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

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

Postby rdearman » Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:30 am

StringerBell wrote:I feel my will to deal with flashcard reviews draining away; it's a matter of time before I give up on it all together. I'm just hoping to get through the PMP book before I decide to delete everything.

Having a lot of decks is a false economy because anki doesn't calculate frequency across decks. You might want to look into Morphman. As far as running out of will to do the decks I have some advice.

"Eat the frog first". If you have something you are reluctant to do, then to that first thing! It means your day can only get better and the worst thing is out of the way.
"Make it a habit". My dog walking trick (e.g. do anki when walking the dog) made it a habit and habits do not require will power.
"Reward yourself". After you have eaten the frog, break of a small piece of chocolate and eat it, (assuming you like chocolate) this reward system will help make it a habit.
"Punish yourself". The carrot and the stick. The carrot was the chocolate reward, the punishment might be you don't allow yourself to eat, play a game, watch TV, other pleasant experience until the anki is done.
"Challenge yourself". Sign-up for the 10,000 SRS challenge on the forum to get through 10k cards in one year. (I did it in 7 months just walking the dog.)
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Mon Nov 11, 2019 12:20 am

Morgana wrote:Hopefully you're not approaching "several dozen" :lol: But just in case, I thought I'd give you a head's up.


As of now, I'm up to 18 and not noticing any problems. I probably will only make one more deck before I start deleting the ones that I feel satisfied I've practiced enough.

rdearman wrote:"Eat the frog first"
"Make it a habit"
"Reward yourself"
"Punish yourself"
"Challenge yourself"


Very good advice. So far, I've been trying to knock off a bunch every morning as soon as I wake up, but even making a habit of eating the frog first is becoming harder and harder to maintain. The punish myself thing doesn't work for me - I respond well to carrot, but never stick! :lol: As for challenge, I think my current transcription challenge is using up all my challenge capabilities at the moment. Ultimately, this flashcard review isn't something I have to do, so even if I give up on it soon, I think it's already served its purpose. I can always revisit particularly difficult grammar points in the future when I feel the need.

*********

ITALIAN:

I've got just 1 full chapter (on reflexive verbs) and a little bit of the end of Ch 14 left to go in the Practice Makes Perfect book. I'm tantalizingly close to being done with this book - it's been a hair shirt for the whole freaking year and I can not wait to be done with it!

I decided to only do Anki reviews for the decks I made specifically from PMP or a few other various grammar topics. I'm completely ignoring the decks of vocabulary I've made from various sources like books, articles, or TV shows. It's just too much to do it all right now. So my plan is to practice with the grammar decks I made, and once I feel like I have some kind of grip on them, delete them and maybe resume the vocabulary decks I made.

I finally got episode 6 of Lucifer corrected and posted. Episode 7 is still awaiting correction. I probably should have started on transcribing episode 8 this weekend since I had some time, but I really couldn't get started on it. I'm hoping to make some headway on it this week.

LATIN:

I'm halfway through the last chapter of Cambridge Unit 1. Unit 2 arrived in the mail the other day, but I'm going to hold off on it until after I've at least given Lingua Latina a fighting chance to steal my heart. I was thinking of revisiting Memrise Decks or doing a little Clozemaster for Latin (which I think exists) now that I have at least a little bit of a base in the language. This would just be a few minutes here and there, nothing serious. Not sure if this is a good use of time or not.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby lingua » Mon Nov 11, 2019 4:42 am

Yes, there is a Clozemaster for Latin. There are only a little over 6000 sentences. As a point of reference, Italian has well over 100,000.

What is it that you like about the Cambridge books? I'm not all that happy with any of the Latin texts that I have. I am probably going to buy the Lingua Latina books sometime next year.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:37 pm

lingua wrote:What is it that you like about the Cambridge books? I'm not all that happy with any of the Latin texts that I have. I am probably going to buy the Lingua Latina books sometime next year.


What I like about the Cambridge Unit 1 book:
1) The graded stories start out extremely simple and slowly become more complex as new words, case endings, or verb conjugations are introduced.
2) It feels like they put a lot of consideration into choosing phrasing so that it reinforces the point they are trying to teach (or something previously learned). For example, to reinforced verb conjugations, there might be a section like:

"I want 60 denarius for this toga."
"You want 60 denarios! No way. I offer you 10 denarios."
"You offer me 10 denarios! What an insult. I want 50 denarios."

By seeing "I want" right next to "you want" it reinforces the different verb conjugations in an effective way. Plus, seeing "you offer me" next to "I offer you" back to back reinforces how to say "to me" vs. "to you".

3) While I wouldn't call the graded stories riveting, they are interesting enough that I'm eager to keep reading them, and they occasionally even make me laugh out loud or fume silently - one story was about election fraud (there is an actual word in Latin specifically for the people whose job it is to bribe voters to support a specific candidate, and apparently it was not uncommon for people who weren't legally allowed to vote to pretend to be someone else in order to vote for a candidate so that they could accept this bribe. Man, Italy never had a chance.

4) The feeling I get from the book is that the stories drive the vocabulary introduced, not the other way around. A lot of very common vocabulary is introduced and learned effortless simply from encountering it repeatedly, but there is also some less-frequent vocabulary thrown in (like the words farm manager and peacock). It doesn't feel like someone took a list of the 1,000 most common Latin words then tried to create artificial stories based on those words (though who knows, that's probably what they did). It feels more like they tried to come up with simple stories based on every day life that just happened to use a lot of beginner vocab.

5) I like the way they teach grammar concepts; after a few stories there's a simple and short page that looks something like: "you probably noticed that certain words had x ending. This is because it's x declension. Below is a short table with 3 examples of how certain word endings change in x declension." Then these ending continue to be repeated in the following stories until they are fairly easy to identify. Even if I can't use the proper endings, myself, I can at least recognize these endings when I see them now. The book also does a good job at reminding you what the noun is in the nominative (regular dictionary form) case before introducing it in a changed format with a different case to reinforce the fact that the ending is changing and what it changes to.

for example:

"why are you headed into town," asks Holconius. "I need to get home," Caecilius tells Holconio. (<diff case ending)

6) I also like the way the book intersperses historical information of every day life in Pompei, which always has something to do with the short stories presented in the chapter. All of the short stories involve typical things that people in Ancient Rome would have done, which includes events that actually happened (like a riot in which people were killed)
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby lingua » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:08 am

Thanks you so much for taking the time to provide that much detail. I'm think you've sold me on it.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Tue Nov 12, 2019 2:09 am

lingua wrote:Thanks you so much for taking the time to provide that much detail. I'm think you've sold me on it.


You can probably find a good condition used copy of unit 1 on Amazon for fairly cheap (mine was ~$5). The only thing that was a little pricey was the audio CD, which doesn't have audio for every story, only about 1/2 of them - but they are done very well. I like having some audio because it helped me to hear the words in my head as I was reading. You might not care about audio, but if you do, I'd be happy to send you my audio CD since I converted the tracks to MP3 format and no longer need the physical CD. Brand-new they charge about $25 for the CD, which in my opinion is way too much, since each track is only ~2 minutes and they didn't do all the stories.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:43 pm

ITALIAN:

No progress on transcribing the last 3 episodes of Lucifer, but I did finally finish the Practice Makes Perfect book! I still have Anki reviews to do on what I entered recently, so I'm not technically done "studying" it yet. I deleted a few decks that I felt I'd practiced enough, so I think I'm down to ~12 decks even with the new ones added in the last few days. It was hard to delete those decks, because even when I keep getting cards right, I never really feel like I know them.

Overall, going through the book was useful; it cleared up some confusion and helped me to get a better grip on some grammar topics, but I don't feel like I've mastered everything - or even most - of what's in the book. I probably never will really be able to conjugate effortlessly no matter how much I drill and practice.

One huge weak point of mine that no amount of drilling/practice seems to improve is using the correct auxiliary verb (essere vs. avere) especially when making various past/future/conditional tenses. Verbs that require essere are a bit of a dumpster fire in the conjugation department.

And trying to use "piacere" in more complex situations (he likes her, they didn't like those books, etc...) is torture. My husband, who always defends Italian, even recently admitted that he thinks the Italian way of expressing "liking" something is unnecessarily convoluted. Somehow that felt like vindication even though it doesn't mean anything. Whether it's convoluted or not is irrelevant; it simply is this way and I have to figure it out somehow.

While writing this post, it occurred to me that Italy Made Easy has an 8-part video series on YT about using "piacere", so I should probably watch those videos because Manu explains grammar topics really well. Maybe I just need to have it explained a bunch of times until it finally clicks.

LATIN:

I finished doing scriptorium for Cambridge Unit 1! I simultaneously feel like I learned a lot and nothing at all. I continue to encounter English and Italian words never before seen (or I may have seen them, but not bothered to look them up, so just seeing them in context was not enough to know/remember what they meant - the dark side of extensive reading!) that I recognize from Latin, which is a pretty cool feeling, especially since I am such a beginner with Latin that I wouldn't have assumed the little I know would be useful for anything.

One Italian word I recognized from Latin was ingenti which I came across reading an article about the flooding right now in Venice. I'd never seen the word ingenti before, but "ingens" means huge in Latin, and apparently it's a higher-level word in Italian that means the same thing. In English, the word I came across was epistolary (or something similar) which I recognized from Latin because I recently read a story where a character was writing a letter (epistula) so I was right in assuming it had something to do with letter-writing.

Next step: Lingua Latina. Deep breath!
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Italian goal: transcribe 10 episodes of Lucifer : 10 / 10 Woo-hoo! Finally done
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby StringerBell » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:29 pm

ITALIAN:

I transcribed 25% of episode 8 yesterday. It was rough; multiple scenes where characters were talking over each other/simultaneously. I'm hoping to knock off at least another 25% today.

I've been doing 2 Italian exchanges per week with my LEP now for a few months; we continue to do spontaneous monologues on random topics for a few minutes, get feedback, and then redo them. This is proving to be quite effective and I wish we'd started this sooner.

ENGLISH:

Kindle tells me I'm 75% through Antifragile. It has turned out to be a really excellent book that has been replaying in the back of my mind throughout ever since I started reading it. While many of the things he mentions in the book aren't new to me, he does a fantastic job of tying everything together under the theme of becoming more robust in the presence of uncertainty/stress in a way that I never thought of before.

I've decided this book isn't a good candidate for reading in translation because of the vocabulary he uses (in many cases he kind of makes up words/uses them in novel ways to illustrate a point like "Procrustean" or "Extremestan". I feel this kind of language in translation just wouldn't work very well and might even be counterproductive. In flipping through one of his other books (The Black Swan), I realized it's a much better candidate to read/listen to in translation, so I'm going to go with that for my huge SC/R-L challenge starting in Jan.

A few months ago I watched this interview that Olly Richards did with Scott:

Scott became famous for his MIT Challenge, where he learned all the content of a 4-year MIT computer science degree on his own in 1 year using lectures/sample problems sets/tests/textboook lists from MIT courses that were freely available online. He has applied (and helped others apply) this kind of learning to various topics, including languages. After a failed immersion attempt in French years earlier, he decided to do a challenge he calls "The Year Without English" where he went to 4 different countries for 3 months each and attempted to speak that language from day (sounds like what Benny Lewis has done).

Ever since watching the interview, I've had this gnawing desire to read Scott's book, UltraLearning, so I finally ordered it and blew through it in 3 days. It was hard to put down until I reached the end. There was a lot of really useful practical information on what makes someone an UltraLearner (or really, just an effective learner in general).

I especially liked his emphasis on direct practice - actually doing the thing you want to learn rather than reading about how to do it or attempt to practice it in a way that doesn't resemble the skill in real life; the reason why people who only ever use apps like Duolingo typically don't learn to speak the foreign language - in real life, speaking a new language doesn't come with a limited multiple choice answer set that requires recognition of the right answer.

I didn't expect the book to have much that I didn't already know, but it was such an enjoyable and motivational read that it felt like that was irrelevant. I've been planning for a big challenge next year involving a lot more reading, writing, and output (the areas that I want to improve) and this book made me feel like I'm on the right track with the direction I'm planning to take. It also motivated me to learn other non-language related things that I've been wanting to learn about for some time but felt were out of reach.

POLISH:

I haven't talked about Polish in a while. I decided that in January I would start a SC/R-L challenge to try to make some headway with Polish but I can feel that there's still a heavy resistance to resuming this language. The main problem is that I feel convinced that I just can't do it - ironic, considering what I wrote about UltraLearning above. Interestingly, my listening comprehension for simple Polish is still not too bad (for instance, I have no trouble understanding what my grandmother is saying as she slips back and forth between English and Polish) and when my LEP is struggling to say something in English, she sometimes switches over to Polish, which I can almost always understand just fine. Understanding TV, though, is totally out of reach.

I know that I've lost a good chunk of the knowledge I had, but it's not completely gone and will probably come back without too much effort. The block is that I feel convinced that I just can't speak it. I'm not sure why this is such a sticking point and I'm not sure what I can do to get rid of this block. It feels like the more I try to psych myself up and feel motivated to give speaking another try the more resistant I feel toward doing it.

Interestingly, while I will probably always struggle with speaking Italian with ease, somehow Italian feels possible in a way that Polish doesn't. This could be due to the fact that as a Romance language, Italian is much more similar to English than Polish, but Italian grammar certainly isn't any easier. Maybe it's the fact that since it's my husband's native language I can't escape it - for many years I did have the feeling with Italian that I have now with Polish (I can't do it!) so this could just be a necessary stage I have to learn how to get through. I don't expect answers from anyone about it, I just wanted to see if writing out my issues with the language could help me get past them.
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Re: Polski & Italiano (+ Latin) Episode II: StringerBell Strikes Back

Postby cjareck » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:17 pm

StringerBell wrote: The block is that I feel convinced that I just can't speak it. I'm not sure why this is such a sticking point and I'm not sure what I can do to get rid of this block.

Let's take the reasons for the blockade - you are shy and do not believe in your own possibilities. Your level of Polish has no influence on that. So in such a situation, there is some liquid blockade remover ;) It is widely used by Polish native speakers or Russians, but please do not overdose it since side effects are dangerous.
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Postby Morgana » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:07 am

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