How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

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Le Baron
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby Le Baron » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:11 pm

Iversen wrote:I need not only the 'knack', but also the 'buzz' to activate a spoken language - i.e. as situation where I have got so much input that the language in question starts to buzz wildly around in my head and dripple out of my mouth as finished sentences. To a certain degree this is also the case with my understanding of speech, whereas I never have felt the same need for a similar sudden shift in my reading abilites - they have always developed gradually, probably because they represent the backbone of my language learning.

Is that not getting the knack? I don't know, I don't know what the 'buzz' is even after reading all the posts with the word in it!

german2k01 wrote:Why 3000h? To develop a strong sound system on my subconscious level so that when I get down to do shadowing I can hear the sounds of individual words clearly and this way I can mimic them better.

This might seem like nitpicking, but why is it 3000h? Rather than e.g. 4000h? Or 2500h? What I mean is how do you know or estimate what number of hours best leads to hearing the sounds of individual words clearly?

3000 hours is about 5 hours a day for a year and 8 months. Have you not already done a lot of concentrated listening? Or is it different listening?

In general, why does everyone count things in huge numbers of hours/days? After 365 days it's always a year. After 24 hours it's a day. I heard someone say a child was '24 months' and I thought 'what, like 2 years old?'. But I didn't say anything.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby AllSubNoDub » Wed Oct 13, 2021 10:56 pm

Le Baron wrote:In general, why does everyone count things in huge numbers of hours/days? After 365 days it's always a year. After 24 hours it's a day. I heard someone say a child was '24 months' and I thought 'what, like 2 years old?'. But I didn't say anything.


Precision.

If a goal is not quantifiable, then it is not achievable. To make it quantifiable, you use units (words, hours, pages, etc.). You use whichever units are easiest to quantify for your purpose.

It's a lot easier to think of the age of very small children in months than it it is partial years, partial decade, etc. Leaps in learning abilities are closely tracked before 2 years of age. A 6 month old is a lot different than an 11 month old and pediatricians use this relationship between age in months and milestone achievement to track development. Smaller leaps are made after the age of 2 (a 12 year 6 month old, isn't much different than a 12 year 11 month old).

Are you suggesting that progress be tracked in number of days times hours/day (which still yields hours)? Ok, so I'll study 365 days for 5 hours a day. Oh wait, what happens if I study 4 hours one day?
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby german2k01 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 12:01 pm

This might seem like nitpicking, but why is it 3000h? Rather than e.g. 4000h? Or 2500h? What I mean is how do you know or estimate what number of hours best leads to hearing the sounds of individual words clearly?


Few observations. At the 600h mark, my subconscious mind was pronouncing sounds of certain words incorrectly. Their correct pronunciation was automatically fixed with just increased listening hours. Once I crossed over the 2100h mark, my subconscious mind was perceiving long german words like they were some ordinary words. The same goes with pronouncing numbers in German. No deliberate speaking practice. No deliberate pronunciation practice. All these issues were automatically fixed with increased listening hours every day. It is a good number where you have listened to the language a lot and it is time to level up your speaking and exercise your mouth muscles.
Listening is an ongoing exercise and, to be honest, still, in certain situations, I do not understand native speakers, my next target will be 4000h, and then will be assessing where my listening skills currently stand. But there is no point in delaying "Shadowing" in my case.
Yes, you can start shadowing right at the beginning with approaches like Assimil but their lessons do not cover all the words in the German language so they are very narrow in scope. Please pay attention to the phenomenon right after the 2100h mark. You do not allow your "subconscious mind" to get used to the language to witness its true potential. Instead, what we do is, we start unassembling the language and getting down to studying it? As adults, we approach the language wrongly, because we have responsibilities and do not have ample time as a child does.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby AllSubNoDub » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:01 pm

german2k01 wrote:
As adults, we approach the language wrongly, because we have responsibilities and do not have ample time as a child does.


If you truly learn like a child, it's going to take you 4 years to sound like a kindergartner. As I said, it's probably not the worst thing you could do, but I think you will experience some frustration (imho). The shadowing will help.

I think a lot of us have taken quite a few minutes to give our opinions based on what worked and what didn't work for us, in the hopes it might save you months of time and frustration. It seems you have ignored that and gone your own way. I'm not sure why you asked for advice in the first place if you planned to ignore it, but here are two more tips:

  1. Don't believe everything you hear if someone has something to sell you.
  2. At least consider the advice of those who do not.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Oct 14, 2021 2:55 pm

AllSubNoDub wrote:Precision.
If a goal is not quantifiable, then it is not achievable. To make it quantifiable, you use units (words, hours, pages, etc.). You use whichever units are easiest to quantify for your purpose.

No, I don't think it's that, but rather people wanting to seem scientific. There will be some that may well be easier to say, like e.g. 'eleven hundred dollars' rather than 'one thousand, one hundred dollars', but this is mere convention, not precision. Both are precise. A 'year' or 'day' is precisely quantified and agreed upon; everyone knows what it signifies, which is why it works. So is a 'litre' or a kilogramme, obviating the need to count things like bags of sugar as 1000gs or 2000gs (2 bags, since we know it's sold in 1kg bags). 500 grammes, half a kilo, 0.5kg are all the same thing, there is no special precision in any one.
AllSubNoDub wrote:It's a lot easier to think of the age of very small children in months than it it is partial years, partial decade, etc.

Is it? I think 24 months is pushing it a bit. And is this precision always so urgently required? Why am I not filling in government forms with my year age, plus months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, if precision is what I seek? The birthdate and the mental arithmetic of the person reading it does this task.
AllSubNoDub wrote:Are you suggesting that progress be tracked in number of days times hours/day (which still yields hours)? Ok, so I'll study 365 days for 5 hours a day. Oh wait, what happens if I study 4 hours one day?

Why would that matter? Since the plan is to do roughly the same number of hours per day. If not, and that were to be taken into account (i.e. some days I do 5 hours, but some days I only do 10 minutes) the entire concept of saying '3000' just becomes hazy and means any number up to 3000 over any length of time from 1-4 years to 40 years!

Perhaps Stalin ought to have called his 5-year plan: the 60 month plan, for precision. Though that might have made the goal seem very far away.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby AllSubNoDub » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:14 pm

Le Baron wrote:
AllSubNoDub wrote:Precision.
If a goal is not quantifiable, then it is not achievable. To make it quantifiable, you use units (words, hours, pages, etc.). You use whichever units are easiest to quantify for your purpose.

No, I don't think it's that, but rather people wanting to seem scientific. There will be some that may well be easier to say, like e.g. 'eleven hundred dollars' rather than 'one thousand, one hundred dollars', but this is mere convention, not precision. Both are precise. A 'year' or 'day' is precisely quantified and agreed upon; everyone knows what it signifies, which is why it works. So is a 'litre' or a kilogramme, obviating the need to count things like bags of sugar as 1000gs or 2000gs (2 bags, since we know it's sold in 1kg bags). 500 grammes, half a kilo, 0.5kg are all the same thing, there is no special precision in any one.


Well, some of us are scientists and engineers. When I say, "precise", I'm referring to scientific precision in reference to measurement. To use years and be precise, you'd have to use decimals with the correct number of significant digits, which I'm not sure why anyone would use or if anyone would understand (also, I think this would actually be in units of day-hours, since you're not studying the whole day).

Anyway, you asked and I tried to answer. I flip between ohms, kohms, Mohms, pFs, uFs, etc. all day. Most people say, "1000pF', though we very well could say, "1nF". Sometimes I say, "1000 Mbps", sometimes I say, "1 Gbps". Sometimes I say, "Hi", sometimes I say, "Hello".

Le Baron wrote:
AllSubNoDub wrote:It's a lot easier to think of the age of very small children in months than it it is partial years, partial decade, etc.

Is it? I think 24 months is pushing it a bit. And is this precision always so urgently required? Why am I not filling in government forms with my year age, plus months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, if precision is what I seek? The birthdate and the mental arithmetic of the person reading it does this task.


Yes. It appears you started replying before you read my whole post. You don't need to add months. You don't need to add days, hours, or minutes because that information isn't useful to anyone. You don't need to add seconds because that would be too precise based on our dataset.

When a toddler is 24 months, that means it's precisely 2 years old, not just 2 years old. When a child is "2 years old", on the other hand, it could be 24 months or 35 months. Precision matters at this age, not at yours, hence, "he's in his 30's" and not "he's in his first decade/singles" (or whatever the construction would be).

Le Baron wrote:
AllSubNoDub wrote:Are you suggesting that progress be tracked in number of days times hours/day (which still yields hours)? Ok, so I'll study 365 days for 5 hours a day. Oh wait, what happens if I study 4 hours one day?

Why would that matter? Since the plan is to do roughly the same number of hours per day. If not, and that were to be taken into account (i.e. some days I do 5 hours, but some days I only do 10 minutes) the entire concept of saying '3000' just becomes hazy and means any number up to 3000 over any length of time from 1-4 years to 40 years!


The major governing bodies of all language certification programs use number of hours to quantify study time in order to give the student a level of expectation based on an easily quantifiable measure. "I studied French for 4 years in high school" means nothing to me. "I studied French for 2000" gives me a much better idea. "I studied French for 120,000 minutes" is cumbersome and adds no greater level of insight.

Le Baron wrote:Perhaps Stalin ought to have called his 5-year plan: the 60 month plan, for precision. Though that might have made the goal seem very far away.


I prefer to be on the opposite side of Stalin for most things, but here I have to agree with his choice of units.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:34 pm

I'm still not that convinced that studying French for '4 years' is less worthy or explanatory than '2000h' because in either case the student could be diligent or lazy. 2000h of what? Half-hearted listening and cups of tea? Which is what I assume the externally marked certificate is there to clarify.

It was my intention indeed to say that the precision (in days, hours, minutes etc) is unnecessary most of the time. Language study isn't engineering; in fact it is so far from it that the concepts are of practically no use in application to what is mostly individual guesswork and wildly varying levels of success. It's mostly just exposure and persistence. I don't think my training as an economist (which included mathematical work) has any special practical use for language learning. Most 'theories' about how to learn languages, outside of a core of repeated observations which seem to be fairly universal, are imaginary nonsense wrapped in pseudo-science.

As I read back the above I can see how people might think I'm seething with rage or something, but I'm not. I'm very placidly typing it.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby german2k01 » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:06 pm

Fully engaged with the language and no multitasking in between. That's what I was implying with my quoted number of 3000h.
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby AllSubNoDub » Thu Oct 14, 2021 5:18 pm

Le Baron wrote:It was my intention indeed to say that the precision (in days, hours, minutes etc) is unnecessary most of the time.


Unnecessary? Yes. Hugely beneficial with respect to tracking progress and relating them with milestones, making study plans, and comparing the efficaciousness of learning methods? Yes.

Le Baron wrote:Language study isn't engineering; in fact it is so far from it that the concepts are of practically no use in application to what is mostly individual guesswork and wildly varying levels of success.


I think no other major endeavor has influenced my language learning more than my study of engineering. Directly and indirectly through the development of systems thinking, efficiency, data tracking, the ability to sift through scientific papers, crafting and testing hypotheses of learning, and probably ways I haven't even noticed, through reading and writing thousands of lines of code. Many might agree with you. There does seem to be a higher percentage of engineers in the language learning community than in the population at large, (Luca, Benny, Khatzumoto, etc.) and a good many more who "think like engineers" (in my opinion).
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Re: How long did it take you to do "Free Flow Reading" without dictionary in your TL?

Postby Le Baron » Thu Oct 14, 2021 6:42 pm

german2k01 wrote:Fully engaged with the language and no multitasking in between. That's what I was implying with my quoted number of 3000h.

I believe you and that you are diligent/dedicated. This projection is about another year/year and a half of work though. Don't mistake this for me saying 'I know your position better than you', I'm not saying that, I just question if you are replacing the need for engagement with more preparation.

I imagine that you now read pretty fluently in German and that this came from reading. I think that you also want to be in a position to be talking to people around you without anxiety/difficulty? More one-way 'safe' listening might not deliver this for you. An analogy I would make is between swimming theory vs swimming practise. You need to know what to do, what to recognise beforehand, but swimming doesn't occur until you engage with the water. Only then do you apply and adjust. Similar for riding a bicycle.

I have doubts about the view that says massive listening input leads to more than recognition/understanding; that what you understand you can also reproduce and it just waits for speaking to switch on. Consider my younger brother, with the same mother as me, but he came along later, when my mother had started speaking more English and we interacted with more people. My older brother and myself experienced a period where my mother spoke primarily French at home. As a result my younger brother understands to some level, but can't speak/reproduce because he has never had to. In some respect you need to 'learn on the job' where all the knowledge isn't already present waiting to be employed.
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