Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

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philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
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Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:10 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:
philomath wrote:I enjoy Isabel Allende’s writing style but I can’t say I’m very interested in the book so far...I would prefer fantasy or science fiction, though neither genre seems very popular among Spanish-speaking writers. Does anyone have any recommendations?
For science fiction, have a look at short stories by Julio Cortázar. Not all or even most are science fiction. I can't seem to lay my hands on my copy, so I can't provide much more direction than that. Borges has some stores that are fantasy, but probably not the genre of fantasy you are looking for. From the 19th century there is Horacio Quiroga, who wrote a number of tales in the vein of Edgar Allen Poe. Not a fan my self (but to each his own), so I can't guide you there, either. There is also the genre of "magical realism," which I have always thought of as just another form of science fiction, but you may disagree. The master IMHO there is Gabriel García Márquez. You might especially like his story "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings." Lastly I guess I should caution that your idea of fantasy and science fiction may not quite match the subject matters and tones of these works. There is nothing at all like the work of Greg Bear, say, or Ursula K Le Guin. Finally, none of these writers is on the "easy" end of the scale, but if you are comprehending Allende, you will be able to cope with them. Good luck.

Thank you for the recommendations! :D
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Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
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Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sun Aug 04, 2019 2:17 am

Here's what I accomplished in Spanish last month:
- Listening: 7.25 hours
- Speaking: 23 minutes
- Vocab: 62 flashcards
- Reading: 146 pages

Although I'm still experiencing some burnout, I've also been listening and reading more consistently! It's become a habit to listen to podcasts or watch La casa de papel in the morning, then read in Spanish during my commute. Unfortunately, I don't feel like I'm making as much progress since I haven't been actively "studying": making flashcards, writing down interesting phrases, etc. I don't know how to get out of this rut I'm in, but I need to make some kind of daily speaking or writing habit. I just don't have any topics I really want to speak or write about.
4 x
Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
x 274

Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Tue Aug 13, 2019 3:11 am

I’m going to try posting daily updates again, since that makes me more motivated. Today I watched La casa de papel for 15 minutes while I got ready for work. I’m almost done with the second season and I’m excited to start the last one!

Next I opened the subtitles for episode 1 of Elite, which I’d downloaded as a text file a while ago, and tried reading through them and writing down the slang words I didn’t know. I stopped after ten minutes or so because it was too tedious and didn’t seem useful enough. Maybe I’ll just rewatch the show and write down unknown words as I go.

After work I practiced speaking for 5 minutes. It’s been around a month since I’ve done any speaking practice, and I was pretty rusty. Which is expected, but I was still really disappointed in myself. I think I should try speaking every day in order to get back to my old level of proficiency. I still want to book an iTalki lesson sometime, but today I felt so embarrassed by my speaking skills. I could hear how slowly I was speaking and was imagining how painful it must sound to a native speaker...oh well. :/ I know I’ll improve eventually, it’s just tough picking up after a long break!
3 x
Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
x 274

Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:17 am

I didn't study Spanish yesterday or today, but I did review Ancient Greek! First I flipped through Lessons 1-2 and practiced pronouncing the vocab list in Lesson 2 to review the alphabet. Then I got out a whiteboard and rewrote the declension of βουλή until I got it completely right, accent marks and everything. And then I did the English --> Greek translation exercises in Lesson 3. I got the declensions and spelling right, but I had to flip back to the vocabulary page because I couldn't remember some words. I haven't been studying my Anki flash cards for Greek, but I'll try to do that tomorrow. :)
4 x
Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
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Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:24 am

Last week I was browsing the forum and found drp9341's fascinating log. This post in particular really stood out to me:
drp9341 wrote:okay, I was just thinking, and decided that right now, I'm "making myself a syllabus."

Let me elaborate. For the past couple of months, I've been learning by focusing on "Skills." For example, If I notice my vocabulary is my weakest area, I try to focus on exposing myself to more Polish and marking down everything I don't understand, putting it into Anki, and banging out those Anki flashcards daily.

If I notice that I don't fully understand a grammatical concept, I will drill that grammatical concept, sum it up, make some cloze deletions cards, and a decent amount of example sentences, and put it in Anki.

HOWEVER, I just watched a video on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alh0RmJQ1T0 about China's involvement in Africa. It's a topic I'm familiar with, and have stayed up to date on, but I still had trouble with the video. There were lots of words that I didn't understand, or realize could be used in such a context, (especially verbs!)

It made me think. I'm going to try to 'sorta' implement a new strategy. I'm going to focus on certain topics, for a certain amount of time, until I feel comfortable discussing those topics.

For example, I need to teach English to students here who's English is very poor. If the student is very sharp, and I can tell has awareness of how Polish works, then I'll give grammatical explanations in Polish. I have one student who I do this a couple of times a week with. I also ALMOST finished Luca Lampariello's book about language learning, (The one that's only in Polish,) and I read it pretty intensively, looking up everyword, and reading every sentence at least twice, and reading entire portions of the book over again once I finished reading them the first time. Now, I can talk about language learning very well. I want to be able to talk about other things though...

I'm going to do something similar to what I did with the topic of "language learning" except I'm going to do it in a more structured way. I plan on watching short informational youtube videos, news casts, and reading articles. I'll try to start writing about that specific topic when I'm ready, and posting it on iTalki for corrections.

I've thought about doing something similar with Spanish, but so far I haven't made a real effort to do it. This post has motivated me to actually start! This week I'll pick a topic to start with, and then I'll make a list of other topics and a rough schedule to cover them.

While I'm at it, I want to think about my plan for learning languages other than Spanish. I know I want to finish my Homeric Greek textbook, but right now I've been going through it veryyy slowly. However, if I can do 2-3 lessons per week I'll be done with all of the grammar lessons by the end of the year. I might be able to do that, but we'll see.

I originally planned to study Italian next, but I'm having second thoughts. It's so similar to Spanish that I think it will hardly feel like I've started a new language. Maybe I should study a more different language first to have some variety. And I also feel like I don't want a lot of commitment yet...I mean, I've been studying Spanish pretty persistently for 10 years, and the thought of starting a new language and then studying it years and years is a bit intimidating. I think I deserve some time to dabble? So what if, starting in 2020, I study a different language every ~3 months or so? (Not copying Benny Lewis on purpose, but three months just seems like a good amount of time for dabbling! I definitely would not be "fluent in three months". :lol:) Off the top of my head, the languages I'd want to study during that year are French, German, Korean, and maybe Russian. Of course, I also want to seriously study Mandarin...so I'm not 100% set on that dabbling plan either. I'm just itching to start studying a new language.

Oh, and one other thing: I'm still very dissatisfied with my pronunciation in Spanish, but I think I have an idea for how I can work on it. My issue with pronunciation isn't so much about pronouncing individual sounds, but that my intonation and the way I link words aren't native-sounding enough. So I think I will try to find a specific native speaker, like a Youtuber, and focus on mimicking their speech patterns. The routine could go like this: 1) watch the video and make a transcript for it (which would be a good listening exercise in itself!), 2) play the audio in short clips (possibly in Audacity?) and repeat after each segment, 3) try to analyze what I need to do to make my normal Spanish speaking more like that.

That will hopefully help me with better intonation and linking my words more naturally, but I also speak very slowly in Spanish. I think I need to practice speaking more and consciously try to talk faster. I did this last week and it worked well, but I made the silliest errors (swapping "el" and "la" even when I knew which one it was supposed to be, and conjugating verbs wrong, etc.). I guess I just need to practice to make grammar more automatic, and maybe I should force myself to keep going when I make an error? But at the same time, stopping to correct myself seems beneficial too. Has anyone else struggled with speaking too slowly in their target language?
4 x
Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

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eido
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Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:31 pm
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Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby eido » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:31 am

Ooh, Korean? Join the party! We have Hangul :)
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"He's satisfied with himself. If you have a soul you can't be satisfied."
- Graham Greene (given to me by @reineke)

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
x 274

Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:39 am

eido wrote:Ooh, Korean? Join the party! We have Hangul :)

Yes I've gotten very interested in Korean lately! :D I think it's because recently I learned how much I enjoy Korean food, and I'd like to learn more about Korean culture. And the Hangul does look really interesting.
0 x
Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000

philomath
Orange Belt
Posts: 131
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 2:57 pm
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Languages: English (N), Spanish (B1/B2)
Next up: Chinese (June 2019–)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9818
x 274

Re: Amanda's 2019 Log: Spanish and Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:08 am

I decided that the first topic I’ll cover in Spanish is clothing!

This morning I watched La casa de papel for 15 minutes while I got ready for work. Then this evening I found a couple of Spanish YouTube videos about fashion and watched them. I wrote down as many new phrases as I could, but I had trouble understanding some of the videos. I might try re-watching them tomorrow.
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Progress in 2019
Listening: 1495 / 6000 Speaking: 460 / 3000 Reading: 561 / 1600 Writing: 10196 / 50000


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