Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

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Expugnator
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Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:53 pm

A Happy New Year to Everyone!

After 2018's Sustainable Dabbling, this year I'm going to work especifically on making my learning process more efficient, solid and rational. I'm not planning on delving into any cramming sessions, rather on filling in the gaps so that I can finally advance in long pursuited languages. I'm also looking forward to making a better use of my learned languages, even more so than teaching them. Being able to reach C2 in a handful of languages and then teach them to Brazilians is a lifetime goal, but I want to be sure to make use of other opportunities knowing foreign languages grant; I'm going to seize those opportunities myself, which includes doing extra work on a few languages if those sound promising. I will not demise any of my new languages and I'll keep aiming for diversity in my choices - I've just started an Amerindian language. I'll just aim for more balanced learning portfolio and schedule now.

Whoever followed my 2018 log noticed that I wasn't that much keen on reaching goals, even if I did have some major breakthroughs. This year I want to be less strict on my daily schedule (or at least I'll try to, knowing beforehand my completionist self is hard to win against) and I want to be flexible enough to adopt situational resources that will help me push forward my skills. This reasoning has come after years of saying that I need to review/go in depth through specific materials for languages such as Estonian and Georgian as well as get my islands done for most of them...and then doing nothing at this respect.

Time has been even more critical, as I can't help but keep adding new languages. This makes sustainable dabbling an even more strategic card, especially what I've been calling pure dabbling through Clozemaster. I've been doing Turkish, Czech, Catalan, Finnish, Esperanto, Icelandic and Romanian at this category and I've just added Hungarian (after noticing it has groupings now) and Swedish to the mix, and I must say it's been a lot of fun with consistent results even.

On the other hand, time spent on app-learning - even those with an Espartan interface such as Clozemaster - has remained one of my main distractions and hindrances to reaching a personal goal of reserving at least 2 hours a day for working on personal projects. I'll keep aiming for that, not only chronologically but also in terms of quality time. I've already noticed some improvement in terms of attention and readiness - when I started my translations early last year, I'd have to keep 1 day for each text (I was doing English and French). Towards the end of the year, I was successfully reserving the final two hours of my daily routine in order to get it done, instead of just spending two days with no language study which is always a source of sufferance for me.

Being flexible involves not getting absolutely everything at the same order every day. I'm just rereading last year's first post and I saw that promised this to myself already and failed. I have no idea what else can help me with this other than strong willpower into habit changing - I should also say I need to stay away from the 'more input' trap which means whenever I have more free time I simply do more input in any given language instead of doing something different and more active, language-related or not. Anyway, I'll give this a try again. That might include replacing my 10-min French film with writing an island once in a while; same goes for Georgian soap opera. I should even go as far as doing no Spanish reading for a day and working on reviewing an Estonian textbook instead. Taking care of all this while avoiding making my schedule even more complex - like alternating every-other-day activities for over 15 languages, I really can't do this to myself - will be one of my challenges for 2019. I've gone so far as to writing a list of 'next best', which is watever most urging task I should do whenever I noticed I had more time to spend on a given day, and that included output, reviewing, non-language projects and such, but I kept this as a draft file on an email account and never got the habit of looking at it. Maybe a physical stick post would do. I've proven to myself that I can stick to a schedule in an effective way and I'm keen at reaching smaller goals, but now comes the challenge of integrating not so repetitive or passive activities into the mix to allow for language-wise and personal growth.

Sometimes just switching activities helps with efficiency. I start the morning with tasks that aren't that much practical to start running: the Estonian soap opera involves opening double subtitles; the Mandarin L-R means opening the browser with Mandarin text, the translation and then the audio on my phone; not to mention the enormous time the computer takes to open, while I play Papiamento news on the background. I might think about ways of starting with more practical, ready-to-go tasks, even if I'm still a bit reluctant to remove these two tasks from the best-quality-time slots, i,e. the first thing done in the morning.

Enough wandering, now for individual languages:

English
I want to study at least two important grammar books. Whatever tutoring I do is rather consulting than actually teaching, but I do want to get better at understanding how the language works as well as fill in some gaps. I have no specific writing goals and I won't promise any static posts until I am comfortable enough for doing them, but miracles can happen. No listening goals either, though I should give some series a try in their native release.

French
I'm not really in the mood for studying French grammar, really. I'd like to make my speech even more spontaneous and less bookish. Maybe writing a bit more to friends.

Papiamento
I'm happy with my progress so far and I don't foresee any speaking opportunities. No changes in the daily schedule then, but I do want to go through the Spanish edition of Papiamentu Textbook so as to prepare me to write learning material one day.

Spanish
Now I claim I can speak it, even if still rather portuñolish. I want to use it for laddering: asking questions about Guarani in the Spanish WP group. I won't set any goals for starting to watch a series, they will remain an off-schedule activity, but I'll try.

Italian
I'm happy with the audiobook part; wish I had more reading time, but like Spanish it comes down to finding absolute must-reads; reading a novel just because it's in Italian is no efficient use of time. I will keep watching series as an off-schedule activity and maybe seek some paragraph correction. I might alternate the audiobook with German, Norwegian and English, though.

Norwegian
No specific goals here other than to keep improving. My active skills haven't skyrocketed but they are there. I still have room to improve on listening. I need to be more present while doing activities in Norwegian, as it is the language where my mind tends to wander, together with Georgian. I also have a material writing lifelong goal but nothing concrete.

German
Activate or lose. I'm happy about reaching my reading goal, but in order to be able to claim I can speak it I need to be able to say a good deal of stuff. That means learning actively some conversational chunks, I might need to write some islands as it's still hard to produce the German word order. No specific goals for listening or reading as the audiobook test might still be a bit challenging (which is valid for Norwegian as well).

Mandarin
Activate or die, to a lesser extent (or not, depending on the opportunities). It's not the first time I realize that not practicing output is hindering my input comprehension as well. I need to be able to use some chunks that will then sound obvious and transparent from input material. I want to keep reading intensively, and the Slow Chinese podcast might be a better option than Yabla at this respect, but then...completionism.

Georgian
I feel I am improving but unlike German and Mandarin I'm not sure what to focus on. I can converse surprisingly better than in German and I got most of my islands done. Maybe writing is the key again, though I should also remain more focused when reading in parallel, so as to finally get to know some frequent words I keep overlooking. Before I forget: I need to review verbal morphology once and again, will probably use Basic Georgian as a start. It's something I've been postponing for years but now I've finally lived enough in the language to actually manage it efficiently.

Russian
It's more of a side language now. I'm not really looking forward to speaking that much, rather to reach some sort of basic reading fluency (which used to be my goal in German for the past years). I might not be that far and I might be on the right track as long as I stick to actual comprehensible input in the form of translated novels.

Estonian
This needs to get somewhere and it won't unless I do some grammar, whether drilling or just reading about it. I have had some important practice at Speakly.me but I need to reach the textbooks again. I'm a member of a WP group now so output is starting to turn into reality. Reading basic fluency is no utopical goal at all as I've always learned it more quickly than Russian, but for this I'll just stick to what I'm doing, 1 page a day, 2 if it gets easy enough.

Modern Greek
I need to review the main verbal forms. Clozemaster has been helping a lot, but maybe just re-reading some grammar will do most of the job. I don't need that much morphology that I do for Estonian and Georgian in order to progress, as Greek simply seems more intuitive. What I need is to get more active with the language, and WP groups might come in handy. So, a textbook or grammar is lined up but other than that just stick to listening-reading which is helping enough.

Hebrew
I'm happy with progress so far. I'm not advancing with textbooks that have turned unproductive just for the sake of completion, and that alone has been responsible for my sustainable progress in Hebrew. I want to keep doing dialogue-based textbooks while addressing some morphology to the side, as I get more comfortable with vocabulary. Like I said before, it's pointless for me to try and understand a grammar rule when I don't know the vocabulary behind it, the resulting sentence thus communicates too little for the learning to take place effectively. Watching TV with double subtitles is an off-schedule goal.

Indonesian
Clozemaster will take the lead at this as the textbooks bore me to death, their learning curves being all too steep. I have to make the main words stick before I can venture other things, though watching series with subtitles in Indonesian might help tackle the register issues. I'm a bit skeptical about seeing a breakthrough at this, but one never knows.

Guarani
Finally turning to the Southern Hemisphere. Swahili will have to wait, though (it wouldn't if it were on Clozemaster). I'm seizing the great opportunity of being on a WP group where native speakers keep chatting and translating and one of them goes to the extent of recording the many bilingual anthologies and posting the audio, thus creating simple, direct, XXI-century-made listening-reading materials. I never though I'd be so blessed in terms of materials for Guarani. Like I said, I want to learn as much from this set of factors and then just keep it slowly. The beginning will be tough as the grammar is rather challenging, agglutinative to the extent that you lose sense of word boundaries, but the joy of learning another language from a country I've visited, one that feels so close to home and even to the Brazilian old Tupi and Nheengatu, will make up for all that, I hope.

Prospects
None other than the usual suspects. All my pure dabbling languages mentioned above, plus Swahili. I really don't foresee adding any languages now, though. As with Russian and my struggle not to add a second Slavic language, I'll have to try hard to keep Hebrew my only Afro-Asiatic one, as Syriac and Arabic are tempting.

So that is it, this year I'm not tracing any audacious goals and I really expect to consolidate my existing languages all while enjoying the learning process through discovering more about other parts of the world in the form of good audiovisual and literary content.

Just a little disclaimer: I'm posting this today while chilling at my hometown at my parents' house, but real learning only starts next Monday, then halts on Tuesday, to resume on Wednesday. Meanwhile, I've been working agressively on app-learning.

I'm really looking forward to another year of sharing learning experiences and enriching our friendship here at LLORG!
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Expugnator
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:24 pm

I'm going to keep here the list of materials off-schedule that I want to work on more detailedly in 2019. Last time I did it was in 2017 and it was mostly a list of native materials, and it might work more like a to-do list.

Estonian
Basic Course in Estonian
Estonian Textbook
Glossika Estonian

Papiamento
Hablemos Papiamento

Georgian
Basic Georgian

Hebrew
Méthode d'Hébreu (CD-ROM)

Mandarin
Intermediate Mandarin by Hippocrene

English
Gramática Prática da Língua Inglesa: O Inglês Descomplicado
Advanced Language Practice

Modern Greek
Hugo's Greek In Three Months

French
Préparer le DALF C1 et C2

(To keep being edited).
Last edited by Expugnator on Mon Mar 25, 2019 4:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Expugnator
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:53 pm

These holidays I did a lot of Clozemaster and less Duolingo and Speakly.me. I'm happy with the overall result. Less so for my older languages with huge decks, and more for the dabbling languages. I've finally added Hungarian (which has the sublevels now) and Swedish (impressive how similar it sounds to Norwegian but the prosody, to the extent that I can do text input already at level 1). I'm learning much from Finnish, Czech and Romanian from Clozemaster only, I am no longer a beginner in those languages. Even Turkish is starting to click.

So here I am for the first day of studies in 2019 (which will then have a break for tomorrow as I will be busier). Some changes in the routine that will impact directly in my available study time are already taking place.

First of all, I'm probably not coming here one hour before actual starting time as has been the case most of the days. The girls are going to a new kindergarten which is close to home, so I'll come here at the usual time which means 1 hour less of actual study.

Second, I'll be driving here both in the morning and in the afternoon. That means the end of my commute reading. More time for audiobook, on the other hand. I think dividing noon listening into two slots - one when leaving and another one when coming back - would be counterproductive, having to manage 4 audio sources (Argentinian podcast, Italian audiobook, French audiobook when going home and now a fourth one). Instead, I'll learn to live with the fact that Italian audiobooks will get done much faster now and thus I'm going to throw English, Norwegian and maybe German in the mix.

At the first day it was hard to get back into the rhythm. I got distracted and had to skip all the stand-alone reading: non-fiction, Italian and Spanish. Will probably do it tomorrow as I won't study proper but there will be waiting time involved.

I have some impressions to share on individual resources and on individual languages on Clozemaster as well, but now it's time for some app-learning. That also gives me time so I can reflect a bit more upon it.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:38 pm

Expugnator wrote:(...)Swedish (impressive how similar it sounds to Norwegian but the prosody, to the extent that I can do text input already at level 1).


What resources do you use?
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Expugnator
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:51 am

So far only Clozemaster. Swedish is one of the languages I labeled as "pure dabbling", where I'm only using Clozemaster from the beginning/earlier levels.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Adrianslont » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:47 am

Expug, did you have an Indonesian series with subs in mind? And a source for that series?

I’m asking because I would be interested in a good series with subs.

Finding Indonesian movies with Indonesian and English subs is easy enough - if you go to Indonesia or live in my part of Australia (local library is a source). And I have Thomas cartoons with accurate subs and Tintin cartoons with okay subs that I bought in Indonesia - but a series has been elusive. I would love to have subs for something like Tetangga Masa Gitu.
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Expugnator
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:14 pm

Adrianslont wrote:Expug, did you have an Indonesian series with subs in mind? And a source for that series?

I’m asking because I would be interested in a good series with subs.

Finding Indonesian movies with Indonesian and English subs is easy enough - if you go to Indonesia or live in my part of Australia (local library is a source). And I have Thomas cartoons with accurate subs and Tintin cartoons with okay subs that I bought in Indonesia - but a series has been elusive. I would love to have subs for something like Tetangga Masa Gitu.


Sorry if I wrote it as to give you the wrong impression. I'm not aiming for any Indonesian series now and I know none in fact. What I had in mind was just downloading subtitles in Indonesian for American series in English and reading those subtitles alongside. It worked for Estonian at an A2ish, even if it misses the audio. So it might help me get exposed to a more colloquial register.

-----------------------------------
I ended up not being so busy yesterday, but not doing regular studies proved to be the right decision in the end - it would have just added extra stress. I did all of my planned app learning. I'm finally starting to get the hang of Guarani grammar even with Duolingo's cumbersome sentences.

As for Clozemaster, I have some impressions to write on every single language, but that would take too much time and end up boring. Overall, I'm happy with the progress in the languages I've only used Clozemaster for so far. Intensive reading at its best. I even manage to understand grammar from this exposure, but this only because I've already learned different types of grammar. Getting to a Hungarian deck having learned only Romance/Germanic languages would probably mean a dead end in terms of remaining clueless about syntax.

Today I had some time in the morning to start doing some Clozemaster before the girls woke up, but not long.

I'm done with the italian audiobook. Chick-lit, a bit cheesier than I can stand but great language exercise as it evolves around daily life (why do those French and Italian authors think people can only have a life full of changes in New York?). I plan to stick to buying my audiobooks at Emons.it. They have good prices and their catalog keeps being enriched on a weekly basis. Today I checked it again and so many books have come -up, including non-fiction. Books there are cheaper than individual purchases on Audible, and I'm not suitable for an Audible subscription anyway given that I spend over a month in either French or Italian audiobooks I listen to. Anyway, this time I'll be doing a classic from Librivox, Canne al Vento. It has older vocabulary, more poetic, but sounds good so far.

I've reached the crossover episode on Flash so I've put it on old in order for it to catch up with its siblings from CW/DC. Therefore, I've started the second season of You Are Wanted. Native series, yay! The good news is that the German and Portuguese subtitles match directly and I don't have to keep tweaking the delay as I do with my Flash release.

I'm still adjusting to the usual rhythm. January is a slower month, many people are still on holidays, so things go slowly less traffic, little work, intense heat. My studies at the desktop are not subject to that rhythm, though. So, when I get down to studying I have to get into full rhythm. Studying on a calmer day tends actually to be more intense than when I'm busier with other things and take some pauses. To add to that, today I resumed my reading - 20 pages non-fiction whatever easy language, 3 pages Italian, 10 pages Spanish. As a consequence, I felt tired suddenly when I finished the dubbed Georgian series and was about to start the weaker languages Modern Greek, Hebrew and Indonesian. I thought I'd just get mentally blocked all of a sudden and I was already planning on a strategy for taking a break of a quarter of hour, maybe listening to music, and resuming with a sharper mind. It wasn't necessary, though; much of it thanks to my visible improvements in Greek. I'll explain: I was getting ready for struggling through 5 pages of listening-reading, but since my comprehension has improved I finished those pages not feeling that much tired. Then I went for the next task, 1 page of parallel reading in Estonian (which I admit I didn't do intensively enough today, as I didn't paste the text into Pastebin for looking up individual words). Going through a faster task brought me the pace I needed for going on.

Then came Langenscheidt Hebrew. Like other Hebrew resources, this book also takes away the teaching clutches all of a sudden, way too soon. The texts simply got bigger and they removed the transcription. I was expecting to move slowly through the paragraphs, only to realize that thanks to my previous studies there weren't that many new words. I'm still upset about not having transcriptions as Hebrew can be read incredibly fast and I can't make out word boundaries the way I do with more advanced languages such as French and Norwegian yet. Well, then I was blessed with having less grammar afterwards in the lesson, unlike tomorrow, and I could go through the lesson peacefully.

Now Indonesianpod101 which also had a longer dialogue. To my relief, I have a larger vocabulary now as well as a better command of the Indonesian syntax. I didn't have to spend a lot of time checking which words translate to which (this is my main struggle with a new language even when I have a parallel text, something we usually can't be fully aware of when learning similar languages to our own where the number and position of words in a sentence matches almost perfectly most of the times). I attribute my improvement in Modern Greek, Indonesian and Modern Hebrew to my intense work on Clozemaster during vacation. I didn't learn bulks of vocabulary but it put me into a better position for learning, more accostumed with the languages. Something that usually takes longer at my other resources.

Learning the names of animals in Guarani. I'm impressed at how many of them are simply alternate names for the same animals in Brazilian Portuguese; and I've mostly regarded those alternate names as different species of a generic animal! For example we have sapo cururu while kururu is the generic word for toad; we have teiú which is the Guarani word for lizzards; not to mention the generic word for animals such as fish being used in the name of many species of fish.

It was a productive day, just not long enough, and I didn't have many interruptions. I'm not exactly benefiting from the reduced study time and I might need some re-working of everything.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Adrianslont » Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:04 pm

Thanks for the reply Expug. Regarding Indonesian series and subs I wasn’t sure if I had understood you correctly - i was just being really hopeful!

Your idea of using indo subs for English series is interesting. I’ve never tried it and don’t know if they use colloquial register in their translations.

Certainly there is plenty of colloquial language in many movies and all recent indo movies have accurate indo subs if you can get your hands on legal dvds. The cartoons are in a much more standard register.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:00 pm

Finished the film Oscar, another comedy starring Louis de Funés. Now for something a bit more recent, Les Trois Frères.

Audiobooks in Italian are one of my passions. Not a work in progress in my studies, rather an ability already added to my list. I'm enjoying the classic novel so far and really looking forward to it or any upcoming ones. Just listening to the language and enjoying well-read audiobooks is a source of joy, no learning stress at all. I should get back to the podcast once in a while as well, as it's harder than any audiobooks.

Having a good time with reading Russian translated novels. Far from a breakthrough, but at least I'm noticing considerable improvement this time. The novel itself is rather boring but it does its job.

Still feeling too tired after reading in three languages in a row (English, Italian, Spanish, total 33 pages). Maybe it's best to move one of the reads to another point in the schedule.

I'm happy because I'm studying from Assimil L'Hébreu (old edition) now. I'm solving many doubts regarding vocalization and really consolidating the main words.

I got busy because I decided to take part in my former radio program and talk about Paraguayan music in Guarani. Much app-learning to catch up with in the evening.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:27 pm

I lost some streaks on Clozemaster plus Duolingo and Speakly.me yesterday. It was worth it, as I spent the time producing and then recording the radio program about music in Guarani. It was much fun and I got to present relevant and interesting information. Looking forward to going more often to the radio for taking part in the recording sessions of my old program.

Girls overslept once again and so i could do some Clozemaster as well as Duolingo Guarani early in the morning. Duolingo has its many flaws - starting from the register, in the case of the Guarani course - but the way the sentences are being introduced is really helping with grammar, given my background. It's taking me longer to get used to its postpositional syntax than it was in Estonian and Georgian because the words for postpositions are rather lengthy in Guarani and many are stand-alone ones. I am still at that stage where I don't have enough vocabulary and knowledge on morphology to be able to spot which word class a word belongs to on-the-go, so decyphering the sentence takes time. From the point of view of verbal morphology, things get way more agglutinative than Georgian, which leads to huge words. And yet I'm happy with progress so far. I might learn Guarani faster than Indonesian at this rhythm, maybe even take less time than Hebrew.

I got side-tracked and frustrated in the morning. There was a really cheap flight from here to Milan for next February. Really cheap. As much as I paid for taxes for my car. If family constraints wouldn't impede, I'd then travel alone and probably flight from there to another destination as I've been to Italy. One can never dream so much.

Time wasn't enough for everything once again. Let's see how next week comes along.
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