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Re: General language log

Posted: Fri Jul 31, 2020 6:29 am
by sporedandroid
I just watched the first episode of the show שכונה (neighborhood). It’s definitely still above my level, but it seems to be a good show. I’m looking up quite a few words, but the main issue I have is how fast it is. I find I don’t feel the need to look up words when something is closer to my level. I’ll let myself look as many words as I want to. It’s quite a bit faster than podcasts or documentaries. So I don’t have enough time to process vocabulary and grammar structures. I end up pausing it a lot. I think I do improve at understanding that pace by watching more tv shows.

I’m still getting the hang of making actual anki cards. It was surprisingly hard. Mainly getting the right to left text to show up properly. I’ve been making 10-20 a day and it’s pretty tiring. I’m also noticing the fast progress I notice with new things I add to my routine. I’m already noticing words from my anki deck in the wild. I think this is a huge benefit of listening to music. It doesn’t feel like studying most of the time and I get to review vocabulary. Today is kind of an exception.

I definitely noticed this when I turned my subs2srs decks into reading cards. It was extremely hard at first.
I quickly noticed that my reading improved. I mainly improved at being able to identify words I already know. I found that fairly challenging before. I did improve at predicting unknown words with predictable patterns. Mainly verbs. I think this skill will be slower to improve. What surprised me is how quickly this plateaued. It seems like other methods “lasted longer.”

This new vocabulary deck doesn’t actually feel as intense as my first reading cards. I wonder how long this will last before I hit a plateau.

Re: General language log

Posted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:11 am
by sporedandroid
I tried a little experiment with my reading comprehension. I tried reading through a transcript of a video and listening and reading at the same times afterwards. I already know my reading isn’t as good as my listening. I sometimes don’t identify words I’d know while listening and it’s just harder to do. I also had trouble parsing sentences where I knew the words. I realized how much I rely on tone of voice to understand sentences. It makes me wonder if I would have had an easier time with Icelandic if I had better listening comprehension.

Re: General language log

Posted: Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:43 am
by sporedandroid
I’m sad to say I think I have to retire subs2srs for Hebrew. It was a great tool to get me from beginner to intermediate. I’m sure I’ll use it for other languages I’ll study in the future. It’s just not helpful at my level and it hasn’t been the most helpful for a while. It did come in handy to help my reading comprehension, but I think I have to retire it now. One of these days I’m going to clean up my anki decks.

I’ve found several activities that have replaced subs2srs. One thing I do is watch YouTube videos before I study from my vocabulary deck. This way I get more words on my vocabulary list and make my subvocalization sound better.

Some helpful YouTube videos are clips from tv shows. Since they are short and dramatic moments they are easier to follow than a whole episode. They really help me adjust to faster paced media. I’ll usually watch it once without pausing and a second time I’ll let myself pause and look up unknown words. It takes care of the extensive vs. intensive dilemma.

As I’m doing my anki deck, I also look up words in YouTube to see if I can see that word in different contexts. I’ve come across quite a few interesting videos.

I’m still working out what I’ll do for reading. I still don’t have a solid plan on how I’ll get into literature. For now I’m just improving general reading comprehension. One thing I do is read a YouTube video transcript all the way through without hearing the audio. They are all videos I’ve analyzed before, so in theory I should know all vocabulary already. Afterwards I’ll listen to the audio and get feedback my reading.

I also just browse Hebrew websites when they’re relevant to a topic I’m interested in. Another way I get reading practice is stalking a professors Twitter. This professor teaches Jewish studies and grew up in Israel, so he occasionally retweets things in Hebrew. Now that I think of it I think I should make a Twitter account just to get some reading practice. I don’t think I’ll ever participate myself, but I think tweets can be a good way to get reading practice.

Finnish seems to be going pretty well. I’ve decided to watch those Finnish videos more repetitively like they were intended to. I do notice that when I listen to Finnish music I’m recognizing more and more words. I think what went wrong with studying German was that I got an anki deck. As we all know anki decks can easily pile up. Even when I make it add 10 cards a day instead of 20. I just really have to make a daily commitment.

Admittedly I don’t make a daily commitment to study Finnish. I’m also not intending to at the moment. I don’t need duolingo or anki to shame me into committing every day. I think with Finnish I’m learning how to learn a language in a more relaxed way. On the days I do study it, I do enjoy it.

I couldn’t say that about Hebrew for a while. One method that really wasn’t enjoyable was studying single words out of context on anki. I didn’t really know any better, so I tried my best. After that I discovered premade anki decks with phrases. It was a bit tough to get used to, but once I did I definitely found it easier to retain words. Now that I’m better at reading I finally started making my own anki deck with phrases.

Maybe one day I’ll get a premade anki deck for Finnish. One potential issue I see for Finnish is spoken vs. written. Especially when it comes to getting subtitles. If I were to really learn Finnish I’d definitely find listening and speaking important. Since I’m going at a relaxed pace I still have a while before I have to worry about that. I think for Finnish I will start looking for media earlier on. I don’t see anything too interesting on Netflix, but my local library has some promising movies.

Re: General language log

Posted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:44 am
by sporedandroid
I don’t feel like I can find any interesting content in Hebrew. I’ve felt like this quite often. It must be part of being intermediate. I can feel like I can understand quite a bit of content, but I can’t quite find anything I truly enjoy. Back when I was studying Icelandic I got super happy when I understood at all. So I felt like any YouTube videos I encountered were fascinating stuff. The one Icelandic movie I watched recently was also really good. This sometimes makes me feel like I was supposed to learn Icelandic.

I kind of feel alienated from Modern Hebrew. Maybe it’s just part of being intermediate. Maybe it’s also because I was originally more interested in Biblical Hebrew. I’m not quite sure how to get started in Biblical Hebrew. So I haven’t studied it much.

I know I’m also romanticizing Icelandic. Even though I’ve found content I like I know how quickly I’ll run out of content. I’m also used to being able to understand Hebrew, so it’s no longer that special when I do. To be honest the last time I went to Iceland, I kind of felt alienated from Icelandic.

One of the reasons I didn’t decide to learn Finnish originally was because I was worried about a lack of content. Still somewhat worried about it. For now I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m watching the YouTube lessons and I’m also looking up a bunch of words on wiktionary. I love how wiktionary breaks down Finnish grammar. I actually enjoy studying grammar if I can learn about specific grammar points as I encounter them.

Re: General language log

Posted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 6:45 am
by sporedandroid
I’ve been thinking more about what makes content enjoyable. When I think about some English content I enjoy, I don’t really enjoy it. I just find it easy. Another issue is cultural familiarity. I’m just not all that familiar with Israeli culture. Maybe I truly do have more affinity with Northern European cultures. Maybe I find them easier to romanticize because I haven’t gotten past the beginning stage in any of them.
Before COVID I planned a trip in December. If that trip still happens, it might be a good time to take a break from language learning. Taking breaks from language learning doesn’t make a whole lot of sense most of the time because language learning is a break from the rest of my life. If I were to take a break from language learning I have to deal with the rest of my life.

Re: General language log

Posted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:17 am
by sporedandroid
Today I messed around more with Notion. I found a spaced repetition template. I will be using it for content like articles or subtitled videos. I will have to figure out a way to figure out to keep the workload low. One way that it differs from
Anki is that it only has four reps. That makes sense for content. I will probably only add one new thing a day or every other day. I know on anki I make sure I only get 10 new cards a day instead of 20.

Managing content with spaced repetition might help with the “new content fatigue” I’ve been experiencing. I find I get this a lot when I’m searching for new content. This happens with music a lot of the time. If I hear too much new music, pretty much none of it has a chance of being enjoyable. Same thing when I try to find new content on YouTube or Netflix. Even in English.

When I sat down with an article and did some intensive reading with google docs, I enjoyed it way more than before. Google docs has one thing that Notion lacks. Right to left support. What I did was underline words that belong together and add vowels to unfamiliar words. I added notes to new phrases or terms I encounter. This helped my comprehension a lot. Even on things I thought were beyond my level. What I don’t like about Google docs is that it’s hard to organize. I did spend a bit of time cleaning mine up. I like that I can embed Google docs into Notion.

Re: General language log

Posted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:40 am
by sporedandroid
One reason I don’t like to discuss language learning is because people push me to talk. Even when I tell them not to. Maybe that’s the reason they push me. The more people push me to talk, the less I want to. The only time I’d really want to actually speak is maybe if I could use it as a secret language. I’ll probably change my mind my one day. Just not the day I get pushed.

I just know that today is not the day to start talking. Last year I was doing some chorusing. I made the terrible mistake of telling people. Of course they pushed me to talk and said other weird things. So I stopped chorusing. Maybe not the best reason. I also started focusing more on comprehension. Which is more important anyways.

I fully admit language learning is escapism for me. I desperately need escapism. If I were to start talking language learning would be something completely different for me. Which is fine if I don’t need escapism. Maybe if I just told people I’m learning to read Hebrew, no one would push me to speak for them.

Re: General language log

Posted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 11:58 pm
by sporedandroid
For the past few days I’ve been taking a break from anki adding new words. Mainly because I was taking an actual vacation. I still kept up with my reviews. I think I should do this more often when I have to do a lot of other things. Creating anki cards in the first place would be one of those things. I’m often behind on making anki cards. Reviewing whole videos or articles also using up a lot of time. I think that’s a more efficient use of time than anki.

Re: General language log

Posted: Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:00 am
by sporedandroid
I got some interesting statistics from YouTube for this week. On YouTube I have two separate profiles. On one profile I watch whatever content I want. Mainly things in English. On my other profile I only watch content in Hebrew. YouTube has a feature where you can see how much time you spend watching YouTube. According to that statistic I’m about half and half right now. About one hour a day for each profile. It still feels like I watch more English content.

I’ve definitely been watching more Hebrew videos. I’ve also been noticing that it’s quickly getting less and less tiring to watch them. When I first tried to watch YouTube videos they were exhausting to watch. That wasn’t even that long ago. I think what really made me improve was watching some very short clips of fast paced tv shows.

Still working out how to use the spaced repetition for content. It looks like it works better for shorter content. Or maybe I’ll find a way to make longer content have longer intervals. As exciting as some university lectures can be, it does get boring watching them over and over again. I’m thinking of reading the transcript instead of watching the lecture. I sure do need reading practice.

I’m still trying to figure out a good routine for practicing my reading. I definitely do notice gradual improvements in my reading just by doing anki and looking for YouTube videos. I occasionally try to read articles, but they’re too hard for me to consistently read.

Re: General language log

Posted: Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:29 am
by sporedandroid
I decided to try a new routine for reading Hebrew. I’ve saved some Hebrew articles on google docs. I highlight words different colors and add vowels to them. I also split up the paragraphs. So when I’m doing spaced repetition I’ll focus on particular paragraphs. Right now I know I won’t consistently be able to read an article a day, but I’ll probably be able to read one or two paragraphs a day.

Today I also went through a full paragraph and highlighted all foreign words and names in blue on one article. That makes it less cumbersome to read later on and I also got to do some speed reading.

I watched Bonus Family with bilingual subtitles. It was fairly tiring, but I think I was catching more than Caliphate. I think focusing on the language in shows kind of distracts me from the story, but maybe I’m just confused because it’s the first episode. It also seems like some Swedish subtitles don’t match up exactly with what people say. I also found one German show called Freaks – You're One of Us. I wonder if I’ll be able to watch it with bilingual subtitles without being distracted from the story.