Languid Language Learning

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:21 pm

Cavesa wrote:I loved the Mumins when I was a child! I had most of the books. What is the series like? Is it fun even for a grown up? Is the Swedish accessible?


Well, I love it so much, especially when I need a little bit off fluff for comfort :D but we both know I'm probably not the best example of a grown up ;) I find the Swedish really clear and accessible, and quite easy to understand. I find that I come across very few unknown words, and I can follow the series quite easily :)

---

So, what have I done in the past few days?

I wrote a trilingual entry on my blog, talking about the books which I mentioned here. I wrote about the French books in French and the Swedish book in Swedish, which was fun, and a lot less taxing than I thought it would be. I haven't looked over the entry for mistakes, and I am sure there are some. But I think I managed to avoid a few. Sadly I couldn't write in German about Splitterherz in German: that is still very far away for me. But there has been progress on the German front, all thanks due to Bakunin who has made me three excellent recordings. I have listened to those a few times, and will certainly listen to them more. I can already feel them working, and it's only been two days. I will talk about the experience in more detail, when I have worked at it a bit more. But so far, so good :)

I - ahem - acquired a copy of Le Suédois sans peine. To be honest, I wouldn't have minded paying for it that much, if I was just starting out in Swedish. I am considering buying the German textbook. But just listening to the first dialogues feels very slow, and even the last lessons aren't as quick as the things I usually listen to - although Cavesa, it might interest you to know that it is about the same speed and clarity as Mumin is. I think it will still be a very good tool for me to work with, especially in getting used to the prosody. And it might be a little more fun than FSI, too.

Other than that, I wrote around four hundred words worth of Swedish messages, which I am still amazed by. Said messages were written late at night, when I was very tired, so it's a wonder they were even a little bit coherent. In fact, I think the words came to me more easily than they usually do. Startling, yes, but I am not complaining!

Finally, I bought a copy of Nagasaki, and I am slowly reading my way through it. It is a very slim book, and so I ought to be finished with it soon. I am still enjoying it very much, however.

And, finally, finally (more a post scriptum, really), I have registered for the 6 Week Challenge with German. Wish me luck!
4 x

User avatar
Via Diva
Green Belt
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 12:11 pm
Location: somewhere around Moscow
Languages: Russian (N), English (~C1), German (~B1)
Wanderlust/abandoned: Czech, Swedish, Italian, Modern Greek, Esperanto, French, Dutch, Finnish
Hit-list (?): Icelandic, Hungarian, Sanskrit
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=929
x 396
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Via Diva » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:42 am

Good luck with German! 6WC can boost your level A LOT and I know that because I did had that effect with German. It wasn't easy, of course, but does that even matter? :)
0 x

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:37 am

@viadiva - thank you! I'm really hoping to push my German up, and I feel like I am finally giving it the time it deserves!

---

Well, I haven't updated my log in a while, and there is a reason. I've been writing out a little summary of my experiments with Bakunin's recordings, but I've been going slowly because... well, every time I start writing, I want to work with the recordings more! Rest assured that it is going well, a summary is coming.

But, I just wanted to say: yesterday I listened to part of an episode of a German children's TV program without subs and I understood it!! The program is apparently one designed to teach children how to speak German, but this is extremely exciting, nonetheless. Clearly all the work with recordings (be it LR or the natural listening method) has paid off!

Hopefully I'll have a more detailed update soon - and hopefully it is interesting for everyone!

Bis bald!
1 x

User avatar
daegga
Green Belt
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Upper Austria
Languages: -
-- ≥ C1 passive --
Bavarian**, German*
English (IELTS 8.5)
+ Scandinavian (a: N>S>D)
-- ≤ A2 --
French, Finnish
+ Old Norse, Slovene
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=704
x 424
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby daegga » Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:36 am

German children TV is quite ... educational:
0 x
vse je v redu

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:10 pm

@daegga - I think I have read that book! The animation definitely makes it feel more intense, however. The way that 'it' wobbles!
0 x

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Fri Aug 14, 2015 1:41 am

What a way to crumble under pressure! It feels like I haven't posted here in a while, and the reason for that is mainly because I felt like I should. So, without further ado, here is the promised post on using Bakunin's recordings:

I have started using one of Bakunin’s listening techniques. Bakunin himself has been kind enough to record a descriptive story for me using a wordless picture book. My experimentation is based on Bakunin’s method, which can be found on his .com log, .org log and personal .blogspot. My own method is a lot looser. The recordings that I have were originally intended to be a supplement, although I can see them becoming the backbone of my study. At current, most of my time is split between listening to these recordings and reading – I don’t know why, but I seem to have some kind of intolerance to sitting down and ‘studying’ German.
So far, I have listened to each recording at least once, while simply listening and looking at the related image. As I am not a complete beginner, this isn’t hard for me to do, and so I can spare more of my attention to listening out for new words and understanding what is happening, rather than on simply keeping abreast of what is happening. I have found that the first listen serves as an ‘establishing shot’, providing me with a framework to work with. This framework consist of the words that I already know; the words that I didn’t realise that I knew until I heard them and the words that are unknown, but whose meaning I can figure out. The rest are the words that I hear, and realise I don’t know. These words are usually clarified by the picture, except for in those cases when they describe a position, a movement or feeling. These are the things I pay attention to on the first listen.
Anyone who has read my log on the .com site will probably know that I don’t mind having very low comprehension when starting out, and that I am quite happy to power my way through a text where my comprehension is negligible. This technique would not work for the recordings. Having a high comprehension, and very few unknown or unrecognisable words is important, as that means that all of my energy can be focused on them on subsequent listens. The meanings of the unknown words related directly to concrete objects and colours in the pictures can be guessed at immediately, and so on the second, third and fourth listens they slowly become words that I can understand, therefore becoming part of the framework.
After this, the focus shifts again to the remaining words: the small details that facilitate the telling of the story and the rhythm of the description. Prepositions, verbs and tenses, emotions and so on. These are actually the parts of the language I have most trouble with, and so working through the recordings, hearing them used in a simple but natural context helps immensely. In this way, I can get a feel for what the different words mean, or what the parts of speech are actually doing. Then, when I come across one of these words/phrases while reading, it doesn’t completely throw me. I am able to recognise the pattern much more easily than while simply reading, as I don’t have to deal with a new word in addition to grammar that I find frightfully complex.


--

This post stops here, as I figured I might as well post it as leave it languishing in an unnamed word document. I haven't really done much since the last update. This is actually almost entirely because of the 6wc. I don't feel like timing things, and recording times and updating them now, and so I don't do anything that can be counted as study - and I count everything as study. Add to this the crappy weather, my parents being away, one of my close friends leaving the country for the foreseeable future and a mild-but-energy sapping cough and we have a picture of a very unmotivated human being. I think I will probably give up on the 6wc. he best thing to do would be to formally deregister, as that way I won't feel even the slightest bit of pressure to keep an eye on what I've been doing. It was a pretty good motivation when I had the energy, but the thought of having to turn on my timer stops me even from enjoying Swedish and French passively.
4 x

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Fri Aug 14, 2015 11:55 pm

Nothing much to update, but I just did a placement test that I found on a site for a summer school in Uppsala. The dialang test I did previously suggested a B1 level, and so I tried my hand at the B test on their page. I got 24/40, which places me at B1+. The boundary was 26/40, above that would have been a B2, I believe. This looks very nice all sanitised and standardised like that, but looking at my test sheet, we can see that one section drags my score down horrible. This is grammar. The test was very short and quick, and only had three section: a multiple choice, where you have to choose the right word/word form. Then a fill the blank exercise, where you had to supply the right word to complete the sentence. And finally a conjugation exercise, where you had to conjugate the verbs given in brackets. I got 14/19 right on the first section, 7/10 right on the second section, and 2/11 right on the final section.
At current, I am more than happy to carry on with my fun extensive activities, but I foresee some heavy grammar work in the near future...
1 x

User avatar
daegga
Green Belt
Posts: 396
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:00 am
Location: Upper Austria
Languages: -
-- ≥ C1 passive --
Bavarian**, German*
English (IELTS 8.5)
+ Scandinavian (a: N>S>D)
-- ≤ A2 --
French, Finnish
+ Old Norse, Slovene
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=704
x 424
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby daegga » Sat Aug 15, 2015 12:12 am

For passive knowledge, this one works better. I could improve a lot on this one with just Assimil and lots of input, while on those paper tests you linked I improved only slightly. I guess you really need to go through a grammar exercise book to get high scores on those.
1 x
vse je v redu

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:16 pm

@daegga - thank you for the link :) haven't tried it out yet, but I shall do.

---

I haven't done much real study, as I'm still feeling a bit under the weather. But I have managed to get some reading done - a few pages more of Kaninhjärta, and after a slight digression about a particular actor, I found myself engrossed in the world of the gentleman burglar which led, naturally, to me finding and starting to read a public domain copy of Arsène Lupin, gentleman cambrioleur. I cannot read much of either of these things, however, as my eyes are very sensitive right now, and reading too long on a screen hurts.

Hopefully this cold clears up soon. When it does, I'll start back with the weekly goals, which have been the best motivation for me. The way things are right now, they will probably be reading based and Swedish heavy - as always. But I'll break the status quo and give German more attention than French.
1 x

User avatar
Elenia
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1891
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:22 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), Swedish (C1), French (Massively Atrophied) German (lowly beginner, somehow learnt to read)


Finnish?!
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=708
x 3233
Contact:

Re: Languid Language Learning

Postby Elenia » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:50 pm

The cold had almost cleared up entirely, but apparently lounging about with wet hair for the better part of a day can really put a dent in recovery. Who knew?

I haven't done anything intense in any of my languages. However, I've continued reading. I'm extremely behind on my Goodreads challenge (to read 50 books this year) and so I've been working hard on my 'Currently Reading' list, in particular, on making progress with good old gentleman-cambrioleur Arsène Lupin and with Kaninhjärta. My progress with the latter is, naturally, much slower, but I'm really enjoying being able to follow the story. There are still a lot of details that I miss extensively, but I still wonder over the fact that I can actually read in Swedish. I get this feeling a lot whenever I use Swedish for anything, because it feels like the effort put in does not equal the results that I have gotten. Not that I am complaining!

I tried the test that daegga posted (which is available in a few languages, for the interested) and my scores varied greatly across the different sections. Here are my results according to their self assessment tool:

Writing : A1
Reading : B1
Listening : A2
Spoken Production : B1
Spoken Interaction : A2

I didn't particularly like the self assessment tool. It is less flexible than the dialang alternative, and it means that some areas are different to what I would have put given more choice. I'm thinking particularly of writing and listening, which I would have put as A2 and B1, respectively. I generally have a problem with self assessment, though. 'Can do' statements are a bit loaded for me, because there are many things I can do, that I know I can do, but I can't do them as well as the test would like. The result is I am either far too harsh to accommodate for this, or too generous.

Writing and the two 'spoken' sections aren't tested, but the active skills are somewhat represented by the section for vocabulary and grammar. My test results were:

Vocabulary and Grammar : A2
Reading : B1
Listening : B2

The greatest shock here is the B2 listening. I would have never once placed my listening skills higher than my reading skills - for one thing, most (if not all) of my vocabulary acquisition in Swedish is done through reading. I tend to view listening as exercises in recognising the words I already know. All of my other listening is partly for practice, but mostly for enjoyment. I watch Mumin and Solsidan, and listen to Loke Nyberg and podcasts more to have fun than to learn. Of course, these all count as valuable listening practice (save, perhaps, Mumin), but practise isn't my aim.

At any rate, I'm very happy with that kind of result. But I would like my reading to be at the same level, and this is just more proof that my grammar really leaves much to be desired. I don't want it to lag behind the rest too much, and I don't want it to inhibit my use of the language.

---

Other than this, Bakunin noted on his log that my write up of my use of the recordings wasn't quite as detailed as the notes I sent him, and I realise now that I really have left a lot of details out. As it is, I am too tired to go into those details now, but I will try to do so soon.
3 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Oscard587, tarvos and 1 guest