Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

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cjareck
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:13 pm

StringerBell wrote:Then I saw that the podcast was labelled as A1. Really? I thought for sure it must be at least B1, so I guess I have no idea how to the gauge language level of a piece of writing. I guess understanding it wasn't that impressive after all! :lol:

I stated this already in Expugnator's log, but I repeat myself here ;) It is very hard to rate someone's knowledge basing on the vocabulary. I have difficulties in understanding a menu in a German restaurant, but I know military terminology (weapons, tactics) that probably not all Germans know. So, in the first case, I would get A1-A2 and C1-C2 in the second. That may be an explanation of why the text was labeled A1, and you had difficulties in understanding it. Nevertheless, I'm happy that your Polish is back on track ;)
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby rdearman » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:47 am

Since you use Anki, and want listening practice in Italian. You could try a couple of pre-made decks I use (links below) which are sentences in audio, and you need to work out the meaning. You don't see it written until you "flip" the card. They are sorted easiest to hardest, so you don't want to do them in random order, but in the order they are created. It even shows you how common the words are in the sentence.

https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1713927804
https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1892364086
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:09 pm

cjareck wrote:That may be an explanation of why the text was labeled A1, and you had difficulties in understanding it. Nevertheless, I'm happy that your Polish is back on track ;)


I didn't have any trouble understanding it; I was actually impressed that it seemed fairly easy (until I saw it was labelled as A1, and then I realized that I shouldn't be too impressed!)

rdearman wrote:Since you use Anki, and want listening practice in Italian. You could try a couple of pre-made decks I use (links below) which are sentences in audio, and you need to work out the meaning.


Thank you for those. I may use them in the future. Right now I'm only using Anki as a way to practice with the words/phrases I've been mining from my novel. My plan is to continue reviewing them for the next few weeks as I read the book, then stop the reviews and reread the book to see how much easier it is the second time around. Depending on how this goes, I may or may not delete the DC deck and create a new one for the next book (unless I'm back to hating Anki again at that point).
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:50 pm

LATIN:

I am almost done with Stage/Chapter 8 of Cambridge Latin Course, which means I'm about 2/3 done with the book. Since I've been writing out every sentence 5x, it's been slow-going, but I feel like I have a much better grip on the vocabulary and what's happening in the stories compared to when I was just reading through them. I've been doing about 20-30 minutes almost every day. So far, I'm happy with my slow progress. I spent a long time typing up a grammar question I had, but I ended up answering it myself one I was almost done, so no need to post it.

ITALIAN:

extensive reading:
I think I need to drop down to 1/2 hour of extensive reading. Doing 1 full hour means that I need a really long time to look up definitions of and type up Anki card for all the unknown vocabulary. As of now, I've read 42 pages (out of a total of 264 pages) and I'm up to pg 34 of word lookups/flashcard creation.

I decided that my goal with the Anki cards will be to remember just a portion of them; I figure if I am able to learn even 1/3 or 1/2 of the unknown words, that's still a good boost in vocabulary. Any words I can't remember I'll just deal with them when they pop up in the next book. This relieves some of the pressure I was feeling to memorize all of them. There are some words that just don't seem to want to stick, like ironically: scivolare = to stick

My favorite words that I learned from Dolores Claiborne so far (and which I have no trouble remembering):
imbrattare = to smear, to foul/dirty
strofinare = to scrub
arrossire = to blush

transcription challenge:
I did a little more Lucifer episode 2 transcription. I'm hoping I'll be able to finish this episode in 2 more sessions. This is a brutal task! What was I thinking?

TV:
I was thinking that I'd focus on trying to watch shows on dplay that are originally in Italian, but after watching a few dubbed episodes of "Torbidi Delitti" (Swamp Murders), I realized that the audio is exceptionally clear and easy to hear, which means that I'm having a really easy time picking up new vocabulary and expressions. There aren't many, but usually at least a few per episode. I started an Anki deck for Italian TV crime show vocabulary, and I've been making cards for anything I look up from the shows. For some reason, this is the vocabulary activity I enjoy the most. I think I'll watch whatever episodes are available for this series and maybe then try to find something that's originally in Italian.

I'll discuss Polish in the next post.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby rdearman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:34 am

StringerBell wrote:extensive reading:
I think I need to drop down to 1/2 hour of extensive reading. Doing 1 full hour means that I need a really long time to look up definitions of and type up Anki card for all the unknown vocabulary. As of now, I've read 42 pages (out of a total of 264 pages) and I'm up to pg 34 of word lookups/flashcard creation.

Can I just say that isn't the typical definition of "Extensive Reading" but rather it would normally be classified as "Intensive Reading". Extensive reading would be reading to get the gist of it and only looking up words when you have to in order to understand a critical point.

Intensive Reading
To read intensively is to completely deconstruct a text, with the goal of absorbing as much meaning from it as possible. This is done by taking a text, and systematically looking up every word, phrase, or collocation that you do not understand.

This is an activity that requires great mental effort and focus. Because of this, the learner who engages in intensive reading must be careful to follow specific guidelines, or else risk boredom and burnout. Specifically, if you wish to read a text intensively, you must take care to read texts that are interesting and short, to read only for brief periods of time, and to do so when you have the most mental energy.
-- Luca Lampariello


Extensive Reading
To read extensively is to simply read as much as possible, without concerning oneself with the minutia of meaning and the occasional unknown word. This is done by reading for large swaths of time, and looking up words only when you deem it absolutely necessary to your understanding of the text.

-- Luca Lampariello
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:12 pm

rdearman wrote:Can I just say that isn't the typical definition of "Extensive Reading" but rather it would normally be classified as "Intensive Reading". Extensive reading would be reading to get the gist of it and only looking up words when you have to in order to understand a critical point.


The problem is that there are too many words I don't know. Unless I'm using a parallel text, I have no idea what too many sentences mean, which makes reading really pointless, in my opinion. There are very few unknown words that I can guess from context. I only understand what many sentences mean during the phase when I'm looking up all the words I underlined (about 5-8 words per page). Otherwise, I am most relying on my memory of the story to understand what's being said (which I don't remember with much detail) and a general vague feeling of what's happening from the sentences/parts of sentences I do understand. Once I go back and look up all those words, suddenly I can follow the story much better and it goes from not really knowing what the heck is going on to suddenly being able to follow most of it. I don't think there is any book I could read extensively and actually understand using Luca's definition of extensive reading.

I consider this extensive reading because I'm not looking up anything while I'm reading, and I'm not even underlining everything that I don't understand. What I consider intensive reading is what I've done exclusively up to this point, which is to make sure that I understand every sentence as I read. I did that with the 400+ articles I read, and the couple of books I read last year. What I'm doing now is really different; it's basically an extensive reading phase followed by a quasi-intensive phase. I can just call it "reading" since it's technically a mix of intensive and extensive reading.

Here's an example of a sentence that I couldn't make sense of:

Così te lo strofini con qualche unguento e aspetti che il prurito passi.

If that were the only sentence on the page with so much unknown, I'd ignore it, but a few sentences before this one was:

Prima formicolano, poi cominciano a pulsarti nelle nocche.

Then there are sentences where there's only 1 unknown, but not knowing that word makes the entire sentence meaningless:

Era la sua maniera di essere una carogna, nel senso di non essere capace di trattenersi.

(these sample sentences are all from the same page)

I don't really understand how true extensive reading is even possible for someone who doesn't already have an extremely high level in the language. Ignoring everything I don't understand doesn't make me suddenly understand it. I can see this working if there's very few unknown words and you can guess their meaning from context.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:05 pm

StringerBell wrote:I don't really understand how true extensive reading is even possible for someone who doesn't already have an extremely high level in the language. Ignoring everything I don't understand doesn't make me suddenly understand it. I can see this working if there's very few unknown words and you can guess their meaning from context.

As far as I remember extensive reading is useful when you understand about 97% vocabulary.
I remember watching prof. Arguelles video on the importance of reading in language learning

and I presume that there was that information.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby rdearman » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:08 pm

So if you're reading a book and you've only 5-6 unknowns. Then doing the maths tells us:
5 is 2% of the average 250 words per page of a written novel page. So if you already understand 98% of the words on the page, then extensive reading shouldn't be difficult, e.g. just reading for pleasure. ((As cjareck pointed out while I was writing this))

I didn't know the words you'd underlined either, but the question really is did the lack of knowledge of that 2% stop you from understanding what was happening? I'm not suggesting you never look up anything when doing extensive reading, but rather you only look up things which detract from the greater meeting. So if the chapter of this book is all about why John is in the doctor's office and went crazy with pain and stabbed the doctor, and you cannot determine why on earth he has gone crazy. Then go back and work out the words.

But if you understand everything on the page except someone called someone a slang word you don't know, then move on.

However, it doesn't really make any real difference, you can learn any way you want. I was just pointing out what I thought was a "terminology issue".
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Brun Ugle » Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:22 pm

Maybe you should try easier books like YA or graded readers. LR is also helpful.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:29 pm

rdearman wrote:So if you're reading a book and you've only 5-6 unknowns. Then doing the maths tells us:
5 is 2% of the average 250 words per page of a written novel page. So if you already understand 98% of the words on the page, then extensive reading shouldn't be difficult, e.g. just reading for pleasure.


I look up on average 5-8 words per page, which are not all of the unknowns, they are the ones that I prioritize because they are blocking the meaning of a sentence, or they seem particularly useful or important. There are sometimes more unknowns that I choose to ignore because even if I can't guess it from context, I can tell that it's probably not something too important based on the rest of the sentence.

My experience is that assigning percentages to the number of words unknown is meaningless. In one of the example sentences I posted earlier (Era la sua maniera di essere una carogna, nel senso di non essere capace di trattenersi.) there's only one word I don't know. But without knowing the meaning of that one word, the rest of the sentence has very little meaning because I'm missing the important point the author is trying to make.

So even if I can understand 15/16 of the words (= 94% comprehension) in that sentence, not knowing that one word means that I understand almost 0% of the message of the sentence. Knowing 8 out of 10 words doesn't mean you understand 80% of a sentence. And if you miss enough sentences on page, it leaves the remaining sentences you do understand without context and often meaningless.

When I go back and skim through pages I've already read after looking up the underlined words, I'm finding that knowing the meaning of those handful of words somehow makes the entire page significantly more understandable than it was before.

Brun Ugle wrote:Maybe you should try easier books like YA or graded readers. LR is also helpful.


This is a good suggestion but I don't think it would help me right now (though maybe LR would, and I've considered doing that more). Graded readers wouldn't help because the kind of vocabulary that I don't know at this point won't be found in graded readers - it's words like handrail, windowsill, beehive, clams, hardware store, gravestone, rickety, senile. Basically words that are infrequent. Or alternate ways of saying things I know, like: non mi reggevo in piedi (I couldn't stand) instead of the way I know:non riuscivo a stare in piedi. Many YA books have tons of these kinds of words and colloquial expressions/slang, so I don't find them much easier than adult novels.
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