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An Assimil Experiment

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 5291 days ago

292 posts - 818 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 1 of 51
09 October 2010 at 7:07pm | IP Logged 
The Experiment

On these forums, there are posts in support of Assimil and posts that are less supportive. But even the supportive posts often focus on the extra things you have to do to make use of Assimil, suggest more intensive study, recommend extensive use of outside materials, etc. However, for some languages there aren't a lot of great materials out there besides Assimil (Occitain, Alsatian, Breton, Catalan). My question then: Is it possible to learn a language with ease with Assimil?

I have here before me L'Alsacien sans peine. I purchased it some years ago when I found it for cheap on Amazon marketplace, but never actually opened it, so it gives me a program in which I can make a true fresh start. I don't have the CDs, nor a way to justify purchasing them, so I will make do with reading aloud and seeing if things things in Alsatian on the internet sound anything like what I'm coming up with.

My goal, and the heart of this experiment, is to learn with ease. Not quickly, not thoroughly, not with the dedication of someone who lives for all things Alsatian and for Alsatian alone. With ease.

Here is my daily program for the passive phase:
1) Read through the lesson aloud 2-3 times until I'm comfortable pronouncing it.
2) Work through the lesson with the translation and notes to be sure I understand.
3) Read through the lesson mentally to be sure I remember what I have understood.
4) Re-read the lesson 2-3 times while trying to feel the meaning.
5) Do the exercises.
6) Put the book down.

My terms:
1) I will put in at least 20 minutes a day. To fill the time I will if need be revise an earlier lesson or redo steps 3-5.
2) I will not put in more than 30 minutes a day.
3) If I miss a day, I will pick up where I left off, not double up.
4) While I am at liberty to look at other learning resources or at cultural material on the internet, I will not be doing so systematically. And I will not be using outside texts or professionally produced resources.

Because my core material will be written, I will use my understanding of written Alsatian to judge this experiment. Though it's a highly subjective metric, I think my ability to understand articles about familiar topics from the Alsatian version of
Wikipedia can serve as a useful indicator of whether I have learned anything at the end of the program.

I will update roughly once a week to note which lesson I am on and offer other observations should they come to mind. When I come to the active phase, I will update on my specific implementation to make sure I am still only studying 20-30 minutes a day.

Please note that I am not looking for advice on a better way to learn, better books for Alsatian, etc. This is not an effort to become fluent in Alsatian. It is a test to see whether by regular exposure with well organized material, one can really Assimilate a language with ease. Internet resources for passive cultural exposure would be of interest.
9 persons have voted this message useful



BartoG
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
confession
Joined 5291 days ago

292 posts - 818 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Italian, Spanish, Latin, Uzbek

 
 Message 2 of 51
09 October 2010 at 7:35pm | IP Logged 
First update: 9 October 2010

Lesson 4 completed

When I took German at university, I did well enough but the professor always chided me for my French accent: I mumbled, reducing vowels, softening consonants and blending distinct German words into smoothly articulated phrases with only minimal stress. Now, looking at the phonetic transcriptions for Alsatian, I'm amused to see consonants softened and vowels reduced, though individual word stress is still there. Still, in a lot of places this feels like German with a French accent. Fun.
1 person has voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 6283 days ago

4474 posts - 6726 votes 

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