Saim's log 2019-2020

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Saim
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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-04-28, 5:49

vijayjohn wrote:I didn't know the vocab word in that last example myself. :lol:

Are you still confused about the difference between the second and third tones, btw? Second is rising; third is "falling-rising" in theory, but in practice, usually just low flat. Third tone changes to second tone before another third tone (except across certain boundaries, particularly word boundaries, at least for some speakers).


I'm not really confused as to the theory, I just can't reliably recognise them in actual speech. I'm getting better and better though, Forvo and Netflix + Anki have helped a lot. :) In fact in my experience labels like "rising", "falling", "high" and "low" aren't really intuitively understandable at all and to actually pick it up I just have to short listening drills where I already know what the tones "should" be.
Last edited by Saim on 2020-04-29, 7:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-04-29, 7:06

Turkish

I've started watching the show Love 101. It's awful and dumb (the characters are just mean-spirited and erratic and the show wants us to think they're "misfits", the only way they thought of to make us like the characters), but I'd like to spend more time watching Turkish TV. Once I've gone through a couple of Turkish series I might cycle back to Hebrew and Arabic.

Mandarin

Watching Chinese TV is going good. I'm going to try and prioritise watching more over adding lots of cards, although I'll still add lots of cards from learning materials and do at least 5 audio cards per episode.

It's kind of annoying having to look at my tablet to know where the words I want to look up are though, I wish Chinese was easier to write by hand. Oh well, I guess I can't be too picky. Maybe I should upload the images to my drive so that I find it less of a hassle to use them on my computer or something.

I've also started genuinely liking 奈何BOSS要娶我. It's a fun show, I'm glad I stuck with it. Especially now that they're actually dealing with the fact that the male love interest is straight-up abusive, although given that I'm only halfway through the season I wouldn't be surprised if they just went back to normal in a couple of episodes and handwave away his awful behaviour.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-05-14, 15:50

Saim wrote:Besides this, I’m considering buying a cheap mp3 player for listening practice. My phone is too distracting and iTunes is really awful. It’ll be easier if I have an mp3 player with lots of recordings ready to go that I can just pick up and immediately use. That’ll be especially helpful for languages my listening comprehension isn’t so good in (and languages with tone or pitch accent), and I’ll also find it easier to listen to textbook dialogues.


The mp3 player arrived a weak or so ago, and I'm really enjoying it. I'm pretty much entirely using it for Serbian though, which is probably for the best to be honest. I've just been following a couple of Serbian news channels on YouTube -- N1, Mondo.rs, RTS, RTV, Nova S, B92, DW Fokus and Al Jazeera Balkans -- and downloading the most interesting clips. I also delete older audio whenever I add new ones.

I've noticed it's had a very quick, direct effect on my spoken fluency and comfort when speaking Serbian, and it has even my reading speed and level of enjoyment during reading.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-05-17, 5:02

Out of curiosity, do you find it really hard to find TV series you actually like for the languages you're studying? I keep seeing you post something along the lines of "this series is shit, but I'm watching it anyway to get more familiar with listening to the language."

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-05-17, 6:32

vijayjohn wrote:Out of curiosity, do you find it really hard to find TV series you actually like for the languages you're studying? I keep seeing you post something along the lines of "this series is shit, but I'm watching it anyway to get more familiar with listening to the language."


Yes. Most TV is very bad, I’m taking a bit of a break from it now, especially since the news is starting to get a bit less boring than it was durig the peak of the pandemic. I think the only shows I watched this year that I really liked were “O sabor das margaridas” and “Vratiće se rode”. I also started watching “Senke nad Balkanom” and although it was well-shot and the drama was gripping I found the characters very irritating.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Osias » 2020-05-20, 1:21

Saim wrote: “O sabor das margaridas” .

I liked that one too. I wish there were CC subtitles in Galician.
2017 est l'année du (fr) et de l'(de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby vijayjohn » 2020-05-23, 12:51

Saim Bhai, have you by any chance considered watching older TV shows that you're more interested in, or cherry-picking which ones you watch instead of watching a whole bunch that are horrible and just leave you feeling drained or something?

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-05-23, 17:38

The problem is that my main criterion is ease of access (so whether it's on YouTube or Netflix so I can immediately access it rather than having to pirate it somewhere) + availability of native-language subtitles (so pretty much whatever is on Netflix). I don't really care that much about watching TV so it's always going to be something I do mainly for language exposure.

I have downloaded a bunch of Dutch series though that I saw recommended and I might go through those, but I'm probably not going to do that for that many languages. And I doubt I'll go through more than one season of each of those shows.

In any case I find radio programs and YouTube videos a much better source of audio input than TV shows, at least for those languages that I can already understand quite well. :)

Osias wrote:
Saim wrote: “O sabor das margaridas” .

I liked that one too. I wish there were CC subtitles in Galician.


Yeah it's a shame, although I guess the Spanish subtitles are close enough...

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-05-24, 18:19

"Language Learning with Netflix" now gives furigana-style pinyin over the characters in Chinese subtitles. :D That certainly makes my life easier!

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-05-27, 8:44

Saim wrote:I tried using some apps on my phone to learn Hiragana and the Tamil script, but I found them pretty boring and inefficient. The app for the Tamil script forces me to "handwrite" (on the touchscreen), which is pretty pointless: I'll learn to handwrite once I actually have something to write, and then I'll do it with a pen and not a touchscreen! I still can't write Devanagari or Gurmukhi by hand, and I learned those almost a decade ago. The Hiragana app, on the other hand, forces me to review all the characters I've covered so far rather than just the ones I'm having trouble with and doesn't let me add new ones when I want to.

I'm just going to use some Anki shared decks with audio to learn them. Thankfully there's even one for Tamil. :D I was trying to avoid putting all my languages into Anki, but Anki has really ruined my tolerance for other apps.


Nope, this sucks. Too hard.

Instead I’m going to:

1. Suspend all the cards in the shared script deck.
2. Start adding words from textbooks with audio (thanks forvo! :) ). If there are new characters in those words, unsuspend the corresponding script card.
3. For Japanese, where there are word cards already in the shared Hiragana deck, add the kanji and pitch information.

This way I can study scripts a bit more holistically, I can’t standing “cramming” entire writing systems at the very beginning anymore.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-06-15, 12:24

I've recently realised that you can export several audio files from the same Audacity project if you divide the audio into different tracks. That certainly makes my life easier; my MP3 player doesn't have a touchscreen so rewinding and fastforwarding is a hassle so I can't really listen to 30, 40, 60 minute files in several sessions, so it's easier to just have all files last 15-17 minutes regardless of how long the program is.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-07-22, 10:02

Serbian, Hungarian

I'm fairly happy with my Serbian skills at this point, and I've also been socialising with local people a lot more than earlier in the year, so I'm not going to force myself to spend as much time with it. I'll keep reading novels and following the news whenever something seems interesting but I'm going to use most of my discipline and energy for focused study for other languages. I'll keep doing sentence cards, but mainly based on enjoyment rather than forcing any amount of consistency. The same goes for other European languages I'm interested in.

Since I don't need to put as much energy into Serbian, I'm going to try and push my Hungarian to the next level, which entails a lot of flashcards to try and get used to the language used in novels, as well as some non-fiction reading here and there. I've been trying to read the contemporary classic Az ajtó by Magda Szabó, which I found quite hard, so I'm going to try and read a couple more 'trashy' fiction works as well as any interesting non-fiction I can find and then circle back to Az ajtó. I might keep listening to 5-minute fragments from the audiobook, though.

Also, I've started doing translation exercises again on langcorrect to activate some of that passive vocabulary.

Islamicate languages + Hebrew

I've realised that part of the reason I've been putting off Hebrew is because I feel like I 'should' study Arabic instead, because in the long term I've always cared more about having active skills in Arabic. I've realised this is silly and that I should focus on what I actually enjoy studying. At this point Hebrew and Turkish are really a pleasure to study, whereas Arabic still feels like a slog, so I'm going to go cycle between Hebrew and Turkish for a while whenever I feel like studying "Middle Eastern" languages.

As for Urdu, I'm going to slow down with the flashcards a bit, limiting it to one or two a day. I will try to do 5-10 minutes of repetitive listening a day (but this is a flexible goal, I can skip days if I'm really not feeling it or need to prioritise something else); this is something I actually enjoy quite a lot and I don't find a hassle to do.

For Hebrew I've started studying the subtitles on the YouTube channel החברתית as well as the definitions on milog.co.il. I'd really like to keep Hebrew going for the long haul and get to a more solid level of comprehension. One thing I've realised is it's much easier to look up a word twice and only make a sentence card out of it the second time: the first time I make word cards with audio out of any new words in the Urdu definition, then I make a monolingual sentence card the second time around. I'm not going to do Netflix shows for Hebrew because I feel like that takes too much energy away from Turkish and Mandarin; focusing on political videos makes more sense due to the wealth of subtitled videos in Hebrew compared to Turkish. I also don't care that much if I ever end up going to Israel, which was one of the other things that was ruining my motivation; I'm content to just work on comprehension because I enjoy it.

For Turkish, my main source has been Hakan: Muhafız, but I've also been watching bits and pieces of Acil aşk aranıyor in the Urdu dub and then the Turkish original (I've also used fragments from the Urdu dub for repetitive Urdu listening, which helps make the Turkish original more comprehensible as well), and I also watched the romantic comedy Ya sonra with Hungarian subtitles (Turkish productions are fairly popular in Hungary), although I did skip some scenes.

Mandarin

I think I've found a good balance between sentence cards and word cards, similar to what I'm doing with Urdu. Whenever a sentence is really i+1, I make a sentence card with audio straight from the show. However, I'm much more strict with my definition of i+1 than I used to be: this means I need to be familiar with all the characters in the sentence, so I can focus entirely on the new word in the sentence. Drawing a clear distinction between new characters and new words is something I didn't realise would be this important; any sentence with a new word that is at the same time one or two new characters is already i+2 or i+3, as I'm not familiar enough with characters to acquire them easily from sentences.

When there are new characters in the new word, or more than one new word in the sentence, I make word cards with audio from forvo. I'm trying to limit my look-ups to 2-3 cards a day (at the absolute most 5 if I feel particularly inspired); if I go any further than that I burn out.

As for Japanese, I've realised that I do enjoy studying Mandarin and am very happy with my progress and don't feel like going through the beginner stage with another character-heavy language. I did have a "the grass is greener" moment (Japanese uses fewer characters! It has easier pronunciation! More content!), but I think that's just because I was overdoing the Mandarin study to the point where flashcards started feeling like a chore, and too much extensive TV watching to the point where it overtook other activities and languages that were more important to me.

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Re: Saim's log 2019-2020

Postby Saim » 2020-08-03, 9:52

Urdu

I'm going to try to expose myself to a wider range of Urdu written content. Books take too longer to work through so I'm going to try spending more time on articles.

http://www.akhbar-e-jehan.com/
http://www.punjnud.com/
http://www.nawaiwaqt.com.pk/
http://www.trt.net.tr/urdu/
http://www.dw.com/ur
http://www.jeddojehad.com/

Hungarian

Some for audio(-visual) content in Hungarian. I've realised that even though my vocabulary is quite broad and I have little trouble reading, I tend to lose focus when listening (which is kind of a problem when hanging out with Hungarian speakers, I can theoretically understand almost everything they say but I won't be able to muster the energy to do it over an hour or more) so I need to do more daily extensive listening.

https://www.youtube.com/c/6lepes 6 lépés
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEFpEv ... V1VyUF6QOA Partizán
https://www.youtube.com/user/indexvideoworld Index.hu
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHJ8gW ... VohymtBCrQ M1
https://www.youtube.com/user/rtvojvodinahu RTV in Hungarian
https://www.youtube.com/user/euronewsHungarian Euronews in Hungarian

----

If a video or article is boring, I'll click over to something else, and maybe get back to it at some other point. It's much easier to rack up hours/pages of exposure this way than with long-form content.


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