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
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Re: malach's log - Bengali and German

Postby malach » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:24 pm

Bengali

Bengali has felt a little slow this month, however I have written 444 words in 8 separate sessions through January. Today I read two short stories: চড়াই আর বাঘের কথা and বোকা কুমিরের কথা, one of which I've used toward the Short Stories Challenge. Apart from my comprehension, my pronunciation must be getting better as my partner did not need to check the text to understand what I was reading out loud!

German

I have written 2118 words in 19 separate sessions through January. I have also been working on Die Kinder Húrins. I am 6 pages through the 20-page first chapter. There are many words I need to look up, and some are not in my Collins Pocket Dictionary, but I'm following the story, although in part from my memory of 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)
  • চড়াই আর বাঘের কথা, from টুনটুনির বই
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 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:16 am

I have managed all my 9 language 'habit boxes' for the past couple of weeks, and should be able to continue this for a while. I have a low bar to mark off a box, but it helps to maintain contact with both languages.

Bengali

I've not written much this month so far, just 4 sessions and 227 words in total. But I have managed some reading and I typed up a 500 word piece from a children's reader to make it easier to study.

German

I have 6 sessions and 700 words written so far this month. Not as much as I would have liked. I don't find it too hard to put down the basic facts of the day in German. I'm slowly trying to use a broader range of words to express more. It's easier when I'm recalling something I read the day before, and trying to use the words from that passage.

As I'm spending more time on the computer at work, I've looked at my Memrise page and started filling in some of the reviews in 'spare' minutes here and there. I had almost 2000 pending reviews! I'll try to slowly finish Memrise 7, to complete all 7 of the German courses there.
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 and German

Postby malach » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:14 am

I'm not sure why this week feels so light for language work, although I have ticked off all my nine 'habit boxes' in my journal.

German

I have finished another German short story, Die Blasse Anna. This was a more challenging read, with many unknown words.


For the Reading Short Stories Challenge 2019:

  • Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle
  • কুঁজো বুড়ির কথা, from টুনটুনির বই (Tailorbird stories by Upendra Kishore Raychaudhuri)
  • চড়াই আর বাঘের কথা, from টুনটুনির বই
  • Heinrich Böll's Die Blasse Anna
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 and German

Postby malach » Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:19 am

I seem to have settled in to a consistent but low intensity routine of language work. Mostly reading and writing, with some looking up of vocabulary in each case.

Bengali

For February, I managed only 6 pieces of writing, with 329 words in total.

I have spent some time around Bengali speakers recently, and astonished one person by revealing I could understand much of what was being said. The Bengali speakers I tend to meet are also surprised that I can read/write the script, as that seems to be a lost skill amongst those I meet.

I've got hold of a New Testament in Bengali, which is motivating to go through, in the language sense, as it's the one piece of writing I have where I know roughly what the meaning should be. I've started reading the book of Mark.

German

For February, I managed 11 pieces of writing, with 1265 words in total.

I want to take the A2-level exam, and 11th April is the next available slot. I would have a clear two weeks by myself before the April slot if I chose to do it, for more intense revision/study. Apart from gaining some precision in my writing, which should be doable, the main hurdle for me would be the Speaking section.

I feel I should put myself down for the exam, and not overthink. Pass/Fail does not ultimately matter, and I can only gain from the attempt.

EDIT: Booking made! Goethe-Institute A2 exam on the 11th of April.
1 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German

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Cèid Donn
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Re: malach's log - Bengali and German

Postby Cèid Donn » Tue Mar 05, 2019 4:34 pm

Best of luck to you with the test!
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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 and German

Postby malach » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:54 pm

Well, a little gap in my log, but not in language learning. With the test in mind, I have focussed more on German learning, but I have been in a Bengali-speaking environment for the last week or so, which has given me lots of audio practice there.

Bengali

This has been an unsettled month, so I've done less writing than I had thought. I have managed some reading, and also spent a week surrounded by Bengali, so I've had some practice that way. I feel ready for some concentrated work on Bengali, and I have a range of sources of varying complexity to go through. Once the German test is over, I'll come back to this.

German

I've managed quite a bit of writing, nearly 2000 words this month, averaging alternate dates. I put some through GermanCorrector.com and I'm making less errors than I had feared. My 'ear' seems to have improved somewhat too. To start thinking about the A2 test, I have listened to various videos and rewatched some of my DVDs. This has gone fairly well. Even better, I could manage one of the A2 test example listening exercises without too many problems.

[Last night I was feeling confident with the listening, but then had a reminder today of how hard "real" German listening can be, as three Germans were vigorously discussing something at work today - well, the odd word told me it was German, but that level is too much to even think of at this stage!]

So, for the test, my current assessment is that:

  • vocabulary: I think I know "enough" words, generally. I doubt the reading exercise will pose any difficulty. But I should be ready for some of their scripted topics, like Family, Hobbies.
  • writing: my concern here is accuracy. I'm not always sure on gender, verb form, or adjective ending.
  • listening: this seems to be ok, but can always do with practise.
  • speaking: I need to practise this.
And things I will do:

  • vocabulary: I have the A2 word list, and will work through it. This should be enough.
  • grammar: I will work through some of my German Tutor book, and try to be sure of my verbs, adjective endings etc.
  • writing: I'll continue, aiming for something each day. In particular, I'll try to expand the vocabulary I can use actively.
  • listening: I'll keep at a variety of listening exercises for a couple of hours a day, from my DVDs to easier pieces from Youtube. I was surprised to find some of my DVDs already have German tracks, so I have quite a few hours of familiar material to go over.
  • speaking: I'm doing some exercises on speechling.com to get the tongue moving. I shall also do more reading aloud, and self-talk.
I have 14 days exactly before the test, and, apart from work, I'm left to my own devices for this time. So I believe I can improve any weaknesses. Most of me says the test shouldn't be a problem, but a small part is warning I could come unstuck somewhere, especially in the speaking part.

Ramble

I spent the last week in Delhi, and found another reason why I should learn a "bit" of Hindi - after parking the car, and the attendant did not understand my numbers in English. Hindi numbers are very close to Bengali, so we got there. I found the same need, for a "bit" of French this time, in Switzerland last year: on one occasion I could order my food in English, but I barely had time to work out I had to listen for "soixante-quatre" before it was called out. Also I had forgotten the significance of "de terre" after "pomme" when choosing something to eat in a shop... Those beginner level skills can be useful.
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 and German

Postby malach » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:20 pm

Bengali

I've not done too much, as time has been tight and I've been thinking about German when I can. However I have read various pieces of text and done some writing. I found some Bengali TV showing on a website which I have bookmarked. I want to try some listening practice from next week.

German

Well, my timetable for the exam next week arrived by email. Of course, I have not done what I had wanted the test to motivate me to do, and that was balance up my ability in all four skills. I'll work through the format this weekend to try to avoid surprises. It'll be an interesting experience though. I just wish I didn't have to get into London, and Kensington at that, for 9.30am...

What have I been doing though? I have continued with listening to German, including watching Big Bang Theory and NCIS and hearing Beethoven's Fidelio in the car. I've also done a bit of writing and some vocabulary and grammar work.
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 and German

Postby malach » Sun May 12, 2019 6:11 pm

Well, not much went to plan the last month or so. I seem to have a couple of stable months ahead of me though, and I hope to keep going with my languages. I picked things up again over the last few days.

Bengali

I spent another couple of weeks around Bengali speakers, and am surprised how much I can catch when I pay attention. My active vocabulary is not enough to participate properly in conversation, and my pronunciation still needs a lot of work.

So, to fix these, I have finally taken on a tutor. I found one through Preply, and had a first lesson yesterday, which went well. My plan is to work on conversation and general verbal skills. For the first session, I spent most of the time reading out a short story, one of the Tailorbird stories, and he gave some comments about the story and my pronunciation: it turns out a couple of the words used in this late 19th century book are nowadays quite offensive, and he warned me not to use them myself!

I will aim for two sessions a week for a short period with this tutor, and see how it goes.

German

Unfortunately I was unable to attend the test last month. I have put myself down for the same A2 test at the end of June. I'm determined to achieve this goal one way or another!

April was a disaster for writing German: only 531 words. It was a better month for listening to German, as I have heard at least 6 movies in German (most of them on my recent flights!), and again heard my DVDs for NCIS and BBT.

Other

I have now completed the stipulated five stories for the Reading Short Stories Challenge 2019:

  • Stefan Zweig's Schachnovelle
  • কুঁজো বুড়ির কথা, from টুনটুনির বই (Tailorbird stories by Upendra Kishore Raychaudhuri)
  • চড়াই আর বাঘের কথা, from টুনটুনির বই
  • Heinrich Böll's Die Blasse Anna
  • টুনটুনি আর নাপিতের কথা, from টুনটুনির বই
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 » Sat May 18, 2019 10:54 am

This week has been very productive, in both languages. Although I may be getting a little confused between them: earlier this week I was referring to something I wanted my Bengali tutor to explain by describing it in German!

Bengali

The highlight has been a further two taught sessions. Forcing myself to do these at 9am in the morning is a bit of an effort, but it does feel good afterwards! These are quite intensive, in terms of spoken Bengali, and I'm getting several more modern resources to look at.

I've also done:

  • Anki every day - currently catching up with 100 reviews a day, as I haven't used the program for a while
  • Some writing

German

I've done a lot of German:

  • Anki every day - also catching up with 100 reviews a day
  • Chapters 1-3 of German Tutor, for grammar revision and new vocabulary
  • Listening to BBT and NCIS DVDs
  • Reading (again) Intermediate Reader 2
  • Writing
I'm looking at my A2 test at the end of June. I intend doing the first 11 chapters of German Tutor, which seems to cover the grammar and some typical themes for this level. I will also book some sessions with a Preply tutor, and get some speaking practice. I also have some materials to help practise the test.
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 and German

Postby malach » Wed May 22, 2019 9:54 pm

German

I finished off the second Intermediate Reader in a couple of days. I feel I've moved up a step or two, as I could see how much more I understand of the language now. Not just the words but, having just completed some grammar study in the first few chapters of Grammar Tutor, I was reading along thinking "yep, that's in dative because of that preposition ... oh yes, there's that verb affecting that case". Most of the words are now familiar, with just a few I had to check up.

I was feeling pretty good at that point, but then Anki gave me a good kicking. I've been doing loads of reviews with Anki, as I haven't used it for a couple of months, and I am suddenly shown all these words I've forgotten! Less than 30% correct for two days in a row, so it's like learning from scratch again. Those were supposed to be from the 'first 1000 words to learn' kind of list too, out of my earlier text book. Ah, the fickleness of memory.

Bengali

Mostly for novelty, I bought "50 Languages" Deutsch-Bengali, which is a German book for Bengali learners. It's basically a 100-page phrase book, with German phrases on one side and Bengali on the other. It's actually quite fun, and is full of practical phrases and vocabulary I don't get much chance to see. For example, cleaning the house: washing clothes, doing the ironing etc. Seeing them in both German and Bengali gives me some practice with both, I hope. Two minor niggles though. I wish the transcript was not there, especially as it's one of the 'bad' transcripts with lots of a's. But also the typeface is idiosyncratic. There are 'unicode-failed' boxes printed for two characters. One is amusing, as it's য not printed, but the addition of the dot for য় is printed just fine!
1 x
"strange accents do not mar fair speech" - Beregond, Return of the King.
Log: Bengali and German


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