the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

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Cavesa
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Cavesa » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:06 am

Xmmm wrote:
Cavesa wrote:Yes, we can and should criticise EU. Just like everything else in the world. But to make it better, not to destroy it.


Bad things -- fundamentally bad things -- need to be destroyed, though. The EU has been called the Fourth Reich by many (at least, many in the US and the UK), and not without reason. I've been watching the EU since its currency was called the Ecu (pronounced 'ekyu'), and Germany does seem to call all the shots.

Little countries like the Czech Republic are trading their birthright (language, culture, history) for a mass-produced bowl of porridge. Instead of trying to become a widget in the EU machine, they should look to the examples of Iceland and Switzerland. Don't sell out your heritage to get a discount on a flat screen TV, for crying out loud.


My "heritage" was destroyed in 1938,1948, and the rest of it in 1968. Now, a too large part of the population here is simply too damaged by our history. The economy is just a symptom of deeper issues. It is a sinking boat, and I'd like to get out before the borders get closed again, in either the literary or less obvious sense. EU is keeping us from such a scenario. You are looking at it from a priviledged country and probably with very little knowledge of our history and current situation, no offense meant. I do not value majority of the citizens of my country anymore and I don't want to become their slave in healthcare, and I don't want to live in a country lead by them. The too low economical prosperity (western prices and economy, eastern salaries, second rate goods and services) is just a consequence of a society, where lots of things and attitudes are simply wrong.

EU is actually the way to get back part of the heritage. Heritage tied the Austria-Hungary Empire, the heritage of this country being part of the Saint Roman Empire. And way before that, the heritage of celtic, germanic, and slavic tribes melting together in an almost equal ratio.

Our langauge is nice, but it should have naturally died out in the 19th century. Our history is mostly a series of losses and failures and betrayals. Our golden age ended in the Middle ages. Our culture? :-D Who are the best Czech authors the world knows? Kafka and Kundera. Neither of them is a mostly Czech author. That is just an example.

With that, I would like to close a discussion that could easily turn very political. I wouldn't want my log to be the first locked log on the forum :-D Should there be any other place to discuss such stuff, it would be very interesting and I'd be glad to talk with you about that. I suppose we'd need some beer.
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emk
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby emk » Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:52 pm

Cavesa wrote:With that, I would like to close a discussion that could easily turn very political. I wouldn't want my log to be the first locked log on the forum :-D Should there be any other place to discuss such stuff, it would be very interesting and I'd be glad to talk with you about that. I suppose we'd need some beer.

The moderators thank you for not hosting a giant political fight in your log. ;-)
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Cavesa
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Cavesa » Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:25 pm

Yeah, I didn't want to find out where do the borders for log, where the rules are logically a bit more benevolent than in the rest of the forum, lie exactly :-D
......
I've decided to motivate myself by presenting every tiny bit of work here. That's probably the only way :-D :-D :-D

German: planned for tonight

Spanish:
reading El mapa del tiempo. I loved the first 100 pages or so, than the second hundred (more or less) have been much slower and less thrilling. But it looks like the rest of the book should be better again.

GdU: did two units today, not on subjuntivos. These went a bit better, but still. I think the addition of subjuntivo imperfecto was the last bomb the fragile city of my Spanish verb knowledge could receive. I had thought my knowledge was more solid. Nope. Now, even the indicative past tenses are in ruins, mixing together.

So, I did those two doublepages. I did a few exercises in Fiesta 2. And I started reviewing the past tenses in the GdU. Perhaps, if I write stuff together somewhere, I'll get oriented again. And then I need to practice, practice, and practice. Fortunately, my Czech based workbook is rather long and filled with exercises (on the cover, the authors promise over 8000 example sentences), I should start it soon. And klvik pointed me to FSI, which might be useful, for my needs. And I bought the green GdU book today btw.

I could do with some tips on B2 and C1 courses, as I am considering going through some. Anyone has any experience or remember the people sharing theirs in logs? I am looking for stuff focusing a lot on writing instruction and on speaking. And with good price/value ratio, as I need to be reasonable while buying more resources. I need to renew my Cervantes library card, but I'll check their shelves first.

I looked at some tutors on italki and I will definitely wait, and I am not even sure I'll pay anyone at all. I am convinced I can prepare well without them, but it could be a pleasant way to work on the active skills too. One or two tutors are cheap enough for me to afford them just for talking practice, but it is still money that would need to be sacrificed from other piles. I found several teachers having prepared people for DELE, but they don't usually mention the levels or the amount of students and their results. Sorry, but a claim "many students and all with good results" simply doesn't cut it, I have already got experience with this :-D But Spanish teachers are in general much cheaper than the French ones, or it is at least my impression. So, I will think about it and I'll decide the day I switch from general Spanish improving to exam preparatory activities only.
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby DaveBee » Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:24 pm

Cavesa wrote:I could do with some tips on B2 and C1 courses, as I am considering going through some. Anyone has any experience or remember the people sharing theirs in logs? I am looking for stuff focusing a lot on writing instruction and on speaking. And with good price/value ratio, as I need to be reasonable while buying more resources. I need to renew my Cervantes library card, but I'll check their shelves first.
A bod on Reddit mentioned Chronometro/ cronómetro
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Brun Ugle
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:14 pm

I second the recommendation of FSI. I've done a lot of FSI, the entire Programmatic course and most of the Basic course (5 units left). I consider my verb knowledge to be very good for my level. Of course, I make some mistakes when speaking, but that's because of the stress of speaking, not because I don't know the verb forms. I like GdUdE a lot, but I'm not sure it is sufficient for learning. I use it for review and consolidation of what I've already learned through FSI.

You might also want to try some GLOSS lessons. They can be a real workout. However, they aren't organized like a normal course or textbook. There is no particular order, but you can just pick a lesson that suits you present needs or what you feel like working on that day.

I don't know about advanced textbooks because I haven't looked yet myself, but it's probably time for me to start looking around too. If we choose the same one(s), we can have another "race." :lol:
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Cavesa
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Cavesa » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:11 am

I finished my first game in German today!
Broken Sword 3. I played it for the first time twelve years ago or so. I really liked it, I just remember missing the style of the first two games. I had remembered the important bits of the story, but by far not everything. And this time, I played in German and I understood almost everything. By the end of the game, I was quite comfortable, struggling only with a few dialogues (getting instructions to a logical puzzle from an egyptian god in German was one of those challenges). I had no trouble with quite a lot of the jokes in the game, that was great. And I found "new" words that are the same is in Czech (guess why). Münze and mince. Bezskrupulózní and skrupellos. Zimperlich and cimprlich (this one is not standard in Czech).and there were many useful words. Too bad there is no ready made transcription of the dialogues and monologues. I don't feel like making it

If any Czech learner is interested in germanisms and borrowed words (or simply and not professionaly said: the vocab we have stolen to our neighbours and then pretended we had a totally our own and full worth language), I have just found this work.
https://is.muni.cz/th/52981/ff_m/Diplomka_-_hotovo.txt
The texts are mostly dry definitions I didn't bother with, but I love the wordlists. The author analyzed a corpus of 1311 words. I am not sure the whole corpus is included, but I am sure to reread the lists more in detail. Whether or not there are 1311 words, doesn't matter that much, there are simply many.

.......
I am considering the FSI but is it worth doing in a different order, is it possible to just take chapters I need? I definitely won't do the whole FSI, the time investment and value of the whole course are simply not balanced.

Cronometro is a preparatory book which I am quite sure to buy. But I would like a normal advanced course before that. Right now, I am considering Dominio and Vitamina C. Given the fact only the first is normally in eshops around here and all googling of the second has led me to pharmacies, the choice seems to be pretty easy. Really, who came with such a stupid name? Does the publisher have no marketing persoson? Are they trying a new strategy of hiding from potential customers? In physical stores, there are only Abanico + Ventilador as the advanced courses available, and I somehow don't like them, and Ventilador is quite old. Yeah, and there is Prisma, which I simply didn't like as there is almost no content in that hyperthin book. I really really hope the cervantes library will have more stuff. But I somehow doubt it. This kind of libraries has limited stock of courses, as they are not gonna disrupt the great business with langauge courses, and tends to focus more on literature. And they have limited finances, so they don't renew the stock as fast as would be the learner's dream.

No book buying, until I'll have finished several of those on my table. I am working on it. Slowly, but still. Broken Sword gave me a lot of fresh motivation to carry on with German. :-)
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Brun Ugle
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:31 am

While I think the ideal with FSI is to use it from the beginning, I see no real problem with doing it at a more advanced level and just doing the parts that are needed. The drills are independent of each other, so there is no real need to do the ones where you already know the grammar. Of course, a beginner shouldn't skip around since they won't know the basic grammar. Actually, I wouldn't recommend skipping around so much as flipping through from the beginning and skimming to find the drills you need and then doing those. The grammar explanations are usually pretty good too even though they are short.
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tiia
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby tiia » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:02 am

Cronometro is a preparatory book which I am quite sure to buy. But I would like a normal advanced course before that. Right now, I am considering Dominio and Vitamina C. Given the fact only the first is normally in eshops around here and all googling of the second has led me to pharmacies, the choice seems to be pretty easy. Really, who came with such a stupid name? Does the publisher have no marketing persoson? Are they trying a new strategy of hiding from potential customers?

Do you mean this book? If I remember correctly I saw it in a local bookstore, but you can also find it on amazon.
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Cavesa
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby Cavesa » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:57 am

tiia wrote:Do you mean this book? If I remember correctly I saw it in a local bookstore, but you can also find it on amazon.


Of course I can, but amazon's delivery fees make everything significantly more expensive, and the German one (the only one with free delivery above 40 euros) doesn' have it, as far as I looked. But I was more interested in looking at a sample, and I didn' find that on amazon. I am a bit careful, when it comes to paying a price + a delivery fee for something I haven't seen.
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tiia
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Re: the Diaries of a Caffeinated Squirrel

Postby tiia » Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:09 pm

Cavesa wrote:
tiia wrote:Do you mean this book? If I remember correctly I saw it in a local bookstore, but you can also find it on amazon.


Of course I can, but amazon's delivery fees make everything significantly more expensive, and the German one (the only one with free delivery above 40 euros) doesn' have it, as far as I looked. But I was more interested in looking at a sample, and I didn' find that on amazon. I am a bit careful, when it comes to paying a price + a delivery fee for something I haven't seen.

The link above includes a sample. That's why I didn't link amazon, but the publisher's website. German amazon has it here.
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