Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon May 25, 2020 3:16 pm

Russian:

Listening to some epic fantasy audiobooks. I find myself drifting away mentally most likely because I get bored if I can't understand enough. I've also tried watching a comedy series called Patriot and found that I got maybe the gist at best. It would probably be worth it for me to go back to reading more challenging texts again in order to gain a bit more vocab and really expand my breadth of perfect and imperfect verb aspects since each form can vary greatly to the point that it's like learning a new word altogether.

Japanese:

I've been focusing more on kanji since my intermediate resources use them heavily. I've been intermittently going through Mastering Japanese Kanji by Glen Nolan Grant which apparently goes up to a N4 level. I have another resource called "A Complete Guide to Kanji" or something but it's basically a dictionary and it's quite boring for me at times - although it does contain 2,100+ kanji to be able to read fluently. Finally, I've been going through a series of short stories by Clay Boutwell which helps a lot. It's been filling in a lot of gaps and reinforcing material learned from Genki. It will probably take me 1-2 more months to be able to use Tobira. I'm also going through an intermediate grammar book which is maybe 150 pages so nothing too bad.

Mandarin:

Again, I need to learn the characters to get any benefit from more intermediate/advanced courses. As a result, I'm going through a neat book called Essential Chinese Vocabulary: Rules and Scenarios. This is a great book because not only goes it focus on vocab, but it also gives explanations, many example conversations with more vocabulary, and it even sneaks some grammar lessons in there as a byproduct. I'm quite confident that after this book I'll be able to use Routledge's Intermediate Chinese Reader then move on to more advanced graded readers.
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon May 25, 2020 6:00 pm

sillygoose1 wrote:Listening to some epic fantasy audiobooks.


Any examples? Are they originals or translated into Russian?
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
x 587

Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon May 25, 2020 10:43 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:
sillygoose1 wrote:Listening to some epic fantasy audiobooks.


Any examples? Are they originals or translated into Russian?


So far only translated into Russian. I'm going through Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series at the moment. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck finding original Russian epic fantasy that would keep me interested.
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:12 pm

Russian:

My reading is pretty good at this point where I can read fine with a dictionary, but I don't feel confused after reading a complex passage anymore. This is in direct opposition to my listening which remains atrocious. I can get the gist of most TV series and films without subs but it ends there. Listening to audiobooks is also a difficult task. It's weird going from listening to a bunch of French or Italian then getting frustrated with myself when I miss a word or a muttered sentence due to bad audio to not having that problem at all in Russian where I am not even close to the level of listening that I am in French or Italian.

I've decided to give myself a bit of a break again because usually after doing so, I find that coming back to it post-break my skills are improved. I discovered an author named Viktor Pelevin which seems to be like the Russian version of France's Houellebecq and Beigbeder. My plan of action when I come back is to listen to a Boris Akunin book (his newer one is like 6 hours), then Poe's collection of stories at around 4 hours, watch some sitcoms/films, then go for Pelevin's bibliography.

Japanese:

I'm going through a beginner's reader that is estimated to be around N5/N4 level plus another short story. I used Anki for kanji which helped me a bit but I got really bored of it although I did get through the N4/N5 decks. My plan of action is to finish these two readers then go through this intermediate course I bought:

Image

I tried using it recently but it was too hard still. I also flipped through Tobira but was kind of confused by its layout - maybe I'll try again. I want to get through the intermediate course(s) asap so I can dive into some passive listening via films and series. There are so many good Japanese movies I've been putting off because I wanted to save them for when I advanced in the language like Takashi Miike, Sion Sono, and Kurosawa + some horror films.

Miscellaneous:

I'm really impressed with Audible lately and how many audiobooks they have for different languages. The main reason I didn't continue with Polish, Czech, or Romanian was because I couldn't find many native resources. But Audible now has many titles in many languages. It's been an incredibly great resource lately.

I've also been thinking about opening up an Instagram page to document my progress and languages. Since I've been at this for almost 10 years since my first year of college, I find that I have acquired some knowledge that could help others. I've noticed a drastic uptick in the initial interest of learning languages, but I've also noticed many people giving up after a beginner's course or at the intermediate plateau.
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DaveAgain
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby DaveAgain » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:34 am

sillygoose1 wrote:[

Miscellaneous:

I'm really impressed with Audible lately and how many audiobooks they have for different languages. The main reason I didn't continue with Polish, Czech, or Romanian was because I couldn't find many native resources. But Audible now has many titles in many languages. It's been an incredibly great resource lately.
Audioteka has been mentioned as a source for Polish audiobooks.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 54#p113754

Storytel.com might be another option too. (i've only seen them mentioned by scandanvian-language posters, but their website lists Poland too)
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
x 587

Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:29 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
sillygoose1 wrote:[

Miscellaneous:

I'm really impressed with Audible lately and how many audiobooks they have for different languages. The main reason I didn't continue with Polish, Czech, or Romanian was because I couldn't find many native resources. But Audible now has many titles in many languages. It's been an incredibly great resource lately.
Audioteka has been mentioned as a source for Polish audiobooks.

https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 54#p113754

Storytel.com might be another option too. (i've only seen them mentioned by scandanvian-language posters, but their website lists Poland too)


Wow I'm surprised by their great selection. I'd have to look into their systems if I ever decide on Polish or Swedish again because the one thing I really like about Audible right now is the ability to exchange audiobooks whenever you want and keep re-using credits points.
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
x 587

Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Thu Sep 10, 2020 6:16 pm

Japanese:

I've decided to take the plunge and use Tobira then afterwards use my Routledge intermediate reader. I'm on the second lesson already and it's difficult at times, mainly the kanji as is to be expected but also the fact that the dialogues seem to get really long. What I've been doing is trying to put more emphasis on the vocabulary lists and their corresponding audio tracks than on the dialogues themselves. The Anki N4/N5 decks I completed have been helping as I have already seen a few recognizable ones plus it's somewhat easier for me to learn new ones especially with context. It's definitely harder than Assimil and I can't see myself spending too much time on this course since my main goal is to use it as a sort of introduction to intermediate.

I think it's really cool how there are some words only used by men and women. For example, two words for "I" being "boku" and "ore" are for men and there are also some end of sentence particles and expressions used solely by women. Another thing I found interesting was the stereotypes regarding each writing system as I found in my Routledge book. Apparently, Kanji is associated with middle aged men, katakana is more associated with younger men (apparently this system is used mainly in books or manga geared towards males), and hiragana is more associated with women and as such is found on many advertisements and social media. Also, a word can have a certain nuance depending on which system it is written in. So this means that a word not normally written in katakana for example, an author can transcribe it to give it a certain meaning. I thought it was really neat that Routledge included this info.
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sillygoose1
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Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:42 pm

Russian:

Back in the saddle. I read through his newest novel, Killing Commendatore, once in Russian already without getting anything out of it. I was up until recently listening to the book in French but decided that it could be a good idea to use it again for Russian since I have improved since that last time. I remember using Murakami's novels to improve my Spanish and Italian then for German with 1Q84 (I didn't get much from it then either, so I may re-read the second half of this novel one day). Pelevin's novels are a bit too high of a level for me at the moment. Hopefully by the time Murakami's newest novel comes out I'll have a decent reading level in Japanese for it.

I've been watching some sitcoms but they get boring quick. I have two series that I'm quite excited for - "Vodovorot" and "Игра на выживание" so probably after I'm done Killing Commendatore then listening to Pelevin novels I'll jump into those.


Japanese:

Lesson 6 of Tobira. On the one hand, I love how they take the kid gloves off starting from the very first lesson. On the other, due to the nature of Japanese it can be quite hard to learn kanji as you would normally learn vocabulary. I would say I know around 200-250 kanji or somewhere around there and Tobira recommends you know about 300 at the beginning of the course. Because of this, I've really been hitting the Kindle store and snatching up all of the free readers that I can. The built-in dictionary on my Kindle Fire really helps too. I've been putting a lot of emphasis, as mentioned before, on the vocabulary lists and exercises more so than the reading parts since I'm most preoccupied with learning kanji.
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
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Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:26 pm

Russian:

About 1/5 the way through Killing Commendatore Book II. It's going slow because I think Murakami lost all of his magic on me that I experienced in Norwegian Wood, Wind Up Bird, and Kafka but I still find myself reading a chapter at a time when I get around to it. I've also been reading a criminology text aimed at university students which has been going well also. My listening is still dreadful. I can understand the gist of Pelevin's audiobook Generation P but that show Chiki that I tried to watch - hardly anything. Same with the two episodes of Vodovorot that I watched. I'll have to just suck it up and push through it like I did with my other languages. There's really no other way.


Japanese:

Rewinding a bit to fill in some major gaps. Went through a grammar book and I am also going through brief 250 kanji text to drill in all of the possible readings of the most frequent kanji. I am definitely not ready to take on that intermediate Routledge course yet. Also, I have decided to finish the Anki decks for N3/N2/N1. I'm on N3 right now. I've also caved and finally started watching anime. I figured, why throw away this listening practice? To top it off, I've been reading about a page a day of Keigo Higashino's The Devotion of Suspect X with much use of jisho.org and forvo.com

So, my new goal is to get through some Anki decks, watch about 100 hours or so of anime/films, THEN maybe I'll be ready for the Routledge course. I don't want to make the same mistake as I did with Russian and jump in *too* early.


Mandarin:

I have a 250 basic character text as well as an 800 character Anki deck, but I don't want to do much yet so I don't get confused with Japanese. Assimil is easy enough as far as retaining the dialogue, but Colloquial 2 is where things started to get difficult. This is why I'm going to take the Japanese approach and really drill in the characters first before moving on to graded readers or an intermediate course.


German:

I've been listening to an audiobook then I'll probably listen to Das Parfum or a Hermann Hesse novel. I also found some interesting criminology texts that are more advanced than an intro text so that should be interesting.


French:

I went on a huge film binge recently and watched about 6-7 plus the new season of Le Bureau des Legendes. I plan on watching a few more films, watching seasons 7 and 8 of Engrenages, then probably go through audiobooks - most likely Thomas Piketty's Capital in the XXI century.
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sillygoose1
Green Belt
Posts: 364
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:25 pm
Location: USA
Languages: _
NA: English
C2: French
C1: German, Italian, Spanish
B2: Russian, Portuguese
A2: Japanese
A1: Mandarin
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=751
x 587

Re: Sillygoose1's Language Extraordinaire

Postby sillygoose1 » Mon Oct 12, 2020 5:19 pm

Russian:

Updated my profile to B2. I can read well with a dictionary, understand the gist of a TV show, and also somewhat get through an audiobook. I could also most likely get by in a russophone country if I were lost. My next goal is C1 then I'll probably be satisfied - I won't look towards a C2 for awhile if ever.

So I've switched my Murakami reading from text to audiobook. I really want more listening practice since I'm not quite where I want to be as far as watching TV is concerned. Hopefully I'll be able to have more fun with media in the future when I can understand more. Unfortunately, once I miss a sentence I find my mind wandering away from the audiobook and I miss a lot.

I've also been watching a sitcom called Ivanovy-Ivanovy which is pretty funny. I broke through the intermediate plateau/on my way to the C levels with sitcoms in every language I've studied. French - Fais pas ci fais pas ca/Un gars une fille/Camera cafe, Spanish - Aqui no hay quien viva/La que se avecina, German - Stromberg/Pastewka. I don't see why Russian would be different! Sitcoms are great due to episode count and tendency to have 5+ seasons plus they are around 20-30 minutes long. I was excited to watch Vodovorot but after the second episode it fell out of favor with me. Same with the Pelevin novel I was reading. Anyway, I'm curious to see how far I'll get by New Year's when I'll have gone through at least another two audiobooks + all 5 seasons of Ivanovy-Ivanovy.

Japanese:

Bumped from A1 to A2, JLPT N4. I'm looking to break through to a B1-B2/JLPT N3 very quickly. I'm going through an intermediate Japanese grammar book which is helping to clarify many gaps such as tense. I'm also going through a beginner's kanji book which lists about 250 to solidify the basics as well as a kanji dictionary which has the 2,000 or so kanji needed to read fluently. The intermediate Routledge reader should be within reach soon.

Besides those, I found a neat website http://www.sosekiproject.org/ which breaks down Soseki's novels into digestible parts and lists out the kanji and vocab. I'm hoping that by completing every novel there I should be well within reach of a N3 level. I'm also going to be watching a lot of TV shows and films.Hopefully by around February of next year I should be quite functional.

Mandarin:

Going to finish Assimil - currently on Tome 2. I'm also going through the NPCR reader series and currently halfway through part 1. Nothing much else to say here.
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