General language log

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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sat May 02, 2020 2:58 am

I did day 14. I did seem to talk a bit more fluidly and a bit more like a typical YouTube video. I was basically just talking about stuff that went on in my day. Which can actually be pretty hard for me. Mainly because I consider what I think about far more important than day to day events.

I think talking about how my day went will help out with small talk and other boring topics. I just need to learn how to pretend boring topics are exciting. Any opportunities to improve social skills without having to interact with people are awesome. I think simply getting less nervous helps me improve. I often don’t feel like watching my own videos. Maybe I just scroll through it to see how my body language is or maybe listen to the video a bit.

I’ve never actually watched a whole video of mine. They are not good videos and they were never intended to be good videos. I think they’re even intentionally bad because I never intend to show anyone else. And I definitely am not asking for anyone to critique them right now. My only goal is to get more comfortable. So that involves not putting any effort into setting up a fancy camera with a good angle. I’m actually using my old iPhone to film it.

I’m still not entirely sure YouTube will ever be suitable for me. What I do know is that I need to improve my communication and public speaking skills. They are just basic skills. I remember one telling one person I was recording myself speaking my target language. He was very weird about it.

He told me I should give recording ASMR a chance. It just made me very uncomfortable. I think it’s because my goal is to make sure the sound of my voice NEVER gets in the way of what I’m trying to communicate. I feel that if people find my voice too unique it does get in the way of what I’m saying. ASMR is all about the sounds! So people will be paying attention to how my voice sounds which is the last thing I need.

I most likely won’t do voiceover work either. It would be interesting to learn how to do voiceover since a lot of voiceover artists sound very generic. That’s exactly how I want my voice to sound! Even if it doesn’t sound completely generic, making my voice sound more generic is definitely a step in the right direction. I guess control is what I’m really after.

Another reason I’m not sure about YouTube is because I like to compartmentalize my life. An example is that for me language learning and dating don’t mix. Especially not on language exchange apps. How is someone I’m chatting with supposed to know if I’m in the mood for dating? How are they supposed to know if I even have the correct sexual orientation? Sexual orientation is another topic that has nothing to do with language learning. So I’ll stop talking about it right now.

With social media it seems like people dislike compartmentalization. They want to know everything about your life and all sides of you. I can’t really show all sides of myself. Which is probably why I got into learning languages in the first place. I can learn about different cultures and also discover more sides of myself. This will probably become even more pronounced once I get the courage to actually interact with native speakers.

As an example I have is that a lot of people consider Scandinavian people too aloof. I kind of consider it peaceful and respectful. I get weirded out by Canadian friendliness. It usually involves just staring at people and smiling. Usually no conversation. If there is it’s usually boring or about sore topics. Not everyone in Canada acts stereotypically Canadian, but when people do I’m sure uncomfortable. I love traveling to countries where I’m not stared at.

I’ve heard Israel is the opposite. I’ve heard negative things about people in Israel being rude, not respecting privacy, pushy and in your face. I honestly don’t have enough personal experience to confirm whether that is true or not. Especially the word rude. When you think about it, that word doesn’t actually mean much. So far I don’t think Israel is a target country for me. I never know, though. Maybe I’ll find pros that will outweigh the cons.

Despite that I’ve had positive experiences with Jewish and Israeli people so far. I don’t really group Canadian/American Jewish people in the same category as Israeli people. But the positive experiences seem similar. A lot of the time I notice the conversation just flows better. I have more fun. I no longer have to worry about talking too much or messing up since the conversation is just flowing.

I don’t have that experience with Canadians. It’s like they’re waiting for me to think of everything to say. It’s so much pressure and I feel like I REDACTED up 90% of the time. Why are they like this despite being so friendly? It makes no sense. It’s almost as if they already think I’m off and they’re trying to see how I’ll REDACTED up.

When people think I’m off I don’t consider them worth interacting with. My goal of an interaction most of the time is to have a nice flowing and energizing interaction. If people think I’m off that can’t happen. I’m kind of paranoid a lot of people find me off, so I think I come across as snobby. I don’t mind though. I don’t think being a snob is the worst way you can come across.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sat May 02, 2020 6:20 am

Just changed my subs2srs cards. I still can’t figure out how to make them cloze deletion. I think it’s a different card type. The other thing that’s complicating things is the right to left text. Removing the audio on the front of the card was relatively easy. It is definitely more challenging for me.

My main goal is to get my reading comprehension to catch up to my listening comprehension. I also want to improve my head voice. I won’t fail cards for an annoying head voice, but I will re-read it with the same voice as the audio afterwards. I will fail cards if I mispronounce words, have an extremely hard time reading it or misunderstand it. I will be pickier when I notice a long interval.

One thing I notice when reading is that it really exposes which words are possibly less familiar to me. I have a harder time doing that by listening. I do get a lot of false positives though. There’s definitely some words that are easy for me to recognize when people say them, but trip me up when I’m reading. I had the same experience with Spanish even though Spanish is “easy” to read. Since I grew up speaking Spanish it does make sense my reading comprehension is lower. The other issues I have with reading Spanish is that the vocabulary and syntax of written Spanish is different than spoken Spanish. I’m pretty sure I’ll have that issue more in Hebrew.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun May 03, 2020 6:59 am

It’s day 15. Still feel more expressive in front of the camera. I think it’s because I’m growing more comfortable with it. I think I’m slightly more expressive in front of the camera compared with how I am with family.. I used to be pretty loud once in a while. But my family didn’t like that. Now I can express my loud side again. Because of coronavirus my family is driving me crazy a bit. They’re the only people I can spend time with, so I still spend time with them. I’m just more distant. Which honestly feels better.

For language learning, I definitely feel more wishy-washy. I think one reason I’m more wishy-washy is because I just reached the intermediate stage in Hebrew. This has been happening for a while, even before coronavirus. I think before coronavirus I had more tolerance for feeling like my study routine isn’t as effective as I want it to be. I’ve accepted that when I’m trying to change my study routine, I am by nature more wishy-washy.

I kind of have to be more scatter-brained. Another issue is that I’m kind of lacking clear, immediate goals with my Hebrew. One goal is to improve my reading. Another goal which is similar, is to get into more literary language. I have a rough idea of how to progress on that, but I’m still learning how. So I know I’m not at my most efficient.

Another goal would be productive skills or grammar. I honestly still haven’t found any learning methods that I’m comfortable with. At least related to getting more productive skills. I’ve tried reading grammar books, but I’m honestly not that consistent at them. I think I’ll continue reading the book on Biblical Hebrew. It’s fairly interesting, but I can’t get into a consistent schedule of reading it.

I can still benefit from clozemaster or looking up vocabulary on YouTube videos, but I’m just not as motivated. My gut feeling with Hebrew is that I should do something closer to immersion now. I find podcasts most convenient, but I find podcasts awkward to listen to when I’m not driving. Even if they’re in English. I just seem to find it easier to understand things by context on podcasts. I’m still iffy about tv shows. They seem a bit too fast paced for me. YouTubers seem doable for me, but so far they’re just not interesting enough.

I have the feeling just listening to more podcasts will get me more fluent at understanding Hebrew. I think I’m decent at understanding the sounds of Hebrew, but I do have a hard time with quickly changing topics. I also notice it’s harder to follow plots. So non-fiction is just easier right now. I think I also need to explore more media in Hebrew and find stuff I understand and truly enjoy.

I didn’t really think I would understand podcasts. When I stopped caring if I did I got better at finding podcasts I understand. Part of the reason I avoid certain media in Hebrew is because I don’t think I’ll understand it. What I don’t think is realistic is that I’ll be able to live my whole day in Hebrew.

I know people who do AJATT can replace everything with Japanese. For a while I could replace pretty much all music with music in Hebrew, but that was honestly by accident. Nowadays I’m not really doing that as much. Spotify seems to think I’ll automatically like all music from Israel.

I understand why, but it’s not true. They’ve seem to have run out of good Israeli music to suggest to me. I sadly feel like I’ve ran out of Israeli music to listen to. Hopefully that’s not true. Spotify just needs better algorithms for music from other countries. They’ve classified several artists as Mizrahi that aren’t Mizrahi(middle eastern style music) at all. Or classic Israeli pop when their music was released in 2010 and later. They can tell music is from Israel, but not much else.

In terms of Finnish, I do have a pretty clear short-term goal. I found a pretty good learner channel called Finnished. I think I’ve talked about it before. I like it so far because of the slow simplified speech and option for bilingual subtitles. You can toggle them on and off. So intermediate learners can get benefit from them as well.

The videos seem to be mainly about Finnish culture and learning Finnish. So fairly relevant topics compared to textbooks. I think what I’ll do is look up words on the video. Depending on how much mental effort that is, I’ll decide whether to stick with it or not. It is not my goal to memorize words. I gradually want to acquire high frequency and topical vocabulary.

I think what went wrong with German was that I went with anki decks. So I had to put a lot of effort into remembering stuff. I didn’t enjoy it. There’s some videos named Easy German, but they’re really not easy for absolute beginners. Even Luca Lampariello says they’re advanced. Another thing I don’t like as a beginner is language lessons. I just don’t like anything that relies on short-term memory too much.

So far I haven’t succeeded at learning two languages at once. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this experiment with Finnish doesn’t work out. Every time I try to learn multiple languages at once I have several reasons it will work that time. I’m not expecting too much.
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Gustav Aschenbach
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Re: General language log

Postby Gustav Aschenbach » Sun May 03, 2020 8:54 am

sporedandroid wrote:So I wouldn’t be surprised if this experiment with Finnish doesn’t work out.


Don't worry. Always remember: this is Finnish, but not the end ;)
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon May 04, 2020 6:30 am

Just did day 16. I think the video was not as good today because I only slept four hours last night and had a 30 minute nap.
I’ve been thinking more about non-linear learning vs. linear learning. So far all the textbooks I’ve come across so linear learning. They are progressively getting harder in a straight line. An example of more non-linear learning would be graded readers. They do get progressively harder, but you have several books to choose from for one level. When you start to find one level too easy you can move onto something harder. You aren’t forced to move on like on textbooks.

I know I can’t compare graded readers to textbooks, but I’m pretty sure it’s possible to structure lessons in a similar way. While some concepts do have different difficulties, I think a lot of it is just put in an arbitrary order just to be linear. I think a nice in between space would be to categorize things by beginner, intermediate, advanced or whatever system they feel like using.

Learning things categorized as beginner won’t rely on you having previous knowledge for example. While intermediate will start to assume you know some things that were taught to beginners and so on. I just get annoyed when I just finished lesson one on something and don’t quite understand it because it’s new. When I move onto lesson two they assume you understand lesson one. It’s a “logical” progression, but I’ve never had any success with that method.

There’s definitely a spectrum with how linear things are. I think a lot of online resources are a bit less linear. With apps like Clozemaster you have quite a bit flexibility with it. If you want something more linear you can do fluency fast track. If you want to do more from a particular level, you can choose to as well. Since I use Clozemaster more for grammar or learning different ways a word can be used I don’t mind some redundancy sometimes.

I just did some Finnish today. I tried google translate, but it wasn’t all that great. I was hoping google translate might help with crazy grammar words. I found this dictionary. https://www.suomienglantisanakirja.fi/uuttaa So far I like how fast it is and it seems to work well for the very basic videos I’m watching. Right now I’m setting the bar very low. I’m pretty much just watching Finnish videos for learners with bilingual subtitles. I don’t have to worry about grammar, words with multiple meanings or words not being found in the dictionary.

I do have to sometimes look up a different form of the word in the dictionary. I’m fairly used to it, but so far it doesn’t actually seem that bad. Some words have extra endings, but it’s nowhere near as complicated as Old English and Icelandic. They often change vowels and have different genders with different plural endings.

The reason I’m using a dictionary despite having bilingual subtitles is because I don’t have very much Finnish vocabulary. My goal is to at least know which word is which. So far Finnish seems less mentally tiring than German, Hebrew or any other languages. There’s many possible factors, but I think exposure is the key to how tired I feel studying languages. Since this is day one I’m still not sure if it means I’ll do better at Finnish.

One person suggested that I found Finnish easier to remember than Hebrew was because of the alphabet. A year ago I tried a bit of Turkish as an experiment. I found it just as hard or harder than Hebrew. I find Old English tiring to study. Even though it’s closely related to English, it’s fairly challenging to get exposed to Old English.

One thing about Finnish is that it’s fairly time consuming studying even really short videos. I knew from Hebrew that studying from videos can be time consuming. Since I still have to look up most words in a sentence it’s even more time consuming. At least it’s easy so far.

One thing I’ve definitely found important for less linear learning is finding ways to make things more or less challenging. The Finnish videos would be an example of me making things way easier. They’re simple videos to begin with and I’m also using bilingual subtitles and a dictionary.

One thing I never like is not showing things side by side. I think it’s because it’s too reliant of short-term memory. This is one reason most language lessons haven’t been successful and I’ve never had luck with learner’s podcasts. What I mean is when they say one sentence in English and one sentence in my target language. I tried the duolingo French podcasts and they were the exact same format. They were a disaster. It was pretty much one paragraph in French and one paragraph in English. Way too long to remember anything.

I’ve had better luck watching French YouTube videos with French subtitles to be honest. That’s how awful it was. I think I could probably do the Krashen method with French. I can just find some dumbed down or very visual French videos and just watch them. I’ve even had moments where I passively listen to some French music and I improve at understanding it without trying. I don’t even feel truly passionate about French. I’m just jokingly studying to see how much I improve. Maybe one day I’ll truly like it. I’m just trying to trick myself into liking a useful language. I admit it’s very fun to see how much I can improve at a language with as little effort as humanly possible.

For Hebrew bilingual subtitles have been too easy for quite a while. They could be helpful for movie scenes where I’m low on vocabulary, but as soon as the hard parts are over it’s too easy again. I can just tell they’re too easy. While seeing Old English or Icelandic next to English exercises my brain in a good way.

For a while having subs2srs was a good way of making movies way easier. It was a bit more challenging than I liked at first, but it quickly went to my optimal difficulty for a while. An optimal difficulty would be that it’s challenging enough for me to feel like my brain is working a bit, but not so hard that it’s impossible or it fries my brain. Basically something I can do every day.

If it’s too easy I tend to not pay enough attention and find things pointless. Recently subs2srs has been too easy, while watching a lot of movies is still too hard for me. Getting good at finding stuff I understand and enjoy enough is definitely a skill that I’m developing more. I’m pretty sure there’s some movies or tv shows that are the right difficulty for me to watch out there.

To make it harder I turned the cards into reading practice. They still have audio on the back, but now I’m testing my reading skills. Right now it’s a bit too challenging for my liking. It’s fairly doable, but it’s definitely time consuming and tires me out. I’m hoping with practice it will quickly get a bit less challenging. Making it more challenging has helped me identify which vocabulary is less familiar. I find the more common a word is the easier it is to read.

For me it’s easy to say I know a word because I’ve heard it. I will know that word in the context of that anki card, but it won’t be as easy in other contexts. Since memorizing audio is easier than text, I have a better idea of which words I truly know. I’m hoping that I’ll be as comfortable reading than I am listening. I find with listening I tolerate more unknown words.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed May 06, 2020 5:21 am

I did a video journal #17 yesterday, but not today. It was a pretty low energy video journal despite getting a lot of sleep that day.

So I’ve been continuing with my new anki routine for Hebrew. It’s still fairly tough and intense. Reading is pretty tough for me even with familiar text. So I’ll keep on using anki to practice reading. I like that it’s very short passages of text with varying lengths.

What I’m aiming for is accuracy, speed and a good head voice. Since I’m just starting out I won’t be too picky. I don’t want to be studying for four hours. I’ll just click again if I can’t read a word or I’m struggling with something that already has a large interval. What I do is read in my head. Afterwards I’ll replay the audio and compare. After that I’ll repeat in my head as vividly as I can and make sure to correct any mistakes. I may repeat the same process.

I think I might give this method a try for Spanish later on. Since Spanish is my heritage language, I am also weaker at reading Spanish. Part of it is syntax, but there’s several Spanish words I’ll recognize better when I hear them. I’ve always wanted to improve my literacy in Spanish. I know there’s many Spanish language authors I’m missing out on. I like magical realism and I know a lot of magical realism is originally in Spanish.

I’m having a lot of fun doing Clozemaster for Finnish. Sometimes I get a surprisingly high percentage of correct answers and sometimes I fail miserably. Either way, I’m having fun. I don’t really expect to have much Finnish skills. When I’m doing Clozemaster for Finnish I will click the wiktionary links. They are very handy because wiktionary offers pretty good grammar explanations. I’m glad wiktionary has good coverage for Finnish so far. It’s not too good for Hebrew. I think doing Clozemaster for Finnish is good because I’m taking care of higher frequency vocabulary. It isn’t as fun for Hebrew, but once I’m on Clozemaster I’m motivated to work on Hebrew as well. I think I still definitely benefit from Clozemaster for Hebrew.

I didn’t really watch any of those basic Finnish videos. They are very time consuming. I may still watch them when I feel like it. Most likely when I want a break from Hebrew, but I’m bored. I think those videos will be less time consuming when I take care of more high frequency words. Either way I’m glad they’re at least not mentally draining. I definitely found German far more draining.

Even though German has similarities to English, some things bugged me about it. The word Sie/sie bugged me a lot. It seems to have many meanings depending on context. I’m not good at that whole context thing as an absolute beginner. Another thing that bugged me was the German word also. It’s spelled the exact same way as the English word, but it has a different meaning and pronunciation.

Another word that bugs me is the word for where. The Icelandic word is hvar or hvert. Those words make sense to me because they’re about the same length as the word where. Four or five letters. Same thing in Spanish and Hebrew. The German word is wo! Only two letters. Just makes me laugh. I think German has a few other short words like that.

I know I sound judgmental of German, but this just seems to be how I react to languages I haven’t been very exposed to. I had issues with Hebrew as well. One of the first words I learned in Hebrew was ba. All I could really think of was ba like a sheep. I could rote memorize the meaning of the word, but all I could think of was sheep. I also didn’t understand why the word “and” and “to” had to latch onto other words. I didn’t find anything else about Hebrew all that funny. It was just hard to memorize for a very long time. Same issue with non-cognate words in German.

Maybe I’m not getting these feelings with Finnish because I’ve dabbled in more languages. When English speakers first learn French or Spanish they often ask why words have to have genders. Maybe it’s also exposure to Finnish. If I try some other language maybe I’ll find more reasons I find it weird.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu May 07, 2020 5:50 am

I did video journal #18 today. In terms of language learning I’m still having a tough time with my new Hebrew study routine. I’m spending about 30-40 minutes reading on anki. I really feel mentally tired afterwards. I think this is pretty much always the case when I try something new in language learning.

I’ve already known for a while I needed to switch up my routine. Another huge goal for me is to improve my reading, so this is very important. I think I’m still too early to know how effective this is. One thing that bugs me while reading is not recognizing words I know. I know this method will at least work for that.

Another thing that bugs me is not being able to pronounce unknown words and feeling slowed down by them. I don’t know what to do about that issue. If I’m lucky maybe this will help it. I know the pronunciation of Hebrew words is tied a lot to grammar. I sometimes try to study from a grammar book, but that isn’t too fun either. Maybe it will be slightly more pleasant when I can read better.

One thing that encourages me is that when my brain hurts like this I’m often learning a lot. It often leads to fast progress. I remember how much work studying vocabulary from כאן YouTube videos was. They are pretty short videos, so I expect them to simpler. I ended up pushing myself to understand them. So those videos resulted in me being able to understand podcasts.

Right now I listen to podcasts every day. I think when I adjust more to the reading exercise I’ll start seeking out more youtubers to watch. I barely have enough energy right now to even study from captioned videos. I just kind of feel like I need some space from Hebrew. So maybe I’ll continue to slow down at studying vocabulary.

I’m kind of skeptical about how long I’ll keep up with Finnish. I often try to study other languages when I’m frustrated with Hebrew. I’m still having a lot of fun with Clozemaster. Finnish Clozemaster seems to be differently structured. The first level is 1-500 most common words, while for Hebrew it’s 1-100. I kind of do only want to study the top 100 Finnish words. When I did a bit of the light grammar study on wiktionary for a few sentences I did get a bit mentally tired. Not as bad as I am for Hebrew right now. If I do drop Finnish, I’ll probably return to it later on.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Fri May 08, 2020 6:11 am

I did video journal #19, it just wasn’t very good. I didn’t get very good sleep last night. I ended up crashing last night because I got exhausted by studying Hebrew. That made me wake up at 3 am. I took way too long to fall back asleep.

It’s still exhausting studying Hebrew, but it seemed less tiring today. I also managed to study two YouTube videos. Studying those YouTube videos was pretty exhausting as well. I guess right now is a good time to do exhausting study routines. It’s better than being bored and unproductive.

For Finnish I tried to analyze some Clozemaster sentences. Some went fine and some just made no sense to me. It’s either some grammar I don’t understand or something non-literal. I definitely notice some non-literal phrases on Clozemaster for Hebrew. Non-literal translations are pretty useless for absolute beginners, but they do help later on. I tried to aim for analyzing ten sentences, but I only got a few done.

Oh well! I’m not taking Finnish all that seriously. I’m just studying it for fun right now. I mainly want some basic vocabulary, so I have a better chance of learning from bilingual subtitles. I’m already able to learn pretty well from bilingual subtitles for a lot of Romance or German languages.

Hebrew is not too fun right now, but I just knew I was about to hit a plateau. I was getting bored and losing motivation. I have an idea of what goals I have, but not exactly how to change my study routine. I think when I get more comfortable reading that will open me up to more study options.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sat May 09, 2020 7:12 am

I did day 20. It wasn’t all that great, but a tiny bit better than the two previous videos. I’m getting pretty annoyed by fluctuations in quality. I think they were lower quality because I’m tired. I just don’t want to be completely awkward any moment I’m tired. I hate fluctuations in general. More than slow progress. Mainly because it feels like my hard work could pretty much go down the toilet any moment.

It was a big reason I got demotivated by Icelandic. Some moments I could understand a whole phrase and some moments I could pretty much understand nothing. Now I’m trying to study in a way where I avoid fluctuations, since fluctuations demotivate me more than slow progress. I think I did succeed in getting rid of fluctuations. I find higher repetition at the beginning and low expectations in general helps.

In terms of reading in Hebrew I think I am improving. Even though I was mainly focusing on making my head voice sound as much like the audio as possible it seems like I’m reading faster. It also seems like I’m subvocalizing less in general, so it doesn’t matter as much what my head voice sounds like. I just started, so I don’t know how permanent these changes are.

In terms of Finnish I did analyze ten Clozemaster sentences or so. I am starting to remember some words, but there’s also plenty of words that I had to look up multiple times. One thing that seems to help me memorize words is just seeing them in multiple contexts. When I choose to deeply analyze sentences I’ll analyze sentences I’m reviewing. I’ll also analyze new sentences, but I do expect those to have even more unknown words. Another thing I notice is that when I listen to Finnish music I recognize words I was studying. I don’t understand them, but they definitely seem familiar. It is a tiny bit of mental work, but it doesn’t compete with Hebrew like other languages have.

When I tried Turkish a while ago, it conflicted with Hebrew. I was doing shadowing with Hebrew and I decided to try out Turkish as well. I was mainly interested in Turkish because I thought I would be traveling to Turkey. That plan didn’t happen, so I quit studying Turkish. I only really wanted to learn travel phrases. I pretty much had travel in mind. It conflicted with Hebrew because it took away pronunciation time from Hebrew.

Turkish pronunciation was interesting. It felt completely different than speaking Hebrew or any other language I’ve spoken. Hebrew felt so similar to English compared to Turkish. When I spoke Turkish I noticed my lips felt a lot different. When I looked in the mirror I also felt that I looked Turkish. Feeling different did give me more confidence, but I don’t think it necessarily means my pronunciation was good.

One thing I’ve been thinking about it short-term vs. long-term motivation. Long-term motivation is anything you need a higher level to be able to enjoy. Short-term motivation would be something you can enjoy right away. For me that is music. I just find music connects me to a lot of different cultures.

While listening to music may not be the most “efficient”, I enjoy it and it seems to have some effectiveness. Even if watching tv or listening to the radio is marginally more effective, it’s definitely not worth it as a beginner. Listening to music is never work for me. While trying to listen to the radio or watch tv is.

As a beginner the only thing close to immersion I’ll ever do is listening to music or watching movies or tv with English subtitles. I generally listen to more music than watch tv, so that’s reflected in other languages as well. That is why finding music in my target language has been important to me so far.

I haven’t really tried watching with English subtitles as a beginner. I imagine it’s more effective than music. For some reason I avoided that method simply because I’ve heard many times about how ineffective it is. I think this method might have potential when I can’t find enough music I like in a certain language.

I’m sure they meant ineffective, but not detrimental. It still stopped me for some reason. Now I don’t think I should listen to them. They claim that your brain will only read the English subtitles and not pay any attention to the target language. I don’t think that’s really true.

I wonder if watching movies with English subtitles could replace music if I can’t find music I like in a certain language. I find some aspects of Russian culture interesting. I also find Central Asian counties pretty interesting. I know Russian is important for a lot of those countries. I just can’t get into Russian music so far.

From what I’ve heard, it seems like Russian music is very nationalistic. At least certain rock bands. Maybe Russian pop would sound better to me. Another issue I have is the vocals. Vocals seem to be able to make and break music for me. The language you sing in does influence how vocals sound a lot. That probably explains why my music taste changes so much country to country.

Maybe I’m just being closed minded. When I first wanted to learn Hebrew I didn’t feel like bothering with finding music. I wasn’t familiar with any music in Hebrew and I was more interested in Judaism. I did find some music in Hebrew that I liked, but definitely not enough for immersion.

When I got Spotify I decided I really needed to find more music in Hebrew. So I just listened to any music in Hebrew I could find. One interesting trend I found is that I preferred male singers. I usually prefer female singers and I was strangely scared of giving male singers a try. Maybe because it would be doubly weird.

Since I prefer male singers that opened up different genres. I ended up liking a lot of rock since rock is a male dominated genre. For other languages including English I have a hard time enjoying rock because I don’t care for most male singers. I’m not sure there’s anything musically special about the Israeli rock scene.

It just sounds like normal rock, but more catchy. I’m guessing most people will be disappointed in how un-exotic it sounds. Maybe it sounds more exotic or foreign to other people than I think. The most important thing is that I found some music in Hebrew I genuinely enjoy.

I have been thinking of what longer term motivation I could have for Finnish. Maybe music is also a legitimate long-term motivation for Finnish. I enjoy a wide variety of music from Finland and it seems to be culturally important. I particularly enjoy traditional Finnish folk music. Maybe I can learn more about Finnish folk music. Maybe I can have some more Finnish folk music to listen. I ran out of Finnish folk music for a while. I recently got back into Finnish folk music, but I’m mainly re-listening to music I’m familiar with.
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sporedandroid
Green Belt
Posts: 350
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:54 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (heritage/intermediate), Hebrew (A2-B1)
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun May 10, 2020 7:47 am

Day 21. Not the best video either. Language studying itself seems to be going fairly well. I’m continuing to improve at reading Hebrew, but I did have time to finish all the anki cards that were due. I did go back to studying vocabulary on languagetools.io since a forum post on this forum motivated me. It talked about how conscious vocabulary study helps even at C1 or C2. I’m nowhere near that level.

I’ll continue to see how much I acquire from listening to podcasts, but I’ll definitely look up a lot of words when I’m able to. Even though I can kind of understand videos by just watching them, I feel more comfortable importing them into readingtools and quickly learn new words.

I just started reading the Hebrew version of The Philosopher by Sholem Aleichem. He’s a Yiddish author that inspired Fiddler on the Roof. It’s in public domain, so it was easy to get text and audio. I have 55% unknown vocabulary. Somehow it isn’t that mentally straining to read. One reason could be because audiobooks are slower than the videos I usually watch. Another reason could be because a lot of the unknown words aren’t all that unknown to me. It’s a short story. It’s longer than the videos I’ve watched, but shorter than a whole novel.

So far Finnish is going pretty well. It seems like I’m starting to occasionally understand whole sentences on Clozemaster. I really like how redundant the sentences can be. I see several words in different contexts, so they’re fairly easy to memorize. I do get a lot of them wrong, but that’s part of the fun.

I think quarantine is putting a lot of people in the mood of dabbling. Which is kind of good for me. I’m starting to get interested in programming which actually could earn me money. I’m also getting interested in getting back into music. That won’t really earn me money, but I think that helps me be more well-rounded.

I also had fun dabbling in other languages on Clozemaster. I tried typing in answers for French, but I kept getting Hebrew words popping into my mind. Which is pretty hilarious to me. Hebrew really seems to be the dominant foreign language for me. If I try to think of words in other languages a Hebrew word will pop into my head no matter how unrelated the language is.

I still understand Spanish better than Hebrew, but some dialects of Spanish do seem harder to understand than Hebrew. I also score better on online grammar tests for Hebrew compared to Spanish. I took the test in December 27th. For Hebrew I scored 31/40, but I only scored 23/40 for Spanish. That site estimated my Hebrew at B2. I definitely know I’m not B2.

My Spanish was estimated at B1. Other online tests have estimated my Spanish at B1 as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if that was my actual level at Spanish. I think I understand Spanish pretty well, but my grammar is pretty questionable. My reading level is pretty questionable as well.

It does seem like Finnish is more fun than other languages. I think it’s because I learned from my mistakes. For Hebrew I tried to force myself to learn individual words. I found sentences too intimidating. I did try to study German sentences, but somehow I didn’t find German fun. I originally tried to learn German to help me out with Yiddish one day.

I just don’t find German culture all that interesting. I can think of many things from Germany that could be interesting to me. I just don’t seem to vibe with it. Finland is kind of the opposite. I can’t think of many interesting things from Finland beyond the music, but I like the vibe of it more.
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