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PollyannaAgain

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This group is for anyone studying a foreign language this challenge. There's talk of this being a topic where you can't post in your native language, but we haven't decided yet. If you guys have any opinions on how you want to go about this, post them! I'll summarize everything we agree on Sunday evening or Monday of Week 1.

 

Maybe introduce yourselves and include what language(s) you're studying, as well as how you'd like to see this topic roll.

 

I'm Polly, and I'm reviewing Russian, Egyptian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, French, ASL, and Latin. I'm starting Irish Gaelic from scratch. I wouldn't mind to see language learning tips and resources on here, and I think it would be pretty cool if we translated any posts we did into at least one of the languages we're working on. Oh, or we could share a cool fact about a language we're working on.

 

Please feel free to join us at any time during the challenge. Everyone is welcome. :) 

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Participants

 

@PollyannaAgain: Russian, Egyptian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, French, ASL, and Latin. Gentle correction welcome.

@Dagger: Japanese. Wants to be corrected if something wrong.

@shadowmoonsedai: Japanese and Spanish. Wants to be corrected if something is wrong.

@Severine: Spanish. Wants to be corrected if something is wrong.

@zenLara: Icelandic.  Wants to be corrected if something is wrong.

@Ibericogirl: French, Chinese, and Japanese (soon). Wants to be corrected, this also applies to English.

@Phoenix91Romanian

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Different mini-challenges you can do to further your studies. Most you choose to do by yourself, but you can also team up with someone to push and cheer together on a challenge.

 

  • Introduce yourself in your chosen language(s). Make it as simple or as complex as you want. If you want a challenge, push yourself just a little outside your comfort zone.
  • Create a conversation between two people. It can be as easy as them greeting and asking each other how they are, or they can converse about something more complicated like holiday plans or about science or so. If you want a challenge, push yourself just a little outside your comfort zone.
  • Share an article or blog in your practice language with commentary in your practice language
  • Read/review a book in your practice language. Maybe find a book or series that comes in multiple languages and read it together? Multilingual book club?
  • Duolingo sprints - it seems like this is an app that many people are using so maybe start a list of Duolingo names so we can track and score everyone (points in a week, etc). Could also utilize this Duolingo clubs thing for same languages. 
  • Cooking in your practice language? Like, here's a recipe written in this non-native language and I followed it without help of a translator and this is how it came out.
  • Find a place locally that you can use your language and make it a part of your 4-Week challenge to visit once a week - easier with some languages than others
  • Mass translation - mods pick a poem/song/short piece and everyone translates into their practice language. Could facilitate discussion between language practitioners on why they did X instead of Y but also maybe get some help from native speakers on translation of idioms, etc. 
  • Google/Skype group hangouts in practice language, maybe watching a movie or TV show in that language (with no subtitles, ooooo) or discussing a topic. 
  • Challenging each other to learn 1 or 5 or 10 new words a day for a week
  • Finding a song in our target language (or a song you like in a language someone else is learning)
  • Share a favourite language learning resource people might not know about
  • Change your phone's default language to a non-native language for a day/week

 

Suggested challenges to try each week

 

Week 1

Introduce yourself in your chosen language(s).

 

Week 2

Challenging each other to learn 1 or 5 or 10 new words a day for a week

 

Week 3

Share a favourite language learning resource people might not know about (and tell us why it is great)

 

Week 4

Mass translation - mods pick a poem/song/short piece and everyone translates into their practice language. Could facilitate discussion between language practitioners on why they did X instead of Y but also maybe get some help from native speakers on translation of idioms, etc. 

 

Poem/song/short piece to be decided. (@Dagger suggests a haiku for length.)

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Alright! I am so doing this despite it not being part of my challenge, but it sounds like fun and not like something that would restrict me.

 

So I have some ideas and suggestions.

 

First I reserved the second and third post for information we want for this. I like organization, so I took it upon myself to create some more. Sorry!

 

So the first post would hold the rules we come up with and such.

The second can hold a list of participants and their languages.

Then the third post could either be mini-challenges for each week or something else if you guys have some good ideas.

 

So I'm thinking we need a format for like the posts.

 

I'd suggest something like this:

 

WRITING IN THE LANGUAGE POSTER IS TRYING TO LEARN.

 

SPOILER with the English translation. Like this:

Spoiler

And this means, blah blah blah.)

 

End of post format. This format allows us to skip using Google translate with its pitfalls to understand what everyone is saying.

 

Now the question is, what will we be saying in those messages? Will we try to hold conversations, simple or more complex ones depending on level of language? Will we write something we just learned? Will we try to make sentences with the words (or alphabet) we're learning?

 

"How we'll we get something out of each other's posts?" is basically what I am asking. Is that something we need? (Is also a part of those questions.)

 

Also, how do we look at helping each other learn. Say I say something in Japanese and Person Y who has Japanese as a native language or they have just studied it longer notices I did a grammatical error or used a word wrong or so, what does that person do in that case? And how do they go about it? Is this something everyone has to say yes/no to? Publicly being corrected is not something everyone deals well with and we need to respect that. So is it something we want? Some people want?

 

I think it is a good idea to keep it casual, but it would help for starting if we had some idea of what we're trying to do.

 

Also, what about people that study the same language? How can they use that/benefit from that?

 

I have some ideas of where I stand, but I want to give people a chance to think about it without hearing other's opinions. So I'll post my thoughts later today.

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I'm in! Need to work on my Japanese and Spanish. 

 

For languages like Japanese, do we want to write in the romanization or in the characters? It's easy enough to add an additional language keyboard to phones and computer now but it does add some additional complexity for beginners.

 

Windows - Adding language keyboards

Assorted Apple Products - change language settings (if any Apple folks have a better link, let me know and I'll update)

Android (stock) - change language settings

 

For phone typing, I use Swift Key and really love it. It's super easy to add additional languages and switch between them. https://swiftkey.com/en (I currently have English, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese installed)

 

What about building a list of mini challenges, like "change your phone's default language to a non-native language for a day/week"? 

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1 hour ago, shadowmoonsedai said:

For languages like Japanese, do we want to write in the romanization or in the characters? It's easy enough to add an additional language keyboard to phones and computer now but it does add some additional complexity for beginners.

I think this should depend on the level of the poster rather than setting a standard. For example, I'm pretty fluent in Hiragana and Katakana (still working on this one because I never followed through until it stuck), but I don't know much kanji at all. So for me it would be best to use hiragana and katakana and the few kanji I know. And part of my challenge could be to learn more kanji, although I'd first focus on fully learning katakana.

 

1 hour ago, shadowmoonsedai said:

What about building a list of mini challenges, like "change your phone's default language to a non-native language for a day/week"? 

Do you mean like for everyone to complete or not over the whole challenge? So like they could be goal posts to try and hit or things to work out but the only deadline would be to hit them before the end of the challenge?

 

Or would those be used as weekly mini-challenges? Or possibly both (depending on how much time people have for languages!).

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28 minutes ago, Dagger said:

I think this should depend on the level of the poster rather than setting a standard. For example, I'm pretty fluent in Hiragana and Katakana (still working on this one because I never followed through until it stuck), but I don't know much kanji at all. So for me it would be best to use hiragana and katakana and the few kanji I know. And part of my challenge could be to learn more kanji, although I'd first focus on fully learning katakana.

Katakana's my rough spot as well. It's just so... pointy. 

 

28 minutes ago, Dagger said:

Do you mean like for everyone to complete or not over the whole challenge? So like they could be goal posts to try and hit or things to work out but the only deadline would be to hit them before the end of the challenge?

 

Or would those be used as weekly mini-challenges? Or possibly both (depending on how much time people have for languages!).

Yes? I think I was thinking in terms of mini-challenges but I didn't have anything fully fleshed out. 

 

Other challenge ideas (again, just throwing stuff at the wall here):

  1. Share an article or blog in your practice language with commentary in your practice language
  2. Read/review a book in your practice language. Maybe find a book or series that comes in multiple languages and read it together? Multilingual book club?
  3. Duolingo sprints - it seems like this is an app that many people are using so maybe start a list of Duolingo names so we can track and score everyone (points in a week, etc). Could also utilize this Duolingo clubs thing for same languages. 
  4. Cooking in your practice language? Like, here's a recipe written in this non-native language and I followed it without help of a translator and this is how it came out.
  5. Find a place locally that you can use your language and make it a part of your 4-Week challenge to visit once a week - easier with some languages than others
  6. Mass translation - mods pick a poem/song/short piece and everyone translates into their practice language. Could facilitate discussion between language practitioners on why they did X instead of Y but also maybe get some help from native speakers on translation of idioms, etc. 
  7. Google/Skype group hangouts in practice language, maybe watching a movie or TV show in that language (with no subtitles, ooooo) or discussing a topic. 

 

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I think we want to try and have mini-challenges that can be easily scaled up or down depending on skill in language and amount of time people are planing to spend on this.

 

For example, I don't have language study as part of my challenge and doing something really complex/time-consuming would just make me not do something.

 

I was thinking like:

Mini-challenge 1: Introduce yourself in one (or more) of your chosen languages. Make it as simple or as complex as you want. Challenge yourself if you want. Basically do it to the level that fits the time you are allotting. ("Hello. My name is X. Pleasure to meet you." is great. More is great. Less is great.)

Mini-challenge 2: Write a conversation between two or more people. Make it as simple or as complex as you want/can/have time for. ("Hello." "Hi." "How are you?" "I am good, you?" "I am good. Nice to meet you." "Nice to meet you too." is a perfectly good conversation (btw, I did skipped "I am too" for the reason that sometimes that is learned later!).)

 

Of course, if a lot of people have a lot of time for this then we'll have more challenging challenges.

 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

 

I'd find it interesting if we could figure out how to have a conversation in multiple languages. We'd have to stay pretty basic, depending on people's level of skill (mine is very low in Japanese and non-existant in Spanish). But I think it could be a fun thing.

 

As to correcting each other, I think this is something each person have to say yay or nay to. Or comment if they'd rather get it in PM or something. Some wouldn't be bothered to have it just out there, but I for one don't want to presume if someone decided to learn Swedish!

 

Anyway, that is just some thoughts from me.

 

PS. I will be going on a digital fast from noon tomorrow until late afternoon on Sunday, so I will update my placeholders at that time with whatever have come up here!

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On 2/8/2017 at 8:28 PM, PollyannaAgain said:

Maybe introduce yourselves and include what language(s) you're studying, as well as how you'd like to see this topic roll.

 

I'm Severine! I'm currently focused on learning Spanish from scratch. I'm taking a once-per-week class at a local community centre, and self-studying every day. It's a beautiful language, and relatively simple to learn, but I sometimes get mixed up in pronunciation or vocabulary because it is similar to Italian and French and Latin in many ways.

 

My native language is English, and other languages I've studied are French, Latin, Ancient Greek, Russian, and Italian. My French is pretty good, my Latin is excellent (reading/writing only, no speaking), my Russian is good enough to talk to my in-laws about the various things they like to talk to me about, and my Italian is so-so. My Ancient Greek was good once upon a time, but I haven't used it in 10+ years (I don't like it as much as Latin) and have forgotten a lot so it sucks now :DI'm happy to help people if they're studying a language I know something about, so just ask. And if you see me mangling Spanish, please correct me. I have a very thick skin for such things.

 

On 2/9/2017 at 5:12 AM, Dagger said:

"How we'll we get something out of each other's posts?" is basically what I am asking. Is that something we need?

 

It'd be cool to see people using other languages in their posts if that's something people want to do, but I would still find this valuable even if all we did was to use it as an accountabilabuddy group to keep each other motivated. Like people could come and post what they did to work toward their language learning goals that day or that week, and share cool new things they learned.

 

On 2/9/2017 at 11:01 AM, shadowmoonsedai said:

For phone typing, I use Swift Key and really love it. It's super easy to add additional languages and switch between them. https://swiftkey.com/en (I currently have English, German, Spanish, Russian and Japanese installed)

 

What about building a list of mini challenges, like "change your phone's default language to a non-native language for a day/week"? 

 

I second the endorsement of SwiftKey. I use it too, and it's awesome.

 

And I love the idea of mini challenges! And the phone one is a great idea. You and Dagger had some other good ideas too. I'll add a few

  • Challenging each other to learn 1 or 5 or 10 new words a day for a week
  • Finding a song in our target language (or a song you like in a language someone else is learning)
  • Share a favourite language learning resource people might not know about

For example, let me ask if you folks already know about Forvo.com - it's a crowd sourced pronunciation dictionary that I use often when I'm not sure about how to say something. And I've contributed by adding entries in English.

 

And now let me share a word I just learned in Spanish that I think is incredibly fun to say: cataratas which means waterfalls.

 

Let me ask a question of people here: what does your language learning routine look like? How often do you study? What do you do with your time? What tools or resources? @PollyannaAgain posted an awesome overview of her routine in her latest challenge thread, but what about other people?

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And now for a little sample of my beginner level Spanish:

 

Hola! Me llamo Paulette. Soy Canadiense pero vivo en Boston, en los Estados Unidos. Tengo treinta y cinco años. Me gustan manzanas, gatos, y té. 

 

Spoiler

Hello! My name's Paulette. I'm Canadian but I live in Boston, in the United States. I'm thirty-five years old. I like apples, cats, and tea.

 

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On 2/12/2017 at 0:48 AM, Severine said:

It'd be cool to see people using other languages in their posts if that's something people want to do, but I would still find this valuable even if all we did was to use it as an accountabilabuddy group to keep each other motivated. Like people could come and post what they did to work toward their language learning goals that day or that week, and share cool new things they learned.

Well, doh. That is a great idea. I haven't really done the accountability buddies thing here on NF, so I had no idea how it worked. :)

 

I'll go add the mini-challenges we've come up with to the placeholder post above!

 

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I put in suggested challenges for each week. Please tell me if you think any of them should be swapped or maybe switched from one week to another. I just picked a few going both from simpler to more complex to what sounded useful.

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I like those! 

 

Hola! Me llamo Brittany. 

Spoiler

Hello! My name is Brittany. ... and that's all I know. Yeesh. 

 

こんにちは (konnichiwa), わたし わ ブリタニ です (watashi wa buritani desu). どぞ よろしく おにがいします (dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu).

Spoiler

Good morning! I am Brittany. It is nice to meet you (sort of like "it's an honor to make your acquaintance")

 

Also, if you're on Memrise, I've created a group for us, for fun.

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15 hours ago, shadowmoonsedai said:

わたし わ ブリタニ です (watashi wa buritani desu).

I'm guessing this is a typo but I thought I'd check. When using the particle wa, the hiragana is the same as for ha: は.

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5 hours ago, Dagger said:

I'm guessing this is a typo but I thought I'd check. When using the particle wa, the hiragana is the same as for ha: は.

Ah, yeah. You know, I thought about that last night, if I'd checked that it put in the right 'wa'. I'm using an online Japanese keyboard so I need to pay better attention. ありがとうね~

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اهلا و سهلا! اسمي بولي و اعمل في مكتبة الجامعة. عمري تسعة و عشرين سنة

(ah lan wa sah lan! ismee boolee wa 'amal fee maktabat aljaami'a. 'amree tis'a wa 'ashreen sana) *Standard Arabic aka Fusha (foos-ha)

 

Здравствуйте! Меня завут Пали. Я работаю в библиотеке. Мне двадцать девять лет.

(zdrastvootya! minya zavoot Palee. ya rabotayoo vbeebleeatekye. mnyeh dvatsat divyat lyet.) *Note this is relatively phonetic so you'll notice more letters in the Russian than sounds written here.

 

Bonjour! Je m'apelle Polly et je travaille dans une bibliothèque. J'ai vingte-neuf ans.

(bonjoor! juh ma pell Polly ay juh traveyeya danzune beebleeatec. jay van nof an.)

 

Salvete! Meum nomen Polly est et bibliothecarius sum. Viginti novem annos habeo.

(salwaytay! mayoom nomun Polly est et bibliataykahreeus soom. wigeenti nowem anos habayo.) *I think this is right. Been a while! Using Classical pronunciation.

 

Dia dhuit! Is mise Polly.

(jia gwitch is misha Polly) *This is all I know for this in Irish!

Spoiler

Hello! My name is Polly (Irish ends here), and I work at a (university-Ar) library/am a librarian (Lat). I am twenty-nine years old.

 

Now. Off to do my lessons for today!

 

Also, I don't mind being corrected, but please be nice. I've been a bit tenderhearted lately, and it's been a while for most of these. :D 

 

Oh! Also, I'd like to recommend the book How to Learn Any Language by Barry Farber. He recommends a number of useful study techniques that I found helpful.

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こんいちは。私の名前はフェリシアです。27さいです。どぞよろしく。

Konnichiwa. Watashi no namae wa Ferishia (Felicia) desu. Ni-juu-shichi (27) sai desu. Dozo yorushiku.

 

Spoiler

Hello. My name is Felicia. I am 27 years old (or exact translation is "27 years old am". You don't need subjects in Japanese if it is clear who/what you are talking about). Nice to meet you.

 

Kanji meanings or pronunciations or whatever:

 

私 = わたし = watashi

名前 = なまえ = namae

 

Spoiler

私 means I / me. 名前 means name.

 

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Today I discovered a great little bit of fun for Spanish study: watching some Dora the Explorer en espanol on Youtube. There was a lot I didn't understand, but because it's a children's show it was simple with lots of repetition, so I was able to follow the story, and make out words I know here and there. I even learned a couple new words. And it's a good way to get the rhythm of the language drilled into my head.

 

Today, seeing your postings, I am grateful to be learning a language that uses the same script as English :)   Learning the ancient Greek and Russian scripts wasn't so bad, but Arabic and Japanese are both so different. Must add a real learning curve.

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6 hours ago, Severine said:

Today I discovered a great little bit of fun for Spanish study: watching some Dora the Explorer en espanol on Youtube. There was a lot I didn't understand, but because it's a children's show it was simple with lots of repetition, so I was able to follow the story, and make out words I know here and there. I even learned a couple new words. And it's a good way to get the rhythm of the language drilled into my head.

I've been watching anime lately and I've been listening for words I recognize. (Considering I've taken several Japanese courses before, some part of my brain knows more than I remember, so I can go like "I knew that word once!". Haha.)

 

6 hours ago, Severine said:

Today, seeing your postings, I am grateful to be learning a language that uses the same script as English :)   Learning the ancient Greek and Russian scripts wasn't so bad, but Arabic and Japanese are both so different. Must add a real learning curve.

The hard part is learning kanji. Hiragana is pretty easy to pick up because that is the one used for learners a lot and that is the one you can kinda guarantee to see. Katakana (the script for foreign words) is one I haven't ever really picked up, because it is usually only used for a word here or there.

 

Kanji is the Chinese script of thousands of characters but of course not looking exactly the same anymore of necessarily having the same meaning. (Not that I know Chinese, lol.) To be able to read "normally" in Japanese, like newspapers and such, you need a command of 2000 (or like 2100 or something like that) characters. This is what every child learns in school from early on until the end of obligatory schooling (I believe). 2000.... ;_;

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9 hours ago, Dagger said:

I've been watching anime lately and I've been listening for words I recognize. (Considering I've taken several Japanese courses before, some part of my brain knows more than I remember, so I can go like "I knew that word once!". Haha.)

This is always my favorite part of watching subtitled Anime, especially when I catch something and go, "No, wait, you translated that in that way? It would have been cooler if you did it this other way". #geekswag

 

9 hours ago, Dagger said:

The hard part is learning kanji. Hiragana is pretty easy to pick up because that is the one used for learners a lot and that is the one you can kinda guarantee to see. Katakana (the script for foreign words) is one I haven't ever really picked up, because it is usually only used for a word here or there.

 

Kanji is the Chinese script of thousands of characters but of course not looking exactly the same anymore of necessarily having the same meaning. (Not that I know Chinese, lol.) To be able to read "normally" in Japanese, like newspapers and such, you need a command of 2000 (or like 2100 or something like that) characters. This is what every child learns in school from early on until the end of obligatory schooling (I believe). 2000.... ;_;

Oh, kanji. 

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18 hours ago, Severine said:

Today, seeing your postings, I am grateful to be learning a language that uses the same script as English :)   Learning the ancient Greek and Russian scripts wasn't so bad, but Arabic and Japanese are both so different. Must add a real learning curve.

Actually, the scripts are typically what attract me to a language. :D I like a challenge, I guess...

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On 2/15/2017 at 9:01 PM, Severine said:

Today, seeing your postings, I am grateful to be learning a language that uses the same script as English :)   Learning the ancient Greek and Russian scripts wasn't so bad, but Arabic and Japanese are both so different. Must add a real learning curve.

Arabic is still an alphabet, so each letter is a sound. It looks vaguely terrifying (and gets complicated because the shape of the letter depends on its place in the word) but it's really not so bad. The worst is thing transliteration because there's no standard, and it's even more obnoxious on the internet because people will use different slang.

 

For example, everywhere @PollyannaAgain wrote 'a, some people would use 3 because it looks like the Arabic letter. 

On 2/14/2017 at 10:34 AM, PollyannaAgain said:

(ah lan wa sah lan! ismee boolee wa 'amal fee maktabat aljaami'a. 'amree tis'a wa 'ashreen sana)

 

 

 

Aaaaanyways I'm probably just going to lurk here because I have no time or brainspace for actual practice right now. In case anyone pops in wanting to practice Arabic, I wanted to drop a link I just found on twitter: NaTakallam.com lets you practice with Syrian refugees and it looks like it's about $15 and hour? If I had time I would totally take advantage, argh. (Levantine dialects aren't 100% the same but at pretty much mutually intelligible. People on my program in Jordan were speaking Syrian and Lebanese and got along just fine.) 

 

Although I did learn a thing. Instead of  عمري I would have used عندي and after googling a bit I'm not sure where that came from. Unless I'm just applying French/Spanish grammar here. It's been way too long, ugh.

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