Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

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Morgana
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The 2019 post.

Postby Morgana » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:18 pm

I said last post I'd talk about 2019, so here goes.

Preamble: rdearman just mentioned the Achieving without Goals post that iguanamon has referred to from time to time, and every time it gets mentioned/linked on the forum, I always hop over for a refresher. Some of my favourite quotes:
Goals are completely made up, with not a lot of information about what will happen in the future as we work on them. We invent them, out of some fantasy of how we want the future to go, but in truth they’re not realistic. And we can’t predict or control how the future will go, so setting goals is a useless activity.
...
When we fail to reach this fantasy outcome (which is often), we feel bad. But if we let go of the fantasy, we can just enjoy the work.
...
When we have a future-oriented mindset, it doesn’t end if/when we achieve the goal. We achieve the goal, then immediately look to the next goal.
So how do you work without goals? Do you just do nothing? No, of course not … people who love what they do will wake up wanting to do something fun, something that benefits the world.
...
Each moment, don’t ask “am I doing something to move me to my goal?” but instead ask, “Am I doing something right now that’s based on one of my values or principles?”
It always gets me thinking about how much my practices align with my ideals. Life isn't perfect, I can't get everything to line up, but there's generally always room for improvement. I'm grateful every time someone links this article!!

One other thing: I'm listing CEFR levels in my profile when I've done tests on Dialang. I am also including a link in my signature to the post(s) where these results are posted, as corroboration. I know Dialang isn't official and I know it isn't perfect, but it's still some kind of measure that translates generally, and likely the only one I'll ever have because I have no intention of ever taking any official tests.

I am only learning for the "passive" skills, so any reference to my level applies only to reading and listening.

Swedish: Without any structure, and given that I achieved a B1 result on the Dialang listening test a few months ago, I am going to put B2 on reading and listening over at Dialang as something I'd be happy with by the end of next December. I'm reading YA novels with a dictionary, and watching tv series sometimes with and sometimes without L2 subtitles. I'll continue with reading and watching/listening, and work on Rivstart B1+B2 here and there as well. I do have the "goal" of reading 10,000 pages eventually. I'm not sure how much that qualifies as a goal, given that if I continue to read in Swedish (I certainly plan to), I'll eventually read 10,000 pages. But anyway, it's a number to work toward with no set date to achieve it by.

Icelandic: Gosh A2 reading would be nice by the end of next year :lol: I laugh because I've already been at this language for nine months. I've dropped any kind of expectations on listening here, mostly because there's a lack of compelling stuff for me to accumulate hundreds of hours with, especially over a short-ish (1-2 years) period. Going ahead next year, I'll continue plugging along until I complete Colloquial Icelandic, and at any point I'll start integrating reading authentic native materials and do some work on VLÍ.

Non-language-specific (and even non-language) goals: Be okay with inconsistency and slow progress. Be braver. Change things up when I get bored. Don't be afraid to set things aside when they feel overwhelming. Explore non-language hobbies. Move a little more, eat a little better. Drink more tea and eat less chocolate. Remember to appreciate where I am.

I think that's everything.
Last edited by Morgana on Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Neurotip
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Re: The 2019 post.

Postby Neurotip » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:36 pm

Wonderful that your language garden is growing vigorously again :)
Morgana wrote:Icelandic: Gosh A2 reading would be nice by the end of next year :lol: I laugh because I've already been at this language for nine months.

It's been my main project for the last twenty months and I'm only just hitting the far end of A2. No laughing matter :roll: Who was it that said Icelandic is a rock that language learners frequently run aground on?

But if you carry on with it I might have to do so too, otherwise you might overtake me while I'm sunning myself on a Greek island 8-)
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Re: The 2019 post.

Postby zjones » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:57 pm

Morgana wrote:French: I tested out at A2 listening on Dialang a few months ago with French, after years without touching the language (apart from some false starts at bringing it back). I bet I could be at a B1 with a bit of effort. As for learning, I had initially said I want to do it for free and I might stick to that, with Duolingo and Lingvist, but I also might feel that paying for a course is easier and go that route instead. When the time comes, I'll switch over to reading and listening to native materials. But this language isn't a focus, and I may set it aside at any time, so no guaranteed outcomes! I don't know where to buy ebooks/audiobooks. I'm trying to move away from depending on Amazon for everything.

Non-language-specific (and even non-language) goals: Be okay with inconsistency and slow progress. Be braver. Change things up when I get bored. Don't be afraid to set things aside when they feel overwhelming. Explore non-language hobbies. Move a little more, eat a little better. Drink more tea and eat less chocolate. Remember to appreciate where I am.


I'm sad there's isn't a heart smiley for me to use, because I just love your non-language-specific goals! "Be braver" is one of the things I'm trying to work on this year too. And hey, drinking more tea is always a good idea. (Have you ever tried DavidsTea? They're expensive, but great for a treat.)

As far as French goes, there are plenty of great ebooks and audiobooks available, but I've always used Amazon and Audible for these purchases. For the current French series that I'm reading, Autre-Monde, the audiobooks are Audible exclusives so I wouldn't be able to get them elsewhere. What genre are you interested in reading?

If you want to work on French listening, there's a podcast that I think you'd like! It's called Change ma vie and is all about being healthier emotionally and mentally. It's my French guilty pleasure. I've been wanting to recommend it to my friends and family, but then I remember that it's in French and they won't be able to understand it. :lol: You would probably be able to understand it, because Clothilde speaks fairly slowly and clearly and she doesn't use slang. It's on iTunes and Spotify.
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Morgana
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby Morgana » Fri Dec 28, 2018 1:48 am

zjones, thanks for the recommendations! I checked out the DavidsTea website, some very interesting choices!

--------

Log title change, this one feels more title-like than the old one. I'll be more specific about the "others" once I get into some real practice with them, otherwise it's just false advertising :P


Duolingo
All three of the original challenge participants missed at least one day by the 22nd of December. I intentionally "missed" all of the days starting on the 22nd. I know what I'm doing next for languages and thus do not require the distraction anymore.


Swedish
Äkta människor season one done! I've started season two already, and I am not enjoying the new plot line. I may not stick with it.

Harry Potter och hemligheternas kammare also done! That's four books read since April, or 1,931 pages. I'm going to leave Harry Potter for a while I think, and return to the Korpringarna series.


Icelandic
I always get brilliant ideas about how to turn a lot of work into even more work :roll: :lol: I'm cutting up the dialogues from Colloquial Icelandic and dumping them, sentence-by-sentence, into Anki. This is time consuming. Yes I'm going back over some of the old dialogues, so of course progress through the course is stalled halfway through unit 8. I think it will be worthwhile. And since I just finished a book in Swedish, I feel like I can afford a few days off there and can put that time towards this Icelandic project.


Other Stuff
I haven't officially started Russian yet. I decided to go the Assimil route and am waiting on the mail. In giving more thought to another French attempt, I realize my heart’s just not there but rather it’s a sense of obligation with this language. In that case, it’s probably wise for me not to try to squeeze it into my schedule.

Finally... while my progress is never going to be noted for its speed, I have succeeded in doing at least something in Swedish and Icelandic every single day so far during December. I think the do something in one's TL every single day philosophy that CarlyD talked about in her 365-day challenge is a good one that I should maintain going forward. Slow and steady, or slow and unsteady, but not stopped. Slow is better than stopped.
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Morgana
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby Morgana » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:01 am

:!:

Since my copy of Assimil Russian is taking its sweet time getting back in stock so it can be shipped to me, I decided to cancel that order for now and just play around rather half-arsedly on the RT course for a while. I'm not a big fan of how the first lesson was structured but I'll see how things go.

The other thing I'm distracted with just now is a possible change of plans. I may scrap my ideas for Russian altogether in favour of Japanese or Korean. I honestly have no idea where the wanderlust for these languages came from other than that dastardly Duolingo dabbling I participated in earlier this month. I'm trying to weigh how much a pain in the you-know-what kanji are against the supposed challenge of the Korean sound system (tbh kanji seem like a way bigger hurdle). I have no connection to either country/culture, just as I have no connection to Russian (or Icelandic or Swedish for that matter).

I don't want to do more than three languages at once, that gets to be too hectic even when more than one of them is "just" dabbling (it's never just dabbling in my case!!). But I'm terrible at making up my mind so I'm currently wasting a lot of time reading through logs and other threads and searching on Reddit and other places online to find out what studying either of JA and KO is like.

Decisions decisions.
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eido
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby eido » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:24 am

I’d say continue your research.

Find out what sources you can use. Japanese and Korean aren’t as commonly learned as Chinese or Spanish, so there aren’t many sources to pick from that are of the same quality or scope as those for the bigger languages. Hangul is easy to learn. The two basic Japanese syllabaries have taken me a lot more time to learn because they have a different, less obvious logic than Hangul. I still have trouble with them. Korean doesn’t have a pitch accent system, but it has a more complicated sound inventory. Each has their own ways of being easy or hard for the language learner - you just have to pick your poison. The good thing, though, is they mostly have regular verbs with a regularity to the irregular ones. So they’re not like Romance languages. (Although I’d argue there’s logic there, too.)

I suppose you need to decide what would draw you to one over the other, or if you like both for different reasons. I’m in the latter camp.

You can check out all the study groups for more information. I just made a Korean one!
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby ロータス » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:25 am

Morgana wrote::!:

The other thing I'm distracted with just now is a possible change of plans. I may scrap my ideas for Russian altogether in favour of Japanese or Korean. I honestly have no idea where the wanderlust for these languages came from other than that dastardly Duolingo dabbling I participated in earlier this month. I'm trying to weigh how much a pain in the you-know-what kanji are against the supposed challenge of the Korean sound system (tbh kanji seem like a way bigger hurdle). I have no connection to either country/culture, just as I have no connection to Russian (or Icelandic or Swedish for that matter).


JP reading: Hard (kanji)
JP listening: Easy (pitch accent)
KR reading: Easy (hangul)
KR listening: Hard (pronunciation rules/words said different than look)
JP/KR grammar: Different from what you are used to
JP/KR writing: Average (JP: better know which kanji you are looking for/KR: better now which vowel you are hearing)
JP/KR speaking: JP easier than KR by a lot
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby reineke » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:01 am

While more and more schools are offering Chinese, Japanese has consistently remained more popular in the US (K12 and higher education). In 2016 Japanese has overtook Italian which made it the fifth most popular foreign language in the US. You won't have any trouble finding resources for Japanese even if you were to look for reasonably priced reference works covering narrow grammar topics written in plain English.

Korean has recently seen a huge percentage increase in terms of enrollments due to the popularity of Kpop etc. There will be fewer resources compared to Japanese but you should do just fine.

Your no.1 resource you should be worrying about is time.
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Morgana
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby Morgana » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:44 am

eido, ロータス, reineke: thank you all very much for your contributions and advice. I will give some serious thought to what each of you has said before making any decisions about if and(/or) what. Thanks again.
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Morgana
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Re: Slow and (un)steady: Swedish and others

Postby Morgana » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:58 am

Swedish: Finished season 2 of Äkta människor; am into the third Harry Potter book; maintaining Anki reviews but haven't added anything for probably at least a week. My daily reviews are always <100, and often getting to be less than 80. Whenever I do start making cards again, I intend to limit to 5 per day. I like using Anki as a supplement and relying more on consuming content as my means of internalizing the language. It's way more enjoyable and relaxing.

Icelandic: Opposite of the above, Anki is a larger part of my study here. Still working on that Colloquial Icelandic dialogue sentences deck. These cards seem to be working better than single word cards. I wonder if it's because of how inflected Icelandic is vs. Swedish for example, where the "basic" form of the word in Swedish generally never varies much to how you might see it in any context, whereas with Icelandic if I put the "basic" nominative singular form on my card it might look a lot different from how I learned the word in the context of a course dialogue. With some irregular words, making a card means you'll remember just one version of that word. But anyway the sentence cards with course audio seem to be less frustrating to run through vs. my old single-word cards. Plus I'm getting that "listening practice" I suppose (albeit with course audio but it's better than nothing). Highly inflected languages are a barrel of fun.

Other: I have been thinking about this third language business (and playing around with the RT course, and learning some hiragana...). I'm not entirely sure, but it's possible that I am looking for something that another language cannot provide me. I think I also take for granted sometimes what I have already with Swedish, and to a (much) lesser extent Icelandic. I have it pretty good with Swedish right now in terms of effort required to enjoy the language, and I should appreciate that, instead of looking to complicate things.

But I may just be restless and looking for something completely different to do. Maybe that something isn't even a language, but I've kind of got my zone of comfort here and haven't been so good looking outside of it (I should though). Trying to be open to all possibilities, including nothing!
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