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

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Solfrid Cristin
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Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
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 Message 65 of 227
27 February 2014 at 6:54am | IP Logged 
Dearest Josquin,

One of the things I have learned in life is that your real friends are there for you even when you are
struggling. And real in this sense means both RL and virtual ones. You have all my love and respect both as
a language learner and as a human being, and you will alway be "Captain, my captain".

If you need to take time off we are here for you when you come back, but otherwise this is actually a great
place to stay when you have a hard time. In 2012 I had such a hard time, after losing three of my closest
relatives in 8 months, that outside work and looking after my kids I spent most of the time in the corner of my
sofa with a thick blanket around me and the iPad on my knees. HTLAL became my sanctuary and my lifeline,
and I do not know how I would have pulled through without it. I wish you all the best :-)


Big hug from Cristina

Edited by Solfrid Cristin on 27 February 2014 at 7:28am

1 person has voted this message useful



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

 
 Message 66 of 227
27 February 2014 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
Thanks to all of you guys! You're the best! :)

I'm very happy and glad about your moral support. I can't even say why I had to share these private details with the forum, but maybe you all have become sort of a second family to me.

@renaissancemedi: Ευχαριστώ πολύ! I think you hit the nail on the head. Taking control of your life is the scary part. Letting everything happen is much easier and more convenient. Well, I try not to be scared by my possibilities any more. In fact, I came across a great quote from the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard: "Anxiety is but the dizziness of freedom." Great, isn't it?

@Emme: Mille grazie! Your support means a lot to me. Thanks for your kind PM, too! :)

@fabriciocarraro: どうもありがとう!I'll keep that in mind! :)

@prz_: Dziękuję bardzo! I appreciate your sympathies. I guess facing the fear and relaxing one's mind is the only way to get better. Yeah, housemates can be, well, special... ;)

@Cristina: Tusen takk! Your support really means a lot to me. As I said, this forum is something like my second family and it feels great getting all this positive feedback. "Captain, my captain" cracked me up a bit... :)

I'm already feeling much better today, so maybe I'll make an earlier comeback than I thought. But you're right: important things first. My languages can wait.

Edited by Josquin on 27 February 2014 at 1:50pm

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

 
 Message 67 of 227
01 March 2014 at 2:22pm | IP Logged 
SATURDAY, 01 MARCH 2014

I'm already feeling much better today and even did some Japanese, Irish, and Russian. I am listening to a lot of music to keep my spirits up at the moment and I remembered this great song from the 2004 Swedish movie Så som i himmelen.

It's one of my favourite movies and I always loved this song. Although its message may be somehow dramatic, it exactly conveys my thoughts right now and gives me strength. I absolutely adore Helen Sjöholm's performance of the song, by the way:

Gabriellas sång

Det är nu som livet är mitt
Jag har fått en stund här på jorden
Och min längtan har fört mig hit
Det jag saknat och det jag fått

Det är ändå vägen jag valt
Min förtröstan långt bortom orden
Som har visat en liten bit
Av den himmel jag aldrig nått

Jag vill känna att jag lever
All den tid jag har
Ska jag leva som jag vill
Jag vill känna att jag lever
Veta att jag räcker till

Jag har aldrig glömt vem jag var
Jag har bara låtit det sova
Kanske hade jag inget val
Bara viljan att finnas kvar

Jag vill leva lycklig för att jag är jag
Kunna vara stark och fri
Se hur natten går mot dag

Jag är här och mitt liv är bara mitt
Och den himmel jag trodde fanns
Ska jag hitta där nånstans

Jag vill känna att jag levt mitt liv

Edited by Josquin on 01 March 2014 at 2:33pm

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

 
 Message 68 of 227
03 March 2014 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
MONDAY, 03 MARCH 2014

I have to say thank you again for all your kind responses and PMs. This was a short, but intense crisis, which passed as quickly as it came. I think this was to a great deal due to all your support, which touched me deeply.

I have realized that I need to reorganize some parts of my life. Especially, I need to find some hobbies which give me the opportunity to relax from studying and to meet other people. There are some things I have always wanted to try out, so now is the best time for that. I hope this will help me find interesting people in the long run.

What does that mean for my languages? I'm not going to throw away my textbooks (in fact, I even ordered some more books for Japanese), but maybe I'll really concentrate on fun ways to learn languages now. When I started with Russian, I took a very conservative textbook approach to the language, which worked fine for me at that time.

However, with getting more experience in language learning, I found that audio-based approaches, which may be accompanied by text material, are much more entertaining. I'm thinking of Colloquial Irish, Gaeilge gan Stró and the LanguagePod101 series. I spend so much time reading and writing for my thesis, so I don't want to do that when learning languages, which should be fun.

Of course, textbooks have their merits. There is no better way to drill grammar or to practise kanji, but in the end a language is primarily an oral way of communication. I found listening and repeating much more beneficial than reading only or even cramming vocabulary with SRS. Learning grammar and words by hearing them in context seems to be a very natural way of learning in my opinion.

This may just be my way of studying - as a musician I rely on my ears a lot anyway -, so I won't go out there and proclaim that I have found the ultimate solution to language learning. However, I'll concentrate on audio-based approaches in the future, which I will complement with reading and grammar exercises.

Oh, by the way, I dabbled in Korean for 15 minutes on Sunday by listening to the first episode of Talk To Me In Korean. I can say "annyeonghaseyo" and "kamsahamnida" now, which means "hello" and "thank you". It was nice, but I think I'll stick to Japanese for the moment. It keeps my busy enough. I'm repeating the uses of the te-form with JapanesePod101 right now and I started on unit 8 in Genki today.

Edited by Josquin on 03 March 2014 at 11:20pm

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

 
 Message 69 of 227
07 March 2014 at 5:26pm | IP Logged 
FRIDAY, 07 MARCH 2014

Not too much language studying has happened during the last days. I'm busy with other things right now.

Русский

Учить русский? Что это? Можно есть?

Really, I haven't done any Russian for ages. I should brush it up before Sunday though when we'll have the first Skype meeting of Team Катюша.

日本語

I'm still listening to JapanesePod101. I'm on lesson 19 of Beginner Season 4 now, but I haven't done much with Genki lately. Somehow, my focus is shifting back to Irish and Japanese is getting less interesting.

Gaeilge

I'm on unit 3 in Gaeilge gan Stró now. It's a good course with focus on spoken Irish and reminds me a lot of Colloquial Irish. Still, it's not the ideal Irish course I'm dreaming of, which, however, doesn't seem to exist. I'd like to find a good, solid Irish course which combines lively dialogues with detailed grammar explanations, in other words, a regular course as it exists for every major language on this planet.

I have also bought Living Language Irish now, because it was my last hope that a solid introductory course might exist for Irish. While the textbooks (there are three of them) seem to be pretty good, the audio recordings are total rip-off!

There are several speakers on the recordings who not only aren't native speakers, but don't seem to speak Irish at all! They're clearly reading a more or less phonetic transcription of the phrases and dialogues, which doesn't even resemble actual Irish! They mispronounce broad and slender consonants as well as the vowel sounds all the time. Thus, "Dia duit" is pronounced "Deeah gwich", with a broad "d" and an actual "g"! It's ridiculous!

So, while the books seem to be quite good and usable, the recordings are total crap. I'm still waiting for the day when there will be an Irish course just as for any other language - combining conversational skills with solid grammar explanations and exercises. There is even one for Scottish Gaelic, so what's the problem with Irish?

Well, I own four Irish courses now (Learning Irish, Colloquial Irish, Gaeilge gan Stró, Living Language Irish) plus Basic Irish Grammar by Nancy Stenson. I will probably have to mix my resources and draw the best out of every single one, thus creating my own Irish curriculum. I'll probably stick to Gaeilge gan Stró for the time being and mix it a bit with Living Language, which seems to be better for grammar.
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 70 of 227
07 March 2014 at 6:16pm | IP Logged 
Based on my experience and current demands, Gaeilge gan Stró is just what I needed - perhaps it doesn't have explanations for everything, but no course does. I got confused in lesson 15 when two seemingly identical question structures caused lenition in one case and eclipsis in the other.

By the way, which Scottish Gaelic course are you thinking of?
1 person has voted this message useful



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

 
 Message 71 of 227
07 March 2014 at 6:40pm | IP Logged 
As I said, Gaeilge gan Stró is good, but it could be better. I'm only on unit 3 by now, but the vocative has been mentioned three times and never really explained. Same goes for the definite article whose patterns have been shown two times, but there have been no exercises.

This is exactly what Colloquial Irish did and, also, the topics of the units are very similar to Colloquial. I'm asking myself if they just copied the course and added some material like "Talking Heads". The good thing is Gaeilge gan Stró doesn't teach the Cois Fharraige dialect, so you can actually pronounce words like they're written.

However, in my opinion, both courses try to simplify grammar by saying "This is not important" or "We'll get to that later" or "Don't worry about this". But I don't want excuses, I want explanations! Otherwise, all I can do is repeating the phrases I have been taught.

So, yes, I guess mixing resources is the only way to go for Irish. Ó Siadhail has all the grammar but presented in a terrible fashion, while Gaeilge gan Stró and Colloquial have the dialogues and useful phrases but too little grammar. I still have to see what Living Language can do.

Maybe I was spoilt too early, but I'm still longing for a course similar to Langenscheidt's Russian course ("Russisch mit System"): interesting texts and dialogues, crystal-clear grammar explanations, good exercises, excellent recordings, even the vocabulary got repeated a lot. The only problem with that course was that it was too short.

The Gaelic textbook I talked about was Lehrbuch der schottisch-gälischen Sprache by Michael Klevenhaus. There's also a Teach Yourself and a Colloquial for Scottish Gaelic, but they have the same problems as their Irish equivalents: Not good enough if you're serious about the language.

I start wondering if this is a German thing: not watering down the grammar, as opposed to English courses, which try to make everything "easy" and "communicative" (with the obvious exception of Ó Siadhail, who is the extreme opposite). Anyway, I like grammar!

Edited by Josquin on 07 March 2014 at 7:04pm

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Марк
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 Message 72 of 227
08 March 2014 at 5:20am | IP Logged 
Josquin wrote:


The good thing is Gaeilge gan Stró doesn't teach the Cois Fharraige dialect, so you
can actually pronounce words like they're written.


Does such an accent exist in the living Irish language?
Josquin wrote:

I start wondering if this is a German thing: not watering down the grammar, as opposed
to English courses, which try to make everything "easy" and "communicative" (with the
obvious exception of Ó Siadhail, who is the extreme opposite). Anyway, I like grammar!

Not only grammar. In comparison with Russian textbooks phonetics suffers much.


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