languist's lazy language lunacy - 2019

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Expugnator
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR) - Summer 2018

Postby Expugnator » Sun Feb 04, 2018 2:29 pm

Hi languist, you have a very interesting log here! I was a fond of Caucasian languages myself - or rather pretty much anything from the former USSR. Having access to textbooks for some minority languages was even my strongest motivation for starting Russian. I haven't learned any of these languages yet, but I've learned Georgian up to an intermediate level now. Who knows, I might pick the next language with the most resources some day. I try to always keep an eye for resources for those languages.
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR) - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:16 pm

Hello everyone !

I was completely off the grid there for a while, sorry! I moved house, and found myself suddenly very busy, working 6 nights a week, without internet, and wrapped up in a bit of unexpected drama. Fortunately, the apartment is now basically all sorted, the solution to said drama has been found, work is settling back to normal - and most importantly, I have internet!

I'm especially sorry to the people who were so enthusiastic about our little study group; I promise, things should proceed as normal from now on. :)

In terms of languages, lack of time/internet has meant that I haven't been up to much.

I'll resume my Russian skype lessons asap (probably next week), and haven't done any Slovak except chatting with my housemates (this doesn't actually help me improve unless I'm also simultaneously studying because I've kind of reached a plateau of "casually learning casual conversation"). I've been slightly more active with Kabardian, really just trying to consolidate and centralise all the random pieces of information I've picked up, rather than learning anything new.

I've been to a few French classes and it really seems that my French is nowhere near as bad as I thought it was. The class is actually a GCSE class (I'm taking it for bureaucratic reasons), and although the level is higher than I expected it to be, in fact I can understand everything with complete ease - from the exam papers (100%), to the listening, comprehensions, etc, and even chatting with the native speaker. I'm actually having the experience (for the first time) of just directly understanding the French, as in, without consciously translating anything. I'm so surprised, but of course in a good way. Therefore, I can assume my French is at a B1 level, which was actually my goal for French at the start of this log.

Once again, there has been an influx of Spanish speakers into my workplace, so I've finally given in and started picking up a few words. Spanish is definitely more fun than Italian, but still not quite my cup of tea. I guess it's no surprise to anyone who speaks a romance language, but when I was listening in to the Spanish guys speaking, I could actually understand what they were saying (I suppose from a combination of English, French, and Italian exposure), so that was pretty cool... !

This is me officially back in the game now :) I'll post again with a concrete plan for moving forward this coming month (February has essentially passed in a blink), and I'll attend to Islandhoppers! finally!
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR) - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:40 am

Ok, so...... it was never in my plans, even long term, but..... I can't help myself, sooo......

it looks like I'm going to learn Spanish. :roll:

I've never enjoyed Spanish (or Italian). All my life, when my friends flocked to Spanish class, I turned to German, Latin, Ancient Greek. They fawned over Spanish speakers while I was busy admiring Russian and Arabic accents. I've already touched on my immersion in an Italian environment and steadfast disinterest in learning Italian. It's not that I want to disparage these languages - it's just that I never liked the sound of them, perhaps because I learnt (the very beautiful) French first, and maybe subconsciously found them to be ugly distortions of it.

HOWEVER, Spanish music is really good fun, the language is very useful globally, and the more I'm exposed to Spanish, the more frustrated I'm becoming that I can't communicate in it like I can with the rest of the languages around me, and in turn, the more motivated I am to learn it - and, an unexpected consequence, I'm finding myself warming more to Italiano. Vague comprehension in both languages is already there, so I figure, why not devote some study time to them and see what I can manage to learn before this flash of motivation evaporates.

Of course, this is just a symptom of my (and many language learners'!) biggest sin - the inability to commit to a language without being distracted by others !

So, I've set myself a challenge. I'd like to be communicating at a basic level with my Spanish colleagues by the end of next month (March). I suppose I'll also be picking up more 'active' Italian vocab along the way. This is because it's such a wonderful international workplace, that usually there are at least three different native languages within a few metres at all time, so it would be rare that I would learn the Polish/Czech/Slovak/Russian for a word without asking the others, "what is it in your language?", and we'd all do the same with Italian/Spanish. There's also a new Arabic speaker, so maybe I'll have to dust off my Arabic too.... :roll: :lol:

i'm honestly so easily led astray. some persian speakers had me madly passionate about farsi again... i'm not organised enough for this life

In terms of HOW I'm going to "learn basic Spanish in a month", well, I'm not quite sure yet. In fact, despite having literally* a hundred language books, I have zero about Spanish, because I've always been so sure that I'd never want to learn it, so, eh, oops.

*probably

- - - - - -

On to the languages which this log is actually dedicated to:

French - I'm sort of surprised and satisfied at the level I'm at in French. I still have a lot of work to do to be confident, competent, and anything near 'advanced', but I'm happy that the journey won't have to start at the beginning again as I'd imagined. As I've decided to take on a few more romance languages, I won't be spending much time on French. As before, the idea is simply to go to my class, do my homework, read some books, and chat to French speakers when I can (I was too shy to speak to SIX!! this week.... and spoke to three so terribly that they thought I'd just started learning lol #nerves).

Slovak - I've been trying harder to speak to my Slovak and Czech pals and colleagues. There are now a lot more Czech than Slovak suddenly, so I guess I'm going to have to stop being an avoidant wimp and finally retune my ears for Czech (you'd think after spending a month in Prague it would stick with you?...). This lovely holiday to Slovakia is looming, but tbh I just can't muster the energy to study new vocab. I've become so complacent with these languages, even though I love them. Don't worry, the fear of disappointing my partner's mother will definitely kick me back into action at some point.

Russian - unfortunately, I did lose frequent contact with my favourite Russian speaker, and the other one isn't very supportive of my efforts to learn. Only when he feels like it. However, there is a Venezuelan guy learning Russian, so sometimes the three of us will have little conversations, which is funny. Other than this, I've booked another skype lesson for Tuesday, and I've finally got my Russian books to the new apartment. *(originally I called the guy Spanish, but he's Venezuelan, so I edited to fix because that was accidentally disrespectful.)

Circassian - I've definitely cooled down on the vocab acquisition (and pronunciation practice, regrettably), and have instead been focussing on basic grammar. So far, so normal. Will update you all as the famously hellish Caucasian grammar begins to engulf me.

- - - - - -

This post is already outrageously long, but oh well, it's called a sLOG for a reason. Aside from languages, I love linguistics, and I intend to study it in the future. In the nearer future, I hope to teach English online. Therefore, I'll be trying to read some linguistics and TEFL books alongside studying languages. And I'm going to start the gym again.... dream big, right? :lol:

I'm trying some new study techniques from tomorrow (Monday), as today will be lost entirely to work, and I'm looking forward to reporting on how effective they are at boosting my productivity. Wish me luck for round two of this language journey!

EDIT: okay so 5 minutes into my first ever spanish session, and i've realised that my spanish speaking friends all happen to be from south america or andalusia, and I'm only now fully appreciating the s/th merging sound and frankly, as a lover of 'strange' noises, I'm living for it.
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languist
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR) - Summer 2018

Postby languist » Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:11 pm

A triple post. :oops:

Currently writing this as I sit, disappointed, waiting for my italki teacher. She missed our first lesson, but I'll forgive anyone for being busy once; our actual first lesson then went very well. A month with no internet passed, and we scheduled another (for yesterday). She rescheduled it for today (for 30 minutes ago...) and hasn't turned up. Very frustrating, given that I have to organise my life around knowing that I must be at home during this time to be on skype.

So I'll stay lazy with my Russian for today. As for Spanish, ! <-- this is a completely normal punctuation structure for me lol am i the only one who would read that as an emphatic, even theatrical, announcement? I'm aware that it's bizarre and "wrong"

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be learning Spanish, never mind be excited about it, but here we are.

It occurred to me that Spanish is the very first language I'll be learning from scratch in a way that I can direct the focus and nature of my studies from the very beginning.

French, I studied at school for years - on their terms.
Slovak, I picked up the majority of what I know from being around native speakers/content long before I ever saw a textbook.
Russian, I've been learning in fits and starts for a long time, exposed to a lot of native media, although producing very little myself.
Kabardian, although I try my best to learn as "actively" as possible, the lack of resources limit the variety of approaches one can take in terms of acquisition.
All other languages - I know so little of so many, but I can't say that I ever seriously studied them.

With Spanish, I certainly won't be in an 'immersive environment', but I'll have contact with native speakers 3-5 days a week. Prior to this, I have no experience with Spanish at all. True, I know basic French (and native English, and some weird vague awareness of Italian), which helps for picking up the gist of some simple conversation, but I have no clue how to create any sort of sentence in Spanish, or even say "I'm hungry". Which is of course the first thing to learn in any language. :D

The plan is to go from A0 to A2 Spanish in a month - or, to go from nothing to basic conversation. I plan to more or less "speak from day one". I work full time, and also balance other commitments and other languages, and moreover, I'm a fairly disorganised and lazy person. However, I'm pretty motivation for this mission, and I know members here like to see how these sorts of experiments and challenges go, so I hope I'll have some success to report back on. (:
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MamaPata
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR) - Summer 2018

Postby MamaPata » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:39 pm

languist wrote: I have no clue how to create any sort of sentence in Spanish, or even say "I'm hungry". Which is of course the first thing to learn in any language. :D


It's an important phrase.
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Corrections appreciated.

languist
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Learning: Mostly, how to procrastinate + French, Spanish, Darija, Russian, Slovak, Circassian, Greek
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feeling demotivated ! help :(

Postby languist » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:52 am

Hello everyone !

after a very long hiatus...

Unfortunately, I managed to break my phone, my laptop, have some pressing medical issues, end up in an unfortunate situation with lots of less than ideal consequences, have two catastrophically terrible breakups, drop out of college, have to move house, and leave my job - all consecutively ! So this year, despite my optimism, has not been the kindest to me in terms of language learning (or, in terms of anything, actually).

I lost almost all of my Circassian resources/contacts which I had worked hard to gather. I'd been in the process of organising and making back-ups of it, but I lost probably 95%, and along with everything else which was going on, I also lost my motivation. I still love Caucasian languages and would like to pursue them again, but perhaps I'll need to wait until I've managed to pick up some steam again.

My Russian studies and exposure were reduced to almost zero, for various reasons. I'm still around some Czechs and Slovaks every day (although less than before) but I more or less plateaued, and even stopped attempting to speak Slovak with people I had comfortably spoken almost exclusively Czech/Slovak with up until this point.

Spanish has remained a popular language in my work/social sphere, and I certainly find that I can understand a lot. However, my studies have been sporadic and really limited by my personal problems. As for French - I met some Algerian people, so I've been speaking French much more, and even started learning Darija (yes... Moroccan Arabic, rather than strictly Algerian, but sshh...). Unfortunately, a whole mess of a situation seems to be only solvable by me leaving my job, which means I'll lose all of my mini 'worlds of immersion'. Of course, I can still meet individual colleagues who I'm friendly with sometimes, but it's not the same as walking through a linguistic microcosm on a daily basis.

I also more or less stopped meeting people to help them with their English, and certainly haven't started a TEFL course or italki teacher account... although I'm supposed to meet a Spanish guy today to help him prepare for some qualification. I'm quite nervous that I won't be helpful.

I decided to call back in to the forum because I have access again, and I'd like to continue some form of language learning. It's been a hell of a year and to be honest, my motivation for any of these languages is very minimal at the moment. Yet, I still feel a drive from somewhere inside me to get to work and achieve something with them. The issue that I'm facing is that I love to learn the languages which I encounter in my environment, however frivolous it seems to others, and suddenly my entire environment has been shaken in the most violent way... it's difficult to find a direction to focus in.

I'm trying to find fire to fuel me in the very act of language learning, for the sake of the love of language (and all the doors which speaking a language can potentially open), but without the social aspect - and with all the weight that's been on my shoulders - I'm feeling a little flat about it all. The thing is, I really love languages, and I have never studied anything just because of one person or relationship etc, and I'd like to make a career of this whole business if there's an option. Does anyone have any advice?
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MamaPata
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR, ES) - Summer 2018

Postby MamaPata » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:15 pm

I don't have any advice in terms of making a career of languages because I don't know your background etc (though I'll be interested to hear what other people say). My general advice would be to give yourself a break and to not push yourself to study anything, at least for a few weeks. You've been through the wringer and I think forcing yourself to do anything would be a mistake. If there are things you like, books, shows, etc, enjoy those and let the language love come back gently.
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Corrections appreciated.

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Xenops
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR, ES) - Summer 2018

Postby Xenops » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:20 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your year. :cry: Since I read your update last night I have been praying for you.

As MamaPata says, it's difficult to give career advice, because I don't know your background. I also don't know what your level in those languages are. Regardless, an idea that I have, that seems to be fairly straight-forward and approachable, is to become an ESL teacher, either in your own country or abroad. For going abroad, you need a bachelor's (in anything) and a TEFL/TESOL or equivalent certificate. I got mine from this website: https://www.i-to-i.com To open more doors locally, you could take a CELTA class, which I confess are expensive, but they include class-room teaching experience. To open even more doors locally and abroad, you could go for a master's in teaching ESL.

For language learning, maybe take a break from those you're currently not enthused about, and try something new for funsies? ;)
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languist
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sleepless in spanish

Postby languist » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:52 am

Thank you both so much for the kind words. I know objectively that people have been through worse and lived to tell the tale, but this has definitely been the worst period of my life... but we're trying to turn things around now !

I'm sorry, I should have worded my paragraph better - I wasn't looking for advice about working with languages (although this is always welcome, so thank you), but rather about how to go about managing my lack of motivation and zest for... anything. Actually, you gave me advice about this too, so thank you again. :) In fact, teaching English abroad is definitely something which I want to do.

It looks like I'm going to have at least another week or two off work (although this is potentially, likely, a permanent break), so I'm going to try to make the most of it. It's been almost a week already, and all I've achieved is turning my internal clock upside-down; sleeping at 10am, waking up at 5pm. Yeah.

I really would love with all of my heart to return to Circassian, and reconnect with my old friends. However, I know that in practical terms it's not an option at the moment. :( I still have plans to visit the Caucasus next year, but I'm also putting Russian on pause (in fact, I hardly even seriously started it). I'll more or less be losing contact with my Slovak and Spanish friends, housemates, lovers, colleagues, teachers, but I'm signed up to a Spanish GCSE with my (Anglophone) friend, so I am committed to that. Slovak will always be a part of me, but I'm not sure where I can take it right now. As much as the intermediate grind bores me (in comparison to that new language thrill), I'm going to try to get my French back up to scratch. I can still communicate fairly freely, and the Dialang test gave me C1 for reading, but I don't feel confident enough to speak this language without eventually drowning in the conversation and scuttling back into English. I have no real reason to learn Darija now other than as a procrastination method in regards to Spanish, but I think I'll stick with it until I lose interest. I've always wanted to learn an Arabic dialect. (Thank you very much to Maiwenn and nooj for the resources; although I know I still need to thank you directly. I wanted to look through them first to avoid sending you many follow-up messages with any questions haha. but thank you!)

The problem is that I'm just feeling stress instead of enjoyment/relaxation - when it comes to languages, life, and even sleep, apparently...

In any case, it's approaching 7am and I've drowsily been going over Spanish present tense regular verbs. You read that right! As most of my learning comes from just hanging about with people, I find that even though I can effectively communicate, I have huge grammatical gaps. I always loved studying grammar when I was younger, obsessed with writing perfect Latin and French pieces. These days, high levels of receptive understanding and being able to say what I need to say has sufficed. This is especially a problem in Spanish, where I'm sure I can understand 75%+ written and 50%+ spoken language, with absolutely no preparation or effort involved... it makes for a lazy learner (in my case). It's different, when you see an opaque block of text and are so aware of how much you must chip away to reveal and internalise the meaning. With Spanish, I so often find myself just skimming through some text and shrugging off any nagging sense that I should learn the words, because I already understand them. It's the path of least resistance - practical for daily life, shamefully lazy for a language enthusiast.

If I don't sleep but somehow manage to cling on to a wisp of energy, I'll drudge through more of the very basic Spanish grammar, and then try to do the first module of the course textbook I've entirely neglected for three months.

... annoyingly, I met an Iranian man in a burrito queue earlier, and he was speaking Farsi on the phone. This moment, combined with the very enjoyable youtube video about an Iranian film director someone posted in a Persian thread, and a few stories in the news, all have me wanting to pick up Farsi again...... but no. At this moment, it's even more pointless than studying Arabic, and almost as bad as doing Kabardian.
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MamaPata
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Re: Multilang Goals (RU, SK, KBD, FR, ES) - Summer 2018

Postby MamaPata » Thu Nov 29, 2018 6:57 am

I have taught English before so feel free to message me if you have any questions.

Look after yourself! Just because other people have suffered more doesn't mean that you aren't also suffering.
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Corrections appreciated.


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