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How to study?

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
48 messages over 6 pages: 1 2 3 46  Next >>
Kleberson
Diglot
Senior Member
Great Britain
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Studies: Italian, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 33 of 48
17 June 2007 at 3:22pm | IP Logged 
(EDIT) They messed up again, sorry!

Edited by Kleberson on 17 June 2007 at 3:24pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 34 of 48
17 June 2007 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
Why don't you just retype the most important information? If I recall correctly, it's 4 words with an associated number?
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Kleberson
Diglot
Senior Member
Great Britain
Joined 4816 days ago

166 posts - 168 votes 
Speaks: English*, Portuguese
Studies: Italian, Russian, Arabic (Written), Mandarin

 
 Message 35 of 48
17 June 2007 at 3:54pm | IP Logged 
Results for: Dan Kleberson
REF 3
SEN 9
VIS 1
SEQ 5



Edited by Kleberson on 17 June 2007 at 5:01pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
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4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 36 of 48
17 June 2007 at 4:41pm | IP Logged 
Just put the abbreviation for whichever side it's closer to, along with a number; forget about formatting.

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 37 of 48
17 June 2007 at 5:39pm | IP Logged 
This thread is difficult to put to a simple formula, so I will just present my own thoughts on the subject.

Let assume that you have just decided to learn a new language. You main problem is that you don't understand anything. OK, there are two ways of tackling that problem. The 'natural' way and the 'tools' way (or in practice a combination that can be closer to one or the other alternative).

If you choose the natural method then you have to find something that is so simple that even you can understand it with a minimum of tools. You cannot totally avoid tools, - if your teacher suggests the meaning of a word by gesturing it is formally equivalent to a peek in a dictionary. It IS a tool. But basically you progress through the study of written or spoken material, guesssing the meaning and function of obscure passages along the way. However you can only do this with material that is almost comprehensible to you, - so you or your teacher or your text book must feed you with carefully graded texts, otherwise you can't understand them well enough to infer the meaning of those obscure passages. Immersion is not substantially different: you just put yourself in a situation where you are presented with so much genuine material that you can pick and choose something that hopefully is at the right level for you. You still need to find comprehensible input though - that has not changed.

The 'tools' methods is different. Here you assume that if you just know enough words and grammar then ordinary texts will suddenly become transparent to you. Of course it would be stupid to start out with something far too difficult, so in practice you do search for more or less comprehensible input. The main difference is that as a tool-seeker you don't need the fine-tuning of the texts, - you can use dictionaries and grammars as preparation for material that really is a good deal too difficult for you at the present stage, - suddenly you have collected enough words and stuff to understand those texts, and kapoum! the meaning is crystal clear to you (aka epiphany moment). The important thing from that point on is to incorporate some elements of natural studying. The reason is that even the best dictionaries and grammars won't learn you to use the language in a congenial way, - they are tools, but very efficient tools, and my belief is that you can 'crack' a language easier if you use them than if you don't.

The funny thing is that with this description of the two alternatives the 'tools' seeker is really the global learner!


Edited by Iversen on 17 June 2007 at 6:08pm

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frenkeld
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 38 of 48
19 June 2007 at 9:08am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Let assume that you have just decided to learn a new language. You main problem is that you don't understand anything. OK, there are two ways of tackling that problem. The 'natural' way and the 'tools' way ...


Iversen, how would you classify having a translation available, the natural way or the tools way?

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
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Denmark
berejst.dk
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 Message 39 of 48
19 June 2007 at 6:50pm | IP Logged 
The situation could be that you own both a (close) translation and the original text of a book, or you have found a homepage in several languages (homepages for tourists often are multilingual), or that your target language is one of the GLOSS languages. It is fairly certain that knowing the general meaning of a text from such a source will make it more comprehensible to you, so reading the base language version first and then the version in your target language would be one way of finding more 'comprehensible input' for those who prefer the 'natural' method. The idea is that you first read the base language version and afterwards turn to the target language version (of course this can also be applied to short passages rather than a whole book).

If on the other hand you use the translation as some kind of dictionary then you are clearly using it as a tool. In this case you will normally be using the two versions side by side, checking single words or expressions in both versions. I have done that a lot earlier, but I have gradually come to the conclusion that it is better to make your own hyperliteral translation first and then just use the extant translation as a control, both because most translations are less than literal and because you remember the fruits of your own hard work better than something that you have just found lying around somewhere.


Edited by Iversen on 19 June 2007 at 7:09pm

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frenkeld
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5341 days ago

2042 posts - 2719 votes 
Speaks: Russian*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 40 of 48
19 June 2007 at 10:09pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
I have gradually come to the conclusion that it is better to make your own hyperliteral translation first and then just use the extant translation as a control, ... you remember the fruits of your own hard work better than something that you have just found lying around somewhere.


Yeah, I've recently experimented with a bilingual collection of German short stories, as well as with a couple of well-annotated novels with a targeted glossary at the end, and found that the enjoyment factor wasn't as high as with a pristine book, even when I can barely get the gist of it on the first pass. I even ended up buying "clean" editions of the same works in a couple of instances.

By the way, Kato Lomb was a very strong proponent of the "fruits of hard work" being an important language retention tool for adults, although for her "hard work" seems to have meant reading a novel in a new language at least twice without a dictionary before looking up any words.



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