Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

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

Postby Brun Ugle » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:37 am

There are now only a few days left of the 6WC and I’ve been looking forward to the end since about week two. I’ve realized that the 6WC might not be a good fit for me. It changes my study patterns, and not for the better. It is also an added stress element and I don’t tackle stress very well. I was actually doing very well and had a good study routine going before the 6WC started, but a week or so into the challenge, it started to fall apart. One of the problems is that there are things I’d like to do, but they are kind of hard to count, so I end up putting them off until the end of the challenge, but that means I’m not doing the things that would be best for me to do at the time it would be best for me to do them. For example, with the changes to Memrise, I’ve decided that I want to use Anki for Spanish instead. However, that means playing around with Anki a lot to figure out exactly how I want the layout my cards to be. And that doesn’t feel like real study time, because I’d be studying Anki, not Spanish, so I end up waiting to do it. Also, I think the tracking itself wears me out a bit and that going on Twitter to register my times is not good. I’ve figured out that maybe doing it the next day is a bit better because it at least means I won’t get distracted by Twitter at night and also won’t have to look at a screen too late at night, but I like to do a bunch of other things in the morning and don’t really want to have to spend time tweeting then either. The annoyance of tweeting also means I tend to choose activities that have a longer duration in order to have fewer tweets. So, the conclusion is that I should stop participating in the 6WC, at least in the first half of the year when I’m a bit more stressed and low-energy to begin with, but the best would probably be to stop altogether. Anyway, now I have Zenmonkey as my study buddy so I don’t really need the challenge to provide me with that sense of friendly competition. And if I do want to do a challenge, the new one Ser is planning looks like it might be more suitable to me. At least it’s shorter.

My speaking abilities have gone way downhill lately. I easily lose the ability to communicate and it seems to be getting worse as I get older. Any time I’m stressed, tired or sick, even just a little bit, my ability to speak a foreign language just tanks, and if I’m very stressed, tired or sick, I can even forget my native language. My problem is that I’m often exhausted these past few years and I can’t figure out how to change that. I started to feel the signs of impending mania a couple of weeks ago, and although I managed to avoid developing even hypomania, the pre-hypomania feeling of having enough energy to get through the day was fantastic. I’d love to have that much energy every day, but without the dangers of approaching mania. I’m trying to figure out if changing my diet would help, but that’s so difficult. Apparently, people with autism are often sensitive to various foods, but to figure out which ones you have to cut out all of them and slowly add them back in. But there are so many foods one can be sensitive to that if you cut them all out, there isn’t much left. And you really need to have a bit of energy to be able to do that. Or a personal chef.

Another thing that would help my speaking, is of course, working more on my speaking abilities. The combination of being often tired and avoiding shorter activities that would require more tweeting, has led me to give up on making recordings and writing in my target languages, but if I had more practice and was better at speaking in general, I wouldn’t get quite so bad when I’m tired. My Norwegian goes downhill when I’m tired, but I’m still usually fairly coherent and the same with my English.

My speaking was getting pretty good up until the last couple of weeks, so I think it’s just tiredness and a lack of practice. And my speaking in both Spanish and German is definitely a world away from where it was a year ago. So, the solution is obvious – more practice and do everything I can to improve my energy level.

In general, my studies have been going OK. I just think they would be better and more balanced without the 6WC. Still, my reading in both German and Spanish is getting much better. And I’m starting to be able to read aloud in Spanish. It’s strange since my Spanish level is higher than my German and I speak Spanish better than German, but I always found I could read aloud much more fluently in German than in Spanish. Spanish words just have too many syllables or something. But all the practice lately has helped. My German listening is also improving, but it’s still very up and down. And Japanese is slowly simmering away on the back burner. Somehow my brain doesn’t do well with kanji when I’m tired, so I’ve put that aside for a while, but my Anki cards are going well. I’m now a quarter of the way through the deck. I’ve calculated that even if I take two months free from doing new cards, I should still make it through the deck by the end of the year. So, I think a week or so before the Gathering, I will stop doing new cards and just do reviews so that if I don’t get time to do reviews doing the Gathering, (which I probably won’t), I won’t come home to a mountain of due cards.

For some reason, the site where I was watching Polar Bear’s Café with both English and Japanese subs, won’t play the videos for me anymore. I tried on both my iPad and my computer. It plays other videos, but not those ones. So now I’m back to the other site and just English subs.

I’ve gotten rather fond of the show Rentnercops. It’s silly, light and fun, so just right for my brain-dead moments. The ARD app put the first two season up again for a while, so I was able to watch from the beginning, but then I had to skip the third season which wasn’t available. Fortunately, I didn’t miss too much. A season only has eight episodes and the characters themselves don’t change a lot anyway.

Cuéntame is also a lot of fun. I’ve just finished season 7 I think (of 19 :o ). It’s an excellent show for learning colloquial language too. I’ve learned all kinds of great expressions like “pagar el pato”, “como todo hijo de vecino”, “el burro hablando de orejas”, etc.
I’m also using Glossika a lot. The new Glossika has really grown on me. I just wish they would hurry up with some of the things they’ve promised. Remember that long list of languages they were planning/hoping to do in 2018? There were hundreds of languages on the list, but they only released maybe half a dozen. They were also supposed to make it so you could choose the speakers’ gender. In some languages, it doesn’t matter, but in other’s there is a big difference. I was looking at Hebrew because I was considering joining Zenmonkey in studying it, but it seems to have a male speaker, so I think that might be difficult for me. Mexican Spanish had a male speaker, but my Spanish was advanced enough and the differences are small enough that it wasn’t so bad, but even then, a female speaker would have been better for me. When I have to make the conscious change of gender, even though it’s only one vowel sound, it affects my ability to absorb and assimilate the material into my subconscious. Still, I’m found of Glossika and I find it great to use while cleaning and doing other mindless activities. The physical activity helps me to focus better and Glossika distracts me from the unpleasantness of cleaning. So, at least it makes my house cleaner than it probably otherwise would be. And I feel like it helps me absorb the sentence patterns too.
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:21 pm

I’ve definitely noticed I feel more Autistic as I get older. More sensory sensitivity, more fatigue with communication... I don’t have any answers, but I think it helps to add more structure to my day. Even more routine! Lessens the cognitive load and let’s me focus a bit more on the things that matter to me. And you know, focusing on the usual self care: Sleep, vitamins, hydration, mild exercise... The hardest part is just accepting that I’m not high energy, and just trying to make the most of it.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:49 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:I’ve definitely noticed I feel more Autistic as I get older. More sensory sensitivity, more fatigue with communication... I don’t have any answers, but I think it helps to add more structure to my day. Even more routine! Lessens the cognitive load and let’s me focus a bit more on the things that matter to me. And you know, focusing on the usual self care: Sleep, vitamins, hydration, mild exercise... The hardest part is just accepting that I’m not high energy, and just trying to make the most of it.

I assume from your user name that you are a lawyer. How do you manage that while being autistic? I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:50 pm

I’m still dealing with fatigue. It’s been a regular feature of my life these last few years, but it just seems to get worse as I get older, and some periods are even worse than that. Right now is typical. I have a few hours in the morning when I’m awake and I use those for going to the gym and exercising. Then I spend much of the afternoon in a zombie-like state. I can’t usually nap, but I’m too tired and mentally absent to do much of anything. Then around 5:30 or 6:00 in the evening, I wake up again and that’s when I usually do most of my study. I usually try to turn off screens and just read from about 8:30 or 9:00 at night to make it easier to sleep, but it doesn’t seem to help. I feel like I might get more rest at night (I sleep, but I don’t rest) if I didn’t spend half the day in a daze. I cancelled on my language exchange partner last Saturday because I was so tired, and I don’t really want to have to talk tomorrow either, but I can’t keep cancelling. I only ended up with a language partner because I forgot to set my Italki profile to invisible and she contacted me and for some reason I thought, “Why not?” Well, now I remember why I don’t do a lot of language exchanges. I don’t really enjoy talking about nothing to people I don’t really know in languages I don’t really know. I still struggle to speak German (even if Zenmonkey tries to claim that I’m B2 :roll: ), and when I’m tired I become completely incoherent. Moreover, I’m usually too tired to care and I just sit there sputtering random and made-up words and wondering why I put myself through this torture.

Being so tired and having to figure out how to organize my day so that I schedule the activities requiring a brain for the hours when I actually have one, has made me think a bit about how I study languages. Maybe those people that say you should learn one language to a reasonably comfortable level and only then start a new one have a bit of a point. It probably would be a lot easier to make progress if I were only doing one language. On the other hand, I don’t want to give up any of my languages and backslide even more.

I’ve also been thinking a bit about the Polyglot Gathering and how I’d like my German to be comfortable enough to use there. So, I think for the next couple of months, I’m going to make German my focus language. I’ll try to spend at least 45 minutes a day doing “real study” such as my grammar workbook, FSI, maybe some online grammar exercises or GLOSS, writing and speaking. TV-watching and reading books comes in addition and can be done when I’m less alert. I might even try some Italki lessons, but only if I start to feel more awake. It’s really hard to schedule a lesson when you don’t know when your brain will be available.

My Spanish is not exactly comfortable, but it is pretty functional so I think I can safely slide it onto a back burner until after the Gathering. Actually, I think at this point the best thing to do with Spanish would be massive input, especially reading. That would increase my vocabulary and give me a better feel for the language. I did a good bit of reading aloud during the 6WC and that really improved my ability to wrap my tongue around the words. Spanish words seem to have a high syllable-density or something, and I used to stumble over them, but now I can read much more smoothly. I still read aloud sometimes because I feel it’s very helpful, but I mostly read silently because it’s much faster and I want to finish this book I’ve been reading since forever. I always read really slowly when starting a new book if I’m not familiar with the characters and this book took a long time to get into. It might be half a notch above my level in terms of vocabulary, but I think the main problem was that it has a whole lot of characters and the story hopped from one character to another every few pages and after ten hops it was back to the first character, but I’d forgotten who he was by that time since I was reading so slowly. Anyway, somewhere in the middle, things started to get clear for me and I started to get “into” the book and that made it easier to read faster. And now I’m trying to read extra fast because I decided to join the April book club since they’re doing a book I’d been planning to read in any case and it’s originally in Spanish. Anyway, I ordered the book from another library and it came faster than I thought, so I’m probably going to have to try to start and finish a little early in case I have to return it before the end of April. I don’t want to be reading two books in Spanish at the same time, so, I’m trying to rush through the current one. Anyway, reading and TV can be done when I’m too tired for real study, but too awake to sleep. I should probably do a bit of writing and some recordings too, or else I’ll risk getting rusty. My Spanish still rusts pretty fast.

Japanese will continue on the back burner as planned until I’m finished with the kanji and my current Anki deck. I’m not making much progress on the kanji lately because of being too tired, but I seem to manage to squeeze Anki in either early enough or late enough in the day such that I’m making good progress. I think I will be ready to move Japanese into a new phase by next year, providing my German is somewhat comfortable by then. I’m not exactly sure what that phase will be yet, but we’ll see.

So, the plan for the next two months is:
German: grammar and real work, including speaking and writing, during alert times and otherwise a bit of reading and TV
Spanish: mostly reading, some TV, weekly chats with Zenmonkey and at least occasional recordings and writing
Japanese: Anki and RTK and occasional TV

And then, of course, after a couple of nights of staying out drinking with Rick, Dave and Zenmonkey, I’ll have forgotten all the languages before the Gathering even begins --- just like every year.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:44 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:
Lawyer&Mom wrote:I’ve definitely noticed I feel more Autistic as I get older. More sensory sensitivity, more fatigue with communication... I don’t have any answers, but I think it helps to add more structure to my day. Even more routine! Lessens the cognitive load and let’s me focus a bit more on the things that matter to me. And you know, focusing on the usual self care: Sleep, vitamins, hydration, mild exercise... The hardest part is just accepting that I’m not high energy, and just trying to make the most of it.

I assume from your user name that you are a lawyer. How do you manage that while being autistic? I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!


Small, relaxed government agency. And it’s still stressful. (But not boring!)
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Radioclare » Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:22 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!


I had no idea you used to be an auditor! I've been an auditor for 13 years now (though not Big 4 - think 5, or 6 depending on the list). I can confirm it is still cut-throat, stressful and incredibly boring :lol:

I hope things get better for you with your fatigue!
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:01 pm

Radioclare wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!


I had no idea you used to be an auditor! I've been an auditor for 13 years now (though not Big 4 - think 5, or 6 depending on the list). I can confirm it is still cut-throat, stressful and incredibly boring :lol:

I hope things get better for you with your fatigue!

Being an auditor was not intentional on my part. I just sort of fell into it. I enjoyed the parts with numbers. It was the boring meetings and that they always tried to push me on selling that I hated. Also, so many auditors are so extremely square. I always had to explain my jokes. And I don’t usually have to explain them to most people. I don’t use much nerd-humor on regular people. I try to keep things simple.

Actually, it can’t be auditors that are so square because I later worked at the tax office for a little while and the auditors there were mostly pretty OK. I even convinced one of them to study Esperanto for a while, though it didn’t last long.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 7:19 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:
Radioclare wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!


I had no idea you used to be an auditor! I've been an auditor for 13 years now (though not Big 4 - think 5, or 6 depending on the list). I can confirm it is still cut-throat, stressful and incredibly boring :lol:

I hope things get better for you with your fatigue!

Being an auditor was not intentional on my part. I just sort of fell into it. I enjoyed the parts with numbers. It was the boring meetings and that they always tried to push me on selling that I hated. Also, so many auditors are so extremely square. I always had to explain my jokes. And I don’t usually have to explain them to most people. I don’t use much nerd-humor on regular people. I try to keep things simple.

Actually, it can’t be auditors that are so square because I later worked at the tax office for a little while and the auditors there were mostly pretty OK. I even convinced one of them to study Esperanto for a while, though it didn’t last long.


I think the Big 4 can attract a certain go-getter/sales personality type, that is not terribly comparable with Autism. I work with some great accountants in my job and they *totally* get me. Government can be a better fit for smart and quirky people of all kinds. (But pick the right agency! Cultures can, um, vary...)
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri Mar 22, 2019 8:08 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:
Radioclare wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:I used to be an auditor. Maybe it might possibly have been OK if I'd worked for the government or a small, relaxed company, but I was working for one of the "Big Four" and it was too cut-throat and stressful. It completely destroyed me. Not to mention how incredibly boring it was!


I had no idea you used to be an auditor! I've been an auditor for 13 years now (though not Big 4 - think 5, or 6 depending on the list). I can confirm it is still cut-throat, stressful and incredibly boring :lol:

I hope things get better for you with your fatigue!

Being an auditor was not intentional on my part. I just sort of fell into it. I enjoyed the parts with numbers. It was the boring meetings and that they always tried to push me on selling that I hated. Also, so many auditors are so extremely square. I always had to explain my jokes. And I don’t usually have to explain them to most people. I don’t use much nerd-humor on regular people. I try to keep things simple.

Actually, it can’t be auditors that are so square because I later worked at the tax office for a little while and the auditors there were mostly pretty OK. I even convinced one of them to study Esperanto for a while, though it didn’t last long.


I think the Big 4 can attract a certain go-getter/sales personality type, that is not terribly comparable with Autism. I work with some great accountants in my job and they *totally* get me. Government can be a better fit for smart and quirky people of all kinds. (But pick the right agency! Cultures can, um, vary...)

After I had to quit there, I did work part time at the tax office for a while. I really liked it a lot, but I wasn’t in any kind of shape to work at all by that time. I only worked three half days a week, but I was nearly fainting by the end of my half day and frequently had to suddenly sit or even lie down on the floor to avoid fainting. I’m at least better than that now.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:26 pm

I’m lying on the floor as I read this... was feeling a bit light headed after I hit send on some final documents... yikes!

Glad to know you are feeling a bit better now. Let me know your secret if you find a miracle fix for fatigue!
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