Sahmilat's Languages Log (German & French for now)

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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:44 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I don't know what your level of Latin is, but if you are thinking about Beeson, and assuming you mean the Latinist Charles Beeson, I will mention Bibliotheca Augustana Medieval Works under latinitas mediaevalis for several works from several centuries.

For Protagoras, I found Nicholas Denyer's entry on Protagoras for the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics to be helpful: Plato: Protagoras. Denyer offers help with tricky grammar and unclear meanings.

Cheers,
Mork


Denyer is actually the text we are using! I am using and enjoying the commentary.

And thanks for the Bibliotheca Augustana link, I'm definitely interested in reading more medieval and later Latin works. I think the hyper-focus on the "classics" hurts Latin studies (I say this as a classics major, lol).
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German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:23 pm

Sahmilat wrote: I think the hyper-focus on the "classics" hurts Latin studies (I say this as a classics major, lol).
Well, I am not a classics major, but I agree with you. Good luck, at any rate.
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Sun Dec 15, 2019 11:55 pm

Another essay deadline coming up, another perfect time to update my log.

German: Next semester starts in about a month and I'll finally be able to get back to a German class. The class is called German Translation, and I hope we'll be able to talk and read a lot in addition to translating. Lately I've been trying to spend a little time each day reading this book I have on Marx. It's pretty high level because it's talking about philosophy, so the going is a little slow and I'm still in the introduction because I have a hard time sitting down for an extended period of time to read. I can still understand almost all of it even if there's a word here or there that I don't know. I have three semesters of undergrad left and I'm going to focus a lot on German in the near future so that I have the option of doing a master's in Germany where I don't have to pay American tuition.

French: Unfortunately, this has completely dropped off the map for me. Probably won't be able to tackle it anytime soon.

Italian?: I needed an easy class for next semester so on a whim I signed up for accelerated first year Italian. I figure my background in Latin will make the vocab pretty easy, and it would be nice to have some limited command of the language if I continue with Classics. Not really a serious undertaking though.

Latin: I'm almost done with my class on Ovid (procrastinating my final essay) and I got to read a pretty good amount of Latin over the semester. My reading on my own has been pretty sporadic, but I did get the Neo-Latin Reader and read the first few selections in it. Once I'm completely done with the semester's obligations I'll probably devote a little more time to leisure reading in Latin, but I'm mostly comfortable with my level, as I can understand almost anything I read without much trouble except for more difficult prose like Cicero.

Ancient Greek: I have a final that I'm planning to take tomorrow that will involve both seen and unseen translation of selections from Plato's Protagoras, which we unfortunately did not finish in class. Once I'm finished with that I'd like to focus on this more, probably second most time after German, but my Greek isn't great and I don't have a ton of easy stuff to read. I'm planning to participate in the Steadman challenge, and hopefully these editions make the literature a little more accessible to me. Definitely will need to read a lot to be as prepared as I'd like for my class next semester, which is apparently going to be Euripides, who I expect to be harder than what I've read so far.

Sanskrit: Yeah, yeah yeah you should focus on only one or two languages and not spread your time too thin because then you won't make much progress. The prospect of learning even a little Sanskrit is too seductive, I can't resist it. I bought Perry's Sanskrit Primer and slowly working through the lessons, putting the exercises in Anki. It's definitely not a perfect textbook, but I did a lot of grammar first in Latin before I started reading very much so maybe once I get over the pain of drilling grammar at the beginning I'll be able to tackle some "intermediate" readers and get some volume of input in. The grammar is also pretty interesting from a comparative standpoint. I just can't overstate how cool I think this language is.
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German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby Sahmilat » Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:03 pm

Well, my break is over and I'm headed back to school in a couple of hours. A good time to reflect on what I didn't accomplish over the break and my goals for the semester.

German: I read a little bit of Marx but ended up deciding it was too high level for me. Seems I'm not quite good enough at German to read philosophy, which, in hindsight, shouldn't be particularly surprising. I didn't read much German over the break other than websites and PDFs about masters programs. Heidelberg is looking particularly attractive.
Looking forward to my translation class I have this semester, I just hope that it involves as much German as possible rather than being entirely in English like my Latin and Greek translation classes have been.

Italian: My first Italian class is tomorrow! I decided to go ahead and cop cheap copies of Assimil and Living Language Ultimate, which look like they'll complement one another pretty well. I'm going to try and spend a good amount of time on Italian outside of class as well as in class. The syllabus for the intensive course looks pretty good, there are going to be lots of opportunities for me to speak with native speakers, which is of course the hardest thing about studying on your own.

Latin: I didn't end up reading much more of the Neo-Latin Reader, or really of anything else. I am looking forward to my class on love elegy, I hope we'll get to read a lot. Not much to report on this front.

Ancient Greek: I'm increasingly frustrated with my Greek level. I've been trying to read some of the "easy" public domain readers from archive.org and other places, but there seems to be very little in Greek that I can comfortably read, even if I theoretically know a couple thousand words and have learned a lot of the grammar. This is the struggle of ancient languages I guess, not enough practice really reading. I'm certainly not ready to read Euripides' Medea this semester, but I guess I'll just brute force my way through translating it and accept that I'm going to need like an hour for each page. My self-study will probably be spent using Sidgwick's Introduction to Greek Prose Composition, which will hopefully help me internalize grammar patterns better and teach me to actually write. I can write in Latin but Greek is much harder for me, so for now I'll use the crutch of translating these practice passages from English until I'm ready for free composition.

Sanskrit: Like everything else, I was pretty inconsistently working on this over my break. But that's OK. I'm going to bring my stuff to school with me and try to commit some time every day to working through Perry until I finish it, ideally towards the end of the semester, though I won't die if I don't finish by then. I suspect that at some point I'll get to where I am now with Greek and I'll start to feel like an idiot, except it'll be worse because it's Sanskrit which has an infinite well of vocabulary that you can never master. Or so I hear.

Tentative plan: Try to spend an hour a day on each of these languages, including my classes which are all roughly an hour long (some are 50 minutes, some are 75 minutes). Except maybe Sundays. That means I'll have to schedule my own time to do Italian and German on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and Latin and Greek on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and Sanskrit every day. During that hour I'll try to get my homework done first and then spend any time left over on self directed study. Of course, this will probably need to be extended beyond an hour in many cases because my homework alone will take too long, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
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German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby Sahmilat » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:20 pm

School gone lol. If I were less depressed this would be a great time to do extensive reading, but all I do nowadays is listen to music. I suppose I could listen to more German music.

German: The translation class was fun while it lasted but it was also almost offensively easy. We just had very little work to do, but I got good practice speaking a lot in class and got practice on some specific tricky grammar points. Now that I'm back home I'm trying to work up the energy to do some reading. I started reading Brecht's Der gute Mensch von Sezuan a while ago and I might get back into that, but I have no shortage of books in German on my shelf. Most of my reading is still reading university websites, staying hopeful that someday I will finish my undergrad and have the chance to move to Germany for graduate school.

Italian: Well, I'm possibly never going to be in an Italian class, so that's too bad. I still have some materials so I might do some self-study, but I don't have a lot of motivation to do Italian right now unfortunately. Beautiful language though.

French?: Lots of time and more than a few books for learning French on my shelf and computer. Might just watch French in Action occasionally for fun. Someday I'd like to really dive into this though. Maybe once I feel like I have gotten to the level of German I want to.

Latin: My class on Love Elegy was definitely my favorite class of the truncated semester, so I miss it. That said, I probably won't be reading a lot of love elegy on my own. I've been occasionally peeking at Beeson's Primer. Read a couple of selections from Cassiodorus but didn't understand everything. They were pretty interesting though, so I might explore his works more fully. I like books about books, and Cassiodorus is very conscious of the "classical tradition" that he was trying to preserve at the Vivarium. Who knows, maybe I'll go over the edge and become a full-time medievalist.

Ancient Greek: Read some Euripides in class, but damn I'm still bad at Greek. Didn't do the self-study of Sidgwick that I said I would. Writing these posts is unfortunately failing to keep me accountable for my promises. From what I did read I noticed that his grammar explanations are very clear, possibly more useful than the corresponding sections in Smyth. His approach to conditional sentences was particularly helpful to me, and that's an eternal point of struggle for the budding philologist. I don't know if I really need more grammar review as much as I just need practice reading. Zuntz is a good option, so is the New Testament, so are any number of the easy readers out there in the public domain. Greek is rough. I just need to get more motivated to improve.

Sanskrit: I found Stiehl's Sanskrit Kompendium and posted about it in the Sanskrit Resources thread. What I've been doing is making Anki cards, one kind for verbs with the root, 1st person (he/she/it) singular, and English, and then cloze cards for the sentences. I don't know if mass Anki is the best way to use this resource, but it's pretty easy and is keeping me engaged for now. I might also make cloze cards of the sentences from Perry that I already have digitized. The Kompendium is probably going to be pretty good for now because I can understand most (read: some) of the German translations and for any grammatical questions I can refer to first the
grammar in the book itself and second to MacDonell's student grammar, which I have in print. I shouldn't obsess too much about ~efficiency~ because I don't really have a timeline for any of this (except German I guess). I'm just out here having fun.
EDIT: I forgot to mention, I'm also reading the first few chapters of Killingsley's Beginning Sanskrit. It starts off very gradual (even moreso than Egenes) and has longish reading selections from the beginning. It doesn't seem like a perfect textbook, but I think it's a nice gentle review of some of the basics and more reading is always (always) good. I have the first volume checked out from the local university's library, but given the current conditions I don't know if I'll be able to go get the second and/or third volumes anytime soon.

I'm considering doing some reading about Indo-European linguistics. While I think it may be a kind of specific field of linguistics compared to something that seems more relevant like sociolinguistics, and although it has some serious baggage with racism in the history of the field, it is still interesting to me, and I think I'm in a pretty good place to start doing some studying, which good knowledge of Latin, working knowledge of Greek, and a start in Sanskrit. It's obviously not itself language learning, and I imagine that many Indo-Europeanists don't really know much about SLA or anything like that, but it's clearly an adjacent field that I can see myself getting into. LMU Munich has a masters in it, and will take someone with a Classics undergrad degree, so when I graduate I might look to that, if I decide I want to live in the ivory tower forever.

Sorry, this felt rambling and uninteresting, but posting in here helps me orient myself, although I don't always follow through with my plans. It's a work in progress.
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German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

guyome
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby guyome » Sat Mar 14, 2020 6:56 pm

Sahmilat wrote:Latin: My class on Love Elegy was definitely my favorite class of the truncated semester, so I miss it. That said, I probably won't be reading a lot of love elegy on my own. I've been occasionally peeking at Beeson's Primer. Read a couple of selections from Cassiodorus but didn't understand everything. They were pretty interesting though, so I might explore his works more fully. I like books about books, and Cassiodorus is very conscious of the "classical tradition" that he was trying to preserve at the Vivarium. Who knows, maybe I'll go over the edge and become a full-time medievalist.
Come, come to the dark side! :D
Your comment about "books about books" reminded me of Richard of Bury's Philobibl(i)on. I never read more than a few pages of it but it may be of interest to you.
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jonm
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby jonm » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:43 am

Sahmilat wrote:Sanskrit: I found Stiehl's Sanskrit Kompendium and posted about it in the Sanskrit Resources thread. What I've been doing is making Anki cards, one kind for verbs with the root, 1st person (he/she/it) singular, and English, and then cloze cards for the sentences. I don't know if mass Anki is the best way to use this resource, but it's pretty easy and is keeping me engaged for now. I might also make cloze cards of the sentences from Perry that I already have digitized. The Kompendium is probably going to be pretty good for now because I can understand most (read: some) of the German translations and for any grammatical questions I can refer to first the grammar in the book itself and second to MacDonell's student grammar, which I have in print.

Hey Sahmilat, always enjoy and get a lot out of your posts here and also in the Sanskrit Resources thread. Sanskrit Kompendium seems like a great resource. I wish my German was good enough to benefit from the explanations.

Is this the edition of MacDonell's Student Grammar that you have in print? I've been looking at scans of his books, and it would be nice to have a physical copy. And if that's the one, it seems like a steal, so I took a chance and went ahead and ordered. I wish there was an equivalent reedition of his Vedic Reader, because I've enjoyed looking at that. One stanza at a time from the Rigveda, with lots of notes.

I also got myself a physical copy of Maurer, which wasn't a steal at all, but I'm really enjoying it. I like that it's kind of opinionated in a good way, with a lot of authorial personality in the explanations. And I like how he decides to present things in a somewhat different order than in most introductions. Like he teaches the gerund and past passive early, since he says they appear often in texts, and saves the dual for later. I couldn't say yet if that makes for a better progression, but I like the thinking behind it.

Personally, I'm too much of a "with ease" language learner to enjoy translating sentences from English into the target language, so I'm skipping those parts, but I'm reading the lessons and then reading the Sanskrit passages with the help of the accompanying glossaries. I'm still at the very beginning, and I don't know if I'll stick with it, but I have to say, reading the connected passage in chapter two was slow going but very satisfying. I think this will make a nice complement to the Assimil course, where I find myself pretty much stalled in week three. It could be that for ancient languages, I need something a bit more comprehensive to go along with Assimil.

Sahmilat wrote:I'm considering doing some reading about Indo-European linguistics. While I think it may be a kind of specific field of linguistics compared to something that seems more relevant like sociolinguistics, and although it has some serious baggage with racism in the history of the field, it is still interesting to me, and I think I'm in a pretty good place to start doing some studying, which good knowledge of Latin, working knowledge of Greek, and a start in Sanskrit. It's obviously not itself language learning, and I imagine that many Indo-Europeanists don't really know much about SLA or anything like that, but it's clearly an adjacent field that I can see myself getting into. LMU Munich has a masters in it, and will take someone with a Classics undergrad degree, so when I graduate I might look to that, if I decide I want to live in the ivory tower forever.

Sounds fascinating to me. I've been giving some serious thought to doing something similar (even though I'm past the age when it probably would have made the most sense, which might not dissuade me but might hurt my chances of getting into a program). The Indo-European Studies program at UCLA is one I've had my eye on. Also UT Austin. Unfortunately, my German isn't remotely good enough to consider programs in Germany, but otherwise they would be very appealing. LMU Munich looks great. I wish there were similar programs in Spain. I've found programs there that seem good for Latin and Greek, but I'm also interested in Sanskrit and the whole Indo-Iranian branch, and I think I'd only be interested in a program that kind of covered the whole expanse. And I'd want a program that's grounded in linguistics. Sounds like you're thinking that way too.

I'd be interested to know if you find any books on Indo-European linguistics that you really like. I mentioned that I've enjoyed skipping around in Fortson. I've also looked at Don Ringe's books tracing the development from PIE to Proto-Germanic to Old English, Andrew Byrd's book on the PIE syllable, Andrew Sihler's New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (which sometimes brings in Sanskrit), and a couple others I'm forgetting. All good, but so far none that I felt inspired to read from cover from cover. I've heard that How to Kill a Dragon by Calvert Watkins is a good read (Jackson Crawford and Tony Yates speak highly of it in this video), but I haven't gotten to it yet.
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby Sahmilat » Sun Mar 15, 2020 4:15 pm

jonm wrote:Is this the edition of MacDonell's Student Grammar that you have in print? I've been looking at scans of his books, and it would be nice to have a physical copy. And if that's the one, it seems like a steal, so I took a chance and went ahead and ordered. I wish there was an equivalent reedition of his Vedic Reader, because I've enjoyed looking at that. One stanza at a time from the Rigveda, with lots of notes.


I have the edition from Motilal Banarsidass, which also has a reprint of the Vedic Grammar and Vedic Reader. I'm sure the reprint you got is the same though. It's nice that so many of these resources are public domain and get cheap paperback reprints. These ship from India but you could probably find a seller from another country on Abebooks or something.

jonm wrote:Sounds fascinating to me. I've been giving some serious thought to doing something similar (even though I'm past the age when it probably would have made the most sense, which might not dissuade me but might hurt my chances of getting into a program). The Indo-European Studies program at UCLA is one I've had my eye on. Also UT Austin. Unfortunately, my German isn't remotely good enough to consider programs in Germany, but otherwise they would be very appealing. LMU Munich looks great. I wish there were similar programs in Spain. I've found programs there that seem good for Latin and Greek, but I'm also interested in Sanskrit and the whole Indo-Iranian branch, and I think I'd only be interested in a program that kind of covered the whole expanse. And I'd want a program that's grounded in linguistics. Sounds like you're thinking that way too.

Yeah I've looked at UT Austin too (that's where I'm from, though not where I go to school). Good looks on UCLA, I didn't know they had an IE program but that's not particularly surprising. And yeah, it's kind of inevitable that a lot of the best programs will be in Germany considering that this entire field of study grew out of 18th century German intellectual life.

jonm wrote:I'd be interested to know if you find any books on Indo-European linguistics that you really like. I mentioned that I've enjoyed skipping around in Fortson. I've also looked at Don Ringe's books tracing the development from PIE to Proto-Germanic to Old English, Andrew Byrd's book on the PIE syllable, Andrew Sihler's New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (which sometimes brings in Sanskrit), and a couple others I'm forgetting. All good, but so far none that I felt inspired to read from cover from cover. I've heard that How to Kill a Dragon by Calvert Watkins is a good read (Jackson Crawford and Tony Yates speak highly of it in this video), but I haven't gotten to it yet.


I've looked briefly at Szemerenyi Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics and at Lehmann's Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics. My problem with getting started is that there are plenty of points of controversy on the reconstructions and no two books will agree entirely, so you just have to read several and draw your own conclusions I guess. I have a professor who studied PIE at Harvard, so when we eventually get back to school I think I'll ask him for his recommendations. Whatever I find before or after that I'll make sure to mention here.
Thanks for the recommendation on Don Ringe, I'd like to learn more about Germanic linguistics in general. My German knowledge is almost entirely practical and my explicit knowledge of grammar is much weaker than for Latin and Greek. I read a book on Middle High German one time and it would be interesting to explore that whole family from a philological viewpoint.
1 x
German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby Sahmilat » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:17 pm

So I found my old French notebook from last summer after having lost it for a while. It looks like I got through lesson 51 of French With Ease. I picked up there today reading and doing the exercises (didn't listen to any audio today). I also started on book 2 of Mauger's Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Françaises because i skimmed through book 1 and it didn't seem worth my time at my level. The first lesson of book 2 was easy to understand though. I liked the grammar section, I think that will be a nice complement to Assimil and French in Action (which I did not do today, but plan to do in the future). I didn't do the exercises, but it looked like i could do most of them if I wanted to. Yet to decide if I'm going to incorporate that into my routine.

Maybe by the end of the summer my French will be good enough that I can comfortably use Assimil Le Sanskrit. I'm really just frustrated with the lack of easy Sanskrit reading practice out there. I like reading. Grammar is fun too, but I don't get a sense of accomplishment from laboriously translating sentences compared to reading and understanding a paragraph or two.
2 x
German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77

Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, Latin, Ancient Greek, whatever)

Postby Sahmilat » Mon Mar 16, 2020 11:49 pm

So I thought about things a lot last night and today. I've got a lot of time to think right now. I want to hunker down and focus on my German especially. I think I'll still do a little French every day so that I'm not only doing German all day every day until the world goes back to normal, but I might let my ancient languages fall to the wayside a bit. I might work on them every once in a while, but I really want to focus on German.

German: Today I listened to parts of a few different podcasts, mostly ones focused on literature. Some were from radio stations, one was on Spotify (Feuilletöne) which seemed interesting but the first fifteen minutes were just them talking about current events so I kind of got bored of that one. The search goes on for the perfect podcast. Preferably looking for something about literature or culture in general rather than politics or current events.
I also read a couple of acts from Brecht's Der gute Mensch von Sezuan. I can understand most of it, but the lyric portions are definitely harder and force me to reread. My goal is to finish 5 books in German by the end of April, and I think it's achievable as long as I focus on relatively short works like the Brecht plays I have. Tentative plan: 1) Brecht - Der gute Mensch von Sezuan, 2) Brecht - Im Dickicht, 3) Schnitzler - Reigen, 4) Hesse - Demian, 5) Rilke - Malte Laurids Brigge (which I have read in English so I think it'll be OK trying to tackle such a difficult novel). I have some other books and collections of stories, but these seem like a good start.
I don't really have much opportunity or motivation to talk to anyone other than myself. I only have one friend who speaks German but he's out of town right now and not much better than me at German. I'd prefer to talk to native speakers. Might look for a language exchange or something free/cheap, or I might just not practice speaking until I get back to school.
It wouldn't be hard to do some writing. I might write a bit about the books I read / whatever I listen to. I'm used to writing essays in German and it's probably the genre I need to be able to write the most, seeing as I'm a student (or hope to be again soon). Not gonna be anything ambitious, I just need to practice output.
Der gute Mensch von Sezuan: 3 / 10 || Any five books: 0 / 5

French: Before I opened Assimil today, I tried to listen to the Assimil audio without looking at either the text or the translation. It didn't go well. I really need some listening practice, I think I'll try to make either French in Action or one of the many beginners podcasts a part of my routine. I went ahead and read the Assimil lesson and did the exercises.
I also did another lesson of Mauger II. The reading selection was a little more difficult this time. It was clearly about the roads of France and the experience of traveling, but there were quite a few words I couldn't figure out even from context. I haven't decided whether I will do a focused study of vocabulary with Anki like I did once upon a time for German or if I'll just try to read and listen extensively from this early level. I'm leaning towards the latter, just to see if going extensive all the way works out.
Assimil: 53 / 113 || Mauger II: 2 / 70
4 x
German: Any five books: 1 / 5 || Minutes listening: 90 / 500 || Sags Besser 1: 4 / 112
French: Assimil French with Ease: 59 / 113 || Mauger I: 28 / 70 || InnerFrench: 2 / 77


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