rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

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rfnsoares
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Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:58 pm

Not much to report since my last update... It has been one month already! :shock:

RU: My Russian studies has been taking most of the time that I usually dedicate to languages. Yes, it is becoming pretty serious. My reading skills have improved a lot once I just finished my third book in Russian. I will start the fouth one this evening, i.e., Harry Potter III (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). I decided to stick with the series. I believe this might be helpful to learn vocab easier. One thing that I have been neglecting lately was vocab review. I have been too lazy to do it systematically. So, in short, I am quite happy with my results, but, on the other hand, I still feel that I am too far from my goals, which are reading novels fluently and having every-day-life conversations. The first goal is my priority at the moment.

EN: Not much done. It has been one month since my last update, but last weekend I read Vyi by Gogol. It was the first time that I read it in English. I have read it in my native language a few years back. The reading was easy and quick. It is a short story. Maybe I felt like reading this story again because I watched the trailer of the new movie "Vyi" that came up in April in Russia.

ES, IT, FR: Almost nothing actually. I was reading an article a day at least, but now I have been skinping days. :?

RO: I was reviewing some grammar points, but lately I completely dropped.

That's all for today and I hope I become more active updating my log frequently. :)
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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Sun May 06, 2018 11:42 pm

It is time for a new update. Lately I have been working on only two languages. That's never happened! :lol:

EN: I decided to improve my listening skills. To do that, I have been watching tv shows on Netflix (without subtitles). In order to pick up slangs and colloquialism I am watching old sitcoms now, like that '70s Show, Friends, etc. Unfortunately, the Brazilian Netflix does not "provide" Seinfield (I do not know the correct word). I would love to rewatch it. My level of compreheension is pretty high, I only miss a couple of words each episode. Besides I have learnt new words, like "snazzy" :lol:. Probably I will neve use it. Also I have been paying attention to phrasal verbs while watching the shows. I miss reading books in English. This year I only read a short story and one book. I just have to decide what to read. Maybe some new book by Stephen King or The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. I would like to read something written by Charles Dickens. So far I only read A Christmas Carol. :oops: . I also would like to continue with my Agatha Christie's books project. Yes, so many projects and so little time! :lol:

RU: Well, I know why I am not reading much in English or in any other language! Because I continue reading the Harry Potter series. Right now, I am half through the thirth book. My vocabulary and reading speed have improved a lot. I am starting having fun with the books. Soon I hope to read the classics. Recently I discovered an amazing "plataform" to learning Russian and it is called Instagram. :lol: ... It is so much fun! I started using Instagram after reading an article in a newspaper about a person who post sentences and words on mistakes that even native speakers made, it is "great_russian". After that, it has turned out a snow ball, because I started following other people. One thing that I noticed reading posts on Instagram is that Russians tend to apply many more words in English (of course written in the Cyrillic alphabet) when compared to Brazilians. I might be wrong, but it is only a fact that I came to notice. And to finish this update, I watch a movie in Russian: Дурак (2014). My level of comprehension was not high, but I could follow the plot. Highly recommended.
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100 Russian novels : 19 / 100

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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Wed May 23, 2018 10:02 pm

I haven't been reporting much lately, because I don't have much to say actually.

EN: Right now I'm reading a book, Strange Weather by Joe Hill. It's a collection of four horror stories. I'm in the middle of the second short story and so far the book hasn't been so good, which makes the reading much slower. Last week I took an Italki class with a new teacher. It was so great! The main topic of our class was tourism. I chose an article and she chose another one. During the class we discussed both articles and exchanged our point of view. The article I chose was about the pros and cons of the tourism and the article the teacher chose was about tourism in Antarctica. She also prepared some idioms regarding the topic, which I found really great and she sent me a document with many questions on tourism and travelling, that I'm thinking of using them as prompts to practice my writing skills. Later she sent me a file with her feedback. I'm trying to book another lesson, but apparently she has reduced the schedule, which not suited me. Well, I'll keep on trying.

RU: For those who are familiarized with gym's vocabulary I think I'm with all symptoms of overtraining. :lol: I finished last week the third book of Harry Potter's series and immediately started the fourth one. I'm already 10% through the book and I can't take it any more reading. I feel that I'm not advancing, improving. I'm facing difficulties to concentrate on the reading. Besides I'm easily forgetting vocabulary, including vocabulary that was already consolidated. I believe I need a few days taking it slow. Maybe it is time to practice my output. I will consider it as an option. ;)

ES: On the other hand, I've been reading some articles in the El Pais on-line. And I'm feeling an itch to read a book in Spanish. 8-)

Well, as I said, not much to report. :(
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100 Russian novels : 19 / 100

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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:56 pm

Well, it's time for another update.

I continue reading the fourth of Harry Potter Series and looking up for new words, but I had to change my approach. I was getting overwhelmed and that was hindering my progress. So I made some ajustments. Now I'm reading about 25-35 pages a day. Of course it will depend on the day, but I limited the amount of words that I was reviewing up to 30 a day. I often look up much more than that, maybe about 60-70 new words, but, now, I'm only reviewing up to 30 words along the day. And it's working, I guess :D . I've noticed improvement both in the reading speed and in the retention of new words.

As for my other Romance languages, I've been reading newspapers in Spanish. :)
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100 Russian novels : 19 / 100

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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:34 pm

Long time I didn’t update my log. I haven’t given up on it. Since my last post I’ve read a few books in my target languages and in uncountable newspaper and Wikipedia articles. Mostly I’ve been working on Russian, English and French. In the past 3-4 months nevertheless I’ve have been working on my Greek, which has been neglected this year.

EN: I read 4 books in English since my last update: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, The Outsider by Stephen King and yesterday I finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. Of course I watched my favorite tv shows and Youtube videos. As for my active skills, I only participated in a couple of threads on the forum. No speaking. Anyways, that’s the way I practice my English.

RU: I have improved a lot in Russian! Well, I mean, my reading and listening skills have improved a lot and I’m already making plans for the next year. So far I managed to read 8 books in Russian, but 6 of them were the first six of the HP series. I do not know whether I could handle to read the last one. I simply can’t take it anymore. It’s becoming boring already. So I decided to read my first classic. I wasn’t sure which book I should read. I made a list of three: Anna Karenina (about 900 pages), the Death of Ivan Ilych (about 90 pages) and The Landlady (about 120 pages). The first two were written by Leo Tolstoy and the last one by Dostoyevsky. I conducted a little experiment in order to assess whether I could handle a reading from the XIX century: I read the first 3 pages of each book and I randomly selected a page. Well, to be honest, it took me the same effort that took me to read Harry Potter. Ok, it’s only a small sample. I haven’t decided what to read, but I’m prone to pick Anna Karenina for a few reasons. First, I’ve read this book in French a few years ago and I remember it was not that difficult. Second reason is that it’s a long book. It could be of use reading a longer book for the sake of language learning (vocabulary, style, etc). Third, I’m excited to read my first classic in the original language! On the other hand, and I’ll be very honest here, the story itself I found it kind of annoying. Besides I don’t sympathize with most of the characters, especially with the main protagonist. But… I have to admit, Tolstoy is a great writer. Even if the story does not appeal you, he really knows how to entertain throughout the book. If I really choose Anna Karenina, I’ll only finish it next year. To finish the Russian update I took a class on Italki after 4 months. Maybe I’ll take another one this year. I still have credits.

FR: This is a language that I don’t lose much even if I haven’t been working intensively. I read one book, The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King and newspaper articles.

GR: I think Greek very difficult, in terms of vocabulary and grammar, specially verb conjugation. The cases are not hard, but tricky, because in the accusative and genitive case the word stress changes in some cases (mostly in the masculine and neuter genders). I don’t know exactly how, but I’ve been told that the rules come from the Ancient Greek. This is not a real problem, because in Greek the words are marked. Massive input is required to get the feeling. Anyway, I managed to finish the Colloquial course, which I used as a “grammar guide”. I also took the first 50 Assimil lessons (Le Nouveau Grec Sans Peine, 1996). I got from the library. I liked, but I didn’t think that it’ll worth it continuing with the course. The first 35 lessons were good, with good notes and vocabulary. After this point, the course didn’t introduce much new vocabulary and the grammar notes became cultural notes, too extensive. In general, I like Assimil, but there are some features that are quite unproductive and repeats itself. For example, the Greek course relies too much on names of famous places in Greece (streets, monuments, neighborhood, etc). I had the same impression with the Polish course, which I took in the beginning of the year. With Polish, the food vocabulary related was kind of predominant. It’s just an impression… I also wrote two entries on Italki and got many corrections. I’d like to continue with it, but it’s so time consuming… I posted the entries below. Not bad for the first time.

greek01A.jpg
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Greek02A.jpg
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IT and ES: Not much to report. Very very few articles I read since my last update.

I hope I keep posting on my log from now on.
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:55 pm

rfnsoares wrote: I would like to read something written by Charles Dickens. So far I only read A Christmas Carol. :oops: .
I think that's probably the most important one. Every Christmas we see old TV adaptions, and new ones. But everyone in the UK, and I think in other english speaking countries, would know that story well.

Of his other books, I think Oliver Twist is probably the most often adapted. Reading this would be an excellent excuse to watch the 1968 musical film of Oliver! which is always fun :-)
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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:53 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
rfnsoares wrote: I would like to read something written by Charles Dickens. So far I only read A Christmas Carol. :oops: .
I think that's probably the most important one. Every Christmas we see old TV adaptions, and new ones. But everyone in the UK, and I think in other english speaking countries, would know that story well.

Of his other books, I think Oliver Twist is probably the most often adapted. Reading this would be an excellent excuse to watch the 1968 musical film of Oliver! which is always fun :-)


Yes, I believe that it's the most important one, but, for starters, I still want to read at least David Copperfield, which is quite famous in Brazil, Bleak House and Great Expectations. Here I go in 2019 :D
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rfnsoares
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Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:39 am
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:17 pm

2018 is coming to an end and I’ve been postponing the last post of the year for a week. I didn’t blame myself. I blamed Rio de Janeiro’s climate. :lol:
So, I’ll summarize the year:

Russian: 5 stars
Greek: 4 stars
English: 3,5 stars
French: 3 stars
Spanish and Italian: 1,5 stars
Romanian: virtually null

RU: 2018 was an amazing year for my Russian. I never imagined that I could have gotten that far in only one year. I managed to read 9 books and 40% of Anna Karenina and listen to audiobooks (about 6-7 on YT). My reading skills skyrocketed, especially from the second half of the 3rd book. I also took a few conversation sessions on Italki along the year (for fun I confess, but also to have my reading efforts appraised). The last session was about 2 weeks ago. For 2019, I intent to continue reading more books, at least 10. On the other hand, I didn’t practice my writing skills.
Here is the list of books I read: Harry Potter I to VI (I couldn’t stand to read the last one), Joyland by Stephen King (Russian translation), The landlady by Dostoyevsky, Professor Dowell's Head by Alexander Belyaev and I’m 40% of the way through Anna Karenina, which I’m reading in small bites in parallel to others.
Professor Dowell's Head was the easiest reading (both in vocab and sentence structure) and it was great because I discovered a genre that I had never read: Soviet science fiction and fantasy. I aim at reading the classics, but now I’m considering reading more novels from that genre. So, my plans for the beginning of the year regarding Russian are: on the 1st of January I’ll start reading Poor Folk by Dostoyevsky and then The Amphibian by Alexander Belyaev.

GR: Greek was another language that I improved immensely in 2018. I finished Colloquial course and did 50% of Assimil. Now I’m trying to improve vocabulary with the 2500 most frequent words Memrise course, also reading (only reading) again Assimil and DLI course. Finishing all these courses, I’ll start to read intensively Wikipedia and newspaper articles. I might be doing this in about a month or two.

FR: It was not a good year for my French, especially in the second semester. I didn’t keep track of what I read during the year, but I probably read only 3 books and articles on LeMonde. Apart from that, French is still a language that my comprehension hasn’t improved. I do not understand much when I watch YT videos and movies.

ES and IT: not much. To be honest, yeah, almost nothing. My plans for 2019 are: reading at least a few newspaper and Wikipedia articles every week and listening audiobooks. I have to be in touch with these languages, because I’m afraid I might have to start over…

RO: Long forgotten. I studied intensively this language 2-3 ago, but since then I haven’t done anything. When I decide to pick up this language again I’ll start from scratch, probably.

EN: Well, I started this long in order to practice my writing skill, since I have no issues with my reading and listening skills. As you can see, I completely failed. In 2019, I want to write more and better, really improving my writing skills. I noticed no improvement.

In short, 2019 was great for some languages (Russian and Greek), regular for others (English and French) and bad for 3 of them (Italian, Spanish and Romanian). I realized/learned that I’m not able to maintain many languages, especially when you are excited about your progress in other languages.

I wish you all happy holidays! :)
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100 Russian novels : 19 / 100

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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:41 pm

First post of the year.

Today I studied two languages, Russian and Greek. I wouldn't mention English, because it has already became part of my life.

GR: I read Assimil lessons 15-28 and I continue with the 25000 Top 2500 Words in Greek Memrise course. Most people think that it's useless learn words without context (and I've advocated for that), but I believe that it's very effective at this stage. I also did some extensive reading. I've noticed some improvement in vocabulary.

RU: Мои родные, я только что начал читать "Бедных Людях", произведение моего любимого писателя. На сегодня это все, я устал... спать пора ... 8-)

That's all for today, just a quick update. :)
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100 Russian novels : 19 / 100

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rfnsoares
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Re: rfnsoares' log PT, EN, FR, ES, IT, RO, RU, PL, GR, DE and much more

Postby rfnsoares » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:39 pm

It's been more than two months since my last update, but I've been following the forum and reading some posts and discussions.

The thing is that I haven't been doing too much formal studying. I believe I'm tired of it. My Greek studies have faded... I really don't know whether I still have enough energy to bring my Greek to the same level my Russian, for example. It's too much work one has to put into it. I feel a mix of lazyness and lack of motivation. The road is too long and I'm running out of gas. My grammar is ok. Greek language is not complicated concerning sentence structure. I've completed two courses: Colloquial and Assimil. Vocabulary is the real problem right now. It's very different and it seems the words are difficult to remember. In short, It would be very complicated to bring my Greek to a fluently "reading level". Also I think a challenge won't fix the problem... :?

On the other hand, I've been reading a lot, especially in Russian, English and French. To be honest, 90% of the time in Russian. I have to get back reading in Italian and Spanish as soon as possible... At this very moment I'm reading Anton Chekhov's short stories in Russian although yesterday I added a new book in English - The Big Four by Agatha Christie. It's a old personal project that I had started more than a year ago. I intented to read all his novel in sequence. This is the seventh one.

When I finish these two books, I have a French novel in mind: L'âme du Mal by Maxime Chattam.
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