Skynet gets a Steckerbrett and becomes ENIGMA

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Skynet
Green Belt
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (DELF B2), German (B1?), Spanish (A2?)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
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Re: Skynet gets a Steckerbrett and becomes ENIGMA

Postby Skynet » Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:51 am

rdearman wrote:Not sure Skynet's log is the place for this discussion? [[Skynet if you want me to move this last page from your log to its own thread, let me know]]


Thanks for the concern RD, but I am OK with having spirited discussions here ;)

Maiwenn wrote: Congrats on the DELF, Skynet!!! Really impressive results. :) I look forward to seeing how quickly you outpace me in German. ;)

Thanks Maiwenn! Your progress in Darija and MSA are even more impressive. I am not being falsely modest in saying that I took the 'easy way out' by learning languages that are most similar to English. You, on the other hand, have made tremendous strides in learning an Arabic dialect.

addylad wrote:Congrats! I took the DELF B2 earlier this month. How long did your results take to come through?
Destination C1? :)

Congratulations on sitting the DELF B2! I cannot observe a pattern and comment on the time it takes for the AF to announce results. @zjones sat her B1 on 20 March and received her results on 30 March (10 days), and I sat mine on 27 Feb and received my results on 25 March (26 days). I do not like odd numbers (OCD issue), so I will sit the DALF C2 instead.

Cavesa wrote:Congratulations to your DELF!!!! It's an awesome achievement!

Thanks, big sis! Remember, it was you who made me realise that I could replicate your success despite having a heavy academic load.

Cavesa wrote:To a function:sure, you are right, you should always accommodate the guest on the function. But in the daily life and work?

I would never ask people to change their language on my account with the exception of a) being invited by them to an event and b) in a classroom situation, where the language of instruction is English. I am also very pragmatic and know that speaking/understanding the language beyond what is necessary, when I do not intend to stay here past Feb 2020, is an unwise investment of my time.

Cavesa wrote: If my plan to leave for France turned out to be impossible, I'd learn the language of the second choice.

This is why I am learning languages for my first, second and third options - French, German and Spanish respectively - before I even get there.

Cavesa wrote:...having the English native privilege.


You bring out a salient point here: English has that privilege because it was the language of the world's largest and greatest empire and continues to be the language of the world's incumbent super power. Assuming that the forecasts are accurate and we can avoid a US-China nuclear Thucydides Trap, English will likely still remain the world's premier lingua franca.

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The one thing that has always had the ability to disrupt my elaborately planned and organised life is my addiction to reading. As a child, I would always choose to sit in my father's library and read over playing with my peers outside. The consequence? Extremely poor psychomotor skills especially when balls are involved. As an adult, I would always find myself scanning Goodreads instead of cramming hours before an exam. The result? Debating which book to buy in the middle of an exam.

I did zero language learning this week because I discovered Ted Dekker's Circle tetralogy and Wendy Alec's Chronicles of Brothers pentology-now-clearly-to-become-a-hexalogy in my bridge and scrabble partner's house on Saturday night. Christian fantasy authors are becoming very rare these days, so when I do get the opportunity to find them, I do not restrain myself at all. I am proud to announce that I shall be returning those fully-read books this afternoon.

Now that I have effectively taken a week-long sabbatical from languages, I feel refreshed and my resolve to master German is stronger than ever.

French: continue with Assimil Bus. French and Linguaphone Bus. French.

German: complete FSI Level 2 in its entirety at a pace of one unit a week.

Spanish: continue with Assimil Le nouvel espagnol sans peine.

Portuguese: continue to wonder if I would want to live in a world in which I was unable to find the audio for Assimil le portugais sans peine.
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3862
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Skynet gets a Steckerbrett and becomes ENIGMA

Postby Cavesa » Tue Jul 02, 2019 4:26 pm

Skynet wrote:
Cavesa wrote:Congratulations to your DELF!!!! It's an awesome achievement!

Thanks, big sis! Remember, it was you who made me realise that I could replicate your success despite having a heavy academic load.

Thanks, this is a nice example of silver lining. At least some uses for my suffering :-D


Cavesa wrote:To a function:sure, you are right, you should always accommodate the guest on the function. But in the daily life and work?

I would never ask people to change their language on my account with the exception of a) being invited by them to an event and b) in a classroom situation, where the language of instruction is English. I am also very pragmatic and know that speaking/understanding the language beyond what is necessary, when I do not intend to stay here past Feb 2020, is an unwise investment of my time.

Cavesa wrote: If my plan to leave for France turned out to be impossible, I'd learn the language of the second choice.

This is why I am learning languages for my first, second and third options - French, German and Spanish respectively - before I even get there.

Cavesa wrote:...having the English native privilege.


You bring out a salient point here: English has that privilege because it was the language of the world's largest and greatest empire and continues to be the language of the world's incumbent super power. Assuming that the forecasts are accurate and we can avoid a US-China nuclear Thucydides Trap, English will likely still remain the world's premier lingua franca.


I don't think you see my point, no offence meant. I don't know, why everyone starts explaining why English is the lingua franca in moments like this. I know it damn well, everybody knows it. That is not the issue, nobody is stupid enough to not know this. The issue is, that the lack of respect for local and regional languages is pushing people into distrust or dislike towards some parts of the international life, it is not the most efficient way to communicate in some instances, and it is perceived as rude. An action leads to a reaction.

You know, like going to somebody's home, eating their food, but being on the phone all the time (using their wifi). The "I am here just because I didn't get to a better country, I don't respect you at all, and you'd better accommodate me" message is the problem. Several years of living somewhere, that is not the same thing as coming for a month. And truth be told, when I was hearing the "but Czech is not an important language to me" from people who had chosen to come here for six years and who sucked at communicating with the patients due to their laziness to learn the language, I felt like slapping them sometimes.

When I went to Spain for one month, I had learnt Spanish well enough to use just Spanish in the lab. It wasn't obligatory, the official language of the study exchange program was English, and an English test had been part of the selection process. Also, Spanish is not perceived as a hyper popular and super useful and easy language everywhere. In the Czech Republic, it is actually not much more useful than Greek, truth be told. The rising popularity of Spanish is a very recent thing, from just a few years ago, less than a decade. But I had learnt it and got these bonuses: 1.my teachers were just so much better in their native Spanish. 2.Everybody was super friendly and excited both as they didn't have to adapt to me in their home country, but it was a clear sign of respect and interest in it and in them. Even if I hadn't sticked to it, it would have been worth my time.

I know I am not going to convince you, I just hoped you might see the other side of the issue. It is not necessarily them being mean or unwelcoming.
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2620
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Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... f=15&t=784
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Re: Skynet gets a Steckerbrett and becomes ENIGMA

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:57 pm

Cavesa wrote:
I know I am not going to convince you, I just hoped you might see the other side of the issue. It is not necessarily them being mean or unwelcoming.


Like a little cousin or sibling chiming in on an adult discussion, "I agree, Cavesa".

Skynet does make some really valid points, which of course you have noticed as well. Focusing on his top 3 languages for countries/spheres in which the language will be spoken for when he settles down, for example. That's fantastic, but I do agree, transient for at least a considerable amount of time as he is, I feel deserves a little more attention on local language/culture.

However I also understand Skynet is INSANELY busy and something's got to give. He chose what was to give, no drama, and of course Skynet has an immense degree of respect it seems (which many other students likely don't) for at least learning other languages (already mentioned) in serious manner.

In the end, Cavesa, your point resonates with me and it leads into the fact that it concerns me when countries like Spain will request English when students go on exchange, however short the program might be. It troubles me when English is the language of instruction in so many spheres of daily life - work and education, in countries in which English is not a native language. I've talked about this many times over, but for Spain to put it's own dynamic culture, language and ability to conduct whatever research and study aside in favour for English.... who has control here? Are these countries (and their corresponding languages and cultures) just second rate now? Not important? Been taken over clandestinely? Is it all economics? Is this kind of economic activity healthy - in which cultures and languages are trampled over in order to attract participants in exchange programs and generate money and international interest, then? What does the future have in store for us? I'm not looking for political discussion, just raising some concerns from my own reflections. In the end, the more people stand up and learn (or are expected to learn) smaller languages, big languages, medium languages, the more diverse the future, the more each culture will respect itself, for what of a reflexive verb!

Following your path with much interest, Skynet ;)
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Skynet
Green Belt
Posts: 280
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Location: Cyprus
Languages: BILINGUAL: Shona & English
PURSUING: French (DELF B2), German (B1?), Spanish (A2?)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8686
x 823

Re: Skynet gets a Steckerbrett and becomes ENIGMA

Postby Skynet » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:40 pm

French:
Assimil Business: completed! This presented excellent listening practice: some of the conversations were deliberately made to be difficult to understand - but not incomprehensible - to train one's ear to listen to spoken French in a way that is more natural and less akin to RFI News In Slow French.

Le casse du siecle par Michael Lewis: completed! I enjoyed reading the book and acquired a great deal of vocabulary - particularly one related to finance and economics. I was pleased to finish my first French novel, but my joy did not last once I read that the DALF C1/C2 no longer has separate options for 'science' and 'literature.' The latter takes far too much time to master, and I have consequently shelved my plans to sit the C2 anytime before the sun exhausts its hydrogen and becomes a red giant. I am going to mollify my indignation by reading my next novel: Michael Lewis' Flash Boys - Histoire d'une révolte à Wall Street. Lewis is second only to Bill Bryson on my list of non-fiction/biography authors.

Linguaphone Business: 56/60. The strength of this course lies in its drills. Similar to FSI - but not as deleterious to one's neurons - the drills help with pronunciation and automaticity.

Spanish:
NESP: 37/109. Learning Spanish from a French base has improved my understanding of how both languages work.

German:
FSI: U117/24. I started FSI German Basic from U12, and managed to complete four units during the first fortnight. I was too busy during the just-ended week to maintain that pace, and did one unit instead. I shall keep that relaxed pace now that I have yet another thing to worry about (more on that shortly).

TOEFL:
My IELTS expired recently and I have to sit the TOEFL as I am strictly applying to PhD programs in the US. The European process of soliciting professors individually in the hope that they will allow you to work on THEIR funded project repulsed me immensely. The US system seems infinitely more democratic and conducive to independent research than the Old Continent's.

Microsoft Ultimate Word Games, Scrabble and Hangman:
I installed these applications on my laptop and find myself playing Wordament, Jumble and Crosswords (all three are pre-packaged in WUMG) in French. I also play Scrabble in German and Hangman (easy mode) in Spanish. (I should confess that I haven't been honest with my Scrabble partners in explaining my newfound 'luck.' ;) )
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