languist's lazy language lunacy - 2019

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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:53 am

Thank you Elenia!

I know I’m writing here a little too much, but I’m just excited to be studying again.

In the second half of the day, I ended up trying the Pimsleur Russian course on my way to work. It takes about 30 minutes to get there, and the lessons are about 30 minutes too. In fact, I ended up listening just to the dialogues at the start of the first 5 lessons and skipping them because I understood everything too well. So I actually followed the 6th lesson, although I understood all of the dialogue here also, but I thought it was right on the line where I’d maybe encounter some new material. So that was fun!

I made the effort to speak to my Czech & Slovak colleagues (and later, my Czech & Slovak housemates) mostly in Slovak (and a little Czech), and repeat my new Russian words to my Russian colleague, because I’m so shy about my accent that I really need to just force myself to shout out random words to practice lol. At one point I was speaking in Russian and then someone interrupted me in Slovak, and my answer was this Slavic mess, “Ja ne tvoja mama” jaaaaajjj. Tbh I made lots of mistakes in my Slovak today, but I actually don’t feel bad about it because it gives me some concrete moments to measure my improvement against. It’ll be great to look back in a month and see that I’ve made signifiant progress.

So anyway, just little steps, but I’m very happy to be engaging with learning again. Can’t wait to do more tomorrow !

edit: and right now it’s 1am, i’m in bed and we’re watching the kids film Cars 3 in Slovak with English subtitles, so I guess that counts as studying too :lol: And if I can’t sleep, I’ll go over some Circassian vocab because ((I love it, but also)) such unfamiliar words do require more attention than others.
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:42 am

I know, I know - daily updates are probably not the way to go. However, until I am well settled into a study schedule, this is something which gives me a little structure and motivation.

This may be a pretty obvious observation, but I'd like to point out that it's definitely very, very useful to watch subtitled tv/films. In fact, if I were to guestimate the share of Slovak/czech vocab I've acquired via different means, I'd say that it's 20% active study, 40% interaction with natives, 40% subtitled kid's movies. Or perhaps even more weighted towards the films - but in my exhausted ennui, I'd completely forgotten! (or rather, I'd been too tired and lazy to bother...) I'm not going to count this towards my "hours per week" quota though, or maybe I'll give one session of 'active' watching a value of 15 minutes.

I've just recently arrived home from work and I'm am sooooo tired, physically and mentally. It's annoying because I have motivation to learn !

Today, as is the plan this week, I leisurely worked through some vocab. In Russian, I did memrise Russian 1 levels 8 & 9 + reviews, watched some Russian film trailers, and listened to a bit of Pimsleur. I didn't have my Slovak book with me today, so did no actual studying, but was speaking to my Czechoslovakosphere, so I'm always learning new words and ways. Pour le français, encore je n'ai rien fait, mais çe n'est pas grand chose! I bumped into an eccentric old French lady I know, but her accent is so strong that I shied away and only spoke English, oops. I did have great fun learning some more Irish, because I was spending time with a native speaker, but I'll try not to get dragged down that path too much just yet.... :D

I had the most fun with Circassian today. I covered some vocab, old and new, and then I had some tiiiiny little baby mini exchanges with my native friends, both written and spoken, "hello! good morning! how are you! i'm good, thank you!" sort of thing, but that in itself felt wonderful. They're all so kind about my pronunciation, always praising it even though we all know the truth... :lol: I guess this went both ways today, as my friend sent me a recording of her Kabardian grandfather trying to say the English word "Congratulations" :lol: . very cute! Also, my first overzealous moment of pride arrived today when I put together an entirely new sentence, having not studied any grammar at all - I mean, it's sort of silly, but I made a guess on instinct, and the fact that it was correct really thrilled me because Caucasian languages do seem to be somewhat cloaked in this idea of extreme difficulty, the idea that foreigners could never learn them, and in this minute moment, I felt like I had overcome this. Spoiler alert: I definitely haven't - my sentence was three words long.

Language learning spilled into my conversations today from unlikely sources, and I ended up having a really long and interesting chat with a bunch of non-language-nerdy friends about language education in schools, the merits/difficulties/methods of learning a new one, endangered indigenous dialects, languages in travelling... etc etc etc. Definitely inspiring. :D

I also spoke a little bit of Italian, and texted a little in Chechen. oh, and I guess I spoke a bit of Polish too, but mostly I just speak Slovak to my Polish pals, and we get by, so I hear/understand a lot more Polish than I speak. Tbh I feel like I should have done much more real studying today, but I wasted (or wisely used?) a few hours watching a Scooby Doo/Batman crossover movie.... I swear sometimes I watch things aimed at adults too.

Special mention to the word « lэпкълъэпкъ » for having far too many letters to sound like "ap-llap".
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:33 pm

When you say you learn a lot from watching with subtitles, what language are the subtitles and audio in?
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:40 am

Brun Ugle wrote:When you say you learn a lot from watching with subtitles, what language are the subtitles and audio in?


To be honest, both ways round are really helpful. I’d say watching in your target language with your native as subtitles is likely more useful as you’re honing your listening skills as well as picking up vocab and grammar. But it’s only useful if you already feel comfortable enough with the language to keep up with the audio and pick out individual words (and have a good go at spelling them). So definitely there are merits for both and you’ll learn either way!

Yesterday, I did basically nothing. For various reasons, I was pretty exhausted and only had a very small window of study time. In the end, instead of studying I used that time to discover that the best resource I’d dug up for Circassian actually isn’t useful to me at all. :cry:

Technically speaking, I did some studying. I did listen to a Circassian lesson in Russian, but I couldn’t understand enough of the Russian to really benefit from it. Also, my friend sent me some vocab and a little bit of grammar but I haven’t really went over it yet. Also, I spoke some Slovak as usual, and some Russian, and even learnt new words, but it’s the next day and I already can’t rememeber them - I knew that I wouldn’t given the lack of energy I had, and general state of mind.

Oh well, I have two or three free hours today which I’ll try to use wisely. :D
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:31 pm

Well. As perhaps we all know, sometimes life doesn't quite go how you expect it to.

The weekends are always a little crazy for me with work, and now I've found myself suddenly quite sick. I've still been frittering away on memrise and little vocab lists, but have yet to apply myself to anything I can consider "serious" studying. My voice is completely lost, I sound like some cross between Voldemort and Mickey Mouse :lol: so it's slightly frustrating because I prefer to read aloud whilst studying, especially languages which have really unfamiliar pronunciations (basically every language at the beginning!). I also make sure to practice by having spoken conversations (even just a few words!) each day, but at the moment... try pronouncing « щхьэгъэрыт » when your throat feels like it's the width of a pencil. :lol:

Anyway, as always I am still technically semi-immersed in a Czechoslovak world, and I hear/read Russian every day, and some Circassian friends sent me a few voice messages today and I actually understood them (!!!!) so while I haven't been studying, I haven't been avoiding the beast entirely. As for French - unfortunately my first class was today and I had to miss it due to being ill. Had some basic conversations as usual in Italian, Polish, Chechen, and even a quick exchange in Ossetian over the past few days.

On a slightly more positive note - albeit unrelated to language learning - I went to my first ballet lesson on Sunday morning. H i l a r i o u s. I found myself frequently returning to the same pep talk I give myself when I'm struggling with a new language; "it's not that you're extremely awful, it's just that this is something completely new for your body/brain!"

And I have just noticed now that Kabardian is the language of the day on Forvo. :D :D :D
Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 21.26.12.png
Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 21.26.12.png (75.49 KiB) Viewed 202 times

EDIT: OMG! This attachment is huge!! Leaving it like this so hopefully it will catch the attention of someone who can tell me how to resize an attachment? :shock: It's been a long time since I used bbcode, sorry. I can surely do it with the [IMG] tag, but this is [attachment].. sorry and thank you in advance !

Another edit: I just took a few online French tests claiming to assess the taker's level according to CEFR. I know to take these with a hefty pinch of salt, but in any case, the result of one was 70% (so, eh, not a CEFR level), and the other was B2. To be honest, in both I felt really unsure of the grammar, even if my guesses were more or less correct, they were essentially still guesses. So I better get on that.
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:08 am

languist wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:When you say you learn a lot from watching with subtitles, what language are the subtitles and audio in?


To be honest, both ways round are really helpful. I’d say watching in your target language with your native as subtitles is likely more useful as you’re honing your listening skills as well as picking up vocab and grammar. But it’s only useful if you already feel comfortable enough with the language to keep up with the audio and pick out individual words (and have a good go at spelling them). So definitely there are merits for both and you’ll learn either way!

I was actually asking what YOU do personally that you find so useful. I've watched both with and without subtitles and sometimes with the audio in a strong language and the subtitles in my target language, sometimes with audio in the target language and subtitles in a stronger language, sometimes with both subtitles and audio in my target language and often with no subtitles at all. I was just curious about your method and what you find most helpful.

The problem with the picture and answers to many other such questions can be found in a special section of the forum called "Forum rules and FAQ's". The answer to your picture problem can be found in this thread under the question about profile image sizes. Images other than profile images aren't so strict about size, but you can still run into pictures that are too big to fit or that are just bigger than you'd like. In my experience, it sometimes takes several tries to get it right.
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:34 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I was actually asking what YOU do personally that you find so useful. I've watched both with and without subtitles and sometimes with the audio in a strong language and the subtitles in my target language, sometimes with audio in the target language and subtitles in a stronger language, sometimes with both subtitles and audio in my target language and often with no subtitles at all. I was just curious about your method and what you find most helpful.

Actually, although I spoke in generalisms, that is an answer reflecting my own behaviours. (: I watch all shows and movies in either Slovak or Czech with English subtitles, or English with Slovak or Czech subtitles, interchangeably (because my partner's first language is Slovak and they speak English but always want the subtitles), so it's less something that I actively consider and simply more an aspect of my habits already - but I had been completely ignoring the foreign languages in whichever permutation for so long due to being tired and lazy. If it comes to it, we'll use English with English subtitles, or Czech/Slovak with Czech/Slovak. For me both having the target language as audio with Eng subs, or Eng audio with TL subs has been very helpful. As I said, I think both are very helpful for vocabulary acquisition, but it's overall more helpful to watch in your TL, as you are also practicing listening, and the phrases you hear may end up drilled into your brain like a song might be. TL + TL is fine for kids movies etc, but for anything more sophisticated, I get frustrated because I'm always a few lines behind.

Personally, I find audio to be a very important aspect of the learning process - not just for accent and pronunciation. While some people can learn 1000 words from a written list (well, technically I can, having studied Latin), for me words just stick to my memory more when they feel more "alive". However, I think the "vitality" of a word doesn't essentially come from the audio, but the fact that it has a richer context. So probably other people experience the same effect when they read a new word in a book they're enjoying. It doesn't work for me because often when I'm reading in another language, I must look up too many words, the whole process is quite draining, and in the end I'm unlikely to remember many of the 20 words I've just learnt.

Brun Ugle wrote:The problem with the picture and answers to many other such questions can be found in a special section of the forum called "Forum rules and FAQ's". The answer to your picture problem can be found in this thread under the question about profile image sizes. Images other than profile images aren't so strict about size, but you can still run into pictures that are too big to fit or that are just bigger than you'd like. In my experience, it sometimes takes several tries to get it right.

Thank you for your answer! I had checked that thread when I was looking for help, but it does seem to refer only to the profile images. So I was hoping there was an internal forum solution to the resizing of an image which has been posted as an attachment (ie, some code I wasn't putting in correctly), rather than having to externally resize it online. But if that's the way, then that's the way! Thanks !
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:38 am

Сэ сысымаджэ ! :(

That's Kabardian for "I'm sick!". And I certainly am. I definitely haven't abandoned this log, or my studies, or the study group that I have lots of ideas for (sorry guys if you're reading this - I'll be with you shortly!), but between being so ill, having to go to work anyway, and coughing fits keeping me up (but exhausted) all night, I've hardly been up to anything substantial... on day 10, it's frustrating to feel that I still haven't started to study seriously.

As before, I'm still speaking, reading, and hearing some Slovak/Polish/Russian/'general slavish' every day, and at least building up some Circassian vocab by speaking with natives. Unfortunately, I'm hitting repeated obstacles when it comes to Circassian resources. Of course, it's what we expect when we think about these tiny languages, but it's been slightly disheartening to have (seemed to have) found a really solid resource, only to later realise it's pretty much useless. This has happened two or three times now. In the last instance, I was hoping to study from a Russian/Kabardian coursebook, so I'd be experimenting with learning two languages simultaneously pretty much, or learning a language through a language that I don't yet know. In the end, the book seemed to be designed for people who already speak a certain level of Kabardian, with only smattering of Russian sprinkled throughout.

"Smattering" is a great word. I know a smattering of too many languages, and have a deep knowledge of zero. (I now know a smattering of Avar, and Ossetian... but I'm good at smatterings! It's the rest I'm trying to work on!)

- - - - - - -
edit:

Although I forsee this illness getting worse before it gets better, I'm going to practice optimism with a little to-do list for next week...

    Russian
      1. Finish memrise Russian 1 course (376 words).
      2. Work my way through one of the more basic Russian coursebooks sitting on my shelf.
      Although I hadn't planned on doing this, I think it will be helpful to learn a chunk of basic phrases first, and then work out the grammar later.
      3. Actively use language exchange partners. (Usually I just teach them English...)

    Slovak
      1. Complete at least the first four chapters in Colloquial Slovak. Preferably finish every chapter which isn't a challenge.
      2. Try to more or less stop using English with my Slovak/Czech friends.

    French
      1. Just finally go to this class!!!
      2. Try to find out where my gaps are.

    Circassian
      1. Consolidate resources.
      2. Create Anki deck of words and phrases I've picked up.

- - - - - - -
and some other thoughts...

I just came across the post about 'Language Transfer', and let a random Arabic lesson play in the background as I got on with something else - but I felt somehow engaged by the learning process going on in the lesson. So I've decided to look more thoroughly at this company/whatever it is, and also feel a bit inspired to finally get an italki teacher. Too bad that I stumbled upon Language Transfer just as they seem ready to fold. I wish this guy all the best; at first glance, his content seems valuable.

Also, this will be my first ever experience with Anki. I feel like I'm going to have a lot of questions for the community about the best way to optimise your deck for learning (:

I don't want to blether on too much about random topics, but one thing which is on my mind is pronunciation. Specifically, accent. I've long been of the opinion that accent doesn't really matter as long as you can be understood. As I've mentioned before, most of my friends speak English as a second (or nth) language - some with more eloquence than a native speaker, and some with very clunky childlike expressions. I'd describe all as fluent. However, some of them are strangely obsessed with sounding native, being accentless, which I'm sure is completely unnecessary, and in fact would somehow take away from the charm of their English. They think it will be more impressive to appear to be native, whereas I think it is much more impressive to hear someone speak extremely high level English while being obviously foreign. Anyway, my point is that I am finally starting to worry about this a little bit myself. On the one hand, thinking about my very fluent friends and how they have never totally lost their accents sensibly informs me that probably, no one can ever really speak a foreign language without an apparent accent, and so it's nothing to worry about. On the other hand, I am finding that my accent is holding me back, at least in confidence if nothing else.

Specifically, with Russian. Circassian too, but I'm less worried about that. My French accent is a bit of a mess, but I'm sure with some practice it will recover. With Slovak, it seems that shyness gets in the way - I sound fine when I'm not thinking about it, and terrible when I'm overthinking. That's a universal issue, I'm sure. But with Russian... I love it, I hear it all the time, I sing along to songs, I repeat every word I learn and ask for feedback, and yet... I always sound terrible - and the worse I sound, the more nervous I am, and less progress I make. So, I have a new mission. Yes, to finally get over this hurdle with Russian - but also! to become confident with accents and mimicking pronunciation in general. If anyone has any experience going from zero to hero on this front, please post your story. (:
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby rdearman » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:36 am

languist wrote:Also, this will be my first ever experience with Anki. I feel like I'm going to have a lot of questions for the community about the best way to optimise your deck for learning

Typically the best way to do this is to leave it on the defaults. I think the only thing I've ever changed is the number of new cards shown, and the gestures so that I can suspend a card from the cycle with one swipe right of the thumb.
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Re: Multilang Goals - Summer 2018

Postby zenmonkey » Sat Jan 20, 2018 9:59 am

rdearman wrote:
languist wrote:Also, this will be my first ever experience with Anki. I feel like I'm going to have a lot of questions for the community about the best way to optimise your deck for learning

Typically the best way to do this is to leave it on the defaults. I think the only thing I've ever changed is the number of new cards shown, and the gestures so that I can suspend a card from the cycle with one swipe right of the thumb.


Pretty much the same, added a few mods but mostly I've played around with Anki to change the aspect of the cards - fonts, colors and feel. I've set up mine so I can do strange writing systems like cursive Hebrew with print at the same time.

Suggest you don't spend too much time fiddling with the settings at first.

You're studying a language family I know nothing about but find interesting so, be forewarned, I've subscribed too.

By the way, consistency is ideal but don't knock yourself if you have lapses. Have fun!
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