A Words Enthusiast

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:10 am

Hi everyone,

I'm starting up this log since I've been so inspired by the ones I've read before. I've just recently returned from a long trip abroad which was planned and executed to fit in the use of languages I'd studied before (German, Polish, Chinese) and facilitate the study of new ones (Vietnamese, Russian) plus experience more for the first time (Danish, Mongolian, Latvian).

Though this list is already long it barely scratches the surface of the languages I have dabbled in ever since I became interested in languages about four years ago. And though THAT list is long it sadly also contains many that I have forgotten entirely or given up on after a few weeks.

The languages I'd like to focus on these days are German, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Russian, and French as these are the ones I am most comfortable with (in descending order).

Quick overview: I complemented my German minor in college with a great deal of self study. I can easily follow native speakers and they do not switch to English with me when I travel. Long conversations outside my areas of comfortable vocabulary require a bit more patience on their part. I can read magazines, some newspapers, and most novels, using context to help with unknown words.
I studied Chinese on my own for a year before taking college courses, traveling to China as a tourist, then living there with friends. I just got back from those two months of living there, which is why it ranks higher than Spanish at the moment. I can understand everyday conversations very well but my participation is, to my ears, painfully foreign and slow. Nonetheless my pronunciation (of a few words at a time) blows native speakers away and they all insist I must have lived there for years. I can read text messages, menus, and advertisements - everything else has too many unknowns to follow well.
I was a very good Spanish student in high school and in an environment that kept me from forgetting it. I can easily read news articles and research papers, and understand a good amount of entertainment news (my main source of listening practice). My speaking has never been great but now that I'm living in California again I feel a huge pressure to be able to speak it well after ignoring it for so long.
I started Russian to prepare for a short trip there (eight months of classes and daily practice for a two week trip) and it worked so well that I want to keep it up. While there I was bad at Russian by every standard, but my accent was good enough that people thought I was some heritage speaker who had forgotten everything before his first visit to the motherland.
I actually went to French immersion preschool, which I credit for being the reason I've always been able to make non-English sounds. But singing songs once a week does not make a baby fluent, and thus my French today is limited to the structures that are most similar to English and Spanish.

So! I look forward to a lot of free time and daily study. My philosophy is somewhere between AJATT, Expug, Glossika, and Olle Kjellin. Gotta internalize chunks of language through lots of input, and if you say it correctly enough times it sticks.
9 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:30 am

December 15 and 16, 2016

I'll start with the excuse that I caught a terrible cold in Beijing, so you feel sorry for me.

Worked through all of my Chinese flashcards and got some new sentences recorded via Rhinospike. Sadly the recorder edited them all to conform to her thoughts of what the standard should be instead of just recording what I had posted. The sentences had come from native speakers in China and the recorder was from Taiwan. Oh well, I can't complain when somebody does language stuff for me for free. I rewatched some Easy Mandarin videos (also Taiwanese Mandarin, go figure) and was very glad that my listening comprehension was noticeably improved since the last time. Finally I went back to my college textbook and discovered that even the hardest dialogues are still comprehensible to me, though my knowledge of traditional characters has faded somewhat. Did ten sentences out of my Clozemaster backlog.

Read a single news article from Spiegel in German and watched the latest Easy German video twice. Once while reading the German subtitles, once without looking at the video at all. Made a single flashcard. Completed my IPA transcription of a Middle High German poem, which involved reading websites in German about MHG pronunciation. When I'm not sick I'll record it and post it on Youtube. Pretty much every recording of MHG I've heard has a very strong modern German accent, even though it's so easy to find pronunciation rules.

Watched about ten minutes of Clevver TeVe, the entertainment news Youtube channel I love. Then watched four or five Easy Spanish videos and made flashcards from the subtitles. I didn't type the upside down question mark because of speed, but I think it shouldn't matter just for flashcards. Today I reviewed these flashcards and found them all super easy which was expected - Spanish has always had pretty easy reading comprehension for me. The harder part will be producing the Spanish from the English. We'll see how easy Spanish is then. I have a bilingual text from Penguin which I read a page of. Creative Spanish is so much harder than nonfiction Spanish, so maybe I should make flashcards from fiction sources to really challenge me.

Restarted my extremely dormant French progress on Lingvist. We'll see how that pans out, as I love the idea but some parts of the site are a bit buggy for me.
1 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:53 am

December 16 and 17

Still sick, but better. Sick time cuts into motivated time and wrecks my sleep schedule though.

I'm no longer automatically thinking in Chinese. That's okay, since it was weird, but it's still a little sad to lose. And as predicted I'm not studying it as intensively now that I'm not in China. I especially need to make more flashcards and do more reading. Still, I listened to a podcast, watched a few videos by MaoMao TV, and wrote a tiny bit on WeChat which received high praise. I had asked for Chinese song and artist recommendations, and so if you reading this know any good Chinese indie rock then I'd love to hear it. I need to keep up Clozemaster. I have this worry that Chinese will fade much faster than any other language, but that's pretty unsubstantiated and as long as I keep thinking in it and about it I probably have nothing to worry about.

I haven't noticed much actual progress in my reactivation of Spanish, but I've sure been putting effort in. Spanish radio whenever I'm in the car, new flashcards and reviewing old ones, Spanish podcasts and articles and youtube videos galore. And to be honest I'm not sure if I'll notice when it does get more reactivated. Once I stop coughing so much I'm definitely starting up the online exchanges again. Spanish has been a part of my life for so long that I just feel like the universe owes me Spanish fluency and it's going to happen eventually. It's a pretty strange mindspace to be in but I'm sure not lacking for motivation. Also I have a bias against Castillian Spanish which I am reluctantly trying to overcome because I guess Spain is important too. Mexican Spanish just sounds so much better to me.

Minimal German progress. Every time I watch a video I can understand it all, which means I need harder videos. I have no excuse for not continuing Clozemaster and making flashcards. I'm resting on my laurels too much.

Continued with Lingvist for French. Listening is hard, even with simple things! And it's pretty much all been simple things, every time I've started French. Mastery is mastering the basics, they say.

I taught my mom to use Anki and sentence decks for Italian. She pronounces Italian words really well (no aspiration or English diphthongs) but as soon as there's a word identical to an English word (non, me, e) it's English pronunciation. This is something I've never seen before but she's going through the cards very meticulously each time, saying them out loud (way more than I do) so I'm curious to see if it'll just work itself out. So anyway I've been exposed to a bit more Italian too, which is fine by me. Next step is Dad and French.

I looked for and was unable to find something interesting to watch in Russian. My vocabulary is still really small so I probably just need to drill more and more sentences. I had a great streak going with Clozemaster and I'll try and restart it. Who cares if I have other things piled up on Clozemaster? The important thing is to keep using a little bit of Russian, and I loved how fast my reading speed improved with Clozemaster. I doubt I'll go back to Duolingo unless I notice myself forgetting how to type.
2 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:34 am

Enough with the dates, just "since the last time..."

Dunno why I didn't keep up the two day log thing. I've been going to bed really early recently, and getting up early too. As I'm young and living with my parents for now, this means lots of studying on motivated days.

I surprised myself with a nice text chat in Chinese over SharedLingo. It was a simple and by-the-book chat going over the usual script about traveling and language learning. But the partner guessed I was HSK 5 or 6, which is way too high in terms of vocabulary but might be about right for knowledge of casual writing conventions. Some grammar things trip me up occasionally (I don't know how to say something costs X amount or is worth such-and-such, for instance) but on the whole I feel like my written grammar isn't bad. I feel like writing Chinese specifically is kind of cheating, because it makes me seem like I know so much but it's just pinyin and recognition. I can only handwrite about 300 characters from memory. I also watched another episode of Ode To Joy (great drama) and one or two vlogs.
When I was in China I made some recordings (WAY fewer than I wanted to) of my friends, and as my voice is better today I did some chorusing. It's still stunning to me how well it works. At repetition 10 I think "Yeah, I've got this," and then at repetition 80 it's a night and day difference. I loved the effects of chorusing with my Russian accent, and this is actually the first time I've tried it with Chinese. I did one sentence of Min Bei as a warmup, though I don't have any plans to learn that unless I find myself heading to Fujian.

It's been a red letter day for Spanish. I watched a good bit of Pirates of the Caribbean, Arrested Development, and Good Will Hunting with Spanish audio on Netflix, and I'm starting to remember what it's like to have the language rolling around in my head. I keep reading Spanish where I see it, which is a lot here in California. That and the flashcards are really starting to reactivate it. I ought to do some voice chatting in the next few days. I've got a lot more energy for Spanish than I thought I would have, even at the same time that my comprehension is lower than I expected. More input!

I can't tell that I'm making progress with French, even though I've kept up the Lingvist and added one of those premade Anki sentence decks. It's not that important to me in the short term but I know as long as I get some slow and steady progress it'll come eventually, especially reading. I've learned more about French pronunciation recently and discovered that although I natively acquired some features, other things are different in real life than what I've been hearing and saying. Thank goodness for phonetics.

Knocked off some Clozemaster sentences with German, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, and French. Another long haul strategy; since it's passive I know I just have to keep doing it and the benefits will show themselves one day.

Using Mango Languages I dabbled in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Azeri. I'd like to visit Nagorno-Karabakh one day, and I know I'd be served well there by Azeri and Russian. But at the moment I'm just testing the waters. Mango is cute and more complete than I thought but I'm not a fan of their Cantonese romanization at all. I might end up ripping some of their audio and using it to chorus.
0 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Sat Dec 24, 2016 3:10 am

This has got to be one of the most lingering illnesses I've ever had and it's finally just about beat.

I did chorusing in Spanish for the first time yesterday. I've always had acceptable pronunciation, but when I don't speak it for a while the tapped r next to some consonants trips me up. Since it's been years since I've actually done a lot of speaking, it's been in that state for a while and I can't quite read fluently. Gosh, it's been five years since my last Spanish class. Sure I've kept up passive knowledge, but I've had maybe twenty hours of output in those last five years. The last time I used Spanish to actually communicate was in Mongolia. All that to say, chorusing and shadowing (I suck at shadowing) have started to finally untie that tongue and I'm able to rattle off longer and longer sentences when doing flashcards. I found the podcast El Explicador which is science themed, Mexican accent, and very clearly spoken. I had that on for a few hours, did some nonfiction reading, made flashcards from SpanishDict sentences, and watched some more Easy Spanish over the last two days. I'm more and more excited about this language and it's becoming more and more clear as I fill in important gaps in vocabulary.

I had a nice voice chat in Chinese. After some scary early moments with miserable pronunciation, I quickly slipped into casual Chinese mode and was able to swim quite fluently around my island of well-known vocabulary. Kept up with Clozemaster and Anki, and added a few new flashcards but not that many. Listened to a podcast I couldn't understand. One more very short text chat, and boy that's not very much Chinese is it? Gotta up my game. I can steal sentences from other people's WeChat updates.

The thing about immersion, as sfuqua has mentioned (i read his whole language log and loved it), is that you have no choice but to run the same paths of well-known vocabulary over and over, saying greetings and goodbyes and asking prices and all the rest. If you're not immersed, there's no way you're going to stick to basic conversation drills - you want to get more advanced. But one night in Germany I needed a hotel room and had virtually the same conversation five times to ask for prices and be told they were very high. And how many times have I ordered a kebab? Pretty much every day in China I had some sort of food order/payment conversation, and these were all about the same. So those simple ruts are far more well-worn than they'd be for someone who doesn't live in the country, even if that non-immersed learner has a larger and more expressive vocabulary.

A chance message with an old friend led to a resurgence in German for a bit today. Chatted with him a bit and then put on a political interview. I understood all but one or two words, even with a mix of German and Swiss accents, so I tried simultaneously interpreting it to English and did an awful job. In the past I've been able to interpret German speech with German subtitles, as I can cheat by reading ahead, but of course without a transcript it's a million times harder. Then I switched to much more colloquial videos to put myself in my place, and sure enough there were new informal words and I had to pay a lot more attention to get it all. I'm anxious to get to some speaking but Sharedlingo isn't always populated with willing partners.

Very little French and Russian progress. Clozemaster and a short Russian text chat is all. Come the new year, my parents want to learn more French so ideally it'll be bouncing around the house.

As I type this I'm listening to Vietnamese music, an artist named Hoa Minzy. I have a tourist level of Vietnamese, pretty much nothing beyond intro Pimsleur. I don't quite have the motivation for adding serious Vietnamese study but it would be so cool to know!
0 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:48 pm

Four days already since the last update?

A couple of slower days, understandably because of the time I've been putting into language learning recently. I think it's important to take natural breaks with something like this. You're not going to forget all your words if you miss a day or so.

Continued listening to Spanish in the car, and found a second good radio station. I don't drive a whole lot but it's a perfect learning opportunity especially when I'm alone and I can try shadowing. Thanks to flashcards and more input entire grammatical sentences spring to mind sometimes when I want them to, which is a feeling I've had in a few languages before but not Spanish for a while. Before I go to bed I usually try to read a bit from a bilingual short story collection (published by Penguin, highly recommended) but I fall asleep so quickly these days. This week I might go see a friend of mine in a nearby city to catch up. He told me he was inspired by me a few years ago to learn languages, and so he's been doing daily Spanish for a long time and Portuguese for about six months. I'm sure English won't be the only thing we use.

I had a very halting conversation in Russian with a new language exchange partner. I can't quite summon a lot of motivation for Russian but I've restarted Glossika GSR from the beginning. Also continued Clozemaster. But if this partner keeps contacting me it'll be good for both of us. I'm actually surprised how embarrassed I am to speak Russian.

As for Chinese, I bought Glossika's Beijing Business Mandarin and I've been using that for two days. It's a bit frustrating to me that they're really using Beijing Mandarin, instead of a general Standard Mandarin. I'm aware nobody in China uses perfectly idealized Putonghua, but what this means for the course is a strong Beijing accent. Erhua everywhere and strange elisions I've never come across anywhere else. I don't love it but it's a new accent to be familiar with and a subject that I don't have vocabulary in. I also got the 10-language character dictionary and, while I would design it differently, I love Chinese dialectology and it's a great resource.
Also more Clozemaster and a bit of speaking practice. I got more Rhinospike sentences recorded - again with "corrections" I didn't ask for. These plus other recordings will eventually turn into an Anki deck and, in the more distant future, a small online resource.

I did a tiny bit of reading and translating in German. I've had my home page set to a random German Wikipedia page for years, so it means an automatic dose of German whenever I open my browser. This translation also included reading some Polish, which I'm surprised I can remember at all. Polish is a distant heritage language for me, a few generations disappeared. I learned some basics more than a year ago, which still rattle around in my head from time to time.

Where's French? Later, I guess. I have good resources for my level but I have no reason to improve it except for the thought that I probably should.
0 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:04 am

Been nearly a week since the last update, but that doesn't mean a lack of learning! I think I missed one or two days of Anki, but even on those days I've done about an hour or two of target language stuff.

I did meet up with my friend but we merely spoke about languages, not using any Spanish between us except when pronouncing things on the menu at a Mexican restaurant. He's a busy guy but I was surprised to learn that he's got quite a strong interest in foreign languages as a whole, well beyond just Spanish and listening to me. Very nice to talk with him.

So instead of speaking Spanish with him, I've been keeping up a good amount of Anki work and the odd long listening session. I spent an hour on public transit listening to an Explicador episode about the Rosetta mission. This more intense listening (usually it's a bit more passive) revealed that I can understand a large percentage of each, say, paragraph, but I can't quite keep up with the overall theme. The guy was speaking fairly slowly, not quite 150 words a minute, so 55 minutes of that makes 8000 words give or take. Each minute of it on average had probably one word I didn't know and probably two or three sentences that weren't quite fully understood thanks to grammar. I've also had Spanish radio on almost all the time I'm in the car (really not that much) and kept up with Anki reviews. The majority of my Spanish cards are Spanish-English bilingual sentences, and the odd few important structures are English-Spanish too. Almost all taken from SpanishDict. Usually I take an unknown word and then make three or four example sentences for it instead of drilling a dictionary definition too.

I'm currently listening to a German podcast called Alternativlos! which is a tech and politics focused podcast. It's much harder for me to passively listen to German than Spanish or Chinese because I get more distracted. This podcast is a bit too fast for me to be able to interpret to English. I haven't made Anki cards for German but I've been trying to do more passive German these days. Easy German videos, some news, and today a dubbed episode of Bojack Horseman. Watching dubbed Bojack is not that easy for me since they talk so quickly and there's usually some deadpan humor or wordplay I can't catch. I ordered a second German collection of Calvin and Hobbes comics, since the first one I have is translated beautifully.

Outside of Anki and on-and-off Clozemaster there hasn't been a ton of Chinese. I've continued the Glossika course each day, which is growing on me, and last night I did a bit of reading aloud. I notice that I have to warm up into the pronunciation, even though I've drilled Chinese pronunciation for most of this last year. Even though words and grammar come easily to mind (today I easily identified old mistakes I made in chat logs from six months ago) I worry that for some reason Chinese will fade the second I don't give it any attention. Pretty unlikely. I'm very slowly gaining in reading speed and reading ease. I can tell there's a big difference in fundamental comprehension of the dialogues from my textbook - when I was in the class I plodded through each sentence and needed to translate pretty much everything to think about it. Now it's easier to read a Chinese sentence in Chinese, if you will.

Minimal French progress but I did catch up on Anki, Lingvist, and Clozemaster. Bojack is in French too and I might go through a few episodes even though it's way above my level. It's a great show with near-constant dialogue, which is what I want in language practice.

In Russian I've done sporadic Glossika to get back into speaking and sporadic Clozemaster to get more reading in. A bit of listening-and-reading but really not enough to count in the spirit of the method. Bringing the words to mind is easier than it was a week ago, for sure. Just today I ordered a Penguin parallel text of Soviet short stories to go along with the German C&H. With my weaker languages I know any consistent practice is progress, even if it feels like I'm treading water.
1 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Sat Jan 07, 2017 5:36 am

Spanish continues in the form of passive listening to Explicador, shadowing the radio, and regular flashcards. I'm using Spanishdict as a source for most of my sentences, and without even trying I've built up a library of cards that focus on tricky things that I'm not very confident about in Spanish. I'm just not a TV-watching guy, which is a real problem for getting massive input. Thanks to the Anki addon AwesomeTTS I've learned to shadow my flashcards in like five different TTS voices, which for Spanish are extremely adequate and far faster than trying to get natives to record things.

I've had two voice chats in Chinese , continued Anki and maybe one day of Clozemaster. I've fallen off the horse a tiny bit with Glossika - better put it on now. Vocabulary from that course miraculously appears in my native speaker chats, which goes to show how far you can get with holes in your vocabulary by using context to guess. The paper copy of the Glossika 10-language Chinese character dictionary arrived today, and though it's bound well it's printed really small. Because of the size and print quality, some of the characters are at the very edge of readability.

A few Easy German videos and scanning headlines make up the recent German content.

I think I did a day of Lingvist for French. Maybe a day of Anki too?

Penguin Parallel Texts have come up in my past few posts, mainly because I made wonderful progress once I got one for German. Great TL short stories translated in a fairly literal way to allow the reader to make connections from one page to another. My Russian one arrived today. It's an older layout with less room in the gutter so it's not as easy to read as the newer ones I have, but it's the only printed Russian thing I have now and an incentive to keep reading if I see it around. Aside from that I have not been keeping up on Glossika but Clozemaster is limping along. I watched two or three Easy Russian videos too.

As a bit of retrospective, it's been about three weeks I've been trying to study five languages at once. The most I've ever done before was four - German and Chinese college courses, Russian weekend class and Glossika, Vietnamese biweekly study group and Glossika. Vietnamese suffered from a lack of attention at that time, for sure. And the same thing appears to be happening with Russian and French. On my most motivated days I can do lots of German, Chinese, and Spanish, but it never seems quite worthwhile to start doing Russian or French too.
1 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:09 am

After the last update I felt guilty and ended up studying a bit more that day.

I tried to branch out with Spanish and ended up watching some of a dubbed Netflix original, and I got into a good groove of ~70% comprehension before being interrupted. I've kept up with Anki though skipped a few days of adding new cards. News articles are now about as easy as they've ever been for me, which bodes well for what things will be like after another month. I know many people may not believe in passive listening, but I've enjoyed having Explicador in the background for an hour or so a day as I browse the web in English. My attention gets drawn to a Spanish sentence or two every few minutes, which is way more than would happen with only English coming in my brain.

Chinese continues to be steady, on day 15 of the Glossika GSR. I've been using Glossika things for about a year now, but this is the first time I've used GSR and I've gotta say I like it a lot. I had my own method of listening to the GMS files where I'd listen to the A and C files sequentially, getting 3 reps in for each sentence in about 15 minutes while also practicing recall. GSR doesn't test your listening at all, but I'm saying each sentence many more times than I would with my old method. No voice chats recently but of course Anki is there for my reading practice. There's another deck I need to add new cards to.

My Russian contact hasn't contacted me again, but nevertheless I'm continuing with GSR. I only have Russian 1-1000 and I went through them all with my older method, so I'm skipping around with the GSR files and just using them for more speaking practice. I'm on a bit of a Clozemaster dry spell but since I typed that I'll feel guilty again and open it up after finishing the post.

Fast gar nichts Deutsches, nur was von Twitter oder so in der Art. Hier kann man von Minuten reden, nicht Stunden. Das hier war ursprünglich auf Englisch und ich habe mich gefragt, ob ich es noch auf Deutsch schreiben könnte. Warum nicht mehr? Vielleicht später.

I really do like Lingvist and have kept that and Anki up for French. I think it's a great resource that I'm amazed is totally free. In skimming La Blogotheque, I can sense a small improvement in my French reading. I think it's that I'm not guessing as much for the smaller, basic words, and the syntax comes a bit more naturally to me. I'm still doing a lot of translating. I expect, though, that once I reach a certain point in learning I'll have passed a threshold of "things that are different from Spanish" and there will be an explosion in reading speed. Anybody else here learn to read French after learning to read Spanish and then being a French false beginner for a long time? What can I expect?
1 x

User avatar
Axon
Blue Belt
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 am
Location: Kunming
Languages: Comfortable: German, Mandarin, Indonesian.
Rusty: Spanish, French, Russian.
Also: Cantonese, Vietnamese, Polish.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5086
x 1758

Re: A Words Enthusiast

Postby Axon » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:14 am

I forgot to mention, a few days ago I played Explicador and took a nap, and I could hear it all through my dream! In the dream world I was listening to it on my phone but just unable to turn it off, and it was audible to everyone around me. I don't think anybody spoke Spanish in the dream though.

Since then I've kept up the usual Anki for Spanish, plus radio in the car, Explicador, and healthy amounts of Mexican food. I had a short text chat in Spanish and it was the first time in about a year that I'd written any Spanish at all, and the first time in about three years that I had a conversation with a native. There were some bumpy starts but I quickly got used to it and amazed myself with a fluid and apparently accurate use of relative object pronouns. No way that came from anything except Anki. Then today I was browsing Spanish Reddit and, though a bunch of written slang went over my head, I easily grasped the majority of it.

I had a good long voice chat in German with an advanced non-native speaker. I've thought before about how non-native German speakers must make all kinds of mistakes between themselves that go unnoticed because the listener can comprehend the meaning perfectly. Fortunately she was Russian so she was making different mistakes than I was. I caught myself forgetting easy words and also tiring quickly, slurring pronunciation and making word order mistakes as the chat went on. A clear indicator that my ability really will fade without practice. So today I shadowed a bunch of an Easy German video and enjoyed it.

Speaking of Russian I did talk again with the old chat partner but as usual spoke mostly English, just a few sentences of Russian. One sentence of mine was pure Glossika and came straight to mind - "Do you play any sports?" I also had a very brief text chat in Russian, though it didn't go far because my typing is so slow. Plus Clozemaster, finally caught up on a backlog of reviews and continuing Fluency Fast Track.

Chinese hasn't seen too much activity, just Clozemaster and Anki, reading the nciku daily dialogues, looking over news headlines. I did mine a Youtube transcript for interesting vocabulary and found it easier than I expected to produce a good English translation. Not that I did the whole thing, but it was a fun little thing that I'll very probably come back to. I would love to really get into Cantonese and Taiwanese, but I have a lot farther to go in Mandarin and I know it's more useful. I can already understand a bit of Cantonese and know a few rote sentences of it from a handful of false beginnings. Wu and Hakka don't have as much of a draw (I've probably heard like 60 seconds total of each) but that would rather round out the collection... a ten-year goal perhaps.

I had a first ever moment of French coming together today, a thrilling feeling to be honest. I guess I've crested some number - several hundred to be certain - of reps, shadowing many sentences a day of French audio for the past three weeks. Today Lingvist flew by, and my pronunciation of my Anki cards was closer than ever to the recordings. It's a small victory, but it was a good motivation booster in a language that I've never been quite sure why I study.

Lastly, wanderlust has arrived as expected, this time in the form of Danish, Indonesian, and Vietnamese. I made an audio-heavy Anki deck of 145 Danish sentences and set it for 10 new cards a day. I'm very impressed by the TTS available for Danish. Passively listened to an hour or so of Indonesian dialogues and understood only cognates. And Pimsleur's Vietnamese is still on my phone, and I've given a few episodes a few listens, keeping those unique sounds fresh in my mind.
1 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: garyb, Iversen, l1sk4 and 2 guests