malach's log - Bengali and German

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malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:00 pm

I have managed something each day this week, even if just to keep up with my Anki/Memrise repeats.

Bengali

  • Continued with Anki/Memrise daily
  • Memorised a short Bengali poem of Tagore's!
  • Some diary writing
I ordered another Bengali film, চারুলতা (Carulata - the lonely wife), which arrived today.

German

  • Wrote around 500 words in diary entries based on the stories I'm reading - it's easier to write with a theme.
  • Finished rereading half of Brian Smith's Pre-Intermediate Reader - apart from some words like "immerhin", I feel I know each word so far.
  • Listened to Schachnovelle again in the car.
I am planning to read through Brian Smith's three Intermediate level books next, and then return to Schachnovelle. I also bought German Short Stories 1 in Penguin's Parallel Text format.

Latin

Still simply Memrise reviews.
1 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:02 am

This weekend I had two days off the computer, so no SRS/Anki. There'll be a backlog of reviews to catch up, but I have managed some work with books/stories.

Bengali

  • watched চারুলতা (Carulata - the lonely wife), from which I could understand only a few words.
  • worked on pronounciation of the different "r" sounds with my partner - there are three র ড় ঢ় - the second is the retroflex one which I'm apparently not too far off now
  • read right through a short story from টুনটুনির বই (Tailorbird's book) aloud: I last worked through this about 8 months ago, and now can read it through with understanding [even more importantly, my partner could understand what I was reading out!]
  • I can still remember the poem I memorised last week!
German

I finished going back over Brian Smith's Pre-Intermediate Reader. This is meant to contain the most frequent 1000 words. I have written out 40 words which I could not recall, to put into Anki, so I must have a good passive understanding of most of those 1000 words.

This week, I will start going through Brian Smith's three intermediate readers. They seem like a good ladder to get me to more native materials, but time will tell.
0 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:06 am

Memrise

I decided yesterday to stop working through a large Memrise course of 3,500 Bengali words. I was finding the course taking too much time, even at a low rate of new words, as the words are presented randomly and so are disconnected from any context. The few words I later found coming up in reading did not offset the effort needed to recall the new words. I find with German the effort is much less, but with Bengali each 'review' session was like a new learning experience. The time saved there will be better spent reading and incorporating words I discover for myself into Anki.

So, with Memrise:

  • for Bengali I shall simply let the reviews for a few small courses continue.
  • for German, I am nearly finished with German 6 and will do German 7. I think these are useful for now, especially as they have audio.
  • for Latin, I am using the course which goes through the vocabulary of Familia Romana. I'll continue with it for now.
0 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:07 pm

My Anki/Memrise use has dropped to zero lately. I have very little time currently (hobbies for me are more of a single person's game!), and I have decided to prefer writing over revision: I think it more beneficial to write something with the vocabulary I remember from yesterday than trying to recap a lot of words which I don't have an immediate use for. Reading is my main activity now, and this refreshes vocabulary naturally, especially as I go back to reread things.

My routine over the past month has been:

  • Write something in a diary: a bit of English (to get my thoughts going), then some in German and finally in Bengali. I aim for at least 50 words in the latter two. Sometimes I write more, especially in German if I recall something I read. The aim is not precision, just to activate the vocabulary.
  • Read and read again.
The differences in ease between Bengali and German are becoming quite stark. I have a good understanding of Bengali grammar (at least, the basic stuff that is in the Teach Yourself book): it's a regular language so cases, such as they are, are marked in a standard way, verbs fall into one of a few groups. Mostly when I read Bengali I can explain the grammar. The trouble is the vocabulary. Each word is different in its own way, and it's taken me a while to build up a core active vocabulary. I can use this to read and write to some extent, but it's still limited.

In contrast, German vocabulary is a breeze. After a few appearances in the book, the words in context seem to make sense. I think the script helps - Bengali being in its own script remains something slightly unusual. However, my knowledge of German grammar is more limited, and I know what I try to write has all kinds of errors.

German also benefits from better materials - these Intermediate Readers of Brian Smith's are excellent. Whereas with Bengali I'm straight in the deep end with Tagore. Even my partner sometimes wonders at the way he's written things ...

Bengali

I am continuing trying to intensively read some of Tagore's short stories. This means a lot of new vocabulary.

I had my Bengali listening skills tested at the weekend, as my partner's daughter explained something she didn't want her son to know about!

German

I have finished the first Intermediate Reader of Brian Smith's ... again. I think this is my third complete pass through. My progress is clear, in that I'm having to look up relatively few words.
2 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:31 pm

Well, the degradation in my language study time has continued to around 10 minutes a day, which I'm filling at the moment with some German reading. Informal Bengali use continues around the home. I haven't even had time for my diary writing lately. I'm looking forward to the vacation!

Bengali

  • Made sure I still remember the poem I memorised
  • A little speaking/listening practice around the home
We will be watching one or two Bengali films in the next couple of weeks, and I plan to make further inroads into Tagore's short stories.

German

  • I finished Brian Smith's Intermediate Reader 2
The plan for now is to move onto the third reader. There were many words I had to look up in this second one, and I think I'll have to make another run through it later for revision.

Latin

My books are ready for when I make time in the next month.
0 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:49 pm

I continue with small amounts of reading/writing on an almost daily basis.

Bengali

I'm still working on Tagore's stories, although I have moved onto a new story, The Post Master, because we watched Satyajit Ray's film version and it will be more interesting to read a story that I actually know the plot of.

My diary has more entries in Bengali now - I'm trying to write 50 words a day, and almost keeping to it.

German

Started the third Intermediate Reader of Brian Smith. Lots of new vocabulary, as I expected, but readable enough.

My diary has several entries in German. It's a lot easier to write 50 words in German than in Bengali.

Latin

Several pieces of latin seen/heard in songs over the last few days!
0 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:59 am

Although I have managed to be consistent in doing something with my languages for most, if not all, days of the week, the evidence of it is scattered. I vary between electronic means, where I enter text into a diary slot on VimWiki or into a text document, and paper means, where I have a separate notebook for each language and a combined journal/diary. Reading is not recorded except when I finish a chapter or book, which I write down in my language notebook. Also, Latin gets a raw deal and I have not done much with it.

So, I've started a new notebook! This is "bullet journal" inspired, and will merely keep track of the bare facts of language study, so I can see how my habits are developing.

For each block of four weeks, I have tick boxes to record a minimum of four sessions of writing and four of 'other' activity in each of Bengali and German, and at least one session of Latin. A writing session means 50 words typed or written somewhere. 'Other' will usually mean reading, but could be a film or work from a text book: 10 minutes is enough to earn a tick. 17 sessions in total means approximately 4 hours a week. I'll try for a month, as I may need to cut back the 'minimum'.

I'm not going to plan for anything else. Except that in the long term I want to round out my German with some verbal skills, and for that I still want to take an A2/B1 test.

My new recording system starts from tomorrow, the 29th.
3 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali, German, Latin

Postby malach » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:57 pm

Thanks to my new recording system, I've managed to spend time on all three languages - that empty checkbox does provide a bit of extra motivation! I'm trying to rationalise what I write on the computer by saving everything as a text file into one folder on my computer. Each writing goes into its own little text file, with the date and language in the filename, e.g. 2019-01-04-german.txt, so later I can run off word counts etc. I'm still writing by hand too. Whichever is most convenient at the time.

Bengali

  • 200+ words written this past week
  • read part of a Tagore story
  • read a large part of a short story aimed at children
German

  • 200+ words written (I do have to remember to get out of German keyboard mode before getting out of Vim's text entry mode!)
  • finished the third Intermediate reader
I estimate I've read over 100,000 words from the German books I have gone through so far.

Books completed 18/8/18 - 3/1/19:

  • A. Klein, Café in Berlin
  • Brian Smith, Pre-Intermediate Reader - twice
  • Brian Smith, Intermediate Reader 1 - twice
  • Brian Smith, Intermediate Reader 2 - twice
  • Brian Smith, Intermediate Reader 3
  • Stefan Zweig, Schach Novelle
Latin

As I'm doing a lot of reading in Bengali and German, I have started with the more formal/intellectual task of some exercises in Wheelock.
3 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali and German

Postby malach » Fri Jan 18, 2019 3:02 pm

Between restarting work and upheavals at home, my planned number of language learning activities has already collapsed. I've made a more realistic target for the next few weeks: Latin (reluctantly) is now gone; Bengali is down to 3 boxes a week; German has 3 writing and 3 'other' boxes a week. That's 9 language sessions, just over 1 a day, and each can be as little as 10 minutes. Hopefully that can be kept up.

Bengali

  • Writing, 106 words
German

  • Writing: 334 words
  • Reading: Finished Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle
Writing is becoming easier. I have enough vocabulary for a range of topics, including expressing praise or complaints. I can comfortably write 50 words, and averaged 110 words a sitting this week. I will need to start taking care of the accuracy of what I am writing, by checking the verb forms, noun genders etc which I am using.

Reading Schachnovelle this time was relatively easy: I had to look up a few words, but otherwise I understood the text as written. This brings me to the end of rereading books I've covered before. Now I'll start a new book, and see how much I now know.

For the Reading Short Stories Challenge 2019:

  • Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle
0 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

malach
Yellow Belt
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:52 am
Languages: English (N)
Studying: Bengali and German
x 105

Re: malach's log - Bengali and German

Postby malach » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:00 pm

Somehow I've found time to do quite a bit this weekend, reading and writing in both languages. Two short stories completed, one of which I can count towards the Short Story Challenge.

Bengali

Read a short story from টুনটুনির বই:

  • কুঁজো বুড়ির কথা
I read this aloud with my partner, to also work on my pronunciation.

German

Read the short story:

  • Die richtige Taste: Johann Sebastian Bach, by Achim Seiffarth
I read this 6000+ word story in a couple of hours today. It felt relatively easy. I am now out of graded books, so will try one of my 'challenge' books - Die Kinder Hurins as I already know the English version.

For the Reading Short Stories Challenge 2019:

  • Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle
  • কুঁজো বুড়ির কথা, from টুনটুনির বই (Tailorbird stories by Upendra Kishore Raychaudhuri)
1 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German


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