General language log

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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:53 am

I think I’m starting to think of a new study routine I like. When I’m commuting I’ll listen to some Hebrew tv episodes or movies. This is ideal because there’s bad cellphone reception and during that trip I’d normally agonize about what music I’ll listen to. Now I don’t have to! I’ll start off by just listening and relaxing. So I don’t get too worried about words or grammar structures I don’t understand. Since I already know the story from watching with English subtitles I can relax. I’ve noticed some improvements in understand the meaning of things in Hebrew even though I come across a lot of words I knew for sure I recognized before. I’m making a transition between recognizing words and getting meaning out of things.

Right now I’m working on the third episode of Shtisel. I already made anki cards for it and a pdf file of the script. I’m editing the audio at the moment. I have ten episodes available in total. I don’t know how much more I’ll need to make anki cards for. For the later episodes I might just listen and look through the script.

I’m still not too sure what I’ll do about parallel reading. Right now I have a rough pdf of Harry Potter one with audio from a YouTube video. I still haven’t figured out an organized way to do parallel reading or how to fit it into my study routine. I also want to find something other than Harry Potter. Harry Potter is above my level and I’m not sure how useful the vocabulary would be. So far all the public domain Hebrew audiobooks have been even harder than Harry Potter and it’s probably hard to track down an English version. I still kind of feel like I need English translations. One day I’ll probably be fine with just a transcript.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:14 am

I’ve been continuing trying to re-organize my Hebrew study routine. I’ve been struggling to stay motivated with German. Not too surprised about that. I don’t even know how much I want to prioritize German. Part of why I love studying with anki is that anki organizes everything for me. When I have to think about how to organize things my productivity plummets a lot and I suddenly don’t have willpower. When I can just study anki cards I can just get it done. I don’t feel like I lack any willpower.

I’m terms of Shtisel I’ll just finish editing the audio of episode 4 and make anki cards and a pdf of the script. I’m still wondering whether I should change my editing style back to my old style. My old style cuts out more, but it’s more abrupt sounding. I’ll also edit the Kindergarten Teacher. I probably won’t do more Shtisel until I get more studying done on anki. I don’t really have a good schedule for listening to the episodes or any of my other non-anki activities.

Doing my intense listening method has worked well in the past, but it was fairly low hanging fruit. I could often make hard or impossible to understand dialogue comfortable within a few minutes or a few days if I didn’t quite get it in those minutes. Now it’s taking longer. Probably because I’m picking the hardest to understand dialogue I can find. So it even sounds hard or impossible to understand when I slow it down. On anki I couldn’t cut it up or play with the speed, but at least it gave me structure. So I find myself going back to the same dialogue over and over again.

In terms of Harry Potter. I think my best option is opening two windows on my chromebook with each language side by side. It’s not as sleek looking as I’d like, but at least I can scroll both at once. I’m still not sure how I’ll tackle Harry Potter. I googled beginner Hebrew stories and I found a website full of beginner Hebrew books. Unfortunately they have no audio.

Another thing I’m trying on and off is watching videos of people reading Hebrew kid’s books on YouTube. I tried this earlier on and I couldn’t do it in any practical way because of my low vocabulary. Now I can kind of follow the story without looking up words. I still look up words to grow my vocabulary. I still don’t enjoy it too much, but maybe I’ll get used to it. I might also be able to get used to reading basic books without audio.

I also tried watching Calliou, but I didn’t enjoy it either. I could kind of follow an episode on Calliou going swimming. But as soon as I got a bunch of vocabulary on more obscure topics like sailing I understood less than I wanted to. Maybe if I keep watching more Calliou I could pick up more vocabulary from context. I just don’t enjoy it. I’d rather learn vocabulary from anki.

I just tried reading Harry Potter that way. So far it’s decent. I think I’ll change Harry Potter to a podcast, so I can use speater to add the amount of repetition I like to learn vocabulary and process new sentence structures. Harry Potter could be a good activity to do after I’m done with anki for the day.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:03 am

I’ve been enjoying reading Harry Potter in English while listening to it in Hebrew. I’ve been wanting to reread Harry Potter anyways. I can mostly follow along, but I sometimes get lost on long descriptive paragraphs. What I mean by follow along is being able to match the English words on the page to the Hebrew I hear. I noticed I could actually do that with Shtisel pretty early on.

Sometimes I go back and look up every word in the Hebrew text I can’t understand and repeat some sections on speater over and over again until I can understand it. I think I’m noticing some improvement in my listening comprehension(meaning), but it’s hard to tell at this point. Listening comprehension is such a broad term. I think there’s phoneme awareness, but also being able to understand the meaning. It’s separate, but everyone puts them both into the category of listening comprehension.

I think I’ve gotten decent at what I call phoneme awareness. A lot of the studying I do is designed to help with that. I don’t seem to have all that much trouble understanding fast speech if it’s simple enough. I have more trouble with the meaning. Probably because my vocabulary is still small, but I have sometimes noticed my ability to understand meaning lag behind my vocabulary.

I’m still trying to re-organize how I study. I never really know when to listen to tv shows and movies. I’m also continuing to study Shtisel and The Kindergarten Teacher on anki. The Kindergarten Teacher can stump me sometimes, but I think it’s a nice introduction to more literary language. It’s probably why I can understand an arts and culture radio station surprisingly well.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:55 am

I’m continuing to do regular anki subs2srs with Shtisel and The Kindergarten Teacher. I also just finished doing the L R method with Harry Potter. Unsurprisingly quite a bit went over my head. I’ll study it more intensively more. Maybe I’ll try listening to a few chapters without reading English and see where my weak spots are. I’m doing that with Shtisel and studying sections that really stand out to me on speater and by reading the text. Still haven’t gotten a super organized way of doing that, but I’ll probably use a similar method for Harry Potter.

Just did a bit of shadowing. It was fairly nerve wracking since I haven’t been doing it that often. Still terrified of parents walking in on me. I also don’t care for my own voice in general. Even in English, so naturally I won’t care for my voice in other languages. I do notice shadowing improves general control of my voice. So it helps with feeling socially awkward. I’ve really been feeling more awkward when I quit shadowing regularly. When I do shadow I do notice I can match rhythm and pitch way more quickly than when I first started. So there’s probably still some improvement to my social awkwardness I’m not noticing.
This time I did it inside my closet with the bedroom and closet door shut. I used my iPhone speakers instead of headphones so I can kind of hear my own voice. One cool thing I noticed is that I had to make sounds from different parts of my mouth. I noticed I had to pronounce the letter N from the roof of my mouth instead of the ridge behind my teeth. I still notice this phenomenon with headphones, but I find it hard to hear how well I pronounce the consonants. There was this one word where I was okay with the general prosody, but when I accidentally heard my voice on its own I realized how much I messed up the L sound. I think it’s also a good idea because if someone walks in on me they won’t just hear my voice.

I’m also dying to do shadowing for Finnish. Don’t know how that will work out. I enjoy Finnish music and kind of find Finnish culture interesting. I’ve also been told I have a Finnish personality. I’ve just never had a burning urge to sit down and actually study Finnish, so I haven’t. Maybe I will one day. I’ve heard Finnish media is lacking. Maybe I’ll have to ...gasp... speak to native Finnish speakers! Don’t know how I’ll fit this in. I’m struggling to even fit in German. Languages are so hard when you know under 1,000 words even if you closely related languages. At least my Hebrew doesn’t seem to be suffering. I’m doing less anki, but I’m doing more listening practice elsewhere.

I most likely not stick with Finnish. I’ll just get an idea on how it differs from other languages. Which is what I got out of Turkish. Turkish was very interesting to shadow. The first time I studied Hebrew I ended up quitting. One thing that I think helped me keep interest in Hebrew was finding Hebrew I music enjoyed. I can’t enjoy Hebrew literature as a beginner, but I can still enjoy music. It just gives me an emotional connection to the language and something to grab onto when my comprehension is still low. This is probably why so many people study Scandinavian languages despite the lack of “practicality.”

In order to care about German I’ll probably have to find some German music I like. I can’t just listen to 99 luftballons all the time. The variety of Hebrew music I like is also lacking. I like the band Kaveret, but they only have three albums and I don’t like all the songs on them. Sure I’ve found similar sounding artists, but I’m running low on them as well!
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:54 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (heritage/intermediate), Hebrew (pre-A1), Turkish (pre-A1, aiming for around A1)
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:45 am

I did my regular method of reading Harry Potter in Hebrew. I basically have the Hebrew and English text open at the same time on my chromebook and the Hebrew Harry Potter audiobook open on the app speater. I prefer high repetition when I have to deal with a lot of new words or unfamiliar sentence structures. Harry Potter has a lot! It’s a pretty good time to sneak it some pronunciation practice since I’ll be listening to a sentence repetitively anyways. To not have the lack of privacy excuse I decided to see if I could mouth along. I couldn’t care less if my parents or anyone else walks in on me mouthing. I’m more worried about people hearing my voice. I can’t even stand to hear my own voice myself. When I do chorusing/shadowing I do it simultaneously with the recording. I hear a tiny bit of my voice, but I just like to think of it as me harmonizing and meshing with the other voice.

At full speed I couldn’t keep up with the rhythm, but when I slowed it down to 0.7 speed I could mouth some of the slower words pretty well. Just mouthing still feels like pretty big workout. It has potential for long flights. It will look weird, but I think most people on an airplane are too tired to care. I think you’d have to be highly sensitive and annoying to find mouthing annoying. If you don’t like me mouthing, just look away. Sadly the city I live in has small-towny vibes. So if I were to do mouthing in public I bet I’d get stared at and even asked if I’m okay. I get asked if I’m okay even if I do something trivial like sit in a chair the wrong way or enjoy my music too much.

Another interesting thing I noticed is that I could hear the intonation super clearly. It sounded exaggerated just the way I liked it. I find the intonation on some learner materials sounds too fake to me. At normal speed she just sounds like an excited Harry Potter fan. I could just feel the way the intonation changed. When I tried to actually use my voice along with it, I could hear I didn’t quite match the intonation. But I’m sure I could if I practiced more. A lot of it is just muscle memory. I can hear Finnish pretty clearly in my head, but I can’t speak Finnish like it sounds in my head. Right now I don’t quite hear Spanish quite as clearly in my head, but I know it’s far better than my Finnish accent because of muscle memory.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:54 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (heritage/intermediate), Hebrew (pre-A1), Turkish (pre-A1, aiming for around A1)
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:01 am

I’ve been back to doing regular subs2srs. Shtisel and the Kindergarten Teacher at the moment. Based on subs2srs when I’m listening to Hebrew I can say I usually *know* most words, but don’t quite understand most of the meaning. I’ve been in this stage for a while. At the very least I can say I got further along than I did with Icelandic.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:54 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (heritage/intermediate), Hebrew (pre-A1), Turkish (pre-A1, aiming for around A1)
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sat Jul 27, 2019 6:12 am

I’ve started to get into Clozemaster lately. I didn’t do it in the past because of my reading level and wanting to hear natural speech. Now I’m starting to find it fairly helpful, especially when I use text input. My spelling and grammar in Hebrew needs a lot of work. I think Clozemaster is a nice low stress way of making a bunch of mistakes. I just find it too easy when I use multiple choice. I find it really easy to recognize or guess the word most of the time. I guess I’m noticing a lot of patterns in Hebrew even though my grammar needs a bunch of work. I’m not surprised by this.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Jul 29, 2019 5:14 am

I tried watching Arthur yesterday. It was too hard like usual. I decided to just download the Arthur videos to my phone. Now I’m planning on going through the videos with speater. I prefer listening to and watching things intensively on speater because it’s far easier to repeat sections. The good thing about these Arthur videos is that they come with subtitles. So it’s fairly easy to look up words I don’t know. I think I struggle with Arthur and other kid’s shows because they use a lot of low frequency vocabulary, while learner material is full of high frequency words and I don’t end up learning much vocabulary. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if I want to focus on reading or grammar. Having to worry about learning a bunch of new vocabulary doing grammar exercises is just painful. I appreciate that I don’t learn all that much vocabulary on Clozemaster.

Maybe I also feel like I struggle because I know how much I’m falling short, but when I’m listening to the radio or a podcast I can feel satisfied just knowing what they’re talking about and understanding common chatty words or phrases. Maybe on Arthur the story is just faster paced than those radio shows that might elaborate a lot and give me more hints about what they’re talking about. Sure I’m missing a lot of nuance, but at least I can feel like I’m following something. Either way if I study more from Arthur episodes I’ll be able to understand that type of content more easily.
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sporedandroid
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Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 6:54 am
Languages: English (N), Spanish (heritage/intermediate), Hebrew (pre-A1), Turkish (pre-A1, aiming for around A1)
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:11 am

Today I did a bit of shadowing. I could tell when the melody of my voice differed from the recording, but I think I found a clip I like to shadow along to. Maybe I just had more confidence because I was using one of my louder headphones. I’ve been meaning to compile them all into one track I’ll keep shadowing to. Like Olle Kjellin said you’re supposed to go quieter as you improve. I guess I can do this by shadowing with different equipment. At the beginning stages I can’t stand to hear my own voice. I can still hear my voice is differing in pitch, but it’s not quite as painful to listen to. In the later stages the pitch of my voice starts to match it pretty well, so it’s time to use other setups like my iPhone speakers. When I use my iPhone speakers I can improve things like consonants. I think I’m fairly good at the guttural Hebrew sound, but I do find it harder to pronounce words with it. I read somewhere it cuts off airflow and I definitely agree with that. I know I’ll have to practice saying the guttural sound and keeping the vowel sounds clear, but I notice even native speakers have this problem a bit. I sometimes have a hard time hearing vowels clearly when they use the guttural sound. I think having trouble making my vowels sound clear reveals something about Hebrew prosody. It has like a choppy and loud sounding rhythm to me. An interesting thing I noticed is that when I showed someone one of the Hebrew sentences I was studying he insisted there was a guttural sound when there actually wasn’t.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Jul 31, 2019 3:45 am

Just saw this video. It’s a Facebook video, so I’m not sure I can embed it. https://facebook.com/nasdaily/videos/1003244263161059/

It brought up an interesting issue. This guy claims to not have an accent in the video, while he clearly does in the video. He claims to be mistaken for a native speaker in real life and that he puts on a “YouTube accent”, so he’s understood more clearly. There could be truth to this because I notice my dad’s accent gets more pronounced when he talks on the phone. I also notice he’s enunciating more. Since his native language is Spanish, he’d be enunciating in a Spanish way.

I also notice my own idiosyncrasies in my speech are more prominent if I’m enunciating more. I’m not sure you could quite call it an accent. I did pick up some idiosyncrasies in my speech from my parents, but so far the people I’ve encountered online have told me I sound like a native English speaker. I used to mumble on purpose or avoid saying certain words just because I found my voice too weird.

I also had issues with my voice being monotone. For a long time I intuitively knew making my voice higher pitched helped make me sound less monotone. I recently read on reddit that the human ear can’t detect changes in pitch as much when it’s a lower pitch. Maybe it doesn’t apply to my voice range, but it could explain why I’m less monotone with a higher pitched voice. I also find making my voice slightly nasal helps it sound more normal. If I don’t, it will have a weird out of breath sound.

I’ve been working on my voice for over ten years in a way. At first it was because I was self-conscious about having a Spanish accent. Apparently I mainly spoke Spanish until I was around seven. So at one point I probably had an accent. I also remember having a poor vocabulary. I got so embarrassed when I didn’t know a word. I also remember at one point everyone, including my parents called my voice nerdy or monotone. So at around nine or ten instead of just avoiding a Spanish accent, I also avoided sounding nerdy or monotone.

I don’t remember when this first started, but people started saying I have a large vocabulary. I just feel like my vocabulary is fairly average. Maybe they mean my active vocabulary is larger than average. I don’t think I use many words people around me don’t know. I avoid using jargon like “active vocabulary” in real life. Maybe I use jargon by accident. Sadly I don’t read very many books. I mostly just spend too much time online. So I’m probably just using vocabulary I see on the websites I visit. I’ve also been posting on forums since I was ten years old. I think I got started on longer posts when I was twelve or thirteen.

Today when I compare myself to my sister and other people who are kids of immigrants, I think I sound less like my parents than they do. They probably don’t feel the need to change how they talk. They probably don’t need to. I feel like I need to change how I talk because I’m probably somewhat crazy. I’ve felt ostracized because of the way I talk for my whole life. Maybe they haven’t because they spoke English as a first language, while I didn’t. This is why I’m nervous to speak any of my target languages. Speaking English and later Spanish was painful for me. I remember being young and being asked to say something in Spanish. Even though I was perfectly confident in my ability to speak Spanish, it just felt so othering to be asked to say something in Spanish for people or teach them Spanish. I’m not sure I can cope with speaking any of my target languages.

With Hebrew, I’m not sure what I’d gain from speaking Hebrew. I originally learned it because I’m interested in Judaism. I picked Modern Hebrew because I heard it was easier than Biblical Hebrew. I also wanted to have access to media, particularly music. I don’t think there would be enough media for Biblical Hebrew. I think finding music in Hebrew helped me feel connected to the language. Before I got into music in Hebrew, I didn’t even like how it sounded. Now I’m obviously more used to how it sounds and I even find some Hebrew speakers that have a nice voice to me.

I don’t really have any burning desire to chat with Israelis. My big goal at first was to read religious texts, philosophical stuff and poetry. Listening and talking wasn’t part of it. Now I have a decent listening comprehension, so listening to thought provoking talks is also part of my fantasies now. As a teen I had an opportunity to go to Israel with my family. I wanted to go, but it conflicted with my schedule. I’m not sure I’d fit in with Israelis. I’m also worried they’ll make fun of the Israeli music I like. I have the same worries about people from other countries. I kind of like to hide my music taste or the lack of it behind foreign names. I also have no idea what music is cool for young Israelis to like. Probably just non-Israeli music. I’ve met a bunch of Israelis online who don’t care for Israeli music.
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