Just a log (English, Italian)

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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sun May 27, 2018 5:19 pm

The good thing of being a beginner in a language is that no matter what you do you're progressing :D . I still have not found the best approach, or something like an approach, for me to learn Italian. I can't use the same one(s) I've used for English. Not that that I've really had one :mrgreen: but I can't follow the same path, so to speak. There are several reasons why: not as much learning and native materials available, I'd not really had as much exposure to Italian long before I ever started to learn the language. Of course, I could just take my textbook and go through it from cover to cover but, well, first off all language learning is just a hobby to me (even English) and I don't want to turn it into real studying. Second, I've had an experience with using this approach. I actually did it with English and French in the early 2000's. I can't say how much English I learn by that because now it's not easy to tell what I learned then, and what I learned later on. But I don't remember a thing of French from that time. And what is more important the both attempts didn't last long. Maybe a month at best. So I could start studying Italian properly... and quit for years, or even forever, after a week. I've tried to bring some system in my studying but not too much. As a result there's nothing new to report. I'm jumping from one thing to another. A bit listening (watching), a bit reading (but I've not finishted the Frank's book yet), a bit of trying to draw my own conclusions on Italian grammar from everything I listen and read, includying the textbook 8-) . It's funny that I already can follow a conversation sometimes in shows I'm watching. In English I could do it too in the beginning but I wasn't a real beginner. And sometimes it seems like my comprehension of Italian is better that it was of English back then.

Speaking of English. I came to the conclusion that I need to stop reducing my English time in favor of Italian too much. The thing is that when at my current level of Italian too much of exposure to the language doesn't really yield much of result, I really need to hear and read more English if I want to improve my writing. Maybe there are other, more effective and less time consuming ways of doing that but... And also it's a well-known fact that the more advanced you are in a language the more time you need to spend on studying the language to progress.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:34 pm

Just... well... this is an episode from a movie that was a hit among kids of the 1980's in my home country.
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MamaPata
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby MamaPata » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:31 pm

Ahhh, that sounds so weird! :lol: What was the film?
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:15 am

MamaPata wrote:Ahhh, that sounds so weird! :lol: What was the film?

Гостья из будущего :) . By modern standards it's a series (5 episodes).
For me those movies/series are like an album of old photos. The soviet part of my childhood. Although I guess that I watched the series mostly in the 90's along with all the series and movies from all over the word :) .
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:18 pm

I bought an Italian-Russian dictionary today. I highly suspect that it's the one I didn't buy the previous time I was in that bookstore :roll: . I mean not the exactly the same copy, of course :mrgreen: . This time there actually were more than one option aka dictionary but eventually I chose that one :D . And I'm afraid that that's my major achievement in that field, I mean Italian. Not that I've done nothing but... Well... working on two languages at the same time is something new for me. Still new. Even after I've been doing that for almost two month. I keep comparing what it was like with English to how it's with Italian now, and with English it was faster, maybe not a lot, but still faster. I guess that's one of the things I need to get used to.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:54 pm

As an epigraph
There is an anecdote. It's a short dialogue:
- Я не люблю кошек
- Ты просто не умеешь их готовить

That could be translated like:
"I don't like cats"
"You just don't know how to cook them (properly)"

I often recall this cat-cooking line when I'm thinking about my struggle with grammar. Leaving alone, and alive, poor fluffy creaters, the point is that when you don't get something that might be your fault - you just don't know the right way to deal with it.

And now to the point of this post. It's not really a point, just speculations. I've been thinking about this a while.
I've got the feeling that after some level, maybe a B2, grammar rules stop working. Not exactly stop but they don't work as well as before. At least the rules one can find in textbook/grammar books for English learners. The thing is that I often see in books, as well as in posts written by native speakers here, phrases/ sentences which I would've written the same way had I written it automatically, without thinking. But the thing is that at the same time the wording of the sentences contradict the rules how I understand them. So the far the more I start to feel that grammar rules are insufficient. They are a kind of shortcut, a set of tips which you can follow without real understanding of how the language work. It's like the difference between native speakers and non-native speakers. The first understand how the language works but usually don't know formal rules, the latter know the rules but don't understand how all that really works. Turning to my favorite grammar topic - the Present perfect. Since I had trouble to understand the tense I've read a lot about it but when finally I figured it out on my own I realised that textbooks do not to get to the point. They just give tips a la "we use the Present perfect when bla bla..".

All that reminds me of an old joke. When after graduation a young man or woman comes to their first job the first thing they hear is - "Forget everything you were taught at uni/college" :D . Because theory and real life is two different things.

It seems like it's the same with grammar rules and a real-life language. But I might be wrong because I just don't know how to cook that "cat" :roll:
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby Ani » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:24 pm

Funny you wrote this.. I just wrote a whole post and then deleted it on my internal debate and musings about a very simple grammar point.

On one hand, it is mechanically simple. On the other, whether you*would* do that, or should, or might want to do something else.. those situations are not addressed by the grammar rules. Some questions are almost impossible to find answered anywhere.

And apologies if my sloppy grammar & autocorrect errors on the forum ever contribute to your difficulty :).
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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, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:48 am

Ani wrote:Funny you wrote this.. I just wrote a whole post and then deleted it on my internal debate and musings about a very simple grammar point.

On one hand, it is mechanically simple. On the other, whether you*would* do that, or should, or might want to do something else.. those situations are not addressed by the grammar rules. Some questions are almost impossible to find answered anywhere.

And apologies if my sloppy grammar & autocorrect errors on the forum ever contribute to your difficulty :).

You didn't :) . Actually I like your way of writing. The thing that *really* contributes to my difficulty is textbooks' grammar explanations :| .

I hardly would have ever understood what the Present perfect is about had I not had enough exposure to English through TV and books, i.e. without input. The way they usually explain it in textooks is insufficient, and sometimes even misleading IMO if you look at it from an English learner perspective. It happens like that: you read about the tense in a textbook, try to make some sense out of what you've read, think that you get it, then you open a book and see that the tense is used quite differently, not the way you expect it should or would.

At the same time, when I was google-searching about the Present perfect I found out that some of English learners have difficulty to understand the difference between the Present perfect and the Present perfect Continuous (Progressive). Things like: I have studied vs I have been studying. But I have figured it out just by reading, watching and listening to native materials*. So that's never been an issue to me.
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aaleks
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby aaleks » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:03 pm

*to the above

Of course I had already known that such a thing as Continuous (Progressive) exists from a textbook. And I think that learning about grammar by reading about it in textbooks, etc. is really useful, it's a kind of short cut, an introduction to a language. But, from my expirience, textbooks don't have all the answers, unfortunately.
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Re: Just a log (English, Italian)

Postby reineke » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:05 am

aaleks wrote:*to the above

Of course I had already known that such a thing as Continuous (Progressive) exists from a textbook.


That's a relief. ;)
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