Japanese and Mandarin in 50 years, with a lot of detours.

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David27
Orange Belt
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 pm
Languages: English (N)
French, Spanish (C1)
Russian, Portuguese, Italian, German (B2)
Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch (A2)
Abandoned languages (for now) :( Greek, Czech, Bengali, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish
x 496

Re: Japanese and Mandarin in 50 years, with a lot of detours.

Postby David27 » Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:12 am

Dr Mack Rettosy wrote:Hi David,
Wonderful log. Just finished reading through it all. It's incredibly inspiring how you've kept at languages through a demanding career in medicine. How wonderful that your hobby allows you to make connections with your patients! Also, congratulations on the news of an expanding family! Bringing a child into the fold will present scheduling challenges but also opportunities (like your interest in raising bilingual children).

I'm all in on Mandarin at the moment, so wanted to share a few ideas for Mandarin listening materials.

Have you considered a youtube premium account? Doing so allows you to download videos and listen w/o data or wifi. There's also the benefit of being able to multitask (use another app) or shut off your phone screen (save battery) while listening. Subscription is $15/month but the first month is free so you could give it a try? I ended up paying for the subscription and using it as my singular listening source. Some ideas of what to listen to:

I'll leave you with that, but happy to share more.

Curious, did you ever manage that beach-destination vacation you had planned for the first two weeks of March 2020? Myself and my SO also vacationed during that time and had quite the memorable experience with COVID-19 beginning to spread (fortunately, it was only domestic travel).


Thank you for commenting and sharing the materials (looks great, and I needed more Mandarin sources to check out as right now I have tons of Japanese resources, but with Mandarin I had less on deck)! A lot of that may still be well above my current humble level. Honestly I had never thought of YouTube premium, but you make a good case for it. Given that the due date is imminent, I won’t start now (won’t have enough time to play around with it and make good use of the trial), but later this year I’ll give it a go and check it out! As for the vacation, yes I did go to Florida. it was the first 2 weeks of March 2020, so we likely had a similar experience.
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David27
Orange Belt
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 pm
Languages: English (N)
French, Spanish (C1)
Russian, Portuguese, Italian, German (B2)
Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch (A2)
Abandoned languages (for now) :( Greek, Czech, Bengali, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish
x 496

Re: Japanese and Mandarin in 50 years, with a lot of detours.

Postby David27 » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:38 am

Il y a un forum ici ou Nooj demande si le statut socio-économique d'une langue est un critère important en choisissant une langue à étudier. Je vais mettre mes pensées voici plutôt que là où il a demandé parce que : 1. Ma réponse n’est pas unique 2. J’ai envie d’écrire en français aujourd’hui, et 3. Je vais donner mon expérience personnelle.

Dans le monde, oui, je crois que c'est le facteur le plus important (c'est pour cela que l'anglais est si dominant parmi deuxièmes langues). C'est aussi parce qu'il y a moins d'avantages économiques pour les anglophones, qu’ils sont toujours les pires en apprentissage des langues dans le monde. S’il y avait plus d’avantages économiques, les anglophones aussi apprendraient des autres langues. Ce n’est pas à dire qu’il n’y a aucun avantage, mais ce n’est pas suffisant pour motiver la plupart des gens. Ce forum est une exception, parce que clairement nous sommes tous passionnés par les langues étrangères, alors le statut socio-économique est moins important pour nous.

Dans mon cas, j’ai voulu apprendre le français par une fascination par l’histoire européen, et un intérêt à visiter l’Europe. À mon lycée, les options était le français, l’espagnol, ou le japonais, alors j’ai choisi le français. À l’université, j’ai voulu continuer mes études de français, et j’ai pensé faire un double major physiologie (pour plus tard appliquer à l’école de médecine) et français. Après avoir étudié en France l’été entre ma première et deuxième année à l’université, j’ai voulu faire le « French and Arabic tract » avec une concentration sur l’Afrique du nord, et passer 6-12 mois au Maroc dans ma quatrième année... Mais après avoir bien réfléchi et recherché mes options, j’ai pensé que ce serait plus difficile à tout faire pour être accepté à l’école de médecine, peut-être j’aurais du faire une autre année des études pour tout faire, et je ne voulais pas prendre encore plus de prêts scolaires. J’ai aussi voulu continuer d’étudier des langues, parce qu’il est déjà devenu une passion pour moi. Mais en pensant à ma carrière, j’ai décidé d’étudier l’espagnol (en rétrospectif… choix impeccable, David). Et parce que je l’utilise au travail, il est devenu le plus important langue étrangère dans ma vie, et je n’utilise guère le français. Donc même si je veux dire que pour moi le statut socio-économique n’est pas important, il a joué un grand rôle. Et en rétrospectif, comme je disais, je ne ferais pas autrement.
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David27
Orange Belt
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 pm
Languages: English (N)
French, Spanish (C1)
Russian, Portuguese, Italian, German (B2)
Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch (A2)
Abandoned languages (for now) :( Greek, Czech, Bengali, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish
x 496

Re: Japanese and Mandarin in 50 years, with a lot of detours.

Postby David27 » Mon Mar 01, 2021 3:47 am

February was a bit of a setback hours wise, but I did continue making some progress. In Japanese I finished Genki I and was able to put it away. For the next month, my goal is 1 chapter a week in Genki II, I haven't started that textbook, and really once I finished the prior book I took a bit of a break from textbook work.

For Mandarin, I also want to get back into textbook work. I've been mostly focusing on just listening, but want to hop back into the John DeFrancis series and practice my reading/writing. So 1 chapter a week as well for that is my goal.

I'm enjoying Amor en los tiempos de Colera well enough, I'm 120 pages in, goal to read at least 200 pages this month. I want to get my Spanish to a second household language for me, so I need to boost it to C2 and just try to use it more in my day-to-day life. Expecting the baby any day now (due date 3/1- with preparation for the baby I have done less focused study recently). I'm not going to be militant about speaking just Spanish, but we'll see, I want to share the language as it's something I love and am passionate about, hopefully some abilities rubs off.

French has surprisingly got a bit more attention in February. Yesterday I had a 30 minute phone chat with a French friend who I haven't spoken to in awhile, and it was great catching up. Also I watched Lupin on Netflix with my wife and we enjoyed the first season.

Other than that the other languages didn't get a ton of attention, mostly podcasts and youtube. For Dutch Easy Languages has released a few new episodes, and the man who does the videos has his own youtube channel (Dutch and Go with Nout), whose videos I started to watch.

February Hours:
Spanish: 9 hours, 50 minutes
Japanese: 9 hours, 5 minutes
Mandarin: 9 hours, 5 minutes
Russian: 4 hours, 45 minutes
French: 3 hours, 20 minutes
German: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Dutch: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Italian: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Latin: 1 hour, 0 minutes

2021 Running totals
Japanese: 24 hours, 30 minutes
Mandarin: 23 hours, 50 minutes
Spanish: 17 hours, 35 minutes
Russian: 9 hours, 50 minutes
German: 5 hours, 15 minutes
French: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Dutch: 3 hours, 5 minutes
Italian: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Latin: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 0 minutes
7 x

David27
Orange Belt
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:52 pm
Languages: English (N)
French, Spanish (C1)
Russian, Portuguese, Italian, German (B2)
Mandarin, Japanese, Dutch (A2)
Abandoned languages (for now) :( Greek, Czech, Bengali, Arabic, Norwegian, Polish
x 496

Re: Japanese and Mandarin in 50 years, with a lot of detours.

Postby David27 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 2:33 am

Lots of news. The biggest being the birth of my daughter! That whole experience was a such a roller-coaster of emotion, excitement and fear (thankfully in the end all has been ok). I don’t know why I made any goals or thought I would be able to keep to any kind of regular schedule. I also only had 2 weeks off of work… and going back to work was really hard, but I did it so I can take some time to help out at home and take some family leave later this year when my wife goes back to work (still, if anyone else is debating how much time to take off…. take more than 2 weeks). With that being said… my interests remain the same, just time and energy took a bit of a hit.

Spanish has remained pretty stable, mainly because I still use it at work, and now I’m trying to use it more at home singing and just speaking in Spanish to my wife or baby at times. English is our primary language, and I’m under no illusion that I’m going to be able to raise a perfectly balanced bilingual child with beautiful Spanish… but my hope is that I gift her some Spanish understanding and ability. We’ll see how that goes. Didn’t do nearly as much reading as I thought I would. In fact, 100% of the reading I did do, was before she was born.

For Japanese and Mandarin, they both took a big hit, I didn’t even finish 1 chapter in my textbooks (I did almost 1 chapter in each, but didn’t quite finish the chapters). That has just been too difficult to maintain regularly. The Genki II I did keep up a bit, and those chapters are long with lots of exercises to go through. I got to japanesepod101 lesson 100. I’m also thinking about downloading the anki 2k/6k Japanese vocabulary deck to just start drilling myself with a bit of vocabulary each day, thinking maybe that will help me with my consistency. However I never really liked flash cards, so probably won’t do that. I prefer just occasionally logging on to Lingq, listening to podcasts, etc. I’ve also found a new podcast for simple Japanese called Nihongo con Teppei, haven’t listened to it yet (found it today). For Mandarin, I listen to chillchat, which is aimed at beginner Japanese, but I still pick up things and the hosts are pleasant to listen too. A bit too much English, but when I’m tired driving home after a day of work, it hits the spot.

Outside of that I still like EasyGerman podcast. Italian I listened to a lot of youtube videos from progetto happiness (or something like that, it was recommended by Italianoautomatico, and had videos of a visit to North Korea which was interested and got me onto the channel. Otherwise, having a baby and being tired and with odd sleeping schedule paradoxically helped my language dabbling (as in more of the non-focus languages got time). Doing Japanese or Mandarin takes some real energy, but listening to a bit of Latin or Dutch… much easier at this point (given prior experience with German and other Romance languages). Dutch and go is a new Dutch youtube channel I watched. Dutch being easier for me than Latin, given more prior study time with so I'm closer to an intermediate level, beginner Latin still.

March Hours:
Spanish: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Japanese: 6 hours, 25 minutes
Mandarin: 5 hours, 10 minutes
German: 5 hours, 0 minutes
Italian: 4 hours, 10 minutes
Dutch: 3 hours, 0 minutes
Russian: 1 hour, 45 minutes
French: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Latin: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Portuguese: 25 minutes

2021 Hour totals:
Japanese: 30 hours, 55 minutes
Mandarin: 29 hours, 0 minutes
Spanish: 25 hours, 5 minutes
Russian: 11 hours, 35 minutes
German: 10 hours, 15 minutes
Italian: 6 hours, 50 minutes
French: 6 hours, 10 minutes
Dutch: 6 hours, 5 minutes
Latin: 2 hour, 25 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 25 minutes
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