Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

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Expugnator
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:43 pm

On Friday, we had a guest in the evening who told us about his trip to Colombia through Panama and how he got to help Haitians both in Panama and in São Paulo. The first Haitian didn't speak English and so a Canadian served as a bridge by talking to him in English and to her in French. Then in São Paulo he helped another one with very basic English skills. That got me thinking about how I can do this basic assistance in almost all of my languages but the newest Modern Hebrew and Indonesian, which means I have much fewer places in the world to get lost now, and that felt encouraging. I don't speak Haitian Creole like our good friend iguanamon, but I believe I would have been able to help them with French as well.

I came up with a strategy for memorizing when to use the infinitives in Estonian, after making a mistake on the app: I'm going to think of one as being the normal infinitive and the other one as the -ing infinitive in English. That way I might forget the actual form of either one of the Estonian infinitives but still get them right in terms of usage.

At the FSI Adapting and Writing Language Lessons book, there are several synopses on Bantu languages that I at least skim through. It's striking how complex they are, how much fun lies ahead, how being in touch with languages such as Georgian, Mandarin and Hebrew might help deal with their grammar and how absolute nonsense any theory based on cultural evolutionism sounds at these contexts (as in any other contexts, but here the absurd leaps to one's eyes). It's one of the moments that I'm happy I study languages from diverse places.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Tue Sep 25, 2018 8:35 pm

Yesterday I finished the second volume in Katherine Pancol's second tirlogy on the Cortès saga. I haven't bought the third one yet, and I'll be taking a break from it and listening to more Houellebecq which I already have. So, Les particules élémentaires it is.

Just joined a Whatsapp group created by a Brazilian with Swahili native speakers. Indonesian, Guarani and Swahili are now the most wasted languages in the sense that I could be chatting with native speakers for long if I were the person that learns merely through chatting.

It's not a total waste. Today I went much further away from my comfort zone to chat a bit in Estonian with a native speaker. I'm much better now than last time I saw her at the room. I can make some sentences almost spontaneously, almost natural-sounding.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:20 pm

It's fun to read a book in a foreign language where the action takes place in a city one has already visited. Herr der Diebe takes place in Venice, and I caught myself remembering the well-known places, as well as checking the map so I could see where exactly the city is located. It's a pretty large lagoon. The impression I had when I was there was of being in open sea. Also, the remaining islands seem much bigger than the city itself, much like the case with Manhattan and its surroundings (though I've never been to Manhattan yet).

I've just watched one episode of Лунтик with very high comprehension. And it's not that the language is simplified, aimed at children; on the contrary, it seems idiomatic Russian for me. I like it how some episodes have one central theme = today's one was how to help a turtle arrive on time, so i could see all the related vocabulary. Even at higher comprehension, the exercise is still pretty much effective, as I don't have this vocabulary on my active vocabulary; actually, if it weren't for the visual clues i'd struggle to understand it, as in a written story, for example. It's also nice to notice the progress achieved from the day I started watching Лунтик.

It was also a good day for listening-reading in Russian. The past days I failed to concentrate. Even if the book is easy, it's far from transparent. Now I'm finally going more smoothly through the almost well-known words, thus allowing myself to learn and incorporate new ones.

Hebrew dialogs at pod101 are starting to 'click'. I like it how there is more repetition as well as more down-to-earth vocabulary towards the end of this level, when compared even with the earlier level, supposedly less complex.

The first but last lesson from Assimil Indonésien was actually Javanese. I found it interesting but tried not to "learn" anything as it won't help my cause of learning Indonesian at this moment. Now comes the time for picking a resource again. I'm most likely to get back to pod101 as it's the only one with authentic conversations with translation. Linguaphone Indonesian seems to be on the verge of what is accessible, but still a bit too long in a way that may turn out demotivating. Well, DLI Indonesian doesn't look much discouraging, and the lessons are short enough. It still has the issue of introducing too much vocabulary per lesson, but even Asiathèque's Méthode d'Indonésien is guilty of this. Tuttle's Basic Indonesian is also better reserved for a moment before tackling these resources that I consider harder. I need something that does help me consolidate basic vocabulary. So my path would be something like this:

- Indonesianpod101 (until the lessons become too hard again),
- Tuttle's Basic Indonesian
- DLI Indonesian
- Asiathèque's Méthode d'Indonésien
- Linguaphone Indonesian

(I expect to get back to The Indonesian Way in the meantime, to check whether it has become useful again).

I hope I'll be able to introduce native materials and deal with more advanced resources as well.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Axon » Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:53 pm

Expugnator wrote:Tuttle's Basic Indonesian...

Tuttle's Basic Indonesian is better reserved for a moment when you need a doorstop.

I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. When I tackled that book as a beginner I was constantly frustrated by the lack of good explanations. They introduce vocabulary way too fast and the dialogues are spoken in a very unnatural and exaggerated way. They're not bad dialogues, just the recordings are a very poor representation of the way people actually speak.

I suggest moving it to a later point when you've already internalized a lot of the way sentences are built and have a decent stock of vocabulary. Then you can use the dialogues with or without audio to consolidate as you planned.

As far as Javanese goes, if you learn twenty or thirty of the most common words you'll be in good shape for when people toss Javanese in their Indonesian. Maybe the best is gedhe, often spelled gede, meaning "large." Or ngomong meaning "to speak, to chat." Tuttle has a taste of Javanese in one of their lessons too - I guess it's too exciting to avoid putting in an Indonesian course.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:45 pm

Axon wrote:Tuttle's Basic Indonesian is better reserved for a moment when you need a doorstop.

I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. When I tackled that book as a beginner I was constantly frustrated by the lack of good explanations. They introduce vocabulary way too fast and the dialogues are spoken in a very unnatural and exaggerated way. They're not bad dialogues, just the recordings are a very poor representation of the way people actually speak.



This is the problem with all of my resources from now on :? I'll keep your words in mind, probably switch it with DLI which is much more learner-friendly, though not my cup of tea. I've also had a look at Lehrbuch der Indonesischen Sprache which is rather heavy on grammar, almost feeling like a grammar-translation book, an old TY one (when compared to the Georgian one on the same series).

=====================
The word for refrigerator in Papiamento is frishidèr, which reminds me much more of a frying pan in Portuguese.

I've noticed a recurring colloqualism in Estonian: using "mis" in the accusative. At Õnne 13, the subtitles go like this:

- Mida me teeme?

And the speech is always

- Mis me teeme?

I had a good time at the Estonian soap opera. I understood almost every line in the dialogs. Moreover, this is starting to spread into my active skills as well.

Accomplished Language Textbook

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I haven't used this "section" for a long while, and it has to do with my latest decision to drop textbooks when they simply stop working. So I put Indonesian Way, Indonesianpod101, Routledge Hebrew and Colloquial Hebrew on hold. I might get back to them, most likely at an A2ish, almost B1 stage.

Assimil Indonésien is reputed as being harsh on vocabulary, and it is indeed. I find it helped me enormously with syntax but the vocabulary introduced was far from being graded. I'd side this with Assimil Norvégien as the Assimil books that you'd use, at best will, as an enhanced reader. Don't expect to learn the language from scratch up to at least B1 from it, unless you overlearn it or enhance it with SRS. Neither being customary for me, I'm left with trying better ways for getting my A2 skills done and prepare a comeback at the pre-intermediate level.

Now I'm resuming Indonesianpod101, which I put on hold because the sample sentences were way beyong the level of the dialogue and grammar covered ordinarily within each lesson, just adding unnecessary stress. I hope I can deal with them better now, as I can't afford to simply ignore these harder sentences. It's a complaint I wouldn't do about Hebrewpod101 from the same company, for the record. I'm just afraid it might be too little, which is the same concern I have as with Hebrewpod101, but at least I know that the little I'm learning from Hebrewpod101 might seem to stick.

Went through a proof of the pudding today. I applied for being a "language asset", which would include short lessons and translation/interpretations for a local Brazilian company. It's a side, remote job. I applied for English, Portuguese as a foreign language, French and Norwegian. I had to watch a newsvideo and sum up that video on a Whatsapp audio. I don't think I did that bad. I did some mistakes in French and Norwegian but I don't want to think about it now. I talked slowly and with pauses, but this can be seen from my Portuguese video as well, and isn't fully related to language "fluency". I think my accent and prosody weren't that far off and I'm well-placed at the intermediate range for both French and Norwegian. I'm more likely to be ranked as advanced in French than in Norwegian, though the level is within my capabilities for either language.

That process meant less time for app-learning. I made a better use of my time today, because I also solved some pending tasks.

Speakly.me works for grammar as well. Not explicitly - you need to have the theory and then watch out for which forms and endings you got wrong, and how theory helps you correct those mistakes. I'm impressed at how I got two half-sentences with over 4 words completely right at the first time, just applying my newly-acquired wordfeel based on mistakes previously corrected at that app.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:14 pm

At the Taiwanese series I'm watching, there is a girl that refers to herself as 人家 . This usage is not entirely new to me, but I've never reflected upon it and the situations when it takes place.

At the FSI manual, they mentioned microtexts. I've always had this in mind as an excellent tool. Preferrably not so "thematic" in terms of vocabulary (a text about a kitchen that merely describes whatever is in it would be awfully boring). FSI says the ideal length is what can be read in 30 seconds at most, and that is probably even more than an average Assimil lesson, if read on normal speed.

Finished the firs volume of Cronache del mondo emerso, and proceeded straight to the second one. I'm enjoying the story and there isn't really much else I'm dying to read in Italian. After all, I'm also listening to fiction in the form of audiobooks. I only read 3 pages a day and I listen to over 20 minutes of an audiobook, which means that as long as I have texts that I look forward to reading available in the form of an audiobook, what I'm reading as ebooks don't play an important role in the big picture (in the sense that I'm trying my best to consume in Italian material I'd be consuming anyway).

Modern Greek has reached a critical point where I'm actually learning new words from listening-reading, and not just getting the hang of the text while shallowly familiarizing myself with the language. Tha sounds promising, because Modern Greek is the one language that has a great source of audiobooks.

When resuming Indonesianpod101 I'm following the same approach as when I decided to resume Hebrewpod101: doing two episodes a day until it becomes too hard for this. So far it's productive. I have the impression that each Indonesian resource starts from a different point, with very little overlap. It's not like a Russian or a German textbook where we more or less know what to expect in terms of vocabulary, grammar and even register at the first lessons. In the case of Indonesian, every new resource opened feels like starting anew.

My idea of insisting on pod101 might sound like a step back, and it partially is. Both with Hebrew and Indonesian, i found that most textbooks have a steep learning curve and I don't really feel like wasting them. So I prefer to get my basic vocabulary solidly learned from a less-structured resource such as pod101, which can be combined with Clozemaster and Duolingo. I want to be able to approach the textbooks I really like without feeling overwhelmed, almost as if I were learning a semi-transparent language. To some extent, I'm taking an approach similar to that of people who warm up with SRS, frequency lists etc. before tackling texts in the target language, only that I did have been through texts in both Indonesian and Hebrew before I decided to step back. I'm still coherent with my strategy of adding native material soon enough - but not to soon, now that I've learned with my mistakes from my previously opaque languages Russian, Georgian and Mandarin.

Today I finally had the time and the mood for reactivating Duolingo. Hebrew lessons with output sentences have been pretty challenging.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:35 pm

Another calm weekend has gone by. I spent most of the time at home. I managed to do all the Clozemaster as well as resume Duolingo. Indonesian has been released from beta, which makes it easier. I don't have to open the browser's window on my phone anymore.

Out of curiosity, I decided to play again the first level, 100 most common words in Indonesian, which I had already mastered. To my surprise, the vocabulary seemed pretty much alien. I'm much more familiar with the 500-most common level I'm playing now than with the first one. When compared with Hebrew, the difference is blattant.

Why is it so? Not only the supposedly 100-most common words in Indonesian include not so common words; the rest of the sentence, the part that isn't on a cloze, can be rather obscure. This is not the case with Hebrew: both the word being tested and the whole sentence follow closely the inventory of the most frequent words in the language. To this extent, the Hebrew deck has been thought of in a much more didactical way. No wonder it's been bringing good results to MattNielsen and even to myself, as I expect to master the 500-most common level in Hebrew at a consolidated A2 level, while combined with being introduced to further vocabulary, of course.

Overlearning vocabulary/sentences on Clozemaster has proved quite effective according to my experience with Estonian, which has a quite limited deck. I want to reproduce this with Indonesian, a language I'm struggling to find appropriately-graded resources for. That's why I plan to get back to the first level every once in a while.

Regarding Duolingo, what has been causing me the most trouble are the listening exercises, where I have to come up with the entire spelling in Hebrew. So many letters look alike, plus the vocalization issue. It's also hard to translate from English, even if I can look up individual words. I still have to produce an idiomatic sentence out of it. Well, at least it's helping me out of my comfort zone, but as my last language-learning activity, working on Hebrew Duolingo is rather strenuous and might account for some procrastinating as I might decide that the time available won't be enough. Well, at least the latest lesson on Determiners has had much more authentic sentences than the earlier ones, and I'm learning realy useful stuff.

Other than that, I tried to listen to a podcast but Castbox seemed to be under technical troubles, as I couldn't open either the Italian or the French one. I then took care of preparing a headstart for my non-fiction reading for today, as I had a training in the morning. It all went all and I didn't get that much behind schedule.

I just finished one more level from Hebrewpod101 and I'm putting it on hold again. There's no Upper Beginner level; I checked Lower Intermediate and the gap is too wide, of the type that made me put Greekpod101 on hold as well. So, now I'll be doing an old Berlitz method for the first time in my languages. Hebrew - Transcription - Translation -> the trinity that will assure my progress in the language. I don't even mind the lack of audio for the time being. I'll have to make do with Duolingo only, as I'm doing Clozemaster on the desktop with no TTS.

The change for Hebrew will also prevent me from doing pod101 for two languages, one after the other, as I'm doing Indonesianpod101 now. I might say I appreciate the idea of not having to go through this, as it wasn't that much productive the first time round. Nor would it be doing Assimil Hebrew and Indonesian simultaneously either.

Just tried an excerpt of Srugim with English subtitles, and I must say it seems interesting and it might help with Hebrew! The English subtitles helped me figure out more than just the odd word, even if the characters spoke all quickly.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:16 pm

Yesterday I managed to listen to a bit more from the Argentinian podcast in the evening, as I wasn't that mentally exhausted after the evening class. One reason that I felt better was that I managed to dilute the closemaster during the day and thus it didn't feel like struggle. Unfortunately, this happened to the expense of paying full atention at the series I was watching, so I still have to watch out for this.

This Clozemaster and score thing is getting more and more biased. After finishing one sublevel in Norwegian, I proceeded to the one below, only to notice that I was being delivered sentences at 0% mastered even though the whole deck was already seen. Now I'll be doing only the review cards again, the way I already do with Modern Greek - Multiple Choice. Except that in the case of Norwegian I only do text input. It was working wonders to go level by level, text input, but now I'm back at random again which is not so optimal. My only hope is that my overall level almost allows me to take the random format and get most of it right or near right, but it's nothing compared to a true transparent language like the Romance ones.

'Kampen for tilværesen sesong 1 episode 2 starts with a remarkable scene.

The feeling of fluency never feels older. I'm managing to understand a good deal from Cornelia Funke's Herr der Diebe, enough to read extensively (though I'm actually listening-reading). The book choice played a big role in my little success, because this one is contemporary and not filled up with magical/medieval universe words like Tintenherz. Now in order to keep moving forward I need to master the bigger/abstract words, so I can see myself at the same stage I was in Norwegian a couple of years ago (and probably still am in terms of passive skills, while improving my active skills in Norwegian in the time being). I plan to take care of this issue by reading some non-fiction now and then, and Norwegian is also likely to help as I can recognize the cognate roots even in compounds now.

Just watched a full episode of Лунтик without the auto-generated subtitles, with over 90% comprehension. I might be relying too much on crutches for my pre-intermediate languages.

Once again I start a Hebrew resource anew, after dropping a previous one midway, and I feel relief. That shouldn't be the case, but I blame it on their steep learning curves and the lack of vowels. I'm trying to get it "right" with Hebrew, to follow an ideal n+1 curve as much as possible and to avoid struggling with suboptimal combinations. I hope I won't have to drop the current one, the old Berlitz Self-Teacher Hebrew. I just checked and it lacks audio altogether, so I can let go of the feeling that I'll be missing on something throughout the course. Well, that also explains why there is transcription altogether, which works on my benefit.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby Expugnator » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:32 pm

Yesterday I finished reading FSI's Adapting and Writing Language Lessons. I am rather disappointed. I was expecting a turning point in my knowledge and motivation about writing language lessons on my own, but it was mostly about explaining how to mechanically develop drills and its similar counterparts. My next read has parenthood calling up, so I'll be taking Disciplina Positiva, which I started right yesterday, as I had plenty of free time since I gave no classes and there was no app-learning left to be done, all taken care of in the evening. I also spent a good time on the forum, but still far from catching up. Sometimes I postpone reading a post because I wait for when I am at the desktop and am able to post a proper reply, only to give in and read it, figuring in the end I have nothing important to say on the matter.

I have the growing feeling that I have more time available at the endof a study day, while doing less with this remaining time. There's a huge difference between chronological time available and mental energy, though. At the end of my "main" schedule (up to Russian) + extended one (everything else, from extra, dubbed Georgian series to the newer languages Modern Greek, Hebrew and Indonesian, plus Spanish reading) I still feel a bit sharp mentally, but the app-learning is quite strenous. So, even if I'm left over one hour at the end of the study day, I don't feel like engaging on new activities, even less so those that involve output/creativity. Not only language learning directly: some important side-projects, still related to languages, get postponed. I need to learn how to reorganize my schedule and replace the app learning in a sustainable way, as the other activities current are, so I can preserve my energy for doing not only more of what I do, but also better things.

GREAT news: I figured out I might access to several Hebrew series, a couple of them with double subtitles. That will make do for the lack of audiobooks. Thank you @MattNielsen for the incentive for looking this up.

I'm done with Maretorn, the 2nd book in the Vindeltorn series. I find it particularly mild, childish, less adult than young fiction, with not so useful vocabulary. I was meant to finally follow Ogrim's advice and pick a Tom Egeland's, but Mengele Zoo had caught my interest for way too long. Let's see how it comes up. The book has the same number of pages as Maretorn, which I bought two months ago, so this Norwegian endeavour has turned out quite pricey, which motivates me to keep improving my knowledge in the language so it can become a true asset in the future.

My struggle with the Clozemaster decks that I'm working on, level by level, on languages I'm not learning elsewhere just shows that Clozemaster alone isn't enough.

Accomplished Language Textbook: Parlons Hébreu

Image

Another book finished today, just to make this already long post even longer. I like this series and I always try to read it in my opaque L2s. In the case of Hebrew, it served for clearing up many doubts I had regarding the verbal system. I miss having even more grammar content, but what I got was useful enough.

Now comes the hard task of finding something to accompany Berlitz Self-Teacher Hebrew as my second textbook on each study day. Fact is, I'm running out of clearly learner-friendly resources for Hebrew, and I feel it's still too early to take the plunge into resources that will teach me less optimally because I'll be clueless about either pronunciation or meaning or both. I'm even saving the old Assimil Hebrew and my second round on the newer one for when things are much clearer.

Langenscheidts Praktisches Lehrbuch seems accessible now, but I'm rather saving it for when I'm about to finish Berlitz, fading out of the latter and into the former. What I really want to use is this one: http://yodea.com/Methode-d-Hebreu-Moderne , but even after asking a friend with admin privileges to install the True-Type fonts the app still won't recognize them, while it did back home. I wonder what might be the issue. I might give it a try at home again, but probably it will be slow, at one lesson a week.

Ok, I'll start FSI Hebrew. I'll just play the audio in the background while reading the lesson, as I can't afford 16 minutes of slow drills.

The search for my new Hebrew resource totally derailed the end of my studies, especially the app-learning part. I'm still not sure about FSI Hebrew, I might as well just drop this 'slot' altogether and allow for more free time so that I can do the Clozemaster and Duolingo in less of a rush. Near future will tell.
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Re: Expug's 2018 Log - Sustainable Dabbling

Postby drmweaver2 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:38 pm

Expugnator wrote:I wait for when I am at the desktop and am able to post a proper reply, only to give in and read it, figuring in the end I have nothing important to say on the matter.
If I did that, I'd never post anything anywhere....
.
.
.
Wait, maybe I should really consider that! :oops: :geek: :mrgreen:
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