Lingua's 2019 Italian Log

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lingua
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Lingua's 2019 Italian Log

Postby lingua » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:49 am

Since my goal this year is to pass the CILS Due (B2) Italian exam I decided to start with a fresh log.
Previous log: Lingua's old log

With the new year I will be continuing the double Super Challenge with more emphasis on reading. On top of that I've added the 365 Challenge and the Output Challenge to address consistency and to stress more writing and speaking/recording. Last, I'll continue to work on my grammar and increase my vocabulary.

I finished book #14. Lo chef in tasca: ricetta per l'estate by Max Mariola. I've never heard of the guy but evidently he is/was a TV chef on Rai and Sky. Tasca means pocket and the title refers to the size of the book being so small it will fit in your pocket. It's part recipe book and part "scene setting" as it's broken up into meal plans for the beach, camping, patio, mountain, city, etc. He likes to set up the scene prior to providing the menu (which usually consisted of three dishes). Each recipe consists of instructions, variations, hints on buying the best quality of a given ingredient and so forth. It was an easy read and being in my favorite subject there were very few unknown words. Some of the recipes actually sounded good and I might even make them but others sounded disgusting. And there are no photos at all which is a big negative for me as I like to see what the finished dish will look like. I'd give it about 2.5 stars out of 5 as I found all of the scene setting to be too flowery and borderline silly.

I am now up to 14 actual books and 45 SC books. At the current rate I might barely make the 100 books for the SC but given my double goal I need to read more and faster.

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Last edited by lingua on Sun May 26, 2019 2:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
5 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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IronMike
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby IronMike » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:33 pm

I've just added Italian to my list for 2019 with a goal of maybe taking a CILS test in December. I'll be following your log closely.

Do you have experience with any other CILS tests? (I'll go look at your older log.)
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby Cavesa » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:12 pm

Happy New Year! And I wish you lots of success with Italian and the exam! I am looking forward to following your log again. I love your focus on reading books btw.
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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:33 am

Iron Mike, I've never taken any exams and I suggest How I Passed the Demanding, 5-Part, 5 1/2 Hour, Oral, Paper and Pen, Highest Level (C2), Italian Language Exam Without Going to Italy for guidance. He was actually my inspiration for working towards the B2 but I'm realistic enough to know anything higher than that now would be insane.

I have a list of the books I'm using for studying on page 15 of my old log. But from what I've done so far I'd recommend these two as they are organized logically by subject and start somewhat easy and get progressively harder since they work to C1.
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana by Marco Mezzadri
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana (esercizi supplementari) by Mezzadri and Pederzani

Cavesa, thanks. I love to read so this is the most enjoyable part of learning a language for me. Sometimes I think listing the books and films in my log might seem tedious but if others are looking for specific things to read or watch it might be helpful. I look for book/film titles on other Italian logs since I'm always on the lookout for new ones.
4 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:32 pm

Reading:
L'italiano per la cucina <-- 77%
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana by Marco Mezzadri <-- 6%
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana (esercizi supplementari) by Mezzadri and Pederzani <-- 8%
BarLume: Il telefono senza fili by Marco Malvaldi <-- 21%

After reading a couple of other books I'm back to BarLume. I found myself flying through it until the old guys returned with their dialect at which point I slowed down. In many cases they use an r in place of the l. So quarcosa instead of qualcosa or artro insteald of altro and in my head I just replace it. They also use 'un for non which took me a while to get and doesn't make much sense.

I had hoped to be done with L'italiano per la cucina by now but the holiday season was especially busy last month so I didn't do a whole lot of studying. I'm partied out and am looking forward to a more relaxed January.

Writing:
Since I decided to do the Output Challenge, I've started writing a very short journal entry each day in LibreOffice. It shows me the number of words in the document and I'm already behind. In fact dividing 50,000 words by 365 days ends up not being a lot of words per day so if one keeps up this is easily doable. Outside of that I continue to write passages/exercises from the books I'm working with.

Talking:
I had a 30 minute italki lesson using my new headphone/mic and everything worked so I'm back in business. I set up two more appointments for next week. I need to find some language exchanges at some point to stretch the conversation budget. For the output challenge I'll likely be recording my journal entries initially.

Listening:
film: total of 857 minutes
YouTube: Cucine da incubo S3E9
DVD: Una grande famiglia (stagione 1)
Netflix: Sulla mia pelle, Benvenuto Presidente!

I highly recommend Sulla mia pelle. It's quite haunting. I get chills just writing about it. I didn't know until later it was based on a true story. Like many Americans I used to have a romanticized view of Italy which I've long since lost. While it's still one of my favorite countries for the food, art, beauty, relaxed pace and of course language I'm much more realistic about the underbelly. Even so, this film was a shock to me.

Grammar/Vocabulary
memrise: review and added new words off and on
clozemaster: did another 5000 sentences (approximately)

L'italiano per la cucina: Completed two more chapters for a total of 10 of 12. I plan to finish it this weekend.
2 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby StringerBell » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:57 pm

lingua wrote:I highly recommend Sulla mia pelle. It's quite haunting.


I'll put this on my list!

lingua wrote:Like many Americans I used to have a romanticized view of Italy which I've long since lost. While it's still one of my favorite countries for the food, art, beauty, relaxed pace and of course language I'm much more realistic about the underbelly.


Yeah...same here. My husband (who is a native Italian and didn't move away until his late 20s) always says something to the effect of "Italy is a beautiful place if you visit as a tourist." Needless to say, this is a topic I am very familiar with since not only do I hear all about everything he and his family/friends go through, but I even get to experience some of it myself when I go there. There is an Italian song that's a few years old by Fabri Fibra called "In Italia" that is about this dichotomy (the beautiful place that tourists gush about vs. the reality of living there which can be quite different). If you like the song, there's also youtube videos of this song with the lyrics. I spent a really long time discussing with my husband what all the lines referred to, because even if I could decode the words, I didn't really get what the meaning was since I was missing some cultural references. Many years ago I had a very pessimistic view of my country, but after seeing how certain things work there, I have a much deeper appreciation of my country, even with all of the flaws. I don't generally feel comfortable talking about this topic because I wouldn't want to inadvertently offend anyone, which hopefully I haven't done.
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Italian goal: transcribe 10 episodes of Lucifer : 1 / 10

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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:55 pm

Reading:
L'italiano per la cucina <-- 77%
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana by Marco Mezzadri <-- 6%
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana (esercizi supplementari) by Mezzadri and Pederzani <-- 8%
BarLume: Il telefono senza fili by Marco Malvaldi <-- 79%

Goal is to finish BarLume and start a new book (probably the next in the series) by tomorrow. To meet all of my reading goals I need to read two books a week.

Writing:
Output challenge: I'm up to 643 words. Way behind based on 50000/365 = 137 words per day. Writing is probably the hardest thing for me. But, I have two books to use for writing with pictures and key words that are supposed to trigger writing on a particular subject so that should help. Goal is to get to about 1800 words by Sunday.

Talking/Recording:
One 60 minute italki session which was particularly productive. This is a new teacher that I've only used a couple of times and she speaks in a way I find easy to understand. Like me she likes to talk about food and cooking so it's a good fit. She suggested I continue to work on my pronunciation.

Output Challenge: Recorded 18 minutes. 8 minutes of it was reading my own output challenge writing and the other 10 minutes was reading two cooking related articles from La Stampa. I listened to some of it and noticed that my pronunciation was much better when reading my own writing probably because I use more familiar words then what is in the articles.

Listening:
podcast: total of 19 minutes of Veneto & Sapori which are a bunch of 2-3 minute segments on tipical products, dishes and wine of the Veneto region. I've decided to work though all of the old inactive podcasts currently on my computer. This one seems to no longer be available as some of the earliest episodes weren't downloaded and I was unable to access them.

film: total of 111 minutes
MHz Choice: Montalbano: Il sorriso di Angelica
This is one of the few episodes that I didn't like as much as most of them but I felt the same way about the book when I read it. I think because my impression of Montalbano is that he is too intelligent to fall for this type of thing. However, in the newer books of the series Montalbano seems to have a small mid-life crisis where he doubts himself and the system and wonders if it is time to retire.


Grammar/Vocabulary
memrise: review and added new words off and on
clozemaster: did another 500 sentences (approximately)

I ended up doing no grammar this past week since I was trying to create output habits instead.

365 Challenge: I'm averaging about 98 minutes a day and have no missed days.
2 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:20 pm

Book #15 done. BarLume: Il telefono senza fili by Marco Malvaldi. For some reason I have trouble trying to summarize mysteries unlike the other books I read. Suffice to say it's a typical murder mystery.

I'm on a roll here as I'm about 25% into the sixth book and bought the 7th (and last as of now). Separately there is a collection of six BarLume stories which I also bought plus three other non-fiction books by him. I'm convinced that reading many books by the same author is helping my comprehension and speed because of writing style (dialect notwithstanding) so that's the direction I'll go in whenever I find an author I like. Malvaldi sometimes has Massimo (the main character in the series) go off on a math or other tangent which lead me to want to read some of his non-fiction.

I also found a site by a Linguistics PhD who has an interest in Italian and makes the occasional Italian book recommendation. She interviewed Malvaldi and the dialect which I had assumed was some type of Tuscan is actually Pisan since that is where the author is from. It is an old interview and at that time he had not intended to write past the fourth one in the series. Obviously he changed his mind.


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0 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Sat Jan 19, 2019 6:10 pm

Book #16. La famiglia Tortilla by Marco Malvaldi is a short guide to food and restaurants in Barcelona. Malvaldi goes into detail about the food scene and sometimes touches on other sites of interest for the tourist. There is also a section with some review of restaurants and links to their web pages. It was a quick and easy read. If you're planning a trip to Barcelona and food is your thing then I'd recommend it otherwise you probably won't find it compelling.

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Book #17. L'italiano per la cucina is published by Alma Edizioni and written for foreigners studying Italian. It's at the A2-B1 level. The book consists of 12 chapters (or lessons as they call them). Each chapter contains a story about a particular Italian dish along with the recipe, exercises covering the story or words/phrases in the story and a couple of different grammar points. It is picture heavy. There is a certain amount of redundancy with the recipes. They are broken down with exercises (fill in missing words or put the recipe in order, etc) but it includes a final page with the full recipe.

Audio/video is available on the Alma Edizioni site and the book tells you what track to listen to. I listened to some of the videos early on but didn't continue as they were short and the food vocabulary in this book was mostly already known to me because of my focus on food and cooking related activities. If you're at an A1-A2 level I'd recommend watching them.

When I read the first two chapters I was a little concerned about how easy it was but it got progressively harder though still at a level that was not difficult for me. In fact after completing this book I am confident that my reading skills are solidly B2 if not higher. I knew most of the vocabulary. They included some food related proverbs that I wasn't familiar with (and in reality I wonder how used they actually are). I didn't know every utensil and I learned some terms for cuts of meat, etc.

The recipes themselves are the basics (caprese, lasagne, pizza, risotto, etc). The stories often include the origin and history behind the dish. In summary, I found the book useful to solidify my knowledge of cooking terminology and I'd recommend it as a study aid if this is your area of interest though you'll need to have enough of a vocabulary to read the instructions.

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17 actual books = 54 SC books
2 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100

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lingua
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Re: Lingua's 2019 Italian CILS DUE B2 or bust

Postby lingua » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:30 am

Reading:
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana by Marco Mezzadri <-- 6%
GP. Grammatica pratica della lingua italiana (esercizi supplementari) by Mezzadri and Pederzani <-- 8%
BarLume: La battaglia navale by Marco Malvaldi <-- 55%
Scacco alla Torre by Marco Malvaldi <-- 88%

I've made a change this past week to read two books at a time since I'm spending more time on the treadmill these days where I prefer to use the iPad since it's bigger than the Kindle. Swiping small pages while moving is somewhat awkward. I'll also keep non-fiction on the iPad and fiction on the Kindle since I am usually able to read non-fiction faster and look up fewer words.

Writing:
Output challenge: I'm up to 2047 words so slightly caught up for last Sunday but behind for this week. :oops: I hope that if I stick with a daily routine my speed will improve and I can stay even. If I took as long to speak as I do to write I'd hardly say anything.

Talking/Recording:
One 60 minute session with my long time iTalki tutor. I was sleep deprived so not one of my better sessions.

Output Challenge: Recorded a total of 42 minutes in two sessions of which one was reading my writing and the other was reading Io non ho paura. I now have one hour total which shows as a small blip on my bar graph.

Listening:
podcast: total of 90 minutes of Veneto & Sapori

film: total of 46 minutes (this must be a record low for me in this category)
YouTube: Cuore di Cioccolato: Capocollo fatto in casa, Salsiccia secca calabrese, birra fatta in casa
Carlo Cracco: ha svelato I suoi segreti al pubblico

Thanks to rdearman I am another Cuore di Cioccolato convert.

Grammar/Vocabulary
memrise: review and added new words off and on
clozemaster: did another 500 sentences (approximately)

365 Challenge: I'm averaging about 156 minutes a day from last Saturday through yesterday and have no missed days.

Now that I'm doing more output and reading I am doing less grammar which will need to change.
1 x
Italian Output Challenge: wrote: 5304 / 50000 recorded: 14 / 50
Italian double (triple?) SC: watched: 151 / 200 read: 202 / 202
Read 100 Italian books: 51 / 100


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