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

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
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: My language log

Postby David27 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:13 am

dicentra8 wrote:
David27 wrote:finished A past season of Terrace House (Japanese), so I’m now ready to move on to the new season.

Question from someone who clearly hasn't properly followed Terrace House: is it the 2019-2020 one? I also started watching it a few days ago! :lol: Going to episode 10. I won't spoil. :P
Since I got pulled into watching it again, I might try to finish the Opening New Doors. I started watching the first episodes but never finished it.


I saw Opening New Doors last year, I watched the old Tokyo one (I think they called it Boys and Girls in the city) and next I’ll watch the new Tokyo one after a I take a brief Terrace House break. It’s good because my wife likes it, and we can turn on an episode while we have dinner now and again for me to get some Japanese practice while relaxing and spending time with my wife and talk about it. It’s very light and easy to watch at the end of a day to wind down, so that’s why I’ve enjoyed it and stuck with it.
2 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:38 pm

Rosetta Stone releases a buy 6 months get 6 months free. I’ve never used it and thought it wasn’t for me, but never gave it a fair shakedown. In order to use it, I feel like I would need to pick a language that I’m beginner in or false beginner. I’m too advanced in Mandarin and Japanese to start a course. Arabic I feel is too difficult a language and I’m not going to spend enough time to go into it for Arabic, my Dutch is too advanced (went through teach yourself, now able to work through news articles or forum posts in Dutch, even though my speaking is poor).

That leaves (if I decide I want to do it and experiment with Rosetta Stone), either Polish, which I’m a false beginner, have studied a bit with Pimsleur Polish 1 and about 20 Assimil lessons, can count and know basic verb conjugation, but when listening to a Polish YouTube video or try to read Polish articles I can’t understand, so that is an option.

Otherwise I could start a new language (I would pick Swedish) that wouldn’t be too difficult, to get a picture of what Rosetta Stone is like. Or I could save my money and time and do none... but I feel like in America so many people (who don’t learn languages) assume Rosetta Stone is so great due to their aggressive advertising in years past, that I should have a fair and honest opinion of it when recommending things to people who ask me.


I’ll think it over. I have until January 26 to decide between Rosetta Stone Polish and Swedish for the discount. Any input or opinions from the crowd
3 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Sat Feb 01, 2020 4:42 am

I was tempted to jump into that Rosetta Stone offer... but in the end, I would rather study Polish with the old French Assimil course that when I'm going to spend time on Polish. I just know I prefer a textbook and Assimil method rather Rosetta Stone from what I've seen, plus I don't love spending a lot of time language learning in front of a computer screen (I do it, but I tend to be much more distracted when I do - for instance on LingQ or Japanesepod101 transcript lessons). So I usually do only 5-15 minutes chunks of computer study at a time when I do this.

I'm pleased to say that I managed to hit my goal of averaging 30 minutes a day in Mandarin and Japanese. This boost of 50% more time this month is paying dividends, as I see myself making a bit more progress with vocabulary, kanji, and stronger momentum (as expected with more time). With the extra time I'm doing a bit more reading and sit down book study everyday on top of the usual ~15-20 minutes of audio a day (variable, but that's roughly how I split the time up).

I'm also listening to plenty of Russian news (эхо москвы), and also listening to the audio book Азазель by Акунин (The first of the Erast Petrovich Fandorin detective series).

Other language related activities for me include watching Dark in German on Netflix (I believe I finished season one when I last left off a week ago). I also decided to try to do an hour a month in Dutch, Polish, Bengali, and Arabic, as these are the languages I'm studying but less intensively. I'll be honest though, I needed to do a 5-15 minutes session in Dutch, Polish, and Bengali just to get to that 1 hour, so I'm not nearly as serious about them, even though I do have fun when I do find time to squeeze in a short session. In Arabic, mostly with a 30 minute Pimsleur lesson per weekend this month, and a tiny bit of basic reading vocabulary in the Arabic script to work on it (I still find it vary difficult to read the writing, even though I know the letters now. I'm just so slow at reading and sounding things out, and still make basic mistakes mixing certain letters up). In Bengali I just started working on the alphabet (using the Colloquial textbook - accounting for about 20 minutes this month, and only learned the vowels and a few consonants), but outside of that using Romanized online course for grammar and vocabulary for now. Polish I'm doing Assimil lessons here and there, and Dutch I'm reviewing old lessons of the Teach Yourself course I had gone through before to pick up more vocabulary better, and doing some LingQ lessons. For these languages, I just do 5-10 minutes every now and then, but it's enough to keep me happy and keep things diverse.

January hours:
Japanese: 17 hours, 5 minutes
Mandarin: 15 hours, 30 minutes
Russian: 8 hours, 5 minutes
German: 5 hours, 0 minutes
Arabic: 2 hours, 40 minutes
Portuguese: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Spanish: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Italian: 1 hour, 30 minutes
French: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Polish: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Dutch: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Bengali: 1 hour, 0 minutes
6 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:25 am

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c3SA8ZmaBDo

Good YouTube channel for Mandarin - I think best suited for people who have a basic understanding of the language and a decent vocabulary built up, but still not comfortable enough to be an “intermediate” level, and still can’t understand native materials (like me). They have videos on a wide range of topics.
3 x

User avatar
cjareck
Blue Belt
Posts: 926
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: Poland
Languages: Polish (N) English, German, Russian(B1?) French (B1?), Hebrew(B1?), Arabic(A2?), Mandarin (HSK 2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8589
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Contact:

Re: My language log

Postby cjareck » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:34 am

David27 wrote:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=c3SA8ZmaBDo
Good YouTube channel for Mandarin .

I'm also impressed by the channel, but it is above my current level, and I don't have enough time to push my Mandarin forward. But I watched a few basic videos, and they were extremely helpful!
0 x
Please feel free to correct me in any language


Listening: 1+ (83% content, 90% linguistic)
Reading: 1 (83% content, 90% linguistic)


MSA DLI : 18 / 141ESKK : 8 / 40


Mandarin Assimil : 36 / 105

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: My language log

Postby David27 » Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:41 am

My birthday is coming up, and my wife asked if there Was anything I wanted. I happened to be on this website reading the Catalan resources section and so I suggested Assimil Catalan course, but she shot that straight down and told me not to be ridiculous :lol:

I am planning on branching out for my birthday dinner, and go visit Brighton Beach which is the Russian center of New York. I’m planing on going to a Ukrainian restaurant there and visit their book store and grocery store. I haven’t been in awhile, but always enjoy visiting. It’s difficult to go too often with the over an hour one-way transit with public transportation. So I go once or twice a year.

I also want to go to Flushing Queens (I’ve never been), which is the largest Chinatown in NYC. I have a coworker who lives there, so we’re going to plan a work dinner at a Chinese restaurant at some point in Flushing. I’m starting to make more of a conscious effort to get out and explore other areas of the city. The ‘foreign’ neighborhood I visit the most as of late is Koreatown. .. and I speak no Korean. I’ll pop in book stores once in awhile and look at materials, but with how big of a project Japanese and Mandarib have been, taking on Korean doesn’t interest me in the slightest at this time.
5 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:06 am

February was busy, but I pushed to get the average 30 minutes a day in Mandarin and Japanese, and am seeing more progress in these 2 months than I had in previous years when I wasn't making a concerted effort to 30 minutes a day. I also hit the 1 hour minimum mark in my other languages except in Italian (cavolo!).

For my birthday, I went to visit Brighton Beach to see friends who live there. One of my friends is a Russian born American, who studied Russian in Moscow to strengthen his Russian and now is living in Brighton beach and works in Manhattan. He met his wife in a Russian study abroad program in Moscow, she's an American that was learning Russian due to interest from figure skating, and inspired by Russian skating coaches. Brighton is incredible in that it is the only section of NYC that has a most common language that isn't English or Spanish: https://www.businessinsider.com/new-yor ... -english-1. Speaking with my friend he says the Russian community will live on there for awhile, because while the last generation of large numbers of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants are getting older and all their children are moving out to other areas, new waves of Belorussians and Uzbek are moving into the area keeping it very Russian, and able to support Russian radio.  I went with my wife who doesn't speak Russian, so while there was some Russian interactions in Russian, people do speak English and hearing me speak with my wife, they would change back and forth and it would end up being a mix of sometimes Russian sometimes English. When having dinner with my friends we spoke English so all can participate, but ordered and spoke to the waitress in Russian. Here is an account in Russian:

Был мой 31-ого день рождения окола недели назад, и я хотел посетить Брайтон здесь в Нью-Йорке, потому что там живет самое большое население русскоговорящих в США. Там все магазины, рестараны, продукты... все руссие! это просто потрясающий русский мир здесь в США. Но к сожалению это не так просто там попасть, это 90 минут на метро (было бы только 20 минут на машине). Поэтому редко там езжу, может быть раз/два в году туда езжу. Когда приехали, я во первых пошел в русскокнижний магазин, но все было слишком дорого и ничего там не пробудило мой интерес. Вообще магазин мне казолось китч... как туристический магазин больше чем настоящий книжний магазин. Полсе этого шли в супермаркет и купили вкусную пахлаву в булочной. Там исползовал слова и выражения которые я почти забыл как например "взять с собой или на место"... Потом мы шли в грузинский ресторан. Там очень хорошо наелись. Было первыр раз в моей жизни когда я ел грузинксую кухню. Официанты все говорили по русски с клиентами, но между ними говорили по грузинкси! Я чуствовал силное жилание в этом моменте изучать грузинский... но пока я слишком занят для этого. Ели хачапури, хинкали, баклажан, и пил гузинское вино. Все очень вкусное!

That's enough typing in Russian for now. I hope to spend more time getting out and visiting other neighborhoods that NYC has to offer. Next big visit for me will eventually be a Saturday in Flushing Queens for good Chinese food and visit maybe some Chinese marketplace.

February Hours:
Mandarin: 14 hours, 30 minutes
Japanese: 14 hours, 30 minutes
Russian: 9 hours, 45 minutes
German: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Arabic 2 hours, 35 minutes
Spanish: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Dutch: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 10 minutes
French: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Polish: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Bengali: 1 hour, 0 minutes
Italian: 50 minutes

2020 Running hours:
Japanese: 31 hours, 35 minutes
Mandarin: 30 hours, 0 minutes
Russian: 17 hours, 50 minutes
German: 8 hours, 25 minutes
Arabic: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Spanish: 4 hours, 55 minutes
Portuguese: 3 hours, 40 minutes
Italian: 2 hours, 20 minutes
French: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Dutch: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Polish: 2 hours, 0 minutes
Bengali: 2 hours, 0 minutes
5 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:22 pm

I like Dogen’s videos. I think this one in particular is funny, the “I’m an expert and this language is easy phase”. I must say I am guilty of falling into that mindset sometimes, hopefully I never am being an arrogant jerk while there though

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eEZwVdMmBg4
2 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:30 am

What a month. I won't dive into coronavirus here, but it's had such a drastic effect on society, that even though I think I had more time that I could have devoted to language study, I spent a lot of it listening to medical podcasts, tracking the hotspots, reading about other countries experiences, and then adjusting my work and job in response to living and working in New York. At first the extra stress did take a toll, but then after about a week I re-balanced and have got a good schedule back. Language study also helps me de-stress... it's a quiet time for me to focus on learning, enjoying whatever activity it is (studying a language book, reading, watching a tv show or listening to a podcast...). So I'm back into it, but I had trimmed down to keep my focus and pace in Japanese, Mandarin, and Russian, at the expense of others.

For Mandarin, it feels great to again feel that I'm making real progress. For several years I had been busy, not focused on Mandarin, and I had learned very little. It was almost as if the study I was doing was just maintaining the low level I had, and the gains I was making was at a snails pace. Now, increasing to 30 minutes a day I am learning more characters and vocabulary much quicker.

For Japanese, it's still my favorite language to study, and the easiest to sink time into. I like the rhythm, the grammar, how much the social structure is built into the language, and I love learning more about Japan and its history. It also helps that there are so many good resources and tons of readily available Japanese media that are enjoyable to watch or go through. I actually am intentionally slowing myself to force myself to do Mandarin and more Russian. I could easily just go full Japanese, however I have no pressing need to speak Japanese fluently, and I still love Russian and Mandarin, and both of them are more practical for my day to day life. Despite how much I'm enjoying Japanese, I have hit a phase of being turned off by aspects of Japanese culture. This isn't unique to Japanese, I am an American and even though I like a lot of American culture, there are definite downsides and aspects of it that I dislike. The same is true with any culture (in my opinion), a lot of it is just coming out with some of the Japanese media I have stumbled across recently.

Lastly, while I completely cut out Arabic last month, I am re-incorporating a bit of its study this month. I also want to specify that all my Arabic study has been basic familiarizing with the alphabet and sounding out words, and listening to Pimsleur's Levantine Arabic, so I'm not studying MSA yet, although I do have an old Assimil Arabic that teaches MSA and another old grammar course for MSA. Originally when I got Pimsleur's Eastern Arabic course, I did so because it had the most material available on Pimsleur, and my interest is more in the middle East than North Africa, so it makes the most sense to try to learn Levantine/Eastern Arabic. Though at the time when I got this (years ago... possibly 2013?) I was more ignorant about Arabic, and didn't think there would be dialectal variation to the point where you could really call them separate languages. Maybe I should have focused only on MSA?? But in any case, I started down this road, I'll make Levantine Arabic the dialect that I focus on, but also try to learn MSA to understand newspapers and more formal writing and news media (which I assume will be the majority of my Arabic exposure in my life). 

March hours:
Japanese: 15 hours, 30 minutes
Mandarin: 15 hours, 10 minutes
Russian: 11 hours, 40 minutes
Spanish: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Italian: 1 hour, 15 minutes
German, 1 hour, 0 minutes
French: 15 minutes
Polish: 10 minutes
Bengali: 5 minutes

(as you can see, just one very brief session for French, Polish, and Bengali. No time on Dutch or Arabic)

2020 Running total:
Japanese: 47 hours, 5 minutes
Mandarin: 45 hours, 10 minutes
Russian: 29 hours, 30 minutes
German: 9 hours, 25 minutes
Spanish: 7 hours, 20 minutes
Levantine Arabic: 5 hours, 15 minutes
Portuguese: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Italian: 3 hours, 35 minutes
French: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Dutch: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Polish: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Bengali: 2 hours, 5 minutes
5 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: My language log

Postby David27 » Fri May 01, 2020 3:12 am

I’m tired, so likely to ramble… you’ve been warned.

This month one of the biggest motivators I had in my language study is Matt vs. Japan. I have seen videos of his and his MIA method before, so I was aware of him in general, but had thought his videos too long. However, I watched his interview with Dogen, and now that I have a lower intermediate level of understanding in Japanese, I can recognize talent, and he and Dogen are simply amazing at Japanese: more authentic than any other Japanese learner or polyglot that I’ve seen. They both have poured thousands and thousands of hours into Japanese culture and language, but what truly sets them apart is their study of pitch accent, which is largely ignored by the vast majority of learners, but they have both avidly studied and worked on their craft to take it to the next level. This hunger for self-improvement and perfectionism I think can be harmful in some ways, as there are major diminishing returns on your time investment the more you try to reach mastery of a foreign language, and as I will likely not live in a foreign country long term at any point, how wise is it to spend my time pursuing that goal? Therefore it makes logical sense for me to not kill myself to strive for those levels… and yet I am in awe of their abilities and at the same time would love to achieve that (game recognizes game). For some reason, instead of motivating me to go MIA method and dive into more Japanese immersion… it actually made me want to dive into more Russian reading and podcasts, I also rewatched 3 Russian movies (Брат, Операция ы, and Джентльмены удачи). My Russian is an example of a language that’s B2 level, that Russians consider me good for a foreigner (I’m often asked if I’m Polish which I take as a major compliment when it occurs, because at least its a guess in the Slavic tree), but I still find myself not understanding Russian in occasional situations, having to look up words when reading, and clumsily having to wrack my brain to find a certain word or explain around a word at times. I would love to smooth that out, continue to improve my vocabulary, and then work on accent training. I was also able to do this without sacrificing my usual pace of Mandarin and Japanese that I held over the last months.

In line with Matt’s MIA methods I downloaded Anki (honestly I’ve never used it before), and started making cards for Russian words I didn’t know and came across in my reading or listening, but unfortunately my desktop got the blue screen of death and I lost it. I usually instead of Anki or computer flash cards, I use journals and make lists, I feel the act of writing them down helps me, and especially if I write the word and definition all in the target language.

Earlier this month I went on a mini-Dutch binge. I was feeling stressed with work/life, and to destress I was reading about and going back and forth between wanting to dabble in some Norwegian or Swedish… and then decided really I want to get my Dutch up before ever dabbling in another Germanic language. I finished watching Ares on Netflix, which I didn’t find too great of a show, but episodes were ~25 minutes and only 8 episodes long in total… plus I’ve never seen a Dutch show before so might as well take advantage. I also finished watching Season 2 of Dark in German on Netflix. My next German show will be season 3 of Babylon Berlin. Lastly as far as shows go, I’m still watching Terrace House, watching Full Metal Alchemist, and watch Ainori Love Wagon in Japanese. No current Spanish, French, Italian, or Mandarin shows that catch my interest. In Spanish I know Casa de Papel is popular, but I watched 3 episodes last year and then gave it up. For Portuguese I did watch a few episodes of the circle Brasil in March, but didn’t get hooked.

April Hours
Mandarin: 16 hours, 10 minutes
Russian: 16 hours, 0 minutes
Japanese: 15 hours, 20 minutes
German: 4 hours, 15 minutes
Spanish: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Dutch: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Italian: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Portuguese: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Levantine Arabic: 1 hour, 0 minutes
French: 30 minutes
Polish: 15 minutes

2020 Running total:
Japanese: 62 hours, 25 minutes
Mandarin: 61 hours, 20 minutes
Russian: 44 hours, 50 minutes
German: 13 hours, 40 minutes
Spanish: 10 hours, 5 minutes
Portuguese: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Arabic: 6 hours, 15 minutes
Italian: 5 hours, 0 minutes
French: 3 hours, 0 minutes
Dutch: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Polish: 2 hours, 25 minutes
Bengali: 2 hours, 5 minutes
7 x


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