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German: massive input in Berlin

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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 113 of 295
01 April 2014 at 11:10pm | IP Logged 
csidler wrote:
You didn't enjoy American Hustle?

I saw it in German too while I was there.


I thought had more flash than substance in the end.
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 114 of 295
01 May 2014 at 1:38pm | IP Logged 
In April I started to get back into German again after my six week break over February and March. It proved surprisingly difficult to get back into the swing of things once I took a break, and makes me appreciate how much more difficult it is to do language studies in countries that don't speak your TL.

While I am still not happy with either amount of reading or viewing I am doing, things are getting better. For April I read three books, for a total of 794 pages, and watched 24 films, so about 36 hours of active German listening.

The first book I read this month, Die Pilgerjahre des farblosen Herrn Tazaki by Haruki Murakami, was quite beautiful, and it was a nice bonus to know that it won't be available in English translation for at least six months. I hadn't appreciated before that having a second language would give me access to works in languages other than my TL - such are my implicit feelings of English superiority where I unconsciously believe that if a book is worth translating it will be translated first into English before it appears in another language. I am currently halfway through Betty Blue by the French author Philippe Djian, and was interested to find out that only one book of his (BB) has been translated into English, whereas there is quite an assortment to choose from in German.

A significant step-up for me in reading occurred this month when I finished my first two paperbacks - Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson - both with only very minimal use of a dictionary. Previously, I have read all books using a Kindle and pop-up dictionary. I am uncertain if this extensive style of reading is the most efficient way to build up vocabulary, but it does feel good to be able to go into bookstores and know that I can pick up most books now and just read them with any additional help. In addition it strongly shows how much my vocabulary has improved over the last year since I gave up Anki and have relied solely on improving my German from reading books and watching films. However my vocabulary is still too weak to read more advanced newspapers like Die Zeit without a lot of effort. Hopefully that will change over the next year.

I was pleased to find that my vocabulary is sufficiently advanced now that I can finally use my beautiful mono-dictionary Deutsch als Fremdsprach, published by Langenscheidt, which I bought almost two years ago. I am finding it very helpful to look up words as I read - though I try to keep this to a minimum as it interrupts the flow of my reading too much.

In movies I finally reached the 400-movie mark (600+ hours of active listening). Nearly all the films/shows I have seen this month are from the online-movie-streaming sites Maxidome and Mubi. It's just too convenient to watch a film from your laptop. I also managed to watch my first foreign language spoken film with German subtitles - the surreal Big Bang Love, Juvenile A - which previously I have found too difficult as my reading speed was too slow.

The only German film I saw this month was Nach Fünf im Urwald (1995), which was quite a sweet light film starring a very young Franka Potente in her first role as a 17 year old who runs away to München for a day.

My overall goal is to reach 25000 pages read and 1000 movies seen by mid-2015, which will be three years after I have started learning German. As you can see I am not quite half-way there, but hopefully my speed will pick-up a bit as my German continues to strengthen.






-----
APRIL 2014

BOOKS

29. Angst und Schrecken in Las Vegas. Hunter S Thompson. 254 Seiten. Nice easy to read paperback without dictionary. 8/10.

28. Solaris. Stanislaw Lem. 217 Seiten. I found a old DDR copy of this book and read it without a dictionary. Difficult, but understandable. 8/10.

27. Die Pilgerjahre des farblosen Herrn Tazaki. Haruki Murakami. 323 Seiten. Beautiful. 8/10.

-----
MOVIES

400. The Terminator (1984). Maxidome (3€). 5/10.

399. Star Trek (2009). Maxidome (3€). 7/10.

398. Lolita (1997). Maxidome. 8/10.

397. Cosmopolis (2012). Maxidome. David Croneberg's adaptation of the DiLillo book of the same name. More a series of loosely connected sketches than a coherent plot, still interesting. 6/10.

396. Inception (2010). 8/10.

392-395. The Vikings - Season 1 - Nine Episodes. Maxidome. 7/10.

391. The International (2009). Maxidome (3€). 8/10.

390. Shutter Island (2010). Maxidome. 7/10.

389. The Blind Swordsman: Zatoichi (2003). Maxidome. 7/10.

388. Big Bang Love, Juvenile A (2006). Mubi. Japanese with German subtitles. Not sure about counting this to my film total, as there was no German dubbing - nice to see a film in original language for a change. This is the first time that I have tried to follow a film with only German subtitles and was mostly able to keep up - though the surreality of the story made it somewhat difficult. Interesting film; beautiful visuals. 8/10.

388. Priest (2011). Maxidome. Vampire-Western-Scifi. 5/10.

387. Pi (1998). Mubi. Aronofsky's first film - excellent gritty b&w film, about one man's search for the mathematical underpinnings of reality. 9/10.

386. It's All About Love (2003). Mubi. Nice looking, but ultimately disjointed and somewhat pointless. 2/10.

385. Monga - Gangs of Taipeh (2010). Mubi. Interesting, but too polished Taiwanese film exploring gang culture in 1980s Taipei. 7/10.

384. Blitz (2011). Maxidome. Unbelievably bad UK crime film with Jason Statham. 1/10.

383. Her (2013). Kino. Spike Jonze's latest film about a man who falls in love with his self-aware operating system. Nice film, but ending sort of sucked. 8/10.

382. Ghost World (2001). Maxidome. 9/10.

381. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007). Maxidome - Paid 4€ extra. 8/10.

380. Fist of Fury (1972). Mubi. Bruce Lee seeks revenge on Japanese martial arts school in Shanghai for poisoning his master. 6/10.

379. Nach Fünf im Urwald (1995 - Deutsch). Mubi. Franka Potente in her first film, as a 17 year old who runs away for a day and a night to München. 6/10.

378. Revolver (2005). Maxdome. 5/10.

377. Stargate (1994). Maxdome. 5/10.


Edited by patrickwilken on 01 May 2014 at 3:20pm

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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 115 of 295
02 May 2014 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
Fun sentences you get when reading French novels in German:

Der Mensch ist nichtig. Aber es ist das Bewußtsein seiner Nichtigkeit, was aus ihm etwas macht.

Das Kleinod, das wahre Zentrum, das ist das Augen im Inneren des Auges.
      

Edited by patrickwilken on 06 May 2014 at 1:35pm

1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 116 of 295
11 May 2014 at 11:28am | IP Logged 
Rob Waring has a lot of interesting material on his website relating to Extensive Reading:

http://www.robwaring.org/er/index.html

This article is particularly good:

The inescapable case for Extensive Reading January 2009

In A Cirock (Ed.) Extensive Reading in English Language Teaching, Lincom Europe.

I have just joined the Extensive Reading mailing list, which I think might be quite useful as a way of keeping up on research in this area.

Edited by patrickwilken on 15 May 2014 at 9:54am

4 persons have voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 117 of 295
12 May 2014 at 7:55pm | IP Logged 
To continue on the theme of Extensive Reading, here is the first of a two part video by Alexander Arguelles on using extensive reading to develop vocabulary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbYMZZISPrU

In a lecture on Extensive Reading for the Japanese ESL community, I saw the quick-and-dirty estimate that a ESL student wishing to go to an English speaking university would need to read about 8 million words to develop a vocabulary in the range of 8000 words, which would allow 98% comprehension of written text. Critical to this guesstimate is how many times a person needs to see a word in order to learn it, but the estimate is probably not hugely off, given my own level now after about 13k pages read (~3 million words).

This fits well with my current goal of reading 25k pages by 1 July 2015.
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Gemuse
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 2381 days ago

818 posts - 1189 votes 
Speaks: English
Studies: German

 
 Message 118 of 295
15 May 2014 at 9:40am | IP Logged 
Very nice progress Patrick!

Have you tried writing on ling-8 to improve your German output?
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 119 of 295
15 May 2014 at 10:03am | IP Logged 
Gemuse wrote:

Have you tried writing on ling-8 to improve your German output?


Not yet, but it's a good idea.

Lots and lots of input really works, but you need to keep at it and it needs on a regular basis. I can see real changes in my ability to understand German in the last couple of months. I still have a way to go, but I know if I keep doing what I am doing I should reach C1 for comprehension within the next twelve months.

I will give Ling-8 a look, but whatever I do I need to find time on top of what I am already doing to do it. I don't want to disturb what is already working well.

Edited by patrickwilken on 15 May 2014 at 10:10am

3 persons have voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2832 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 120 of 295
15 May 2014 at 11:21am | IP Logged 
Interesting 2011 lecture by Rob Waring on the advantages of Extensive Reading in a ESL environment in Asia:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzIf_utmFFc

Most interesting statistic was that an analysis of five years worth of schools textbooks suggests that students could only learn about 800 English passively (perhaps 200 words actively). Adding only one reader per week (i.e., one hour of reading) approximately doubles vocabulary acquisition.

Disagree with Waring in that native materials should be avoided as they are too hard, at least as far as this applies to adult learners. It's interesting in the question time one person tries to ask a question exactly along these lines regarding university students who are using (I think) young-adult literature (e.g., Harry Potter??) to learn, and Waring is quite dismissive of this being helpful. At least in my experience intensively reading native materials (e.g., with a Kindle) until you can extensively read is very effective.

Edited by patrickwilken on 15 May 2014 at 11:22am



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