Persistence is Key (EN/DE)

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
hedgehog.chess
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Persistence is Key (EN/DE)

Postby hedgehog.chess » Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:24 pm

List of resources 2018 (DE/EN)
List of contemporary German speaking book authors
2018 log
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For quite some time now I've been hesitating with starting a learning log here. I finally decided to give it a go, since I don't have anything to lose anyway.
So here it is.My log.
Something about my adventure with language learning.

English

Formally, I had to attend to almost 10 years of lessons in school. It would probably add up to hundreds of hours of "learning", that in reality gave me almost nothing. The most progress I made was connected with watching cartoons when I was 9-10 years old and later watching chess videos and DVD's, all this in English of course. My honest guess would be that I was at B2 level somewhere along the way.But within the years I didn't have much opportunities to speak. My only contact was reading articles and watching quite a few TV series. Ah, and all the papers that I had to read for my master thesis in organic chemistry were also in English. I'd be really curious to find out my current level. My main weaknesses are wrong tense usage and too narrow active volabulary.

German

That was my nightmare in high school. I barely graduated because of it. I didn't understand anything. After 7 years it came back as I have obligatory German lessons at work. And I started to bit by bit understand how the language works. With time these lessons weren't enough for my and I started to learn on my own. That's how I discovered Anki and SRS. Then I signed up for one Internet course that, after finishing it, I'm quite fond of it, as it explained grammar in a quite understandable way. Seeking ways to improve I dicided to give " Glossika" a try. I made the mistake of following in too religiously, namely doing it only when I had the opportunity to speak along with the recordings. The result of that( and couple of personal issues) is that that I hope to finish the "5-month relaxed course" (I started it in April) by the end of the year. As I'm reaching the end I was seeking ways how to continue my journey. That is what my log will be about for some time. I would like to reach a level that would enable me to put thhis language in maintence mode. I think that would correspond to B2.I hope to reach this level in listening/reading and hopefully writing by October 2018. Speaking will be much harder. Dialang test October 2018


Russian

I've wanted to start learning it since about 5 years. I have some old chess books sitting there on my shelf waiting to be read. I hope that someday their patientce will be rewarded.

Ok, so a quick plan, as my post is getting too long. Languages in the order of priority:

German:
Finish Glossika DONE 18th December 2017 LINK
Find out what my current level is by doing placement tests by Lancaster University. I hope for low/intermediate B1 level score. DONE 12th December 2017 LINK
Go to native materials- mostly books and audiobooks. I plan to do this in a mixed L-R/Superchallenge/Antimoon style. I will read a book in L1 while listening to L2. Next I will pick up the most interesting sentences and put it in Anki for review, but only in L2. And the Superchallege part of it: 150 250 hours of listening and 2500 pages of reading by October November 2018. I will see how will it go and adjust accordingly. But the input part is there to stay. Input, input, input.

English:
Find out what my current level is by doing placement tests by Lancaster University. DONE 13th December 2017 LINK
After October do a mini-superchallenge(so it won't by that super) in English.
Fix some grammar issues, mostly connected with wrong tense usage.
I would like to reach B2 level here too. After doing a placement test it seems I'm already there.

Russian:
More distant future.

I don't really know how often will I update this log. In fact I didn't think much about it. I just hope this will give me motivation to work in a systematic manner.

Suggestions, corrections, loose thoughts are all welcome.
Last edited by hedgehog.chess on Sun Dec 30, 2018 8:26 am, edited 15 times in total.
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby Xenops » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:14 pm

Welcome to the forum! :D Your plans sound reasonable to me. Is reaching a B2 in German a requirement of work, or something that you want to work towards?
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby iguanamon » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:17 pm

Welcome to the forum, hedgehog.chess! Your English writing is quite good and seems to me to be above B2. It shouldn't take you long to work out your tense issues.
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby DaveBee » Sat Dec 02, 2017 7:33 pm

One thing I noticed in my learn french journey was that a chess-bishop was a 'fou' in french, a madman.

Looking at the french ruleset I see that a rook, is a 'tour', a tower, which seems fine, but castling is 'le roque'.
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hedgehog.chess
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby hedgehog.chess » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:41 pm

Xenops wrote:Welcome to the forum! :D Your plans sound reasonable to me. Is reaching a B2 in German a requirement of work, or something that you want to work towards?


That's my personal goal. To be honest the German lessons at my work are somewhat curious. The lessons are mandatory, but it makes no difference if you score 10 or 90% on tests. I would say the teacher is the real winner here. No pressure on him to really teach. Most students after 2 years are on low A2 level. But if I start doing something, I want to do it properly. That's why I started learning on my own about a year ago.

iguanamon wrote:Welcome to the forum, hedgehog.chess! Your English writing is quite good and seems to me to be above B2. It shouldn't take you long to work out your tense issues.

Thank you for your kind words! I really liked you post on the "multi-track" approach. I used it with English without even knowing it. And I would have been in a much better position now with my German if I would have followed it, this time consciously. I will try to make up for that now.

DaveBee wrote:One thing I noticed in my learn french journey was that a chess-bishop was a 'fou' in french, a madman.

Looking at the french ruleset I see that a rook, is a 'tour', a tower, which seems fine, but castling is 'le roque'.

Yes, it's a funny thing with naming chess pieces in different languages. The bishops are called runnners in both German and Polish, but elephants(?) in Russian.
Last edited by hedgehog.chess on Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby tarvos » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:46 pm

Castling has a variation of the "roque" name in many countries. In Dutch it's "rokeren" and the bishop is a "loper" (walker or runner).

Yes, Russian bishops are termed elephants.
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:14 pm

tarvos wrote:Castling has a variation of the "roque" name in many countries. In Dutch it's "rokeren" and the bishop is a "loper" (walker or runner).


In Swedish it's "rockera" for the verb (or "rockad" for the noun) and "löpare". Similar enough.
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hedgehog.chess
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby hedgehog.chess » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:25 pm

I'm closing in on finishing Glossika (10 more workdays to go). I will probably finish it in about 2 weeks. I'm also finishing one deck of cards, and I'm in the middle of doing another one(1040 cards). I'm very fond of it as it teaches useful and quite nice, maybe even fancy, expressions (from the top of my head: in Irrtum sein instead of sich irren; etwas in Kauf nehmen; Vertrauen erwecken etc.) all with sample sentences.
I also listened to "Gwendys Wunschkasten" by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar. The story in itself was nothing special and not so long (2 hours 27 minutes).
But it was the first book for native adults that I listened to, without knowing beforehand anything about the plot. And the experience was more pleasant than expected. I managed to follow the main plot, but missing of course a lot of unknown words. I would estimate my level of comprehension at 60-70%. Not a bad start at all. And it felt really good and that's all that matters.
A question to Superchallenge participants: Does the time spend on listening to an audiobook while commuting counts or it has to be a more focused effort?
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hedgehog.chess
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby hedgehog.chess » Wed Dec 13, 2017 3:04 am

I finally took the DIALANG placement tests and here are the results:

German:
Listening B2
Vocabulary B2
Structures B1
Reading B1
Writing B1

To be honest the listening and vocabulary parts should also be rated as B1, as I was sometimes totally lost and had problems with too many unknown words. Luckily, I just happened to understand the parts of texts that contained the answers to the given question.

English:
Listening C2
Vocabulary C2
Structures B2
Reading B2
Writing C1

I was really shocked when I saw the results.But I take them with a pinch of salt. C2 is taking it way to far. Based on the overall results I would give myself a fair B2.

Now I can clearly see the difference between B1 and B2. When I took the English test i felt at ease most of the time, even when I encountred unknown words. I knew what all the given texts were about and could just deduce the parts I didn't fully understand. I think that's show the power of input as I haven't really study the language for about 5 years. All I did was just reading some articles and watching TV series.

The story was totally different with German. Sometimes I just knew the general plot and not much than that. The amount of uncertainty was enourmous. I felt as if someone was throwing unknown words at me and I had nowhere to hide.

Conclusion: I want my German to reach the level at least close to my English of today. As for English I'm now in need of a realistic goal... But I have nothing to complain about:)

EDIT: I just noticed that there's a thread discussing dialang validity: LINK. So maybe there's nothing to be excited about :)
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hedgehog.chess
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Re: A chessplayer learns languages

Postby hedgehog.chess » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:32 am

Still at an initial phase of using native materials. For a couple of days I've listened to 2 nice audiobooks I that I really enjoyed. They are meant for children, but who said that adults have to always read/listen serious books about the meaning of life etc. Sometimes it just nice to relax and dive into something less demanding.

1) Warten auf Weihnachten: 24 Geschichten bis zum Heiligabend (4 hours and 24 minutes)
A little set of 24 short-stories about Christmas. Even if I didn't fully understand the stories (50-60% rather) the parts that I did put a smile on my face. There were quite a few very funny and yet true sentences. And the adorable naivety of the children in the stories is really disarming(in a positive way of course).

2)Der satanarchäolügenialkohöllische Wunschpunsch or shorter Der Wunschpunsch by Michael Ende(3 hours and 11 minutes)
Extra points just for the title. A story about a nasty wizard called Beelzebub Irrwitzer, his witch aunt, a cat who wants to be the best singer in the world and a grumpy raven. Fine mix of absurd, humor and alcohol :) I will probably read the story later, to catch up with what i missed while listening.

I wholly recommend both if you're in a bad mood.
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