aaleks's log

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aaleks
Blue Belt
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Russia
Languages: Russian (N)
English ( ? )
learning:
Italian, German, French
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:40 pm

As I wrote in the first entry, I can't help feeling like a monoglot here :D . Being in such an environment it's hard not to fall into language wanderlust ;) . What are the languages I'd like to learn? The first would be French. I've tried to learn it several times, and actually since my childhood French has always been #2 on my wishlist, after English. The next would be Spanish. Thanks to all those series from the 90s, sometimes I can understand snippets of Spanish in American series. So why not? Polish. In my teenage and early young adulthood years I read a lot of Joanna Chmielewska books, I'd like to read them in original. I even have one adapted by Ilya Frank's method. And probably my craziest, or weirdest, language learning project - Romanian. I call it "craziest" because I don't actually want to learn the language, I just want to read a book series for teenagers. The second book of the series was translated into Russian and I read it when I was 12 or 13. But there are 4 more. I've also read somewhere that the first book was translated in Ukrainian. But it's all. I doubt that any of the other books would ever translated in any languages - they from soviet period, even though they just about Romanian history, very old history. I've found the whole series in Romanian, and I've even tried to find learning materials :mrgreen: but I guess I can live without reading it...
Also there are Italian, Portuguese, German and many others, but the thing is, it's all just a wishful thinking. In the best case scenario I'll learn French one day and probably revive my German.
And improve my English, of course :)
Last edited by aaleks on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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DaveBee
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby DaveBee » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:49 pm

aaleks wrote:And probably my craziest, or weirdest, language learning project - Romanian. I call it "craziest" because I don't actually want to learn the language, I just want to read a book series for teenagers. The second book of the series was translated into Russian and I read it when I was 12 or 13. But there are 4 more. I've also read somewhere that the first book was translated in Ukrainian. But it's all. I doubt that any of the other books would ever translated in any languages - they from soviet period, even though they just about Romanian history, very old history. I've found the whole series in Romanian, and I've even tried to find learning materials :mrgreen: but I guess I can live without reading it...
Now I'm curious, what is the name of this series?
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aaleks
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:03 pm

DaveBee wrote:Now I'm curious, what is the name of this series?

Ciresarii by Constantin Chirita
The book I read is Castelul fetei in alb/Замок девушки в белом.
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Ani
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby Ani » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:53 pm

I just found your log.
Love that video with best series from the 90's. Gives me a lot of international options to look for. Thanks!
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But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:35 pm

I'm unsure if I've ever mentioned it before, even though I've been learning English, more or less consistent, for 5 years, in the first 4 years I didn't pay much attention to productive/active skills. First of all because it wasn't my goal. I just wanted to understand the language, not to produce it. I assumed that if I can understand it and consume enough native content I will be able communicate on a basic level, and that was all I needed at that time. Things changed by accident. This year in January I wrote something on an English learners forum (a Russian one) and got mocked because of my mistakes. There's a sub-forum where the users are kind of supposed to write in English for practice sake. Actually it's not the best place to start because of all those mocking and picking, and it's probably one of the reason why I'm so self-conscious about my writing. Anyway I think I should be grateful to that place for the opportunity. Probably the people would've been more understanding to my mistakes if I didn't claim that I can understand native series :mrgreen: ? Maybe from their point of view there was an unbelievably big gap between my passive and active skills. I can understand that. The problem is I usually see things as a whole, skipping details. For example, I can understand what was said but can't repeat that. So I've kind of had to learn that all over again :D this time paying more attention to grammar, separate words, etc.
The irony of all this is that despite the bad experience if I ever start learning another language I believe my focus in the first place will be on the passive skills again :D .
Last edited by aaleks on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ani
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby Ani » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:33 am

Just January of this year? Either you have massively improved in just 10 months or they (as English learners) are correcting according to book rules and not what people actually say. Practicing with a bunch of non native speakers isn't always the best idea anyway, as I'm sure you noticed.
I have the same problem in french though. I understand more than my productive ability and I can't always repeat what I heard. It leads to problems in writing bease I can't always remember which connecting words were used between phrase chunks, like prepositions, or if there even were any. Making a point to translate and think hyper literally (I think this is Iverson's recommendation) as I read is really helping cement all those little gaps.
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But there's no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

aaleks
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:51 am

Ani wrote:Just January of this year? Either you have massively improved in just 10 months or they (as English learners) are correcting according to book rules and not what people actually say.

Thank you :) . I had problems with very basic stuff like Presen Perfect, forgot to add 'am', 'is', 'are' when used Continuous, etc. (it looked like this: "... I'd might to think you doing..." :? :lol: ) Such kind of mistakes are easy to spot, and at the same time some of them are easy to eliminate, or at least reduce a little. Plus I've had enough exposure to the language through reading books and watching TV, and it seems that a part of grammar I've learnt just by reading and listening to native materials.

Ani wrote:It leads to problems in writing bease I can't always remember which connecting words were used between phrase chunks, like prepositions, or if there even were any.

Yes, it's exactly what I meant! :)
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aaleks
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:20 pm

Articles is one of the confusing things about English (and other 'articles-having-languages') for me. I don't remember what explanation we were given in school about German articles, only that it didn't help :( :mrgreen: . Later, when I started studying English, the explanations I read in Murphy's grammar books about articles weren't of much help either.

"Joe says 'a sandwich', 'an apple' because this is the first time he talks about them".
Really? Joe never seen a sandwich in his life? :roll: :lol: That's how my slavic-language brain works :mrgreen: .

I'm kidding a little but sometimes all those grammar explanations are more confusing than helping. Why the same apple being mention the first time will be 'an' and then becomes 'the'? That could be hard to grasp at first. An explanation that 'the' is kind of specifying an item you're talking about could confuse even more. Some time ago I've read on an English learners' forum a phrase like "I will find the interesting topic..." This is probably not the exact phrase, maybe there's been used the word 'thread', not 'topic', it doesn't really matter. The obvious mistake here is "the interesting topic", at least in that context (I'm gonna find something interesting to talk about) using 'the' is a mistake. The thing is that for at least Russian set of mind 'interesting' is a kind of specification. That's of course a begginer's mistake, but I think it's a very good illustration how such mistakes occur.

The best explanation about English article I've got in the thread -> https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =17&t=6387 :) . Reading all those answers I've, probably for the first time, seen how that thing - articles - really works and how it could change the meaning. I know that I still misuse, and leave out, articles here and there but now it more about not enough practice, my still not high enough level of proficiency, and lack of the feeling of the language which only natives could have.
Last edited by aaleks on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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aaleks
Blue Belt
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Russia
Languages: Russian (N)
English ( ? )
learning:
Italian, German, French
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby aaleks » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:23 pm

Being on this forum, reading all these logs, it's hard not to be tempted to, at least, try to learn one more language :) . And yet, I've come to conclusion that I'd prefer to learn English to some decent level first. I can't say what level it should be according to CEFR - C1? C2? I just want to know it better than I do right now, first of all, just because I love the language, and there still is a lot of things I keep finding about it: an idiom unknown to me before, or how certain words work with each other, etc. I feel that switching to any other language could slower my current (illusive) progress. So I think I'll continue dabbling in French and Spanish from time to time. German is another story. Sometimes I read comments on the forum in German and it's kind of coming back to me, a little. A little grammar, a little words. But because the two languages are close enough and German was the first foreign language I've ever learnt I'm too afraid of interference. At the same time I know that it's still here somewhere, not gone completely.
Of course English is a lingua franca and so one, and it's kind of reasonable to keep learning it. But, honestly, I don't think so. I mean my current level is good enough for simple communication. But still it's not enough for comfortable communication, as I see it. Besides, as I said above, I love the language and I just want to know more, more, more :)
Last edited by aaleks on Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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LinguaPony
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Re: Just a log (English)

Postby LinguaPony » Sat Nov 04, 2017 6:36 pm

Careful. Just let that poison into your bloodstream, and you won't be able to stop, ever :)
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