Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Mon May 13, 2019 8:53 pm

The weekend was mostly Clozemaster, and here I'm talking mainly about Sunday. Saturday was very busy even though I didn't have classes, and I spent a good deal of it driving. I didn't have time for going through the regular Clozemaster decks and I lost my streak on both Duolingo and Speakly.me. At least I gathered some new audiobooks for French. I'm going to give them a try and then maybe alternate it with (an)other language(s). I've said more than once that I don't think it's worth spending so much time on extensive activities for stronger languages after a given point.

In the evening I caught my girls watching a cartoon with sea life-based characters. When there was some scene involving posters, newspaper headlines and whatever text, they were in Indonesian! It was the well-known cartoon Kiko, already recommended to me. I was impressed at how quickly I could understand the headlines and actually most of the text in Indonesian.

Sunday was way better as I managed to do more Clozemaster, then Duolingo then read ahead.

This morning when I logged on to FB there was a link to an article by VG about Brazilian politics, actually an interview. I decided to read it and was glad to realize I could follow it without any problems as I was familar enough with the context to figure out any few unknow words.

At Guarani I'm starting to translate titles and headlines. I never thought that would happen that fast, and it's perhaps the hardest grammar I've ever studied. It seems the learning curve is becoming shorter in the beginning.

At the same Whatsapp group we're going to start a weekly lesson on a new textbook, which seems to be a typical classroom one, or rather aimed at fluent illiterate speakers. The explanations are all in Guarani but our informal voluntary tutor recorded those very same explanations followed by their translations in Spanish. When you can't think of more convenient ways to learn a foreign language...As a matter of fact, this is a good tip if you have access to a tutor and only monolingual textbooks. That'd comprehensible input produced with less effort.

University of Oslo's well-known free online Norwegian course now has part 2.

All's well with Hebrew and Indonesian, just plugging along. I'm starting to find DLI Indo a bit hard on vocabulary but I can still follow the drills and the untranslated text without approaching burnout.
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Expugnator
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Tue May 14, 2019 10:13 pm

Finished Le Cerveau. Not my favorite, it has a lot in common with the Gendarme series but with much less class and humor. Now I'm moving on with my old archive from the dead site.

Georgian reading is a breeze now. And I haven't been using listening-reading for it. Which reminds me that I won't have patience with that for German for long. My reading skills are similar in both languages, as absurd as it seems.

I'm starting to actually having conversations in Esperanto and in Catalan, and I've studied these languages mostly from Clozemaster text input. I'm convinced that it actually works. Next one is Romanian. I believe whenever I get down to studying those languages properly through textbooks I won't be just learning to read a transparent language which I'll have to struggle to activate later; on the contrary: by doing this sustainable dabbling, which is turning out more sustainable than I had thought, I'm finally managing to keep productive and receptive skills moving a bit more harmoniously, thus putting an end to passive-only languages. I won't have trouble replicating that with Swedish, which I've started directly from text input (unlike Catalan, it's funny to think that basic Swedish was easier for me than basic Catalan) and with Romanian, from which I've started to notice considerable improvement ever since I switched to text input review mode.

This morning I was supposed to arrive here later and work overtime again, so I stayed at home a little longer. I took these few minutes and did more from the multiple-choice part from Clozemaster, which includes Hebrew and Indonesian - which I already do in any good day - but also Guarani, Catalan from Spanish (which is already mastered), Afrikaans. With this, only 5 multiple-choice language pairs were left for the afternoon, and that helped me a lot to focus on other activities.

Finished the good novel Las fuentes perdidas, by José Antonio Cotrina (thanks again tarvos). With this I also put an end to my Spanish-reading slot of 10 pages a day. It's really not necessary given that Spanish is mostly transparent for daily things and for literature there is some obscure vocabulary which would have been obscure in Portuguese as well, while I'm not looking it up anyway. So reading extensively in Spanish hasn't been the best of the exercises. I want to keep listening extensively. I'm about to finish the Argentinian podcasts and then I have other podcasts as well as audiobooks lined up. From my experience with Grand Bien Vous Fasse, I believe podcasts with multiple presenters will enhance my conversation perception, like intonation, how to intervene, how to give your point across and so on (the Argentinian podcast is mostly monolog apart from some very good interviews).

Still open to any suggestions of sci-fi natively in Spanish, though. I might keep this as an alternate 10-page fiction slot to pair up with my 20-page non-fiction slot for stronger languages.

Finished volume 2 of the neverending Croniche del mondo emmerso. I should read faster in Italian, but I get stuck at the orthography and the long words. No problem with listening, on the other hand.

And I'm really enjoying DLI Indonesian. I got used to the lessons's format and how it goes about the audio, but I still prefer to keep reading ahead and leave the audio on the background when I have to pause to do another stuff. That forces me to pay a bit more attention and I'm already starting to develop a feel for the language. It's not that hard with the drills, which are recorded slowly; the dialogs are at natural speed so I try to pay some attention even if when they are reached I'm already at the text.

Found time for a Guarani lesson. It's still weird to study from a monolingual textbook, but since I'm a false beginner I'm actually benefitting immensely from the on-the-go translations recorded by the native speaker.

At Grand Bien Vous Fasse they interviewed a child about fears. It's great to be able to understand without any problem. A child usually is much less structured language than the average podcast even.

I'm trying hard to keep my streak for Speakly.me at least for weekdays. It's a very detailed resource, but the fact that I get loads of reviews with listening-only (not cloze) sentences means it's hard to reach the minimum for the streak. I have to go over tenths of sentences before I get those typing ones that do count. The good news is that I'm really starting to get the hang of Estonian's complicated morphology and that is reflecting on my active skills.

Today I even had a listening exercise. These are actually great. Audio and translation. A typical L-R resource (though the texts aren't in parallel, you have to click to toggle one or the other) which is written in a very gentle, direct and accessible register.

I found a contact on Whatsapp, a Brazilian guy who learned Swedish and speaks not bad Norwegian. We chatted quite a bit in Norwegian towards the end of this extremely exhausting workday. He recommended me the book Viking Language 1 - Learn Old Norse, Runes and Icelandic Sagas, by Jesse L. Byock. Viking Language 2 is an Old Norse reader and it's been made fully available by the author.

So this is the end of report on this tiresome day, where I did get much done language-wise though.
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Wed May 15, 2019 9:07 pm

I'm watching *rather listening) a program on Telecuraçao that consists of interviews, also with having people from the audience call over. It's great to escape a bit from the news register and to be able to understand a more casual conversation. It's a feeling similar to being able to understand a child in French, which I mentioned yesterday.

After struggling to find or load the audios in the past days, I'm rediscovering the joy of Chinese listening-reading. When it's mostly dialogs I can follow the story mostly by the audio and translation, and quite a bit from the descriptive parts.

Today I had an appointment at the doctor so I went with an inverted schedule. I read Georgian in parallel while on the bus. It turns out the Georgian ebookstore's app has been updated and, besides not being synced with the weblibrary, it uses a different page numbering system and displays no percentage of completion. To sum it up: I struggled just to find where I was standing on the text, even though I had written down where I had stopped yesterday.
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Thu May 16, 2019 9:03 pm

There are so many podcasts I'd like to listen to that I don't think I'll bother with audiobooks that much for a while. I'm really looking forward to listen to one in Catalan and another one in Norwegian, but I don't know when I'll have the skills to actually enjoy them.

Reading in Georgian is turning into a breeze now that I'm halfway onto the second volume of a series (fingers crossed for the third one to be available when I finish this one). I don't get how I might feel more comfortable and bold reading Georgian extensively than German. I believe my tolerance for ambiguity is higher on less commonly learned languages than on "useful" languages you're supposed to know very well. So there's much more stress involved into not knowing a German word - after all those years - than it would with a Georgian one. I'm probably one of the most successful learners of Georgian as a second language, and among the slowest ones for German.

I've been so busy lately that I've decided to try other podcasts besides French for listening-only times. So I started playing Sånn er du, by NRK. My comprehension is still very low, but I believe this time I'll benefit from volume. This will be a final strike on trying to understand Norwegian extensively. In case it doesn't work, I'll get back to reading more intensively than before, trying to look up everything so as to consolidate the words I ended up not learning through a more extensive approach.

Not the most productive day but I still got the main schedule done. I left the Guarani lesson for tomorrow, hopefully on a better mood.
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Fri May 17, 2019 8:57 pm

I'm giving a preference to the cultural notes on the Curaçaoan newspaper instead of the usual police or politics news. Not only they are much more pallatable, but they also bring up more useful vocabulary.

Finished Sult, by Knut Hamsun. It was a great experience to read fiction from the late XIX century and a classical author, but I'll leave the Danish spelling for when I decide to learn Danish and for reading Danish itself. i'd be glad to resume the series I was listening-reading, but the budget is tight this month so I'll stick to what I could find, text-only. Which wasn't that bad. I got Jo Nesbø's latest novel which I don't think I'll be saving for doing as a Chinese audiobook. Anyway, for the time being I'll read translated for the first time, because the book seems fun and in order to gain momentum. I'll be reading, John O'Farrel's May contain nuts/Kan innehølde spor av nøtter.

So parallel reading again it is. With no audio to push me forward, so I'll have to try my best to avoid distractions, as while reading Knut Hamsun I was actually saving time by reading merely extensively. This is going to be productive as I'm really learning bilingually and looking up important words like underholdningsromane but there are still some parts where the reading flows with no unknown words.

I was on the working frenzi this afternoon and I got a call in English from an unknown number. I was having trouble with the accent and the whole situation of receiving a call in English, and was glad when the guy asked to switch to French, which I could understand way better. I'm not so used to this guy's accent, Well, we switched and French simply turned into my best foreign language. I could even ask him idiomatically where he got my phone number from (où est-ce que vous avez repéré mon numéro de téléphone?). He got it from official channels so I'm relieved. Fingers crossed for this opportunity to use my languages.

I got caught on this new demand and couldn't do the final TV series watching, but at least I managed Hebrew and Indonesian.
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Mon May 20, 2019 9:09 pm

The weekend was an important one. I stayed home most of the time (all my classes were unbooked which is a tragedy), spent a lot of time with the girls. They are at a time in childhood with a lot of energy to spend, which leads to falling and hitting their heads a couple of times. On Sunday there was barbecue (and my wife said we'd never use the new facilities) and I could really just meet some relatives and not take notice of time. Even Clozemaster wasn't that much of an obsession.

Speaking of which, I'm noticing some important breakthroughs. Like I mentioned briefly, whatever transparent language I started as a means of reaching passive fluency is turning into active languages, at least once I'm confident enough with the multiple choice mode and I can start text input. That's why I can attest that I'm no longer a beginner in Catalan, Esperanto, Swedish, Icelandic, Czech and Afrikaans and I wouldn't have a hard time learning Icelandic or Finnish, I wouldn't be learning from scratch, that's for sure. Given the little time I've spent on these languages, I'm really satisfied with how much I can assimilate from highlighting the similarities to the languages I know at first and then contrastively working on their uniquenesses, all thanks to Clozemaster. The learning time is really being reduced as Clozemaster introduces me to the most important non-cognate words gradually and consistently with enough repetition, and I become actually able to read in those languages before any textbook study - later on, even chat in them.

The results are much less impressive for truly opaque languages such as Turkish and Hungarian but not quite negligible. The mere idea of starting the language later
on with a vocabulary of a couple of hundreds of words can represent a strong headstart that might guide me through the A1 and A2 stages much more smoothly. That was my point with studying transparent languages through Clozemaster, this warm-up/headstart. Well, it turns out I'm succeeding at doing this for the opaque or semi-transparent languages (here I think of Finnish and Icelandic), while for the opaque languages I'm actually managing to learn them and the knowledge I obtain from Clozemaster is directly transferrable to a Whatsapp chat windown or a podcast.

On the activation front, I need to work equally cleverly on Hebrew and Modern Greek. I'm seeing steady improvement in Greek ever since the Android update that allows for seeing correct letters in green, so I have to do the same with Hebrew in the sense of reviewing earlier levels as text input (I'm doing level 3 as multiple choice now, which means I can review level 2 as text input since level 1 is fully mastered). Reviewing as you go on a different platform, with a sense of gradation also on the sentences being reviewed, no forced reviews or schedule forced on you, that's my way into language learning. It could have been working better for languages such as Russian, but the decks being overly huge do more harm than good. Icelandic and Czech having shorter decks allowed me to browse through/view most sentences fairly quickly, while I'm stuck into the nearly identical but slightly different hundreds of sentences in Russian. A Czech or Icelandic deck with 500-2000 words per level might be as dense as the Russian one with 10x as much and unnecessary repetition.

Another highlight of the weekend: the podcast test: I'm glad to know that I've passed the German one! The subject was Fest und Flauschig, reputed as the most popular podcast on Spotify. I can understand spoken German way better than Norwegian, that's a fact. Maybe written too, even though I can speak Norwegian better.

As for Norwegian itself, I have maybe passed the test with reservations. I can follow some 70% of the podcast Sånn er du provided that I'm focused and using earphones. The format of the podcast doesn't help much anyway, as people talk over each other and it's not like someone talks for a while, gets their point across and handles the word to someone else (as in Grand Bien Vous Fasse, for that matter). I haven't tried monolog podcasts so please suggest me podcasts in German.

Now Catalan. Ok, I picked a monolog podcast this time and notice I can understand more than Norwegian. The problem is it's a very important topic similar to the ones on Grand Bien Vous Fasse, so my tolerance for ambiguity will be low on this one and I don't want to waste a superb resource on less-than-Romance-family-transparency comprehension. On the other hand, I'm not on the mood for textbook study in Catalan now. Let's see if I can give it another try in a few days.

I took the time to get some German audiobooks as well, as I'm about to finish a trilogy. I have a couple ones which don't exist as books, so maybe I can try the audiobook test this time. If I succeed that will be a milestone reached in 2019.

============/================
Norwegian parallel reading has been fairly productive this morning. I'm really enjoying the text, having flow in reading and the words I still have to look up are important ones, and so I expect my overall comprehension to improve this time. I had been listening-reading rather loosely the past novels, so now I want to tend to the parallel intensive reading side.

Just learned the expression 'avoir les chocottes' from the film I'm watching. Sounds funny to a Brazilian ear.

About to finish the Estonian novel, and now I'm spoiled for choice. Just like with Georgian a couple of years ago, there seems to have been a huge wave of translations being released as ebooks in the Estonian market. I want something light, a page-turner this time. The fantasy book I'm reading is a bit too obscure in terms of vocabulary.

Another DLI Indonesian finished with no casualties. The vocabulary load remains constant, as well as the length of the reading passages, so I could work on it with a bit of effort but no struggle.

My Italian speed has always been slower than that of its sister languages, even if it was equally transparent. The words just seem longer in Italian than in French or Spanish. Now after my daily exposure I'm finally starting to catch up. I read only 3 pages in Italian a day, plus Clozemaster and the audiobook (around 20 minutes), the odd podcast, no regular TV. I want to feel comfortable enough so I can read a bit more per day without actually spending much more mental energy.

Today I had a subrecord in the sense that I finished the scheduled tasks 2 hours before due time (usually it varies between 40 and 80 minutes).

I had forgotten the Guarani lesson but I still managed the new lesson from the first book. The newer book which is classroom format had a new lesson proposed today but I'm still halfway through lesson 1.
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Expugnator
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Posts: 1510
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:45 pm
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Tue May 21, 2019 9:19 pm

Still not managing to improve my Hebrew at the rhythm I'd like, by doing more Clozemaster and doing Duolingo. So is life, some languages get less emphasized in extra activities for a while even if the main schedule won't change.

I need to read Guarani grammar more in depth before I can dream about keeping pace with the lessons.Guarani is a drilling-recommendable language but this is an US approach to language learning rather than South American (I have either grammar-translation with zero drilling or communicative approach textbooks plus dry grammar books). Like Georgian, Guarani still has to be learned how to be taught the most didactical way so that a foreigner learns how to speak it, which is different from analizing its grammar linguistically or turning an illiterate native speaker into a literate one.

Two quick updates: on Clozemaster, I'm noticed a significant improvement on my Italian typing/reading/vocabulary recall on text input mode. Not as fast as Spanish and French yet, more like Esperanto, but at least the issue is settled and now I can put Italian on continuos Clozemaster review mode which has done great to my French.

The second update is that the fog is lifting, and I can understand much more from the Norwegian podcast now. I'm really looking forward to seeing a breakthrough take place here.

Finally finished my Estonian read. Peter Nimble. I only read 1 page a day in Estonian, and this book wasn't different. Actually it's an A4 page so it's a bit more. Even so, I've spent over a year on it. My reading speed or general skills didn't see any great improvement along the time thanks to the book itself, and only slightly thanks to other sources such as Speakly.me and the soap opera. That's why I really need a page turner now so I can finally improve. It helped when I made the transition from too fantastic fiction with unusual vocabulary to more down to earth contemporary fiction os sci-fi in Georgian, so Paulo Coelho it is.

Now DLI is turning too intense on vocabulary. Today's lesson was boring with administrative regions of Indonesian and military ranks. I hope I can keep up with the rhythm thanks to other sources so I don't have to OCR full pages in order to make the study digestible, as that would slow down the process.
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Expugnator
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Posts: 1510
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:45 pm
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Languages: Native Brazilian Portuguese#advanced fluency English, French, Papiamento#basic fluency Italian, Norwegian#intermediate Spanish, German, Georgian and Chinese (Mandarin)#basic Russian, Estonian, Greek (Modern)#just started Indonesian, Hebrew (Modern), Guarani
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9931
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Expugnator » Wed May 22, 2019 9:57 pm

Yesterday I didn't get as much extra Clozemaster as I has thought, but it was still productive. I did my reading ahead of non-fiction and ended up sleeping a bit later than usual. Fortunately it didn't affect me that much in the morning.

I came here by bike as I'd have a class later. When I was coming here I decided to use my earphones while cycling and as a matter of fact it didn't affect my concentration in the traffic or my environmental perception. I don't use earphones that high for that matter (though for healthy purposes I still do). That meant I could keep listening to the Argentinian episode which had a particularly long episode I'm looking forward to finishing. I'm about to keep up-to-date with the podcast and once done I'll move on.

My current schedule book where I note down where I stand at each resource (film, series, bilingual reading) is full. Now I have an actual notebook instead of a schedule book. That means more space to write more comfortably. Taking note of where I stopped at each resource saves up a lot of time and works as a motivator. I don't have to stop and think about what to do next. That would make me lose a lot of time.

Finished the tetralogy by Elena Ferrante, the one that starts with L'Amica Geniale. A must-read for an Italian learner that aims for a mature understanding of the Italian society in the past decades. The narration by Anna Bonaiuto is superb and brings more life to the text than it seemed to have at the first two volumes (I've listened to the Italian audiobook for the last two, the first one I read in Italian and the second one I listened-read to in Nynorsk plus original).

Some colleagues said they liked novels by Elena Ferrante other than the tetralogy much better. That sounds encouraging. What I disliked the most about the tetralogy is how a main character can live so much at someone's else, as if her entire life is a secondary role to her friend's life which is actually much less brilliant. it got really on my nerves. Anyway, I'll decide tomorrow which audiobook to take next and I wouldn't mind trying another language actually, either German or Norwegian. That would save me money which is another pro.

I'm really looking forward to settling for Hebrew audiobooks. The most well-known website has translated audiobooks which I have the original text for. I have to find out whether those books are downloadble or physically shipped; I also have to learn where to buy the ebooks from. There seems to be a couple of sites but I didn't manage to find an ebook for the book I had an audiobook for when searching by author, a renowned one, so there might be something I'm missing or maybe the search is just a big bugged like those of the Georgian online bookstores where I mostly resort to catalogue browsing.
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Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Expug's 2019 Log - Reasonable Learning

Postby Cavesa » Wed May 22, 2019 10:44 pm

It is hard to catch up on your log, as you are always doing so much! :-) You're awesome.
I am looking forward to the summer, I'll definitely use some of your book tips.

A few questions, if I may: How much time do you spend on Clozemaster daily?
And do you find the function "grammar" useful? I am considering paying for some learning tools during the summer and this would be a nice reason to put Clozemaster on the list, if it is good.
I've noticed the numbers of sentences got removed from the overview page, was the information moved to somewhere else? Do you find the courses for the less popular languages big enough?

That schedule book of yours sounds fascinating, thanks for the idea!
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