Philipp's Super Challenge Log [EN, ES, NO]

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Philipp
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Philipp's Super Challenge Log [EN, ES, NO]

Postby Philipp » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:11 am

Hello everyone,

I'd like to introduce briefly. My name is Philipp and I'm in my mid-30s. In my day job, I build furniture. I'm a late bloomer when it comes to language learning. Around Christmas last year I had a bit free time and decided to learn Spanish. To be honest, I totally underestimated the effort it takes to learn a language. Naively I thought, three free weeks would get me anywhere worthwhile. But I also didn't know that there are so many free resources available for learners and that helpful communities like this one exist. So, I think, I found a new passion.

Long story short, I've found a link on Reddit to this forum, or more precisely to the Super Challenge, and decided to sign up for Spanish (full), English (half), Norwegian (half).
Last edited by Philipp on Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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rdearman
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby rdearman » Sun Jun 10, 2018 12:53 pm

Welcome aboard!
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Xenops
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Xenops » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:21 pm

Welcome to the forum! I hope you find a helpful community here. :)

Yes, sadly a lot of advertisers give us the false assumption that "you can learn a language in a few months". Reading a few logs will tell you otherwise. ;)
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Philipp
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Philipp » Mon Jun 11, 2018 7:17 am

Thank you for your greetings. I'd like to write a bit about my background in the languages I'm studying.

English

My passive skills in English are far better than my active skills. Which comes as no surprise, because I've spent the last 15 years or so reading and listening, but hardly ever produced any output, I just rarely have the opportunity to do so. However, now I feel should improve my proficiency particularly my active skills. Hence this log, to get a little writing practice.

My plan for the next months is to read more books and put some words I want to remember into Anki. I already listen to a lot of podcasts on my commute and at work if it's feasible. So the listening part of the challenge will be easy. Although, I do have to pay more attention, to words and phrases I don't understand. Somehow over the last years, I've become really good at ignoring stuff I don't really understand without actively noticing it.

Spanish

As I wrote in my introduction, I started about six months ago. So far I've finished the Duolingo tree and the official Memrise course. I also did half of a Langenscheidt course but didn't really like it that much. I did three or four lessons of the FSI course but didn't like it much either. Right now, I'm jumping around between resources which is probably not a good thing. The amount of resources even free ones is a bit overwhelming and as a beginner in independent learning, I yet have to find out what works for me. I'm also working my way through "gramatica de uso del español". Usually, I don't like studying grammar (baggage from my Latin lessons in school), but the book is great so far. So a least that gives my efforts a bit of a structure.

Reading is still very hard, not to say frustrating, for me. The first books I've read so far for the challenge were the Little Prince and a story by Jules Verne. Both were graded readers supposedly for beginners but badly done. At least they were free but in this case, I got what I paid for. Right now, I'm reading a collection of crime stories also a graded reader for level A1. The stories are really silly, but at least I can read them fluidly.

For listening, among other things, I watched one season of a show called Timeless with English subtitles. I also tried to watch native Spanish shows like "La chicas de cable" and "Casa de papel"
but that's still too hard for me, even with subtitles. Shows which have been dubbed are more comprehensible, maybe the dubbing actors speak more clearly or they use less idiomatic language for the translation. Yesterday, I started a true crime show on Netflix, but I'm not sure if I'll stick to it. I do like the genre but for my taste, this show has one too many shots of clothing with dried blood stains on it. Maybe, I should opt for something more lighthearted. Timeless was ideal in this regard.

Output wise I'm not doing much yet. I've tried the pronunciation with audacity method from Olle Kjellin, but after some hours of repeating the same sentences over and over I gave up. The idea is intriguing and I would really like to have a good accent and now is certainly the best time to lay a foundation for that. However, I just find it exhausting. What I will do is continue with the FSI course, either that or the Language Transfer course. That gives me, at least, a bit of speaking practice. To produce real language spoken or written, I don't feel quite ready yet.


Norwegian

There's not much to say about my Norwegian, yet. Apart from the fact that it's probably a stupid idea to start with two languages from scratch as an inexperienced learner. Be that as it may, I'm doing a bit of Duolingo and Memrise every day and also started Norwegian on the web, which is a course from a Norwegian University for their foreign students.

It's a fun language to learn and unlike Spanish, it feels somehow familiar. I also like the way Norwegian sounds. I started to look into Norwegian because someone on the internet claimed it's super easy to learn if you speak German and English. Well, I don't find it that easy, but it's probably as easy as a foreign language gets.
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Philipp
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Philipp » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:26 am

I'm unhappy with my Spanish vocabulary learning. I've been using Memrise from the beginning and finished the official course and I also tried some other courses. So in theory, I should know at least 2500 words by now, but lately, the reviews have become really annoying. It feels like the words I get for review fall into two categories: Either they are really easy and I already know them by heart, or I can't remember them even after dozens of reviews. So either way, I'm wasting my time. The course has served me well as an absolute beginner, I especially liked the short clips of native speakers saying a sentence, but now I'm going to move on to something else for learning vocabulary, namely Anki.

My plan is to use Anki mainly for practicing conjugations. I'm not sure how many other words I should add to my deck, because I don't want to spend too much time with it. Almost all of the new words I encounter are very common anyway. Plus, I'm also using Clozemaster and LingQ which both have a build in spaced repetition system.

To be honest, I find Anki rather confusing. It certainly takes some time to get into it, and so far I haven't been willing to invest that time. So this is going to be my project for the weekend.
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Mista
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Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Mista » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:07 pm

Philipp wrote: It's a fun language to learn and unlike Spanish, it feels somehow familiar. I also like the way Norwegian sounds. I started to look into Norwegian because someone on the internet claimed it's super easy to learn if you speak German and English. Well, I don't find it that easy, but it's probably as easy as a foreign language gets.


I've seen Germans get to a functional level of Norwegian in about three months, but they were living in Norway and attending classes at the university. I think it's fair to say it's easy, but you still have to put in the work (I guess they forgot to mention that part...).

I'll be following your log, so if you ever have any questions about Norwegian that you want help with, just post it here on you log and I'll see it and help you if I can. I've taken a few courses in Norwegian as a second language (for teachers) and in Norwegian grammar at the university, and will hopefully do the teaching degree next year. And I'm a native (as indicated in my profile).
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Philipp
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Philipp » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:13 pm

Mista wrote:
I've seen Germans get to a functional level of Norwegian in about three months, but they were living in Norway and attending classes at the university. I think it's fair to say it's easy, but you still have to put in the work (I guess they forgot to mention that part...).

I'll be following your log, so if you ever have any questions about Norwegian that you want help with, just post it here on you log and I'll see it and help you if I can. I've taken a few courses in Norwegian as a second language (for teachers) and in Norwegian grammar at the university, and will hopefully do the teaching degree next year. And I'm a native (as indicated in my profile).


Thank you very much for your offer, I'm sure I'll come back on it.

In three months time, I'm probably still doing Duolingo, but that's fine. I'm not in a hurry. I've always been fascinated with adventurers and explorers, probably because I'm not very adventurous myself. So my personal goal is to be able to read a biography of Roald Amundsen by the end of next year. If I can do that in 15 months I'm more than happy.

Is there a grammar textbook you can recommend? I would prefer a monolingual one, ideally with exercises and solutions.
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Mista
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Posts: 272
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Mista » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:45 pm

Not really, but that's just because I don't have a good overview of Norwegian learning materials. I know where to look for them, though, so I can check it out next time I'm in a decent book store.
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Philipp
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Philipp » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:34 am

Tusen takk, men bare hvis det ikke for mye bry for deg er.

I hope the word order is correct, I formulated the sentence like I would in German.
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Mista
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Posts: 272
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Philipp's Super Challenge Log

Postby Mista » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:07 pm

Philipp wrote:Tusen takk, men bare hvis det ikke for mye bry for deg er.

I hope the word order is correct, I formulated the sentence like I would in German.


German word order will get you far, but one noticable difference is the position of the verbs. This is actually quite complicated in Norwegian and one of the most difficult things to master, but the main rules are:

1. The finite verb of the main clause goes in second position (just like in German) - the so-called V2-rule. In the otherwise very strict word order, you can put just about anything in the first posistion, but if the subject isn't there, it will have to come AFTER the verb (again, just like in German),

2. Any dependent verbs in the main clause (infinitives or participles) normally come immediately after the finite verb, but there are two types of constituents that can come between the finite and infinite verbs: a) the subject, if it isn't before the verb, and b) sentence adverbials, typically negations

3. Subordinate clauses, unfortunately, follow different rules. It is also much more strict (the basic structure is the only structure, i.e. the subject always comes first). The difference from the basic structure of a main clause is that the sentence adverbial comes BEFORE the finite verb. So you get hvis det ikke er for mye bry, while in a main clause, you would say Det er ikke for mye bry - or alternatively, For mye bry er det ikke, though you would need a special context to make that emphasis make sense.

And it really isn't too much trouble. I have a fatal attraction towards the language sections of my favorite book stores anyway, so I might as well do something useful while I'm there. I've already bought enough language books to last me a lifetime :lol:
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