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Another 6WC?

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Eriol
Diglot
Senior Member
Sweden
Joined 5264 days ago

118 posts - 130 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: Portuguese

 
 Message 49 of 74
08 June 2007 at 4:44am | IP Logged 
Jerrod wrote:
OK, so who is in and for what language and method?
Should we have a deadline for the end of August?

Those wanting to do Georgian, I do have some online resources and one textbook, but it is in Russian. If we have a Georgian Bloc, I think we should extend our time to an even 2 months. The reason for this is the alphabet, which most people seem to struggle with, and the complexity of the grammar, specifically for the verbs. What do you think?


I have, sort of, already started with the Georgian alphabet and I don't think it's that difficult. The common letters I easily learned in a few hours, the many low-frequency consonants is a bit harder but having a cheat-sheet at hand is probably a good idea. This is a good english-based resource online (I'm not totally convinced it's 100% legal, but it is hosted by reputable academic institutions):

Georgian: A reading grammar (pdf)
Georgian: A reading grammar (audio)

As for myself I'm not really sure what language I should do for the 6WC. I have a bit of a headstart on Georgian which makes it less suitable. Slovenian looks to easy and similar to Serbo-Croatian for my taste. Maybe I should do Turkish which I have absolutely zero knowledge of? I even have some kind of idea for a method to use on that language...

Is anyone working on some kind of "official" document with rules for the 6WC and an evaluation scheme? A deadline and a limitation on total number of study hours is probably a good idea.
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lady_skywalker
Triglot
Senior Member
Netherlands
aspiringpolyglotblog
Joined 5288 days ago

909 posts - 942 votes 
Speaks: Spanish, English*, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, French, Dutch, Italian

 
 Message 50 of 74
08 June 2007 at 1:28pm | IP Logged 
Eriol wrote:
Jerrod wrote:

Those wanting to do Georgian, I do have some online resources and one textbook, but it is in Russian. If we have a Georgian Bloc, I think we should extend our time to an even 2 months. The reason for this is the alphabet, which most people seem to struggle with, and the complexity of the grammar, specifically for the verbs. What do you think?


I have, sort of, already started with the Georgian alphabet and I don't think it's that difficult. The common letters I easily learned in a few hours, the many low-frequency consonants is a bit harder but having a cheat-sheet at hand is probably a good idea.


I never had any problems learning the Georgian alphabet (which I did on a whim one day). Pronouncing some of those letters, however, is easier said than done. :)

Georgian is one of those languages I would like to go back to one day as I think it has one of the most beautiful scripts in the world and is something that is rarely studied by others. The lack of time and lack of varied resources is pretty much what is stopping me from dabbling with it for the time being.
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5101 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 51 of 74
08 June 2007 at 6:14pm | IP Logged 
I spent almost two weeks in Georgia 2001, and I found the Georgian alphabet very easy to learn, - much easier than the Armenian alphabet, which has more letters and different shapes of upper and lower case letters. I also had much fun trying to pronounce the notorious consonant clusters - I even know that the Georgians around me understood what I tried to say. But vocabulary and grammar are big obstacles, especially if you consider the scarcity of suitable study material.

It is interesting to see that some members might chose kartuli as their 6w challenge language, but if I participate in a new round I guess I'll choose a language where I have a greater chance of learning something substantial and useful within the allotted time.

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cameroncrc
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4915 days ago

195 posts - 185 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: Ukrainian

 
 Message 52 of 74
08 June 2007 at 7:43pm | IP Logged 
I would be interested in Swedish. Are there any free FSI courses on the internet?
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Jerrod
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4901 days ago

168 posts - 176 votes 
Studies: Russian, Spanish

 
 Message 53 of 74
09 June 2007 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
Eriol, thanks for the resources. I personally think we should have sometype of official rule. This isn't really a contest (i.e. no winner), but really a way to measure how well the different methods work. This can only be done if we are all on the same field.

I am glad the Georgian alphabet is not that hard. I am still not sure if I will choose this language. I really could use this time to build a good base in Spanish and then spend the next 6 months reading a reader per month till I start full time study in Jan.

cameroncrc here is the FSI course:
http://www.fsi-language-courses.com/Swedish.aspx

Iversen, if you do join in, regardless of the language, what method and plan will you choose?
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 5101 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 54 of 74
09 June 2007 at 3:50am | IP Logged 
Jerrod wrote:

Iversen, if you do join in, regardless of the language, what method and plan will you choose?


Jerrod, prepare for a long post...

I haven't quite decided which language I will choose, but this is my general plan (after having considered the methods I have used for the languages that I already know). This plan is not limited to 6w languages.

If it has a different script I would certainly first learn that. With alphabetical scripts there is only one way: copy, copy, transcribe, copy, transcribe, transcribe, filling page after page. But for a 6w challenge I would not choose a language with a difficult script like Chinese or Japanese.

After that I would try to get a grip on the pronunciation (reading the phonetic part of a grammar, listening to something to check how it really sounds). Without that I wouldn't be able to read anything and hear a credible version in my head, and that would make it difficult to remember anything.

Phase 3 and 4 (in parallel): I would read at least one grammar and make my own morphological charts, and in the same time I would do word lists based on dictionaries and language guides. With Russian I wrote around 7000 words before I did anything else, but that was really not what I wanted (I was travelling in Africa at that time only with a couple of Russian dictionaries, no texts and no grammar). 1000-2000 words would have been enough in this phase, and then I should have started the next phase. However I would be frantically making word lists right through all the following phases until I could muster at least 15-20.000 passive words, and sporadically even after that.

Phase 5: active (or intensive) reading, - to be started as soon as possible after phases 3 and 4. At this point I can probably not expect to be able to read anything but idiotic textbook texts, but I'll try to find something sufficiently simple as soon as possible. And then I would use my own fairly new version of the sentence method, applied to active reading. Active reading means that you work on a short text where you look up more or less everything until you understand it 100%. My addition to this is to write a hyper-literal translation into Danish on a separate sheet of paper and using this to recall the original sentences, one by one. Using this kind of translation as a memory crutch means that I really can focus on the word order and constructions and idioms of the foreign language instead of wasting time on finding a perfect parallel in Danish.

Phase 6: After some time doing intensive reading I would try extensive reading, first by reading the texts that I had used for intensive reading, and if that goes well then on non fiction within my areas of interest, - I do much of my reading on the internet (which is why I sometimes post on this forum at strange hours).

After some time doing these things I expect to be able to think (slowly and with lacunes) in the new language, but notice - I have not mentioned speaking or trying to understand genuine audio sources yet. I would postpone speaking until I can think clearly in a decent tempo without too many missing elements, though pronunciation exercises are allowed. I know from experience that as soon as I can read fluently I can also understand ordinary audio sources if I concentrate on listening without trying to understand. I know it sounds like a paradox, but trying to understand will make you translate, - if you do know enough of the language then the meaning will pop up in your head by itself, and if it doesn't then you just have to learn a couple of thousand words more.

And as far as possible I would avoid using the services of teachers. Their presence would distract me. At the university, where I studied French (and other languages) the only subject where I had problems was Spoken French. When I had flunked an exam in this subject I took the drastic step to stop attending any lessons in French for half a year, and immediately my notes in Spoken French skyrocketed. I consider that the most important single lesson I learnt at the university: don't let teachers interfere into your learning process.


Edited by Iversen on 09 June 2007 at 4:32am

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Jerrod
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4901 days ago

168 posts - 176 votes 
Studies: Russian, Spanish

 
 Message 55 of 74
10 June 2007 at 5:26am | IP Logged 
Iversen,
Interesting post, thanks.
I do something similiar for reading. I have "easy/fun" "active" and "future" reading.
"Easy/fun" is texts I know inside and out or texts based on <1300 words. I also include newspaper reading here even though I do not understand everything.
"Active reading" I have two categories. The first are those books that I know 80% of the words, so I only look up the words I must know to get 90% of the meaning. I read these texts over and over until I put them in the easy section.
The second area I prefer readers/texts with questions at the end of each chapter. These are normally based on >3000 words. I first read each chapter and write down each word I don't know as it is written there (i.e. in the cases). I try to answer one or two questions at the end of the chapter (if I can answer I go till I can't). If I can't I stop and then look up each word, and compare the text line by line so I get the proper meaning. I put these words in my notebook and then read each chapter(s) 5 times. Normally by the third time I only need to look at my notes once or twice for a word.
On the 4 or 5 time I read the text, I stop with the literal translation and try to understand the native way.
Once I have finished the book, I read it five more times straight through. Why 10 times? I once heard you need to see and use a text 7-20 times before you remember it. 10 is my magic number.
At the end of the text, I write short stories using all those words.

Future reading is usually a chapter here or these from different areas I am interested in but have no time to study. This includes readings from history books, etc.. I make no attempt to the learn specialized terms or even reread the texts. I call this future reading because I plan to study them in depth in about 6 months.

I am still not sure what language to choose. Part of me wants to do Old English so I can begin to understand how languages change.

Edited by Jerrod on 10 June 2007 at 6:15am

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Thespis
Newbie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4851 days ago

20 posts - 19 votes
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Japanese, French

 
 Message 56 of 74
10 June 2007 at 12:44pm | IP Logged 
I would also be interested in learning Swedish, although I'm not sure if I would continue to study it after the challange is over. I'd use the online FSI Sweish course, and I know my library has Pimsleur Swedish avalible. Just tell me when it starts, and I'll get crackin'. :-D


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