Xmmm's Existential Log

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StringerBell
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Re: Xmmm's Underperforming Log

Postby StringerBell » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:43 am

Xmmm wrote:Grammar:100 Reading:790 Listening:750 Speaking:50 Writing:10

I'm satisfied with my grammar, speaking, and writing given how much time I've devoted to them. It's mostly the listening that frustrates me. I can understand 70% or more of native Italian TV dramas, versus 50% of native Russian TV dramas. Although, truth be told, the breakdown of my 1000 Italian hours would be:

Grammar:50 reading:250 listening:665 Speaking:30 Writing:5

So in relative terms, I've done far more listening in Italian than Russian ... maybe that explains it ...


At this point, I'm about even in terms of how much time I've spent between Italian and Polish, and like you, Italian is by far easier for me in terms of listening, reading, and speaking; there's no comparison. Whenever I'm tempted to feel frustrated that my progress is far slower with Polish, I remind myself that Slavic languages are a Category 4 for a reason; they are more distant and they just take way longer. You really can't expect that your progress will be equal between a Cat 1 and a Cat 4 language.

Plus, 750 hours for listening in Russian vs. 665 hours listening in Italian - those numbers are pretty close. For your listening comprehension in Russian to be equivalent to your listening comprehension in Italian, I'd expect to see something like 2,000-2,500 hours listening in Russian to 665 hours listening in Italian. So I think you're actually doing really well.
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Polish 1st goal: 1100 hours : 785 / 1100
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Arnaud
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Re: Xmmm's Underperforming Log

Postby Arnaud » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:19 am

Not giving up Russian after 3 years is already a performance in itself ;)
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Skynet
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Re: Xmmm's Underperforming Log

Postby Skynet » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:17 pm

Xmmm wrote:
Expugnator wrote:
Xmmm wrote:Russian

I finished Империя Должен Умереть. Ура! I hereby promote myself to self-assessed B2 in reading


That's more than I got in 7 years! There's no point in having Failure at the title anymore! Maybe we should switch or log's descriptions?!


I can't take the pressure of having to fail every week, so I agree to the name change.

In your 7 years of Russian, though, you put in -- what? 300 hours? And you have something like B1 (modestly estimated) receptive skills?

In my 3 years of Russian, I've put in 1700 hours and my report card is like:

Reading: B2
Listening: B1+
Speaking: A2
Writing: A2-

So I guesstimate it will take 4000 hours to reach C1 receptive and B2 productive ... and there just has to be a better way (that doesn't involve flashcards and grammar, lol) ...

By way of comparison my 1000 hours of Italian has resulted in:

Reading: B2+
Listening: B2
Speaking: B1+
Writing: B1-

So clearly I should have stayed in the Cat 1 pool ...


Xmmm,

If the title of your log was meant to be humorous click-bait, then I apologise in advance for not 'catching it.'

This is not 'another pernickety/punctilious language learner' case, this sounds more like someone who may be guilty of self-deprecation. There's absolutely nothing "underperforming," "chaotic" or "failure-ridden" about your impressive effort to master Italian, Russian and Turkish.

How many people have tried to do the same and simply quit? You're a champion for being at it for 1000s of hours! You should be proud to be among the few who have the courage, discipline and stamina to undertake Cat. 4 language learning endeavours. I am certainly galvanised by your efforts even though you study languages that I have very little (if any) interest in. ;)

This is not quantum physics: Cat. 1 languages are infinitely easier than Cat. 4 languages, and it has nothing to do with your efforts and everything to do with just how different Turkish and Russian are from English.

Keep up the great work! Forget past disappointments, strain toward what is ahead of you and achieve what you have set out to obtain. 8-)

Godspeed!

ADDENDUM
Edited to correctly list Russian and Turkish as Cat. 4 languages (instead of Cat. 3).
Last edited by Skynet on Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Expugnator
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Re: Xmmm's Underperforming Log

Postby Expugnator » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:50 pm

My figures would be more like this:

3 years at 50 min a day x 200 bank days in a year = 30000 minutes divided by 60 = 500 hours

3 years at 30 min a day x 200 bank days = 300 hours

Total 800 hours. This is more than halfway to IRS 3 so I shouldn't be stuck between A2 and B1 now.

To my defense, I've always been at a higher level in Georgian (around 30% more time than Russian) and I've progressed much faster in Estonian (less than half the time). They both fit into category IV but cum laudea, that is, with an asterisk which means they're supposed to be harder than Russian.
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Xmmm
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Re: Xmmm's Existential Log

Postby Xmmm » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:22 pm

Thank you for the kind words, everyone. I didn't mean to break down and start whining again -- it just happened. ;)

FSI says 600 hours for Italian, but it will take me 2000. FSI says 1100 hours for Russian, but it will take me 4000. The obvious answer to the riddle is that I'm in the untalented group that takes two or three times longer than the talented group. I just need to get over it, or get over myself, or whatever.

Expugnator -- I dabbled in Estonian and Georgian on the Glossika website -- respect.
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zenmonkey
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Re: Xmmm's Existential Log

Postby zenmonkey » Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:47 pm

Reached B2 levels in any part of the languages you are studying seems like success to me.

But yes, in reading some of the logs here and seeing someone that is clearly learning language x faster than me I always place myself in the slow learners category. We could form a club.
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reineke
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Re: Xmmm's Existential Log

Postby reineke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:27 pm

FSI says...

"In general, FSI is meant to get you to a 2/1 (or a 2/2 if you're going on to second year language) and then they'll send you overseas to get you to a 3/3 (or a 3+/2 according to the new policy)."

"Last summer, there were many native Spanish speakers that only scored 2's on the language test (given by contractor LTI over the phone and online (speaking/reading). It seems crazy but I guess possible. That's why they changed the Spanish Consular Fellow language threshold to 2/2."

Student chatter

Theory and Practice

"The goal of language training for FSI students is typically General Professional Proficiency in Speaking and Reading."

"To get to the threshold level for most overseas jobs-requires a good learner starting from scratch in Spanish or Dutch about 600 hours of class-time, and almost the same outside of class in guided independent study."

"For many of our graduates, a fundamental part of their work involves taking part in ordinary conversations with host country officials and community leaders on a variety of personal and professional topics. Yet of all the tasks graduates carry out at post in the foreign language--articulating policy, conducting interviews, managing offices and local staff--ordinary conversation is the one area of language use in which they almost unanimously claim to experience the most difficulty."

"In a sense, conversation is more about listening than about speaking. "
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StringerBell
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Re: Xmmm's Existential Log

Postby StringerBell » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:00 pm

Xmmm wrote:
FSI says 600 hours for Italian, but it will take me 2000. FSI says 1100 hours for Russian, but it will take me 4000. The obvious answer to the riddle is that I'm in the untalented group that takes two or three times longer than the talented group. I just need to get over it, or get over myself, or whatever.


I was also feeling incompetent comparing my progress with those FSI estimates, but then I realized some crucial details that they leave out of those numbers and I realized I wasn't doing anywhere near as bad as I was thinking:

For Cat 4 languages, those 1100 hours represent 5 hours worth of class time, 5 days per week for 44 weeks.

In addition to this class time, there is also 3-5 hours worth of out of class "homework"/language lab" time that is not accounted for in this estimate. So, assuming an average of 4 hours outside of class work for each day of class, that actually brings us to:

5 class hours + 4 out of class hours = 9 hours per day
9 hours x 5 days = 45 hours per week
45 hours x 44 weeks = 1,980 hours total (as opposed to 1100).


Similarly, 600 hours for Cat 1 languages -> 5 hours class time per day for 24 weeks
5 class hours + 4 out of class hours = 9 hours per day
9 hours x 5 days = 45 hours per week
45 hours x 24 = 1,080 hours total (as opposed to 600)

With these number of hours, I believe the expectation is to reach somewhere in the B range (B1/B2). I have read several accounts that in actuality, people are rarely as proficient at the end of the program as they are "supposed" to be and require A LOT more time, exposure, and practice to reach the level of proficiency that the program claims will be achieved in this timeframe.

***FSI numbers 1,980:1,080 are close to a 2:1 ratio comparing Cat 4:Cat1. In my experience, it seems to be more like 3:1 or 4:1.
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Polish 1st goal: 1100 hours : 785 / 1100
Italian 1st goal: 730 hours : 730 / 730 COMPLETED! YAY!
Italian 2nd goal: read 100 articles/blog posts : 93 / 100

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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: Xmmm's Existential Log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:49 pm

zenmonkey wrote:Reached B2 levels in any part of the languages you are studying seems like success to me.

But yes, in reading some of the logs here and seeing someone that is clearly learning language x faster than me I always place myself in the slow learners category. We could form a club.


Hope there's room for me in that club.
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