alaart's log (CN/KR in Japan)

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alaart
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Weekend study

Postby alaart » Sun Nov 01, 2020 3:25 pm

Weekend full of study:
This is so intense, most of the texts for the classes are in simplified Chinese - and I'm not used to it, and don't recognize a lot of the characters. I studied / relearned around 50 characters yesterday. For the exam I now have 200 of the 600 characters covered for the HSK3 (and I can write them in all variations (Simplified, Traditional, Japanese - if the character has variations).

But for homework and university texts there are so many other characters appearing, that I cannot study / relearn them all for now, and I have marked a lot of the text with Pinyin, just to get through the lessons. Maybe this is better anyway, go through a lot of texts in context.

I also have forgotten a lot of vocabulary. The textbook covers "room interiors" this time. In general the vocabulary is always thematic. I remember I learned some of those words before, but did I ever use them? No, I didn't - and that's how I forgot them, the characters and the tones. Re-studying something I once know previously is a bit demotivating. Today I had to review 一..., 就 - because I forgot it :roll:

I had conversation in Chinese today.. speaking is rusty too, but far from my rustiness in reading. I might even use grammar and vocabulary while speaking, which I don't recognize while reading.

Oh, and I'll skip Japanese classes for the next 1-2 weeks. Maybe this will help, I'll gain a couple hours here and there. My teachers won't like it, but I should be able to catch up the Japanese class material easily later.
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tangleweeds
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Re: Weekend study

Postby tangleweeds » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:36 pm

alaart wrote:I remember I learned some of those words before, but did I ever use them? No, I didn't - and that's how I forgot them, the characters and the tones. Re-studying something I once know previously is a bit demotivating.
I think the categories of "know" "remember" & "forget", rather than being distinct states, are more of a continuum on which is always sliding around in a potentially disconcerting manner. So I find it more helpful to imagine working with memory as adjusting a slider, like on an old-school mixing board--oops, need to turn up the volume again on this thing I "used to know".

I'm kind of a neuropsych geek, and they now say that all that information is still in your memory (which is how you recognize the "used to know" state), and the problem is just establishing more reliable access. That's why recall testing, as in Anki, is so helpful.

alaart wrote:Oh, and I'll skip Japanese classes for the next 1-2 weeks. Maybe this will help, I'll gain a couple hours here and there. My teachers won't like it, but I should be able to catch up the Japanese class material easily later.
Can you email your professor to explain that? I don't know about other countries, but the college I attended is known for producing future PhDs so half my friends are now university profs, and they really appreciate any kind of communication from students that isn't "change my grade so I don't flunk".
"I am lost" is fine, they're used to that.
"Life is getting in the way" is actually a very common point for starting discussions, as they want their students to succeed.
but
"I'm trying to balance several longterm self-motivated plans of study, please help me juggle" is music to their ears.
4 x
Ho-hum, waiting for the latest neurological relapse to pass.
Study tips for (mental) invalids welcome!

alaart
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Re: Weekend study

Postby alaart » Tue Nov 03, 2020 4:12 pm

tangleweeds wrote:I think the categories of "know" "remember" & "forget", rather than being distinct states, are more of a continuum on which is always sliding around in a potentially disconcerting manner. So I find it more helpful to imagine working with memory as adjusting a slider, like on an old-school mixing board--oops, need to turn up the volume again on this thing I "used to know".

I'm kind of a neuropsych geek, and they now say that all that information is still in your memory (which is how you recognize the "used to know" state), and the problem is just establishing more reliable access. That's why recall testing, as in Anki, is so helpful.


I definitely share this experience with memory which is vivid: From experiences, talking, films or music and situations I have been in. But if it is just classroom cramming of words (even with Anki), the brain kind of lacks a connecting point, even with Anki. Maybe I could try to really picture the texts and words we are reading, visualizing the scenes in my head or something like that. - I usually have a decently memory, or do just a lot of Anki. Anyway I was shocked because I studied the exact material before (intensively), around 2 years ago.

And I cannot keep doing Anki with old cards, as I study languages full time through university, and I have input through other means, the amount of input flowing in is growing faster than the reviews in Anki diminish. So I'll have to deactivate cards before they are permanently memorized - at least if we talk about a 2 year interval, I managed to loose some words that were probably mature in Anki before.
It is kind of interesting as well, since I can use my Anki collection as a kind of private dictionary - and look words up, which have my own added sample sentences, and I'd just add something to the forgotten card.. eventually it will stick I guess.

tangleweeds wrote:Can you email your professor to explain that? I don't know about other countries, but the college I attended is known for producing future PhDs so half my friends are now university profs, and they really appreciate any kind of communication from students that isn't "change my grade so I don't flunk".
"I am lost" is fine, they're used to that.
"Life is getting in the way" is actually a very common point for starting discussions, as they want their students to succeed.
but
"I'm trying to balance several longterm self-motivated plans of study, please help me juggle" is music to their ears.


Yes, I mailed them. Actually what you say is true, I'm doing something very wrong, this shouldn't be a problem. I feel a bit stupid right now.

I always felt that professors just think that their own stuff is the most important, and will judge you at how good you are at copying what they do. I'm probably not very thankful and a bit indifferent towards teachers.

I guess I'm a bad communicator. I have been taking lessons from other subjects all my university life and just follow my interest and passion, but usually teachers were not too pleased to hear that, to the point that I usually keep it a secret that I do a lot of other stuff.
When I think about it now, I might have communicated this quite arrogantly to my teachers over the years. I'd skip assignments and texts from certain teachers - in order to make time to learn something from another. - I took some courses just for the input and never did the assignments, I rescheduled deadlines and if something catches my interest I would suddenly stop going to class (which is non-obligatory in Germany, only the exam) and go to another, or study by myself or with people from the higher semester.
I'm also very stubborn, will use different resources or methods than recommended. When I studied composition one of the teachers there called me "the most difficult student he ever had". I also quit some private teachers I had, and I often prefer studying myself.

It is probably my attitude. I hope I can learn to be a better communicator and to be more thankful.

----

The last days were very tiring, so I took it a bit easier today. For the class there were two time slots today, and for some reason everybody was in the other one so that I was the only one in the second slot, had like a private lesson with my Chinese teacher. We did all the lesson material and still had some time to spare, so we chatted a bit in Chinese - maybe 20 minutes. The teacher was pleasantly surprised about the conversation, because although I had a lot of trouble in class with the written material, I was quite comfortably speaking. She praised me, and was very positive about the prospect of getting a scholarship and studying in China, but she also admonished me to finally embrace simplified Chinese characters , and do my best until the upcoming exam.

Speaking of which, due to Corona the exam will probably be canceled, and I'll have to do an online exam. - that again raised the question if I should even return to Germany now (which is under lock-down), or extend my stay in Japan - again. Will decide this during the next 10 days or so.
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alaart
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Exhausting courses

Postby alaart » Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:33 pm

Today we translated this text about smart phone addiction in the advanced class.

Actually the advanced class is less stressful, since the written Chinese has a lot of common ground with Japanese :roll:

But I'm stressed and very exhausted about the intermediate class, the speed is just high. So much homework, texts, characters, vocabulary I have to learn and relearn. And after you learned it there is no break and the new text will follow immediately. I think the amount per week in my German university is like 3 or 4 times that of the work load I had here in Japan. I know I studied even more courses with less knowledge before in Germany, but that was 1,5 years ago and I'm not used to this workload anymore. It is exhausting. I skipped a couple classes and studied on my own, or rested. I try to not do that in the future.

On the weekend I met with Japanese friends. Again - even without practice - I had no trouble in group conversations, but I'm making some funny mistakes here and there. So signs of my Japanese slowly loosing grasp.

Also our teacher urged us to watch the Netflix Series "scissor 7" 刺客 and wanted to talk about it in class. Well I don't understand it, almost nothing - it is very frustrating :oops:

I would say the difficulty level and frustration in Chinese right now is equal to just opening a book in a language you suck in and try to read it. So, at the least, by getting through the course, maybe I will get tougher and more comfortable with reading unknown words and characters and just learn how to get through this frustration... which then could become the tool I need to finally reach an advanced language level in any of my languages :D

Yes, positive thinking. :arrow:
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alaart
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Month & HSK Update

Postby alaart » Sat Dec 12, 2020 4:39 pm

Haven't posted for a while.

Classes:
So, I was starting to feel depressed more and more, and so what I did is that I skipped university lessons for 2-3 weeks for Chinese, and I quit my Japanese lessons for the whole academic year.
I kind of felt overwhelmed I guess, and also my whole body was hurting, health problems were pretty strong recently.

Well, I'm a bit better now. I rejoined the classes, it is not a big problem since a big chunk of the class material is already known to me. I'm back on track with everything in the intermediate Chinese course now, and I will just keep doing it. I quit the advanced Chinese course too.

HSK3:
For the HSK3, I didn't really study. I only did the bare minimum, meaning I studied all the simplified characters and I can read and write 600 of them now. That was the minimum goal, that I wanted to finish in early November or so. Well at least I did this.
Just one week before the exam I did prepare a little and maybe did 7 or so test exams. In all the test exams I scored 90ish%, so the HSK3 was actually quite doable even without studying. I did the test today and probably have passed, so that means I can go abroad to China next year.
But psychologically I was afraid of the exam. In the end it was rather easy, so I don't even understand myself. I felt pressured so much. I think I have a lot to learn about myself, and a lot to fix.

Japan:
The highlight of the month was going to Kourankei which is a kind of, sightseeing spot in the mountains to watch the autumn colors. It is actually not that pretty, but it is worth mentioning because of the crazy amount of Japanese people going there. It was more packed than the city center or the ocean. It was like subway level of congestion in some places all trying to fit into this tiny valley and mountain, and doing some selfies and buying some stuff there from the purposely constructed tourist village next to the natural sight. :roll: - so I think this place of nature is kind of ruined by all the people.

Kourankei.jpg
Kourankei.jpg (184.89 KiB) Viewed 238 times



Ah yeah, my flight to Germany got canceled, I got a new visa and will stay in Japan for quite a while longer. Maybe I stay all the way up to summer, until my next study exchange in China. I will take it a bit easy on the study, at least on University studies, and try to bring my health, mental health and social life in order. Develop myself etc.

That said, I will soon restart learning Korean. Just a 2 month break I took, and I probably forgot 90%. Crazy, but it seems like I have not reached that point in Korean yet, where you don't forget if you stop, so I have to continue. I think I will relearn fast, I already browsed about some Anki here and there - I'm looking forward to it.

6WC:
At least until 10 days ago or so I logged, but recently I stopped, didn't reach my goals, but that's ok. Next time I'll register with Korean again.
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alaart
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Christmas Vacation

Postby alaart » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:56 pm

Chinese:
I got the test results. I got 280/300 points in the HSK3, and 80/100 in the HSKK.
My classes I paused due to Christmas vacation. Gave me a bit of time to catch up with my missed classes, still quite some catching up to do honestly :roll:

I had language exchange. My speaking is better, but still not where it was a year before. I miss a lot of vocabulary.
I translated this Taiwanese rap song called "Coming Home" and added all words to Anki :lol: . I like Taiwanese rap actually, have been listening for a while. Maybe I will learn more songs.

Korean:
Had language exchange a couple days ago, can't speak much anymore, only fragments of sentences. Did review all I tried to say and reactivated some Anki, but that's about it. Searching for a second language exchange and will see if I can revive it without studying too much.

Japan:
Went hiking and got to see some waterfalls. This one called "atera no nanataki" is known in the region. Wheater is good, around 13-15° C on some days. I like mild winters :)

atera_nanataki.jpg
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alaart
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Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Re: alaart's log (JP/CN/KR, Chinese focus for the next 2 months)

Postby alaart » Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:16 pm

I celebrated new year, despite Corona. 3 times - wow. One time with my roommate and his Japanese coworkers, one time with new friends I made from the Philippines (have to stay strong - don't start a new language :roll: ) and my favorite one: One time with a Japanese family at their home. I was surprised I got invited by my friend, and the family was very welcoming, it had a warm feel to it, like Christmas in western culture. They prepared different foods, we made Japanese Mochi and went praying.

Korean:
I found a new Korean language exchange and I'm studying two times per week now, for now I just try to speak again. The words are slowly coming back.

Chinese:
I continue my exploration of Taiwanese Hip-Hop, translated this song called Call me. University has started again and I took Chinese classes. I still haven't caught up with all the classes I skipped in November, hope I will have caught up by the next week, well - and then there is writing which I also have to prepare. I also spoke Chinese every week with a friend from Taiwan, like language exchange.

Japanese:
My roommate is watching Japanese series and I joined him, he doesn't speak much Japanese so we have to watch with English subtitles. So it is a compromise, but actually it isn't such a bad practice as I can follow the majority of the dialogue from hearing, so if there is a word I don't understand, I can actually instantly see the meaning in the English subtitle. The only bad thing is that you don't train reading Kanji. So I guess English subtitles are OK if you are already deep into the language, they are not really harmful as to distract me from listening as I have experienced before when I was not as advanced. We watched this series called Alice in Borderland - which I really cannot recommend. And sometimes I join him watching Terrace House: Aloha State , which I watched before, maybe 2 years ago? I can't remember if I watched it in Japanese or with English subtitles, but anyway, I feel like I can watch it with much less effort than before and that is a nice feeling. I also skyped with a Japanese friend in Germany, and before the lockdown I went out with my roommate and an old coworker of his, in his 60s, who apparently loves foreigners. He loved to drink and talk with us, and brought us to a Sushi place.

Portuguese:
Watched an episode of "Omnisciente" (netflix) , and talked with a couple Brazilians I know.

---

So, I went out a couple times. We are not supposed to, actually there is a new state of emergency now. But my depression got a lot better recently, there are still some days when it is suddenly there, but I have started to study a lot again. So maybe all I need is some social experience and I'm fine. Well on average I'm probably still pretty careful and staying in a lot..

---

In this chopstick game you have to be faster than the others in picking up your items with a special, smaller - more difficult - chop stick, placing them into the container in the middle. Needless to say I lost every game:
Chopstick_game.jpg
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alaart
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Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
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A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
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Re: alaart's log (CN/KR in Japan)

Postby alaart » Tue Feb 02, 2021 1:01 am

Small update, nothing special. Just like a diary - filling the gaps.

Korean:
I have been doing language exchanges 2 times per week, the knowledge is starting to be more grounded and I think I start to not forget everything if I don't study a couple days.

Japan:
Went out twice, both with elder men, contacts from my landlord. One group of 5, 70 year olds including my landlord, discussing politics, life, corona in Japanese while snacking. They invited me to eat with them, I could follow most of the discussion, but I was not fluent enough to participate.

Second, with a group of 2, 65 year olds from one of the workplaces of my roommate. They invited us to drink at an Izakaya (and paid). I must say it is easier to talk to old people, they have more time and are more relaxed, have more to say and more interesting topics. Still, not something I would do everyday.

Chinese:
Exams are coming up, 3 weeks time to prepare and study, I have caught up with all classes I skipped earlier, and I'm not skipping classes anymore. I'm prepared, but the major problem now, again, is writing Chinese. So I have a lot of writing to do to be able to write all the answers in the exam. - I always avoid writing because of my chronic hand pain, but where is no way around the exam.

--

My life is more in order, no depression anymore. But it also has not been very interesting lately, I just tidy things up. That being said - it was still the state of emergency in Japan, so we were encouraged to stay inside.
5 x

alaart
Orange Belt
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:58 am
Location: Nagoya
Languages: DE (N)
EN
B1: NL, JP, PT (BR), ZH
A1: ES, KR
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... hp?t=10867
x 406

Re: alaart's log (CN/KR in Japan)

Postby alaart » Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:39 pm

Small update.

I got severely depressed again, it think this was the worst since 6 years. The one back then pushed me to start learning a language in the first place. Hopefully this one will have a positive after effect and can change me somehow too. Didn't do much this month, I finished taking my Chinese classes, but didn't have the energy to practice writing for the exam, so instead I didn't take it, and registered for a second test date in April.

Since a couple days I have been studying Korean as a counter measure against the depression. I feel I'm slowly recovering. Currently I just study 1-2 hours per day, which is still less then I would study on a normal day. But despite that I'm feeling that I'm making progress in the language again. Might just be the fact that I don't study Chinese at the same time now.

I'm also taking the next semester off (almost, just have a paper to write). So there will be a lot of time, that I would like to invest into various aspects of personal development, and this will probably also push my Korean.
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