General language log

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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:16 am

I finished my daily 10 minutes video. I’m on day 4/30. I think talking into a camera helps me express myself better. While I definitely have a lot of thoughts in my head, I find I think through things by talking. That makes me over share with people and bore people in general. Even though I like my privacy. It’s incredibly annoying to over share, but value your privacy. I often make people go quiet because I talk way too much. So when I do these videos I get to vent and clean up my mind. I kind of do the same on online forums. I’ve tried keeping regular journals, but I haven’t had much luck keeping them up.

When I actually talk to people it’s for communication rather than thinking out loud. I also find it easier to regulate my tone of voice. One problem I’ll have is I’ll mimic someone’s tone of voice when I really don’t want to. I still want to mimic people’s tone of voice when it serves me, but it often doesn’t.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:16 am

I completed day 5 and 6. Day 5 was over 30 minutes, while today was just around 11 minutes. I don’t really have all that much to say about this. I’m mainly keeping track of which days I do and which day I’m on. I just watched a video about having a fear of speaking your target language and a fear of public speaking. I definitely don’t feel all that comfortable recording myself. The main reason I’m comfortable with it at all is that no one has to watch it. Not even me. I’m also not entirely comfortable pronouncing all words in English. I mainly have issues with loanwords or words you mainly find it books. At some point, either during the 30 days or after I’ll probably practice reading aloud in front of a camera. I also want to alter how I sound, so I sound more charismatic. I find my natural voice very weird. I’ve been told by a few people I have a unique voice and that is not a good thing for me. Because when I hear uniqueness, I hear all the things about my voice I don’t like. It doesn’t matter if the person calling my voice unique thinks it’s a good thing. I want to sound like someone who is charismatic and well adjusted. Not someone who people can tell is weird the second you meet them. I’m hoping just talking in front of a camera for 30 days will take care of some issues. After that I may try to change it more deliberately. I’m doing a few things like trying to be slightly more animated, but for now I’m trying to avoid too much judgement. My main goal is to get more comfortable and get a new habit.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:58 am

It’s day 7. I haven’t really watched much of my videos after filming, but I think I’m starting to hesitate a lot less. The purpose of this is to get the initial nervousness in front of a camera out of the way. One thing that really bothers me is the lack of control I have for how my voice sounds. I feel like some moments my tone of voice sounds normal to me and other moments it sounds awful and monotone.

I read about how professional mimics forget how to talk like themselves. That’s exactly what I want to do. I may have already done it to some extent. Even people who have called my voice monotone in the past insist I don’t sound monotone. I just can’t stop hearing my voice as monotone and weird.

I don’t think I’d be able to have an enjoyable experience speaking other languages if I don’t have any sense of control over how I talk. I’m hoping doing these videos will make it easier to control how my voice sounds. I just get so frustrated how some moments I seemingly have perfect control of my voice and other moments I pretty much have no control. Same problem with my body language and conversation topics I choose. Sometimes I feel like doing these videos helps me control what I talk about better, but sometimes I feel like they don’t.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:21 am

Day 8. I think I sounded pretty monotone for this video. My voice was lower than in the other videos I think. I kind of want a lower voice, but I find my voice is more monotone when it’s low. When I put effort into not being monotone I find my voice gets high pitched and sweet and innocent. I don’t want a sweet and innocent voice either. Seems like I can’t win. I haven’t even watched the video yet to be honest.

I was just talking about random stuff and went to the topic of language learning. I talked about why I got into Icelandic. It was basically because I was around 12-14 years old and discovering the music I like. I was getting into indie and I realized a lot of the indie I liked was Scandinavian. I heard about Bjork before, but wasn’t too sure. I ended up getting into her music and explored more Icelandic music.

At the same time I was into Icelandic music I watched the documentary Brainman, about the savant who learned Icelandic in a week. The documentary talked about how Icelandic was super hard and all the unique grammar. It got me intrigued. So pretty much enjoying Icelandic music and seeing that documentary made me want to learn Icelandic.

I’m still debating whether I want to learn it again. I definitely liked the feeling of learning Icelandic. The feeling of a new soul or personality being born that people talk about. I feel pretty woo woo talking about this, but it seems to be a common experience people from many cultures report. It was super cool when I first felt that when I was learning Icelandic. I noticed it even more when I visited Iceland. I think my mannerisms shifted enough people would approach me in Icelandic. My second visit my experience was quite different.

One silly worry I have is that I’m not getting a Hebrew speaking personality. I didn’t find Icelandic interesting because I thought I’d belong in Iceland. I also didn’t learn Hebrew because I thought I’d belong in Israel. I guess part of the reason I wanted to learn Hebrew was because I’ve had positive interactions with Jewish people. So I kind of started to feel more affinity for Jewish people. It just started to feel so intense and I didn’t want to do something radical like convert to Judaism. I also don’t want to creep out Jewish people. So when I’m around Jewish people I don’t talk about how intense I feel.

I turned to language learning since language learning is intense, but won’t make me seem too radical. I chose Modern Hebrew mainly out of convenience since I knew how important media immersion is to my motivation. I don’t really conflate Israel and Modern Hebrew with Judaism. I kind of conflated Israel with Middle East politics, the Dead Sea and startups. While I conflated Judaism with fun conversations, funny comedians and stuff I find more relatable. This probably sounds problematic to some people. I guess I’m problematically learning Hebrew. Big deal.

When I was casually visiting the Jewish Community Center for bagel and lox and learning more about Israel I’m kind of discovering there isn’t as much of a distinction as I thought. At least with the guys. The guys I saw at the community center reminded me of Israeli guys and some Israeli guys reminded me of the guys I encountered at the community center. They just seemed to have a similar appearance and mannerisms. With the women there does seem to be more of a distinction. I don’t understand why.

I think another reason I feel like my Hebrew speaking persona isn’t too prominent is because I’m so immersed in learning Hebrew. So it just feels like the norm for me right now. One thing that illustrated this for me is when I was on the airplane watching and Icelandic documentary. I felt like my Icelandic learning self again. When I learn languages I try to experience words more like sensations and try not to translate too much into English. So as I was watching this Icelandic documentary I could just feel the sensations I assigned to words. The sensations felt different than the sensations I attached to Hebrew words. It was cool seeing the contrast. Even though a lot of the time I worry about mixing languages up.

Another reason I might not feel like I have a Hebrew speaking personality is because I’ve never been to Israel. I had a chance to and I thought it would be a neat place to visit. I didn’t because of the itinerary being too busy. I find when I travel countries I can soak in the atmosphere of the country and possibly feel closer. I did recently have a dream of visiting “Israel”. I’m putting Israel in quotes because it didn’t look like my idea of what Israel looks like. I was in “Best Buy”, which is kind of stupid since there’s no Best Buys in Israel. It was pretty much a big tech store with really high ceilings. I was browsing and then suddenly an employee said “?מה שלמך” (How are you?”) to me. I ended up running away because I didn’t want to speak Hebrew yet. I just felt so put on the spot. I still liked the overall vibe of that tech store. Reminds me of the feeling I get studying Hebrew. Don’t know if visiting Israel will feel like that. Maybe there’s even a place that resembles that tech store. Sometimes I’ve visited places in my dreams before I visit them.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:03 am

Day 9. Today I tried using my natural voice. My natural voice is bad. Today I was pretty stoic about my natural voice sounding bad. I didn’t put any effort into how my voice sounds, so of course it sounds bad. I thought it would sound deeper, but it didn’t sound much deeper than my higher effort voice. I kind of want a deeper voice, but not if it sounds bad. My voice sounds odd, out of breath and too monotone. Right now the out of breath part bothers me the most. I think my voice sounds out of breath because I suffer from shortness of breath. There’s probably a way of fixing this issue.
I talked about languages I’m investigating. For Biblical Hebrew I found this free ebook by the Israel Bible Society. It’s obviously geared at Christians, but so far it seems useful. It’s not a Biblical Hebrew textbook, but it still includes a lot of passages written in Hebrew with nikkuds. I can get some light reading practice with that book. I also like that it goes over a lot of the Hebrew words and gives me more background information in general. At the moment this is a good pace for me.
I’m also investigating Finnish. I’m still not 100% sure when or if I’ll learn it. I think I’ve talked before about liking how Finnish sounds and feeling connected to it in some way. I also like a wide variety of music genres from Finland. I also just have an urge to speak it. I feel like I have a Finnish persona living inside my head. I’ve also been told by people on last.fm that I act Finnish because I’m blunt. I think they mentioned that mainly because I listened to a lot of Finnish music at the time. I don’t really remember acting blunt on last.fm, but I guess I did. I’ve been called blunt in real life as well. I wonder if I would have been called a blunt Israeli if people saw my music taste today. It’s interesting that both those countries share that stereotype. I think Vietnamese people are actually the most blunt people I’ve ever met. At least they seem to be more blunt than me. I wonder if blunt is just a generic way of saying you’re experiencing culture clashes with people.

I think I also like my privacy and I can be distant with some people which is a trait I share with Finnish people. I don’t know if I’m truly distant or just don’t get along with Canadians. I think I have a mix of introverted and extroverted traits. I guess the main thing about me is that I feel suffocated easily, so that brings out my more introverted traits.

I don’t like being checked up on or people asking how I’m doing or how my day went. At the same time I’ll feel more extroverted and outgoing around fun people. A lot of introverts say they’re more outgoing around people they know, but I can be outgoing around people I barely know if they’re fun enough. One bad extroverted trait is that I talk way too much. So I think I prefer being around more outgoing people, so I won’t end up feeling like I talk too much. Most people I’ve met seem to talk less than me, which really annoys me. I get so happy when I meet people that talk more than me. Either way I really don’t think I fit in with Canadians.

Even though I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, I still feel like I haven’t gotten used to Canadian culture. Canadian friendliness makes me very uncomfortable. It seems like it’s almost judgmental. I feel singled out.

I may be enjoying some music and minding my own business. Maybe moving to my music a bit too much. Suddenly a stranger will smile at me. I feel judged for enjoying my music. I also don’t care for Canadian politeness. It just makes people boring to talk to. I also never know what I truly did well if everything I do is good. I just feel so mediocre. When I encounter people from less polite cultures I get a bit of a culture shock. As much as I hate Canadian politeness, I’m definitely aware that I’m used to it.

One reason I’m not so sure about learning Finnish is because I’ve heard about how hard it is. I also have a similar connection to other Nordic countries and I know they have far easier languages. At the moment I’m not really committed to learning it, but I think I’ll have fun learning more about it.

I watched Langfocus’s video on Finnish. I like his style of videos. They introduce me to grammatical features of the language, some history and fun facts. So now I know a bit more about what I’m getting into. He introduced a bit of the cases. I know one just ends a word with the letter n. I don’t remember what that case is. I also know that different words join up to a word to change the meaning of a word. It ends up making words look long. I don’t remember if he was talking about compound words or if it’s more similar to the inseparable prepositions found in Hebrew.

I think I’ll also read more language logs and online posts on learning Finnish. I think that should help me see what I’m getting into, what resources to use and learn a tiny bit of Finnish just by reading discussions about learning Finnish. One thing I’m a bit bummed out about is that Finnish isn’t on reverso translate. That app has been so useful for Hebrew. Especially those tricky grammar features that I know are more complicated in Finnish.
On the positive side I still have clozemaster and I can probably find subtitled movies. I already do surprisingly well on round 1 of clozemaster. I think I’m cheating because I usually just picked the most familiar looking words. I also like that clozemaster for Finnish still has text to speech. Icelandic doesn’t.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:01 pm

I missed a day, so it’s day 10. I started this log yesterday and I’m finishing it up in the morning. For whatever reason I didn’t really get a chance to get away to film my video diary. I can’t film them at home. At least this video diary sounded okay from what I heard.

Sadly I still live with my parents. Not too bad for coronavirus, but I still feel so suffocated. I once tried to film a video diary in my car on the driveway. Since my parents saw me, they started asking what I was doing. I can’t even sit in my own car without being asked what I’m doing?

I guess it’s unusual behavior for me. I just find it unbelievably annoying I can’t do minuscule changes to my behavior without being asked questions. I think this has kept me stagnant in life. It’s also a big reason I’ve been sort of addicted to the internet. It’s the only place I can breathe. Until I get stalkers.

Cyberstalkers are awful because I live so much of my life online. People can easily tell you to stop posting personal information online. Unfortunately the more your stalker knows about you, the more things you post could be personal information. So posting about Finnish folk music is now personal information. It’s so great to not be able to post about your interests.

I also told someone on another site I was doing a video diary and they asked if it was going on YouTube. I just said I’m still practicing making videos for a while before I decide to post on YouTube. They then told me they wouldn’t be authentic. Like I said before I don’t value authenticity for its own sake for several reasons. Another point is that talking to a camera just isn’t natural. So I’ll end up acting more awkward than usual and I most likely wouldn’t fit most people’s definition of authentic. I’m just doing this to get more comfortable in front of a camera and improve how I express myself in general.

I also haven't decided how I would even structure my YouTube channel. Would it be only about language learning? Would it be language learning with a bit of my personal life included? Would it be mainly about my personal life? I don’t even know if it’s even worth it to start a YouTube channel. Maybe it’s just not something I’m good at. I’ve tried starting blogs in the past, but pretty much no one read them. Except for my fucking cyberstalker.

I even forgot my blogs existed, but he found them since he’s so fucked in the head. If I start a YouTube channel there’s a very high chance he’ll find it. I’m even worried he’s already found me on this site. Maybe it won’t be so bad if he finds me when I already have a bunch of followers. Maybe I’m just convincing myself that it won’t be so bad. I know starting a YouTube channel will probably expose me to more stalkers.
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lavengro
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Re: General language log

Postby lavengro » Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:50 pm

sporedandroid wrote:Even though I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, I still feel like I haven’t gotten used to Canadian culture. Canadian friendliness makes me very uncomfortable. It seems like it’s almost judgmental. I feel singled out.

.... I also don’t care for Canadian politeness.

Trying wearing a Leafs jersey in Montréal on game day during hockey season. That will mostly eliminate the legendary Canadian friendliness and politeness, but it will undoubtedly double up on the judgmental angle.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:15 am

lavengro wrote:
sporedandroid wrote:Even though I’ve lived in Canada my whole life, I still feel like I haven’t gotten used to Canadian culture. Canadian friendliness makes me very uncomfortable. It seems like it’s almost judgmental. I feel singled out.

.... I also don’t care for Canadian politeness.

Trying wearing a Leafs jersey in Montréal on game day during hockey season. That will mostly eliminate the legendary Canadian friendliness and politeness, but it will undoubtedly double up on the judgmental angle.

I’ve never liked hockey either. I can’t believe how seriously people take it.
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sporedandroid
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Re: General language log

Postby sporedandroid » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:11 am

I did day 11 and 12. Not much happened on day 11. On day 12 I filmed in a new location. It wasn’t the best choice because a lot of people were going for walks right beside my car. So they could clearly see I was talking in front of my iPhone. There’s a chance it just looks like a zoom meeting or something. I can’t stand being asked why I’m doing something. Getting away from my house decreases the chance of that happening. There’s still a chance someone will ask me what I’m doing. If they do I’ll tell them it’s for a public speaking class. Not entirely untrue. I definitely think public speaking is an important skill to develop.
Since strangers don’t really approach each other in my city, I feel like it’s usually because you stand out in some way. Not because they genuinely think you share something in common with them. I’d like more people to approach me for that reason. I think one reason I get interested in studying languages is because I’m subconsciously looking for somewhere I’d belong more. I say subconsciously because I often pick odd countries.

Iceland was an odd choice because I felt different because of being Hispanic. It’s a Northern European country. Another big issue is my last name. It was pretty annoying having a Hispanic last name growing up in Canada, but I know it would be worse in Iceland. Their last names work completely different than the rest of the world, so foreign last names stand out even more. Despite that I seemed to blend in when I went to Iceland. I did the usual things people would do to avoid looking like a tourist and just let myself soak in the energy. I didn’t exactly try to be Icelandic, just avoid seeming like a tourist. The more recent time I visited I noticed I did come across as a tourist, but I honestly didn’t care all that much.

Israel is an odd choice because it doesn’t seem to have many similarities with cultures I was into before. I originally got interested in Judaism, so I’m more interested in Judaism than Israel itself. Since learning modern languages is more convenient I decided to start off with Modern Hebrew. I knew Modern Hebrew was more associated with Israel than Judaism.

Modern Hebrew really intimidated me at first. One reason was that I simply didn’t learn enough about it before I attempted to learn it. I didn’t know about the grammar features it has or even what language family it belongs to. I pretty much just knew it as the official Jewish language. So the learning curve was far worse than it needed to be. Another issue is that it really sounded like a FOREIGN language to me. It gradually did start to sound less foreign to me as I listened more to it. It’s easy to confuse how foreign languages sound with how proficient you are.

Sometime last year I was just watching some hyperpolyglot video. I found it strange how I understood Hebrew better than Swedish. The thing with Hebrew is that it took me a long time to even feel like a beginner. With Swedish I never considered myself a Swedish learner, but I did know some Swedish words. I’m pretty decent at Swedish Clozemaster. The main thing was, Swedish sounded less foreign to me than Hebrew. Understanding Hebrew better was weird because of that.

I think there’s several factors that influence how foreign a language sounds to you. One is mere exposure. I listened to a whole lot of Scandinavian music growing up. For cultural purposes I’ll include Finland. I still find Finnish sounds less foreign to me than Hebrew even though I most definitely do not understand Finnish better. Another one might just be how similar I feel or how much choice I feel in hearing the language. I’ve been exposed to a whole lot of Persian, but it still sounds foreign to me. Same with other languages. I think since I chose to listen to Scandinavian music I ended up identifying with it more, so that explains why it sounds less foreign.
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lingzz_langzz
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Re: General language log

Postby lingzz_langzz » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:54 pm

sporedandroid wrote:I think there’s several factors that influence how foreign a language sounds to you. One is mere exposure. I listened to a whole lot of Scandinavian music growing up. For cultural purposes I’ll include Finland. I still find Finnish sounds less foreign to me than Hebrew even though I most definitely do not understand Finnish better. Another one might just be how similar I feel or how much choice I feel in hearing the language. I’ve been exposed to a whole lot of Persian, but it still sounds foreign to me. Same with other languages. I think since I chose to listen to Scandinavian music I ended up identifying with it more, so that explains why it sounds less foreign.


I totally agree! It happened to me with German and I feel like it also boosts your confidence cause right now even though I don't actually speak German, I understand a lot of it and if I had to, I would just start speaking it without even thinking about it.
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