleur, and I feel like that's going less well in terms of prosody. I don't know if it's because these are now new lessons for me, or (more likely) because I've had gaps of several days. Or maybe it's the return of The Brain Fog, which always seems to arrive just when I turn to studying. :roll:

I've finished the Coursera course Learning How to Learn. I'm not bothered about preparing for tests, but the rest of it was really interesting, particularly the neurological stuff: who knew that when we sleep, our cerebrospinal fluid is flushed between our braincells to clear out the toxins that build up there during the day? :o There are quite a few other courses I want to do, mainly neurology, philosophy and linguistics. The next one will be Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics.

I can't really remember the other stuff I wanted to write... I wish I was at Russian already, but I need to stick to my French > German > Russian plan to maximise using the Assimil books that I have. And it coincidentally fits reineke's advice elsewhere, which makes me feel more confident about it. The other week I realised that I'm glad I'm doing French first: it'll be easier to work out what the best learning methods are for me, so hopefully things will run more smoothly for future languages. I'm setting myself the goal of Russian by Christmas, which I think would be feasible if I stop my chronic procrastinating... :oops:
3 x
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Ingaræð
Orange Belt
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Sun Apr 02, 2017 10:49 pm

Last Thursday I was feeling pretty meh with language study/my progress, but couldn't really put my finger on what the problem was. I managed to boil things down to three (unanswerable :roll: ) questions:

Why am I dissatisfied with Pimsleur/NFWE progress now?

What worked with the chorusing/intensive listening?

What worked with the intensive FSI/FwT last year?


I was also thinking about the natural abilities I have with German: I can parse words in speech even though I don't understand anything; I can usually say unknown words with correct stress; I know some syntax intuitively (e.g. infinitives at the end of a clause). I know my Oma spoke to me in German when I was very young, and my first trip to Germany was at 6 months old. Apparently I did speak some myself, e.g. "darf ich bitte aufstehen?" (no idea what else). I don't remember of any of this, though.

Serendipitously, these threads appeared/re-appeared last week:

See! I'm not a poor language learner, my brain is just wired wrong!
"Flow Doesn't Lead to Mastery"
Language chunks to ease language activation
DIN hypothesis - long L2 input sessions
LIE to a Polyglot
Question about L/R

Combined with the book that blaurebell recommended, The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (a fascinating, life-changing read!), I found myself on a path to Listening-Reading - or to be exact, here. I'm thinking some kind of Assimil/L-R/LWT mash-up is the way forward, postponing speaking, pronunciation and Pimsleur. Having a good accent is an important goal long term, but comprehension is key for progressing to German and Russian. And maybe this path will be a bit quicker....

Following The Way of the Lazy Fist, I'll first go through the Assimil courses sequentially, without any speaking [note to self: also revise French phonology]. If that's successful, I have Harry Potter, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Code Da Vinci, some Petit Nicolas and a bunch of graded readers lined up.

So, back to NFWE. 7 lessons done today, despite feeling unwell. :D
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Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

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

Postby DaveBee » Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:29 pm

Ingaræð wrote:I was also thinking about the natural abilities I have with German: I can parse words in speech even though I don't understand anything; I can usually say unknown words with correct stress; I know some syntax intuitively (e.g. infinitives at the end of a clause). I know my Oma spoke to me in German when I was very young, and my first trip to Germany was at 6 months old. Apparently I did speak some myself, e.g. "darf ich bitte aufstehen?" (no idea what else). I don't remember of any of this, though.
I read an article recently about children who had forgotten their native languages being exposed to it years later. (possibly on one of the threads you've linked above! :-) )
The results of the study ... showed that the brain activation pattern of the adopted Chinese who "lost" or completely discontinued using the language, matched the brain activation patterns for those who continued speaking Chinese since birth—and was completely different from the group of monolingual French speakers.
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blaurebell
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby blaurebell » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:00 am

Ingaræð wrote:Combined with the book that blaurebell recommended, The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge (a fascinating, life-changing read!), I found myself on a path to Listening-Reading - or to be exact, here.


This book totally changed my life too! I went from "I can't do it" to "I can't do it yet". and since I've read this book I've reached all my skill goals! It's a powerful thing to know that you can change the grey stuff in your head so massively. I've had too many people tell me that I can't do certain things and I used to believe them. Well, not anymore! I wish everyone would read that book, it's so empowering!

Ingaræð wrote:I'm thinking some kind of Assimil/L-R/LWT mash-up is the way forward, postponing speaking, pronunciation and Pimsleur.


I think you've already done enough for your pronunciation so as not to grind in bad pronunciation with reading! I like to do two bouts of pronunciation practice: One right at the beginning and another when I go from passive to active. No need to spend massive amounts of time on it while trying to break through the comprehension barrier!
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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

Ingaræð
Orange Belt
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:48 am

DaveBee wrote:I read an article recently about children who had forgotten their native languages being exposed to it years later. (possibly on one of the threads you've linked above! :-) )

Thanks, that's really interesting!

blaurebell wrote:I think you've already done enough for your pronunciation so as not to grind in bad pronunciation with reading!

I've decided to always use audiobooks with texts for the time being: although my subvocalised pronunciation has improved when thinking to myself, I seem to slip into bad habits very easily when reading silently. Brains, eh? :roll: :lol:
2 x
Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Ingaræð
Orange Belt
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Mon May 01, 2017 6:33 pm

New French with Ease : 113 / 113 :D

I finally finished the NFWE passive wave yesterday! It was getting to be a bit of a drag, which is one reason I'm not going to do an active wave right now. The cultural notes were useful, but on the whole it wasn't as enjoyable as FwT. Maybe I should have carried on with that from where I left off (lesson 57), instead of switching books - a quick look-through yesterday showed I could have got more out of it, with fewer lessons to complete. :( I'm putting FwT and Using French to one side for the moment, as NFWE has left me feeling meh and needing a change.

Method-y stuff:

1) Listen 'blind'
2) Listen while reading L1
3) Listen to each sentence individually while reading L2, comparing with L1
4) Listen while reading L2
5) Listen while reading L1
6) Listen 'blind' at least twice
7) Read the notes
8) Listen to the exercise as a test

It took 31 hours to do the whole passive wave, spread over 19 (non-consecutive) days. I also reviewed each lesson at least twice (audio only): once doing the previous batch of lessons before starting new ones; and then just listening to lessons if I happened to be awake in the middle of the night.

Cool stuff: in step 1, I usually picked up a couple of unknown words from context/word family (e.g. marmonner, une imprimante). :geek:

I need/want to log more hours per day, partly because I'm looking at other people's logs (*cough*blaurebell*cough*) and thinking I should be doing more, given all the free time I have. Also because it's now May, and I've hardly progressed in the grand scheme of things.

I've been doing some of CLE's Phonétique progressive du français after Ani mentioned it the other week, and I have to agree with her that it's superior to FSI's French Phonology. It's chock-full of minimal pairs and intonation stuff.

I've decided against watching Buffy - although I saw it first time around, my brain doesn't want anything remotely scary right now. I'm enjoying series 1 of Kaamelott, even though I can't understand most of what's going without English subs. When I've watched the all the series normally, I'll do some intensive work with the transcripts. I've also watched the Les Visiteurs trilogy, OSS:117, and probably re-watched Un air de famille for the umpteenth time. I have some other native stuff lined up, including the original Asterix films (which popped into my head after thinking about reineke's cartoons, DaveBee's mention of Les Celtes and NFWE lesson 110). Random thought: is watching the dubbed version of a series you already know, the audio-visual equivalent of L-R..?

Yesterday evening I started properly with LWT. I actually installed it a couple of months ago, in preparation. :lol: I did have an issue getting it running (on Linux), but I can't remember what it was now - something in these instructions sorted it out. Anyway, last night I just wanted something short, so I started the abridged (and more well-known) version of La Belle et la Bête, with audio from http://www.litteratureaudio.com. 'Short' became 2 hours without even noticing. I think I could quite easily spend the whole day with LWT! :D

La Belle et la Bête is not a typical literature choice for me, but I caught La bella e la bestia on TV the other week, which I think is a pretty good non-magical adaptation. For re-watching, I switched to the (better) Italian dub that actually uses most of the original actors, followed by a binge of Il commissario De Luca. Something really weird happened during that couple of days: I was unconsciously thinking in Italian, and my brain kept throwing up random stuff like dov'è l'anello. I don't know whether that qualifies as 'the din'..'? It was really cool, but slightly annoying as I was supposed to be concentrating on French! I hope it comes back in the future: my brain has now totally remembered why I wanted to do Italian at uni, so I'll definitely resurrect it after I've tackled Russian (or even during, as an 'easy' language for relaxing :lol: ) - maybe even in time for a Sanremo binge next February...

Finally, I've worked out how to manage Russian wanderlust: listening to Assimil, and re-watching Русский ковчег. I'm just about resisting checking out the series mentioned in Xmmm's log... :lol:
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Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

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

Postby DaveBee » Mon May 01, 2017 6:59 pm

Ingaræð wrote:I have some other native stuff lined up, including the original Asterix films
I came across a Lucky Luke film with french subtitles earlier: La Ballade des Daltons.
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blaurebell
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby blaurebell » Mon May 01, 2017 10:02 pm

Ingaræð wrote:I need/want to log more hours per day, partly because I'm looking at other people's logs (*cough*blaurebell*cough*) and thinking I should be doing more, given all the free time I have.


:oops: Now I feel slightly embarrassed. I'm just wasting most of my time with watching TV, playing video games and reading Sci Fi / comics and pretend it's "productive" because it's in a B2 language :D
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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

Ingaræð
Orange Belt
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
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Re: Ingaræð's Yellow Brick Road (DE/FR/RU...)

Postby Ingaræð » Tue May 02, 2017 9:55 am

Well, that's defintitely a step up from playing Spyro the Dragon in French and pretending that it's productive... :oops: :lol:

Seriously, though, all your intensive receptive-skills work seems like semi-immersion, which has to be a good thing!
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Ceci n'est pas une pipe.
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

Ingaræð
Orange Belt
Posts: 122
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 9:34 pm
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Deutsch (A2-B1*), français (B1-2*), Русский (beg.).
Previously studied: italiano, Cymraeg.
Wish list: 'UN 6'.
Mainly (but not solely) interested in Eurasian languages.

*Dialang
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4993
x 272

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

Postby Ingaræð » Tue May 02, 2017 10:52 am

I want to put reineke's great post on comprehension and CEFR levels in my log for future reference.

Last September I did the Dialang reading test for French and German, and got C1 and A2 respectively. Either Dialang Beta was having an off-day, or my test-taking skills are awesome. :D

In terms of the scale below, I feel like an A in both languages. My French comprehension is the better of the two (thank you, cognates!), and in German, anything other than family correspondence is pretty opaque. :( I think a lack of vocabulary and the dearth of listening practice in formal education are the main problems. So I'm guesstimating that French vs. German is something like A2:A1. Oh well, at least neither atrophied to A0! :lol:

CEFR levels are here. I have a self-assessment checklist on my HDD, but I can't find the link where I got it (probably either here or on HTLAL).

reineke wrote:The CEFR Global scale includes a set of descriptors that were drawn from a wider bank of illustrative descriptors. The descriptors that relate to receptive skills are grouped around topics such as Overall Listening Comprehension, Understanding Interaction between Native Speakers. Listening as a Member of a Live Audience, Listening to Announcements & Instructions Listening to Radio & Audio Recordings, Watching TV & Film etc.

With regards to broadcast media, B1 "can follow many films in which visuals and action carry much of the storyline, and which are delivered clearly in straightforward language.
Can catch the main points in TV programmes on familiar topics when the delivery is relatively slow and clear.
Can understand a large part of many TV programmes on topics of personal interest such as interviews, short lectures, and news reports when the delivery is relatively slow and clear."

B2 "Can understand most TV news and current affairs programmes.
Can understand documentaries, live interviews, talk shows, plays and the majority of films in standard dialect."

C1 can "follow films employing a considerable degree of slang and idiomatic usage". C1 can also "understand a wide range of recorded and broadcast audio material, including some non-standard usage, and identify finer points of detail including implicit attitudes and relationships between speakers" .

My interpretation of the "percentage" scale:

<20% Comprehension of individual words and phrases.
20-50% Spotty comprehension. This is A2 territory. Sorry.
50%-80% Global comprehension. Increasing ability to pick up details. B1
80%-98% Selective comprehension. The devil is in the detail. B2-C1
99%-100% Detailed comprehension. C1-C2

Someone mentioning 80%-90% comprehension could be referring to general listening or reading comprehension or something more specific (ie "Buffy" ). If former is the case, I find that the "vague" CEFR scale may prove more helpful and accurate than a personal percentage scale. I wouldn't completely write off the percentage scale but I find it more useful when describing progress from A1 through B1.

The higher the percentage, the more important it becomes to include additional explanatory language. For instance, someone's idea of 95% comprehension may mostly apply to being able to understand the gist of a TV show.

If you are investing time and effort to create a detailed record of your language learning consider adding some descriptive language to these percentages. Also, take advantage of the more detailed CEFR descriptors (which, btw, are getting expanded).

To give you an idea why estimating comprehension is a tricky business :

"Bonk’s (2000) subjects listened to four passages on unfamiliar topics with varying levels of lexical familiarity (as measured by subjects’ ability to correctly record items in a dictation test). His findings indicate the complexity of the relationship between lexical knowledge and comprehension: although higher dictation scores (and therefore lexical familiarity) were associated with better comprehension, some subjects were able to achieve quite good comprehension with a lexical knowledge of less than 75%. Others, however, could not achieve the same level of comprehension with even 100% lexical knowledge."

"Just as native-speaker listeners are able to switch from top-down to bottom-up processing and vice versa according to whether a topic is unfamiliar or not, or whether the listening makes lexical, grammatical or phonological demands (Vanderplank, 1988), L2 listeners need to know when to switch the focus of their listening, or how to apply knowledge strategically."

Strategy clusters and sources of knowledge in French L2 listening comprehension. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, Graham, S. J., Santos, D. and Vanderplank, R. (2010) 4 (1). pp. 1-20
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