General language log

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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sat May 18, 2019 12:57 am

Just started studying a bit of German. I’m using the 10 000 German sentences on anki. For now I’m keeping it limited to 5 new cards a day and 20 reviews. I don’t want German to take away time from Hebrew. I might drop German if this arrangement doesn’t work out for me. Even if I drop it I’ll be happy to have some exposure to German. When I tried studying basic Turkish at the same time things didn’t work.

Mainly because I was practicing Turkish prosody and it took away time from Hebrew prosody. It was still interesting to see how different it feels to speak Turkish. I could just feel my mouth bending to the different vowels and rhythms. My curiosity about Turkish has been satisfied. I think Turkish also didn’t work out because it’s not indo-european. I also don’t find anything interesting about Turkish besides the phonology and some music.

German is kind of challenging for me at the moment like all new languages I start. I’m using a bit of YouTube lessons to clarify what is unclear. Right now I’m unclear about German pronouns. I think the YouTube lessons have been pretty helpful. The ones about Hebrew aren’t too helpful because a lot of it is for Biblical Hebrew. I’ll be on the lookout for some good explanations of Modern Hebrew and German grammar. I think German is a good cover up. I think I’ll talk to my parents about how my lack of privacy makes me feel unsafe practicing German. I’ll just tell them I’d like to feel safe practicing German.

I’ll probably be practicing Hebrew instead, but if I get adequate privacy they’ll never know. I just feel better telling people I’m studying German since I have pretty much no emotions attached to German and it’s a more common language. I’m also interested in optics, so it’s a legit sounding reason to study German.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu May 23, 2019 3:30 am

My Hebrew experiment has been working pretty well. I temporarily reduced the amount of new cards and reviews and just focused very hard on the cards I have. How I would focus very hard on a card is make sure I know what all the words mean and make sure it makes sense to me. I also did this thing where I would keep replaying it until I felt I understood it. I noticed that could improve my listening comprehension for a card within a few days. Overall doing this has made it easier to study more cards. I do notice I’m understanding more words from songs, but I still haven’t reached the point where I can find some comprehensible input.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed May 29, 2019 7:43 am

I’m starting to think my Hebrew has surpassed my Icelandic skills. I just listened to the radio and I seemed to understand more than I ever could understand Icelandic radio. With Icelandic radio I strained to understand. It wasn’t too fun and it was frustrating. I tried to look up unknown words I encountered. You can imagine how well that went. I’d try to spell unknown words and half the time I’d get no results. If I did get results I often felt they were wrong for the context. I think I had a hard time knowing when one word started and another word finished. With Hebrew I do a lot of work to avoid mental fatigue and improve listening comprehension. It’s working. Even though I can’t understand most of what the radio says, I don’t have to strain to understand the words or phrases I recognize most of the time. I still don’t know if listening to radio is worth it. Listening to the radio on my iPhone is annoying because the signal always cuts out. I think I’ll get a smart tv so listening to the radio or even watching some tv shows in the background becomes more convenient.

I’ve been going crazy on subs2srs cards lately. I just started using the app reverso, so I’m cutting back on my subs2srs cards. I like that they have text to speech. It’s nice seeing example sentences for when I want to know the nuance for a word I can’t grasp and just get extra practice for unknown words in general. Language is just a bunch of concepts after all and I find when Hebrew words have simple concepts like “let’s go” I hardly ever think of the English word and just understand it. When I study sentences I often repeat them over and over and let myself imagine what it’s like to just understand and conceptualize the sentence. I’m more successful on some sentences than others. Some words or phrases just don’t make sense to me on that level even if I have no trouble memorizing the dictionary definition. When I see those phrases I usually just mark them as good and hope I can understand them better later on. So far this has worked pretty well.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:31 am

I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I struggled to study. I also just started studying from colloquial Hebrew. I have the audio on my iPhone and I read the pdf on my chromebook. Yesterday I did unit 1 and 2. Today I struggled through unit 3. I like that unit three had numbers. I could use a lot of practice with numbers. I quietly did some shadowing with the numbers and I think my voice meshed pretty well. I’m glad they used a female voice for numbers. I think I’ll do some more shadowing with numbers later on and create a separate file for them. It seems like a great way to get back into pronunciation and get better with those numbers.

I’ve been learning some grammar implicitly with sentences from movies and tatoeba. I think it gives me a bit of intuition about the way the grammar works and it makes it easier for me to study grammar explicitly. I don’t really expect to learn all grammar just by getting input. I found the dialogues a bit too touristy, but it was nice that I could mostly understand the dialogue. For now I mostly focused on the grammar sections.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:00 am

I’m having a hard time finding structured Hebrew courses that I like. With Icelandic I was pretty satisfied with Icelandiconline which was a free online course that had dialogues and stories I could follow along with and some pretty good grammar explanations and exercises. It was also a monolingual course which is easier to do when you don’t have to learn a new alphabet. If I would have known about subs2srs and been able to find subtitles, maybe I wouldn’t have quit in frustration. It’s funny that just because a language has more speakers doesn’t mean it will have better resources for you. I just learned that Germans have bad subtitles, so I’ll probably struggle to do subs2srs if I want to learn German! I’ll still continue to search for Hebrew courses I like. My main goal right now is to improve my comprehension. What I mean by comprehension is being able to follow along to a story or dialogue.

I’m having a hard time getting myself to study from Colloquial Hebrew. So far I find the dialogue boring. I also don’t care for the exercises. I guess I don’t like exercises on paper. If I could do them on a computer or app I’d probably be fine with them. I’ll either find a course I like more or find a way to make it more tolerable. I do like having the explanations of grammar and how words work in general. I kind of liked Hebrewpodcasts, but their membership seems expensive especially since I’m Canadian. The study method I enjoy the most is subs2srs, but the weakness of that is being able to follow anything longer.

The strengths are that it’s fun for me and I can increase listening comprehension very quickly. I’ll often have an audio clip where people seem to be speaking way too fast and unclear. Within a few minutes or sometimes a few days later I’ll be able to understand it. I sometimes even hear words I wasn’t even sure were there before. Sure I could read them in the subtitles, but I thought the subtitles were mis-timed. Maybe when I’m done with a movie or tv show I should try watching it to improve my attention span in Hebrew. I notice similar, but milder issues with my Spanish listening comprehension. I don’t necessarily have trouble with people speaking too quickly or unclearly, but following the plot can be hard. I find it very hard to know the meanings behind Spanish songs and poetry even though I have no trouble catching most of the words.
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Adrianslont
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Re: General language log

Postby Adrianslont » Fri Jun 07, 2019 8:13 am

Hi sporeandroid. As well as turning cartoons and movies into subs2srs anki cards I also just rip the audio from the DVDs and load it onto my phone. And I relisten to cartoons on my daily walks to get practice at extended audio that I have been working on more intensively. It seems to help.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Jun 07, 2019 7:40 pm

Adrianslont wrote:Hi sporeandroid. As well as turning cartoons and movies into subs2srs anki cards I also just rip the audio from the DVDs and load it onto my phone. And I relisten to cartoons on my daily walks to get practice at extended audio that I have been working on more intensively. It seems to help.

I’ll try that. I’ve also been listening to the hebrewpodcast episodes that are available for free while cleaning my house or waiting for the bus. I’m thinking I should just ask for a subscription to hebrewpodcasts for my birthday. I hardly ever want any birthday gifts.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:33 am

It’s been an interesting day. Still trying to decide how useful sentence mining will be in the long run. I definitely noticed an improvement, but that’s pretty easy when you barely know 500 words and barely have any exposure to sentences. I just don’t know how far tatoeba and subs2srs will take me. I guess I’m understanding tatoeba sentences better. Good for me. I still don’t know if hebrewpodcasts is worth the price. It would just be nice to have some grammar explanations. I tried reading Harry Potter on Readlang. I found the text online along with an audiobook on YouTube. I didn’t encounter as many unknown words as I thought I would.
Today I tried some shadowing. Unsurprisingly I was rusty. I just couldn’t sync up. Afterwards I just casually listened to a Hebrew song and noticed that at the beginning of Hebrew words the pitch seems to drop quickly and go back up. I tried doing that when shadowing and I quickly noticed an improvement. One challenge I ran into was picking audio clips that talked too fast. Even speech that sounds slow to me is often too fast. I don’t know if simply improving at shadowing will help with that issue. So I just did 50languages. Normally they sound painfully slow and I find the intonation unnatural, but they work well for this purpose.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 187
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:34 am

I think I’ll try listening to the Hebrew version of Harry Potter while reading the original version. I tried this a bit already and I noticed I could understand it better. One frustrating thing I’ve noticed is that I often look up words that I already know or are very similar to words I know. I’ll sometimes I won’t be able to understand a sentence where I know all the words. I’m guessing the parts I could understand better were a combination of stuff I could normally understand and sentences with a lot of familiar words that I couldn’t understand. There were some parts that were fuzzy and I assume that happens when I encounter a lot of unknown words. So far I only found one Hebrew book I could download. It was the complete book, but it was scanned. I also found the full text of the first chapter. Maybe it’s not too bad because I’ll probably be studying chapter one for a while. Harry Potter doesn’t have as many unknown words as I thought it would. It does however have those complicated sentences I struggle with. I can’t be too hard on myself since I only think I’ve been consistently studying for a few months. I’m just able to spot more knowledge gaps as my vocabulary goes up. I used to be able to blame everything on having a low vocabulary. I’ll continue studying sentences like I was before. I know I should have a more varied study routine. I just find it so stressful to try out new methods I often don’t get anything done. I’d rather get studying done, but lack variety than agonize about how to study and get nothing done.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:19 am

I’m having some issues with studying Hebrew, but I’m happy I’m still following through since I have at least some organized study plan. If I didn’t have an organized plan this is the point when I’d quit. For now I’m pausing German. Maybe I’d benefit from pausing Hebrew. The only reason I’m not pausing Hebrew is because I have a structured study plan and I’d be bored to tears if I did.

It’s too bad my old accordion teacher isn’t around at the moment. One idea I have is to spend maybe a week or two trying to get good practicing habits for accordion and take a break from languages in the meantime. I’ve already been doing some research on how to do that.

Maybe pausing Hebrew isn’t such a bad idea. When I watch toddler shows I miss words that I know for sure I studied a lot. Oftentimes when I get burnt out by practicing a piece on piano or accordion I would make a bunch of silly mistakes. When I took a break, most of those silly mistakes would clean themselves up on their own.

I’ll go look for some good and free (to me) German resources and study them for one or two weeks instead of Hebrew. A German subs2srs deck would be nice, but I’m aware of the German subtitle situation. Not good for a total beginner like me. I want to learn some basic grammar concepts. On the 10 000 German phrases anki deck some pronouns like Sie confuse me like crazy.

Probably because I lack grammar knowledge. So what I want is some basic grammar and vocabulary. I guess I need a course that is structured in a way I like. I don’t really know how I like it to be structured. What I know so far is that I like interactive activities on a computer. I don’t like them as much in books. I also find too many mundane dialogues boring, I honestly find studying grammar more interesting. What would be ideal is studying a story. Even if it’s mundane and simple.

So for the rest of the week I’ll research and try out German resources and quit trying to find more Hebrew resources. I’ll continue studying my Hebrew anki cards. I’ll try to think of a German study routine. I’ll go watch some YouTube polyglots study with me videos for ideas. Hopefully I’ll have a structured routine ready to study by next week that I won’t have to think too much about. Since German has more resources maybe I’ll learn more about what to look for in a resource and try to recreate it in Hebrew.

What frustrates me about watching toddler videos and not understanding them is the ambiguity. What do I do about unknown or missed words? Will I even be able to learn vocabulary from the video? Do I understand enough for it to be worthwhile practice? So far I haven’t been all that successful learning from vocabulary from podcasts because of a lack of repetition. I really enjoy anki for learning vocabulary. What I have have enjoyed in a podcast format is grammar explanations. Maybe I’ll try to create subs2srs decks for Arthur.
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