Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Mon May 29, 2017 12:23 pm

I went through the attic this weekend and found my old folders with Spanish notes from eight and ninth grade. I couldn't find any textbooks but the printed papers were neatly organised. Somewhat surprisingly there wasn't much grammar, only page after page (15 chapters) of vocabulary. I also found all my Spanish tests which was a painful decline.

For grammar, I found a list of subject pronouns (yo, tú, etc.), a table with un/una/el/la/los/las, a sentence about using de to show ownership and three tables on -ar/-er/-ir verbs such as estudiar, subir and leer. The final page ended with present tense conjugation of ir, tener, ser and estar.

My final exam (159 points):

# Translate 20 Swedish words into Spanish.
# Write the right verb conjugation in 20 printed sentences.
# Do the same thing with ser or estar in 12 sentences.
# Write 10 sentences telling the time, based on images of clocks.
# Translate 15 Swedish sentences into Spanish.

In hindsight, I'm surprised by how brief and simple the course was. It certainly didn't feel like it back then.

I've had my eyes on Dicendi's FSI course for a long time because I really appreciate the effort of creating a modern version of FSI. Finding my old Spanish notes resurrected this urge but I'm not a fan of spoken Spanish and I don't have any plans on revisiting Spain soon so it doesn't make much sense to learn the language at this time.
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Xenops
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [DK]

Postby Xenops » Tue May 30, 2017 12:00 am

I had a stack of green-paper Spanish grammar notes (the vocab sheets were blue) from high school, and I don't know where they went. :cry: I loved those things!

As for Spanish, I also lost the enthusiasm. Magical realism is a slight enticement, but not enough to pick it up again.
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Thu Jun 01, 2017 1:52 pm

When the forum was down, I spent the afternoon window shopping and ended up buying my first Assimil course. It's been a long time coming but I always reasoned that my German was too good for another beginners course and the advanced option (Perfectionnement Allemand) is only available with French as L1. So I decided it was time to begin my French adventure and bought Assimil Französisch ohne Mühe. It will give me a taste of Assimil while keeping my German alive and teaching me French. I'm still not sure what other tools I'll use but Assimil sans peine, Assimil Perfectionnement and French in Action will keep me occupied for a long time.

I continue to consume German material and I've now watched 68 hours this year which is more than I watched last year (62). It took me longer than expected and I'm currently going through Türkisch für Anfänger without subtitles. 16 hours completed and another 6 to go.. Once I'm done with it, I'll return to watching subbed material from ARD. I can't ignore the benefits you seem to get from subtitles.

My Kindle is used daily before bedtime. I read Der Hund von Baskerville last weekend which is the first real novel I've completed. Besides a few graded readers I only came halfway through Tintenherz (LWT), Harry Potter #1 (LWT) and Der Richter und sein Henker (printed). I'm now reading Harry Potter on my Kindle and then I'm not sure. Maybe give up LWT and complete Tintenherz on my Kindle? Is it time well spent to read the other books of Harry Potter when I already know the story and could use the time to discover native authors?
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Ogrim » Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:46 pm

Glad to see that you are using your Kindle in spite of the frustrations about the interface you mentioned earlier. Unfortunately the pop-up dictionaries have their limits, I have the same experience in both German and Russian where the in-built dictionary often does not have the word I want to look up. On another note, I recommend you to restart the Kindle from time to time, I discovered that after some hours of usage it seems to slow down, but then a restart fixes the issue. By restarting while connected to wifi you also get software updates from time to time, including dictionary updates, I believe.

Regarding Harry Potter: While I understand the logic behind reading a book you already read in another language, I personally find it a waste of time. One of the reasons I learn languages is to be able to read the literature in the original, so why spend time on reading translations of books I read before? Besides, German has a wealth of interesting literature, both classics and contemporary, so my recommendation would be to start exploring this rather than wasting more time on Harry Potter (unless you really, really love Harry Potter of course). :)
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Fri Jun 02, 2017 1:37 pm

Ogrim wrote:Glad to see that you are using your Kindle in spite of the frustrations about the interface you mentioned earlier. Unfortunately the pop-up dictionaries have their limits, I have the same experience in both German and Russian where the in-built dictionary often does not have the word I want to look up.

Although annoying, it's not a deal breaker. I'm mostly surprised that it wasn't more user-friendly.

My main issue is the rebooting, which happens multiple times in a sitting, causing it to forget which page I was on. Yesterday it happened immediately when I picked it up and tried to open Harry Potter but usually it happens when I try to look up a word. A lot of people mention similar issues but I can't seem to find any solutions so I'm considering doing a factory reset.

Ogrim wrote:Regarding Harry Potter: While I understand the logic behind reading a book you already read in another language, I personally find it a waste of time. One of the reasons I learn languages is to be able to read the literature in the original, so why spend time on reading translations of books I read before? Besides, German has a wealth of interesting literature, both classics and contemporary, so my recommendation would be to start exploring this rather than wasting more time on Harry Potter (unless you really, really love Harry Potter of course). :)

I fully agree. The temptation probably comes from finishing what I started (book series) and having the benefit of knowing each scene so it's easy to figure out words from context. In Der Hund von Baskerville I missed part of the origin of the legend and had to look it up. Harry Potter just seems a lot easier to understand. With this said, I'm leaning towards finishing Tintenherz on the Kindle and then continuing with other native German authors.
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 pm

Türkisch für Anfänger (A2-B1)

Image

Probably one of the most recommended German TV series. It's a drama comedy about a German-Turkish stepfamily and centers around 16 year-old Lena Schneider. We get to follow her love adventures, culture clashes and teenage life. She narrates by recording videos for her best friend and regularly have inner monologs similar but more serious than those in Scrubs.

I liked Lena from the get-go but found the story to be lacking. Everything is based on people walking in at the wrong time, mishearing and trying to cover up small lies which causes a lot of drama. Imagine One Tree Hill but ten times worse because everything is taking place under one roof. They quickly add more characters along the way but somehow everyone spends their days in the Schneider-Öztürk family house.

There are three seasons with a total of 52 episodes á 25 min resulting in almost 22 hours of playtime. They are short by German standard and it's comedy so it's easy to get sucked in and watch several in a row but somewhere along the way it became more about just finishing the show so I could move on. I understand why people like it and it even became a movie in 2012 but it's not something I'll rewatch even though I enjoyed it at times.

Read more about it on Wikipedia.
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:41 am

The ultimate tool for watching French TV online

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I'm a big fan of using public service in language learning because they tend to use near perfect subtitles. Sadly they often have tight time restrictions so if you want to record a full series, you not only need to find the show when they publish the first episode but you also need to keep track of new uploads and record them before they are removed. It can be difficult so I'm using MediathekView for German and the French alternative seems to be rePlay.fr.

They claim to index 46 channels but the main thing is their system for subscriptions. You can search for a keyword or a specific show and save it as a subscription. Then you'll get a notification by mail or RSS whenever a new episode is published. It should save a lot of time and you never miss an episode.

I subscribed to a bunch of shows when I found the site and just a few days later, I was notified by mail that France 4 had begun uploading the first season of Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air with perfect subtitles. I was extremely lucky but it highlights the benefit of using a site like this because I would never have known if I didn't receive a notification.

They are using AdBlock protection though, forcing you to deactivate it to be redirected to episodes. I solved it by whitelisting the redirect URL so I can block all ads while still getting a working site:

Code: Select all

http://www.replay.fr/players/*

The main thing they are missing is a working filter similar to MediathekView. I'd like to get a complete list and filter episodes by subtitles, length, upload date and IMDb (dream feature). Now there's no good method to find new shows, you basically need to know what you're looking for and use the search field.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby schlaraffenland » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Stefan wrote:I subscribed to a bunch of shows when I found the site and just a few days later, I was notified by mail that France 4 had begun uploading the first season of Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air with perfect subtitles. I was extremely lucky but it highlights the benefit of using a site like this because I would never have known if I didn't receive a notification.


Thank you very much for this! I'm really enjoying this show. I missed the first three episodes, but I'm humming along trying to catch up before the others are no longer available. I had heard of it around the time when it came out, and when the live-action version was in theaters. But I'd never paid it much heed. It's a really nice show, and I appreciate its spirit and aesthetic. And something about watching animation in French for the first time in decades brings back cozy memories of watching "The Mysterious Cities of Gold" dubbed into French during our visits when I was small. :D
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Stefan
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:57 pm

Türkisch für Anfänger (film)

Image

They decided to make a movie after the successful TV show. It's the same characters and actors but it's basically an alternative timeline. Instead of moving in together, they seem to be a bit older (16 -> 19) and meet on a vacation in Thailand. Their plane is forced to do an emergency landing in the ocean and they end up being marooned on an island.

It's a high budget comedy and I didn't mind watching it but the movie lacked the chemistry and emotions the show had. Here they threw everything out the window, started from scratch and tried to recreate all three seasons in 104 minutes. Really important events that almost took an episode in the show are rushed through in seconds. They also slightly changed their character traits. Yağmur was deeply religious in the show and refused to show her hair but in the movie she doesn't seem to mind wearing a bikini. I guess it makes sense in the movie but after already watching 22 hours with her it just felt off.

All in all, I'd say it's a decent comedy but it wasn't what I expected.

Read more about it on Wikipedia.
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Re: Stefan's log [DE] [FR] [DK]

Postby Stefan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:45 am

Wir tun es für Geld

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Ines (Diana Amft) is a successful career-oriented woman and as a result, she is heavily taxed. So her father and boyfriend convinces her to enter a fake marriage with her less than successful childhood friend Moritz (Florian Lukas). He will get half of his rent paid by her and Ines will fall below the high income tax bracket and pay substantially less. It's just a signature on a piece of paper and even though Moritz couldn't care less about the money, he's doing it as a favour to her.

It starts out well but then Moritz gets a new neighbour - Ekkehard (Ludger Pistor) - and it turns out that he works as a tax auditor. To avoid getting caught, they need to up their charade which causes all kind of problems you would expect in a romantic comedy.

I really enjoyed it. The actors are great, it's never boring and at times it had me smiling.

Read more about it on Wikipedia.
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