Everything has changed, but we are adapting! The same goes for society as a whole and within my family. Last Wednesday my wife had a high(ish) fever so I had to leave work immediately and self-isolate for 14 days. We don't think she has coronavirus, but you can't be too sure. So far she is feeling fine and the rest of us haven't gotten any symptoms.
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm now working on 3 languages daily: French, German and Hindi. But German is still getting the most attention.
For German I'm working on Assimil l'allemand every day and will probably complete 3 lessons per week for the foreseeable future. The reason I'm not completing a lesson per day is that I am reviewing previous week's lessons while starting a new lesson. I know Assimil is designed to keep moving even if you haven't mastered everything, but this time I want to have a firmer grasp on tricky bits like when to use accusative and dative, and simply keeping on top of what all the forms look like! I'm even beginning to wonder if it would be worth drawing up, learning and practicing paradigm charts like I used to use for ancient Greek. Assimilation is a bit easier if you can stop and think through a paradigm from time to time. On the other hand, I have learned my lessons from my old studies of Greek, and simply learning lots of paradigms without loads of practice is useless. My Greek studies were probably 70% vocabulary flashcards, 20% revising paradigms and maybe 10% (if that much) of actual practice by reading. Without enough practice a lot of the vocab and paradigm studies slipped quickly from my memory. For German, the practice is currently coming from Assimil: reading, listening to and shadowing the texts.
In addition to Assimil I'm using a bit of Duolingo every day, and I've made Memrise another cornerstone of my studies. I'm using three four German decks on Memrise: Assimil German, Duolingo German vocabulary, Duolingo German sentences and Memrise's own German 1. The first three of those are to review what I'm learning with Assimil and Duolingo, while the Memrise course is another way to build vocabulary. I quite like the Memrise repetition method, which uses low-stakes testing in a variety of ways. Also, Memrise's own courses have little video clips of locals saying the words and phrases, and not always the same person: a single phrase will be spoken by 4 or 5 different speakers so you hear it spoken differently quite often.
For French I'm currently just working on Duolingo and Memrise's own French 1 course. Both are way below my level, but it's a bit of fun and good to be reminded of the basics at a time when German basics sometimes slip in when I'm thinking of French basics (e.g. when the courses ask me for the French for "I am" I'm tempted to type "ich bin".)
Finally, for Hindi I'm just dabbling in the Duolingo course. Again this is way below my level, but it's fun anyway. Duolingo Hindi is currently quite a short course, so I may finish it fairly quickly. There is one very serious problem with Duolingo Hindi: it uses the most familiar form right from the start. Hindi has three levels of familiarity:
आप (aap) which corresponds to French vous or German Sie
तुम (tum) which corresponds to French tu or german du
The third is extremely familiar: तू (tuu) which is only used for intimate relations, children, God, a lover, close friends, and possibly servants.
Duolingo not only uses this form extensively, but even uses it for things you would only ask a stranger, like "Where do you come from?" and "What is your name?" For an experienced learner of Hindi this isn't a problem, but for a beginner it could lead to serious awkwardness.
Here's how I did with last week's plan:
jeffers wrote:Goals for Monday to Sunday (16-22 March)
[X] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.
[X] Work on Duolingo every day.
[X] Complete 2 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand, review the previous 7 thoroughly.
Start final re-read of Brian Smith's Easy German Reader 3. (This is on hold for now)
Work on Pimsleur or FSI FAST German (or a little bit of both!) (These were for commuting, which isn't happening)
And here is the shiny brand new plan for this week, Monday to Sunday (23-29 March):
[ ] Keep the language alive by studying German with Assimil L'allemand.
[ ] Duolingo every day
[ ] Memrise French 1 every day
[ ] Duolingo every day
[ ] Complete 2 new chapters of Assimil L'allemand, review the previous 7 thoroughly
[ ] Memrise every day, keep the streaks for all 4 courses going
[ ] Duolingo every day