Lawyer&Mom, Less is More (French & German)

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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:24 am

I’ve done the traditional textbook and desk work method. I actually have a degree in German. The traditional method works! It’s just not the only method that works, and I just don’t have the patience for it anymore. One strength of the traditional method is that you develop all four skills very evenly. Well, I don’t really want even skills anymore. Given the magical wonders of streaming media, what I really want is amazing listening skills. Right now. Not after I spend two years learning all the grammar. The other skills are cool too, but I’m willing to let them trail behind. They will develop in time. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching TV.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:16 am

Assimil Russian is here!!!

I was able to breeze through the first fifteen lessons. Some new nouns, but nothing difficult. I don’t mind review.

But the recording is so painfully slow... delightfully clear, lovely voices but so freaking slow. So much padded silence between words. Clozemaster robot voice has spoiled me.

I assume they will pick up the pace soon. I hope. Please.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:59 am

I think I’ve solved the Russian Assimil problem: Pretend the first six lessons don’t exist. The seventh lesson has a summary dialogue, the length and complexity of which is equal to the first lesson of my French Assimil. I’ll start from there. By lesson seven the recording is still talking-to-small-non-verbal-children slow, but not beating-your-head-against-the-wall slow. As I am a small non-verbal child in Russian, it’s just about right.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:11 pm

I noticed an improvement after the first 100 and first 500 Russian sentences in Clozemaster. I’ve just passed 5,000 sentences, and again things seem a bit easier. I’m still only working with the first 500 words, so there has been a lot of repetition, but it’s nice to feel like I’m getting somewhere.

Still working with Assimil. Previously, with French, Assimil had been the main dish, with Clozemaster on the side, but this time it’s the other way around. I think that’s good. I’m going to need lots and lots of Assimil repetition, and I think I would get more frustrated if I didn’t have Clozemastwe for some variety and a sense of forward momentum.

Was poking around on Amazon.de, as you do, and found some interesting books for Russian learners. (Of course Germany would have better Russian resources!) dtv has a whole series of side-by-side bilingual readers with accent marks that look fairly good. I’m a long ways off, but maybe for Christmas!?! (2019?)

French continues to plod along. 100 new Closemaster sentences a day, a new Episode of ER. I’m finishing season 3, Carla and Benton just had their baby. Only 11 more seasons to go!
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby BalancingAct » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:23 am

Lawyer&Mom wrote:dtv has a whole series of side-by-side bilingual readers with accent marks that look fairly good.

Unfortunately they use incredibly small fonts (one very small, one very tiny), nothing like the normal dtv paperbacks whose fonts are already small by American standard. It is really disappointing, as everything seems so neat on their website.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:45 am

Well shoot. Thanks for the font warning! I’m sure I’ll find something else for my Christmas List. So many shiny books to covet.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:26 am

Today in Long-Term Wanderlust:

So I picked Russian sort of randomly. After I fell in love with the Clozemaster/Assimil combination for French, I immediately wanted to try the same method with a less transparent language. Gaelic has been on my “maybe” list for heritage reasons, but no Assimil. I actually considered Breton for awhile, (Assimil!) but it’s Clozemaster is quite limited and not sorted by frequency. And I didn’t really feel like starting a language where you have to special order any book you might ever want, and there aren’t even that many to start with. (But check out Mouchig-Dall. It’s absolutely adorable children’s television and available on YouTube.) I ended up picking Russian. A major European language, not transparent, lots of available materials (my central library has about six linear feet of Russian children’s books! Six! I would love to have that for French!) And so far, I’m really enjoying it. But the thing is I’m not all that interested in Russia itself. I mean the history and the literature are interesting, but for some reason I don’t feel compelled to visit. (If I did I’d probably have been there by now.) I’m not ruling anything out, maybe I’ll go someday, we’ll see.

There is however, a Slavic country I do love, Czech Republic. I first visited Prague when I was 17, and it sparked my interest in Mittleuropa. I studied German because of Prague. (Although my university actually offered Czech, German seemed more practical. I do not regret this choice.) So I did some sleuthing today. There is a (French based) Czech Assimil! There is a Czech Clozemaster! And miracles of miracles, my phone can do Czech TTS! (Why? I have no idea.) Now this is purely long term wanderlust. I want to tackle Russian first. It seems more practical. (And there’s all those Russian books at the library.) But someday, when it’s time to learn a second Slavic language, it’s going to be Czech. (Yay!!)
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Systematiker » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm

Just for the purpose of temptation:

I mean, I’ve started Czech with my Russian at a barely-A2, and frankly I probably read Czech better than Russian at this point (but not speak, whoo boy).

Not that I’m advising starting now, just that you might not need to wait forever.


Also, with unsortiert Clozemaster, I think it’s not an inherent issue to have it that way, it’s just a problem with a large corpus. I complain about Ukrainian being that way but it’s also like 17 or 18k sentences. Even with only 700-odd sentences I think Breton assimil+Clozemaster would be a doable project and probably get one reading decently.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:18 pm

I think the biggest limitation on Clozemaster is whether or not a particular language has TTS functionality. For me, TTS is really the magic sauce. I’m sure you could learn a lot without it, but I’m also sure I’d pick up bad habits. I’m bad about actually decoding whole words. I just kind of recognize the shape of the word. I really need to hear the language to avoid baking in bad approximations.

Czech also isn’t next on my list. By the time my Russian is in any kind of shape, my French should be good enough to let me pick up Spanish. And I really ought to learn Spanish. If only because I’ll have such easy access to native materials. (I’m perpetually ambivalent about Romance languages. So useful! Also kind of boring! But fun!)
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Lawyer&Mom does it all (French, German, Russian)

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Mar 30, 2018 4:59 am

German has been on the back burner for ages. (My intermediate plateau is now old enough to vote...) I’ve always said that “someday” I’d take it to the next level, but it turns out that B2 is a really comfortable place to be. I can read German books to my kids really, really well. My prosody is fantastic, I can translate on the fly, what more do I actually need?

I decided I needed to learn French more than I needed to improve my German. This because I decided I wanted my kids to learn French, and it would be my job to teach them. (We have a lovely Saturday school for German.) French is a heritage language for them, their Great-grandfather was born in Wallonia. Turns out improving your kids is a great motivator. My husband never thought I’d stick with this project, and over a year later I’m still at it. (Plus Russian, um, because.) My oldest will start German Saturday Kindergarten in the Fall, I plan to start French in third grade, so I have a few years left to up my French game.

But what about German? I’ve already added it into my Clozemaster rotation, because why not? Tonight I watched Tagesshau for the first time in forever, and I loved loved loved hearing formal high level German again. Maybe I’ll add Tagesshau to the TV routine? It’s short, and just chock full of goodness. Time to bring my German to a simmer.
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