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

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

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:10 pm

Have you tried any classics translated into Italian? Any other works that you are familiar with? Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Gulliver's Travels, Oliver Twist, Around the World in 80 Days, Jungle Book, Hound of Baskerville? Narnia? Harry Potter? Dan Brown?

This is where I would start, once I were past textbooks.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:51 pm

One of my problems is that I have an especially awful memory. Once a few months (or even weeks) pass, I don't remember most of what happened in a movie or TV show that I watched, nor do I remember the details of books. I can continually rewatch shows and reread books because I forget so much of what happened that it's almost like approaching it fresh.

The book I'm reading now in Italian (Dolores Claiborne) I already read in English a few months ago, but I don't remember it well; I can only remember the overall trajectory of what happens. Having read it before means I have a general sense of what's going on, but that's it. Even with the one book that I've read many, many times as an adult (the Glass Castle) I wouldn't remember the details well enough to know what many individual sentences in Italian would be saying. I've heard people talk about rereading a book they know really well (usually HP) and it's super easy for them to understand because they remember it so well, but unfortunately there's no book that I could read that would give me that experience.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Morgana » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:16 am

I forget if you have a Kindle, but if you do, it provides a kind of hybrid experience between intensive and extensive reading. You can use the pop-up dictionary in Italian to look up unknowns without slowing down too much in your reading. Thus it allows you to increase your reading volume while still looking up some words, and because the volume stays higher you are more likely to have repeat exposures to those words and eventually remember them. I would still advise to let some words go by (ie. not look all of them up).

In Swedish I stopped bothering with Anki cards eventually and those words like “railing” etc. eventually got into my memory anyway just by this method of reading.

And if you don’t have a Kindle... forget I said anything/ask for one for your next birthday ;)
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Tristano » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:07 am

You can do the same trick with Google play books if you have an android.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Brun Ugle » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:31 am

Well, even if you don’t remember the details, translated books are often easier because the sentence structure is often easier. I read a lot of Agatha Christie books in other languages for that reason. Of course, that doesn’t help you with the individual words. I think the best is to just keep powering through like you’re doing. There is a painful period where you feel like you know enough that you should be able to read popular fiction, and yet there are still loads of important words or expressions that you don’t know. It does eventually get better. I haven’t quite gotten over that hump in German, but I think I’m on the downward slope in Spanish. Still, it seems I can sometimes read without much effort and other times it’s like I’m right back in the stage you are in.

I think one thing that helps is to get a series, or at least several books by the same author. Read the first one and note all the unknown and semi-unknown words and expressions. Use Anki, flash cards, wordlists or whatever to learn them. Then read book two and see how much easier it is. A series is best because it will usually have the same characters and setting and the descriptions won’t change so much, but even if it’s just the same author, they will have their idiolect that carries over. It’s also a good idea to pick popular, beach-read types of books as they seem to have a simpler form of expression and vocabulary. You can gradually work your way up to more high-brow stuff.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Deinonysus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:53 pm

Perhaps you have aphantasia? I have a friend with aphantasia who was surprised to learn that most people see vivid images when they read, as though they are really there. If you do have aphantasia, I'm sure there are techniques for getting books and movies to sink in more.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:25 pm

Morgana wrote:I forget if you have a Kindle, but if you do, it provides a kind of hybrid experience between intensive and extensive reading. You can use the pop-up dictionary in Italian to look up unknowns without slowing down too much in your reading.

I do have a Kindle, but I don’t use it for Italian. It's a good suggestion, and I remember you mentioning (I think if was you!) how useful the pop up dictionary was.

Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find a source for buying Italian ebooks (that's kindle compatible) besides Amazon, which I’m not willing to do anymore since with Amazon you don’t technically own the book, you’re leasing it with embedded DRM tracking/spying software, which I'm not ok with.

I use my Kindle for Polish ebooks I buy outright. It's kind of ridiculous that it's extremely easy to find several great sources for buying Polish ebooks, but nothing for Italian. I also use my kindle for English library books; I borrow about 20 at a time (often the original version of what I'm reading in translation) and then keep my device in airplane mode, so they don’t disappear when the 3 weeks expires. As far as I can tell, the pop up dictionary doesn't work in airplane mode, unless I'm doing something wrong (which is possible). So I’m stuck using actual paper books for reading in Italian.

Brun Ugle wrote:I think one thing that helps is to get a series, or at least several books by the same author.

This is really good advice. I don't have any or know of any series that I could read (besides Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, which I am reading). Additionally, I'm avoiding anything with passato remoto narration tense, so this greatly limits the books I can choose.

Brun Ugle wrote:It’s also a good idea to pick popular, beach-read types of books as they seem to have a simpler form of expression and vocabulary.


This is very true. I've found the worse books are written, the better they are for language learning.

Deinonysus wrote:Perhaps you have aphantasia?


I’ve never heard of this before, thanks for the link. It’s hard to decide if what’s happening in one’s mind is normal or not if it’s the only thing you’ve ever known. I don’t typically have trouble visualizing what’s happening in books, though I do have trouble picturing faces. I’m pretty sure that memory is my issue, since I have memory issues across the board in many areas, not just with books and movies.

******

Finished transcribing episode 2 of Lucifer in Italian!
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:39 pm

StringerBell wrote:As far as I can tell, the pop up dictionary doesn't work in airplane mode, unless I'm doing something wrong (which is possible). So I’m stuck using actual paper books for reading in Italian.
I have an oldish Kindle, I don't have this problem.

I think the newer Kindles use Google translate by default, if that's true buying a (kindle format) bilingual dictionary would solve your problem.

If you check your default dictionaries you may find you have a monolingual dictionary installed already that you could switch to just while you're using airplane mode, just to have something.

The dictionaries I've bought are the Collins concise ones for French and German. They're not comprehensive, but for me they have been good enough.

For German I think I will have the option of the Collins complete and unabridged dictionary in the near future, if so I'll probably go for that.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby Mista » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:55 pm

DaveAgain wrote:
StringerBell wrote:As far as I can tell, the pop up dictionary doesn't work in airplane mode, unless I'm doing something wrong (which is possible). So I’m stuck using actual paper books for reading in Italian.
I have an oldish Kindle, I don't have this problem.

I think the newer Kindles use Google translate by default, if that's true buying a (kindle format) bilingual dictionary would solve your problem.

If you check your default dictionaries you may find you have a monolingual dictionary installed already that you could switch to just while you're using airplane mode, just to have something.

The dictionaries I've bought are the Collins concise ones for French and German. They're not comprehensive, but for me they have been good enough.

For German I think I will have the option of the Collins complete and unabridged dictionary in the near future, if so I'll probably go for that.


It also works fine one mine, which is one year old. You do have to download the dictionary, though. I did this immediately, so I don't know how it works when you haven't, but for me, there are three windows when I use the look-up function. The first is the dictionary, which always works. The second is wikipedia, which requires internet access, and the last one is Google Tranlate (or something of the sort), which also requires internet. I assume that if you haven't downloaded a dictionary, you will only have the last two and be helpless in airplane mode. But I never had to buy a dictinary, there were a whole bunch of dictionaries freely available for download, including both monolingual and bilingual Italian.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:00 pm

Thanks, Mista and DaveAgain. I'll look into this. Even if I can't use it for Italian (due to lack of ebook access), it might come in handy for another language.

*****************************************

POLISH:

I've been really wrestling with what to do. I've been feeling extremely frustrated, and taking a break of a couple weeks didn't help (in fact, I'm worse than ever now; in my last LE I was struggling to come up with a handful of basic words and couldn't really even approach formulating a sentence. It was painful and I had to switch over to English after 10 minutes because even I couldn't follow what I was trying to say.

One minute I'm ready to admit defeat and give up; the next minute I'm thinking I need to do something huge like a million-hour LR challenge. I reread the Bow Wave article, and I decided that I'm going to take an extended hiatus. It's obvious that taking short (a few weeks) break doesn't help me in any language, so I'm going to try taking a longer break.

I've done this unintentionally in the past with Italian, and I did experience the results described in that article. After a year of spending 0% on Italian, when I finally returned to it I found that I remembered almost everything I'd learned previously and even made noticeable gains in speaking. I'm hoping this will apply to Polish, also.
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