Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

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Cèid Donn
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Fri Dec 14, 2018 1:03 am

Brun Ugle wrote:I’m a bit curious about what kind of mistakes you mean and what you learned from them. How would you approach the language if you were to start now, having learned from that experience?


Well, I doubt anything I can share about this is very revolutionary. Apologies if this is rather long-winded. :D

But for starters, I had, kind of, studied more than one language at a time, when I was in uni and learning Latin, Ancient Greek and Hebrew for my grad program, but the difference there was I had specific benchmarks to achieve in each language, and none of it had to do with me being able to interact with speakers of those languages, as it was all for reading texts.

With learning contemporary "living" languages, the kind of approach I took with learning these 3 ancient languages--basically, to buckle down and study the textbooks--wasn't cutting it for me when I started learning Breton, and the dumb thing about it was, that wasn't how i started with Gaelic either. How I started with Gaelic, as a self-learner before I started taking classes with the AGA, I was making use of multiple resources, especially different media, which included lots of listening to/reading native speakers and connecting that language to its culture and speaker community. But it wasn't a conscious thing I did, as I was simply using what resources I could find, and lot of them, like Speaking Our Language and Litir Bheag/Litir do Luchd-Ionnsachaidh, were produced by the Gaelic speaking community with the very specific goal of getting learners to progress. I just didn't realize at the time how those kinds of resources were helping me genuinely progress with Gaelic, as opposed to going in circles or doing false start after false start.

So when I started with Breton, which has a lot less available resources for learners outside of France than Gaelic does, I simply thought that grabbing the first textbook I could find and going through it would be enough to get me started, and it just wasn't. It wasn't until I really went and found resources that would help me connect Breton back to its community, even if they were above my level, to really show me how people used the language, like Breizhweb (Breton TV online) and the #brezhoneg magazine (which is a superb learning resource) as well as social media like Twitter and blogs by Breton speakers, that it started coming together. But that took a while for me to figure out that was the lacking component.

When learning more than one language at a time, I find using resources that connect me to speakers and the culture of the language--specifically for experiencing how the language is used by speakers and to start developing an intuitive sense of the language--to be quite critical, because the amount of time I can spend on each language becomes more limited and so making use of my time in the most constructive ways possible matters more. I try to do this with other languages that I have taken up since, and I find that when I don't follow through on this, I just don't make as much progress.

A few other things, that relate to the whole idea of making the best use of one's time when learning multiple languages, from my own experiences:

A) While I don't think you need to be an expert in your TL1 before starting a TL2, I find it very helpful to be very aware of differences between your TLs, in particular with phonology, syntax and morphology. I don't think you have to be an amateur linguist to do this, but it helps to make an effort to compare your TL1 and TL2 and consciously note important differences in how the language is put together. This seems like an obvious thing, and in a classroom setting it's something a teacher would point out for you, but as a self-learner, it's something that takes additional mental energy to do for oneself, so at least for myself, I'm often tempted to skip over it. And that's proven to be a pitfall in the long run.

B) If an approach doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere, regardless of how much praise it's getting from others, I need to change my approach. I really cannot let myself be too swayed by others' opinions when it's clear something is not working for me. This is why I don't use Anki, for example, which was one of the things I tired to use with Breton early on. I have nothing against it, but as a language learning tool it just doesn't work for me.

C) if someone is offering to help me but ends up wasting my time, I really just need to forget about them and move on. I'm a pretty self-sufficient person when it comes to learning things on my own, and while getting help is generally a good thing, sometimes people who offer help are doing so for more self-serving/self-gratifying reasons than what I want to deal with. And for reasons I can only speculate about based on my personal experiences, minority/threatened languages like the Celtic languages seem to attract these sorts of characters a bit more than mainstream ones.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:52 am

I've had a strange, trying, tiring week, and one thing I did to decompress was watch videos throughout the week about cooking/food in my target languages. Here's a sampling:

Lait de poule avec l'accent de Montréal



Fascinating guy in Wales whose cooking has a lot of Argentinian and Spanish influences. Here he's cooking a giant dish of paella aside a Welsh canal because why not? Efallai y gallai addysgu Gordon Ramsey i ynganu "paella" yn gywir! :lol: (Maybe he can teach Gordon Ramsey to pronounce "paella" correctly!)



This gave me happy flashbacks of learning how to make traditional Apfelstrudel with my high school German class, although my school's Home Economics' kitchen that we were given permission to use did not have nearly as fancy a set-up as this kitchen. ;)



I cannot embed this last one from the Gaelic food documentary series, Annlan (which BBC owns and thus thoroughly geo-blocks except for a few meager clips they let a few approved orgs use for education) but this short clip here about cooking with gathered foods from the Scottish shoreline makes me absolutely crazy because me and my Scottish genes absolutely love this kind of food. I'd eat it every day for the rest of my life if I could!!!
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sat Dec 15, 2018 4:39 pm

A while ago, I mentioned the BBC Alba cookery show Fuine, maybe you've seen it too?
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Dec 15, 2018 6:10 pm

I know of it and I've seen a few clips, but that show's geo-blocked for me as well. Virtually all video media on the BBC Alba website is geo-blocked for us here in the US.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:03 pm

Time for an update before I get busy with holiday stuff.

Colloquial Welsh : 18 / 18 -- gorffenedig!

Aside from some light reviewing of a few things in CW that seem not to want to stick in my head, I will focus on working on my Duolingo tree, reading Welsh twitter and watching S4C clips until 2019 arrives. After that I will start of King's Intermediate Welsh.

French Films SC : 49 / 100 -- 3320 minutes ( + 1101 minutes)

  • Rest of season 1 of Dark (French audio) - 400 minutes
  • Bingefest of Free Rein season 1 & 2 and Xmas special (French audio) - 577 minutes
  • 1 episode of Children of the Whales (French audio) - 24 minutes
  • 4 episodes of C'est pas sorcier - 100 minutes

I find Dark and Children of the Whales a bit challenging to follow with the French audio and needed to watch segments with either English subtitles or the English audio to understand, because of some of the dialogue around aspects of those stories' respective fictional universes. Free Rein is really nice for French that accommodates younger viewers and so it has a lot of contemporary vocabulary and banter.

French Books SC : 12 / 100 -- 616 pages

  • currently reading Vingt mille lieues sous les mers -- will update total once finished

In my younger days I read sci fi lit voraciously, and I always hoped to read Verne in the original French. It's surprisingly very accessible.

Gaelic Films SC : 11 / 100 -- 1190 minutes ( +180 minutes)


I will be working on the first of the Series 2 next, probably following the same viewing schedule.

Gaelic Books SC : 12 / 100 -- 592 pages ( + 92 pages)

  • Completed re-reading A’ Choille Fhiadhaich - 80 pages
  • 12 more litrichean in Leabhar nan Litrichean - 12 pages
  • Currently reading Tuath air a' Bhealach

My Big Fat German Review:

I'm officially #TeamDarkisbetterthanStrangerThings now. :D Watched Dark in the original German and in English with German subtitles as well, because I wanted to make sure I was understanding the dialogue and everyone's relationships, and seriously, that is one messed-up town. Anyhow, I love the show, I can't wait for the next season and I sincerely hope now that Germans start churning out contemporary urban sci fi thrillers like this the way Scandinavians do with crime thrillers.

I started playing Skyrim in German. I played so much Skyrim when it was first out that I can still sleepwalk my way through it, but I am taking it slow and trying to engage the NPCs and the dialogue as much as I can. I'm building my first house, and once I run out of gold doing that, I'll go join der Dämmerungswache and be eine Vampirjägerin. :mrgreen:

For reading, I haven't started the readers I mentioned earlier, but I'm reading/reading-listening to a Slow German podcast every to every other day, and I'm trying to get into the habit of working through Duolingo's German stories. It's all kind of below my level, but it's been so long since I did any real German reading, I don't think I'm quite ready to dig through my storage boxes for my old Heidegger and Nietzsche texts or German translations of The Lord of the Rings just yet.

Clozemaster

I'm just kind of bumbling my way through these "courses." It's really nice for practice and repetition but I don't know if there's more I could be doing with this app. I haven't the money right now to sign up for Pro, but even if I did, I'd hesitate because of the various technical issues I've run into on some courses, how there's considerable difference in the amount of content for the difference languages, and that they seem very slow with updating the app and correcting errors in sentences (I suspect they are already tired of my sending them corrections for the Gaelic sentences, if those error reports actually are going to someone who checks them). But I'm still getting some fun practice out of it, and it literally only takes minutes a day to do, so I'll keep at it for now.

FDEYGBSAD (Frivolous Duolingo End of the Year Goals to Battle Seasonal Affective Disorder)

I hate the end of the year with all its short days, crappy weather, bad Xmas music, inevitable disruptions and mass consumer dumbness. I am not clinically dx'd with SAD, but I definitely fall into in a low mood and struggle with depression and anxiety during this time of the year. Going to keep myself busy during the "down time" with cheesy Duolingo goals because why not:

  • French - get to 100% strength and get tree to level 3 -- currently at 97% strength and level 2, with 23 units left to leveled up to 3
  • Irish - keep at 100% strength and get tree to level 5 -- currently at 100% and level 2, with 20% of the tree left to level up to 5
  • Spanish - get to 90% strength and level 2 -- currently at 73% strength and only 2 units left to level up for level 2
  • Welsh - get to level 25 and 90% strength -- currently at level 24 and 56% strength
  • German - get my German owl back, reach 300 crowns and level 23 -- currently owl-deprived, at 210 crowns and level 20
  • Indonesian -- get to level 20, 90% strength and 200 crowns -- currently at level 16, 141 crowns and 50% strength
  • Swedish -- review all unlocked skills and get to level 16 -- currently 27 skills unlocked and at level 14

Plans for 2019

All the languages I'm focused on now I plan to continue in 2019. Previously studied languages I hope to make time for next year include Breton, Swedish, Hawaiian and Japanese. I am strongly considering another attempt at learning an African language next year, but i do not know which one. I studied Swahili in the past, but while it's a beautiful language, I didn't enjoy studying it that much, so unless I have motivation to take it up again, I am looking for a different language, preferably one from West or Northwest Africa, because of that region's connection to French. Yoruba is a strong contender right now, although maybe 2019 is the year I finally dive into Moroccan Arabic. There is of course the ever lingering possibility I will study more Navajo, because Navajo is awesome.
Last edited by Cèid Donn on Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby zjones » Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:55 pm

Hello!

I read your whole log today and I wanted to chime in (along with the others who have done so) to say that I really enjoy your log! Your story is really interesting and also relatable, and I appreciate you sharing a little bit about your health struggles.

Breton is a language I've considered, so it's nice to see your experience with it. At the risk of asking you a very vague and/or unanswerable question, do you think it would be okay for me to start out with Breton as my first Gaelic language, or should I start with Gaelic (i.e. Scottish Gaelic)? Do you find that one was more difficult than the other? Are they similar at all? (I know, I'm asking you impossible questions, feel free not to answer if it's too complicated. :lol: )

I like that you use video games to help you practice and maintain your languages. I tried to play Dragon Age Inquisition in French (then being barely A1, I didn't even know what reflexive verbs were) and it was horrendous! Imagine trying to stop the world from falling apart at A1. I'm not sure if you know Dragon Age, but there's a mission where you have to navigate a tricky political situation at a royal ball, and you get a point score for saying all the right things in the right way. Let's just say that my score was not great. :lol:

Stardew Valley has a new update coming in early 2019 with French, Italian, Korean and Turkish! I'm very excited to play this game in French, considering that the game allows time to pause after each paragraph and that conversations with NPCs are a huge part of the game. I'm glad to see that you like playing it as a way to keep up with your languages.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:29 pm

zjones wrote:At the risk of asking you a very vague and/or unanswerable question, do you think it would be okay for me to start out with Breton as my first Gaelic language, or should I start with Gaelic (i.e. Scottish Gaelic)? Do you find that one was more difficult than the other? Are they similar at all? (I know, I'm asking you impossible questions, feel free not to answer if it's too complicated. :lol: )


Some confusion here. The Celtic languages are divided into two branches: the Goidelic (or Gaelic) - Irish/Scottish Gaelic/Manx; and the Brythonic - Welsh/Cornish/Breton. Any language from either branch would feel exotic to a speaker of Germanic and Romance languages. Knowledge in one Goidelic language will give a discount when learning either of the remaining two; the same can possibly be said for the Brythonic branch (but I've only dabbled a little). You won't get a big discount if your next language is from the other branch.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby IronMike » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:07 am

I've read of speakers of the revived Cornish being able to speak with Breton speakers and each understood the other. I've studied Cornish and Irish, about five years apart (respectively), and I can tell you besides some grammatical items (e.g. initial consonant mutations on nouns), my paltry knowledge of Cornish helped me not a bit with Irish.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby zjones » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:09 am

jeff_lindqvist wrote:
zjones wrote:At the risk of asking you a very vague and/or unanswerable question, do you think it would be okay for me to start out with Breton as my first Gaelic language, or should I start with Gaelic (i.e. Scottish Gaelic)? Do you find that one was more difficult than the other? Are they similar at all? (I know, I'm asking you impossible questions, feel free not to answer if it's too complicated. :lol: )


Some confusion here. The Celtic languages are divided into two branches: the Goidelic (or Gaelic) - Irish/Scottish Gaelic/Manx; and the Brythonic - Welsh/Cornish/Breton. Any language from either branch would feel exotic to a speaker of Germanic and Romance languages. Knowledge in one Goidelic language will give a discount when learning either of the remaining two; the same can possibly be said for the Brythonic branch (but I've only dabbled a little). You won't get a big discount if your next language is from the other branch.


Oops! :oops: Thank you for the correction. I know that Breton isn't a Gaelic language, but I must have had holiday head while I was writing that post because I accidentally typed Gaelic instead of Celtic.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:37 am

Oh, hi, everyone! :lol:

I was just dropping in for a quick update before getting down to pre-Xmas Eve baking preparations.

First off, since we're all on the topic of Celtic languages, I stole this from Celtic Twitter. :mrgreen:

Image

zjones wrote:Hello!

I read your whole log today and I wanted to chime in (along with the others who have done so) to say that I really enjoy your log! Your story is really interesting and also relatable, and I appreciate you sharing a little bit about your health struggles.


Merci beaucoup !

Breton is a language I've considered, so it's nice to see your experience with it. At the risk of asking you a very vague and/or unanswerable question, do you think it would be okay for me to start out with Breton as my first Gaelic language, or should I start with Gaelic (i.e. Scottish Gaelic)? Do you find that one was more difficult than the other? Are they similar at all? (I know, I'm asking you impossible questions, feel free not to answer if it's too complicated. :lol: )


Well, aside the notes that Jeff made about the two branches of the Celtic languages, Breton is, in my very subjective opinion, one of the more difficult languages to learn in this language family. It's an amazing language, but in my experience, people who take a crack at it give up very quickly because from the start, it's a complete "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" sensation that seems to never end. It is very different from most Indo-European languages, and rather different from other Celtic languages. However, the Assimil course is very accessible, Breton speakers on Twitter are very nice and helpful, there's the awesome #brezoneg magazine for learners, and if you stick with it, I think it would be very rewarding, especially as someone also learning French, because in addition to the inevitable reality that French has influenced Breton (and vice versa--bijou, for example), you can use it as an excuse to practice your French too. ;) Oh, and the 1st Harry Potter book is available in Breton too. I'm planning on reading it next year.

While all the Celtic languages share some broad similarities, like with syntax and morphology, they are very much distinct languages, and when you compare a Brythonic language with a Gaelic language, the differences are considerable, especially with orthography, phonology and vocabulary. So generally speaking, if there's a Celtic language you want to learn, that's the one to start with, even if someone told you scary stories of how hard it is. :lol: (Also just ignore me if at any time in the past, present or future I say anything about how glad I am that I learned Scottish Gaelic before starting Irish because that's a unique and highly subjective case only applicable to myself. :D )

What IronMike said about its relationship to Cornish is very correct--Cornish is the closest of the other Celtic languages to Breton because of two main things: 1) before Cornish died out--in the late 18th or mid 19th century depending on who you ask--there had been a centuries-long trading and cultural connection between Cornwall and Brittany that keep the connection between the two languages very close and 2) when they began to revive Cornish, what documentation they had of the language did not represent a complete, usable language, so they relied heavily on documentation of Breton over the centuries to fill in what was missing. I've dabbled in Cornish, and the similarities are very obvious, but yeah, like IronMike said, Irish (or Scottish Gaelic) is just a whole different zipcode.

Welsh, which is the third Brythonic language, was easy for me to get into at first because I had studied Breton, but the further I get with Welsh, the more pronounced the differences between Welsh and Breton become. For example, in both languages, the word for "to be"--bod in Welsh and bezañ in Breton--have a shared root in Proto-Celtic, but how they each evolved in their respective languages took some very intriguing turns in terms of conjugation, morphology and usages, to the point that they seem almost alien to one another now.

So that's just a few points--it's really hard to sum up just how different the Celtic languages are from each other while all being related without either getting into a deep, long discussion about linguistics or just diving in and getting a first-hand feel for them. But like I said, if you want to try Breton. go ahead and try it. Again, I'd recommend starting with the Assimil course if you can get it.

I like that you use video games to help you practice and maintain your languages. I tried to play Dragon Age Inquisition in French (then being barely A1, I didn't even know what reflexive verbs were) and it was horrendous! Imagine trying to stop the world from falling apart at A1. I'm not sure if you know Dragon Age, but there's a mission where you have to navigate a tricky political situation at a royal ball, and you get a point score for saying all the right things in the right way. Let's just say that my score was not great. :lol:

Stardew Valley has a new update coming in early 2019 with French, Italian, Korean and Turkish! I'm very excited to play this game in French, considering that the game allows time to pause after each paragraph and that conversations with NPCs are a huge part of the game. I'm glad to see that you like playing it as a way to keep up with your languages.


I love that SV is finally getting an official French translation! It's been something a lot of players have asked for. I'm looking forward to Demetrius asking me to catch him un poisson-globe.

I haven't played Dragon Age Inquistion but I did watch another gamer's Let's Play of it when it came out, so I understand what you mean. I admit that I kind of "cheese" it, as gamers say, in that I tend to use games that I have already played before in English, although I'm at the point with French at least where I should be able to get by in a first playthrough (I hope!). I was playing Fallout 4 in French for a while (until my German review started eating into my French time) and while the consequences for your dialogue choices in FO4 aren't very severe, there is still the issue of not being able to immerse in the story if you can't follow what NPCs are saying to you or choose the right gear if you can't understand what the names and descriptions of items mean. Also, oftentimes NPCs say things as asides, often funny or wry things, so you either catch or don't, and I've gotten a little better at catching them, and I've noticed that this has made watching shows on Netflix easier to follow, like when the French dub actor had to say something fast to get it to fit the scene's timing. It doesn't really feel like intensive learning, but it's a different way of getting myself to use my TL, and I think just that alone makes it worthwhile. Plus I don't have to feel guilty about playing video games when I should be studying my TLs. :lol:

***

Now, a brief updates on things:

As usual, my family had to have a crisis in the middle of the holidays, and while everyone's fine now, it did throw a wrench in my holiday study plans. I will simply have to do what I can given my circumstance, as always.

One other thing, and if you use Duolingo you may already know, is it's been revealed that Duolingo is going public via IPO in 2020, which confirms some feelings I have had about their change of direction over the past year. It also helped me to decide on what role Duolingo will be playing in my language learning in 2019. After the holidays and I've done what I can regarding my FDEYGBSAD, I will be deleting my French, Spanish and German trees. I am waffling on whether to delete the Irish and Swedish trees, but for now I will wait and see what the volunteer teams say about the future of those courses. But the FIGS language courses will be the ones most impacted by the current direction Duolingo's taking and I don't see that as helpful for my own goals. Deleting my trees is simply to prompt me to spend my time on more helpful resources for those languages instead. For now I will keep my Welsh and Indonesian trees, largely due to the slim pickings of alternative resources and the fact that for now, they likely won't be impacted by whatever stock market game Luis is trying to prep the company for. All other unfinished trees--Russian, Italian, Catalan, Hindi--I deleted today.

One more change for 2019: I'm really thinking that I'll be starting Moroccan Arabic early next year. It just feels right to me. I don't have a great history to trying to learn Arabic, but why should I let that stop me? My biggest qualm is I really miss Japanese and want to get back to it right after the New Year's, and I worry that the two will be too much for me. It is a possibility. We will see.

As for another Scandinavian language, yes, I would love to start another one, but I really want to get better at Swedish first, so I will be focusing all my Scandinavian wanderlust into Sweden and hope that I don't stray. ;)

This is probably the last for me in 2018, so a happy and safe holiday to everyone and a Happy New Year!
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