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

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
227 messages over 29 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 22 ... 28 29 Next >>
Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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 Message 169 of 227
18 August 2014 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
After having celebrated my 30th birthday six times I did
start to come to terms with it. And of course
at this point in time, I would have loved to turn 30 :-)

I've celebrated my 29th birthday four times now myself.

Just in case it was ambiguous, I did not celebrate my 30th birthday for six consecutive years. I had six
birthday parties within the time frame of a couple of weeks :-)
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 Message 170 of 227
18 August 2014 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
@Emme: Mille grazie!

@sctroyenne: Go raibh míle maith agat!

@Cristina: Yes, it sounds hilarious, but the humming (in combination with speaking very little and drinking a lot of tea) really helps. It's an easy, but very effective exercise. Just hum a tone as gently as possible for a few seconds and repeat it a few times. That's like holiday for the vocal chords and relaxes the entire larynx.

My birthday was great! I had a huge brunch, which lasted six hours. My entire family was there, all my friends sent their good wishes, I got many presents, and we had lots of delicious food and champagne. My mother even bought a bottle of Moët champagne to celebrate the occasion, so it was really special.

I tend to celebrate my birthdays with my family, because my friends live all over Germany and beyond, so it's really difficult to assemble them for a party. But as a good friend of mine is getting married on Saturday and all of my closest friends are invited, the party will continue then.

Yes, women tend to be more concerned about their age than men, but I can tell you gay men are at least equally afraid of getting old. The clock is ticking for us as well! So, I must admit I had a moment of consternation when the clock struck 12 and I was officially 30, but the party and all the good wishes made me come to terms with the fact that I'm finally an adult and my youth is definitely over. But I feel like 20 at heart right now, so that's what's important.

Edited by Josquin on 18 August 2014 at 10:09pm

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Bilingual Diglot
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 Message 171 of 227
21 August 2014 at 3:22am | IP Logged 
I remember feeling down when I turned 30, as well. I suddenly felt old, and all those
people around me who were only a few weeks younger were little kids brimming with youth
:) I've come to terms with it now and don't feel as bad. And you're right, feeling young
is what's important, because it's not about the numbers (although I have to admit they're
sort of important for women ;) )
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 Message 172 of 227
24 August 2014 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
Hey :) Happy birthday!
When I was about to turn 30 I felt incredibly old and I was scared; the day of my 30th birthday I looked myself in the
mirror and I thought: "I'm a beautiful 30yo!" and I felt just so good. And I always felt that good from that day.
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 Message 173 of 227
24 August 2014 at 8:26pm | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:
I have read all the horror stories about Korean pronunciation and while I'm in no position to give a final verdict about it, I would like to say that I hear absolutely no difference between normal and tense consonants. Will this change with more exposure to the language? Well, it reminds me of Irish forte and lenis consonants (l and n) where I hear absolutely no difference either.

It may, or it may not. At the beginning I had difficulties as well, but now I can distinguish the two quite well, even if in practice it's often only a subtle difference (at least to my ears). Listening a lot helps. Learning how to produce them helps as well. For the tensed consonants you have to release more air pressure... Hmm... sounds abstract, but you'll probably get the hang of it.

Good luck for your Korean journey!
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 Message 174 of 227
29 August 2014 at 11:35pm | IP Logged 

@Woodsei: Thanks for your kind words! Yes, you’re absolutely correct: feeling young is what counts!

@tristano: Thank you! I’m trying to see it that way, too. :)

@druckfehler: Thank you! I have better recordings now where I can distinguish all three types of consonants as long as they’re in example words. It seems to be impossible to determine them in natural speech though.

So, I’m back to everyday life and I must say, the vacation has really done me good. I have a lot of positive energy right now, which goes directly into my work and my language studies. I hope it will continue like this.


I have been reading some texts from my bilingual reader Ну что, поехали?. Although I still haven’t finished it, I noticed that it has gotten much easier to understand the texts. Apparently, my Russian is finally getting somewhere, so I can actually use it for native materials.

Additionally to reading, I’m planning on getting back to Кухня. I took a break after three episodes, but I want to continue as soon as I have time for it.


I’m making nice progress in Portuguese. I’m currently on unit 10 in Portugiesisch mit System and I have already encountered two different past tenses, the pretérito perfeito simples and the pretérito imperfeito.

Although learning the forms of the irregular verbs is particular fun (Portuguese is worse than French or Italian in this aspect), I have no problems understanding the differences in usage between the two tenses. After having crammed Russian aspects, this is like a breeze!


Good news on the Irish front as well! I’m now on unit 12 in Teach Yourself Irish. Its main topic is the past tense, which is ridiculously easy compared to other aspects of Irish grammar (Yes, initial mutations, I’m talking about you!). Unfortunately, TY explains it as complicatedly as possible.

The usual rule is taking the verb stem, leniting the initial consonant if possible, and adding "d’" in front of a vowel or a lenited "f". TY, however, gives complicated rules how to derive the past tense from the present habitual, only because they haven’t introduced verb stems, which are identical with the imperative singular, yet! Why make it easy, when you can make it complicated?


I have been working on Japanese a lot this week. I have finished units 18 and 19 in Genki and I’m about to finish unit 20. I have now been initiated into the secrets of Japanese polite language, which is known as 敬語 (keigo). I have learned how to use honorific and humble verbs and "extra-modest" expressions, as Genki calls them.

However, I get the impression that all of this is only really called for in rather formal situations such as business or something else where hierarchy is important, so I probably won’t need it that often, especially as long as I don’t go to Japan. Anyway, I guess I need to be able to recognize keigo, so I’ll learn the expressions anyway.


Well, my Korean hasn’t really improved that much. I can read hangeul now, but I haven’t tried to write them yet. I’m still having problems with the pronunciation rules such as voicing, tensing, aspirating, and nasalizing (Thank you, 받침!), but I hope I’ll get the hang of it soon.

I started working on the first dialogues in Elementary Korean, which feature in unit 5. I might get back to My Korean though, but I don’t know yet. Elementary Korean, although an excellent resource, seems to be a bit dry.

At the moment, I’m not quite sure how to continue with Korean anyway. Maybe, I’ll rather concentrate on Japanese instead. Well, we’ll see.

Edited by Josquin on 29 August 2014 at 11:42pm

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Super Polyglot
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 Message 175 of 227
30 August 2014 at 12:16pm | IP Logged 
Once you've done Russian aspects, Portuguese tenses are much easier in my view. However I
haven't internalised the verb conjugation system they use very well yet (ask Fabricio,
haha). The imperfeito is not used as much in speech (though you do need it of course) and
I've been muddling through in my conversations with Portuguese speakers and Brazilians
using the simplest future tense, the present and the pretérito. One day, I need to fix my
verb problems in Portuguese and do a thorough analysis of that part of the language to
speak it properly. How do you feel your active skills of Portuguese are coming along?

Korean takes a while in my experience.
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 Message 176 of 227
30 August 2014 at 4:16pm | IP Logged 
It's quite difficult to get started with Korean if you are self-studying. I have gone through both My Korean books but I didn't do it at the beginning because they were too difficult. This book has the best pronunciation explanations I have encountered and the grammar presentation and example sentences are very good. The problem is that the audio is rather bad and I also found the comics too difficult because they used grammar points that hadn't been introduced yet.

I made Talk To Me In Korean my main resource and I can't say I regret it. I didn't want to do grammar exercises, I wanted to be introduced to the language gently and in a fun way, and that's exactly what TTMIK did. It kept my love for Korean alive. I think it makes sense to do 1-2 TTMIK levels before starting with a textbook, it's easier that way. Plus, you can use my Anki deck to review the example sentences easily without listening to the English explanations that are in the lessons.

As for textbooks, I've done most of Elementary Korean so I know what you mean by it being dry. It's thorough but too difficult for a complete beginner. I think Korean From Zero is a much better suited book even though I don't like its overly familiar presentation style.

If you can handle a textbook in Russian, check out this link. There are three textbooks with accompanying audio files there. What you need is "Корейский язык. Вводный курс", it's the first book in the series. I've done more than half of it and I think it's a very good book. It doesn't hold your hand too much (like Korean From Zero does) but there's also not too much theory. Most importantly for you - there are lots of grammar exercises with answers.

Overall I recommend listening to Korean as much as you can. Of course it's important to listen to any language you are studying but I think it's even more important for Korean. First - because their sentence structure is very different from European languages, and second - because their sound system is also very different, as you have noticed. You need a lot of exposure to absorb all of it. I used to listen to the TTMIK Iyagi lessons, they are nice to listen to even if you don't understand anything, just to get a feel for the language. These days I'm listening to this radio show; there's a new episode every day so there's never shortage of material. You just pick the episode on the right side and then click on the Download button, which in Korean is 다운로드.

Whatever approach you choose, I hope you don't drop Korean because I always enjoy reading about it on here. Good luck!

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