The Pickle Log (Spanish and a little German)

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picklelanguage
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The Pickle Log (Spanish and a little German)

Postby picklelanguage » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:11 am

Hello. I am picklelanguage and welcome to my log.

So I always write way too much in these things, so I will be rather brief. I am a native English speaker, who is somewhere mid B's in Spanish, and A1 in both German, French, and Japanese. I've also dabbled in Arabic, Korean, and Esperanto.

I am mainly making this log because I am committing to do the Super Challenge, and, at least for now, my posts will correspond to my progress in the challenge (as opposed to daily/weekly logs). I plan on making a post every 10 "films" and 10 "books. (So 15 hours and 500 pages, 10% of the challenge). In those posts I will try to track extensively how my language skills have change during that time. I'm kind of treating this as an almost research project to try to see how my skills actually change qualitatively over that time.

At least plan wise, I plan on starting with a single SC for Spanish. From there, I plan on adding more as I finish them. I don't want to commit to doing more than that, so I'm less likely to give up because I fall behind some arbitrarily chosen goal at the beginning of the challenge.

Although, I do have ideas of what I might try after. I needed to fill up the last 3 credits of my undergraduate with a non-major class, so I'm taking German I. So, I think I'm going to at least try a half challenge while taking that class. Past that, If I have time I want to either do a second Spanish challenge or a French challenge. That will depend on how much the Spanish challenge wears me down really.

I will also be doing a 10k Anki deck for Spanish, although slowly. Last time I tried this challenge, I tried to go through this same deck as quickly as possible (Basically in 100 days). I credit burning out on this deck with what caused me to burn out of the SC, which is somewhat ironic because it wasn't even part of the challenge haha. So, right now I'm committing to ~25 cards per day as that will put me on track to finish with the 10k card challenge posted on the challenge board.

So, I guess the last thing to talk about is my current Spanish level, as this log is intended to track my progress in it. Sadly, just like last log, I consider myself somewhere between B1 and B2. Although, I have improved since then. I think I exaggerated my skills and was solidly B1 last time I tried. Since that time, I haven't done much to improve my reading. In my last log, I had finished reading 2 books (Harry Potter and El Hobbit). I have not read any more books since then. However, I have had some periods of regularly reading spanish-language newspapers, so I feel like my more technical/political reading level has increased. I think the thing that has significantly increased since my last log has been my listening skills. Although it is still an area that holds me back, I have very noticeable progress. For example, I now regularly watch spanish speaking yotubers (e.g. German, Luisito Comunica, etc.) For context, when I had burned out on the previous SC back in August 2016, I had JUST discovered HolaSoyGerman, but I could not understand him at all without subtitles. Now I regularly watch him and actually consider him one of the easier youtubers to understand.

So youtubers will obviously be a pretty big part of my logged time. I'm also now finding podcasts to listen to, although I will admit that it is significantly more difficult to understand than most youtubers as they tend to speak more quickly. I also have a lineup of shows that I want to get through like the second two seasons of "club de cuervos" and both seasons of "la casa de papel".

For reading, I don't really have any long term plans on what to read. But to start out I will be working through the 6 remaining Harry Potter books.

Anyways, see you all in a bit. It might actually be a bit because I will be busy the first few weeks of May with my term project and finals. But after that, things should speed up a bit.
Last edited by picklelanguage on Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
5 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
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Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Tue May 01, 2018 2:36 am

Figure I should make an update before jumping into the thick of it in SC. I've been keeping up with my anki. Currently have 157 cards in rotation. Honestly, it is so much nicer doing only 25 cards a day rather than the 100+ I was doing last time I tried. Granted, I'm only a week or so in, but reviews can't pile too much with only 25 new cards a day. And in the weird case that they do, I'm totally fine with taking a week or two just doing reviews so it slows down again. I figure if I'm still going at the end of 2019 and running a bit behind - THEN I can actually start doing more than 25+ a day.

In terms of actual practice, haven't been doing much. It's sort of a dumb mindset cause the SC date is arbitrary, but I keep wanting to save good things I find until the SC, so I have multiple shows on netflix that I'm itching to get started with. I think the first thing I'm going to work through is "La casa de papel." sine I recently started it. Tonight, I'm thinking of watching "Contratiempo" to kick things off, although I do have to hop on skype for a lecture in the morning so still weighing my options.

Also going to have to dig out my Harry Potter books to get started reading.

Oh yeah, I did watch a comedian on netflix. It went...ok. The more general joke I got and were funny, but there was a lot of mexican slang or cultural references that went straight over my head (or I just didnt understand linguistically)
2 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
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Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Wed May 02, 2018 7:48 am

Not a full update. Just saying that I ended up watching "Contratiempo/The Invisible Guest". Definitely worth a watch (Spanish or not) if its on Netflix in your country.
1 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Wed May 16, 2018 6:54 am

Just a quick update. I've been basically on standstill with the Super Challenge. My finals season has been the busiest of my life, so the little bit I was thinking I could do, I haven't. Hopefully will be able to catch up a bit after finals end this Thursday.

I have been keeping up with anki though. Currently have about 500 cards in rotation, 100 of them being mature. 25 cards a day is a really maintainable speed, and since it is way faster than is required for the 10K card challenge, if it ever starts building up, I can really spend as long as I need just doing reviews.
0 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Fri May 25, 2018 3:43 am

What a month

I made a commitment to post every 10 books and 10 films, so here I am. I just finished my first 10 films. Mostly thanks to "La casa de papel". But let's dive in to whats happened.

So first of all, I knew that I was going to be hit hard by finals, but this was nowhere close to what I expected. It's funny cause people almost don't believe me when I tell them how stressful my finals were. Like they go, "Yeah, ok, we all had stressful finals". Nah, I know what regular stressful finals are. This was worse. In any case, not really saying this to whine, more of giving an excuse for why I abandoned the Super Challenge for a week and a half. Trust me when I say if I hadn't I would've been so burned out I wouldn't have touched Spanish for months.

I did, however, maintain my pace at anki. Currently at 855 (not sure why that's not a factor of 25, but stranger things have happened). In fact, I have upped it slightly for this week. Since Monday I have been doing 50 new cards a day instead of 25. Friday will be my last day doing this, and I will do a short period (5-10 days probably) doing reviews only. I wanted to see how this would work for me. In all honesty, I don't think I will try this again in the future, or at least not adding so much. The reviews pile up quickly. In any case, I've sort of realized how far ahead I am time-wise for the 10k card challenge, so I can afford myself long "review-only" breaks.

Haven't touched my book since, well May 3rd I guess. Sitting nicely at 2 books. Reading is a little bit less of a worry for me. Honestly, I'm mostly doing the SC for the listening skills, the reading is just a plus. It's much easier, in my opinion, to get lost in a show for 90 minutes than it is to get lost in a book for 50 pages. In any case, I will probably do some reading over this weekend to try to get that moving again. I wouldn't be surprised, though, if my next post here was because I hit 20 films rather than 10 books.

Lastly, films. La casa de papel. Excellent show. I can see why it got so popular. There are definitely things that make you cringe, writing wise, like when they straight up "enhance" the pixels or pretty much anything to do with technology. But there is a reason why I watched the entire second season today. And the reason is that it is incredibly addicting. I don't know what I'm going to watch next. I wanted to intersperse movies between shows to keep things interesting. I guess I'll browse netflix tomorrow to see if any movie catches my eyes. Show wise, I'm debating between two shows. 1) El ministerio del tiempo. I keep hearing good things about this online. 2) The most recent two seasons of Club de cuervos. I'm leaning towards the latter as El ministerio del tiempo seems like quite the undertaking (70 minute episodes, yikes), and cuervos seems like it would be a nice contrast to the action packed casa de papel that I just watched.

So, part of this log is to track my progress. Unfortunately, it's not that I don't feel like I progressed much in 900+ minutes, I just don't think I had any breakthroughs in anything. It was just a general improvement all around. I think I'm nearing the point where I can start getting rid of the subtitles. Perhaps not in these next 10 films, but the 20-30 range might be the time. I think that might be the only improvement that I can actually point to. I feel like I can understand mumbled/whispered speech a bit better. So I will pay extra close attention to that over these next 10 films.

I will probably see some progress in my goals over the next 5 days. After that, I end my short vacation and start my summer internship. Even though that basically makes my 9-5 taken up (like every other adult lol), the office is 45-50 minutes away, so if I keep a steady supply of podcasts, that would make for a film every weekday just by driving to and from work. Of course, I'll probably not be able to keep that steady a supply of podcasts, so that's not a perfect system, but I will of course, also be watching my shows at home like usual.

So, I will probably see you all in about a week. Maybe longer. Maybe shorter if my next show is addicting as well.
3 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:40 am

Well it certainly wasn't "just a week" but I'm back. With 20 films down.

I started my internship. This has been both a blessing and a curse to my learning. The blessing is that the 1.5-2 hours of driving I have in a day gives me ample time to do my listening. The downside is that my job is a bit more.... mentally straining than I expected so I am absolutely wiped by the end of the day. So, even though I have plenty of time to listen to a podcast or watch a show (when I'm home obviously), it's hard to find inspiration. It's not that I'm burnt out from studying. I'm burnt out from life.

But I've been adjusting and now have a little energy. Enough energy to finally pick up reading again. Still horribly behind pace. I've now finished another "book". Just to finish on time I should be reading 5 books a month, and since I want to do multiple challenges I should be even further. In any case, now that I'm reading again, I'm finding that my reading speed has increased by a little bit so I should be able to catch up if I can bring myself to keep reading.

Regarding the "films/television/podcasts" thing, I'm doing well. It took a minute to start back up after La casa de papel but I got hooked on Club de Cuervos and that got me consistent again. I'm about halfway through the most recent season so not quite sure what I'll be doing afterwards. Not sure if I want to watch that other show I was talking about last post or what. But for now, I'm enjoying myself. I've also found a good cycle of podcasts that I can listen to. Like I said earlier, my drive gets me a lot of time, but podcasts are pretty hard to follow, which I will sort of talk about in a bit.

But before that, anki. I'm REALLY happy that I've stayed consistent with anki. So I went ahead with the 10 day break from new cards, although I didn't take a full break. I did 5 new cards a day, just so that I could still see the number tick down a bit. Honestly, for all of the things that I thought I would stay consistent with, I didn't think anki. So at the moment I have 1265 seen cards - 874 mature and 391 young. Honestly, seeing so many mature cards is pretty cool. Of course, I know it's because these first cards are the easiest - I'm doing a word frequency deck - but it's still cool to see that I "know" so many cards. Currently I'm averaging around 100 cards (~75 review and 25 new) a day. I could probably remain comfortable with 150-200 cards a day, but I don't really want to test it.

I've also kind of made a plan for how to go through the deck. For 600 cards, I do 25 new a day. Then for the next 350 I do 50 a day. Then I take a 10 day break only doing 5 a day. That way, I spend most of my time at a nice pace, I have a short time seeing I big increase in speed, and a nice 10 day break. So thats a 41 day cycle (24 + 7 + 10). I should finish it in about a year. Of course, that also gives me plenty of time to extend my break periods. Hell, I could make them all 20 days and still be on pace. Though I wouldn't do that... cause I was itching to start doing new cards by day 9 of my break.

So in terms of improvement - first I have to say 900 minutes is a pretty short period of time to try to analyze improvement. There is certainly improvement but very fine improvement. I don't know a way to describe it, but watching Club de Cuervos has certainly improved. At the beginning of season 2, I was having at least one or two scenes where I didn't understand what was happening plot wise each episode. On rare occasions, it was bad enough where I had to quickly rewatch in English. I don't want to jinx it, but I haven't had to rewatch at all this season, and have only had one or two scenes where I was confused in these 4 episodes I've seen so far. Overall, it's just less of a strain to watch the show. I still have to concentrate, and I will get lost if I stop watching the subtitles for too long, but I don't have to be laser focused. I just have to be focused.

The other thing I've been noticing is regarding podcasts. It's this bittersweet thing where I'm sort of starting to have stretches of time where I'm not mentally translating and just "listening in spanish" for lack of a better phrase. The bitter part is that I'm at this place where I still have a lot of things where I just can't keep up with without actually doing the mental translation. So I will start to switch into "spanish" mode, will hit a wall, and then it will be difficult to get back into the conversation. Meanwhile, if I don't go into that passive listening mode, I don't get stuck (as often) but I'm also mentally translating which is both mentally taxing and not what I want to be doing. So I'm not really sure if there is a good fix. I think its a good sign that I'm starting to actually see a passive ability appear and I think the only thing I can do is keep moving forward and just deal with the fact that I will be hitting walls. I will definitely report back about this at 30 films.

Talking about reporting back - still using (Spanish of course) subtitles. Listening to a bunch of podcasts certainly helps because those don't have subtitles, but still not comfortable enough to drop the subs from my shows (I don't care if I get lost in a podcast, for shows I want to follow the plot). Still not sure if 30 will be when I drop them. I do feel like I need subs less than I did at 10 films, but I'm not sure if I'm improving at a rate where 30 will be long enough. 40-50 seems more realistic. We'll see.

Nothing else to say really. Just gotta keep on grinding. I've been averaging a film every 1-2 days, so will probably be back in a about two weeks. Unless I finally pick up the pace on my reading. I hope.
4 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:42 am

Quick, unofficial log. Haven't hit a milestone, but have had something on my mind.

First, quick update to the super challenge. I ended up getting really into reading Harry Potter yesterday and finished the entire second half in one go. So, even though I'm STILL nowhere close to caught up to where I want to be, finally making progress in the reading category. Honestly, not sure if 10 books will be my next milestone or 30 films. Depends on how much I'm feeling podcasts in the morning tbh.

But what has been on my mind is Anki. Honestly, I don't think I've ever kept up a learning habit for this length of time. Perhaps a similar length with Duolingo, but that was like 2-3 minutes during my work breaks. But I'm coming up on 2 months with anki, and I think its safe to say that it has become an actual habit that is important to me, and I don't think I've ever had a habit like this. If I do have a habit, they are always negative habits that I'm trying to quit. But this is a good habit that I genuinely feel bad if I'm ignoring, and that's something I really haven't had. Its not as if I haven't understood before how important habits are. I've been trying to pick up an anki habit or something similar for years. But it just never happened until now. And it just feels weird. It's like a clock. At about 6PM its like something switches in my mind where I need to go do anki. Even if I'm exhausted, drunk, or something similar, I *have* to do it. It's like leaving the house without showering. Hell, a couple weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night realizing I hadn't done my anki and raced over to the computer.

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I just wanted to use my log to actually log something I'm going through on my journey. I don't know if this is me looking to deep into things. I don't know if this me just being euphoric about a minor accomplishment. Or maybe this is just me maturing and becoming more responsible with my learning habits. Who knows. See you all in a weekish when I reach my next milestone.
3 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:24 am

Long time no see. New post as I've finally reached 30 movies.

Regarding the time it took me, no other reason except being really busy with my internship and other things in life. If I wasn't I'd be more disappointed with myself. But since I know how busy I've been, I'm actually impressed how much I've gotten done the past month.

So first I'll talk about the thing I did the least with. Reading. This has been really hard to fit in. The issue is that I don't like reading in small bursts. Like, I want to get a full 50 pages done in a session. Except I don't have enough time to really sit and read. The time I do have to do that, it is after a long day and I would rather sit in front of the computer and do listening practice. So, I'm still behind with this. I think I will catch up once I start my Fall semester. I will have a lot of good periods of time to read then.

Anki is still going well. I went through the full 50 cards a day/5 cards a day period. I think it went well. Kind of wish at this point that I had extended the slow period for a little longer, as the daily reviews are a little higher than I would have like, so I'm either going to make it up before I start my next 50 cards period or just tack on a few more days during the 5 card period. Like I keep saying, my... surprising (3 months in a row woot) consistency with this means that I have a lot of wiggle room with my current schedule (a good 200 days, actually doing the math). On the flip side, I do want to end early so I can focus my last months of the SC padding my stats. On the subject of stats, only 10 more days until I reach 25% in the deck!

The last thing before I go into listening, I have a little trip report! Last weekend, I took a day trip with friends down to Tijuana. I think it went pretty well. While I still struggled in some surprising areas (mostly due to speed of comprehension vs. speed of others speaking), in general I was able to function at a more confident level than anticipated. I was the only Spanish speaker in the large group, so I spent a significant portion of the day translating for others. I even had a short conversation with an Uber driver about the Xolos game the night previous. That was a cool moment. Overall, it inspired me to spend more time actually speaking with people rather than just practicing listening. I found for the most part that I could function well... if it didn't require concurrent interaction.

Now on to the part of the Super Challenge that I am still on track with, listening! To report back on the subtitles issue, still not quite there but I actually do feel that 40 films will be when I make the switch, at least for my regular shows (e.g. Club de cuervos which I just finished so this isnt actually a good example). I find myself using the subs less and less. With club de cuervos, I've actually found myself listening and then glancing down if I can't make out what somebody said, usually just seeking out a single word. So good news on that front.

Less real development on the "passive listening" front. I've noticed its partially to do with levels which I will go into what I'm doing with that soon. Specifically though, it works really well with something easy. I can sort of fully fall into passive mode and almost forget that I'm listening to Spanish. I'm not trying to say I'm understanding it fluently, just that there is little effort on my part and I'm genuinely not mentally translate a lot of what I hear. When it is something a bit more difficult, like podcasts, I still sort of fall into the same trap. It almost has felt like its gotten more difficult cause I'm falling into passive mode more often and therefore hitting that comprehension wall more often. I think this is just a matter of getting my level up. Once again, will report back in 10 movies.

In terms of what I have been listening to/watching, like I said earlier, just finished Club de Cuervos. In that show, I've seen my comprehension really shoot up over the course of watching it. This season its gone from sometimes hard/mostly easy to sometimes medium/mostly painless. And this season I felt like I really enjoyed the show because I was really following the jokes and story lines. On a similar note, watched a stand up special in Spanish with a friend and I understood most of the jokes and found it really funny. Contrast that with a comedy special I watched right before the challenge began and only understood 40-50% of the jokes.

In the car, I've sort of lowered my podcast usage. Part of that is the one podcast that I enjoyed and understood pretty well "El gabfest en español" decided to go on break. So the only things I've been listening to are "Fútbol Picante", a Mexican soccer tv show (syndicated on a podcast feed) that I barely understand but enjoy listening to the guys argue and some small political podcast that only puts out episodes once a month.

I have, instead, started listening to audiobooks and I think it was a good decision. I decided to get " el león, la bruja, y el ropero" (The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe which I just realized I have been putting in the wrong order on twitter). It is at a level that I can understand really well because the language is easy and it is spoken clearly... when the dude isn't making weird voices for the beavers. I think this is giving me a lot of valuable non-subtitle practice and I think it will help bring me to the point where I can understand my podcasts better. Also, its really easy just to relax and listen to it so I get a lot of practice this way.

So thats about it. Will keep working. Not going to make any predictions on when I will be back since I keep being really far off, but with the introduction of audiobooks, it should at least take a bit shorter of a time than these past 10 films.
3 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

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picklelanguage
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Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:45 am

Honestly, it feels like less time has passed than actually has. But I'm back with 40 films finished.

Literally nothing to update with reading. Haven't touched it. oh well.

Regarding anki, still chugging along. I missed a day when in Vegas the other week. Not the end of the world, spent two days without any new cards to catch up then went right back to the normal schedule. Right now I'm about halfway through the only 5 cards a day period. Thinking of tacking on 5 more days afterwords. I think that will be sufficient to give myself a nice break. Sooo close to having 25% mature cards that it almost annoys me that I don't have it for this post.

Now onto films. It sort of annoys me that there isn't more that has changed. I don't know what I'm expecting. 15 hours, in the grand scheme of things, isn't much when it comes to language learning. I'm almost tempted to switch it to every 20 films, but I feel that might be discouraging in terms of staying with the challenge. Having this 10 film milestone that I remain accountable to has been helpful.

In terms of what I've watched, its been a mix of youtube, audiobooks, and a couple of netflix series. In terms of netflix, I finished the Club de Cuervos spinoff (it was... ok) and started two new series called "Gran Hotel" and "Las chicas de cable". Only seen an episode of the former, but on episode 4 of chicas de cable and I'm liking it. It does the annoying thing where it plays anachronistic music, but honestly thats my biggest complaint. Not on netflix, but I've started to watch some "Los Simpsons". Good stuff.

For audiobooks, finished the first chronicles of Narnia book and halfway through the second. Actually listened to that entire half on my long drive to Vegas so I'm a bit narnia'd out. Then for youtube, I've found a youtuber that makes Pokemon let's plays that I enjoy. Honestly, this is something I've been looking for, for a while. I can watch let's plays all day, so finding an enjoyable Spanish speaking let's player was a good find.

Regarding subtitles, I've resolved to keep ~50% of my media without subtitles. Right now, my youtube, Los Simposons, and audiobooks (duh) are without subtitles while my two Netflix series aren't. Over time I want to raise that percentage until I can get rid of subtitles, but it is a start.

I haven't noticed much regarding the passive listening stuff over these past 15 hours. I don't know if that's a sign I'm getting past it or if I've gotten better at ignoring it.

I am going to be starting my next (and last) semester next Monday. This will hopefully bring a few changes. The first being an environment that I enjoy reading at, so I may finally start catching up there. But also, I will be taking German I. Not quite sure how this will factor into my study schedule. I'm considering adding it as a half challenge. I will probably at least track it somewhat on my log.

Well, see you in 10 films. Hopefully not another month absence, but let's be honest, it probably will be.
2 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50

User avatar
picklelanguage
Yellow Belt
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish(B1-B2), German and French (I suck)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7984
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Re: The Pickle Log

Postby picklelanguage » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:06 am

Hey, I actually got to the next milestone (50 films!) in a decent time. Two and a half weeks aint bad. I was kind of correct that school would open me up a bit more for practice. I'm a bit less exhausted on my drives so I'm more likely to listen on the drives, and I feel like practicing when I get home.

This is the first time in a while that I've actually progressed a bit with reading (one whole "book" wow), but I'll wait until I reach 10 books to talk about it in detail. Only about 100 pages to go. I genuinely believe I will hit it before my next film target but we know how bad I am about it at this point.

I have enrolled in a half German challenge to aid myself in my German 101 class. I feel like it's been giving me an edge so far. I think I will follow the same 10 film/book update system to talk about it, but in brief, it is really strange to be learning a language again from (almost) the beginning. It also makes me appreciate the progress I've made with my Spanish as I've gotten used to certain methods of practice (e.g. podcasts, shows, young adult novels) that I went to first out of habit, but realized very quickly that those are still too difficult for me. So right now I've found a nice graded reader ("Dino lernt deutsch") and using the classic BBC produced extr@ (auf deutsch) to get "film" hours in. I think I want to eventually add a large anki vocab deck for it but right now I'm just building a deck based on unit vocab so I'm focusing on that. I'll probably figure something out at the end of the semester.

Anki (en español) is going well. Sitting at about 3175 cards right now. I did end up doing my 20 day cool down period and it was SO worth it. I almost caught up completely, with my mature cards sitting at 2924. I will say it was hard to stick with the 10 extra days only doing 5 new a day. It's pretty addicting seeing that chart on the statistics page getting greener and greener. Only a couple months until halfway! It really is nice seeing how much I've kept with anki. Honestly with this entire learning project overall. It's really fulfilling and I'm actually starting to feel the payouts.

Which leads me into my next thing. Before getting into my report for the last 10 films, since 50 films is a decent milestone, I kind of want to reflect on the challenge so far. I will say it's hard to put into words. And I think that's indicative of the "intermediate plateau". But I personally don't feel like its a true plateau. I can see the progress I make in my larger vocabulary, a better grasp on vocabulary, and much clearer comprehension. I've just come to respect that the gap between becoming conversational and a language and the lower ends of fluency are a fantastically large gap and my 75 hours of Spanish media that I've enjoyed over the last 4 or so months has just been a tiny push across the gap. Nevertheless, it keeps me excited to push on.

Alright, enough with the sappy stuff, let's move into the report. Looking at what I've logged on the report over the past 10 films, it has mostly been a combination of "Las chicas de cable" and watching Let's plays with some simpsons and podcasts sprinkled in here and there. I also got through another part of Prince Caspian leaving me with the final hour of the audiobook. Honestly, it hasn't been enjoyable as the previous book, so I don't think I'll follow through with the rest of the series. Not sure what I'll replace it with. Might browse barnes and noble to try to find an interesting young adult book (that I will then go home and order on audible lol).

Nothing much to report on for the Simpsons. There are no subtitles for that and my comprehension is pretty high so that makes me happy, although its not the most complex show in the first place haha.

Chicas de cable has been a pretty good show. It's both a very addicting show but also a bit predictable (except for a few elements that are SUPER interesting that I don't want to spoil for anybody who is thinking of watching it). So I'm definitely going to push through to the end. It's just somewhat difficult to push through despite being an excellent show if that makes any sense. I guess its almost like a good anime but instead of filler content it is rehashed drama.

In terms of improvements over the last 10 films, the subtitles for sure. I believe the majority of my media over the past 10 films were without subtitles, and even with cable girls I've been only sort of half reading the subtitles. I maaaay turn them off for my next Netflix show, although it would probably need to be a less dramatic show (y'know, less whispering and arguments that are difficult to parse).

Regarding my passive listening problem, I feel like I'm on the better side of it. I think its not that I am no longer hitting those walls, its that I'm able to more quickly recover from them. If nothing interesting happens regarding it over the next 10 films, I may stop updating about it.

I guess the last thing that's been on my mind is understand... emotion and connotation. I kind of want to learn more about the poetic side of the language. If anybody knows of any Spanish-speaking poets that are good for an intermediate learner, I would like to know.

This has been a pretty long post. See y'all next time.
1 x
Spanish - Full Challenge
: 11 / 100 Books 11/100
: 70 / 100 Films 70.3/100
: 4250 / 10000 10k cards 4250/10k
German - Half Challenge
: 1 / 100 Books 0.4/50
: 2 / 50 Films 2.3/50


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