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

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Morgana
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Postby Morgana » Sun May 26, 2019 8:19 am

Last edited by Morgana on Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Brun Ugle
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Sun May 26, 2019 12:12 pm

I’m not struggling that much. I was mostly just surprised that slowing down on adding new cards didn’t have more of an effect on the number of cards due.

I do forget random words though at times and there are a few that I struggle with, mostly words that are similar. I got a little spoiled because most of the first 2000 words I could click easy on and now it’s getting harder, plus there are more cards in the mix meaning that they come back again too. I think I will slow down a bit though so I can fit in some other activities. It’s not the kanji that are causing the trouble. I had the same problem with Spanish. I just need to get other forms of exposure, like you said.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:00 am

I’ve been back for a week now, but I still haven’t recovered. I got so little sleep that it will probably take me another week or two to catch up on that, plus I caught a cold. So, I’m exhausted and haven’t done much of anything since coming home. Well, I’ve been daydreaming and making plans about what to study, but not really studying so very much. I managed to not get so far behind on my Anki reviews for Japanese during the Gathering, but even so, it’s taken me until now to catch up again because my brain just shorted out and stopped working altogether by the end.

The trip went something like this: 12-hour trip, beer, beer, kebab, beer, beer, beer, beer, lectures, beer, kebab, beer, lecture, beer, beer, beer…. you get the idea. On the last day, when everyone else went home, I went to Vienna to go to the bookstore. I had booked a hotel near the big Thalia bookstore on Mariahilferstrasse, to make things easier. I also went to a bookstore on the same street, but nearer the train station, where they sell books at reduced prices. They seem to be books that didn’t sell elsewhere or books with some small defect. I bought a couple of defective books, but I can’t figure out what the defect might be. They look fine. Maybe I’ll get to the end and the last page will be missing and I’ll never know whodunnit. I’d planned to seek out a few used bookstores too, but I was just too exhausted.

Vienna was a bit tough because that was when the exhaustion and the cold hit me and I felt like collapsing rather than going shopping, but I managed well enough. I didn’t end up buying so much because it was very hard to make decisions about what to buy without my brain there to help me. I did manage to do everything in German though. When I checked in at the hotel, I spoke German to the receptionist and when she asked me for ID and I handed her a US passport, she asked if I’d prefer to continue in German or to switch to English, but I said I’d prefer German, and she continued in German. I know a lot of people complain that people always switch to English with them, but I’ve almost never had that happen despite my mangling every language I’ve ever tried to speak.

I managed to not irritate most of the store clerks this year now that I know that the little globes next to the 1, 2 and 5 aren’t zeros. (I used to think the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins were 10, 20 and 50 cents and drove everyone crazy when I tried to give them exact change.) I did make one grocery store clerk mad this year when I didn’t know to weigh my banana ahead of time. We don’t do that in Norway. They weigh the things at the register. Anyway, I never understand what the grocery store clerks are muttering at me. I think they have their own dialect. I don’t have much trouble understanding hotel clerks or bookstore clerks, just grocery store clerks. Also, they are really scary.

Back to the actual Gathering. It was really sad Zenmonkey couldn’t make it. Maybe I’d have had more rest and less beer if he had been there. We did manage to have a little bit of fun though, despite his absence. Of the lectures, I think Rick’s talk about language exchanges was the best, but there were a few others I enjoyed. There was one in Spanish by Nacho Cabellero of Nacho Time Spanish that I liked. It was about using dictation to improve your Spanish (or any language). I also liked the other talk about language exchanges given by someone from Tandem. I was surprised how good it was as I’d expected it to be just an infomercial. I generally tried to attend as many Spanish and German lectures as I could, but I ended up missing two German lectures that I’d really wanted to attend because they were at the same time as Rick’s and Dave’s lectures. They seem to schedule things so there are always either several interesting looking talks at once or none.

The nights were all spent on drinking and we didn’t usually get home until after two in the morning, sometimes after four. And that’s why I don’t remember much more.

One thing I really regretted was that I never learned Slovak. When they announced that the 2017 Gathering would be in Slovakia, I considered learning the language, but made a conscious decision not to. Slovak had never been on my “list” and I didn’t want to spread myself too thin learning a bunch of languages to a low level at the expense of taking my main languages to a high level. However, this year, I picked up a little bit of the language by listening to Dave chatting up waitresses and by reading signs and advertisements. And it didn’t seem all that hard! If I’d know the Gathering would be there for three years in a row, maybe I would have chosen to learn Slovak and then I’d have a decent level by now. Watching Dave has also taught me the value and fun of knowing even a little bit. So, now I’ve decided that I will try to pick up a little bit of the local language wherever the Gathering is held. Next year is going to be Poland. So, I’m about to start learning Polish.

I bought the Polish Assimil (out of the back of a van like a drug-deal, as Rick mentioned). Unfortunately, I ended up with the book and the software rather than book and MP3’s. The Assimil guy said the MP3’s are on a folder with the software, and they are, but each line of each dialogue is it’s own MP3. That’s a bit annoying. I like to have the version where each lesson is a single MP3 and put that on my phone. Then I loop it while I’m doing the lesson. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to see what I can do with this mess. The lack of proper MP3’s seems very inconvenient, but maybe I’ll enjoy the software more than I expect to.

I’m still looking for some other Polish materials that are easier for starting out with. I like Assimil, but I need something more than that, something that will feed me the grammar in a logical order. Assimil just sort of hints at things. I’d also like to find some thorough pronunciation training materials. So, I welcome suggestions on how to approach Polish if any of you have experience learning it.

My other languages will continue on as before. I haven’t really done anything with them since before the Gathering and I’m still feeling a bit braindead, so I don’t know how long it will take me before I get into a good routine again. I’d really like to get my Spanish up to C1 and my German to a real and solid B2 for next year. I notice my Spanish survived a bit longer this year than last year, so it’s definitely stronger than it was, but it was pretty tattered by the end. I need to have my languages strong enough to survive a week of large amounts of beer and tiny amounts of sleep. If I still know the language after a week of that, then I’ll know I’m “fluent”.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby tiia » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:47 am

The thing with the books at a reduced price is that Germany, Austria and obviously a few other countries have this so called Fixed-book-price (Buchpreisbindung), so a book will be always sold at the same price no matter where you buy them.
It feels quite often like marking them with the stamp for defective books is nearly the only way to sell them at a reduced price.
In my teenage years I cannot even remember that any of theses books had a visible defect - as an adult I have seen that far more often. Sometimes there are e.g. rather deep cuts in the paper, probably from opening the package rather brutally. But the pages were still complete, there were just those cuts. (Could affect quite some amount of pages.) However, I haven't had a book with pages missing from such a pile*, although it would be possible.

*I only had that with a non-reduced Spanish course book and when I complained later, it appeared to affect several of these books in the store. I still found an exchange for mine, but the store had to sent a bunch of them back.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby rdearman » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:59 am

I have the same software for Polish, so I will concatenate the mp3s together into chapters. Or you can do it yourself with audacity.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:14 pm

rdearman wrote:I have the same software for Polish, so I will concatenate the mp3s together into chapters. Or you can do it yourself with audacity.

Or I can use the lazy fist method and let you do it for me.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby rdearman » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:20 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:
rdearman wrote:I have the same software for Polish, so I will concatenate the mp3s together into chapters. Or you can do it yourself with audacity.

Or I can use the lazy fist method and let you do it for me.

True, depends on how long you're willing to wait. ;)
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:22 pm

rdearman wrote:
Brun Ugle wrote:
rdearman wrote:I have the same software for Polish, so I will concatenate the mp3s together into chapters. Or you can do it yourself with audacity.

Or I can use the lazy fist method and let you do it for me.

True, depends on how long you're willing to wait. ;)

Are you trying to be lazier than me in the hope that I’ll do the work? I probably will, but then you’ll complain that I did it wrong.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby IronMike » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:31 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:The trip went something like this: 12-hour trip, beer, beer, kebab, beer, beer, beer, beer, lectures, beer, kebab, beer, lecture, beer, beer, beer…. you get the idea. On the last day, when everyone else went home, I went to Vienna to go to the bookstore. I had booked a hotel near the big Thalia bookstore on Mariahilferstrasse, to make things easier. I also went to a bookstore on the same street, but nearer the train station, where they sell books at reduced prices. They seem to be books that didn’t sell elsewhere or books with some small defect. I bought a couple of defective books, but I can’t figure out what the defect might be. They look fine. Maybe I’ll get to the end and the last page will be missing and I’ll never know whodunnit. I’d planned to seek out a few used bookstores too, but I was just too exhausted.

This reminded me of so much...where to start.

Beer and kebabs, sounds like a trip for me!...if I were still in my 20s. Oy. When I try to repeat that recipe nowadays, I'm hurting...

The book defect reminded me of a funny incident that happened to my step-father. He's a big boy, cajun from Louisiana. Loves reading westerns. Went to a used books store and bought a Louis L'amour Started it that night. He said he thought something was up when some of the characters got on a space ship. He looked at the cover. Nope, it's a western. Read a bit more. Nope, it's sci-fi.

He took the dust jacket off and looked at the hardback's cover. First thing first: the cover was put on backwards. In other words, he had to turn the book over and upside down to see the title, which was not the same as the dust jacket's cover. (I wish I could remember what the title and author were, but it wasn't a known sci-fi writer.)

The funniest part though is that he still read the book! He told me it was still a good story and he paid 10 bucks for it, so he was damn-well gonna read it.
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Re: Brun Ugle の mehrsprachige bitácora (NO, ES, DE, JA) 2019 -- now with Polish!!

Postby garyb » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:50 pm

I've never been too keen on the Gathering, but it sounds like you had fun and if beer and kebabs are involved that could push me to go along to the next one! Plus an excuse for a little trip is always good.
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