Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

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Cèid Donn
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:48 pm
Languages: native: English-US
main foci: Gaelic, French
secondary foci: Irish, Welsh, Breton, Indonesian, German, Spanish
tertiary foci: Japanese, Swedish, Navajo, Ojibwe
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9603
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Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:23 am

Hi, I'm Cèid. Since June 2018, I have been keeping a log of sorts over at Unilang since returning to my language studies after an extended year+ break. I've ended that log, as I want to start a fresh, new log for 2019.

I took some time off from my regular study over the past couple of weeks to catch my breath and think about what I want to do for 2019. I haven't devised a whole year's worth of plans--I'm prone to change plans at a moment notice anyhow, due to my life circumstances, health and other factors that so rudely come into play--but I have decided on a starting point for the end of 2018 to carry me over the holidays and into 2019:

  • Scottish Gaelic: Super Challenge (Full)*
  • French: Super Challenge (Full)*
  • German: I'm currently reviewing German with Memrise, Duolingo, German Quickly, and playing video games in German. My biggest weakness, as is common with "dormant" languages, is how much vocabulary I've forgotten, so that is my main focus.
  • Welsh: Work on finishing Colloquial Welsh and review the Duolingo tree, mainly to dot my i's and build confidence. After that, I want to work on Gareth King's Intermediate Welsh grammar/wookbook concurrently while I complete Stenson's Intermediate Irish.
  • Indonesian: Work on finishing Colloquial Indonesian and review the Duolingo tree, likewise to build confidence with what i've learned so far. What I will do after CI, I have not decided.
Later on in 2019, I want to spend some time strengthening my Irish skills (or rather, learn to write/speak Irish properly instead of getting by with some weird, confused amalgamation of Irish and Scottish Gaelic :D ). But until, Irish is on "maintenance mode"--just enough practice to keep it from eroding. I also really hope to get back to Breton as well, but I want to get more confident with Welsh first.Likewise, I hope at some point in the year to make time to work on Swedish more than a few minutes a couple times a week. While I made small but good progress with Japanese in the past few months, I think I should set it aside for now. I hate doing this, as I really do want to progress in Japanese, but at least I feel I have a solid base to come back to when I have the time. Spanish is everywhere where I live, so using it is unavoidable, but I will not be actively studying it at this point beyond dabbling when I have the time. That also means Catalan is on hold too, as one of my justifications for studying it was to use Spanish-language resources for laddering.

* Regarding my SC, no one so far has objected to my query about giving myself credit for media that I have used/completed in the past 5 months, things that I completed within the time frame of the current SC but prior to my signing up for it. I will be rather conservative in this, though--I won't be tracking done every article I read and the like. But there are a few things I would like credit for, since I was viewing/reading these things precisely as part of my Gaelic or French study. I will list them in a later post.

Skip to 2019 entries
Last edited by Cèid Donn on Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Cèid Donn
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Languages: native: English-US
main foci: Gaelic, French
secondary foci: Irish, Welsh, Breton, Indonesian, German, Spanish
tertiary foci: Japanese, Swedish, Navajo, Ojibwe
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9603
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:17 pm

Regarding my Super Challenge 2019 languages:

Scottish Gaelic

  • Currently gauging myself at B2-C1, based on collective knowledge, experience and confidence with the language; I make mistakes and generally don't care because I know I'll catch it eventually (i.e., I'm not clueless, just getting old and forgetful*), although other speakers/learners nitpicking on my Gaelic can put me in an anxious, foul mood (I will address that at another time); I'm at that vague "break-out" level, meaning if I was put in an environment with only Gaelic, I'd be super OK with it (and even welcome it!)
  • have been studying, with some notable breaks, for ~10 years
  • have taken 4 online classes with AGA, from low intermediate to advanced. Angus Macleod was my teacher for all 4 classes. These classes covered the entirely of TYG and TAIC, as well as materials prepared by AGA
  • Worked with a study partner for roughly 5 years.
  • I was fortunate enough to afford a trip to Cape Breton some years back and participate in a two-week immersion with Angus at the Gaelic College in St. Ann's. Also got to speak with many other Cape Breton speakers and I still know the Gaelic version of "O Canada" :D
  • It is a heritage language for me--my mother's side is descended from Gaels, mainly from Agryll and Inner Hebrides, and despite some influx of Irish, German (disputed--some family say they were really Swedish) and Alsatian along the way, they have long considered themselves Scottish. On a handwritten genealogy passed down to me from a great-great aunt, she wrote "You are Scottish" in the top corner, followed by the tartans we're suppose to wear. :lol: Personally I'm more interested in language and culture than tartans and clans. To that end, I am the first person I know of in my family who has spoken Gaelic in over 100 years. :geek:

French:

  • Similarly, I gauge gauge myself at B2-C1, based on collective knowledge and experience, although because it's French, I am not as confident as I'd like to be and my mistakes still cause me dread and horror that keep me up at night. However, I tend to undersell my French ability due to my lack of confidence, which is a bad habit I'm trying to break; similarly to Gaelic, if I was dropped off in a Anglo-phobic French environment and had to get by, I am quite sure I would be fine.
  • Have been trying to learn on and off for more years that I want to say :lol:
  • Was my second "second" language that I have studied, after German which I studied in junior high and high school. I took an intensive 6-week French course at my uni one summer with an amazing teacher who was a native speaker and knew what he was doing (he also had been a champion fencer back in Europe, which as a younger woman, I confess I thought was pretty hot ;) ), and that class fortunately gave me a really good foundation. But I did not similarly love the "regular" French courses at my uni, so I resigned to learning French little by little from context and exposure. For many years, I could marginally read French from context and flub through basic conversation well enough, but my grasp of proper grammar, orthography and phonology was pretty darn sad. Inspired by my progress with Gaelic, I have been trying to rectify that, on and off over recent years, and slowly, surely, I'm getting there.
  • Have some experience using French with expats and French Canadians, although nothing recent, I am sad to say.
  • Also a heritage language. French, or more specifically Canadian French, was my paternal grandfather's maternal tongue. But when my grandfather died before he was 40, my father was raised in an English-speaking home in the middle of a francophone community in Maine. (My grandmother was American-born Irish who spoke mainly English, but also some Irish that she learned from her father.) This led to my father being quite conflicted about French and his French roots, and not only did he leave Maine as soon as he was old enough, he wasn't very encouraging about me learning French, which is in part why I studied German in high school and not French.

* This is kind of a joke, and kind of an admission. I have PTSD, I've had it for many years, and it is an issue that comes into play with language learning because PTSD and its secondary symptoms, like anxiety, self-esteem issues and depression, can all negatively impact learning and memory in anyone who has it. Most recently, I went through a very bad bout with this for over a year and didn't study at all beyond general exposure to my languages (roughly from early 2017 to mid-2018). I am painfully aware of how PTSD make everything harder--memorizing things, recalling things, concentrating, staying motivated and productive--and sometimes PTSD just wins the day and I don't get a lot done. But I soldier on, because my alternative is to not try to learn any languages.

Current SC progress

These are some of the things I've used recently that I'd like to give myself some credit for toward my SC progress, and everything I list below are things I'm done only since June 2019, so it's all within the time frame of the current SC 2019 challenge.

Likewise, things that I have watched/read more than once in this time frame I will only credit myself for one time for now, and only count future re-readings and re-viewing after this.

Scottish Gaelic

Bannen, series 1 and 2 = 10 x 25 minute = 250 minutes
Machair, series 1 = 13 x 25 minutes = 325 minutes
Sgeulachdan Thormoid** = 30 minutes total
Còco is Crùbagan (audio) = 131 minutes
Fo Bhruid (audio) - 152 minutes

Total: 888 minutes = 10 films

** I know the original rules forbid video "shorts" that are less than 10 minutes, but unfortunately, many Gaelic video media available to learners like me will be under 10 minutes in length, like these videos. This includes interviews, story-telling, documentation of older speakers and the like, so it's still very useful learning materials. I hope my taking some liberty here due to the limits of available content in Gaelic isn't a problem, as most lengthier video material is geo-blocked or, as was recently the case with Bannen and Machair, gets removed from You Tube and other sites over copyright. This isn't a case of me being lazy--in fact, this makes it all the more harder for Gaelic learners. It's just a matter of me working with what materials I can get.

Nigheanan Mòra = 76 pages
An Taistealach = 67 pages
A’ Choille Fhiadhaich = 80 pages
An Creanaiche = 84 pages
Còco is Crùbagan = 53 pages (Gaelic text only)
Leabhar na Litrichean (not finished) = currently 32 litrichean from the Litir do Luchd-ionnsachaidh series, which I will count as 1 page each.
Sgeul gu Latha (Gaelic text--nowhere near finished) = currently 58 pages

Total: 450 pages = 9 books

French:

Marseille, Season 1 = 8 x 42 minutes = 336 minutes
The Hollow, Season 1 (French audio) = 10 x 24 minutes = 240 minutes
Rein Free (French audio) (ne me jugez pas ! :lol: ) = 7 episodes x 28 minutes = 196 minutes
Violet Evergarden, Season 1 (French audio) = 13 x 24 = 312 munties
Stranger Things (French audio) = 3 episodes x 52 minutes = 156 minutes
Lost in Space (French audio) = 4 episodes x 55 minutes = 220 minutes
Godzilla: Planet of Monsters (French audio) = 90 minutes
Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle (French audio) = 120 minutes
Musik Breizh (in French with some Breton) = 5 parts x 28 minutes = 140 minutes
C'est pas scorcier = 6 episodes X 26 minutes = 156

Total: 1966 minutes: 22 films

Les lecteurs de pensée (Learn French by Reading... series) = 220 pages (French text only)
Harry Potter à les l'école des sorciers (not finished) = currently 152 pages
Histoires à lire le soir = 89 pages

(Most of my French reading lately has been via social media and video games and it's made me a little lazy about reading regular books in French, to be honest. Hopefully doing this challenge will remedy that. :D )

Total: 461 = 9 books

I will sort of the little progress bars to display my progress later.
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Cèid Donn
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Languages: native: English-US
main foci: Gaelic, French
secondary foci: Irish, Welsh, Breton, Indonesian, German, Spanish
tertiary foci: Japanese, Swedish, Navajo, Ojibwe
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9603
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Sat Dec 01, 2018 4:19 am

I haven't been terribly focused over the past few days. Thanksgiving and post-Thanksgiving have been simply one distraction after another, and I spent the whole week being confused about what day of the week it was. So my capacity for concentrating on most anything beyond playing Stardew Valley in Spanish just hasn't been happening, but hopefully after today, I will be left alone in peace long enough to do some proper studying.

One thing I have been able to do is start reading through some of Baudelaire's poems here in the original French, which I've never done. I write poetry myself when I am able, even dabbled in writing poetry in Gaelic and French, and I've read Baudelaire in translation. But this is the first time in French. Not my favorite--I'd take Rimbaud or Prévert over him in a heartbeat, but you know, he's one of the "masters" like Lord Bryon is to English poetry...and I'm not crazy about Bryon either.

Oh, by the way, this is my first log here, so you folks don't know this about me, but when I mention Prévert for the first time in a new log, I have to post this:



I've also been doing some reviewing of Breton to get that Breton itch out of my system before getting back to Welsh. My copy of Intermediate Welsh arrived today to remind me that I need to re-focus back on Welsh, but I still need to do the last half of Colloquial Welsh. So that's my weekend plans.

Another wanderlust I've been entertaining is Telegu, mostly dabbling with the audio files from 50languages. But I really am not up for trying to learn that script, so for now, getting back to Indonesian will have to cover my "I really should study more non-European languages" bases.
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Cèid Donn
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9603
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:33 pm

OK, first off, I'd like to say it's rather nice that the language log subforum here is active enough that I have to go to page 3 to find my own log after only a few days. I don't have time to keep up with everyone's logs but it's nice to see so many people actively working on their languages...or trying to...like me. :lol:

Second, that bit in my last post about distractions in my life dissipating so I could focus more on my studies, yeah, I was mistaken about that. :P Yesterday I learned Amazon now makes people deliver packages on Sundays. So all my Black Friday sales stuff I ordered came like an avalanche early yesterday afternoon. Among that, stuff I got for myself: a new Samsung Galaxy tablet to replace my cheapo garbage Kindle Fire that I've been making due with for the past several months (hurrah!), bits and bobs to fix up a hand-me-down lower-end HP Pavilion laptop (which will never be a great laptop but I'm a creative poor person with IT experience and I can get the most out of it), and a new game controller...to play games in my target languages, of course! ;)

Anyhow, I've been busy getting everything situated and set up for working on my languages, and of course, doing thorough testing of the new controller because if there was anything wrong with it, I'd need to send it back for a replacement ASAP, right? ;) But despite that, I did do some work, just not as much as I had hoped.

Colloquial Welsh : 11 / 18

  • completed Unit 9-11

French Films SC : 24 / 100 -- 2124 minutes ( +160 minutes)

  • Season 1 of Castlevania (French audio)
  • La Jetée
  • Lunaire (short film by Cyprien)
  • Subjonctif en Français (instructional video by Français Avec Pierre)

Gaelic Films SC : 10 / 100 -- 920 minutes ( +32 minutes)

  • 3 Look@ interviews on LearnGaelic, rewatched the following day - total of 32 minutes

One thing that I find with Welsh is I have more difficulty transitioning into and out of studying Welsh than with other languages. I'm not entirely sure why, but it makes studying other languages on the same day as I study Welsh, and vice versa, more difficult and often less productive. I suspect this will improve as I become more confident with Welsh, but for now I think I will need to plan my studying around this issue and set aside specific days to study only Welsh.

This morning I was intrigued after I read Cavesa's recent posts about Kwiziq, which I have had heard about before but never checked out. So I did, and I ended up spending my Monday morning study time doing their French placement exam. I seem to have done well--B1: 85.8%, B2: 72.1%, C1: 46.9%--and at first glance, those numbers more or less agree with my own self-assessment of my level.

However, I genuinely do not know Kwiziq's format well enough to extrapolate too much out those numbers. From what I could do with my free access account, it seems like a really nice method that allows you to pinpoint your weakness and work specifically on them--according to the result of this one test, that seems for me to be more advanced conjugations, relative pronouns (the bane of my French learner existence) and not using equivalent Spanish articles or prepositions by accident. :oops: I like the whole idea of Kwiziq enough that if I had the money to subscribe, I would, but I really don't at this time.

(Edited for typos)
Last edited by Cèid Donn on Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby eido » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:34 am

I like your writing style and your choice of languages. Your log is a joy to read.
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Cèid Donn
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Languages: native: English-US
main foci: Gaelic, French
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tertiary foci: Japanese, Swedish, Navajo, Ojibwe
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9603
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:42 am

Tapaidh leat/diolch yn fawr iawn/merci beaucoup, eido! That's very kind of you to say. :)
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby SGP » Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:50 am

Cèid Donn wrote:[*]German: I'm currently reviewing German with Memrise, Duolingo, German Quickly, and playing video games in German. My biggest weakness, as is common with "dormant" languages, is how much vocabulary I've forgotten, so that is my main focus.


How easy does reactivating German feel to you, in comparison to starting to learn any new language?
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Cèid Donn
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:45 am

I would say it's challenging in a very different way. While my pronunciation is pretty rusty, my grasp of Standard German phonology is still pretty good, so that helps a lot, because I can still read things out loud and sound them out without much difficulty, and that in turn helps with refreshing my memory. But I need to review so much. That's what is the most daunting, and it can quickly make me feel restless. A lot of things I only need to review once or twice and it comes back to me, but I get impatient with the things that aren't coming back to me as quickly. Mostly, it's just reminding myself to be patient with the process of reviewing everything and accepting it's not going to all come back to me in a couple of weeks. So it's not challenging in terms of understanding things, but it is in terms of self-discipline. :geek:
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Cèid Donn
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby Cèid Donn » Thu Dec 06, 2018 4:24 am

You know how sometimes you sit down to work on some very serious German review but you just end up singing along to a video of Dschinghis Khan's "Moskau" over and over for half an hour? No? Yeah, me neither. :? :mrgreen:



Auf dein Wohl, Bruder, hey Bruder ho!

I finally made myself work a bit on my Duolingo German tree. I had completed the first version of the tree eons ago, and it's been updated a couple of times since. So in addition to losing my German owl, my tree is a patchwork of units at all different levels and it's make an orderly reviewing of it a little difficult. But my main goal is to get my owl back and get the entire tree to level 3 (red). Fortunately, since I had completed a previous version of the tree, I have all the skills unlocked, and I can work on them in any order as I wish. It certainly helps to alleviate boredom with easier material if half-way through my session I am able to switch over to something a little more challenging or interesting.

I also switched my current Stardew Valley playthrough over to German from Spanish, which initially caused a bit of discombobulation, like spending an entire day thinking it was Sunday (Domingo) when it was Thursday (Donnerstag) as the abbreviation for both on the in-game calendar is "Do."

With Gaelic, I'm getting back to learning some of the verses of "Òran na Cloiche" which I had started learning before the Thanksgiving holidays.



Singing traditional Gaelic songs poses some unique challenges for me, from getting down the vocables to articulating the velar fricatives. I'm not a singer by training--I'm an instrumentalist--and most of my singing technique, what little of it I have, was just things I picked up along the way singing in groups and choirs. As with everything else, I do what I can with what I got. ;)

My next book for my Gaelic SC is Na Speuclairean Dubha by Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn. I've read it before a couple of times, but I've been meaning to re-read it (and I meant to do so before the holiday but didn't). I find re-reading books in Gaelic to be very helpful as well as enjoyable. I simply enjoy reading in Gaelic in a way I don't with any other language, kind of like how I enjoy singing in French more than singing in other languages (although Gaelic would be a close second, and only because it's harder to sing in).

Eventually I will get back to Indonesian. It's taking me some time to get back into a more intensive studying schedule for a couple of reasons, including my health. Among my laundry list of health problems, I have a chronic problem with anemia, that I was born with. And when it starts getting bad, I naturally have considerably less energy and it's a lot harder to concentrate. I often don't recognize it as my anemia until I'm sleeping half the day and craving weird things, because the initial symptoms just feel like the typical fatigue of existence that I deal with most days. :| Anyhow, I think I've got it under control now, and I'm feeling better. But my difficulty concentrating over the past few days has made it all too easy for me to get distracted from my current goals and wanderlust for languages I have had to set aside for now (Japanese, Breton, Catalan, Swedish, Russian). When the wanderlust gets too bad, I do what all stout-hearted language learners do--take a nap. ;) Seems to work. :lol:
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Re: Cèid's Super Happy Fun Language Log

Postby MamaPata » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:48 am

Cèid Donn wrote:You know how sometimes you sit down to work on some very serious German review but you just end up singing along to a video of Dschinghis Khan's "Moskau" over and over for half an hour? No? Yeah, me neither. :? :mrgreen:



Excellent choice, I see no problem.
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