kanewai's book shelf

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1225
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
x 2208

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby Carmody » Fri Jan 29, 2021 12:44 am

kanewai

Many thanks for sharing your routine; you make it all sound so doable and casual.

The idea that the TV does not interfere sounds important.

Congratulations again on your great accomplishments.
2 x

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:28 pm

I think we've all had this experience. I'm meeting a friend at a coffee shop, and I go early to study a bit. Friend arrives, and looks at my notebook:

- What is that ... wow, you speak Greek!
- I'm trying to learn it.
- That's amazing. You can write in Greek! How are you learning it, online?
- No. (I point out the book he's holding). I'm using books.
- You must have a talent.
- It's mostly a lot of work.
- I don't have that talent
- You might. A lot of it is putting in the time.
- You're a natural at languages, aren't you?
- I really just spend a lot of time studying.
- You should use one of those online programs.

And, end scene.

On to the books: Five weeks or so and Greek is now taking up most of my mental energy. I've learned from past experiences not-learning German that I cannot just "assimilate" a language with a lot of declensions and cases. I've settled on a three-prong approach for now. I used to feel that I should finish one course before moving on to another, but I always hit a wall when I try that.

Language Transfer - I finished lesson 55 / 120 last night. I have to do most lessons two or three times now. It's great, though I have one minor complaint. Mihalis (the creator) goes to great lengths to avoid using grammatical terms. Sometimes that helps, sometimes it only confuses the issue. Sometimes I just wish he'd call something the "subject" or "object" rather than trying to use an English analogy. It'd be easier that way.

Assimil - to lesson 28. I try for one lesson a day. I'm glad that this isn't my only resource, because I'd already be lost. The best part is having more natural-sounding dialogues. It let's me know what I'm aiming for.

Communicate in Greek - to lesson 3. This is more of a traditional grammar book. I had mixed feelings at first - it's partly designed for self-study, partly for classroom use. There are a lot of games that I skip, and a lot of exercises that ask you to practice asking and responding to simple questions with your partner. I hated these in school - I felt like we were just reinforcing each other's bad accents and grammar mistakes.

The good parts of the book: The text is only in Greek, with English-language support for each chapter in the appendix. It helps me to not "cheat" by glancing at the English. And there are no transcriptions; it's just Greek. And at this point it helps to memorize and drill the basics. Assimil and LT both argue against memorizing verb or noun tables, but I need it at this point. Otherwise I just get lost.

At some point I'll start in on FSI, at least the first book. It uses a slightly older form of written Greek, and I don't want to confuse myself this early. Before my trip I'll dive into Pimsleur, so probably mid-summer. Hopefully by that time Pimsleur will be easy and I can just use it to develop a more casual and fluent speech.

This doesn't leave much room for actual study of other languages! I still want to keep on with Assimil Arabic, though I haven't had any time for it this past week. This coming month I hope to use Speakly more for Italian / French / Spanish, just to help maintain them a bit. I doubt I'll have the time to hit the grammar books properly as long as my focus is on Greek.
17 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:02 am

Greek (daily) - The Language Transfer / Assimil combo is working well for me. I'm less impressed with Communicate in Greek; I feel like I need to sift through to find the exercises that are useful. Too much of it seems to be 'busy work' designed to keep students occupied for an hour during class.

Arabic (most days) - Still slowly working though Assimil. I'm struggling with whether it is worth the time or not. Some days I think: it's a long process, just do a little bit at a time. Other days I think: you've tried this "just a little bit at a time" approach before and it's never worked, and it often takes time and energy away from languages that you will actually need.

French (passive only) - I've been re-watching Dix pour cent / Call My Agent! with French closed-captions. It's a great series, but I don't think I'd be able to follow it without the captions. I tried speaking French into the google speech-to-text translation app, and failed miserably. Rationally, I should put Arabic aside and make French my second focus. At some point this year I will.

Spanish (passive only) - My losing streak with Spanish media continues. I got bored with both Cid and 30 monedas. Either would have been fine as a single movie, but not as a series with movie-length episodes. I also quit reading Dime quién soy by Julie Navarro after about 400 pages. I enjoyed it at first, and it would have been a great beach read if it had been a normal length novel - but it's a whopping 1100 pages. Without spoilers: it became increasingly unbelievable as the novel went on.

I have a similar problem with a lot of English-language sci fi and fantasy - they are always so bloated & far longer than they need to be. I haven't noticed this as much with Italian and French novels.

Italian (passive only) - I've also been re-watching Gomorra. I saw it years ago, when the only way to watch was through unofficial streams with subtitles done by volunteers. It's nice to watch the proper version on HBO; it's an amazing show. And I've started reading L'isola di Arturo by Elsa Morante, a coming-of-age story set in Procida, an island off the coast of Naples, sometime in the 1930s. So far the writing is beautiful.
9 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120

User avatar
iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1916
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
x 10256

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby iguanamon » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:16 am

kanewai wrote: I also quit reading Dime quién soy by Julie Navarro after about 400 pages. I enjoyed it at first, and it would have been a great beach read if it had been a normal length novel - but it's a whopping 1100 pages. Without spoilers: it became increasingly unbelievable as the novel went on.

Took me six weeks to read the whole thing. Trust me, you didn't miss much. The unbelievable-ness continues all the way to the end! I only stuck with it because of the Ladino-speaking character. Reminded me of the old James Michener saga novels.
3 x

DaveAgain
Blue Belt
Posts: 918
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:26 am
Languages: Eng (n)
x 1640

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Feb 09, 2021 8:40 am

kanewai wrote:
French (passive only) - I've been re-watching Dix pour cent / Call My Agent! with French closed-captions. It's a great series, but I don't think I'd be able to follow it without the captions.
The screenplay for the first series is available in print.

There is something in register of speech. Radio/current affairs, I typically have only a few unknown words, TV dramas can be a very different story.

I remember one of the LangFocus vidoes, talking about standard German and dialects he illustrated it with an x-axis. People don't speak 100% dialect, or 100% standard, they move along an axis depending on the situation and the other speakers.
5 x

User avatar
MorkTheFiddle
Brown Belt
Posts: 1260
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 2313

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:03 pm

iguanamon wrote:
kanewai wrote: I also quit reading Dime quién soy by Julie Navarro after about 400 pages. I enjoyed it at first, and it would have been a great beach read if it had been a normal length novel - but it's a whopping 1100 pages. Without spoilers: it became increasingly unbelievable as the novel went on.

Took me six weeks to read the whole thing. Trust me, you didn't miss much. The unbelievable-ness continues all the way to the end! I only stuck with it because of the Ladino-speaking character. Reminded me of the old James Michener saga novels.

Thank you both for your opinions. I too have seen this fat novel sitting on a shelf in book store and wondered whether it was worth the money or the time. Now I know to avoid it. There is too much good stuff to read to waste time on something not worth the time. :)
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:39 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
iguanamon wrote:
kanewai wrote: I also quit reading Dime quién soy by Julie Navarro after about 400 pages. I enjoyed it at first, and it would have been a great beach read if it had been a normal length novel - but it's a whopping 1100 pages. Without spoilers: it became increasingly unbelievable as the novel went on.

Took me six weeks to read the whole thing. Trust me, you didn't miss much. The unbelievable-ness continues all the way to the end! I only stuck with it because of the Ladino-speaking character. Reminded me of the old James Michener saga novels.

Thank you both for your opinions. I too have seen this fat novel sitting on a shelf in book store and wondered whether it was worth the money or the time. Now I know to avoid it. There is too much good stuff to read to waste time on something not worth the time. :)
Though - if anyone is looking for good Super Challenge material, this fits the bill. I could read a hundred-plus pages a week without trouble.
1 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:32 am

Minor updates

Greek - I've put aside Communicate in Greek for the time being. I felt like it was wasting too much of my time. The opening dialogues, for example, are all in Greek. In theory I like that, but they don't offer enough clues to figure out the new vocabulary. The student is expected to look up every new word in the dictionary. It's pointless and time consuming. And so I started in on FSI Basic. Some early thoughts:

- I forgot how useful their approach to the opening dialogue of each chapter is. It's read at a natural pace, then they go over each sentence line by line at a slower pace, focusing on the pronunciation of new vocabulary, and then it's re-read at a natural pace. Then it's replayed once again for "comprehension," then yet again for "fluency." All course books could learn from this model.

- The main narrator sounds like some bad guy from an old movie; I keep imagining Peter Lorre in the Maltese Falcon. It's not too much of a distraction. I'd heard the course had poor audio, but so far it's fine. The text itself is hard to read. It looks like it was photocopied from a blurry print. It's hard to make out all the Greek letters, which in some ways frees me to focus more intently on the audio.

- The directions for the drills aren't as clear as they were with the French and Spanish courses.

- It throws you right in! This is not going to be an easy course. And I don't expect FSI to be easy. This means that I don't think I'll be able to do Assimil and FSI at the same time; I just won't have the time or energy to do either properly. For now I'll keep my focus on Assimil, and maybe just do FSI on the weekends.

- And suddenly, even though my trip isn't until October, I feel like I don't have enough time.

Arabic - I haven't put Assimil back on the shelf yet, but I'm dropping Arabic down to a lower-priority language.

French - I'm moving French back up to my second priority language, and have been practicing with Kwiziq each night. Currently working through the B1 level quizzes. My conference in Marseille really looks like it will happen this time, and I want to arrive feeling confident with French.
4 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Tue Feb 23, 2021 11:39 pm

I'm realizing that it's been a very long time since I've made a hard and sustained push to learn a new language. Meaning, a language I want to be able both read and speak in, and one I want to maintain once I reach a sustainable level. A language I want to move into my permanent roster.

In the 1990s I did well in Micronesian (because I lived there two years) and Indonesian (for a long, six-month wander). I worked hard to learn each, but didn't maintain them.

In 2011 I pushed hard with French for the entire year, and in 2012 started with Spanish. Both were multi-year tasks, but I had studied them off and on before. In 2014 Italian took less than a year to level-up; it almost felt like a free-be.

And while I pushed hard with a lot of other languages over the years (German, Turkish, Arabic), I never made the long-term multi-year commitment to really reach fluency.

So Greek almost feels like I'm learning how to learn, all over again.
9 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120

User avatar
kanewai
Blue Belt
Posts: 569
Joined: Fri May 22, 2015 9:10 pm
Location: Honolulu
Languages: Native: English
Active: Greek, Arabic
Maintenance: Italian, Spanish, French
Priors: Pááfang (Micronesian), Indonesian, Latin, Epic Greek, Turkish
x 2128
Contact:

Re: kanewai's book shelf

Postby kanewai » Wed Feb 24, 2021 6:47 pm

Greek, con't.

The Assimil lessons between 30 and 40 were hard, and it usually takes me two nights per lesson for even this passive stage. Language Transfer got challenging after lesson 60, and I'm also at two or more sessions for each. I thought I would finish LT by the end of this month; now I think it will take me another two months.

I think I might have to cut out even the light studying I've been doing with French and Italian, at least for a little bit. It's easy and fun to work through a couple songs with Lyrics Training at the end of the night - but then I'll have little phrases from that language floating around in my brain. And at this point I need to have little phrases from Greek floating around in my brain - so any other active study is out.

Reading, tv, and podcasts in other languages don't seem to have any interference, so at least I can passively maintain my Romance languages while I try to bring Greek into the fold.

In another week + I'll reach the active phase in Assimil. It feels so soon.
6 x
Jean-Claude Izzo, Total Khéops: 120 / 350
Posteguillo, Y Julia Retó a los Dioses: 0 / 100
Elsa Morante, L isola di Arturo: 100 / 100
Assimil, Le grec: 45 / 100
Language Transfer Greek: 75 / 120


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests