3 Day Projects (3DP)

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

69. Reality check (ja)

Postby Teango » Thu Nov 10, 2022 7:43 am

Japanese #14 (10h)
  • Completed Lesson 5 in Genki workbook!
  • Watched: "Easy Japanese" videos #11-19; Lessons #1-3 of『エリンが挑戦』(Erin's Challenge)
Well that's everything I'm supposed to study for my Japanese course this Fall! All done but far from dusted. As a reward, I tried to read a bit of "となりのトトロ" (My Neighbor Totoro) and...うーん、ちょっと...not a chance!! Merely midway through N5/A1, I feel like a starry-eyed microbe looking back up the barrel of a microscope. So after that reality check, I settled down again to some easy listening and surfed through the remaining "Easy Japanese" videos (it's such a shame they didn't continue this series). After that, I started working my way through the videos for "Erin's Challenge", which are educational but easier to understand overall. Ah well...every little step, onwards and upwards...この小さな微生物が頑張ります!(this little microbe will do its best!)

Image
Last edited by Teango on Wed Nov 16, 2022 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
5 x

User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

70. Grin and pear it (ja)

Postby Teango » Sun Nov 13, 2022 7:53 am

Japanese #15 (6h)
  • Watched Lessons #4-9/25 of Erin's Challenge.
I've continued watching Erin's Challenge to improve my listening skills and it seems to be working. Although my vocabulary is extremely limited at this stage, I'm already starting to pick out many more words and phrases that flew over my head before. The anime character Sensei "Honigon" (anagram of "nihongo"), a smarmy-looking pear-creature who prefaces every few sentences with "じゃあ...", is super annoying. However the main character is quite sweet and the rest of this educational series is tolerable albeit dated. I think I'll put up with the annoying pear and see it through to the end; after that, it's Fruit Ninja time for you, buddy!

Image
Last edited by Teango on Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
8 x

User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

71. Silent period (ja, de)

Postby Teango » Sun Nov 20, 2022 9:27 am

Japanese #16 (4h) | 0 Image* 5
  • First wave of Genki Lesson 6 (my own way).
German #1 (3h) | 3 Image 1
  • Watched several Easy German videos.
I had major dental surgery on Tuesday and will be in recovery for a good while. It hurts like hell, and for now, I'm on liquids and soft foods, and unable to talk or exercise much. This hasn't stopped me from learning languages though, and I'm continuing my journey with Genki, albeit in my own way (not the university course way). I've also decided to fire up my German study again, focusing mainly on listening for this first project. After all this time, it feels good to be back in the saddle with German!

* What's this little blue book next to each language? This is my playful attempt to keep a visual track of how much I've read and written since 2022. Once I've read 10,000 pages of L2 text, the left-hand page of the icon will change color, and when I've written 10,000 words in the language, the same will happen to the right-hand page. These numbers do not include textbooks and exams.

Image
Last edited by Teango on Sat Jan 21, 2023 12:40 am, edited 6 times in total.
10 x

User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

72. Soft food (ja, de)

Postby Teango » Thu Nov 24, 2022 7:30 am

Japanese #17 (4h) | 0 Image 5
  • First wave of Genki Lesson 7.
The grammar sections in Genki are really ramping up now, and the deluge of exercises in the wake of each lesson take up nearly all of my time. This is seriously putting me off Genki altogether, to the point where my wife recently suggested I switch over to Assimil. But being a stubborn goat, I still want to finish this textbook one way or another. That was the plan after all. So to avoid further pain and misery and speed up proceedings, I'm going to skip the exercises and skim through the notes during my first wave in future, focusing on vocabulary and listening skills instead. Maybe then I'll be better prepared for my second push through the textbook.

German #2 (2h) | 3 Image 1
  • Read pp. 1-15 of "Miss Merkel: Mord in der Uckermark".
I reKindled [excuse the pun] a light and entertaining Krimi that I purchased back in July 2021 but never read past page 35. It's so much more fun learning a language through stories with the help of an online dictionary! However my reading proficiency seems to have taken a big dive since I last read Hesse's "Siddhartha" back in 2010. And much to my surprise, when I began, I could shamefully only translate 90% of a sample of text taken from the beginning of Ch. 7. Perhaps I was unlucky with the sample, but one thing is clear...I've got some serious catching up to do!

Image
9 x

User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

73. Speak up, dear (ja)

Postby Teango » Thu Dec 01, 2022 7:36 am

Japanese #18 (12h) | 0 Image 5
  • Preparation for exams and speaking assignments this week.
Time to start burning off the Thanksgiving calories in preparation for putting them all on again over Christmas and New Year. And on a similar note, it's time to get back to Genki reviews and get in shape for all my academic assignments this week. Just 4 conversation sessions followed by an oral exam tomorrow, and one big written test at the end of the course left to go!

Image
7 x

User avatar
Teango
Blue Belt
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:55 am
Location: Honolulu, Hawaiʻi
Languages: en (n)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11283
x 2635
Contact:

Japanese Course - Update

Postby Teango » Sun Dec 11, 2022 6:31 pm

I had my first conversation of any real length with a native Japanese tutor a couple of weeks ago, and it went really well. Considering I'm only partway through an A1 textbook, I was delighted to find I could chat freely for half an hour on a wide variety of topics and we had a real blast. I was supposed to simply memorise off 4 short set dialogues and use basic vocabulary from the first half of Genki I. Instead, I went off-road. I switched it up to free unrehearsed discourse on the set topics and then anything else the tutor wanted to discuss. The tutor was lovely, albeit genuinely shocked and entertained by my stated level, and her feedback was highly positive and motivating!

If only I'd gone straight home that day. Fatefully, however, I had to sit one further standardized oral exam with a non-native Japanese teacher that afternoon. I chose the most difficult topic on offer, a detailed account of my trip to Japan back in 2005 (option #4), while nearly everyone else in my class chose basic introductions from Lesson 1 of Genki (option #1)! Maybe I should have played it safe and gone for the easiest option too, but that's just not me. I wanted to test my abilities to the max and get a feeling for what I could or could not realistically do. And again, much to my surprise, I understood everything and was able to communicate on the fly with relative ease at a basic level. And if I may say so, I was particularly pleased with being able to recall more advanced vocabulary and linking phrases well beyond the remit of Genki and use them effectively on the day. I thought I did well...

Yet....at the end of 10 rushed minutes...I was coldly informed otherwise. I was told it was clear I could comprehend everything, but that my accent was so far removed from nativelike that is was painful for the teacher to listen to me, to the point of being almost totally incomprehensible. I was also admonished for using phrases outside the textbook and warned off including anything I'm not 100% sure of in future. Consequently, I got graded down. I smiled politely and apologized for proverbially making her ears bleed, but deep inside, my earlier motivation popped like a naive child's bubble and my heart sank down low. Real low.

I just don't know where I went wrong? I'm a beginner and sound nothing like a native Japanese speaker yet - sure, that's probably right on the money. But I have a good ear with perfect pitch (one of the benefits of coming from a highly musical family) and have always been complemented in the past on my accent (or mildness of it) when speaking other languages. At this stage, I know my Japanese sucks and my pitch accent is probably all over the place (something not even mentioned in the course, let alone covered). However I really didn't think I sounded so very terrible. Has everyone been lying to me out of kindness or politeness all this time? How is it that I had no problems chatting with a native speaker earlier that very same day?? Is this another one of those glitches in the Matrix and I've now forgotten all my kung fu (*black cat shudders and miaows twice, then hurls a surprise shuriken at me*)??? I just don't know any more. Maybe she's right and I should refrain from inflicting any further pain on unsuspecting Japanese ears. And please note that this is not meant to be a reflection on my teacher at all, as they otherwise seem like a nice person and have their own challenges to deal with. It's more that her comment came out of left field and was such a harsh and rude awakening for me on the day that I wandered home feeling totally gutted. I didn't want to speak Japanese anymore.

Sorry, rant over. I have my final exam on Dec 15th and then I'm done with this university course. I'm currently scoring top of the class with an otherwise perfect score; not too shabby for an "old timer" with a funny hat. So I shouldn't really complain. Perhaps I should have just kept this all to myself. However I thought I'd let my readers, along with any participants of the current 6WC that happen to drop by, know why I suddenly stopped posting and adding hours, and why I haven't felt in the mood to do any further Japanese since. I was initially going to add this to the recent "Has anyone else developed strong negative connotations with some languages?" thread but thought it would be better placed here. I still love Japanese and my overall experience has been very positive. Hopefully, getting this off my chest will help.
Last edited by Teango on Mon Dec 12, 2022 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
14 x

User avatar
MorkTheFiddle
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1897
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Southern Mississippi USA
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek. Studying a bit of Latin. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 4225

Re: 3 Day Projects (3DP)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Dec 11, 2022 6:48 pm

Your enthusiasm for the language and the hard work you have put in tell me much more than the opinion of just one person, even a qualified teacher, who should have expressed herself a little more diplomatically. The job of the teacher is to encourage and improve, after all. I can't and won't say just let it slide, but with time try to keep it in perspective and don't be discouraged.
7 x
Many things which are false are transmitted from book to book, and gain credit in the world. -- attributed to Samuel Johnson

User avatar
PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3100
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:54 am
Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
x 7395

Re: 3 Day Projects (3DP)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Dec 11, 2022 8:31 pm

I see you want to remain reapectful towards your non-native teacher who gave you some rather blunt feedback, but some analysis wouldn't hurt...

...I'd say there's likely an element of truth in her comments as well an element of subjective exaggerated experience coming off as (perhaps unintentional) blunt, harsh feedback.

As you mentioned, Teango, your pitch accent is likely off, which could be potentially irritating to some personalities who I believe find it simply difficult and not enjoyable to deal with accents that skew from standard native-like pronunciation to any degree whatsoever and take a disliking to the speech of those who can't pronounce words in a native-like fashion regardless of the speaker's/learner's level.

Pitch accent is damn tricky and depending on your learning methods, it could largely improve over time or remain the same. Perhaps your teacher/tutor was attempting to correct your 'errors' for fear they become too hard to undo later and thus her harsh approach was genuine worry feeling you've really gone down the wrong path and are now highly unlikely to ever correct such things ("No, not another learner with ingrained pitch accent errors! He's never going to fix these problems!"). Yet, your tutor's potential fears might be well off the mark and completely subjective as that may have been their experience with pronunciation when starting out (that pronunciation must be perfected from the beginning without question), which is now projected onto you.

While some learners might 'set' their pronunciation in the beginning stages of learning a language and struggle to make improvements to it later, others can indeed perfect theirs over time, quite effectively too. As mentioned, perhaps your tutor is worrying and judging you harshly thinking you will not be able to undo any pitch accent problems and is genuinely concerned (perhaps even wanting to help). Throw in a bad day or a bit of tiredness and any eloquence in explaining such concerns could just turn to bluntness.

Were your tutor to hear your Japanese 12 months or a few years from now, they might be rather shocked with your (improved) accent. I say keep up the good work Teango and trust that you're not only doing more than okay, but that your (pitch) accent will improve if you keep working on it over time.
4 x

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1478
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English: native
Samoan: speak, but rusty
Tagalog: imperfect, but use all the time
Spanish: read
French: read some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 5322

Re: 3 Day Projects (3DP)

Postby sfuqua » Tue Dec 13, 2022 10:28 pm

The teacher clearly thought that you needed a put-down. Accent is an easy one to pick on, because few people ever reach the point where they could pass for a native speaker in an L2.
The comments about not using anything that you are not sure of, sound like the teacher expected the regurgitation of pieces of set conversations. That should have been clearly specified before the test.
I am not sure what the teacher was attempting to accomplish with that feedback. Stuff like that can stop one's progress cold in a language.

What nonsese. Get a new teacher; that one sounds dangerous
Last edited by sfuqua on Thu Dec 15, 2022 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
6 x
I'm at less than 1000 Kanji still, but Iḿ starting to understand a lot more of Japanese. :D

Caromarlyse
Green Belt
Posts: 356
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:31 pm
Languages: English (N), French (C1-ish), German (B2/C1-ish), Russian (B1-ish), Portuguese (B1-ish), Spanish (in hibernation)
(All levels estimates and given as a guide only)
x 1464

Re: 3 Day Projects (3DP)

Postby Caromarlyse » Wed Dec 14, 2022 10:25 am

I had very a similar off-putting experience with a Russian teacher. Immediate criticism at my level (even though I'd said I was at the beginning of B1 at the time so should hardly have been expected to be particularly good), immediate saying that without three hours' work each day I'd get nowhere (without asking what I was in fact doing). Within eight minutes of the class I wanted to leave, so, like you, the judgement came after an encounter lasting just a few minutes. My advice would be to try to forget about it and move on - I don't think it's even worth your time analysing what such teachers are trying to get at because they are so wide of the mark. I've had really positive experiences since, and my Russian has come on a lot, so it was definitely not a "me" problem!
6 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests