zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Mid-week notes - 2019 "goals"

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:12 pm

I was going to wait until the weekend but this is getting long, has a lot of different ideas going, so I'm going to post and entry now.

I wrote out some goals / resolutions in the resolution thread (https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 9f#p129535). Here is the essential extract:

zenmonkey wrote:
My real aspirations for the year, in terms of language learning are:
German
  • Prepare for the C1 test. This means being fairly fluent and will require work in grammar, vocabulary and even pronunciation. Read and listen a lot. Watch a bit of German shows - I've got a great list. I'd hope to continue our exchange sessions with Brun Ugle.
  • Focus my activity much more on native material.
  • Spend at least 2 hrs a week.
Hebrew
  • Complete Assimil & FSI. Really I'd like to move this to a solid A2 level. I've been futzing around this last year and need more consistently, if I want to get anywhere with this.
  • Take a pause from italki lessons until February.
  • Spend at least 2 hrs a week.
Tibetan
  • Complete Colloquial Tibetan and Modern Tibetan Language Volume 1. I really like what I've achieved in the last year and think that continued work here will be truly enjoyable.
  • Take a pause from italki lessons until February.
  • Spend at least 2 hrs a week.
Setswana
  • I'm going to complete that damn Memrise course. I've fallen behind! I may not go beyond the Polyglot conference (if I attend) but I would like to continue studying Setswana at least up to that date.
  • Spend at least 1 hrs a week.
Other Languages
  • Activate my Portuguese - over the winter vacations I had two opportunities to speak it and mostly waffled. I was nicely reminded that my father and brother are pretty fluent, if hesitant. So I have family resources to practice.
  • Tzotzil and Nahuatl - do a bit of exploratory study to figure out which of the two I want to tackle next. No real solid goals there but mostly feed the dragon. And have fun with it.


Tibetan Romanisation issues
Over the vacations I finalised converting some tapes to .MP3 so now I can start using the Modern Tibetan Language book. However, I cam across a bit of romanisation that left me confused.

The problems with romanisation or transcription to the latin alphabet for pronunciation are that methods are very inconsistent across different authors. We are then left guessing about representation and how to read a particular text. It clashes with whatever mental model we’ve made for a sound. Writing out in IPA would probably be better, but it isn’t always present.

It’s taken me a while to figure out that some books work off of pronunciation, while others are using a transliteration…

Modern Tibet Language
‘ = aspirated (k’a = ཁ or kha)
Pronunciation: k’a (low tone aspirated) -> transliteration: ག་ or ga

Losang Thoden book Modern Tibet Language does a good job of clarifying pronunciation vs transliteration. I'm looking forward to using this material. He passed away recently, so in using his material there is also a thought of thankfulness to his attentiveness in sharing the language.

Hebrew FSI
I also brought back from my trip the Hebrew FSI Basic Course book, as I mentioned last week, I've started working with this. But the audio hiss is bad enough that it gets on my nerves very quickly. So I've decided to clean up the audio as I go along with each unit. It might be more efficient to do it in one go, but for now I'm downloading only some of units and trying to spend less prep time (failing at that!!) with each learning session and more time on learning.

My thoughts on the FSI material through the first 3 units is that I'm going to have to spend more time per unit then I originally thought or I can consider this to be a skimming exercise. But given that my level isn't really intermediate enough just skim through this material, I think I'll slow my roll and spend some in depth, Ankified time with this material.

I went back to read how others use of the Hebrew FSI material.

Expugnator mentions “merely skimming” them and notes the poor quality and needed effort to improve sound. Mostly positive about the material but considers it not a beginner material and notes.

Expugnator wrote:As much as I am enjoying FSI Hebrew, it definitely wouldn't suit my learning style as a beginner. I'm glad I've learned to use it my way and broke the resistance for using the audiolingual method, as it's going to be useful for other languages”
and
Expugnator wrote:“I don't overlearn anything, like other learners do with FSI. So I imagine it might be even more suffering (to my eyes) for someone who overlearns it to start from scratch. I've been through several textbooks and I'm still meeting many new words in each lesson, but in a quantity that I can handle, while reinforcing structures and enhancing conversation patterns. FSI is indeed richer, it has more content, more substance. For opaque languages, it might be the safer route from an A2 to a middle-B1 stage.

cjareck and MattNeilsen both use the FSI material more intensively and I am currently leaning towards this.

cjareck notes some of the difficulty of using FSI:
cjareck wrote:I listened to all the lessons at least several times, but I realised that this wasn't helping me. So I changed tactics - I put all the drills into Anki. It takes a lot of time and goes slowly, but seems to improve my speaking skills.

MattNeilsen reports using Anki with
MattNeilsen wrote:Audacity .. so I could play around with some FSI/Pimsleur sentences. I think I'm going to try to pull one or two phrases from each FSI unit that strike me as generally useful conversational phrases and practice Kjellin's chorusing method with them.


So, I'm definitely creating Anki cards. As a start (with Unit 3) I'm chunking the parts of the dialogue sentences and creating cards from those. Depending on the length, one sentence might have 3-4 notes (x2 cards).

I've still need to decide how I want to do the drills but I think I'll probably manage substitution, completion and response drills slightly different. I need to think about this.

Cleaning up audio for Hebrew FSI.

As I found the audio recordings to be of really bad quality, I’ve decided to clean them up as I go. Here are my filter settings for reference in Audacity.

1. Run Reduction (db:5 , Sensitivity:6, 0) 2-3x
2. Normalize
3. Equaliser (low rolloff for speech or a drawn ramp to 100Hz)

I like doing the playback in Audacity as it allows me to slow down the playback for certain pauses or to add/delete silences where needed.

Daily material selection for all languages

One of the issues I have with focusing my study time is that I find myself in “analysis paralysis” of language material - I get stuck with the idea of “what should I do today?” which creates some sort of inertia and then I don’t start. I go off and do some other task before coming back to actual learning. To try to break through the overchoice effect, I’m going to use my log to list current material (in a working order), so that I can just choose from it.



Time log
I'm tracking time spent on different activities here for now. As part of the tracking for one of the challenges but also as what I'd like to see as output from the tracking app I'm developing (more on that at another point).

Hebrew - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 11.1 FSI Lesson 1 45 min R/W/L
- 13.1 FSI Lesson 2 39 min R/W/L
- 13.1 Hebrew Anki 7 min
- 13.1 Shtisel 10 min
- 14.1 Anki 14 min
- 13.1 Shtisel 31 min
- 15.1 Anki 5 min
- 15.1 Shtisel 30 min
- 16.1 Anki 15 min
- 16.1 FSI Lesson 3 55 min R/W/L
- 16.1 Clozemaster 10 min

Hebrew Total 261 min

German - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 12.1 TITANS TV 240 min L
- 15.1 Anki 21 min
German Total 261 min (Dubious quality)

Tibetan Task (2 hrs / week)
- 14.1 Anki 15 min
- 14.1 Review spelling / pronunciation / transliteration 30 min
- 16.1 Anki 15 min
Tibetan Total 60 min

Setswana - Task (1 hrs / week)
- 16.1 Memrise 15 min
Setswana Total 15 min

Prep Time
- 13.1 iTunes set-up FSI 10 min.
- 13.1 Anki on new device 20 min
- 14.1 Anki added new Tibetan Spelling card format and populated 30 cards with sound 60 min
- 16.1 Audacity tagging and thinking about Anki for FSI Hebrew 80 min
Prep Time - Total time 170 min



My Current Daily Pick List
Hebrew - Anki > Clozemaster > FSI > Assimil > Shtisel > Other
German - Anki > DW.de > ??
Tibetan - Anki > MTL > ??
Setswana - Memrise > Anki > ??

[tags: #tagLangHE #tagLangTSN #tagLangDE #tagLangTIB #tagMethodAnki #tagMethodAudacity]
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Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby rdearman » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:45 pm

In audacity if you select a "white space" area with hiss then you can just do Effect->Noise Reduction->Get noise profile (your selction) then Select entire track and remove the noise. It should get rid of all the tape hiss in one swoop. I don't know if your method is the same but I've used the above to get rid of pops and cracks as well as tape hiss.
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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:21 pm

rdearman wrote:In audacity if you select a "white space" area with hiss then you can just do Effect->Noise Reduction->Get noise profile (your selction) then Select entire track and remove the noise. It should get rid of all the tape hiss in one swoop. I don't know if your method is the same but I've used the above to get rid of pops and cracks as well as tape hiss.


Yeah, that's my step 1. Which I misnamed Reduction and not Noise Reduction... The settings I use are such that I prefer to run it two-three times with different noise profiles, because even the silent sections have some echo going on. That plus thresholding does a pretty good job.
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby Deinonysus » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:55 pm

Could I ask what drew you to Tzotzil rather than one of the larger Maya languages such as Yucatec or K'iche'?
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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby zenmonkey » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:27 pm

Deinonysus wrote:Could I ask what drew you to Tzotzil rather than one of the larger Maya languages such as Yucatec or K'iche'?
Yes, of course!

Because I'm more interested in the Chiapas region. I spent time in San Juan Chamula & San Cristóbal Las Casas when I was young and heard Tzotzil/Ch'ol spoken by the local weaver community. While the K'iche' speaking people tend to be further south in a region I am less interested in. Yucatec is primarily spoken in the Yucatan.

By the numbers, I'd be more interested in Nahuatl. And by pure fascination, probably Lacandon and Wixárika but those population are too small. And I'd like to know more about Purepecha and Zapoteca languages ...

Tzotzil is one language where I've amassed .enough. some learning material. :?
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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby zenmonkey » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:19 am

It's been a week where I've been able to mostly complete my time on all my languages. I'm pretty happy about that. And I've studied every of the week for at least 30 minutes.

I'd like to complete the next two weeks with the same focus and then I'll feel I can go back to my iTalki lessons more comfortably. Lot's of review to do for Hebrew and Tibetan.

I did not do my hour of recorded German or the 1000 words of writing. Those are improvements for this week.

Boring numbers below.



Time log

Hebrew - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 14.1 Anki 14 min
- 13.1 Shtisel 31 min
- 15.1 Anki 5 min
- 15.1 Shtisel 30 min
- 16.1 Anki 15 min
- 16.1 FSI Lesson 3 55 min R/W/L
- 16.1 Clozemaster 10 min
- 17.1 Memrise 20 min

Hebrew Total 160 min

German - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 15.1 Anki 21 min
- 18.1 elemantarfragen 65 min
- 18.1 Dw.de top thema 20 min
- 18.1 German interactions 22 min
- 18.1 Anki 8 min
German Total 136 min

Tibetan Task (2 hrs / week)
- 14.1 Anki 15 min
- 14.1 Review spelling / pronunciation / transliteration 30 min
- 16.1 Anki 15 min
- 17.1 Anki 10 min
- 18.1 Anki 5 min
Tibetan Total 65 min

Setswana - Task (1 hrs / week)
- 16.1 Memrise 15 min
- 17.1 Memrise 30 min
- 18.1 Memrise 40 min
- 19.1 Memrise 60 min - now all time 1st on leaderboard
- 20.1 Memrise 80 min
Setswana Total 225 min

Prep Time
- 14.1 Anki added new Tibetan Spelling card format and populated 30 cards with sound 60 min
- 16.1 Audacity tagging and thinking about Anki for FSI Hebrew 80 min
Prep Time - Total time 140 min



My Current Daily Pick List
Hebrew - Anki > Clozemaster > FSI > Assimil > Shtisel > Other
German - Anki > DW.de > Elemantarfragen
Tibetan - Anki > MTL > ??
Setswana - Memrise > Anki > ??

[tags: #tagLangHE #tagLangTSN #tagLangDE #tagLangTIB]
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Brun Ugle
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Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:09 pm

zenmonkey wrote:German is likely to be the harder of the three, an earlier focused start will get you along further, while not having to do maintenance and/or further learning of the other two languages concomitantly. My order was the exact opposite. :shock: German is taking forever...

Every other order can also make sense, but that's my logic above.

This quote is taken from the thread on the logical order to learn the languages Spanish, French and German, but since my reply is directed personally to you, I thought I’d put it in your log rather than cluttering up the original thread.

Have you considered that the reason you find German so hard might be because it’s your first real foreign language? From what you’ve told me, you grew up in Mexico and the US, so you have both Spanish and English as native languages. Maybe you didn’t learn English from infancy, but you still learned it pretty young. You also said that your parents used to speak French together as their “secret language”, so I assume you heard it often as a child and probably understood a good bit even if you didn’t speak it. So, when you decided to learn French as an adult, you not only had the advantages of being a speaker of another Romance language and English, you probably also had an advantage similar to that of a heritage speaker. You probably struggled a lot at first with speaking, but I imagine you understood a good bit, and you probably had or easily developed an ear for what sounds right because you’d heard it so much growing up. That makes German your first real, from-scratch, foreign language. And the first one is always hard. In my experience, the second and third are pretty tough too. I don’t know how many languages you have to learn before it actually gets easy. I’ll let you know when I get there.
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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby zenmonkey » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:20 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:
zenmonkey wrote:German is likely to be the harder of the three, an earlier focused start will get you along further, while not having to do maintenance and/or further learning of the other two languages concomitantly. My order was the exact opposite. :shock: German is taking forever...

Every other order can also make sense, but that's my logic above.

This quote is taken from the thread on the logical order to learn the languages Spanish, French and German, but since my reply is directed personally to you, I thought I’d put it in your log rather than cluttering up the original thread.

Have you considered that the reason you find German so hard might be because it’s your first real foreign language? From what you’ve told me, you grew up in Mexico and the US, so you have both Spanish and English as native languages. Maybe you didn’t learn English from infancy, but you still learned it pretty young. You also said that your parents used to speak French together as their “secret language”, so I assume you heard it often as a child and probably understood a good bit even if you didn’t speak it. So, when you decided to learn French as an adult, you not only had the advantages of being a speaker of another Romance language and English, you probably also had an advantage similar to that of a heritage speaker. You probably struggled a lot at first with speaking, but I imagine you understood a good bit, and you probably had or easily developed an ear for what sounds right because you’d heard it so much growing up. That makes German your first real, from-scratch, foreign language. And the first one is always hard. In my experience, the second and third are pretty tough too. I don’t know how many languages you have to learn before it actually gets easy. I’ll let you know when I get there.


All of that is true. Part of it is also environmental - I was in love with the French language and I easily submerged myself very quickly in a gigantic swath of music, literature, poetry. I'd lived within the French language very quickly and told people that I would leave the room if anything but French was spoken. I honestly submerged myself. Any language after that is going to be challenged and there is an internal push back because I already spend a lot of time with languages I love much more than newer L2s. German is nice and all that but where is my Apollinaire, my Dumas, my Jacques Brel? La Vie Reve des Anges? La Fée Carabine? I have a deep emotional commitment to French that I don't have to any newer language.

German may be my "first" from scratch successful language but I can certainly count on two hands all of the failed and semi-successful languages I've tried to learn... From "rebate" languages like Catalan, Occitan, Italian and Portuguese to other more opaque languages like Mandarin, Arabic, Hindi ... where somewhere early along the path I stopped.

German would be further along if I was actually spending time with this language. Treating it as true partner would speed things along. Unfortunately I'm an easily distracted something or other.

And I know this is just your attempt to get me to take on Norwegian and Japanese.
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Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
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zenmonkey
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2015
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:21 pm
Location: Germany and France
Languages: Spanish, English, French trilingual - actively studying German (B2/C1), Hebrew, Tibetan, Setswana.
Some knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Ladino, Yiddish ...
Want to tackle Tzotzil, Nahuatl
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=859
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Week in review

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Jan 27, 2019 9:50 pm

This week I updated my Anki software (heart be still!) and added several add-ons. I also deleted about 900 cards (the movie Ghost Dog, German) and a deck (Croatian). The cards went because I did not find them very useful due to poor translations and incomplete content. I’m slowly catching back up on my Anki decks.

I am watching Shtisel, a series on Netflix in Hebrew (and some Yiddish!). It is about a religious family and how the younger Shtisel is going about finding a bride. It has the quality of both a soap opera, and a slow song of desire and self-deception. The orthodox culture is not my own at all, but the story telling and the basic human conflicts are truly rich. Works like this make me fall in love with the language. I've also set up two Hebrew lessons in Italki, starting in February, so I better pick up on my Anki review.

In German, I'm still looking for "awe" - that material that will once again make me love the language. I've got some great books in English that are translated to German and I'm seeing if that will work. If not, I'm going to go back to listening to Arto Paasilinna, translated into German --- I don't know if I have the written text?

Didn't hit my task goal this week in German or in Tibetan. Whoops! But I made up for it in Hebrew and Setswana. And even a bit of Portuguese.

Yesterday we had dinner with a Spanish English couple - she speaks English & German poorly, he speaks Spanish well but my partner doesn't so it was an evening of complete code switching between the languages. And their two daughters are completely comfortable in the 3 languages, so I purposely spoke to them in German to push myself.

I enjoyed my exchanges with rdearman (French) & brun ugle (Spanish / German) this week. I should set up some more exchange time.

Boring log below.


Time log

Hebrew - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 21.1 30 min review
- 22.1 5 min Anki
- 24.1 30 min Anki
- 24.1 50 min Shtisel
- 25.1 50 min Shtisel
- 27.1 50 min Shtisel

Anki: Hebrew from Scratch, Hebrew Alphabet, Hello Hello Father 

Hebrew Total 215 min

German - Task goal (2 hrs / week)
- 22.1 Anki 5 Min
- 24.1 Anki 15 min
- 25.1 Radio Bayern 2 Morning News 15 min
- 25.1 Exchange 30 min
- 26.1 Conversation 30 min

Anki : Movie, Song, Minimal Pairs
German Total 95 min

Tibetan Task (2 hrs / week)
- 22.1 Anki 2 Min
- 24.1 Anki 5 Min
Anki : MTL deck
Tibetan Total 7 min

Setswana - Task (1 hrs / week)
- 23.1 Memrise 30 min
- 24.1 Memrise 35 min
- 25.1 Memrise 50 min
- 26.1 Memrise 50 min
- 27.1 Memrise 40 min
Setswana Total 205 min

Portuguese - Task (?? hrs / week)
- 24.1 Anki 19 min
Anki : Assimil
Portuguese Total 19 min

Prep Time
- 24.1 Updated Anki and played around with add-ons 30 min
Prep Time - Total time 30 min



My Current Daily Pick List
Hebrew - Anki > Clozemaster > FSI > Assimil > Shtisel > Other
German - Anki > DW.de > Elemantarfragen
Tibetan - Anki > MTL > ??
Setswana - Memrise > Anki > ??

[tags: #tagLangHE #tagLangTSN #tagLangDE #tagLangTIB #tagMethodAnki]
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Tagged posts: Language Method Resource
Please feel free to correct me in any language, critique my posts, challenge my thoughts.
I am inconsistency incarnate.
Go study! Publisher of Syriac, Aramaic, Hebrew alphabet apps at http://alphabetsnow.zyntx.com

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Brun Ugle
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2247
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
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Re: zenmonkey's multilingual adventures of a traveller

Postby Brun Ugle » Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:15 am

Wait. Why did you have a Croatian deck? Are you learning Croatian?

I recommend Star Trek e-books in German. That’s what I’m reading right now. They are light and fun enough to make it easy to follow in spite of my weak German, and since they are e-books, I can easily look up all the words I want. I also read aloud. I’ve been reading Star Trek in German since I finished the book I was reading in Spanish, which according to the Super Challenge page was 10 days ago. I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my ability to express myself.
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