I'm a logger

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

I'm a logger

Postby eido » Mon Feb 05, 2018 3:06 am

Welcome to eido's language log! In here you will find updates about mostly Spanish, but I am interested in learning other languages as well. I have considered learning almost every tongue under the sun, from Chinese to Icelandic. You'll find that I like each language I do for different reasons. But I'm not learning all the ones listed below at once. They're just in my sphere of interest. I'd follow my log to find out what I'm currently learning, because besides Spanish, it can change often.

Read on to get the details.

1. Spanish
What I call my "first love". I've been learning this language since I was fourteen. Initially, I thought I wouldn't like it and my monolingual ass didn't want to learn it, but I took it because I thought I had to. I'm glad I did. It was one of those cases where familiarity didn't breed contempt, and I'm lucky. I'm working on pursuing a bachelor's in Spanish and later a Master's. That's how much I love it now - let's see how it goes when I enter the rigors of that program. I'm learning it for the practicality and because I like it. Sometimes it feels like a lost cause, but then the sound system sucks me in. I want to be good at all aspects of this language, and attain the highest possible level.
My stats in this language:
  • DLI Test -
    Grammar: level 2 [90/100] (as of 04/18/2018) ; Listening: level 2 (as of 03/04/2018)
  • Cervantes Test - C1 (as of 10/30/2018)
  • TELC B2 - 52.5 on the reading portion [73%] ; 27 on the grammar section [90%] (as of 10/31/2018) ; 57.5 on the listening portion [77%] (11/18/2018)
  • DIALANG -
    Reading: A1 ; Listening: A2 ; Vocabulary: B1 ; Structures: B1 (as of 04/17/2018)
  • Leipzig -
    Receptive: 81% of 5,000 most common words known (most recently taken 07/05/2018 - previous score 79% on 03/04/2018) ; Active: 55% of 5,000 most common words (taken on 10/31/2018)
    • ECL -
      Level C1 --> Listening: 18/20 [90%] (11/19/2018)
My resources:
  • YouTube videos that talk about k-pop, other recommendations
  • NHK World
  • Learner podcasts - look for @Jaleel10's lists in my log and elsewhere on LLORG
  • Cartoons and TV shows dubbed into Spanish
Me speaking the language:
2. Korean
I originally didn't want to learn this language either. I didn't know anything about it other than k-pop was sung in it, and after researching my high school friend's favorite groups, I fell in love with the sound of the language. I'm not much into k-pop, though. I'm now learning it to discover what's behind South Korea's pretty facade, because it's not just all cute boys, aegyo, shiny technology, and good food. Learning this language will be a major intellectual challenge because I'll have to adjust to a culture that's quite different from mine, and I've never tried to make this type of effort before to change my mindset. As of the end of 2018, I've been flirting with this language for about two years. I only got serious this year. If I end up at the graduate school I'm thinking about, I'll need to know a second language to graduate, so I picked this one. I need to be good at all skills, though if I had my way I wouldn't focus on speaking since it normally wouldn't be a priority of mine.
My stats in this language:
  • No tests taken yet. I estimate I'm around level A1.5 as of 11/12/2018.
My resources:
  • Core Korean Udemy series
  • Cyber University of Korea series
  • College Korean by Clare You, with accompanying website
  • Intermediate College Korean by Clare You, with accompanying website
  • Korean Grammar in Use series
  • 50Languages content
Me speaking the language:
  • Nothing available at this time.
3. Polish
My heritage language. I know various cuss words and random phrases that wouldn't be typically necessary, but that's the extent of my knowledge. I want to get fluent in it one day. I mainly want to speak with my mom, who grew up speaking it but doesn't anymore. It makes me sad.
My stats in this language:
  • No tests yet. I'm A0 at the moment. (November 2018)
My resources:
  • What can you recommend?
Me speaking the language:
4. Icelandic
I've loved this language since I found out about Iceland through an anime. It has a lovely phoneme inventory, and I adore it even though I can't pronounce most of the sounds. I have no practical use for this language, but Iceland has a certain charm that I'm determined to figure out. I ideally want to be good at everything but speaking. If I ever need to speak Icelandic, I'll get good at it, but for now, that's not in the cards.
My stats in this language:
  • No tests taken yet. I know too little.
My resources:
  • Icelandic Online
  • Hitt og Þetta
  • Íslenska fyrir alla
  • Linguaphone
  • Colloquial Icelandic
  • Teach Yourself Icelandic
Me speaking the language:
  • Not available at this time.
5. Faroese
I don't need to learn this language either. But I'm interested in Nordic languages, and Faroese's obscurity appeals to me. As is the pattern with everything else, I enjoy the sounds that come with the territory. I'd want to get up to maybe a B2 with this language, except speaking. I want to be one of well, not many successful out-of-country learners.
My stats in this language:
  • Nothing yet.
My resources:
  • Faroese Online
  • Petersen's book
  • Translated Harry Potter
  • ...recommendations?
Me speaking this language:
  • Have you heard Faroese?
6. Japanese
I've watched thousands of hours of anime and want to stop being a weeb. I like dialects. More of a someday language.
My stats in this language:
  • I'm A0. (November 2018)
My resources:
  • Minato
  • Pimsleur
Me speaking this language:
  • I know nothing other than "o genki desu ka?" and "asoko desu ka?"

This log will be a journey for me and you. Will you join me?

Feel free to leave advice. I will look at it. Share your stories. Lend me a hand by suggesting resources. Ask me questions. Let's have a good time. And don't forget to remind me to behave if you need to. Sometimes my opinions or actions don't make sense - call me out on it!
Last edited by eido on Mon Apr 08, 2019 6:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
19 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:36 pm

Today I'm going to write about how I've gotten to the level I have, which we'll assume is B1. I'm assuming as such because I don't want to overestimate my abilities, but rather average them. I'm maybe an A2 in listening, an A1 in speaking, a low B2 in reading, and a low B1 in writing. So a low B1 for my level seems about right. And yes, you didn't read wrong, I am that terrible at speaking.

In my freshman year of high school, I took to SpanishDict.com to look up words I didn't know. I wanted to know the word 'was' because we hadn't learned it yet. We also hadn't learned the word 'it'. Both of these words I found fundamentally important, so I went searching on this site for them. I tried to use what I'd learned on Lang-8. Of course, it gave me 'era' for 'was', and I didn't know there was a difference between the imperfect or preterite, or that there was even a subjunctive yet. I used to write on Lang-8 weekly making extensive use of the dictionary. I realized then it was a problem that I was looking up so many terms, because I would forget half or more of them after I had used them for a particular entry. However that age old adage about using it or losing it is true, and I learned that by how I started to run into my habits of speaking. I write how I speak most of the time, so I quickly picked up those common expressions. I also picked up patterns from reading not only SD's dictionary but their built-in translator, and while I knew from my experiences with Google Translate that it wouldn't be accurate all the time, I knew I could use my brain to guess for that remaining part. I would type in my version of the sentence, and if the translator spat out nonsense, I knew I'd done something wrong. They work with phrases for the most part, so I knew I had to tweak the phrase if I wanted to get it correct. I'd do this by looking up things in English, and immediately try using that in my sentence. Of course this wasn't perfect, but I had the nice people on Lang-8 to help me out. (After I'd corrected my allotted number of journals for the day, that is.) I also listened to a lot of Spanish pop and classic rock because I'd read somewhere that listening is important. I just didn't know how it was. But I soon grew very fond of my playlists on Pandora and Enrique Iglesias.

Using this incredibly painful (although fun [to me]) method, I soon became the best at writing in my class because I knew more. My teacher thought I was great. Really I just liked solving the puzzle and finding a method that worked for me to get results. I didn't know how back then to work without the guidance of a teacher, and to this day I still don't. (More on this in a minute.) I always got As in Spanish, but then again many people do. Not many ever learn it to fluency. (Apparently for some this is B2 level, but for others it's C2? I need to know what to define it as, guys! Give me some pointers.)

After I graduated high school, though, I didn't have anyone to hold me accountable for learning. And I know, I know, if I really wanted to learn Spanish, I should be self-motivated enough to want to learn it on my own, right? I thought so, too. And every language learning article I've read in the past six months has said the same. You might as well just beat me over the head with a billy club. So I gave up on Spanish for maybe half a year or more. I restarted my efforts in 2016 sometime but I don't remember how I did it. I only remember what I've been doing for the past couple of months, which is basically nothing but I'll summarize it still: Since about October 2017 I've been reading the sporadic news article, and in December I spent $200 on a Berlitz-made online software which was like my Christmas present to myself. I didn't know what to expect from it, but all I can say is I have buyer's remorse because it's teaching me nothing. Maybe I haven't given it enough of a chance. But I took a level test before starting with the program, and it placed me at B1. It's teaching me the words for 'nurse' and 'sick' which I already know. All it is is flashcards with news articles gathered in a feed that you can have optionally read through a computer voice, among other simple features. I get an email from them every day reminding me to practice, but I do not. All I know is I'm looking at Arizona State University's Spanish program with big eyes because it's online and a way for me to take advanced classes, something that might benefit me since I love structure. But I've been reading that the best learning comes from your own efforts, not from a teacher's. So maybe I should be looking somewhere else. Yet, it's still so tempting.

Most of my new vocabulary has come through the articles, though. I still have the age-old problem of trying to figure out how to get the words to stick in my head, however.

Did you get anything from that tangent? TL;DR I learned from a robot how to love, but it didn't teach me how to remember or fend for myself.
8 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:26 pm

I mentioned in a previous post that I enjoy Spanish music. Since I haven't committed to a formal study plan and haven't done any studying as a result, I thought I'd make this post about songs, a way to avoid studying in some cases. I still doubt how much music can help you learn a language because I myself get so distracted with it. In English I'm so used to understanding that I can pay attention to the beat, and can thus even ignore the song if I'm able. But with a song in another language, I want so desperately to know what they're saying that I forget there's a whole I have to listen to and I become frustrated. I think I might be doing something wrong.

Nevertheless, I do have a few favorite pieces that I've collected over the years ever since I started listening to dedicated Spanish radio stations. I seem to really like 'ol Iglesias. (And Juanes too. Shakira maybe.) Bear with me. I mostly only like the songs for their sound. Here are some that I fell in love with:

"Dónde Están Corazón" by Enrique Iglesias (why is it the plural conjugation here? I've never known. Is there supposed to be a comma or something?)
"Fuiste Tú" by Ricardo Arjona
"Fotografía" by Juanes ft. Nelly Furtado
"Mariposa Traicionera" by Maná
"Duele El Corazón" by Enrique Iglesias
"Cómo Te Atreves" by Morat
"Invierno" by Reik
"Para Tu Amor" by Juanes
"Pies Descalzos, Sueños Blancos" by Shakira
"Loba" by Shakira
"Escapar" by Enrique Iglesias

I also listen to a lot of Disney songs that have been translated to Spanish.

Do you have any recommendations? Share them!

--

Today I was doing my job, wherein I work with two kids from Colombia. They know a little English, and they rely a lot on the same few hundred words they know to speak with their peers. When the school year started I spoke to them a little in Spanish, and they were so surprised. It made me feel good because I made them feel like they were understood. The only problem is half the time I can't understand what they say back to me. Today it was the word "payaso" which is "clown". The younger of the two boys was trying to tell me about a movie he saw since we were talking about scary things, and he couldn't think of the word in English for what the movie was about. The bus was loud and I couldn't understand him, and even after I got up near his face with my ear I still had trouble. Only after he muttered the word "clown" was I able to parse what I kept hearing as "aso". I felt like an idiot, because I think he thinks I'm fluent in Spanish, and it's only maybe 60% of the time in a good environment that I know the words he says. I want to be able to help him, but I'm so inept. Then I go home every day and don't practice my listening comprehension. It's a vicious cycle. There is a practical way right in front of me I could be applying Spanish and I don't seize the opportunity. I just read something in an AJATT eCourse this past hour about how if you like something or truly think it is worthwhile, you will continue it. But I never continue with Spanish or basically anything in my life, so I must not enjoy one thing I do. My mom tried to brush it off as simple frustration when I asked her about it. Oh, what to do. I have no common sense.
4 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:44 am

That whininess may have turned some of you off. I understand. I just thought I'd document my frustration. I want to be honest about what I feel, because I like authenticity. That's a word that gets thrown around a lot these days, and I kind of cringe reading it because I've read so many self-help articles, but I'll still use it.

I think I've come up with a goal for study. I will start small with reading at least one news article a day on CNN Español. I think this is a good source to use because it has a lot of specialized vocabulary and it will force me to stay updated on somewhat, er, more important current affairs? As much as I like reading about one of the Kardashian's new babies, I think I owe it to myself to keep up with the politics of my country. I know, I know, this might be a subject people like to keep out of, but everyone has an opinion on it even if they claim not to. Not having one is having one. So I'd like to know what all the buzz is about. Of course, not all articles I find will cover US issues, but that's okay. I need to broaden my worldview.

I will also listen to one podcast on SpanishPodcast.net, starting with number one.

I figure with goals that require so little, there's no way I could fail. I'll at least be able to complete one part of the goal each day no matter how busy I get, because even with missing vocabulary, I can get through a news piece in about five minutes or less.

I've been thinking about my college plans, and I have in mind switching from my current idea of going to a university in Kansas (online) to Arizona State like I mentioned, and then getting a Master's in Spanish at the local four-year university. I want to be a teacher. I'll have to do a lot of learning though if I want to be a competent one, and especially if I want to get admitted to graduate school where one of the admissions requirements is an oral Spanish interview. Hopefully I can find a way to get there.
4 x

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 886
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3162

Re: I'm a logger

Postby Ogrim » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:35 pm

eido wrote:"Dónde Están Corazón" by Enrique Iglesias (why is it the plural conjugation here? I've never known. Is there supposed to be a comma or something?)
-----
Do you have any recommendations? Share them!


Welcome to the forum!

The plural in the song title refers to "los días". I belive that part of the lyrics goes like this:
Donde estan, donde estan corazon
Los dias que sabiamos amar...


As for recommendations I hardly know where to start when it comes to artists from Spain (I know them better than the Latin Americans), but from your list I would imagine Pablo Alborán may be to your taste.

Personally I like very much the Spanish "cantautores", e.g. Ana Belén, Victor Manuel, Joan Manuel Serrat, Joaquin Sabina, Miguel Ríos, Luís Eduardo Aute etc. Most of them were very much at their best in the period 1980s - 1990s, but they are still going strong, like Sabina who had a hit with 19 Dias Y 500 Noches. I hope you don't mind me posting the youtube clip here:

2 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:55 pm

Ogrim wrote:Welcome to the forum!

Thank you for the ideas! I normally like songs I can follow along with easily, and usually those are pop songs. My favorite English-speaking artists are usually similar, but occasionally you'll get a Bob Dylan or Simon and Garfunkel. I also like songs from the 60s-80s. I will check out the music you've mentioned.

And thanks for the clarification about the title, I guess I don't think too hard and I need to change that.

Your log is an inspiration for me since you speak so many languages and are dedicated to improving them! You seem to have a lot of knowledge. Thanks for stopping by. I feel honored.
0 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:09 am

I checked out the two singers Ogrim mentioned. Well, he mentioned a few, but I checked out Sabina and Alborán. Sabina's song's official video is not available in the US. I had to watch a live performance. I can say I understood very little of it. Maybe I'll go back one day and listen once I've acquired more vocabulary. I also listened to a song called "Al Paraíso" by the latter singer, which I enjoyed. I learned a new word, 'facha', which means 'look', or 'appearance.' There was a lot of corresponding expressions in English I could have learnt along with it, but it was a bit of an information overload.

I read two articles today. One was about the boat looking for flight 370 from Malaysia and the other Kim Jong Un's military parade. The first piece was from Telemundo, and there were a lot of words I didn't know. I was able to guess quite a few, though.
Some that I learned:
- desplazar: to take the place of
- bautizar: to baptize
- volatilizar: to vanish into thin air
- buque: ship
- hallar: to find
- en pos de: to be after something, to be in pursuit of something
- desvelar: to reveal

I'm finding that there's some grammar patterns I don't understand which makes it difficult to understand the meaning of the sentence. One is "según + conjugated verb." For example, "según informa el diario..." With some verbs I'm able to make a rough translation of the combination, but with others no.
I used to have a project where I was translating this website, Sergiosa.la. The articles are pretty easy to read save some terms, so I was able to read them a lot of the time. However looking up the words I didn't know took a while and it was hard to translate the content as a result. If you're curious how I found it, I read a post on Benny Lewis's blog. Yes, I know. Benny Lewis. We all need some sappy encouragement in life, I suppose. Anyway, what I meant to say was, I wonder if I should start that up with these articles. I already translate in my head. But maybe I should stop that. I've read so much conflicting advice about learning a language, and about translating specifically too.

I also listened to the first podcast from the website I mentioned. I think I relied too heavily on the transcript, though. It was an easy listen based on what was written out, and the speaker's voice was clear, but I just couldn't unglue my eyes from those words. If any of you have trained yourselves to listen and not read, how did you do it? Did you just do it band-aid style?
0 x

User avatar
Brun Ugle
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2274
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:48 pm
Location: Steinkjer, Norway
Languages: English (N), Norwegian (~C1/C2), Spanish (B1/B2), German (A2/B1?), Japanese (very rusty)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=11484
x 5553
Contact:

Re: I'm a logger

Postby Brun Ugle » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:25 am

For me, I listened to things without transcripts or subtitles.That forced me to just listen. But now I sometimes use things that do have subtitles or transcripts, but I listen without them first. Then I go through the transcripts looking up all the words I don’t know. And then if I feel like it, I listen again.
0 x

User avatar
Systematiker
Blue Belt
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
x 2065

Re: I'm a logger

Postby Systematiker » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:19 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:For me, I listened to things without transcripts or subtitles.That forced me to just listen. But now I sometimes use things that do have subtitles or transcripts, but I listen without them first. Then I go through the transcripts looking up all the words I don’t know. And then if I feel like it, I listen again.


I second the brute force approach here. In Spanish. I’d just listen anyway, or switch shows, so I had adequate understanding and sucked it up. In French I had worse listening ability, so I was less stubborn with pure listening (podcasts) and there was film I wanted to watch as such, so I relied on subtitles. Varying amounts of input have to be considered, but it’s the being stubborn and listening anyway that made that input difference - and I’m consistently a level apart in listening for Spanish and French. (Side note: I also rarely solely listen, listening is always while doing something, so my target point is the desired ability to multitask or listen while doing something)
2 x

User avatar
eido
Brown Belt
Posts: 1199
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
x 2327

Re: I'm a logger

Postby eido » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:47 pm

Brun Ugle wrote:For me, I listened to things without transcripts or subtitles.That forced me to just listen. But now I sometimes use things that do have subtitles or transcripts, but I listen without them first. Then I go through the transcripts looking up all the words I don’t know. And then if I feel like it, I listen again.


Sysmatiker wrote:I second the brute force approach here. In Spanish. I’d just listen anyway, or switch shows, so I had adequate understanding and sucked it up. In French I had worse listening ability, so I was less stubborn with pure listening (podcasts) and there was film I wanted to watch as such, so I relied on subtitles. Varying amounts of input have to be considered, but it’s the being stubborn and listening anyway that made that input difference - and I’m consistently a level apart in listening for Spanish and French. (Side note: I also rarely solely listen, listening is always while doing something, so my target point is the desired ability to multitask or listen while doing something)


Alright, I guess I need to be more strict with myself. I tried going hard by listening to Spanish radio. That is, the radio signal that your car can pick up. (This station specifically.) I'm not sure how you'd categorize the music it plays, but I'm not a fan so I rarely pay attention to it for long. I'm also kind of annoyed, if that's the right word, by the personalities of the radio hosts. I don't much like the English-speaking radio hosts on the local stations either, but the Spanish-speaking ones are just louder versions that get me miffed. I'm lucky if I understand a string of three words in an announcement or song. Is that the way you all would do it?

Also, how did you guys know that you'd heard correctly? If you weren't listening to the radio, did you just listen over and over until you got it?
Last edited by eido on Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest