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

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Josquin
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Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 145 of 227
20 June 2014 at 6:16pm | IP Logged 
FRIDAY, 20 JUNE 2014

Okay, I have an announcement to make. I finally decided to definitely take a break from Japanese. I just don't have any motivation to invest more time and effort into this language for the time being, so I'm not going to force myself to continue with it. Instead, I'm going to concentrate on textbook studies in Irish and Portuguese and reading and watching Russian native materials.

Gaeilge

I finished unit 3 in Gaeilge gan Stró 2 and lesson 15 in Learning Irish. I thought after complaining about the quality of these courses yesterday, I'll go into more detail today. My biggest complaint is that Gaeilge gan Stró 2 introduces a lot of expressions and constructions in the dialogues that are not being explained. You sort of understand what they mean because they give an English translation of the dialogue, but you need to make your own vocabulary lists and won't understand some grammar points until they're being explained - or not.

Learning Irish, however, explains the grammar in excruciating detail, so every tiniest exception is being mentioned. Unfortunately, the order in which grammar points are taught isn't very logical and also the vocabulary is a bit abstruse. The worst part, however, are the texts, which are very dry and abstract.

As I said, I'd love to find a textbook just like for any other language that introduces useful vocabulary and grammar step by step. As such a book doesn't seem to exist for Irish, I'll go on with what I have. I'll keep combining Gaeilge gan Stró and Learning Irish and maybe do some exercises in Basic Irish.

Português

I have now arrived at lesson 5 in Lehrbuch der portugiesischen Sprache. The first four lessons were very easy, but now they introduce a lot of grammar in one unit: plural of nouns and adjectives, feminine forms of adjectives, possessive pronouns, and reflexive verbs. I'll probably need a little bit longer for this unit than for the previous ones. Portuguese has a lot of ways to form the plural in comparison to French or Italian, so I need to memorize some rules before I can go on.
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sctroyenne
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 Message 146 of 227
21 June 2014 at 8:07am | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
My biggest complaint is that Gaeilge gan Stró 2 introduces a lot of expressions and
constructions in the dialogues that are not being explained. You sort of understand what they mean because
they give an English translation of the dialogue, but you need to make your own vocabulary lists and won't
understand some grammar points until they're being explained - or not.

Learning Irish, however, explains the grammar in excruciating detail, so every tiniest exception is being
mentioned. Unfortunately, the order in which grammar points are taught isn't very logical and also the
vocabulary is a bit abstruse. The worst part, however, are the texts, which are very dry and abstract.

As I said, I'd love to find a textbook just like for any other language that introduces useful vocabulary and
grammar step by step. As such a book doesn't seem to exist for Irish, I'll go on with what I have. I'll keep
combining Gaeilge gan Stró and Learning Irish and maybe do some exercises in Basic Irish.


This was exactly my problem with GGGS2 when I first got it. I was really struggling to figure out how to study
it (my other issue was the lack of all the audio besides the dialogues). I think it's working better for me now
though. I go through the dialogues and pick out all the key little phrases and then practice them and turn them
around. I think I'm absorbing them pretty well and through letting the audio run I've discovered that they come
back to a lot of the same expressions so repetition is built in. It's just frustrating that while they do have
grammar sections but it just repeats basics from the first book, not the newer, harder stuff. The last review
track is also a good way to track your progress.

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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 147 of 227
21 June 2014 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
I agree with both of you. Everything in GGS2 isn't explained in same detail as GGS1 (even if there was some information missing in that one too). I haven't opened the book for nearly two months (I sat an exam on April 23rd), and just a few hours ago when I decided to have a new go, it took quite a while before my ears had tuned into the voices and the prosody, and the sentences felt familiar.

This being said, I still think it's the best course out there if your focus is spoken Irish. There are heaps of useful sentence structures.

Edited by jeff_lindqvist on 21 June 2014 at 3:01pm

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Josquin
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Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 148 of 227
21 June 2014 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
SATURDAY, 21 JUNE 2014

Agreed, Jeff and sctroyenne, GgS 2 is useful! There's no doubt in that, but I still see some room for improvement. It would be nice if there were some vocabulary lists accompanying the dialogues instead of the translations and if the grammar would go more into detail.

I also agree that GgS is mainly useful for spoken Irish, while Learning Irish mainly focuses on the written language. Well, as I said, my dream would be a textbook somewhere in between, teaching spoken and written Irish, but that doesn't really seem to exist.

Gaeilge

I have leafed through the grammar of unit 4 in GgS 2. It's mainly the definite article and the present habitual, two grammar points I'm already familiar with. I will work though the dialogues later.

Português

I kept working on unit 5 in Lehrbuch der portugiesischen Sprache. I repeated the grammar and I think I have memorized all the patterns of forming the plural now. I already had a look at the dialogue of unit 6, but I haven't started working on it yet.

日本語

Other than that, I have once more been a walking contradiction. Although I wanted to take a break from Japanese, I felt an urgent compulsion to open Genki this afternoon and work through unit 17. It seems studying Japanese is more of an addiction than a conscious choice. So, I learned about the conditional with ~たら, reporting hearsay with ~そうです, indicating points in time with ~前に and ~てから, and expressing similarity with ~みたいです.

The niveau of the dialogues is constantly rising and the language is getting more and more complex. All the constructions I have learned by now are being repeated and combined, which results in rather demanding sentences. Also, I'm noticing I should study the vocabulary section more seriously, because I often need to look up words from earlier units. Last but not least, some features of colloquial speech have been introduced (mainly contractions), which are hard to recognize at first glance.
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Josquin
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 Message 149 of 227
23 June 2014 at 6:09pm | IP Logged 
MONDAY, 23 JUNE 2014

I have been very diligent the last few days, so there's quite a lot to report.

Русский

I posted my text from the June Challenge on lang-8 in order to get it corrected. There happened to be quite a few mistakes in it, mostly unnatural phrasing, but also some trouble with perfective and imperfective verbs. I mainly seem to have memorized perfective verbs, which is a problem if you want to write a text in the present tense. Also, I noticed what a mess the Russian verbal system really is with all its prefixes and suffixes, so I ought to dedicate it some extra time.

Other than that, I watched two episodes of Кухня with transcripts. At the moment, my only goal is getting the gist, so it's rather extensive watching. I'll go into detailed vocabulary later. But even getting the gist is sometimes difficult because of the sarcastic humour of the kitchen staff.

Example: A visiting cook tells the chef she liked his chicken fricassee (which was prepared by the sous-chef) and he goes into the kitchen and yells at everybody telling them she thought the dish was atrocious. In such situations I need to double-check the transcript to be sure I understood everything correctly.

Português

I'm getting serious with Portuguese. Today I treated myself with a shiny new Portuguese course from Langenscheidt (Portugiesisch mit System). I will put Lehrbuch der portugiesischen Sprache on hold and work through the new course first. The Lehrbuch is rather academic and demanding for a first introduction to the language, so I'll come back to it when I have worked through Portugiesisch mit System.

The latter seems to be more accessible and entertaining, plus it comes with recordings, which is quite important in the case of Portuguese. I still have to get a feeling for the sound of the language. There is the notorious problem of open and closed vowels and what's called "liaison" in French.

日本語

After resurrecting Japanese from its untimely death, I decided I needed to do something for my active skills and posted another entry on lang-8. So far, I've only gotten one small correction, so I'll post it here as well. If any native speakers or advanced learners could have a look at it, I'd be very grateful.

どうして日本語を習っているんですか。

友達は僕にどうして日本語を勉強しているん だか聞きました。 好きなんだと答えました。

日本はとても面白い国ですが、あそこに行っ たことがありません。 日本旅行は高いですよ。 お金がありませんから、日本に行けません。

でも、日本語が習いたいので、一年半間勉強 しています。 日本語を勉強するのが大好きです。 難しくて楽しくてきれいな言語だと思います 。

お金があったら、日本に行きます。 そして、日本に行った時、日本語で話せると いいんです。

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g-bod
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 Message 150 of 227
23 June 2014 at 8:03pm | IP Logged 
I can see why you haven't had much feedback on your Lang-8 article. It looks mostly like correct Japanese to me.

The only thing I would do differently is in your final sentence, where I would use a conditional like ~たら rather than the ~た時 construction, since you are talking about a conditional situation rather than the order of events.

By the way, I've just about given up on giving up Japanese. Every so often I think I've had enough of it, but somehow I end up not being able to let go completely!
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Josquin
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Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 151 of 227
23 June 2014 at 11:59pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, g-bod!

Yes, not studying Japanese seems to be impossible... ;)
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Josquin
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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 152 of 227
29 June 2014 at 4:58pm | IP Logged 
SUNDAY, 29 JUNE 2014

This week, I was pretty busy working and singing, so I didn’t get to study very much. I managed to cover quite a bit on the weekend though.

Русский

I didn’t do much. I read through the text of unit 10 in Colloquial Russian 2, which deals with the Russian educational system. Other than that, no news. Maybe, I’m gonna watch an episode of Кухня later.

Gaeilge

I worked through unit 4 in Gaeilge gan Stró 2 and lesson 15 in Learning Irish. The approach of GgS doesn’t satisfy me any more, so I decided to change my strategy. I don’t want to learn conversational phrases combined with elementary grammar. In fact, I believe GgS is best suited for persons who already know Irish and want to brush up their conversational skills and some grammar. It’s not really suitable for me though.

So, what I’m going to do is this: I have borrowed Teach Yourself Irish from the library and will use it as my primary resource in combination with Learning Irish. I hope this will work out better for me. Now, that verbal nouns have been introduced in Learning Irish, the texts have actually gotten better, so I hope my motivation to work with it will rise.

Português

I love Portuguese! It’s a fun, beautiful language and an absolute pleasure to study! After dealing with Irish and Japanese, studying a Romance language is like taking a holiday or reading a good book. Also, the Langenscheidt course is very good (as usual) and the recordings are excellent. I’m on unit 3 now. However, the pronunciation of Portuguese is a bit trickier than I imagined, but I love the sound of the language. This is what I can say by now:

Olá, chamo-me Christian. Sou estudante da Alemanha e moro em Tübingen. Tenho vinte e nove anos e estou bem. Agora aprendo português, mas falo só um pouco. Em casa falo alemão e inglês. É um prazer aprender português. Até logo!

Italiano

Okay, this may sound crazy, but I decided I finally needed to brush up my Italian. It has gotten so dusty and rusty that I can barely use it. While I can understand written and spoken Italian reasonably well, my active skills have become practically non-existent. I seriously thought about removing my "speaks" status for Italian, but instead I’m going to do something about it.

I don’t know how sensible it is to study two Romance languages at the same time, but as my Italian is rather advanced compared to my Portuguese, I’ll take the risk of interference. Also, Portuguese and Italian seem to be sufficiently different from each other from what I can tell by now, especially as far as vocabulary is concerned. I will also use a Langenscheidt course for brushing up my Italian.

日本語

I’ve put Japanese on hold again and I don’t know if and when I’ll get back to it. Probably, I’ll keep studying it on and off, but for the time being I’m not that interested in exotic languages any more. In fact, I noticed how much effort Asian languages in general and Japanese in particular really take and I’m not willing to invest that right now.


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