Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

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Brun Ugle
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Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:08 am

Somehow, I always get excited about the new year and starting a new log in December, but by the time the new year actually comes, I forget what I was so excited about and what I wanted to write. (And then I start writing and it turns into a book. :roll: So, I’m going to divide this post up to avoid a wall of text.)

Last year was a bit of a bust. I tried to write my log in Spanish, which created an extra hurdle to updating and I probably had enough hurdles as it was. It was a stressful year with buying a house and moving and so on and I never really got myself and my studies organized. Well, let’s see if I can learn to settle down again and get back into a routine. I’ve been working on that for the last month and half and it’s definitely gotten better, but I still have a way to go. I made myself an Excel workbook where I record the time I spend on various activities on a different sheet for each language, with a sum sheet at the front showing the totals for each day per language. I chose a goal of 45 minutes per day per language, but I decided to lower that to 30 minutes from January. I find it’s been working pretty well so far. It means on the days when I don’t really feel like doing much, I can just do the minimum and feel like I’ve accomplished something. Also, as I told Zenmonkey and he mentioned in his log, I have certain things I want to work on in my various languages and they have various priorities, but there are times when my mind is not up to them. For example, in German I want to work on my grammar workbook, FSI and an Anki deck based on the FSI course, but I also have other activities like Memrise, Glossika, reading, and watching TV. If I’m relaxed and focused, I can do FSI, grammar or Anki. Those can also be good when I’m feeling mildly stressed but still able to focus, but if I’m too stressed to really focus on grammar, then I’ll watch some TV or YouTube videos. Basically, I organize my activities around my anxiety, depression, fatigue and general laziness, which can vary from day to day, but also throughout the day. I have periods where I turn into a zombie from about 12:00 to 17:00, so then I need to make sure I do grammar and other thinking work in the morning or evening and save watching telenovelas for the zombie hours. I also divide my activities up into desk activities and activities that can be combined with something physical. For example, I find that Glossika goes very well with housework or knitting, but I still need to get myself organized with podcasts or audiobooks for walking. I need to try to walk more again not that my back is slightly better. I just have trouble finding podcasts that I can really focus on. My mind wanders easily when I’m walking, but it seems a shame to waste all that time and not try to learn something. So, I need podcasts that are engaging enough to hold my attention.

My ability to focus seems to have decreased drastically in recent years. I’d like to do something about that too. I’d like to try meditating, to see if it helps, but it’s really hard to meditate if you can’t focus, so I haven’t managed to make any progress on that yet. That’s one of the non-language related things I want to work on this year along with getting becoming more active (ie figuring out how to exercise sufficiently without making my back worse) and losing the weight I’ve gained in recent years from stress-eating and not being able to exercise as much as previously. None of these goals are particularly easy, but I think progress made on any one of them will lead to progress in the others since they are all somewhat interconnected.

Back to languages. I said in the resolutions thread that I was going to focus on Spanish, German, Japanese and on polishing my Norwegian and not let myself get distracted by any of Rick’s hare-brained schemes (or by anyone else’s schemes). I’m going to continue using my Excel workbook and try to study a minimum of 30 minutes per day per language (not including Norwegian). I’m not joining the 365-day challenge because I want to be able to take breaks for traveling and for those times when I decide to immerse myself in one language for a day or two to the exclusion of all others. Also, streaks tend not to be motivating for me. I get stressed out from them. And sometimes I find the best thing is to take a day off. Then I come back the next day rested and enthusiastic.

I want to work on writing and speaking in Norwegian, Spanish and German and so will be using them in this log. I probably won’t be writing in Japanese, but maybe towards the end of the year, I could give it a try. I’m also not going to make it a requirement to write my log in any particular language because I tried that last year and it was too much. For this year, I just want to get back into writing at all. Maybe I should make that another goal for the year – to write every week, except when I’m traveling and it would be too difficult.

I’ll stop here and write about my background, goals, etc in my individual languages for later.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:09 am

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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby DaveAgain » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:36 am

Brun Ugle wrote:My ability to focus seems to have decreased drastically in recent years. I’d like to do something about that too. I’d like to try meditating, to see if it helps, but it’s really hard to meditate if you can’t focus, so I haven’t managed to make any progress on that yet. That’s one of the non-language related things I want to work on this year along with getting becoming more active (ie figuring out how to exercise sufficiently without making my back worse) and losing the weight I’ve gained in recent years from stress-eating and not being able to exercise as much as previously. None of these goals are particularly easy, but I think progress made on any one of them will lead to progress in the others since they are all somewhat interconnected.
To help with a minor back problem, I had a few sessions with an Alexander technique teacher (it focuses on correct posture).

One of the things I took from that was lying down on the floor for 15 mins at a time. That might be a good one for you, to work on your back and your meditation at the same time. :-)
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Morgana » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:46 am

Brun Ugle, what a great opening post :)
Brun Ugle wrote:My ability to focus seems to have decreased drastically in recent years. I’d like to do something about that too. I’d like to try meditating, to see if it helps, but it’s really hard to meditate if you can’t focus, so I haven’t managed to make any progress on that yet.
I don’t know what your experience is with meditation so this might not be new/helpful information, but back when I used to meditate regularly I used to do the MBSR/Jon Kabat-Zinn meditations. I was terrible at having enough focus to do the sitting meditations, and the yoga meditations were sometimes physically too challenging to do, but the body scan meditations seemed better with regards to maintaining focus by requiring me to shift my attention from one area of the body to the next without needing to do strenuous poses. Ironically, with the longer (45-minute) scans I’d sometimes get so relaxed I’d fall asleep. So maybe a shorter body scan is best until you see how you do with them. I did a quick google and here are three body scan meditations, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. (Disclaimer: I haven’t ever used these specific recordings for meditating.) You can do a google for other practitioners’ recordings if you’d prefer another style or voice.

Everybody’s different and maybe this style isn’t for you, but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case! I hope you have a successful and balanced 2019!
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:27 am

DaveAgain wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:My ability to focus seems to have decreased drastically in recent years. I’d like to do something about that too. I’d like to try meditating, to see if it helps, but it’s really hard to meditate if you can’t focus, so I haven’t managed to make any progress on that yet. That’s one of the non-language related things I want to work on this year along with getting becoming more active (ie figuring out how to exercise sufficiently without making my back worse) and losing the weight I’ve gained in recent years from stress-eating and not being able to exercise as much as previously. None of these goals are particularly easy, but I think progress made on any one of them will lead to progress in the others since they are all somewhat interconnected.
To help with a minor back problem, I had a few sessions with an Alexander technique teacher (it focuses on correct posture).

One of the things I took from that was lying down on the floor for 15 mins at a time. That might be a good one for you, to work on your back and your meditation at the same time. :-)

I’ll look into it. What I need is something do-it-yourself because finding a teacher around here is likely to be impossible. My main problem at the moment is a missing disk at the bottom of my spine. That causes stiffness that throws everything off. Stretching and aqua therapy seem to help some, but the aqua therapy classes ended a couple weeks ago for Christmas and I really notice the difference. I’m looking forward to them starting again. Lying on the floor is nice though. I’ll give that a try.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:33 am

Morgana wrote:Brun Ugle, what a great opening post :)
Brun Ugle wrote:My ability to focus seems to have decreased drastically in recent years. I’d like to do something about that too. I’d like to try meditating, to see if it helps, but it’s really hard to meditate if you can’t focus, so I haven’t managed to make any progress on that yet.
I don’t know what your experience is with meditation so this might not be new/helpful information, but back when I used to meditate regularly I used to do the MBSR/Jon Kabat-Zinn meditations. I was terrible at having enough focus to do the sitting meditations, and the yoga meditations were sometimes physically too challenging to do, but the body scan meditations seemed better with regards to maintaining focus by requiring me to shift my attention from one area of the body to the next without needing to do strenuous poses. Ironically, with the longer (45-minute) scans I’d sometimes get so relaxed I’d fall asleep. So maybe a shorter body scan is best until you see how you do with them. I did a quick google and here are three body scan meditations, ranging from 15 to 45 minutes. (Disclaimer: I haven’t ever used these specific recordings for meditating.) You can do a google for other practitioners’ recordings if you’d prefer another style or voice.

Everybody’s different and maybe this style isn’t for you, but I thought I’d throw it out there just in case! I hope you have a successful and balanced 2019!

Thanks! I’ll try it. I’m not so good at body scanning though. Usually it makes me very tense and uncomfortable, especially if you have to focus on your breathing at some point. I always feel like I’m suffocating. I’ll give the short one a try.

I used to do a lot of self-hypnosis some years ago and it worked really well. I think maybe my iPad ruined me. Back when I was too poor to have any kind of electronic devices except an old, used computer and a very simple telephone, I had pretty good concentration abilities. On the other hand, having a good computer, phone and tablet have opened up a world of language learning abilities for me, so I don’t want to be without them either.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby rdearman » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:29 pm

How are you going to read that presentation document I gave you if you don't learn French. Also, I have a D&D book for you in French.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:18 pm

rdearman wrote:How are you going to read that presentation document I gave you if you don't learn French. Also, I have a D&D book for you in French.
You just want others to suffer along with you, don't you?
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:54 pm

As promised, here is part two of my introductory post. This time about, and in, Norwegian. I’ve mentioned before that Norwegian is the language I’m most embarrassed about because it really should be better than it is, but here goes nothing……

Norsk
De siste årene har jeg virkelig begynt å skamme meg over norsken min. En stor del av problemet er at jeg aldri har lært det ordentlig. Før jeg kom til Norge, brukte jeg Teach Yourself og noen andre vanlige lærebøker som fantes den gang i USA. Jeg mente at norsk var kjempelett. Og sammenlignet med japansk, så var det det. Men så flyttet jeg til Høylandet i Nord-Trøndelag og skjønte ingenting. Egentlig, ville jeg ikke ha vært i stand til å forstå selv rent bokmål så veldig godt på det tidspunktet siden jeg hadde nesten aldri hørt språket. Internettet var ikke så utbredt og jeg hadde ikke de samme mulighetene som i dag å se utenlandske fjernsynsprogram. Uansett, ble jeg veldig demotivert. Dialekten var vanskelig fordi det fantes ikke lærebøker for å lære den og selv nordmenn kan ha vanskelig for å forstå den. Jeg skulle få et norskkurs, men jeg var den eneste utlending i området (hvis man ikke teller med svensker og sånne) og de hadde ingen norsklærer. De fant ei bondekone å være læreren min, men hun visste ikke hvordan lære bort et språk og i tillegg var hun fra Nordlandet og kunne ikke hjelpe meg med dialekten i det hele tatt. Og det var dialekten som jeg slet med. Jeg kunne bokmål, i hvert fall skriftlig, allerede rimelig godt. Siden hun ikke visste så godt hva hun skulle gjøre med meg, insisterte hun på å begynne fra begynnelsen i læreboka og jeg måtte sitte og lese dialoger med «Jeg heter…..» og «Hvordan har du det?». Det var gørr kjedelig og til slutt ga jeg opp og prøvde å lære alt på egen hånd. Men jeg var da demotivert og hadde egentlig fått nok av norsk. Jeg greidde til slutt å tilegne meg språket gjennom å være her i landet, snakke med folk og spesielt ved å lese tegneserier. Etter et par år tok jeg språkprøven og fikk høy poengsum, som skal angivelig tilsvare C1. Senere studerte jeg økonomi og måtte skrive haugevis med oppgaver, spesielt om rettslære, men også om markedsføring, organisasjon og ledelse (bedre kjent som ork og lidelse), osv. Da ble norsken min ganske bra, men fortsatt ikke «elegant». I hvert fall, det var det skatterettslæreren sa til meg da jeg nevnte at jeg fikk bestandig A i alle «regnefag», men B i alle «skrivefag». Han sa at jeg opplyste problemstillingen bra og tok opp alle viktige punkter, viste til riktige paragrafene i lovene og forskriftene, og at drøftelsen og konklusjon var bestandig riktig, men jeg skrev ikke elegant nok.

Det var mens jeg studerte at norsken min nådde sitt høydepunkt. Siden føler jeg at den har gått nedover. Jeg har egentlig ganske lite kontakt med nordmenn. Forhåpentligvis kan jeg begynne å ta lange turer med en venninne igjen, nå som ryggen min er blitt litt bedre. Hun er blind og veldig snakkesalig. Hun har alltid tusen ting å fortelle meg og er flink til å få meg til å snakke òg. Og siden hun er blind, må jeg beskrive ting i stor detalj. Det går ikke an å bare peke eller gestikulere.

Jeg har også lyst til å lese og skrive mer. Jeg må gjøre et forsøk på å utvide ordforrådet litt, pusse på uttalen (den skal være rimelig bra, etter det jeg har hørt, men jeg vil at den skal være bedre), pusse på dialekten (det virker som om jeg snakker mer bokmål og mindre dialekt over tid og det var ikke det jeg ville), og pusse på grammatikken (det er mye jeg har bare plukket opp uten å ha studerte det og det gjør meg veldig usikker på ting som enkelt v dobbelt bestemt form og andre små detaljer). Ja, det er mye å pusse på. Det største problemet, er at jeg greier vanligvis ikke å glemme at jeg er utlending. Jeg har hatt den erfaring at noen har trodde at jeg var norsk i noen minutter, men det er sjelden og skjer bare når jeg er veldig avslappet. Og i senere tid, har jeg blitt mer usikker og derfor mindre avslappet når jeg snakker. Og da går det galt. Jeg håper at en liten oppfriskning vil gi meg litt mer selvtillit.

Målene for året blir å komme meg gjennom to grammatikkbøker, en for utlendinger skrevet på engelsk og den andre på norsk og skrevet for nordmenn. Jeg skal også lese noen bøker og skrive litt her og i dagboka mi. (Et annet av nyttårsforsettene mine er å skrive dagbok igjen.)
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Spoonary » Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:22 pm

Now, I obviously can't read Norwegian, but I just wanted to pop in and tell you that I am proud of you for sharing a post in Norwegian, if you are, as you say, embarrassed by it. The only way is up from here :)
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