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

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

Postby IronMike » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:31 pm

StringerBell wrote:
IronMike wrote:Oh my crap (as DD #1 would say), I love edX and had no idea they had an Italian course. Signed up! Grazie mille!


I'd love to hear what you think of it!

I was thrown on this exercise. Ended up getting it right, but the system still told me I got it wrong.

Image

Did this happen to you much?
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:02 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:I had been thinking about doing that as part of the Peppa Pig Project. I thought it would be a nice collaborative effort and make Peppa Pig even more useful for learning languages. I found even just having transcriptions of some of the English episodes to be incredibly helpful and I thought it would be a good exercise to transcribe episodes in one’s target languages. And then those transcripts could help other students at an even lower level. Since the episodes are less than five minutes each and the rate of speech is fairly slow, it shouldn’t be too much work for the student to transcribe or for a native to correct.



This is a great idea!

IronMike wrote:Did this happen to you much?


Some of those drag and drops were a little glitchy for me, too. I think I had the same problem you did with the one you showed in the screenshot. Luckily, there aren't many drag&drop activities in the whole course, and I think at most there was only one other one that I had similar problems with.

I did have some issues with the drag&drops being finicky in general and I'd have to keeping dragging them in a slightly different way until they accepted to be in the right spot. I guess you get what you pay for! :lol:

*Also, be sure to do exactly what the directions say (ex: if it specifies to either use or not use punctuation, include or not include the subject, etc) otherwise it will mark all your answers wrong even if they are actually correct.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:07 pm

Transcription of Lucifer episode #3: DONE!

This 3rd episode felt noticeably easier than the first two. I'm still making mistakes, but definitely fewer than when I first started. In the first 2 episodes, I was making a lot of general grammatical/spelling errors. I still make some of those mistakes, but now my mistakes tend to be one of two types:

1) I don't use context and just write exactly what I hear but due to the actor slurring/swallowing words, it's not correct and I should have used context.

2) I do use context and write something slightly differently than what I heard, but it turns out that I heard it correctly and the context lead me to write something wrong.

I'm never really sure when to override what I hear and rely on context to figure out exactly what's being said. This is one of the most frustrating parts of this process.

I'm very curious to see if I will be able to make fewer and fewer mistakes with each episode, or if I'll hit a wall sometime soon and stop improving.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:13 pm

I realized today that it's taken me 12 weeks to transcribe 3 episodes of Lucifer. Ugh, that is way too much time. I've been doing a lot of other things in Italian and keeping this activity on the back burner for longer than I should.

I think that completing 1 episode every 2 weeks is reasonable so this is what I'm going to aim for. It means that it'll still take me 14 weeks to finish (mid December), but I don't want to embark on any of the new challenges I've been coming up with for myself until I complete this one, so I'm going to make this a priority as much as possible.

Later down the pipeline, I plan to do some kind of L-R challenge, so I've been slowly collecting resources. I bought an ebook from an Italian site but I can't open with without Adobe (which I'm not willing to run on my regular computer, since it's basically legal malware that collects data, so I'm in the process of figuring out how to create a virtual machine on my laptop so that I can run Adobe in a segregated OS without giving it access to my real OS.) Luckily, Calibre has been a big problem-solver for books I've bought through Amazon (thank you, RDearman for the suggestion), but it seems that the other sources for Italian ebooks can't even be accessed without using Adobe first so I have no way to even import them into Calibre without using Adobe. I'm not very tech savvy, so figuring this stuff out is a big headache for me, but based on the tutorials I've watched it shouldn't be too bad using Virtual Box.

I've been toying with the idea of creating my own writing challenge with a huge variety of writing activities. This is definitely not something I'd look forward to, and since it would require a lot of mental energy and stamina and writing is my worst skill in Italian so I'm not sure how realistic it would be to commit to doing it regularly. I'm finding it difficult to do even my 1 paragraph per day because doing a lot of transcription for a few days in a row meant that the next few days I just wanted something easy like watching a TV episode or relistening to an audiobook chapter. I think I'll be able to focus on writing more once the transcription challenge is done. I've still got a tiny bit of the edX course left, so I'll try to finish that up this week and revisit the part on verbi imperfetti until it finally sinks in or I give up on using it properly.

So for now, I'm going to try to think about my Italian activities as: do I have some mental energy?
1) If yes >>> transcribe Lucifer
2) if no >>> relax with Torbidi Delitti episodes
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby rdearman » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:17 pm

There is already a writing challenge. The Output Challenge is to write 50k words in 1 year in the target language. :)
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:29 pm

I got a big dose of motivation and transcribed a little more than 1/3 of episode 4 of Lucifer today. The hard part is getting started, but once I do I tend to get in a flow and I am capable of doing it for up to 1-2 hours. I now think that two weeks per episode might not be necessary. So my new goal is to crank out 1 transcription per week. Let's see if I can up my game!

I've been thinking about what I'd like to focus on next year. I need to do more reading, which for me is going to be some kind of combination of R-L and intensive reading to beef up my vocabulary. I can not stand reading where I'm trying to guess multiple words on a page from context because then the whole scene feels like it's covered in gauze and I don't trust that I actually understand what's going on. When I get to a point where there is ~1 unknown word per page, then I'll switch to extensive reading. I'm not ready for that yet.

I think if I alternate between R-L and intensive reading it might not be too awful. I'm thinking of doing it like this:

If I have an audiobook:
1st Pass: Listen to Italian audiobook, read English text
2nd Pass: Listen to Italian audiobook, read Italian text
3rd Pass: Read the Italian text intensively, looking up all unknowns

If I don't have a corresponding audiobook, I'll do:
1st Pass: Read a chapter in English, then the same chapter in Italian
2nd chapter: Read the Italian text intensively, looking up all unknowns.

Additionally, I'd like to focus on writing more. Reading intensively and writing are both pretty labor-intensive, so I'll have to figure out how to not burn myself out.

rdearman wrote:There is already a writing challenge. The Output Challenge is to write 50k words in 1 year in the target language. :)


Rather than strive for a certain number of words written, I'd like to focus more on getting into a habit of doing certain kinds of writing activities. So rather than counting words, I would have checklist for each type of thing I'd like to do every day.

I had in mind something like this:

SHORT ACTIVITIES TO DO EVERY DAY (in Italian):
1) Write 1 paragraph based on a prompt (get corrections)
2) Write ~one page journal entry recounting my day (get corrections)
3) Write at least one text message.
4) Do scriptorium with sentences that I got corrected from my journal entries or Lucifer transcripts I made.

LONGER, MORE COMPLEX ACTIVITIES TO WORK ON: Choose one option from the list below. Do at least 1 per week:

-Write a summary of something I watched, listened to, or read.
-Write a review of a book, movie, hotel, restaurant, etc…
-Write a letter of complaint to a company.
-Choose 5-10 new words from my Anki deck and write a silly story with them.
-Devil’s Advocate: Choose something that I have a strong belief about, then write about it from the opposite point of view.
-Write a story using as many idioms and clichés as possible.
-Write my autobiography starting in the past, continuing into the present, and ending with the future.
-Write a How-To article. Think of something I do everyday (like making coffee) and write a step-by-step article explaining how to do this thing in a very clear and concise way.
-Choose a random picture and write a description of it, using as many adjectives and sensory descriptions as possible.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Sun Sep 22, 2019 12:35 pm

Transcription of Lucifer episode #4: DONE!

I was able to get this episode done in 3 sessions of ~15 minutes of an episode each. I timed myself, and now it takes me 1 hour to transcribe ~7 minutes. This means transcribing the 45 minute episode took 6 hours. It still seems like it takes forever, but I'm pretty sure that it's going a little bit faster now than when I first started.

While transcribing episode 4, I learned that in Italian, "Fatti sotto!" = "Bring it on!" which I didn't remember coming across before even though I've watched these episodes in Italian already. It's amazing how easy it is to ignore the things that I don't understand even if I can get a general idea of what a character is saying from context. This is why I think intensive listening/reading is so much more effective for me; it forces me to deal with every single word or phrase that I'd otherwise gloss over.

I used "Fatti sotto!" during my LE. It made my LEP laugh and then he asked me how to say that same thing in English. I think this is my new favorite thing to say in Italian and I plan to say it whenever possible.

I've been listening to one of the recent interviews on Podcast Italiano where he interviews Steve Kaufmann in Italian. I know that it isn't one of his stronger languages, but I was excited to hear how he could speak. I have to say, it's quite a rough listen. I know that I make plenty of grammatical mistakes when I speak, so I tend to judge everyone else as speaking much better than me as a general rule, but even I was picking out mistakes in almost every sentence.

He threw in a lot of Spanish words, and often "Italianized" words rather than using the right word. (ex: he says: "la vacazione" instead of "la vacanza"). I often struggle with choosing the proper verb tense (especially between imperfetto and passato prossimo), but I noticed that he was using solely passato prossimo where he should have been using imperfetto. His sentence structures were very simple (no congiuntivo), and it kind of felt like he was steam-rolling (once he got started saying something, it was like he couldn't stop to listen/address something the other person was saying. I keep thinking, "Wow, if I'm picking out mistakes left and right, there are probably way more mistakes that I'm not even catching".

I don't want to give the impression that I'm criticizing him; in fact, I have a lot of respect for anyone who does a public TV/radio interview in a foreign language, especially one that isn't very strong. I don't think that I'd have the courage to do that. But it made me think that he has no problem saying that he "speaks Italian" while I feel like a fraud if I say the say thing. Why is that? (a rhetorical question, but you can propose ideas if you have them!)

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

Postby cjareck » Sun Sep 22, 2019 1:41 pm

StringerBell wrote:I don't think that I'd have the courage to do that. But it made me think that he has no problem saying that he "speaks Italian" while I feel like a fraud if I say the say thing. Why is that? (a rhetorical question, but you can propose ideas if you have them!)

I think that his attitude towards his abilities is crucial. If he considers himself fluent and advanced Italian speaker, then it is a problem. So this may be not a matter of courage but overconfidence and unawareness of own weak points. I would simply say at the beginning "please forgive me my Italian, I hope it will be understandable" and then it would be a matter of courage since everyone would know that it is difficult for me to speak in that language.

I studied for one semester in Potsdam and had to give a short speech there. I had it corrected by native speakers but had to present it to the professor and students. I said, sorry for my German; I will try to do my best. And the Professor replied, "Don't worry, I wouldn't be able to give such a speech in Polish." Even now, when I speak at the academic conference in a foreign language, I begin with such a disclaimer about my language capabilities.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby dampingwire » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:39 pm

StringerBell wrote:I've been listening to one of the recent interviews on Podcast Italiano where he interviews Steve Kaufmann in Italian. I know that it isn't one of his stronger languages, but I was excited to hear how he could speak. I have to say, it's quite a rough listen


It's certainly full of errors, but they are largely minor errors, none of which get in the way of communication (at least in the first 7 minutes that I actually listened too ...). He does acknowledge the limitations of his spoken Italian, so he knows he is making mistakes.

So he clearly makes mistakes but I don't think it's painful or difficult to listen to. Just be prepared for the occasional not-quite-Italian word.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:17 pm

I don't think SK thinks of himself as an advanced speaker; I've heard him say in older videos that Italian is a weaker language (although one that he does speak), and in the beginning of the interview, he mentions that he hasn't spoken it in a long time and is quite rusty.

Out of curiosity, I asked my husband to listen to a few minutes of the interview, just to see how he felt about it and whether I was being too critical. His take was that SK used so many Spanish words that it was annoying to listen to even though he could understand what SK was saying; if he knew that SK were a native Spanish speaker, then it wouldn't bother him as much. But somehow the fact that he was speaking a weird mixture of Italian-Spanish with other occasional non-Italian words thrown in felt more annoying to listen to than the fact he was messing up verb endings or making grammatical mistakes.

I found his take interesting, because I didn't realize SK was using as many Spanish words as he was (I recognized a few here and there but it turned out there was actually a lot more Spanish than I'd realized. In some cases I was assuming he was pronouncing Italian words in a wrong way, but since my husband knows Spanish he was able to rattle off a list of Spanish words that popped up in just a few minutes, like "disfrutar" which is a Spanish false friend; I'd assumed he was trying to say "sfruttare" and that was a sentence I couldn't really follow).

I don't know Spanish (though my husband has studied it in school and can understand it fairly well, so he was still able to understand even the Spanish words while I had to ignore those since I didn't know their meaning unless it was a word like "para" or "por"). When he said "sería" instead of "sarebbe" I assumed he was trying to say "serie" since he was talking about watching shows on Netflix, which was another sentence that didn't quite make sense to me. It might be that since I don't know Spanish, all those Spanish words are a part of what annoyed me so much.

We had an interesting conversation about what does or doesn't bother a native speaker when listening to a non-native speak their language. His position was that knowing someone's native language means that you expect and forgive certain kinds of mistakes but when it seems like someone is just throwing together words from different languages hoping they'll stick, it's more irritating and as a listener he feels less forgiving. Sort of like when people say "if you speak one Romance language then you can speak them all" which we know isn't true.

As an English speaker, I don't think I can relate to that experience. I've never heard a Chinese person speaking English with a bunch of German thrown in (though I imagine the novelty of hearing that would outweigh the annoyance!) I wonder how common/annoying it is for foreigners to speak Polish with Czech or Russian or Ukrainian mixed in if they aren't native speakers of one of any of those Slavic languages. Or a non-Scandinavian person speaking a mixture of Swedish and Finnish?

I asked if it was as annoying to listen to me as a beginner (or now) speaking Italian while making mistakes, and the feedback I got was "no" because when I spoke Italian, I spoke Italian. I wasn't speaking a mixture of Italian and some other language. At the worse I let maybe one or two non-Italian words every few days slip into a sentence, but it was so minimal that it was funny rather than annoying. I guess when it happens in almost every sentence it's not funny anymore. So maybe this is something that can bolster my confidence about speaking: Hey, I'm making mistakes but at least I'm only messing up one language, not two at the same time! :lol:
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