Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

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Expugnator
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5221
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:45 pm

Your assumptions all make sense, Systematiker.

English is the odd one that stands in-between Romance and Germanic, overall receiving a 50%-off discount on either family. But then German is harder for me than Norwegian, so either I consider German a II* category or I keep Norwegian in Cat I with an *. Norwegian was entirely opaque to me. I haven't tried Romanian for real, but I believe it will be more transparent than Norwegian was at first sight. Anyway, I think my reaching C1 in any of my languages (I wonder if I'm there in English or French) depends on being able to produce the language naturally.



At Assimil, they presented the expression мне до лампочки meaning "I don't care". Is it the most used one? I don't know, being a speaker of a language with diminutives, I tend to think anything with diminutives is rather cheesy.

First day of Yabla. I like it so far, because it's a good call for intensive watching. The transcripts have hanzi, pinyin and translation. I should train paying more attention to audio, though. probably listen first. The beginning level isn't that easy after all. Only finding the transcripts is a mess because the video files are named after the date of publication and nothing else, while the transcripts, which contain the actual titles, are simply in alphabetical order.

I'm still pursuing my forum reading in Georgian, 1 page a day. Sometimes I have to cope with a lot of nonsense, but what makes the sentences most difficult to understand is when periods aren't divided properly and everything is a succession of phrases separated by commas or even without any commas. This messes up wit the machine translation and makes it harder to figure out syntax when reading word by word as well.

I started Méthode de Grec Moderne. I like the format so far. There are 26 lessons, so each individual lesson shouldn't be as long as in Living Language. I had an issue with extracting the audio, so I didn't use it today, but from the introduction it seems to be made good use of. The exercises involve a lot of translation into L2, which suits my learning needs.

Keeping my Clozemaster streak. I'm convinced it's been useful, particularly for Mandarin and Greek.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Elenia » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:53 pm

Expugnator wrote:Anyway, I think my reaching C1 in any of my languages (I wonder if I'm there in English or French) depends on being able to produce the language naturally.


I can't talk about oral skills, Expug, but I think your written skills in English are definitely C1. Of course, you do make mistakes sometimes (and I can also see where other languages occasionally influence your English) but you express yourself very well and clearly on a wide range of topics, and your vocabulary is also great. Well done on that!
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby smallwhite » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:39 am

Systematiker wrote:... Cat I... FSI... the dead bottom number (960)... B2... C1...


I came upon this article:

Shawn Kobb has been with the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 10 years and wrote:
Unlike many studying a foreign language, diplomats have a very specific goal at the end of training; we must pass an exam before we can head on to our overseas assignment.

While daily conversation skills will be important to our lives, the test requires a specific high level of ability in some very challenging subjects. Typically in our final exam, we will be expected to converse at length in topics such as the environment, the political system of the United States, education, military, and countless other topics that the more casual language student may not be interested in.

In addition to speaking on these complicated topics, we must also interview a native speaker in the foreign language and then translate it to English. This portion in particular can be challenging because one must control the conversation carefully or else the interviewee can quickly take charge and overwhelm you in a flood of words. There is also a reading portion to the exam that is weighted equally with the speaking portions. This means simpler programs such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone just won’t cut it.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Systematiker » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:09 am

smallwhite wrote:
Systematiker wrote:... Cat I... FSI... the dead bottom number (960)... B2... C1...


I came upon this article:

Shawn Kobb has been with the U.S. Foreign Service for nearly 10 years and wrote:
Unlike many studying a foreign language, diplomats have a very specific goal at the end of training; we must pass an exam before we can head on to our overseas assignment.

While daily conversation skills will be important to our lives, the test requires a specific high level of ability in some very challenging subjects. Typically in our final exam, we will be expected to converse at length in topics such as the environment, the political system of the United States, education, military, and countless other topics that the more casual language student may not be interested in.

In addition to speaking on these complicated topics, we must also interview a native speaker in the foreign language and then translate it to English. This portion in particular can be challenging because one must control the conversation carefully or else the interviewee can quickly take charge and overwhelm you in a flood of words. There is also a reading portion to the exam that is weighted equally with the speaking portions. This means simpler programs such as Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone just won’t cut it.


I'm not 100% sure if I'm getting your point correctly, but my gut reaction is something like "of course, because ILR 3 or C1 are professional proficiency, and that's their field. My C1 will be rather different, given what's relevant. They do those specific complex tasks not as an indication of mastery across the language, but because they've trained for those specific tasks."

Which doesn't detract from the value of your observation, of course. It is perhaps easier for me to guess at my proficiency, because I can go "can I do X, Y, Z?" in my field, since that's a significant part of my language-learning method and goal.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby smallwhite » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:28 am

Systematiker wrote:... and that's their field. My C1 will be rather different, ...
... It is perhaps easier for me to guess at my proficiency, because I can go "can I do X, Y, Z?" in my field, since that's a significant part of my language-learning method and goal.


You, your field, your method and goal? But weren't you comparing Expug with FSI?
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Systematiker » Mon Jan 30, 2017 2:44 am

smallwhite wrote:
Systematiker wrote:... and that's their field. My C1 will be rather different, ...
... It is perhaps easier for me to guess at my proficiency, because I can go "can I do X, Y, Z?" in my field, since that's a significant part of my language-learning method and goal.


You, your field, your method and goal? But weren't you comparing Expug with FSI?


I seem to have expressed myself poorly, sorry.

The initial comparison was for Expug, yes - I switched to me as an example because I can't speak for him, nor am I totally certain what he does as a career.

What I'm after is: Expug is more or less on track, if not ahead, regarding time invested, insofar as he's comfortable with evaluating himself at a certain level. I can't say that for him, or anyone. He says he's a shaky B2 in Norwegian, the math says for time in, that's ahead of the curve - based on the domains in which he can act, too. As to whether he's a C1, for example, he'll have to know not only his ability, but his ability relative to his professional capacity in the language, because I don't know what his field might be.

However, if one were to say (and I'm not saying this is your assertion), "Expug can (or cannot) do the things described by the FS officer, therefore he is (or is not) at C1 yet" then it's apples and oranges, because his field (probably) isn't diplomatic relations (but I could be wrong :D ).

Then I tried to use myself as an example to indicate that it might be hard for Expug, or anyone, to self-evaluate a professional proficiency, as their field may not be one they've tried in their language or it may not have tasks that easily lend themselves to that type of evaluation. For him, I don't know - I was trying to indicate that without prying or appearing judgmental. Even an assessment or exam is going to be looking for a general professional ability which may not match up with the needs of those in certain professions (thus the ever-present complaint about exam questions one couldn't answer in the native language).
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby smallwhite » Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:53 am

Systematiker wrote:What I'm after is: Expug is more or less on track, if not ahead, regarding time invested, insofar as he's comfortable with evaluating himself at a certain level.


Thank you for the explanation, Systematiker. I have to make sure we're not talking about you because I don't remember your progress. I only follow and remember Expug's progress in Chinese.

I'm aware that topics like "education, military" in my quote above may be specific to the FSI and irrelevant to Expug. My focus was more on "to converse at length in topics such as xxx that the more casual language student may not be interested in. ... we must also interview a native speaker in the foreign language and then translate it to English. ... one must control the conversation carefully..."

I brought that quote up because my impression is that Expug's studies concentrates more on input than on output. He may be, say, half way to C1 in reading in Chinese, but seems he hasn't been doing much output yet and probably not half way there yet. Whereas if you pick FSI folks to compare Expug with, who do output at very high levels, then you'll have to take both input and output into account to be fair.

(Nothing wrong with learning just to read, but for comparison purposes we want apples and apples).
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:41 pm

@Elenia: I was more concerned about listening. My writing skills could have been a bit better even with my own proofreading, but I usually write my log in a rush, and it only concerns that specific day.


==================================
I have spent my free time during the weekend mostly at catching up with forum reading. I had 3 pages of backlog just at the first forum, and now I'm finally reading threads recent enough that I may feel like contributing and not ressurrecting anything.

I read a couple of pages from the Italian novel, but that was all. I also got my audio for Méthode du grec moderne, one less problem.

There was an issue with the draft email I use for recording the off-schedule activities I'm doing, so I know where to resume from. When I open the draft on Android, it keeps saving new drafts instead of just updating the current one.Then when I edit it again some updates are made to different files. I deleted two of them and the remaining one was outdated, from the beginning of last week. I had to look up manually where I had stopped, but I also lost some suggestions of resources I had typed down on that draft as well. It's wise to always keep backups on different sources, really.

Today's Jänku-Jussi video was among the best, language-wise. It deals with politeness, and even though it's aimed at kids it can be useful for learners as well:



Duolingo Swahili has been pushed forward to March 31st :( That reinforces the cause of Hebrew or Indonesian.

I'm really enjoying working wihth Yabla videos. Today was a song. I figured out if I open the html file, it opens directly with the embedded video. So, no issue of looking up the html file and video. I'm working on these pretty intensively. Besides pinyin and idiomatic translation, I also use Pera-pera for word-by-word or character-by-character translation.

The lessons at Méthode de Grec Moderne are short enough to be fun. Only the exercises involving "This is a table" and such are way too oldschool, but at leasy I'm producing some output. Soon I'll be conjugating verbs.

Another round of Clozemaster. I'm definitely incorporating it, though as part of my routine, not for hidden moments (haven't touched it at the weekend).

Today I finally resumed watching The OA. Now I got my voiced-over Russian episode. I downloaded the Portuguese subtitles and I think it's a success for learning to understand dialogues. I hear the lower English so I can still sense the interpretation. The Russian is more clear than native series, the subtitles are accurate and so I am engaged on learning as effective as with Georgian and dubbed series, which improved my Georgian enormously. Just what I need now.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:36 pm

I'm enjoying Yabla and I really wish there was more to it than Chinese and FIGS. It also seems to suffer from marketing myopia: when I first joined the site, it pointed me to the localized version in Portuguese and the only language I could learn was English. There was no hint that there were more languages on an English base.

The book 'Adapt' has good premises on innovation, but the author seems to have an obsession for military-related examples I couldn't care less about.

I still haven't started any of the new languages or planned activities, but a reformulation is going to take place at my post-schedule. Even though I'm probably going to have less available time when the activities come back to normality, I will have dropped a few of my current ones, like Language Transfer Greek, the intensive Norwegian non-fiction TV with subtitles and probably I will find a source for intensive Georgian reading that will take me less time (currently it's a 70-page long forum thread, one page each day and it still takes me over half an hour). I want my rotating post-schedule to consist mostly of intensive activities that take around 5 minutes, so as to keep it flexible. I will then focus on one language when I feel the need, like I'm doing now with Norwegian and non-fiction vocabulary, to which I've already seen some improvement after 20 minutes a day through around 1 month.
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Re: Expug's 2017 Log - It's now and forever

Postby Expugnator » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:28 pm

The book "Anna" by Jostein Gaarder is boring, there is no workaround to describing it. From the course I'm attending at Coursera, we're told the theme of a story shouldn't be imposed, preached to readers but rather be introduced layer by layer. Well, the book is exactly a lecture on environment. The pace is quite slow and the dialogues are mostly the main characters lecturing each other - in agreement, as there is not even conflict.

On the other hand, 'Adapt' has taken a turn into good. No more military and more discussion on innovation itself. The author argues that innovation has slowed down considerably in the 'real life' (energy, transportation, medicine) and that the profusion of startups shouldn't be seen with that much enthusiasm. Moreover, the patents model encourages minor 'make-up' innovation and patenting ideas, instead of encouraging the long and expensive research processes that may actually come up with the solutions to humankind's critical issues.

Not a bad day for Russian comprehension. Not using subtitles is actually helping. I've flipped through reineke's log and now I'm planning og letting go of subtitles for most of my languages, or at least try some resources without them. I will keep audiobooks with translation as my source of intensive reading and listening, and will try to be more relaxed about TV series, focusing on improving my listening skills for overall comprehension instead of understanding everything and learning vocabulary from them.

Today I read Estonian trying to pay more attention to how sentences are built, to word order. I'm really trying to do more with the language, despite the lack of resources such as graded, comprehensible input. Currently I watch one animated video with subtitles (4 to 7 minutes), then I read 1 page intensively (corresponds to actually 3 in my translation), then Clozemaster (reviewing sentences, but most of the words are unknown) and lastly subtitle reading of a comedy series. At times like these I wish I had courses to lead me more safely through the intermediate stage. All that is left unread are:

1) monolingual textbooks which would be more difficult than translated novels, as each lesson goes more deeply into vocabulary than what you find in an average lesson, like naming everything inside a kitchen, and this with no page-facing translation. I went through E Nagu Eesti and spent a lot of time looking words up, so I think it's not the moment for T Nagu Tallinn yet. I even think I've wasted resources such as Naljaga poleks, middle-lenght dialogues with audio.

2) Glossika - but then i'm already doing Clozemaster

3) Readers - but translated novels are doing the job and are fun; most of the days I actually read intensively.

4) Revisiting previous textbooks. I want to do this through the FSI-like Basic Course in Estonian, but I have yet to find time for it at my post-schedule resources. I want to really work intensively for it. I could review other textbooks - Naljaga Poleks, for example, still looks pretty opaque to me, but I'm convinced that intensive reading of novels will be fun and will take care of it.

When it comes to output, I severely lack consistent corrections. I wasn't lucky at italki.

Sometimes I can't help but think of people as spoiled when they complain how they can't find the ideal course for Spanish or French when all that I want are more textbooks to be able to make the transition into B1 more user-friendly.

The situation is helt annerledes with Modern Greek, where I'm having to ditch some favorite courses because I might reach the intermediate stage sooner than expected. Actually most of the languages I'm wanderlusting for are in the comfortable situation of having 1 or 2 Assimil editions, Duolingo ready or on its way, Living Language, Language Transfer and others, not to mention the access to audiobooks and series.

I just finished one of these courses, the old edition of Language Transfer. I should admit that I didn't always pay attention, and found the development of some lessons rather slow. That said, I'm happy I could make use of a whole new genre of language courses, that of audio prompts. I had never travelled Pimsleur or MT, first because I thought they were just phrasebooks read aloud, and second because when I started this language-learning thing my English listening wasn't good enough for that (one of the reasons I dropped the Kypros Greek course the first time). Now I plan to enjoy the next edition of LT Greek (just not now) and the upcoming Swahili. I plan to keep LT as part of my post-schedule, starting with more bulky text-rich resources earlier. I should just avoid the feeling of anxiety for when I'm working on these audo courses and I'm behind schedule: I just browse away and retain little (but I do retain it, sometimes the lessons from LT Greek just come to mind). Like I said, no other fixed resource will replace LT Greek by now, and I will probably do something for another language (like Slow German or Basic Course in Estonian). Having 1 typical textbook + Greekpod101 + Clozemaster is already enough to make my Greek progress consistenly, much more than the previous languages I've started from scratch.

At some days the mind is sharper for some skills. Today I could read Georgian much more productively than lately. The posts were shorter, the discussion more centered around the topic instead of just gibberish.
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