aaleks's log

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aaleks
Blue Belt
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Russia
Languages: Russian (N)
English (?)
Italian (beginner)
German (false beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: aaleks's log

Postby aaleks » Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:39 pm

I changed the log's name. I could've just added German to English and Italian but I decided that it'be better to make it more neutral. It seems most of my posts here are rather about language learning in general than about one/two/three languages I'm currently learning/maintaining. I've listed all three languages in my profile, so I think it should be enough.

This forum often gives me food for thought, recently it's been a couple of new threads in the General Language Discussion section. What do your target languages have in common? - I have no practical use for any of them, even for English. And speaking of English, the second thread is this The implications of English proficiency among non-native speakers. Recently I've been thinking if I really need or want to improve my English. The thing is an "it will rain" level is more than enough for me, the fact that I don't even need to think to say/write 'It's going to rain' changes nothing. So what's the point? Vanity?.. I think if English were the only language I was learning I wouldn't have even thought about it but when there are more than one language, and me being not really good at learning languages, time is always a problem. And the brain capacity as well. Another reason might be that right now I feel a bit disappointed in the level I have reached in these 7 years. Will I (my English) ever improve? I'm starting to doubt it.

Italian and German are doing well enough, I think. I'll write about them someday later.
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aaleks
Blue Belt
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Russia
Languages: Russian (N)
English (?)
Italian (beginner)
German (false beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
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Re: aaleks's log

Postby aaleks » Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:47 pm

Italian

This summer I was going to focus on Italian, or more precisely on my experiment of learning/acquiring Italian through input without textbooks and dictionaries. Not that I wasn't/haven't been following the plan. I did and I'm doing now. It just now I have less time I can spend every day on Italian. But still I am satisfied with the result I've gotten. I've become better at guessing the meaning of new words from context. And what is probably more important to me now I know from my own experience that it is possible. Sometimes I heard a word and thought I would never be able to fugure out its meaning, but then I would hear it in another context and one more, and more, and at some point the meaning either kind of resurfaced, or it just became clearer every time I heard the word. What I like about this approach to learning words is that the words I've learned this way stick in the memory because 1. while I was trying to figure out the meaning I had to pay attention to the word, 2. I heard the word in many different contexts so it's more than just a translation to me. In fact, usually I remember the meaning of a word but not the translation.

I think at this stage I need to start reading more in Italian but I often forget about it and then, later, do not have the time :( .

German

German came on the scene rather unexpectedly. I definitely wasn't planning taking on one more language while I'm still a beginner in Italian. But today thinking about that question - What do your target languages have in common? - it came to me that they may have one more thing in common - they seem to kind of choose me, in some way. German is, of course, a special case because I learned it in school. When I started noticing that my listening approach to learning Italian seemed to work sometimes I thought about trying it on another language. But I understood that it was too early for starting a new language so no matter how curious I was I decided against it. But German is not a new language for me which makes things a bit easier. Just a bit but still. The process itself feels more like recalling the language rather than learning it. I guess in really it's both. And I've noticed that I'm having a similar feeling about German as one I had when I started learning Italian more actively - I want to know more. I'm not sure that I really can make clear what I mean by that but I think it might be what Steve Kaufmann is talking about in his last video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jn565DaMC18
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User avatar
iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1588
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: aaleks's log

Postby iguanamon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:40 pm

aaleks wrote:Recently I've been thinking if I really need or want to improve my English. The thing is an "it will rain" level is more than enough for me, the fact that I don't even need to think to say/write 'It's going to rain' changes nothing. So what's the point? Vanity?.. I think if English were the only language I was learning I wouldn't have even thought about it but when there are more than one language, and me being not really good at learning languages, time is always a problem. And the brain capacity as well. Another reason might be that right now I feel a bit disappointed in the level I have reached in these 7 years. Will I (my English) ever improve? I'm starting to doubt it.

Those of us who live outside of TL countries and with few native-speakers to speak with, we tend to end up where you are right now with English. I like to focus on what I can do with my languages... which is quite a lot. There will always be vocabulary and usages that I won't know. That's ok. I continue to learn new things in my advanced languages everyday. I hope I can get a little bit better every year as I continue to read, write, listen and speak.

As to your English level, you have done a good job with your learning. I've enjoyed reading your log and following your progress. It's a pleasure to follow your posts about what you are doing with languages. If you ever do travel to an English-speaking country, you will have no problems communicating with native-speakers... even if the weather forecast calls for rain :lol: ! I wish you best of luck with German and Italian!
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3315
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: aaleks's log

Postby Cavesa » Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:19 pm

I agree with Iguanamon.

And since I am one of the people often advocating that "nope, improving one's English doesn't have to be the priority at all", I'd like to add that vanity, as you too severely call it, is actually one of the best reasons to work on it nonetheless. If C2 English is likely to bring you joy, satisfaction, pride, more confidence, or anything like that, it could be worth it.

If you decide to put more time into other languages instead:great. If you decide to keep pushing your English to an even higher level (as you are already really good at it), great. There is no wrong option here, as long as you're freely choosing what you want.
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aaleks
Blue Belt
Posts: 701
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:04 pm
Location: Russia
Languages: Russian (N)
English (?)
Italian (beginner)
German (false beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=6724
x 1222

Re: aaleks's log

Postby aaleks » Sun Aug 18, 2019 6:17 pm

Okay... I thought of what I'm going to, I want to do with English one more time and the conclusion I came to is - the job is done. There's of course a room for improvement but at the moment it would've required too much time and effort on my part. Besides, I'm afraid I would've had to turn my fun language learning into real studying. I don't want doing that, learning English, as any other foreign language, is just a hobby for me after all. So either English is going to improve itself on its own, so to speak, or it's going to wait till one day I need a C2 certificate. Maybe. As for now my goal is not to let my English slide too much. I'm not going to drop the language but just kind of stop being/feeling as an English learner, and start to treat English as a language I know. It's more psychological than anything else I guess; I know that I will keep paying attention and learning new things, words, etc. but, well, I keep learning (about) my native language too. I want to focus on Italian and German, and among other things learn how deal with more than one foreing language in my head, how to switch between them, etc.
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