General language log

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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 » Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:10 am

After my experiment with Swedish on Netflix I’m thinking of watching some learner videos YouTube. My criteria is the video being in slow Swedish with bilingual subtitles. I think I’ll do the same with German. I’m hoping this will make watching Netflix shows with bilingual subtitles less tiring. One thing that is interesting is that German sounds way clearer to me than Icelandic or Swedish.
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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 » Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:34 am

Today was another low sleep day. So no new anki cards today. I did add one word to the deck, but I’m not actually getting new cards. I actually had no sleep one night, so I ended up actually skipping a day. Naturally that would make my reviews pile up a bit, but I had a good long study session that day and discovered an interesting looking Israeli series.

Today I ended up watching 36 minutes of YouTube and I read three paragraphs from an article. It looks like my spaced repetition system works well for things that are short and hard. It didn’t work so well for those longer videos. Maybe if I split the video up into parts or change the intervals. It was originally going to be for reading anyways. It’s cool how my comprehension goes up when I reread things.

For the rest of the day I was dabbling with other languages by watching videos with bilingual subtitles. I tried some Swedish again. I kind of found the videos boring and tiring. So I went to Finnish. In some way my comprehension kind of feels the same. I’m getting semi-familiar with some Finnish words, but I’m not so familiar with actual Swedish words. I kind of am familiar with similar languages to Swedish, but not Swedish in particular.

Afterwards I gave Easy German a try again. It was pretty relaxing compared to Swedish and Finnish. I used to find German pretty tiring. Even Easy German. Last year I even tried to study some frequency anki decks. It didn’t go too well. I don’t know if it’s a fluke or if something about German has clicked for me. I watched a fun German movie on Netflix with bilingual subtitles. I didn’t get tired.

I’ve been thinking about getting more into German again. One good reason is that it just has more content and it’s more practical. It will also improve more obscure languages like Icelandic and Yiddish. It was the original reason I wanted to learn German. I guess now I have more relaxed way of studying it. If I really want to improve it I have plenty of resources available.

Now I only dabble in other languages in my leisure time. I also only use lazy methods like bilingual subtitles for now. Basically nothing that demands consistency. My goal is more to have fun and relax than make fast progress or have any practical skills.

I personally think “practicality” ruins a lot of resources. At least for me. I really find the constant dialogues about generic topics annoying. Some are good, but I just need variety. If there’s more variety it’s just easier to see patterns. I saw a post on reddit about old textbooks. It interested me. Maybe I’d enjoy old textbooks. I really don’t care for the communicative approach so far.
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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)
x 372

Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:14 am

I just discovered a site called YouGlish. Which is exactly what I was looking for. It searches all captions on YouTube, so I can hear how a word is pronounced. I’ve stumbled across so much interesting content. Kind of gets me off on tangents a bit. I have done some good sentence mining from there.

The spaced repetition system for reading articles seems to be working decently. I think I’ll add in clips from TV shows. The pace of TV shows makes them too mentally draining even though I don’t have too many issues watching vlogs with natives casually talking to each other. I’ve found it helpful to watch short clips from tv shows and I think it will fit in well with my spaced repetition system. One goal before changing my main language is being able to comfortably understand TV shows. I’m still not as clear on my goals for reading. I do want to get into literature at one point, but I’m not sure how. All I can do right now is try to improve my general reading comprehension.


Today I tried the site Nicos Weg. I’ve heard good things about the site. The concept kind of reminds me of Icelandiconline. Not sure what to think yet. It has exercises and dialogues and it’s mainly aimed at immigrants. Not my favorite format, but it’s free and online which makes it easier to do. I still don’t understand how a lot of basic German sentences work. Maybe they’ll explain in later lessons. What I like about that format is that it isn’t naggy like Duolingo.

I haven’t been doing as much Finnish lately. Not a huge deal since I expect a lot of ebb and flow from languages I’m dabbling in. I’ll probably go back to it since I often get moments where I really want to spend time with Finnish. Something about it keeps making me want to come back to it.

If I’m comparing German and Swedish, it seems like German is winning. It’s a larger language, so it has more resources. I also know it has a lot of content. I’m hoping learning German will help me get my head around Icelandic grammar.

I kind of chose Swedish arbitrarily. I kind of find all Scandinavian languages “cool”, so it’s hard to pick one. Probably the same issue people have with picking a Romance language. They’re all about equally feasible. With Jewish languages that’s not really the case. The only only convenient language is Modern Hebrew. I committed to it, so I’ve made progress. Even if it doesn’t always satisfy me.

I don’t expect to make too much progress in these languages. I hope I’ll at least make some progress on deciding which language to commit to.
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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)
x 372

Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Oct 12, 2020 7:30 am

I’ve kind of lazy with German. I decided to try to do two lessons in one day instead of one. It backfired. I just stopped doing lessons. I can’t expect much from a language I’m dabbling in. Not doing too much Finnish either.

I do notice slight progress with Finnish. When I watch the learner videos I find I recognize most of the words. Which means I know which English word they correspond to. I definitely don’t understand most of them. Even when I do reach the point of understanding most words, I still know it’s a far cry from actually understanding.

I just got a smart tv, so I’m going to start watching more tv shows in Hebrew. What I notice with a lot of tv shows is that I actually do know a lot of vocabulary. I’m just not fluent enough to keep up. It feels a lot like it did when I first started listening to podcasts. My comprehension felt fairly low. I wasn’t sure if listening to podcasts was helpful at my level. I think within a month I improved dramatically.

I’ll still watch videos more intensely on my laptop. I’m also dedicating a certain day of the week to watching tv episodes intensely. Right now it’s Sunday, but I might change it. On that day I make my anki deck review only. Saturdays are also review only. I think I’ll dedicate Saturdays to making extra anki cards.

I do find it pretty challenging to keep up with making anki cards. I have a vocabulary list that is a to-do list. Once I make a flashcard or decide I know the word I check it off. The list got pretty long. I just split it up so I have a goal of about five a day. They take a long time for me to make because I take my time finding good sentences. I guess I can just think of that time as study time.

Watching clips of tv shows intensively did help a lot with my listening. Before I watched them I found YouTube videos slightly too fast. Now most of them are fairly comfortable. I think it’s very important to get things to a comfortable level for the sake of long-term maintenance. At the moment I can watch several types of YouTube videos, even on bad days.

I still don’t have a good plan for reading literature. I may be able to find some literature courses on YouTube. The best I can do right now is just improve my general reading ability. I’m still reading a few paragraphs a day. It’s maybe not ideal for overall reading comprehension, but it’s honestly all I can realistically manage every day. When my reading ability is better maybe I’ll be able to handle an article a day.
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