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Josquin’s TAC 2014 - Катюша, Celts, 旅立ち

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sctroyenne
Diglot
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 105 of 227
24 April 2014 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:


So, although my relaxed approach may be a harsh contrast to all the challenges and the
results-oriented mentality at HTLAL, that doesn't mean I don't belong here. I love
writing this log and participating in stimulating discussions, but I'm not obsessed by
languages the way some people here are. I don't know why a person should speak 20
languages when they have nothing interesting to say.


I wouldn't feel pressured to keep up with anyone on the forum or among the internet
polyglot community. You study languages for your own reasons and no one else's. There's
no joy in acquiring languages like trophies. There are many reasons, many methods, and
many paces of learning that are all valid depending on what you want. And you don't
even have to have a goal to have something interesting to say - being able to read and
listen to interesting things can bring more joy - don't feel pressured to have to
master all 4 skills just because someone else tells you you have to.

And yes, three beginning languages is a lot, especially if you want a life outside
language learning. You have your whole life to pursue these hobbies so feel free to
take your time (granted, none of us are guaranteed 85+ years of life to pursue
everything we're interested it but trying to cram 85 years of mastery of various
subjects into 5-10 years is impossible and counter productive). I myself get
overwhelmed by all my life projects but that's a side effect of always looking at the
big picture without considering what I'm going to do in the next day/week/month. Come
up with some short term targets, make them as ambitious or as relaxed as you want and
you'll be fine.

And BTW, given your Irish language studies and singing, have you considered getting
into Sean-nós singing?
3 persons have voted this message useful



Emme
Triglot
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Italy
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 Message 106 of 227
24 April 2014 at 9:34pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
[...] As far as languages are concerned, the journey is my reward, so I want to enjoy it. Unfortunately, I have so many interests that I hardly find the time for all of them, so I need to forget about perfection. Maybe, I'll do a week of regular studying followed by two weeks of no studying at all and that's all right.

[...]

Anyway, I'm very pleased with the way things are right now. I needed to find the priorities in my life and had to decide to cut short on my languages, but I'm still in the game. It's an interesting and exciting time for me, so my languages may suffer a little bit, but I'm no longer worried about that.


Well said! I wholeheartedly subscribe to this philosophy.
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Josquin
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Senior Member
Germany
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2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 107 of 227
25 April 2014 at 2:07pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
I wouldn't feel pressured to keep up with anyone on the forum or among the internet polyglot community. You study languages for your own reasons and no one else's. There's no joy in acquiring languages like trophies. There are many reasons, many methods, and many paces of learning that are all valid depending on what you want. And you don't even have to have a goal to have something interesting to say - being able to read and listen to interesting things can bring more joy - don't feel pressured to have to master all 4 skills just because someone else tells you you have to.

And yes, three beginning languages is a lot, especially if you want a life outside language learning. You have your whole life to pursue these hobbies so feel free to take your time (granted, none of us are guaranteed 85+ years of life to pursue everything we're interested it but trying to cram 85 years of mastery of various subjects into 5-10 years is impossible and counter productive). I myself get overwhelmed by all my life projects but that's a side effect of always looking at the big picture without considering what I'm going to do in the next day/week/month. Come up with some short term targets, make them as ambitious or as relaxed as you want and you'll be fine.

And BTW, given your Irish language studies and singing, have you considered getting into Sean-nós singing?

Thanks for this insightful post, sctroyenne!

I think you've put it better than I could ever have said it. In fact, my problem is too much enthusiasm. When I see motivated people around me whose passion I share, I can get a bit competitive, pushing myself towards goals that belong to the others and not to myself.

Plus, I really love languages, so the "cult of the polyglot" which exists on HTLAL affected me deeply. There are so many languages I would like to dabble in that I could spend all day studying. But there's still the rest of my life which needs maintainance, so I have to make sure I don't forget to live just because of language studies.

Well, I'm fascinated by Sean-nós singing and I like Irish (and Scottish) traditional music in general (especially in the traditional languages), so I can imagine getting into it one day. At the moment, I'm concentrating on classical singing, which requires a quite different technique and voice, but I'd surely like to give traditional music a try sometime.

But as I said: There are so many things I'm enthusiastic about and which I'd like to try that I constantly tend to demand too much of myself. I really need to focus and concentrate on few projects at the same time, without forgetting to live and be happy. I think that's my real challenge.

The problem is I have been searching for the "real me" for a long time and found it only slowly, so there's a lot I have to catch up on. I have a constant fear of missing out on something, so I try to do everything at the same time, which, however, doesn't get me anywhere. I guess it's the fundamental problem of a "scanner" personality.

@Emme: Grazie mille! Sono contento che ti piaccia la mia nuova filosofia. :)

Edited by Josquin on 25 April 2014 at 2:24pm

1 person has voted this message useful



YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
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Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 108 of 227
25 April 2014 at 6:11pm | IP Logged 
Hey Josquin, just wanted to drop and give you a big thanks. Reading through you're posts has helped me a lot with thinking through my own life and how big a role I want language studies to play a part in it.

I originally came here to build up a foundation in languages as a support through my film studies. But I think spending too much time here has made prioritize my language learning goals over my original purposes for learning.

I think environments like this can be incredibly helpful, and I probably wouldn't have put in the effort to establish a strong foundation in languages if wasn't getting positive feedback and reading about other people's achievements. But I think at other times it can be very healthy to cut your brain off from this kind of feedback to step back and get a better sense of what your actual goals and motivations are, when you're not reading about other people's successes and feeling the need to regularly post about what courses you finished and what you're going to take on next.

I wish you the best of luck with your other live endeavors.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Josquin
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Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 109 of 227
27 April 2014 at 4:31pm | IP Logged 
SUNDAY, 27 APRIL 2014

I'm glad my difficult journey helped you, YnEoS. Finding your own way of doing things isn't easy sometimes, but it's worth defining your personal goals. Once you know what you want, you can simply go for it.

For my part, taking the pressure out of studying did me good. I'm not studying regularly now, but I'm very much enjoying what I'm doing. Language studies - or any other hobby - shouldn't be a chore and you definitely shouldn't do it to please other people. That's what I have learned.

Русский

I finished unit 6 in Colloquial Russian 2 and started working on unit 7. Also, I have been reading excerpts from Игрок and Ну что, поехали?.

Gaeilge

I'm combining Gaeilge gan Stró and Learning Irish now and I must say the combined approach is working. Gaeilge gan Stró offers me dialogues while Learning Irish is better concerning grammar. As I'm no longer depending on one course only, the weaknesses of each course are compensated by the other one, so I'm finally enjoying my Irish studies again.

I'm on unit 13 in GgS and lesson 11 in LI. While GgS normally doesn't give you a lot of grammar to deal with, they present the complete past tense in one unit - including independent, dependent, and question forms of irregular verbs! Fortunately, the past tense (including irregular verbs) is very similar to its Scottish Gaelic counterpart, but it's quite a bit to process nevertheless.

As I'm approaching the end of Gaeilge gan Stró, I decided to order the second volume. It's an entertaining and easy course and helps me cope with the old-fashioned approach of Learning Irish.

日本語

I'm working on the final unit of Genki as well, so I also decided to order Genki 2. While Japanese grammar isn't as morphologically complex as e.g. Russian, its exoticism is challenging in its own way. You can't rely on what you know from German or English, instead you have to learn every construction from scratch. The sentences in Genki are getting more complex, combining previously presented constructions, which can be a bit mind-boggling from time to time.

While unit 11 mainly dealt with constructions I already knew from Colloquial Japanese (~たい, AやB, ~ことがある), unit 12 concentrates on explanations using ~んです and some other grammar points. Sometimes, the length of Japanese words gives me headaches, such as the construction for "must": ~なければいけません. Technically, it consists of two words, but it's a monstrosity when you see it for the first time, nevertheless.


Generally speaking, I can say that I very much benefit from diversity in my activities, so taking the pressure out of everything was the right choice. The solution to my problems is not choosing between languages and music and doing only one thing for all eternity, but simply doing what I feel like when I feel like it. Who would have thought it could be that easy?
4 persons have voted this message useful



Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3280 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 110 of 227
03 May 2014 at 5:38pm | IP Logged 
SATURDAY, 03 MAY 2014

There's good news this week. Although I didn't study very much, I managed to complete both Genki and Gaeilge gan Stró. There are still some kanji I need to repeat in Genki, but otherwise I have worked through the book. Fortunately, the second volumes of both books have already arrived, so I will be able to continue my studies seamlessly.

Anyway, I decided not to participate in any challenge this month although the 6WC and the Super Challenge have started. I was shortly tempted to participate in both, but then I reminded myself that this would probably create too much pressure again, so I decided to stay out of the challenge business for the time being. I will, however, participate in the Dead Languages Challenge with Latin as soon as it starts.

Русский

I'm still working on unit 7 in Colloquial Russian 2. The text and the dialogue deal with the (lacking) independence of the Russian media, which is quite an interesting topic. There's not much grammar in this unit, mainly indefinite and relative pronouns.

For this month's team challenge, I wrote a short text about my favourite Russian cities. Here it is:

Санкт Петербург и Москва

Сначала, я знаю, что я должен написать о своем любимом городе в России, но есть два российских города, которые я хотел бы посетить. Поэтому напишу об обоих.

Я никогда еще не был в России, но мне хотелось бы поехать в Петербург, потому что говорят, что это очень красивый город. Петербург расположен на берегу реки Невы и был построен Петром Первым.

Я хотел бы увидеть Зимний дворец, Павлопетровскую крепость и известный музей Эрмитаж. Я думаю, что было бы замечательно погулять по Невскому проспекту и посетить дома, в которых жили Достоевский или Пушкин.

Но я также хочу увидеть Москву, особенно Красную площадь с Кремлем и Храмом Василия и Большой театр. Москва и Петербург – самые известные и важные города России. Я хочу их посетить, чтобы увидеть и узнать, как живут русские, и, конечно, чтобы поговорить с ними на русском языке.

Gaeilge

As I said, I finished the first volume of Gaeilge gan Stró. The last two units were quite easy and dealt with the past tense and (very shortly) with the future tense. I already had a look at the "lower intermediate" volume of Gaeilge gan Stró and it seems to have the same concept as the "beginner" volume. However, the dialogues seem to be longer, there's more grammar and less audio.

GgS 2 seems to repeat some basic concepts, which have already been introduced in the first volume, so, maybe, I could have skipped the first volume altogether. It mainly consisted of repetition of what I had already learnt from Colloquial Irish, so I could probably have started with GgS 2 right away. Anyway, repetition doesn't hurt in studying, although it can get boring.

日本語

I finished unit 12 in Genki and spent some time concentrating on kanji. There are still some kanji left, which I don't know yet, but I think I will learn them while already going on with Genki 2. In contrast to Gaeilge gan Stró 2, Genki 2 begins exactly where Genki 1 ended, so it's actually one textbook divided in two volumes. I'm looking forward to working with the second volume of this excellent resource.

العربية

Well, after having finished two textbooks at the same time, I thought I should give myself a little reward and dabble in a new language. I decided this language to be Arabic. I'm using Langenscheidt's Arabisch mit System and my only goal is to get to know the language a little bit.

I want to learn the alphabet, basic phrases, and basic grammar, but I don't intend to study Arabic seriously. My experience with Portuguese has shown me that studying four languages at the same time is too much.

The layout of Arabisch mit System is quite interesting. The dialogues are written in MSA (but, I think, without case endings) and every dialogue has been recorded three times: in MSA, in Egyptian Arabic, and in Syrian Arabic. As I'm only dabbling in the language, I will concentrate on MSA and maybe try to understand the dialects. But, as I said, my goals are very low for the time being.

Edited by Josquin on 03 May 2014 at 7:01pm

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Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
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 Message 111 of 227
03 May 2014 at 6:36pm | IP Logged 
Following your own path is generally a good thing. The challenges are brilliant for people like me who are
lazy but competitive :-) They do not fit all, and if you find them unhelpful it is definitely best to stay away. You
are however, even with your new laid back attitude, doing more studying than most, so you have every
reason to feel good about yourself, also from a linguistic perspective :-)
3 persons have voted this message useful



Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3280 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 112 of 227
11 May 2014 at 2:14pm | IP Logged 
SUNDAY, 11 MAY 2014

Thanks for your kind words, Cristina! Yes, not taking part in the various challenges was the right decision, because I barely got to study this week. If I had been in some sort of challenge, this would undoubtedly have created a lot of stress again. So, while I was lazy the whole week as far as languages are concerned, I did a lot of studying yesterday.

Русский

There is some interesting news concerning Russian. I have a new flatmate who comes from Kyrgyzstan and speaks fluent Russian! I already talked a little bit of Russian to her and, while I have few problems understanding her, speaking is a little bit more difficult. I can talk about daily matters, but as soon as we're hitting politics or something like that, I have to switch to English. Nevertheless, it's good practice and I hope to improve my Russian this way. In return, I'm going to teach her German.

Other than that, I got myself an annotated Russian reader with contemporary short stories: Про любовь. I have already read the first story, which was quite easy. The only problem was that I knew most of the annotated words, while the ones I didn't know weren't in the annotations. So, I need to go through the text again and look up the unknown words.

I also busied myself with unit 8 from Colloquial Russian 2, which deals with the Russian job market. It repeats passive participles and some other minor grammar points.

Gaeilge

I have started working on Gaeilge gan Stró 2. So far, I like it better than the first volume, because it's more challenging or, in other words, interesting. While it was probably the right decision to do Gaeilge gan Stró 1 first, now I feel really challenged for the first time since I have been using this course. So far, I have only been dealing with the first unit.

Additionally, I worked through lesson 12 in Learning Irish.

日本語

I have also been dealing with unit 13 in Genki, which is the first unit of the second volume. I have the feeling the texts are getting slightly more challenging and demanding and I'm having more problems understanding them.

The main topic of the unit is potential verbs, which are formed by replacing the ending of the plain form with られる or える. I think it's not too difficult, but, as everything in Japanese, it takes time to get used to. Other grammar points are し...し, そうです, なら and ~てみる.

I have also had a look at Colloquial Japanese again. My Japanese is on a much better level now than when I left it, so I might get back to it and use it for complementing Genki. Things I didn't understand one year ago are now absolutely clear to me.

Other

I didn't have the time to do anything in Arabic and, as I have already said previously, I just have the feeling that studying more than three languages actively is simply too much. So, I now have some kind of waiting list for languages I have dabbled in, but didn't get to study more intensively. I want to get back to these languages some day when I have time for them. Theses languages are:

Mandarin
Korean
Arabic
Persian
Greek
Portuguese
Welsh

Edited by Josquin on 11 May 2014 at 2:31pm



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