The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:57 am

French
Looking through the Readlang French library for C1-C2 texts with a mixture of amusement and disbelief. Disbelief at the fact that they actually seem quite easy, leading to the conclusion that either they aren't actually C1-C2 texts or perhaps I've grossly underestimated my French reading level. Amusement at the thought that my poor listening comprehension and subsequent lack of output could be the only things keeping me at B1, while my reading comprehension and passive vocab is miles ahead.

Either way, I'll finish my French film half SC first and see what to do next. I may need to extend it and make all French related activities purely passive, with the exception of the active wave for NFWE and Glossika. I may also do an Output Challenge much later in the year, after I've fixed my listening comprehension problem. In any case, things look very positive indeed.

German:
Some SC reading, some wordlisting. Not much, but I'm fine with that for now since my attention has been focused on French.


Spanish
Approaching the start of the active wave. Every new lesson is still rather breezy and I find that the progressive Scriptorium of previous lessons allows me to go over the lessons with a fine comb, retaining and remembering stuff that I'd already forgotten.


Italian
Stopped the CPR since Spanish is interfering too much. Will have to wait much later, it seems.


Dabbling

Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is starting to look a lot less like gibberish everyday and more like something I have a chance of actually understanding. Steadfastly avoiding the massive declension tables for now and focusing solely on learning the grammar points specifically needed to get through each Assimil lesson. Not entirely sure what to do about vocab, since my use of Ancient Greek would be entirely passive. I sincerely dislike prolonged Anki use, and would prefer Chinese water torture to the reviewing of cards everyday.
At least the torture ends after a few minutes when I give up the information to the whereabouts of the delicious baked goods that my captors surely crave.

Latin
Neglected largely due to time constraints but I'm interested in finishing Evan der Milner's London Latin course. Already, half forgotten knowledge is returning. Returning slowly, but returning none the less.



Verdict: Highly positive
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:45 am

As I was writing my guide to using third party audiobooks with the Audible app [that can be found here - viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5687], I had a most welcome surprise indeed as I was looking through Librivox :

One of the most memorable novels of my childhood - The Sorrows of Satan - Or, the Strange Experience of One Geoffrey Tempest, Millionaire.



Some background.
I started reading serious stuff rather early, alarmingly so for my parents. I wasn't exactly satisfied with the 'readers' appropriate for my age since they had uninteresting stories and too few pages. My mum in particular was an avid reader, and had literally hundreds of books stuffed into a little cupboard which was very conveniently placed in my room. Every odd afternoon turned into a treasure hunt for me, as I'd dig into the cupboard and emerge with a treasure which I'd then proceed to read. They weren't too happy about this and frequently complained that the novels were far too 'big' for me and that I probably didn't understand them. To be fair to them, I was 8 at the time.

Nevertheless, I read everything I could get my hands on and picked the lock when they decided to lock up the cupboard (A feat which I am incapable of repeating now, a decade or so later). I read everything, from the cheesy romance bodice rippers to annotated editions of Twelfth Night [because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale? :lol:] and Machbeth [which I found rather boring at the time, and still do now], to encyclopaedias and strangely enough, chemistry textbooks :lol:


This particular book was memorable because of a few factors; the age of the book, it's smell, the subject matter and the fact that the ending was missing! It was also the first time I'd ever come across Faustian literature, and 10 year old me found the idea of the Devil as a character absolutely fascinating [I still do]. A deal with the Devil, your soul exchanged for riches and success, a deal which the Devil cleverly rewrites in order to give you the short end of the stick.

Unfortunately due to the age of the book, the final few pages had fallen off and I never got to read the ending of the book. I read it several times over the years, trying to find clues to the ending in the text but I was never able to know for certain. When I was 11, we moved houses and the book got lost. I tried to find it but never succeeded, and eventually I forgot about it.

This is the first time I've come across the book in the last decade and I've been grinning for the last 30 minutes as I take this walk down memory lane. Finally, I can read it and find out what happened to poor old Geoff. I do hope he got away with making such an audacious deal.

I shall also track down a physical copy online, preferably old and hardcover with that musty old book smell, and give it a well deserved place on my shelf.





Here is the description taken from the Librivox page.

The Sorrows of Satan - Or, the Strange Experience of One Geoffrey Tempest, Millionaire.
Description :Marie CORELLI (1855 - 1924)
In this 1895 Faustian novel by British author Marie Corelli, we follow the journey of Geoffrey Tempest. Initially a starving and penniless writer, his good fortune comes upon him in the form of a huge inheritance, and the friendship of a character who "is not what he seems", Prince Lucio Rimanez. Geoffrey seems to have the devils luck about him as he climbs the social ladder, marries the daughter of an Earl, and is the envy of all high society. Inevitably his luck and good fortune begin to crumble as it slowly becomes apparent who Prince Rimanez truly is. Geoffrey reaches his crisis point as he is forced to choose his true master. - Summary by Lisa Statler.
Genre(s): Horror & Supernatural Fiction
Language: English


Link to the audiobook here - https://librivox.org/the-sorrows-of-sat ... e-corelli/


Link to the Gutenberg edition here- http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/42332


Still can't stop grinning. May have to see a doctor if this persists
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blaurebell
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Wed Apr 12, 2017 7:00 am

Atinkoriko wrote:Nevertheless, I read everything I could get my hands on and picked the lock when they decided to lock up the cupboard (A feat which I am incapable of repeating now, a decade or so later).


Uhm, I can only find that weird! Why on earth would your parents try to prevent you from reading things that are above your level? That's called getting an early education! Unless that cupboard contained a collection of pornographic works I don't see the problem at all ;) I would be delighted if I had an 8 year old who tried to read Anna Karenina or some such thing. I would probably hide Lolita before the age of 14 though :D

By the way, your story sounds somewhat familiar, although my parents never discouraged me from my voracious reading. My parents have always had a ton of books too and I read all sorts of stuff meant for adults when I was little, starting with a summer when I was 8 or 9 of reading the whole Belgariad and Malloreon Saga by David Eddings - about 4000 pages over 6 weeks. I read age appropriate stuff too, but I was always fascinated by books that were somewhat more difficult and I would automatically pick books that were at the right level language wise. If I didn't understand a book, it would go back on the shelf and I'd try again later. I'm sure there were some books that I didn't quite understand in their entirety, but I got something out of them anyways. When I was 16 I had probably read more than the average college student when they graduate and my parents always encouraged me. The only restriction was that they would only buy a limited amount of books and I always felt like I had way too little to read. When I was 17 and moved out of the house books were my main budget problem and I actually once spent a week visiting friends for dinner every day, because I had spent so much money on books that I didn't have any money for food left :lol: During that time I spent my dead hours in the public library and my favourite place in the city used to be one of the biggest bookshops in the country!

My whole family is like that by the way, voracious readers all of them. My dad started reading Russian with a dictionary when he was 16 because he had literally run out of Science Fiction books to read in German! He also used to have the nickname "the librarian" among his friends because you can throw him a line of certain books and he can find the page within a minute. My mum actually *is* a librarian by profession. And my brother is probably the most widely read person I know, more widely read than even some university lecturers I know. And he never went to university himself.

I still read between 15,000-25,000 pages a year, maybe slightly less if I throw in a lot of intensive reading for a new language. And I live in a veritable library - my husband is a real book hoarder. Although I have starved myself for books I'm an amateur in comparison to him :D Package delivery guys greet us on the street because we see them more often than our friends :lol: Nowadays I don't really have to buy books myself unless those are in a language that he doesn't read very well. I think it would easily take me 20 years to get through all the books in this house and of course he's still buying more and more books. When I stepped in my old university library for the first time I almost had a nervous breakdown, because for the first time in my life I had a source of interesting books that would be impossible to deplete! Our flat is like that now. Heaven 8-)
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Wed Apr 12, 2017 11:40 pm

Well, blaurebell, they didn't see it as me getting an education but simply a kid fooling around with stuff that must have been too complicated for him to understand. Good intentions, but road to hell etc etc



Small update:


Ancient Greek
I have finished the first week of Assimil Le Grec Ancien and I'm impressed. The course has managed to teach me more grammar, in about 2 hours spread over 6 days, than what Teach Yourself could in about 10 hours of staring at declension tables in frustration.

After some light shadowing and writing out of the lessons by hand, I'm feeling more and more comfortable with the alphabet and the phonology of Ancient Greek.
I also peeked into a grammar textbook but it confused me and almost robbed me of the little knowledge I've managed to acquire. Thus, I shall steadfastly avoid them and turn to them only if an Assimil grammar note is so lacking that it actively prevents me from understanding the lesson as a whole.
This is a language that I want to enjoy and I can think of no better way to quickly hate it than trying to front load on grammar, especially considering how grammar heavy it is. Memorise declension tables? No thanks, I'll pass.


Latin
Been inching forwards with Evan der Milner's course. Again, this is dabbling so I'm not going to pull a Benny and declare a 'Fluent Latin in 3 months' challenge or anything. Such a good attempt at a conversational Latin course and I respect the fact that he chose to make it free.

Since I have no more to say, here's an oldie but goodie Latin joke:

'Latin teachers don't age, they merely decline'



French
Paused everything and going full steam ahead with the Film Half SC [75 hours]. I'm fast becoming a believer in the superiority of mass input, and I will definitely do an SC every year if I can. Funnily enough, it seems like my favorite LP'er is slowing down :lol: . He seemed incredibly fast at the 10 h mark but his speech seems rather normal now, 33 hours later.
I will finish the half SC first and then decide if I want to extend it to a full one of 150 hours.




German
Two words: Wordlist fatigue. I'm getting faster at making the associations and the initial first round, and my retention rate after the repetition rounds is climbing, but it's requiring more and more willpower to sit down for 1 hour and churn out 112 words, as well as a little more time for the repetition rounds. Perhaps it's because I have other things going on as well. Anyway, I'm in the April vocab challenge so I can't stop now.

So, I've come to a compromise with myself. Take every third day off ie Make a new batch on Monday, Tuesday but take Wednesday off and just do the repetition rounds etc
So far, this seems to be working well enough.


Spanish
Assimil experiment still going on. After a comparison of Assimil Spanish with Ease and the 1950s Cherel Assimil Spanish Without Toil which I am currently using, I've come to the conclusion that I do prefer the Cherel version.
The 1950's version has a certain charm to it that is hard to replicate ie the little songs, the cultural explanations, the connected story, even the voice actors sound somewhat better etc

Also, the lessons do seem more complicated as I've already been given an excerpt from literature by the 39th lesson of the 1950s edition , where in contrast the equivalent 39th lesson of Spanish with Ease features a dialogue about clothes:
a. What are all these clothes doing here?
b. Don't worry about [for] all this mess [disorder]?
c. As it is starting to be (to make) cold, I have begun to get out the winter clothes....... etc


Anyway, I don't think Spanish with Ease is a bad course. It is rather funny and doesn't look as watered down as the Italian with Ease course but I'll stick to Spanish without Toil for the remainder of this experiment.
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:31 pm

Okay, not much done this week. Missed Assimil Spanish without Toil for three days in a row now, as well as German vocab work.

Disappointing, but I've been doing some further dabbling in the arts. Firstly, I'd like to get into figure drawing and I was looking to get versed in the fundamentals since I've had virtually zero formal training.

I've also decided to go back and perfect the cursive I'd tried to learn a few years back. I thought, if I have to learn Russian cursive, I might as well continue with cursive in my own native language. I write a lot, so this should make activities like Scriptorium a lot more pleasant.

By the way, fountain pen research is a rabbit hole. One moment I'm simply looking at fountain pen recommendations for beginners, the next moment I've ordered about 3 fountain pens from Amazon, spent 2 hours searching for vintage pens on Ebay and somehow finding myself watching a documentary about how Japanese fountain pens are made. :lol:

In essence, I find myself sinking deeper and deeper into the arts that I sincerely wonder how I could have ever considered a career in engineering a decade ago.
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Sun Apr 16, 2017 9:43 pm

Atinkoriko wrote:Disappointing, but I've been doing some further dabbling in the arts. Firstly, I'd like to get into figure drawing and I was looking to get versed in the fundamentals since I've had virtually zero formal training.


This book is the best one I know to give you a good foundation. A couple of graphic artists I admire started with this book and I saw huge improvements in my own skills even after the first 6h of the study plan. I love it!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natural-Way-Dr ... TZCTWZWJWN

The study plan takes about a year to finish at 1h a day, so this is really a solid no shortcuts book! It's basically FSI for artists, only that I know several people who finished going through it twice and loved every minute of it! And of course with ~370h it's only a beginning, since drawing is one of those 10,000h skills. No matter whether you make it only through the first 10h, it's one of those life changing books that seriously messes with your perception of the world if you follow it to the letter. It's meant for use with a live model, but I've mostly used it with quickposes.com which works just fine for the gesture drawings. I started the book again at the beginning of the year, but then realised that I either do Russian or try to perfect a complex new skill, it became too much at once! I'll continue with it once I'm up to passive B2 skills with Russian. Drawing is perfect to keep the hands occupied while listening to TL audiobooks by the way. Right now I really don't have enough mind space for it though because of Russian.

And yeah ... engineering. I've built some robots, which is fun, but working in the profession is just soul-destroying in my experience. I much prefer being a poor underpaid photographer to being an overpaid soulless automaton. Clear case of been there, done that, never again!
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:41 am

blaurebell wrote:
Atinkoriko wrote:Disappointing, but I've been doing some further dabbling in the arts. Firstly, I'd like to get into figure drawing and I was looking to get versed in the fundamentals since I've had virtually zero formal training.


This book is the best one I know to give you a good foundation. A couple of graphic artists I admire started with this book and I saw huge improvements in my own skills even after the first 6h of the study plan. I love it!
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Natural-Way-Dr ... TZCTWZWJWN

The study plan takes about a year to finish at 1h a day, so this is really a solid no shortcuts book! It's basically FSI for artists, only that I know several people who finished going through it twice and loved every minute of it! And of course with ~370h it's only a beginning, since drawing is one of those 10,000h skills. No matter whether you make it only through the first 10h, it's one of those life changing books that seriously messes with your perception of the world if you follow it to the letter. It's meant for use with a live model, but I've mostly used it with quickposes.com which works just fine for the gesture drawings. I started the book again at the beginning of the year, but then realised that I either do Russian or try to perfect a complex new skill, it became too much at once! I'll continue with it once I'm up to passive B2 skills with Russian. Drawing is perfect to keep the hands occupied while listening to TL audiobooks by the way. Right now I really don't have enough mind space for it though because of Russian.

And yeah ... engineering. I've built some robots, which is fun, but working in the profession is just soul-destroying in my experience. I much prefer being a poor underpaid photographer to being an overpaid soulless automaton. Clear case of been there, done that, never again!




Wow, blaurebell, thank you so much for the recommendation. I just took a look at an online preview and it seems to be exactly what I've been looking for. Ordered it and it should arrive in a week.

As for the FSI experience, I do want precisely that as I'm not exactly a beginner to drawing but more of a false beginner who needs to go back to the fundamentals and do them thoroughly.

As for Russian, I've decided to use this summer for Russian instead of Italian :D The other dabbling languages will have to wait.

And that's quite a novel approach, drawing while listening to audiobooks. That makes a lot of sense since I tend to get distracted when I listen to audiobooks. Another golden recommendation. :D

One last question, when you hear a Russian word do you see its Cyrillic equivalent in your mind or a Romanised version of it?
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:26 am

Atinkoriko wrote:As for the FSI experience, I do want precisely that as I'm not exactly a beginner to drawing but more of a false beginner who needs to go back to the fundamentals and do them thoroughly.


Same for me, my own dabbling got me somewhere with drawing, but I lack that sort of refinement provided by a proper course. I have a few other popular books about drawing and they all pretend to give shortcuts, when really it's just sloppy and will lead to problems when you try to produce something more complex than an isolated figure. Could have just as well not bought those books, rather useless! I keep coming back to the Nicolaides book every few years though, it's lovely! For some reason I always start it when I'm too overwhelmed by other things though and then don't finish because reality kicks back in :roll: It's definitely the next thing on the list after Russian though! One warning: you need lots of cheap paper for this one and No 3 and 4 pencils. Get yourself a pack of cheap printer paper before the book arrives! There are other materials in there too, but you only need pencils in the beginning.

Atinkoriko wrote:One last question, when you hear a Russian word do you see its Cyrillic equivalent in your mind or a Romanised version of it?


Cyrillic. Please don't make the mistake to use transliterations! There are many many different ways to transliterate and none of them reproduce the sounds correctly at all. I don't even look at transliterations, I use the pronunciations on lingvo live where available, forvo when that fails and otherwise text to speech in combination with stress markings. Stress is ambiguous and sometimes changes depending on case, so ideally you should listen to every new word. For learning the alphabet I can recommend the course Russian World on Youtube. I didn't use the course beyond Russian World 1 because it's super slow, but it's a solid foundation especially if you feel overwhelmed with the new alphabet, the grammar and all the oodles of vocabulary all at once. They even teach you the cursive which goes just fine with your new fountain pens :D I think Assimil would have been a tad too difficult for me without that foundation. What also helped me was Wyner's pronunciation trainer - minimal pairs listening drills. Before those drills I simply couldn't hear the difference between щ and ш as well as any consonant with and without the soft sign ь, and that's although I heard a lot of Russian until I was 6! There are minimal pairs in Modern Russian - that's Russian FSI -, but Modern Russian is really too tough for complete beginners. It's rather comfortable now after all of Duolingo and half of Assimil, but before I would have really struggled a lot. Also, those Modern Russian minimal pairs drills also have nowhere near the quality of the Introduction to French Phonology drills, so the Wyner pronunciation trainer is even more useful than for other languages. Another thing about Modern Russian - apparently Modern Russian 2 is really hard. Arnaud who is at a more advanced stage gave up on it, so I plan to throw in another grammar course between Modern Russian 1 and 2.

So a good progression would be: Wyner's pronunciation trainer while doing Russian World 1 on Youtube, followed by Assimil + Duolingo (worthwhile until the last Checkpoint, painful and useless beyond that), Modern Russian 1, New Penguin Russian or Russisch mit System if you want to do laddering and then Modern Russian 2. I suspect that after Modern Russian 2 I will probably still need more drilling for verbs of motion and aspect. Ah, Russian grammar :cry: ! And of course none of that is enough to read without a dictionary because Russian has insane amounts of vocabulary :roll: I found that half of Duolingo was enough to start intensive reading, but it's hard work / decryption meets black magic. There are so few cognates in general and the word order is insane too!

As you can see, you're replacing a language that you get almost for free after French and Spanish with one that can be summed up with grammar gulag meets black magic :lol:
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Atinkoriko
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby Atinkoriko » Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:29 am

So much great advice, blaurebell, thank you.

I still have a few questions please. First of all, how much paper and how low quality? Also, does the paper have to be A4? In my Amazon peek through the book, I saw manilla paper to be used for the first exercise. Can I use copier paper instead?
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Re: The Chronicles of An Overly Ambitious Soon To Be 20 year old.

Postby blaurebell » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:04 am

Atinkoriko wrote:I still have a few questions please. First of all, how much paper and how low quality? Also, does the paper have to be A4? In my Amazon peek through the book, I saw manilla paper to be used for the first exercise. Can I use copier paper instead?


I find anything below A4 gets a little too small for quick drawing. You will throw away most of the drawings, so the cheaper the paper the better - they're just exercises. Copier paper is fine, it's what I use too. Don't skimp on the other materials though, there's nothing worse than a cheap pencil that breaks all the time when you're trying to do quick drawings!
2 x
: 12 / 100 Дэвид Эддингс - Владычица магии
: 8020 / 35000 LWT Known

: 16 / 55 FSI Spanish Basic
: 24 / 116 GdUdE B


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