General language log

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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu Jan 14, 2021 6:32 am

I’ve been noticing a pattern with my studying. If I watch an episode of a show in Hebrew I probably won’t study Icelandic and vice versa. I think this works because there isn’t all that many shows I’m into at the moment. So there’s only so many episodes I can watch. I’m still debating about whether studying Icelandic is a good idea right now.

When I was watching some Hebrew YouTube videos I got recommended a Finnish video for whatever reason. I seem to get recommended videos in all sorts of random videos for some reason. I watch Hebrew videos on a separate account. When I tried an Israeli VPN I also noticed a few videos being recommended in random languages such as Swedish.

I watched that video for fun. For some reason I find Finnish clearer sounding than Icelandic. I know way less Finnish words, but I was able to hear quite a few words I do know. It wasn’t a blur of sound. Just a sea of words I don’t know with a few words I know sprinkled in. Kind of like Hebrew used to be for me. I couldn’t understand what was going on, but I feel like with language learning I’m getting better at understanding with more knowledge gaps.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:17 am

There’s an Icelandic word that’s been bugging me for a while. The word is enginn. I had a feeling it was some sort of negative word. I wasn’t sure if my brain was inventing that word or not. Mainly because there’s a Hebrew word that is ein which is also a negative word. I could hear one sentence playing in my head over an over again, but the word didn’t turn out to be enginn. It was eigin which means one’s one. So not a negative word. I thought I was going nuts. Today I came across an anki card that contained the word enginn. The word means no one, nobody, nothing. So it is a negative word and I didn’t make it up. Don’t you just love it when you mix up completely unrelated languages?
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:01 am

I think I’ll put Icelandic on a pause. One reason I started it was because I was getting bored. Now that I have school, I don’t have that problem anymore. Another reason is that as much as I like studying Hebrew, I don’t really feel much of a connection to Israel. I think this has to do with being intermediate in a language. I have to remember that I can still enjoy a culture or language without being connected to it. I think finding more and more media helps with this feeling.

I also find that Icelandic interferes with time I could be using to be watching tv shows in Hebrew. At the time I got back into Icelandic I wasn’t really into any shows in Hebrew. I recently got to a high enough level to be able to enjoy shows in Hebrew. I still don’t watch shows without pausing, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying shows anymore.

I think it might also have to do with finding shows that interest me in the first place. I think I just got to the stage where interest starts to improve comprehension. I think when you’re late beginner or early intermediate it makes less of a difference. As a late beginner finding content I understood at all was more important than finding content that interests me. That often meant I had to pick predictable and repetitive podcasts. I think the novelty of understanding a new language can make up for less than interesting content. I think that’s where motivation to learn the language itself comes in.

Studying Icelandic made me realize how much I speak to myself in Hebrew in my head. I often end up wanting to do the same in Icelandic. As you can imagine things don’t go too well. I think languages that that are in the upper beginner and intermediate stage take up a lot of mental space. I think when you’re a true beginner things don’t stick enough to take up much mental space.

Being consistent with Icelandic was also challenging. If I studied Icelandic too late at night it would take over my mental space too much. So in the morning I would notice that it’s harder to focus on Hebrew podcasts. When I noticed that issue I tried to study Icelandic at around 6-8 pm. Not for two hours, but any time I feel like during that time range. That sort of worked, but that forced me to watched Hebrew shows at 9:00 or 10:00 pm.

Watching Hebrew tv shows late at night isn’t a good idea. They kind of hype my mind up because I have to work hard to keep up with the pace and/or I find the plot exciting. Podcasts had the opposite effect because they’re slower paced, weren’t super interesting and at one point challenging for me to understand. Now podcasts don’t challenge me in that way. Sometimes I won’t be able to understand the subject matter very well, but that doesn’t make me sleepy anymore.

That was another reason I wanted to learn Icelandic. I wanted to be able to fall asleep to podcasts again. I can do it with French, but French starts to annoy me after a while. I later found out I can get the same effect by reading a book in Hebrew or even a challenging book in English. I think the key to falling asleep is doing something slow, but challenging.

Another reason I wanted to study Icelandic was because I wanted to see how successful repetitive listening would be for other languages. I chose Icelandic because I notice my reading is a lot stronger compared to my listening. I definitely noticed progress within one or two months, but it wasn’t as quick as my progress in Hebrew. Possibly because I was starting from a lower level in listening. It seems like the higher your level, the quicker you progress. As my level in Icelandic got higher I think the improvements got quicker.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:43 am

I’m noticing quite a bit of progress for my reading level in Hebrew. While my reading isn’t great, I no longer feel illiterate. For a while I felt practically illiterate, especially when I encountered unknown words. Now I’m sort of familiar with what an unknown words might sound like and mean. That was my goal for 2020. I think one thing that helped me was to have Hebrew definitions on my anki cards and making myself read them. At first I looked up all the words. Eventually I sort of started getting lazy since I already had an idea of what the words meant. I sort of just got used to reading words without knowing how they’re pronounced. Now I can read articles without looking up a whole lot words. My goal for this year is to just start reading articles on topics I’m interested in. I also browse the online bookstore a lot. Even if I don’t buy any books, I get plenty of reading practice just by browsing.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:13 am

Right now looks like a good time to immerse more in Hebrew. I’ve been having more anxiety and I notice my OCD obsessions and compulsions are returning. Things are not good. I’ve already been watching more Hebrew shows due to anxiety. It seems like my fluency has shot up. Maybe due to adrenaline. I’m not sure. Sadly that site is down. I think I’ll buy some ebooks and read them whenever I feel like doing my compulsions. Since my anxiety about my OCD is so bad, I suddenly don’t care as much about not fully understanding something. Maybe I’ll even start doing shadowing and even start doing some speaking exercises.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Mar 17, 2021 6:32 am

Reading books in Hebrew is an interesting experience. I just bought a book about a boy who has to the USA and learn English. When the book specifies that they’re speaking in English it actually takes effort for me to imagine it as English.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:09 am

I finished my first book in Hebrew. I’m not great at keeping track of things, so I don’t exactly remember when I finished it. I didn’t end up finishing the first Hebrew book I bought. The plot just ended up being too childish. I still think I improved my reading from that book. It’s hard to find good books with nikkuds(vowels). The book I ended up finishing didn’t have them. The book I finished was about an Israeli family moving to the United States. The book is aimed at children learning to read. Overall the book was manageable, but there was a few parts I struggled to understand. A lot of times it was things I wasn’t interested in anyways.

Right now I started a new book. It’s a bit harder, but it seems more interesting. I’m trying out different approaches. The approach I’m trying right now is reading the book and highlighting words I’m not sure about. Afterwards I tried to look up all the words I highlighted. I found that pretty tedious with the particular app I’m using. I think maybe I’ll only look up the words which I’m most curious about. At the moment I seem to be somewhere in the 90-95% comprehension range. Which is okay for language learning, but not the most comfortable.

I’ve been trying to think of what level I need my Hebrew to get to before I can study other languages. One person said that if you can understand 98% of a Netflix show without subtitles and can read a young adult novel without much strain you can move on. I think I also want to make sure I can find books and other media that I really enjoy.

Even though I can’t study Icelandic right now, I’ve been thinking more about how I’ll study it. I know that when I first study it I’ll focus a lot on listening. I’ll probably do one or two hours of subs2srs to sharpen my ear. Another thing I’ll probably do is listen to podcasts for maybe 10-20 minutes a day even if I don’t understand them. I’m doing this because one of my issues with listening comprehension is that the sounds might be sharp, but I don’t quite have the stamina or attention span.

Another thing I’ll do is focus more on grammar. At least enough grammar to make it easier to look up words. One issue is that it’s very hard to look up words since the dictionary is finicky about which form of the word you use. I also notice I get 10-20 definitions of a word sometimes. I suspect those are high frequency words. I think to practice grammar I might make a sentence card with a definition and the dictionary form in the back. I think once my listening is decent I will take advantage of how easy it is to read a European language.
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:33 am

I have been noticing improvements in my ability to watch tv shows. I’m sort of at the frustrating point where it’s hard to know if I made true progress or I just have a higher energy level. It still doesn’t feel completely natural to watch tv shows, but at least it’s enjoyable. It definitely feels like it’s another language. I no longer feel the need to constantly pause or look up words.

I’ve also been noticing it’s getting harder to find words or phrases to add to anki. One reason is because I’m just finding less unknown words, but another reason is because a lot of the “unknown” words seem like words I should be able to guess or at least remember them after only looking them up once. A lot of words in Hebrew are very similar to each other and have similar meanings. It’s just the way the grammar works. I think as I’m watching more and more tv shows I’m getting quicker and just processing the grammar.

Before I noticed a lot of truly unknown words, but now it seems like I’m mostly getting tripped up by grammar. It makes it hard to decide whether I should make an anki card or not. Some of the words I trip up on just seem super easy to remember after I look them up and think longer about what the sentence means. When I read more books I think I have more opportunities to come across truly unknown words.

For now I thought of an approach for reading books. When I read something for the first time I just highlight words I’m unsure about in yellow. I think I should start highlighting phrases as well. Afterwards I can go through the words I highlighted and look them up while rereading the context. If I get it I change the color to blue. If I don’t get it I change it to red. Once in a while I’ll highlight some phrases in green if I previously didn’t get them, but understood them after looking words up and analyzing it.

I think it’s a good compromise between extensive and intensive reading. It also makes it less tedious to reread things since I’m only re-reading things I actually had trouble with. I can also just go through the list of things I’ve highlighted and quickly see the context. So I can often remind myself of what a word means without looking it up again.

I’m still having a hard time deciding when I should study Icelandic again. I just know I can’t study it now. It really broke my focus. Even though dabbling in French or Finnish didn’t do much. Maybe because Icelandic is closer to being intermediate than I think. It’s really weird how much it interrupts me compared to other languages. I miss studying it. It sort of feels like I’m cut off from a part of myself.

All I can do is just plan how I’ll study Icelandic for fun. I’m saying for fun because I know that once I actually start studying it, I’ll probably change my approach a lot as I go. That’s just what happens with language learning. One plan I have is to do a lot of subs2srs when I first start studying. I have a lot of reasons for it.

1. I enjoy it and find it easy to put time into it. I’ll mostly likely do at least one hour a day. Maybe even two. I know for Hebrew I did about 30 minutes to an hour on it on average.

2. Another reason is that my listening in Icelandic is fairly weak. I don’t want to keep mispronouncing things in my head while I’m reading. It breaks the immersion and it annoys me. I also know that I’ll probably have to rely on reading to maintain it.

3. As a beginner it’s a good way to introduce me to grammar and vocabulary. I particularly find it helpful for grammar because it shows me how several grammatical forms correspond to an actual meaning. Particularly if a language has hard grammar. I remember that I did have a hard time figuring out what sentences meant even with a dictionary.

There are some other things I will try to add to my study routine. One thing will be IcelandicOnline to learn the grammar better. I will try to make anki flashcards for them since the course introduces a lot of vocabulary and they quickly get too hard for me. I think I’ll also make anki cards based on grammar since the dictionary is very finicky about which form of the word you use. I’ll make them as simple and as relevant to the dictionary as possible.

Another thing I’ll try is listening to podcasts earlier on. I won’t be listening for comprehension. I’ll listen so I can get more stamina. One weakness of subs2srs is that it doesn’t help with stamina. I really noticed a gap between how clear things sound and how well I can actually keep up when I first started listening to podcasts in Hebrew. I’ll probably keep it to around 10-20 minutes to have some sort of structure.

Another thing I’ll do is to make sure I start sentence mining as soon as I start venturing out to material with no English translations. I regret not doing it earlier for Hebrew. I was putting a lot of work into expanding my vocabulary and looking a lot of words up and I didn’t even have anki cards to help it stick. I think it will also be way easier on my brain if I can just set goal for how many words I want to learn and have a good point to take a break. Looking up too many words really fried my brain sometimes.

I think when I start to actually understand podcasts I’ll do less subs2srs and more podcasts and sentence mining. Unfortunately I found that stage pretty hard in Hebrew. I knew subs2srs was losing its effectiveness, but at the same time I couldn’t actually enjoy tv shows yet. I’m glad I finally started to be able to enjoy tv shows in late 2020. I use the word enjoy because before that point I could sort of understand them, but I didn’t enjoy myself enough to stick at it. I still found tv show clips good for improving my listening comprehension quickly.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:56 am

I’m definitely noticing that sentence mining is getting harder and harder. It’s not that I don’t encounter unknown words anymore, I just don’t care about a lot of them. I’ve naturally been able to watch more and more videos without looking words up.

I think for now I’ll also spend more time doing intensive reading. Even when I’m doing intensive reading, only some of the words I come across seem suitable for my anki deck. I’m definitely noticing a lot more unfamiliar grammar structures that make it challenging to figure out the meaning of a sentence.

Some books I come across are pretty much unreadable for me, even with a dictionary. One is an alternate history book about what Israel would be like if it was still Mandatory Palestine. It seemed pretty interesting from what I heard about on a podcast. To prepare for possibly reading that book I’m skimming through some English Wikipedia entries. I tried to read the Hebrew articles, but it was pretty hit or miss. At some points I was pretty lost, so I needed the English articles. I also found a teen series on that period of history.
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