journey to polyglot

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jacquemarie
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journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:26 am

just a simple american wanting to learn as many languages as possible.

putting this thread up to keep me motivated. feel free to post and either correct me, give me a goal, challenge, etc.

currently working on maintaining my italian (intermediate) and learning mandarin, french, and egyptian arabic.

i'm terrible about getting frustrated and "putting it away" for a little. so hopefully this log will assist me with continuing even when it feels too hard.

goal: write in this log every day w what i have practiced and done.
Last edited by jacquemarie on Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby rdearman » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:27 am

Benvenuto!
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: 4 / 100 100 Italian paperbacks:
: 306 / 75000 Output Challenge 2019 (普通话写作):

Lollygagging Podcast available on iTunes

jacquemarie
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:57 am

update:

have been practicing about 15 min a day but haven't been able to really study or post in here.

Grandma has been in and out of the hospital so it's been a little hectic. However, she is now home and well, so will be able to more seriously practice again!
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jacquemarie
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Mon Dec 24, 2018 3:07 pm

Bonjour!

December 2018 has possibly been the worst month for my family.

My Grandma was in and out of the hospital in Nov; she has been out for all of Dec but has been very weak and is still a little confused. My family has been providing care for her and has taken over her medication reminders and setting up her meds for her (she was taking too many of certain medications, avoiding others, or just completely forgetting about her meds).

I was in the psych unit from Dec 5-Dec 13th. 8 days to the very minute, funnily enough. I was admitted at 3pm and discharged at 3pm. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder w psychosis. It was nice to finally get an answer.

My Aunt passed away and 16 hours later, also my great-aunt.

So not the greatest, but we will get through it.

Language wise, I neglected my languages for much of Dec (you're not allowed to have your phone in the psych ward so that didn't help).

I'm proud to say I have a 5 day streak on duolingo right now and have been average 150xp a day.

French has been my main focus, which is a little shocking considering I don't particularly find the French language pretty and I didn't really enjoy my time in France. I was challenged by a friend to learn French; perhaps that is why it's my main focus currently.

I've been sitting here thinking of my goals for 2019 with French.

+ Complete the Duolingo tree & get all crowns up to 5
+ 100 hours of French Audio
+ 100 French articles/books read
+ daily vlog on my youtube in french
+ 24 private lessons in french

Bonne chance with all your language learning!
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jacquemarie
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:53 pm

Last night I discovered a great tool at my disposal for audio/practising chatting and what not -- TWITCH.TV! I don't know why it did not occur to me before but they have the "always on" shows... Simple ones, like Pokemon. Not only do I get to practise my listening skills (even if I do not understand the words, hearing the sounds and elisions and such) but I get to see native french speakers chatting in real time; this is a double win- I get to see the actual slang used and common words, and i get to learn sweet chatspeak such as PDTR & DSL.. also, cc, cc cv twa, etc. It's amazing how much they shorten when messaging!

I now have a 9 day streak on duolingo and am working through lingvist until I feel "brain melt" when I come to new words. I also began writing down notes for my daily vlogs (what i want to say, ideas, etc.) and started the process of picking out a tutor! I believe I would like to do a mix of informal (community) tutors from italki and more "professional" tutors. I don't want to pay $20-40 every time I do a lesson (at 24 lessons, that's 400-900$!) but I believe I may benefit from something they might be able to bring from the table in a way a community teacher cannot.

As I plan on doing (at least) 24 sessions, the goal is to do them in the 1st and 3rd week of the month. I think my current plan is to use the "professional" tutor on the first week, and then use the "community" tutor in the 3rd week to "check-up" on how my language learning is going.

The other thing I have done so far is start my French notebook; the first page is goals, the second page is the alphabet, the third page for the basic sentence structure & tips, and the subsequent pages will be for grammar. after grammar i think I will dedicate pages to important verbs (like a page for être, avoir, aller, pouvoir... you get the point :D ). I believe that I want another, smaller notebook (more like a mini-notebook, not quite pocket sized) for daily writing prompts in french. That way, not only do I practise speaking in French every day, I also practise writing about a topic in French every day.

What do you guys thing? Does it sound like a good game plan to you? Anything you would change or add? Please let me know <3

merci!
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby SGP » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:37 pm

Bonjour,

jacquemarie wrote:So not the greatest, but we will get through it.

Sorry to hear about all these events. And I do wish you getting through it.

I was challenged by a friend to learn French; perhaps that is why it's my main focus currently.
Someone challenged me as well to learn a particular African language by saying "it is among Africa's most difficult ones" (one of those spoken in Ghana). And that challenge would be about basic everyday speech only. May I ask what yours is about?

I've been sitting here thinking of my goals for 2019 with French.

[...]
+ 100 hours of French Audio
[...]
Now I wonder if you are already able to connect spoken to written French. Because in case you couldn't do it right now, I'd suggest reading some transcripts, too, while you are listening to the audio.

They say that in the beginning, a French learner actually is learning two languages at once, i.e. spoken and written FR. To me, this is a bit of a stretch. Because I do consider both of them the same. However, what they said still reminded me of having to pay some more attention to the differences of both of them. Because as we know, French isn't the most phonetic language. That said, I really do love it. And since it was made possible for me to also apply it in "real conversations", i.e. face to face, I started to call it a very easy one even.

The other thing I have done so far is start my French notebook; the first page is goals, the second page is the alphabet, the third page for the basic sentence structure & tips, and the subsequent pages will be for grammar. after grammar i think I will dedicate pages to important verbs (like a page for être, avoir, aller, pouvoir... you get the point :D ). I believe that I want another, smaller notebook (more like a mini-notebook, not quite pocket sized) for daily writing prompts in french. That way, not only do I practise speaking in French every day, I also practise writing about a topic in French every day.

What do you guys thing? Does it sound like a good game plan to you? Anything you would change or add?
Right now there is one thing that comes to my mind. This is about really prioritizing what verb tenses you would learn right now vs. what ones you would currently skip. Because French has many, many tenses. And if you would try to learn too many of them within a short time frame, it really could be too much. But as for how many tenses you maybe should learn for a start, I couldn't give you a very specific answer right now, also because not everyone's needs are the same. Also, if you are able to remember them without doing any rote memorization, this could work better on the long run. There are persons who did some rote memorization of some verb tenses (no matter if French, Latin or something else), then forgot a lot of what they learned that way. And I am one of them. But as for the verb forms learned by immersion and exposure, they really could stick much better.
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby Skynet » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:44 pm

Welcome to the forum!

My deepest sympathies for the loss of your aunt and great-aunt. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this difficult time.

I am also saddened to hear about your grandmother's ill-health and the frequent hospital visits - that must have been absolutely harrowing for you all. Whilst I am not happy about the diagnosis that you were given, I am at least relieved that you have finally discovered what was ailing you. You deserve to be congratulated for staying the course as you have remained focused on your language learning. I will be following your progress.
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jacquemarie
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:21 pm

And that challenge would be about basic everyday speech only. May I ask what yours is about?


basically just every day conversations, nothing crazy c: not quite fluency, but perhaps an intermediate level. the particular challenge is "who can achieve it fastest" but honestly, it's just a friendly "competition" to dedicate the time to study. c: I'm actually enjoying the French language the more I delve into it, and sadly (or not sadly) everyone around me has been subject to "neat facts" aka facts about French grammar I find particularly interesting.

Now I wonder if you are already able to connect spoken to written French. Because in case you couldn't do it right now, I'd suggest reading some transcripts, too, while you are listening to the audio.


Here is my game plan: Mostly use Netflix/Youtube videos, stick with mostly shorter videos for this method. First, listen to the audio without subtitles. Note what I did or did not understand, questions I may have, etc. Second, listen to the audio with French subtitles. Make new notes. Third, listen to it again without subtitles - what more did I catch or understand? rinse & repeat, listening to the same episode/audio another day if I must to further my listening comprehension.

This is about really prioritizing what verb tenses you would learn right now vs. what ones you would currently skip. ....


I plan on making quick notes of most of the verb tenses so that way it's in the back of my mind in case I am exposed to it, perhaps it will help but only dedicating time to a handful of very important, very common ones (present, past, future, and perhaps pluperfect? I plan on researching more the most commonly used tenses).

I plan on trying not to learn by rote memorization but by doing; such as real time conversations, without looking at my notes or looking up the conjugation. for me, i think just the act of being corrected tends to stick in my mind. then maybe the next time I may remember "oh shoot, I tried to say this before and they didn't use x tense, they used a different one..." and maybe I can't remember the specific tense but i try a different conjugation and see if that portrays the idea properly.

For me, tenses are a finicky thing. I don't like to really think of them as "tenses". Every language is unique and everyone uses their tenses differently, so I don't want to learn past, future, pluperfect, imperfect, whatever. I want to learn how to convey an idea; for example, in English one idea might be portrayed in past tense but in another language, the same idea is portrayed in the present and just adding a word. I think the best example I have for this is Chinese & English.

If I want to convey the idea that I completed the action of walking my dog.

In English, I would say "I walked the dog." using the past-tense version of walk.

In Chinese, they would say, "In the morning I walk the dog" using the action particle "le" to indicate the action was completed. Le does not mean past - that is indicated with the time of day. Le simply means the action is done. Chinese is a wonderful language to study to learn how useless thinking of it as "tenses" is.

I hope I explained that well!

My deepest sympathies for the loss of your aunt and great-aunt. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this difficult time.


I appreciate it. <3 And thank you very much. It is very easy to be swayed from studying and dedication, it tends to get put on the back-burner, but simply that is making an excuse for myself because there are 24 hours in a day, and I can set aside even just 10 minutes to study some vocab no matter how busy or stressful the day is.
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby SGP » Fri Dec 28, 2018 7:36 pm

jacquemarie wrote:basically just every day conversations, nothing crazy c: not quite fluency, but perhaps an intermediate level. the particular challenge is "who can achieve it fastest" but honestly, it's just a friendly "competition" to dedicate the time to study.
A competition like this could really be more useful than those Outsmarting and Envy Challenges out there. I stay very far away from them.

c: I'm actually enjoying the French language the more I delve into it, and sadly (or not sadly) everyone around me has been subject to "neat facts" aka facts about French grammar I find particularly interesting.
Now that is a good example of everyone being to learn from everyone, no matter what one's particular level is. Enjoying French more by delving into it some more. This is something I really want to take a closer look at. While I do like learning FR today, a long time ago it wasn't the same. Because of all those silent letters and so on :).

I want to learn how to convey an idea; for example, in English one idea might be portrayed in past tense but in another language, the same idea is portrayed in the present and just adding a word. I think the best example I have for this is Chinese & English.
This approach does have some merits. Basically, we all start by learning at least one language as a toddler, then we build upon our knowledge later when another one enters our lives.
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jacquemarie
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Re: journey to polyglot

Postby jacquemarie » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:14 am

Well, so far I have failed my wish of daily vlogs; however, I hope to start them soon and do it for most of 2019!

In exciting news, I have my first exchange of French & English on Tuesday with a speaker from Belgium. I am both excited and nervous for the exchange. I think it will really test my comprehension of the language.

After Tuesday, I'll set up my first tutoring experience. I am still trying to figure out how to optimise my time with a tutor!

Debating adding to my goals, a daily blog if I cannot vlog, or perhaps both. I really am beginning to love the French language and am growing excited at the prospect of adding it to my daily use and becoming conversational. Curious as to if adding that much to my studies (30 min of active learning per day + daily vlog + daily blog) will discourage me or only excite me more. Passive learning isn't counted (listening to music, tv shows, movies).
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