Morgana's log

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Morgana
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:59 am

So I found a couple of songs I like in German since last time. (In case anyone was curious: Lary - Wenn ich, and Mine with Giulia Becker - Einfach So) I'm definitely going to have to keep looking though, it seems extremely hit-and-miss with the playlists I find on Spotify.

I've been experiencing a tiny little bit of unexpected joy with German. I can't explain it. I know for one thing I find the novelty of the verb system (that I've only barely scratched the surface of) endearing, if endearing is the right word :lol: I also appreciate the sound-spelling correspondence. I have less of a feel for it than for French's, but somehow it seems more transparent than how French's works. The Assimil course is really good for German, they managed to make it rather entertaining, imo. I watched a film in German a few nights ago, Das Floß! (warning - mature themes!), purely for entertainment because I can hardly understand anything yet. Sometimes I just like to do that now and then with languages I'm thinking about starting or have recently started - give myself some inspiration for the future. The film itself was kind of eh.

French is stalling, I'm done 34 lessons of Assimil and that's as of several days ago lol. I plan to keep going but it has become the lowest priority in terms of language activities so progress is going to be slow if it doesn't outright stop. I started Black Spot on Netflix (Zone Blanche; same idea as with German here, trying to get inspired) but the series hasn't grabbed me. I could pick out a lot of "the odd word" here and there.

With Russian, I started watching Sparta on Netflix (IMDB has the Russian title as Sпарта, which... I would have thought Спарта but I probably just don't know enough to know why they used an 'S'.) Obviously here too I hardly understand a thing. But apart from that I also generally find myself going "what the f..." a lot. Maybe it's a cultural thing or just a thing this particular series is going for but it seems so hard to get a grip on what exactly is happening. Also, everybody refers to everybody else with their first and last names all the time (not literally all the time). Anyway I'm quite intrigued and Russian is nice to listen to. My progress with Assimil is quite slow. I spend the same amount of time on one Assimil Russian lesson as I do on German and French lessons combined. The vowel reduction and stress thing still bugs me but I'm trying to ignore it.

Not really a language thing but I started a "break" from listening to music a few days ago due to some persistent earworms. Well that backfired because I started having Assimil Russian earworms instead :roll: I don't know if this is like this for anyone else, but I can wake up in the middle of the night, be half asleep but vaguely have the tune of a song going through my head that grabs my attention and then pulls me more and more into being awake territory. So now the Russian audio has been doing that instead. I don't know if this is something everybody experiences or if some people are more susceptible to earworms than others but I strongly wish I could make them stop :lol:

And last, but not least, Swedish: I don't know how to write the following without having it sound like obnoxious bragging but goshdarnit I have spent two and a half years hoping to be able to watch television without struggling and for the last two episodes of the current series I'm watching I finally felt like I was there!!! They were two hours long each and I watched them without subtitles. If I've had comprehension like this before it wasn't for an entire episode of something, I don't think, certainly not two episodes and certainly not consecutively. I am sure it's not a stable level but at least I've seen what it's like and where I should land if I just keep doing what I've been doing. What a relief lol. Reading's good too, where I left off with Harry Potter things were comfortable, Cirkeln is comfortable, I can probably switch into something for adults next book but I'll stay with the Engelfors series for the three books it contains before changing it up.

For today at least, I'm really happy with my level.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Jun 21, 2019 6:32 am

I can have earworms, even Assimil earworms, but I don’t recall any of them ever waking me up.

Congratulations on your Swedish. You’re probably right that it isn’t a stable level yet, but it’s surely on its way to being so. I’ve noticed the same thing with learning a new language. At first I just understand individual words and phrases, then occasional whole sentences, then more whole sentences and then sometimes there will be enough whole sentences in a row that I can understand that I’ll understand a whole scene, and eventually a whole episode. It’s very choppy in the beginning though. It’s not a gradual progression like one might think from my description. Often I might understand one whole scene, but in the next scene, I barely even catch any words. And there are good days and bad days too. But gradually it does get better and there will be more and more good days and scenes and episodes that you understand completely.
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Morgana
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:34 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I can have earworms, even Assimil earworms, but I don’t recall any of them ever waking me up.
It's not that they wake me up, it's that if I do wake up my half-asleep brain immediately starts playing that song/dialogue and that seems to wake me up lol.
Brun Ugle wrote:Congratulations on your Swedish. You’re probably right that it isn’t a stable level yet, but it’s surely on its way to being so. I’ve noticed the same thing with learning a new language. At first I just understand individual words and phrases, then occasional whole sentences, then more whole sentences and then sometimes there will be enough whole sentences in a row that I can understand that I’ll understand a whole scene, and eventually a whole episode. It’s very choppy in the beginning though. It’s not a gradual progression like one might think from my description. Often I might understand one whole scene, but in the next scene, I barely even catch any words. And there are good days and bad days too. But gradually it does get better and there will be more and more good days and scenes and episodes that you understand completely.
Thanks. Yeah. I hardly expect I'll be watching everything with ease from here on but it's nice to have a couple of episodes in a row where I was shocked at my own seemingly fantastic comprehension. At least now I've had direct experience that it is indeed possible :)
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Morgana
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:48 am

French fell lower and lower down in the list of priorities that it fell all the way off. I am enjoying German, much to my own surprise but there it is. Russian feels a bit scary but it is also attractive, it's easy for me to keep getting pulled back in. So compared with these other languages where things feel positive and enjoyable, I couldn't find a reason to keep dragging French along. Which is great! I wanted to find a language that would reward me with lots of media and that I would also enjoy, and for now I've found two.

There was some temptation to try another order for Assimil Spanish to see if I could finally get a copy where the text matched the audio, but thankfully I've had enough self-awareness to realize when I'm clearly trying to do more than is realistic. There are lots of different reasons for learning languages and we can see here on the forum we have learners of one language and learners juggling 5+ languages simultaneously. I can see the appeal of doing lots and the appeal of being more limited. When it really comes down to it though I know I like to have a more leisurely attitude about what I'm doing, and the more languages I tack on, the more time constrained things become. That becomes stressful. I like being able to do as much or little as I feel like, as opposed to knowing I have but 45 minutes for language X and therefore I'd better try to cram in as much as I can in that time. So, for now anyway I will hold myself to "just" the two new languages. More room may open up later, if I even still have the desire to add to my list at that point.

I haven't mentioned Röta, my Swedish audiobook, for a little bit. Apart from the first few chapters it has been moving at a good pace. The first book in the Korpringarna series, Odinsbarn, felt slower and frustrating at times. I felt the naivety of the the main character was made too obvious at times and tbh there are still moments of that in the second book but either it's just not as often or else the rest of the story makes up for it. Anyway I'm now done chapter 45 and I'm quite shocked at what's happened with one of the other main characters just a few chapters back, it's a bit overwhelming which means I've become involved with this book which means... well it's always nice to be involved in the book one is reading, right??? Anyway. It's been years since I've read books so it's fun to get involved again. Even more novel is the fact that it's in another language.

I am 31 chapters into Cirkeln, or 49%. This is a great, relaxing read. Even though I watched the film last year, I have forgotten enough of it and/or they altered enough of it that it feels like a new story. My internet has been going down a few nights in a row recently so it's also nice that I can read this book without needing a dictionary to follow what's happening. I think it helps that despite it being a fantasy novel, it's still more or less based in the real world around a group of teenage girls so the vocabulary manages not to be too removed from reality.

Still watching the same tv series as last time. I have one more season left to watch. It manages to be suspenseful without being ridiculous. I think next time around (next series I watch) I'm going to have to pick something that isn't about rich Swedes lol. Too many series in a row now where everybody seems to have a summer cottage/mansion out on an island that they can afford to spend the whole summer at :lol:

21 German lessons done, 17 Russian lessons done. These are moving at a snail's pace but I don't care. I did this with Swedish too, after I got through the Duolingo course anyway. The rest of the courses I very much treated as a "I don't feel like it today so I won't" sort of thing lol. And that went ok. I am waiting to reach the point where I feel the Assimil grammar explanations are woefully inadequate. So far they're just kind of light, but I'm barely or not even 1/5th of the way through. I'm sure I'll feel like I'm banging my head up against a wall at some point. So I'm just thinking about other possible resources I might bring on board shortly... for Russian I think the RT course might be a good complement (and free), and tbh I'm thinking about Michel Thomas but I don't like that their new business model is streaming-only. I think RadioClare has been having a good experience with Pimsleur which tempts me, but I know in my own past dalliances with them I get super bored early on and have to struggle to stick with it, so I'd likely be wasting my money if I went that route. But I do want something that's audio-heavy. I notice that sometimes the printed text in the Assimil lessons "gets in the way" of me being able to hear properly. Like it's colouring the sounds, and I'm not hearing the right phonemes. I figure it should eventually smooth out regardless but still, it might make me feel more comfortable upfront if I was able to shift focus to my ears a bit more. Or maybe I just need to throw on the Assimil audios as a listening-only exercise in addition to the regular lesson.

As for German resources, I'm not sure I'm actually going to need them. Maybe just a Practice Makes Perfect Complete German Grammar or something. Some on here using their books for other languages seem to like them, so I figure their German book is probably ok. I'm really not sure what else I could need here, German being a far more transparent language than Russian and being related to English and Swedish... I anticipate that any trouble spots will be grammar kinks that need ironing out, and not something that requires a full additional course or two to work through. I'm not planning to spend much time in course land with German. I've read an account or two of people basically CI-ing their way into the lower C's with German so maybe Assimil will be enough.
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby StringerBell » Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:38 am

Morgana wrote:I think RadioClare has been having a good experience with Pimsleur which tempts me, but I know in my own past dalliances with them I get super bored early on and have to struggle to stick with it, so I'd likely be wasting my money if I went that route. But I do want something that's audio-heavy.


I don't know how your library system is - have you ever checked to see if they have Pimsleur or some other audio language courses? My library has the entire Pimsleur series available for like 20+ languages, and everything is available instantly via RBDigital, so I don't even have to go there in person to check out CDs. I've heard other people having access to Mango languages through their libraries. If yours does have some audio program, it could be a good way to try it out and not waste money.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:58 pm

I just want to chip in here and say congratulations on finding a couple of languages you really like. 8-)
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Morgana
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Re: Morgana's Revolving Door of Languages (plus Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:16 pm

StringerBell wrote:
Morgana wrote:I think RadioClare has been having a good experience with Pimsleur which tempts me, but I know in my own past dalliances with them I get super bored early on and have to struggle to stick with it, so I'd likely be wasting my money if I went that route. But I do want something that's audio-heavy.


I don't know how your library system is - have you ever checked to see if they have Pimsleur or some other audio language courses? My library has the entire Pimsleur series available for like 20+ languages, and everything is available instantly via RBDigital, so I don't even have to go there in person to check out CDs. I've heard other people having access to Mango languages through their libraries. If yours does have some audio program, it could be a good way to try it out and not waste money.
Thank you for this suggestion. I have checked, my local libraries fortunately have an interconnected web portal so I am able to see what is available locally and/or transferable and I can reserve those items online. I have checked and they don’t have the Russian course. (French, German, Spanish - even Icelandic - those are good to go!)

As for Mango, I do know my library offers it but I wasn’t that enthusiastic about it when I used it for Swedish. It’s still quite text-heavy as well, whereas Pimsleur has no text.

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I just want to chip in here and say congratulations on finding a couple of languages you really like. 8-)
Thank you :)
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Morgana
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Re: Morgana goes down the rabbit hole (Russian, Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:55 pm

go down the rabbit hole
    To enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds. (An allusion to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.)


——————————


Allergies kicked into full gear finally :cry: I have moments everyday where I question if I took my antihistamine or not. For anyone who has not experienced environmental/inhalant allergies before, they're kind of like having the flu, except for the entire summer if you are like me and are allergic to All The Plants. I look forward to the first frost :lol:

Judging by the new log title it seems I've decided to focus on Russian as my next language. I'm going to have more fun with fewer languages I think. This way I should be able to get to Russian everyday rather than sometimes having to alternate between it and a third, like I was doing while it and German were both around. In practice I take days off anyway, but at least it will be fewer days off than if there were three languages 8-) As for the rabbit hole reference... honestly that's just one of my favourite expressions to use and Russian does feel like a bit of a rabbit hole to me :lol: I have extremely limited knowledge of Russia, Eastern Europe, Slavic languages etc. so it feels like going in blind and (slowly, eventually) discovering a whole new world.

<redacted>

Please, Swedish broadcasters, open up your subscriptions to non-Swedes living abroad and make your content streamable internationally. There is money to be made. I want to keep learning Swedish!

*******

Speaking of paid streaming services, I'm surprised I haven't run into mentions on this forum of http://www.tvpolonia.com for Polish tv in North America ($6.99/mo., I assume USD) or https://tvteka.com/ for Russian tv in North America ($7.99/mo. I think USD, but it gets more expensive depending on the package I guess). I think I ran across another Russian streaming service as well but I can't find the link.

*******

On Clozemaster, I dumped everything but Russian, Spanish, and Polish. French and German were dropped because I dropped those languages generally, and with Swedish I just don't think Clozemaster contributes anything. But overall I'm not using Clozemaster much, I usually forget! But now and then it is a fun thing to kill five minutes with.
Last edited by Morgana on Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Morgana goes down the rabbit hole (Russian, Swedish)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:53 pm

Morgana wrote:Allergies kicked into full gear finally :cry: I have moments everyday where I question if I took my antihistamine or not. For anyone who has not experienced environmental/inhalant allergies before, they're kind of like having the flu, except for the entire summer if you are like me and are allergic to All The Plants. I look forward to the first frost :lol:

I hear you, though my allergies hit me in December and January rather than in the summer. Definitely a bummer, and I wish you well.
As for Russian, it's great to hear your enthusiasm. Good luck with it.
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Morgana
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Re: Morgana goes down the rabbit hole (Russian, Swedish)

Postby Morgana » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:18 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
Morgana wrote:Allergies kicked into full gear finally :cry: I have moments everyday where I question if I took my antihistamine or not. For anyone who has not experienced environmental/inhalant allergies before, they're kind of like having the flu, except for the entire summer if you are like me and are allergic to All The Plants. I look forward to the first frost :lol:

I hear you, though my allergies hit me in December and January rather than in the summer. Definitely a bummer, and I wish you well.
As for Russian, it's great to hear your enthusiasm. Good luck with it.
Aren't allergies great :roll: And thank you!

---------

Little update about the Swedish tv situation: I remembered MHZ Choice exists and am giving the 7-day free trial a go. lingua was right, the English subtitles are baked in and they're quite large imo, somewhere between one quarter and one third of the screen is taken up. I am using a piece of paper to cover them for now but it's not ideal.

I oscillate between 1) thinking I should put my efforts elsewhere (bigger rate of return) and 2) wanting to keep Swedish because I am this far and as far as languages go I like it. I'm not a language learner, rather I'm just bored and killing time. But anyway I don't want to go into it for the 74th time. It is what it is and I'll just have to see how things continue to go.
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