Coldrainwater's German Log

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coldrainwater
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Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:50 am

So German will definitely need and have a space of its own. I am carving out a home for this new log starting today but I have been going at German since May 1. This will be my second language, following on the heels of three years of Spanish. That project is now well underway though it will now have to share with a new partner language. My writing is rarely concise and I am aiming for a semi-detailed language account that doesn't take one eternity to write and another to read. To that end, I am experimenting with editing my posts after the fact, partly by removing irrelevant content and partly by refactoring existing work.
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:44 am, edited 17 times in total.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:51 am

May 1, 2019 - December 2019 - Beginner-level course work intended to include substantial listening and reading.

2020

Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson - read as parallel text, DE/ES. In total, about 3300 pages read at 300 words per page.

For anyone considering reading the same series, the page counts looked like this (format: running total, current book):

  • 760,760 - Der Weg Der Könige + Der Pfad Der Winde
  • 1430,670 - Der Worte Des Lichts + Die Stürme des Zorns
  • 1580,150 - Die Tänzerin am Abgrund
  • 2375,795 - Ruf Der Klingen
  • 3295, 920 - Splitter der Macht

Malazan Book of the Fallen

Last edited by coldrainwater on Tue Apr 07, 2020 5:02 am, edited 54 times in total.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:51 am

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Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:52 am, edited 9 times in total.
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coldrainwater
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Location: Houston, Texas
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:52 am

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Last edited by coldrainwater on Sat Jul 20, 2019 7:43 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Jun 18, 2019 7:52 am

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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:23 am

Today, I walked about stealing glances at Langenscheidts Taschenwörterbuch: Spanisch - Deutsch, marking my first mini-foray into a world of German bilingual dictionaries. To put it gently, I have come to a point in my studies where explicit vocabulary exposure couldn't hurt.

Over time, I noticed a pattern studying Spanish, namely that whatever I bought in print, I eventually consumed. Competing electronic resources in any of a barrage of formats were often out of sight and mind, the fate of each dependent on devices in various states of charge and dysfunctionality. I took a couple of photos of what I bought and posted them in the May/June entries of my Spanish journal hereabouts.

Reading-wise, I started alphabetically today with the dictionary, German headwords, Spanish definitions. In retrospect, a pocketbook dictionary isn't a great standalone choice for my goals as it is very light on content. I was a bit drawn in by the 80k word claim on the back. I am reading out of interest and enjoyment more than anything.

All in all, the pocket dictionary hasn't been impressive. In contrast, however, I have quite fallen for dict.cc, specifically with EN<->DE settings and can gladly recommend it. I attempted to read some of Kraut's dictionary resource article in German here (sprachheld.de). My tactic on pronunciation and subvocalization is to read silently if I don't feel confident with a word. Dict.cc has been great with pronunciation. Articles are another matter and I am focusing on paying attention to them for common words first.
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:20 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Jun 21, 2019 5:29 am

Today's audio workout involved extensive Slow German mit Annik Rubens. It is shoulders above my I got this level without using transcripts. I began in May with (Pimsleur units 1-5) followed by Michel Thomas. After my run, which lasted a few ticks over an hour, I set about reviewing the dictionary. I had an endorphin or two flowing and felt calm and relaxed, kind of like time was moving slowly. I then scanned each word column, pausing briefly on headwords. One of my likes in favour of wordlists and dictionaries over SRS tools is that my eyes roam where they will and take in more content. I jump amongst columns, varying word encounters as needed. I seek high word exposure with low mental strain and find it here. I also like guessing at the etymologies and using several languages to create links.

In the dictionary, I find friends, false friends and unforgettables. By way of example, I saw the German word Gift right beside a top level meaning of ponzoña and it stuck like glue after the first look. I am able to read the ES definitions quickly since in such a small dictionary, I don't run across many unknowns and any pauses I make are weighted based on how strong my prior memory trace is. This charade is efficient for early German learning, but I think I may prefer something like a DE-FR bilingual as a fun experiment later on. Edited: 4x compression or thereabouts.
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:08 am

I use notepad++ for taking notes, synced against Google Drive or OneDrive. Notepad++, is mature and offers good localization options for those of you who might want to use it in your TL. I can safely say that I now have an engrained habit to get the text of all books that I purchase using Calibre and then open it in np++, invoking a step that ultimately adds enjoyment and fun to my reading.

I often think better and listen better with my eyes closed. In addition to strengthening the other senses by removing the one, closing my eyes also puts me in an insta-meditation state and I am more mindful. Part of improving writing skill in a foreign language involves letting go and writing freely sometimes, not caring about visual errors. Taking my eyes off the screen and doing this via text editor seems to encourage that situation.

The dictionary that I am reading is good enough that I don't need to refer to other dictionaries to figure out what a word means. Perhaps about half-way through the dictionary, I started gaining familiarity. Some word boundaries here and there became familiar. As I speak and sub-vocalize, I gain some confidence, partly from listening and partly from seeing so much word variety. For now, I couple the dictionary reading with listening and see the one inform the other. Edited: succinctness
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:15 am, edited 5 times in total.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:37 pm

I finished a first casual pass through Langenscheidts Taschenworterbuch: Spanisch - Deutsch. If I correctly calculate the start and end dates, I spent 16 days on it. 500 or so pages and judging by the back cover I have seen about 40k words, but I would estimate fewer. They delimit and comrpess their word entries with a clear idea of saving spac, an aim that made it more taxing on my memory. In the moment, no downsides were problematic enough for me to need to stop and adjust. It was better to stay the course and adapt myself to the resource rather than vice-versa.

Staying with vocabulary and dictionaries, I am looking forward to the future. I enjoyed my Spanish experience with visual dictionaries and I can't wait to repeat it in German. Those are good for thematic and specialized vocabulary and are also good for stubborn words, often substantives that lend themselves to better recall via pictures. As a side note, I was looking something up on dict.cc and normally just glaze over the adverts. Glad I didn't. What they do, at least with some nouns, is rotate visual images of the words in something about the size of an avatar. I thought it was a nice touch.
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:18 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Audacity - truncate silence + Assimil

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Jul 08, 2019 5:59 am

Not so much an update, but rather a quick tool feature-highlight. I am cautious about recommending anything that adds admin time to language learning, especially complicated technology. Audacity, however, is not bad. It has been recommended many times on the forums. I was a first-time user this evening and wanted to remove excess silence from my Assimil mp3 files. Not only did it work, but I was out less than 20 minutes of admin time for the whole process. Here are the basic steps I took in case others may want to replicate:

Download link:
Audacity - SourceForge

Steps: (for Windows)
  • Install Audacity, taking defaults and not adding extras.
  • Make a copy of your mp3 file(s) and place in a folder
  • From Audacity: File->Import->Audio->Select an mp3 from the folder to test
  • Highlight the mp3 once loaded (hit control + a).
  • Go to Effect->Truncate Silence
  • Choose ''Duration = 2 seconds'' and ''Truncate to .9 seconds'' (or whichever settings you prefer)
  • OK then play it from within Audacity and see how it sounds.
  • Repeat if you need to tweak more.
  • Then File->Export->Export as mp3 (or export multiple if you are doing all of them).
  • Save them to a new folder and they are ready to use.

If in doubt choose a higher duration of silence to start and truncate less. My settings were very conservative and still left a lot of silence. However, it took my mp3 length from 185 minutes down to 135 minutes, reducing empty silent time by a bit over 25%. If I had wanted to cut out more, I easily could have. Good tool and paid itself off time-wise after the first use.
Last edited by coldrainwater on Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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