Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

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MattNeilsen
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby MattNeilsen » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:50 pm

Systematiker wrote:Hebrew
This was a surprise. I spent a lot of time with a couple of Hebrew speakers, and although I'm not good, they were patient and helpful. I got a ton of media recommendations as well.


If you get a moment, I'd love to hear about these media recommendations :) I've been compiling resources on the first post of my log for other Hebrew learners (particularly Modern Hebrew), but my list is fairly light on media recommendations. I'd be very grateful for anything you can share.

-Matt
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Hebrew
Pimsleur Level 2: 21 / 30
FSI : 3 / 40
Clozemaster 101-500 Most Common Words: 1600 / 4825
Srugim Season 3: 1 / 15
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Systematiker » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:38 pm

Somehow the entire month ran away from me - in part because I had some unexpected obligations, in part because the things I knew about made me busier than I thought I'd be.

@MattNeilsen, I've looked at your list of TV shows, and the only thing I remember that you don't already have is Mossad101, which is on US Netflix, and is pretty accessible language-wise.

@Xenops, don't tempt me, it'll end up coming back...

Of course, I didn't stick to my plan from the last post at all. I have a new rhythm, in which I do something daily in Korean, Hebrew, Persian, Russian, and Arabic (see below) and where the rest of my languages I'm pretty much just enjoying things without worrying too much about improvement. I've also moved my listing around to reflect this.

Hebrew
Pimsleur: 18 / 30 FSI: 1 / 40
LR Psalms First Pass: 27 / 150
Jenni: 8 / 30
In addition to some small progress on the bars, I've been watching some TV (hey, I get whole phrases and sometimes small dialogues!) and chatting with some friends who have been very excited about helping me out. I have been listening to some music, and the occasional recorded piece of talk, and understanding a good bit. As always, my production lags way behind my reception, but it's been that way for all my languages, so I'm not too worried. I've done a lot of textual work with the OT in recent weeks, and would like to start working through Ha-Yesod before too much longer, but we'll see.

Korean
Video: 25 / 200 TTMIK 2: 19 / 25
FSI: 1 / 19
That progress bar is off, but I'm not looking up and fixing it now. I can follow the plot of a familiar show without subtitles! And I can say an awful lot, more than I ever could - just enough to get myself in trouble, haha. Writing is still a dumpster fire, but hey, it'll come. Here again I have a very helpful friend, actually my best friend aside from my wife, who is a native, and he's awesome about helping me (it also helps that I taught him about half the English he knows, so he's never annoyed when I ask him for help with Korean). TTMIK fits well in the car or running, so most of my work is audio and speaking voice messages, so I'll have to transition to some written work before too long. Probably the NT, it's worked well before.

Persian
Pimsleur Farsi: 2 / 10 Pimselur Dari: 0 / 10
I'm back into Chai and Conversation, doing a lesson a day, after doing some to review. I'm tempted to sign up for their transcripts, but probably won't. I feel pretty good about doing this, and can probably keep up this pensum. I can't do Persian while I'm running, it takes too much focus, but I can do it when doing other workouts or in the car, so that's where I'm currently fitting it in. I've had no problems with the alphabet as of yet, and regular practice with it should ease my transition when it's time to do some book work.

Czech
CZ Pent: 9 / 70 Video: 2 / 200
This I've let fall by the wayside. I'm on the fence about abandoning it entirely.

Ukrainian
Here, I'm doing that Ukrainian podcast daily, and very often I'm understanding the whole dialogue prior to any explanations. I've also watched a few short video clips, and a documentary, with really good understanding of the sort of daily conversation that people have. I'm actually super proud of my progress here, especially for having done so little work. As with a couple of the above, running, workouts, and the car are good places for 15-20 minute sessions in my life right now.

Russian
MT Foundation: 8 / 8 MT Advanced: 5 / 5
Assimil: 60 / 90 Reading: 0 / 10000
RU NT: 25 / 90 Listening: 5 / 200
Yeah I haven't updated the progress bars - but I've enjoyed Хождение по мукам immensely as a miniseries, so much so that I've even bought the first of the books and want to struggle through it. I've been listening to a slow Russian podcast, and am doing well with TV and podcasts, but I'm aware that I'll need some solidifying of my grammar and some book work...when I get around to it. For now, I'm thrilled that I'm able to understand so much, and want to ride this wave as far as I can.

Arabic
Yes, Arabic again. I got talked into this one, by a friend who is in the beginner stages, and we're working on it together. Primarily focusing on the Levantine dialect. I'm using the resources I have access to already, and spending 15-20 minutes a day on it. He's going to shoot ahead of me, because he fluently speaks another Semitic language, but I may be able to keep up given that I've got a bit more experience learning various languages and have a sort of system that works for me. The biggest hurdle in the past, the alphabet, is less of a problem now, since I had to learn it for Persian, and my own prejudices against Arabic (mostly due to my previous experiences) are less of an issue, that is, I've got more motivation this time around than ever before.

French
FR Reading: 3756 / 10000 FR Listening: 99 / 200
Piddling around watching TV and reading, podcasts, progress bars not updated.

Portuguese
PT Reading: 875 / 10000 PT Listening: 25 / 200
Piddling around watching TV and reading, podcasts, progress bars not updated.

Catalan
CAT Reading: 245 / 10000 CAT Listening: 9 / 200
Piddling around watching TV and podcasts, progress bars not updated. I'd like to finish Merli, I enjoyed what I've seen so far.

Galego
I still will keep this as a heading until I finish the novel, but that's all I plan.

Swedish
SV Reading: 1289 / 10000 SV Listening: 37 / 200
FSI: 8 / 16
Read a bit, tried Bonusfamiljen (meh), still have my podcasts, I'm ok with this.


Danish
DK Reading: 130 / 10000 DK Listening: 8 / 200
Not much at all. Occasional podcast. I'm OK with that.

Latin
LAT Reading: 50 / 10000
Haven't had much time for Latin lately, going to remedy that as soon as I have a bit lighter schedule (so, the new year, probably)

Ancient Greek
GK Reading: 85 / 10000
Lots of work with Homeric and Koine, but not stuff I've tracked.

Swabian
Just chatting.

German
It won't be in this post because I'm still struggling to get it on my computer and then uploaded, but I'll eventually post my sermon from a few weeks ago. Otherwise, this is just the other language I live in.

Spanish
This is just pure enjoyment time. Watching TV here is a genuine break, like German or English, so I've got a couple series started (Casa de las Flores, Catedral del Mar, Tiempos de Guerra). Haven't been reading much, really because I've had a great deal of professional reading to do, and the bits of TL reading I've done have been in other languages.

Everything Else
Gaelic will probably come back, as will Basque, once I hit some milestones in my focus areas. I don't want to not. But I'm pretty much untempted by anything else at the moment.
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Expugnator » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:53 pm

Welcome back, Systematiker!

You seem to be focusing on the more opaque languages instead of the low-hanging fruits, but you might as well be able to pull some branches and place some fruits lower! That's the spirit.

I've always said "Arabic before Persian", "mother of the alphabet before any other languages from different language families that adopted the same writing system", but you seem not to be having any trouble coming from Persian to Arabic. I will have several years before I can make up my mind on that subject, though, as I'm doing Hebrew before Arabic and will start Hindi before Persian anyway, but I'll be following how it comes along for you.
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Systematiker » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:34 am

Expugnator wrote:Welcome back, Systematiker!

You seem to be focusing on the more opaque languages instead of the low-hanging fruits, but you might as well be able to pull some branches and place some fruits lower! That's the spirit.

I've always said "Arabic before Persian", "mother of the alphabet before any other languages from different language families that adopted the same writing system", but you seem not to be having any trouble coming from Persian to Arabic. I will have several years before I can make up my mind on that subject, though, as I'm doing Hebrew before Arabic and will start Hindi before Persian anyway, but I'll be following how it comes along for you.


Thanks!

Yeah, it does seem that I’ve picked the harder path. I actually just had a similar conversation - for a lot of my ~B2 languages, there’s seriously diminishing returns for putting more effort in at this juncture, so let’s chase the new and difficult stuff.

I think the real key with Persian and Arabic was that I’ve abandoned Arabic twice before, both times without fully getting the script down (because, as I’ve learned, my method doesn’t work with different scripts unless I put the time in to learn the script alongside the early stages), then, armed with this realization, I put the time in learning the script when beginning Persian. It was a question of experience, opportunity, and motivation. It’s making this start with Arabic much more comfortable, at least.

In semi-related Persian news, I listened to about an hour of some Afghani speakers today and wow, was it waaaaaaay harder to understand than the Iranians I’ve listened to up to now. I might have gotten 10 words the whole time. :?
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Systematiker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:26 pm

Prior to an unexpected more-often-than-weekly update, I was struck by something over at Expug's log (I often feel that Expug and I have a lot in common, whether he feels that way or not I don't know). He mentioned not knowing how to get an opaque language up to a solid B2, and I had the realization that, depending on how one defines opaque, and if one means B2 in all domains, I don't either.
German, Spanish, French, Latin, and all of the Romance and Germanic stuff I've "studied" leveraging them are all not opaque in the sense of having a different script, or wide differences in expression or grammar. They're all, with the exception of German, Cat I for an English-speaker. The only candidate I might have in there is Ancient Greek, which I can certainly read at about a B2, but I don't have the other domains (which is also mainly a function of having learned it primarily through the old-school grammar-translation method). Everything else, despite my progress and enjoyment and all, those things that are actually opaque, well, I'm not there yet. I've got a pretty good method for transparent languages. I think I have a decent path for these more opaque ones up to around B1 (if it holds true). Getting further though, I don't know either. Made me think.

Anyway,

I'm trying to set up a new plan that also includes some planned desk time for languages, something I don't normally do, but I can afford about four a week.


Hebrew
Pimsleur: 19 / 30 FSI: 1 / 40
LR Psalms First Pass: 27 / 150
Jenni: 7 / 30
Current plan: finish Pimsleur, leverage my native speaker friends, take another look at Assimil. If Assimil is still rough, or when I finish it, I'll do FSI properly, and then use that slot for Ha-Yesod or Assimil, (while hopefully by that point being able to supplement through TV and/or podcasts). I should be doing Jenni in parallell for Biblical Hebrew, we'll see how that goes. That will be 1/4 desk hours weekly, plus to get FSI done I'll need to use some time in the evenings or I'll have a lack of listenable stuff while I'm waiting.

Korean
Video: 25 / 200 TTMIK 2: 17 / 25
FSI: 1 / 19
As I wrap up the second TTMIK, I'm going to begin doing the FSI lessons. Maybe one per week, so that along with getting 4-5 TTMIK in per week should get me through a couple more levels of TTMIK and half of FSI by the end of the year. I can probably just continue that pensum until done with FSI. That's 2/4 weekly.

Persian
Pimsleur Farsi: 2 / 10 Pimselur Dari: 0 / 10
Having success reintroducing Chai and Conversation, though I find I need to listen to some episodes twice. Even at that rate, I should be done around the end of the year - but I'm going to start some book work in a couple weeks, perhaps with the book I've looked at before (and followed by an FSI or DLI, whatever's there), 3/4 hours. I don't seem to have access to the Dari version at present, but need to do the Farsi Pimsleur that I have. I think I can set my sights on some basic comfort in the language come late spring early summer, if my motivation continues as now.

Czech
CZ Pent: 9 / 70
I'm doing clozemaster again

Ukrainian
Video: 1 / 200
That Babadum game is in Ukrainian! That and a daily podcast, so far.

Russian
Assimil: 60 / 90 Reading: 0 / 10000
RU NT: 25 / 90 Listening: 20 / 200
Currently using the Slow Russian podcast, and will be reading the Ilya Frank, repeating at least 60 units of Assimil, and finishing the NT in the evenings. I ought to give it a desk-slot, but not until I get through those items.

Arabic
While I'm mostly doing app work at the moment, and can fit that in anywhere, I'd like to transition before too long to serious study, and give this the fourth hour.


French
FR Reading: 3756 / 10000 FR Listening: 99 / 200
Podcasts

Portuguese
PT Reading: 875 / 10000 PT Listening: 25 / 200
Nothing

Catalan
CAT Reading: 245 / 10000 CAT Listening: 9 / 200
nothing

Galego
Nothing

Swedish
SV Reading: 1289 / 10000 SV Listening: 37 / 200
FSI: 8 / 16
That FSI bar there is annoying me so much, I might just finish it out as audio...


Danish
DK Reading: 130 / 10000 DK Listening: 8 / 200
Podcasts this morning

Latin
LAT Reading: 50 / 10000
Nothing yet

Ancient Greek
GK Reading: 85 / 10000
Just sermon work

Swabian
Nothing

German
Normal life

Spanish
Nothing that stands out enough to remember it
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby MattNeilsen » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:13 pm

Systematiker wrote:Prior to an unexpected more-often-than-weekly update, I was struck by something over at Expug's log (I often feel that Expug and I have a lot in common, whether he feels that way or not I don't know). He mentioned not knowing how to get an opaque language up to a solid B2, and I had the realization that, depending on how one defines opaque, and if one means B2 in all domains, I don't either....

...Everything else, despite my progress and enjoyment and all, those things that are actually opaque, well, I'm not there yet. I've got a pretty good method for transparent languages. I think I have a decent path for these more opaque ones up to around B1 (if it holds true). Getting further though, I don't know either. Made me think.

Out of curiosity: would you agree that it's only because you (and Expugnator) are learning so many languages? I have to imagine that if you guys could focus on a single opaque language - for example, Hebrew - that you wouldn't have a problem breaking through the B2 barrier.

It seems reasonable to me that the "Dabbling Strategy" would be quite effective for related transparent languages since you're getting some crossover between study sessions. Additionally, it feels like it takes way less time to "warm-up" when dabbling in a transparent language. Personally, I feel like I can jump into Clozemaster Spanish and be rolling along almost instantaneously. For Hebrew, however, it takes me a couple rounds to re-orient my brain to RTL reading, foreign script, etc.

Would you agree with that, or am I off-base?
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Systematiker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:58 pm

MattNeilsen wrote:
Systematiker wrote:Prior to an unexpected more-often-than-weekly update, I was struck by something over at Expug's log (I often feel that Expug and I have a lot in common, whether he feels that way or not I don't know). He mentioned not knowing how to get an opaque language up to a solid B2, and I had the realization that, depending on how one defines opaque, and if one means B2 in all domains, I don't either....

...Everything else, despite my progress and enjoyment and all, those things that are actually opaque, well, I'm not there yet. I've got a pretty good method for transparent languages. I think I have a decent path for these more opaque ones up to around B1 (if it holds true). Getting further though, I don't know either. Made me think.

Out of curiosity: would you agree that it's only because you (and Expugnator) are learning so many languages? I have to imagine that if you guys could focus on a single opaque language - for example, Hebrew - that you wouldn't have a problem breaking through the B2 barrier.

It seems reasonable to me that the "Dabbling Strategy" would be quite effective for related transparent languages since you're getting some crossover between study sessions. Additionally, it feels like it takes way less time to "warm-up" when dabbling in a transparent language. Personally, I feel like I can jump into Clozemaster Spanish and be rolling along almost instantaneously. For Hebrew, however, it takes me a couple rounds to re-orient my brain to RTL reading, foreign script, etc.

Would you agree with that, or am I off-base?


Maybe. Some of it also is that after coming back to regular language learning, I initially focused on strengthening what I had decent abilities in (e.g. Spanish and French), and took a massive detour in to wanderlust and transparent languages after that. So the time dedicated wasn't really 1-1, in that I've not spent any appreciable "study" time in languages like Swedish, Danish, Portuguese, or Catalan (quite literally, I believe the only non-native stuff I did for Portuguese was a disc of Michel Thomas or so and maybe 7-10 Assimil lessons). So I think in that regard, had I "just focused" on e.g. Korean, I simply wouldn't have accomplished anything, as I only did what I did because I could fit so much of that type of activity in my life.

If we take out the transparent languages (since I'm not actively studying anyway) and ask, would I make more progress focusing on one opaque language now, I think the answer is the same, for different reasons. I don't often have the mental energy or the time available to do 30-minute chunks, and that's usually my upper limit on anything that doesn't count as relaxation. My new possibility of "desk hours" probably will be twice as many 30-minute sessions, to be honest. This is due to professional and personal demands on my time. I also have a tendency to be away from home with some regularity, sometimes for weeks at a time (and sometimes including ridiculously long days), so I've got to keep something of a schedule that survives that sort of fluctuation. All of which means if I were to do more than dabble, it would be an increase of the same format for a single language, which then would be overload rather than overlearning (think, for example, of doing two or three Pimsleur lessons a day, five days a week. Rather poorer returns, in my experience, than doing one daily for more weeks).

In a perfect world where the only factors were number of languages studied and available time, sure, I'd probably do better to focus on one. For my own situation, mental energy, and frankly mental health, I think not, because I'd either burn out or just stop (the latter being what I've done with Korean before when I try to put too much into it).

Which is a long way to say, "yeah, but I'm only learning so many languages simultaneously instead of sequentially because that's the only way I can do it, so the cause is deeper."
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Expugnator » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:39 pm

What Systematiker says applies largely to my situation as well. Except that I've begun to realize that this upper limit of 30 minutes applies for opaque languages only up to the A2 stage. I've tried studying Georgian at the really stage for over an hour desktop study and the results were clearly diminishing after 30 minutes. That's why I burned out when starting 4 languages from scratch at two textbooks for each. I actually progressed better when I inserted some transparent languages in the routine. Breaking through the B1 stage was still a struggle and this is why I start a new opaque language rather lightly nowadays.

The problem of going from B1 to B2 in such languages is that then it becomes too little. My second big mistake was dropping intensive activities altogether in favor of extensive-only, Super Challenge-like ones.

Mistake corrected and I could consolidate myself at the B1 stage for those languages, but I still had the gap caused by not enough intensive activities and/or output. I'm trying to remedy this through overlearning the early Clozemaster levels also for new languages such as Hebrew and Indonesian: I just won't let those gaps prevail again.

That seems a lot of circumventing to reach a goal. I could just drill FSI to death as my only textbook resource; but that's not me. Being able to detach the reviewing from the new content in my routine helps me keep my motivation high. New content comes first the day, and even if the reviewing (like the Clozemaster earlier levels) doesn't take place everyday, it's still enough to keep progress visible.

In spite of being learning languages full-time for over 6 years, it's only three years ago that I started to finally optimize my practices to avoid blind learning as before. I consider Estonian to be a good thermometer. I reached B1 with much less time and effort than the preceding Georgian, Norwegian, Russian and Mandarin, and I think now it's a matter of time for reaching a critical mass of vocabulary. Next step is taking care of output, which I can either work on by writing language islands and paragraphs or waiting till a B2 passive helps my way into B1 and B2 active, as it seems to be happening with Norwegian. Curiously enough, it's not hard to have active and passive skills progress evenly with an opaque language, as with transparent languages you take C-passive levels almost for granted but with opaque languages you're often impressed with how much you can say compared to how little you can understand.
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Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA, (C1); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (B2); GRC (B2); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (B1); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); HEB (?); GLG (?); ANG(?); UKR (?); CES(?); FAS (?); HAT (?). Next: SYC, CLD, ARA, ITA, ISL, SWA, AFR, RON, Siebenbürger Sächsisch.
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Re: Re-Inventing the System: Systematiker repeatedly changes his plans

Postby Systematiker » Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:24 pm

I'm not gone, but I won't post much for a bit.

A brief response to Expug - a difference between us is that I'm planning on using those small slots to drill FSI or DLI, as I know I can tolerate it, once I'm high A2 verging on B1. And I still see a lot of imbalance between receptive and active skills in opaque languages (though not as wide a gap as with transparent languages, of course).

Anyway, the Monday after Expug last posted, I got a phone call about a possibility, by Thursday it was a definite, and by last Wednesday I had been informed that I have less than two weeks to relocate, essentially leaving my current position and taking a new one. Needless to say, what language activity is happening is happening in very small sections of time. Once I do get relocated, my routine will be wildly different, so I don't even know what I'll be doing, though I don't intend on dropping anything (I just may have to slow some stuff down or make other choices with maintenance).

I probably won't post for a while, and it may be a long while - but I know the curiosity and concern that comes when a forum member suddenly stops posting, so I thought I should say something. I'll be back when I can and have balance. I may or may not be able to read the forum some like on my phone, so the very short sort of responses that can happen on mobile might happen without being a "return" to regular logging.
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