Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

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numerodix
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Languages: Polish (native), Norwegian (native), English (native), Italian (C1), French (B2), Dutch (B1), Portuguese (studying), Mandarin (studying)
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Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:12 pm

Given the uncertainty about the future of HTLAL here's my (temporary?) log again.

Decent but need more speaking practice:
French, Italian, Dutch

Actively studying:
Portuguese

Maybe later:
Mandarin
Last edited by numerodix on Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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numerodix
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Languages: Polish (native), Norwegian (native), English (native), Italian (C1), French (B2), Dutch (B1), Portuguese (studying), Mandarin (studying)
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along

Postby numerodix » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:18 pm

Portuguese

Assimil lesson 50, here we are! It took me 21 days to get here, doing 3 lessons (later 2) per day.

I have to adapt my strategy again given the active phase, so what I'm gonna try to do for now is:
- one new lesson (passive phase) - lesson 50 onwards
- two old lessons (active phase) - lesson 1 onwards

Later I will probably slow down to 1 active + 1 passive. It does mean that it will take close to 100 days (maybe ~80) to finish the course, which seems like an eternity. But I'm trying to pace myself knowing that a) I don't have a deadline and b) long time exposure is a good thing.
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numerodix
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Languages: Polish (native), Norwegian (native), English (native), Italian (C1), French (B2), Dutch (B1), Portuguese (studying), Mandarin (studying)
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along

Postby numerodix » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:40 pm

Mandarin

The future is here! Or to be exact it will be here in the near erm... future.

I was all set for a Brussels trip to fnac on Monday, but then it turns out the return trip ticket is 68 euro. Seriously? It used to be like 35. So I decided not to fork over 70 euro just to go to a bookstore, seems a bit much. Instead I used my internet and ordered 100 euro worth of Assimil Mandarin gear, which should be here by the end of the week.

Initially I was going to finish off Portuguese first, but I decided not to rush it because systematic exposure is more useful than binging. So I'll be doing the two Assimils in parallel for a while, until I finish one. With a focus on Portuguese while I dip my toes in Mandarin.

It's going to be an interesting experience. I've never tried to learn a language so distant. Since I've been at language study for 5-6 years now I think I have enough patience to stick around for a while, so I'm not too worried about not seeing progress.
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numerodix
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Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:06 pm
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Languages: Polish (native), Norwegian (native), English (native), Italian (C1), French (B2), Dutch (B1), Portuguese (studying), Mandarin (studying)
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:39 am

Wehey, we have embeddable youtube videos on the forum now!

Here's my latest:
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numerodix
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:02 pm

It turns out doing a video at 22:00 after a day of doing portuguese and mandarin plus a bunch of non-language related things isn't that easy. I thought I would just wing it since I know the topic well, but that didn't work. There is something interesting to be said for your mental condition when producing language. Not thinking in the language at all doesn't make it easier, neither does being tired from a long day.

I had to go over the story 2-3 times in order for it to fall into place, and find all the right words. But I guess practicing when tired is also a useful learning experience.

I seem to always underestimate the physical and mental effort required to articulate Dutch. Since it's not French it just seems easy, "it will come by itself". But it doesn't, and I stumble over simple differences like long vs short vowels that I assume are trivial and require no concentration.

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Jar-Ptitsa
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:09 pm

hi :)

Your Dutch is great! You pronounce very well I think 8-)

I have understood everything, no problem or difficulty at all.

You make some little mistakes: the genders of the words, for example it must be HET pakket and HET postkantoor, not DE (and therefore not DIE, but DAT)

I hope that you wanted my comments.
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: 5 / 50 Spanish vocabulary

numerodix
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Sat Jul 25, 2015 10:18 pm

vogeltje wrote:hi :)

Your Dutch is great! You pronounce very well I think 8-)

I have understood everything, no problem or difficulty at all.

You make some little mistakes: the genders of the words, for example it must be HET pakket and HET postkantoor, not DE (and therefore not DIE, but DAT)

I hope that you wanted my comments.


Hey, thanks a lot for your feedback! Nice to know I speak clearly enough.

Yeah, I know about the genders and quite frankly I don't care. There's absolutely no potential for misunderstanding, so it's all just window dressing as far as I'm concerned. :P If I can eliminate the other mistakes and just use the wrong gender all the time I'll be quite content (and yes I know that it sounds corny but my standards for Dutch aren't that high).
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Jar-Ptitsa
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:16 pm

numerodix wrote:
vogeltje wrote:hi :)

Your Dutch is great! You pronounce very well I think 8-)

I have understood everything, no problem or difficulty at all.

You make some little mistakes: the genders of the words, for example it must be HET pakket and HET postkantoor, not DE (and therefore not DIE, but DAT)

I hope that you wanted my comments.


Hey, thanks a lot for your feedback! Nice to know I speak clearly enough.

Yeah, I know about the genders and quite frankly I don't care. There's absolutely no potential for misunderstanding, so it's all just window dressing as far as I'm concerned. :P If I can eliminate the other mistakes and just use the wrong gender all the time I'll be quite content (and yes I know that it sounds corny but my standards for Dutch aren't that high).


Yes, I agree about the genders in Dutch, i don’t care about them and make some mistakes also, :? but I knew that pakket and postkantoor were neutral. but I use your technique I think: if you don’t know, say DE not HET haha :lol: or the other one where you can make it diminutive and then it’s always neutral, exactly like in German :lol:

Your Dutch seem like the Randstad one. I learned the south Netherlands pronunciation, with the zachte G
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-w- I am Jar-ptitsa and my Hawaiian name is ʻā ʻaia. Please correct my mistakes in all the languages. Thank you very much.
: 1 / 50 Spanish grammar
: 5 / 50 Spanish vocabulary

numerodix
White Belt
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:06 pm
Location: NL
Languages: Polish (native), Norwegian (native), English (native), Italian (C1), French (B2), Dutch (B1), Portuguese (studying), Mandarin (studying)
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:38 am

Mandarin

I've done 3 lessons of Assimil and it's not working. There are just too many things going on. The vocabulary doesn't stick, the correspondence of spoken-to-written form is tricky, the tones are hard to hear and hard to articulate. I think in about 2-3 lessons I'm going to get muddled to the point where I'm confusing everything I've learnt so far.

This is a nice opportunity to reflect on just how many advantages I have when learning "easy" European languages:
  • Familiarity with how the language sounds - I knew the sounds of Italian way before I started "studying" officially.
  • Spoken form <-> written form is always a breeze and easy to establish. Each language has a few obscure corners (like "x" in Portuguese), but that can be fixed with short focused study.
  • The meaning of new words is often easy because of cognates. That allows more energy to be spent on the tricky ones.
  • Syntax is familiar and only slightly different from language to language.

Brainstorming on ideas:
  • More pinyin drilling. I've done a few of those tutorials and I figured I would just let the stuff I'm still a bit unclear about take care of itself through exposure. But I can't study every aspect of a language at the same time - some things must be a reliable foundation already.
  • Get familiar with the sound of the language. It would be really good to get a feel for the language first - that would make things easier. But I'm not sure I can do that by just listening - since I understand nothing I will tune out very quickly I think. Another option is a course like Pimsleur, just to build a very basic speaking ability and fundamental vocab. That will make Assimil lessons easier to follow.
  • Spoken <-> written form. The answer ought to be LR, but I can't handle the spoken language at normal speed yet. The text has to be in pinyin with tone markers too, not sure how easy it is to find those.

Ideas welcome :)
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numerodix
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Re: Still (still!) plugging along [fr/it/nl + pt]

Postby numerodix » Fri Jul 31, 2015 9:04 pm

Dutch

I'm doing a couple of different things.

  • Making youtube videos - having a story to tell, rehearsing it a couple of times and then recording it. I'm not entirely sure how useful this exercise is, but it certainly helps me practice putting it all together into a story. It also helps me refresh the relevant vocabulary.
  • "Thinking in Dutch" - what I really mean by this is doing ordinary everyday things around the house and talking about them in Dutch. Any time I can't remember how to say something or don't know the name for something (like in the kitchen) I put it on the list. And then I make cards in Anki for everything.

Which means that I'm back on Anki. I've used it a lot in the past to drill words I had seen and wasn't familiar with. I was not terribly happy with that - I'd just end up seeing the same words again and again that I didn't care all that much about. The rule of thumb I have now (at least for Dutch) is that if it's not a word I already kinda know (and just needs drilling) I don't put it in. Because if I don't know it at all then it's not relevant to me at this time.
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