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Learning Foreign Languages Thread - December


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I'm still working on Danish, Latin, and Dutch. I spent quite a bit of time exploring Norwegian in November, and I'm trying to decide what to do with that. I think the best thing now would be to read the Danish version of a book in parallel with the Norwegian. It took me a ridiculous amount of time, but I have finally located both Danish and Norwegian versions of the famous Norwegian folk/fairy tales by Asbjørnsen and Moe. I've already read these in English, which helps. 

 

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I am still doing my Duolingo French daily, but I'm working now and have less time to devote to it. I keep the reminder on, get to my job about 15 minutes early, and sit in my car a few minutes, doing my French lesson and catching up on news. Sometimes I'll do another quick lesson on Duo before bed. 

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I'm still plugging away at German on Duolingo. Duo did a big update and now I have hearts and jewels too. Sigh. Not a big fan of change. The conversion rate from lingots to jewels was pretty good, though, I have 28,000.

I'm working with ydd on Spanish and German. When she stops or starts outsourcing it will be tricky to stay motivated. Hopefully i will be able to use the carrot of international travel.

Quill, I hope your new job is going well. Getting there 15 minutes early and doing a little intentional surfing sounds like just my style!

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I've been continuing with Chinese and Portuguese on Duolingo and have added Dutch, though I think it's going to have to take a bit of a back seat to the other two or I will be overwhelmed. But there was a fun Dutch chat hour on the Discord channel that I wanted to join in on.

Besides Duolingo, I've been working with my italki Chinese tutor (though our 'lessons' are a bit all over the place, I think I need to focus...), and I've started attending Portuguese lessons and chat hour on the Discord channel.  I started watching a Portuguese scifi show on Netflix, but haven't watched an episode in a while.  I also bought easy readers in those two languages and hope to get past the first story in each, lol.

Anyone wanting more German conversation practice, I offered to host a German conversation hour on the Discord channel at Noon EST on Wednesdays.  They had no German offered (though Turkish and Tagalog, yes...), so thought it would be a good addition. We had our first one on Weds, and it was a lot of fun.  Three people with good conversational levels showed up and a also few who couldn't really say hello.  If beginners want to come, the plan is to split the group and let the more advanced people chat while we do basic stuff and maybe some video with the others - although it's not meant to be a class.  It's a work in progress.

And anyone wanting Spanish practice should really come join the Spanglish language exchange - so.much.fun.  Twice a day (11am, 7pmEST), 6x a week; I've been attending at least a few times a week.  Any level is fine; switch between Spanish and English (prompted by host), participate as much or as little as you want.  Tons of native speakers of both languages.

Speaking of convo practice, my Chinese tutor wants me to join this conversation group hosted by another of her students, but can't seem to get him to send all the relevant info... finally have the Zoom link, but no hint as to what day/time it is... I'm a bit skeptical that Nigel really wants me to join, lol!

Edited by Matryoshka
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6 hours ago, Loesje22000 said:

@Matryoshka would that make 18h in GMT+1 ?

I think so, yes. You are six hours ahead of us.

I know what you mean about pondering your reasons for learning a language. I will likely never visit Norway again. I want to read these tales in the original Norwegian but I’m not sure if I’ll continue reading much Norwegian after that. Access to books is part of the problem.

Edited by Penguin
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10 minutes ago, Penguin said:

I think so, yes. You are six hours ahead of us.

I know what you mean about pondering your reasons for learning a language. I will likely never visit Norway again. I want to read these tales in the original Norwegian but I’m not sure if I’ll continue reading much Norwegian after that. Access to books is part of the problem.

I have a better library now, but we don’t have Norwegian books. (We do have English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and I thought a bit of Russian)

I can help you with Dutch, but not with Norwegian...

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@Loesje22000Thanks to all those lovely trips to the Netherlands (and one very lucky ebay purchase of Lekturama’s Luister Sprookjes)  I have plenty to read in Dutch. And this year I am determined to do it! And now that I have the weekly convo practice I am feeling motivated again. 

@Quill If you are managing to do anything optional in the midst of adjusting to full time employment, I am super impressed. Then again, I think you are one of the most organized people I know 🙂
 

 

 

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I finished my Danish Netflix series and also finished a Norwegian series, and I've been keeping up with my Spanish Duolingo. 

However, as of today I have to ditch all those languages and immerse myself in French in a big way. I just got a research contract to work in French. I'm pretty rusty, thus it's full steam ahead with French-only. 

I've already started French Duolingo, but that is going to bore me really quickly, plus it's not accurate enough for my needs. 

Does anyone have a more technical and correct on-line French program they can recommend?

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46 minutes ago, wintermom said:

I finished my Danish Netflix series and also finished a Norwegian series, and I've been keeping up with my Spanish Duolingo. 

However, as of today I have to ditch all those languages and immerse myself in French in a big way. I just got a research contract to work in French. I'm pretty rusty, thus it's full steam ahead with French-only. 

I've already started French Duolingo, but that is going to bore me really quickly, plus it's not accurate enough for my needs. 

Does anyone have a more technical and correct on-line French program they can recommend?

Does the Alliance Française offer anything?

For Duolingo, you can test out of the lower levels to get to something not so boring.  You can test checkpoints if you really need to skip lots of easy stuff, or you can use the key button to just skip up a level in each circle.

The Discord channel I keep talking about has an Intermediate French class on Weds at 6pm EST.  (and Advanced Beginner on Monday, but I suspect you're past that, and maybe Intermediate as well?)  They don't have a French conversation hour yet, but if someone wanted one, they'd likely add it.  They're adding stuff upon request all the time. 

If your French is pretty good, just rusty, maybe buy a grammar review and work through it?  Or maybe there's a writing in French book?  Like maybe this one?

And congrats on the new job - so exciting!!

Edited by Matryoshka
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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

I finished my Danish Netflix series and also finished a Norwegian series, and I've been keeping up with my Spanish Duolingo. 

However, as of today I have to ditch all those languages and immerse myself in French in a big way. I just got a research contract to work in French. I'm pretty rusty, thus it's full steam ahead with French-only. 

I've already started French Duolingo, but that is going to bore me really quickly, plus it's not accurate enough for my needs. 

Does anyone have a more technical and correct on-line French program they can recommend?

Congratulations on the new contract!! 

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I was hoping to finish the Duolingo Spanish Reverse Tree by the end of the year, but unless I put in a couple of hours on multiple days that isn't going to happen.  So, I'll finish it sometime early next year and then probably begin the French tree.

I'm hoping to get more speaking practice in Spanish in the coming year.  I've already had a few opportunities in the past few weeks and I'm hoping for some more opportunities through the holidays and into next year.

When life gets back to normal and church is no longer on zoom I will be able to attend church in person and talk to people before and after services.

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59 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Does the Alliance Française offer anything?

For Duolingo, you can test out of the lower levels to get to something not so boring.  You can test checkpoints if you really need to skip lots of easy stuff, or you can use the key button to just skip up a level in each circle.

The Discord channel I keep talking about has an Intermediate French class on Weds at 6pm EST.  (and Advanced Beginner on Monday, but I suspect you're past that, and maybe Intermediate as well?)  They don't have a French conversation hour yet, but if someone wanted one, they'd likely add it.  They're adding stuff upon request all the time. 

If your French is pretty good, just rusty, maybe buy a grammar review and work through it?  Or maybe there's a writing in French book?  Like maybe this one?

And congrats on the new job - so exciting!!

Thanks for the tips! I'm trying out the free month with Alliance Française. It seems pretty fun and it's got a bit of everything (grammar, listening, writing). It will be a good review of my skills.

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22 minutes ago, Penguin said:

@JunieMaybe look into the Zoom conversation opportunities that @Matryoshkahas been talking about. I am very glad that she nudged me to try the Dutch convo, and there are lots of choices on that channel for Spanish.

Yeah, for other languages there are maybe one or two things to choose from, but there's TONS of Spanish programming, every day, practically all day - you can choose classes, literature or film study, language exchange - there is so.much. to choose from!

@Loesje22000, there's also a ton of English programming, from A1-C2 levels...

Edited by Matryoshka
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I have been avoiding this thread as I have been stuck at learning the alphabet stage of Urdu and Bengali. Too many balls to juggle with part time work, kids, home, pandemic. Yes, I am making excuses but something had to give and this was the easiest one to do so.

Still increasing well more attempting to I will say fluency in French and Spanish by reading Bible, the version with English side by side. Fluency not greatly increased but plodding along as I do it once a week each. It forces me to slow down and read.

I am attempting to read an advent book in French and Spanish as well 🙄. It is for children so I hope it should be easy.

That is all to report, except something weird happened to me when I was watching the program Salt, Fat,Acid,Heat on Netflix. There are two episodes where the conversation is almost entirely in Spanish and Italian. I understood the Spanish which was to be expected since I actually put some effort into it, the weird part was I understood the conversation in Italian. Which made me go hmmm. All that French and Spanish work did produce some unexpected benefits after all.

Edited by Dreamergal
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48 minutes ago, Penguin said:

@JunieMaybe look into the Zoom conversation opportunities that @Matryoshkahas been talking about. I am very glad that she nudged me to try the Dutch convo, and there are lots of choices on that channel for Spanish.

 

46 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, for other languages there are maybe one or two things to choose from, but there's TONS of Spanish programming, every day, practically all day - you can choose classes, literature or film study, language exchange - there is so.much. to choose from!

@Loesje22000, there's also a ton of English programming, from A1-C2 levels...

I looked at the website a few weeks ago and I might consider doing it after the holidays.  Dh is working from home out of ds20's room.  Things are going to be a bit crazy with internet while my college students are here.  We're going to have a lot of internet users for a couple of weeks and I'm not sure we have the bandwidth for more zoom than what we already have going on.  Maybe after ds20 and dd18 go back to college, though. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
11 minutes ago, Loesje22000 said:

Does anyone knows in what timezone Duolingo is based?

I get my reminders at the wrong times (before or while sleeping) I changed it yesterday but it made it worse. At noon would be nice, but obviously ‘my’ noon, not someone elses noon...

Huh. One would think ot would align with your timezone, we have the technology. Is there somewhere in your duolingo that can be set?

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15 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Huh. One would think ot would align with your timezone, we have the technology. Is there somewhere in your duolingo that can be set?

I can set the time I want to receive the reminders, but I can't find how to set my timezone... That's why I came here...

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Just now, Loesje22000 said:

I can set the time I want to receive the reminders, but I can't find how to set my timezone... That's why I came here...

Yeah, I actually went and looked to see if I could be more helpful,  but found the same thing you did.  One would think that time would be aligned to whatever timezone your phone is set to, but apparently not???

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Spanish - up and down.  too much down on my supplemental material, but I am making progress.  I come across ads and comments in spanish in various places - and I can mostly read them.  Learned a new word tonight - (tratamiento) - it was the only new word in the ad.

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5 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

Yeah, I actually went and looked to see if I could be more helpful,  but found the same thing you did.  One would think that time would be aligned to whatever timezone your phone is set to, but apparently not???

 

Then I'll play with the mailing time until I receive it at a right moment

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6 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

Spanish - up and down.  too much down on my supplemental material, but I am making progress.  I come across ads and comments in spanish in various places - and I can mostly read them.  Learned a new word tonight - (tratamiento) - it was the only new word in the ad.

And you just introduced me to a new word. :)

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I'm still doing Alliance Française daily (Love it!!)and watching French-language (from Brussels) TV series on Netflix (Unit 42. I really like it). It's definitely helping me regain speaking fluency, and helping re-learn written accuracy. Man, I've lost a lot of my written accuracy! I may add in some Duolingo to help with that. The dull repetition isn't very fun, but it is effective. 😉

I re-watched a Danish mini-series (Hjordis), and I'm finding that I read the English sub-titles a lot less now. It's more of a habit or for confirmation. I may watch it again with no sub-titles and see how I do.

Edited by wintermom
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have not seen a thread for this month yet, so.....

I am slowly plotting a long with Duolingo French (December was not a good month).

I found a resource for those of you studying Spanish: https://www.ellibrototal.com/ltotal/?fbclid=IwAR1B4jCe8qEtuUEhIoUfrDDNcs9lQoc77-zjyIQ-w2FhfX70uV3OMjLwxAM

You may already have this resource so disregard it if it is old news. It has audiobooks (different age groups)  and I thought it would be helpful to someone.

Is there a thread just to post resources for each language? 

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I have slowed down a bit; I wanted to finish at least some of the reading challenges I set myself before the end of the year, so that ate into my new language time.  But still plodding along with Chinese and Portuguese, and am dilettanting about with Dutch.  I'd liked to refocus a bit more on the languages I'm learning; finding that Spanglish site (now renamed Lingua Llama) has been so much fun for chatting in Spanish and German (these are languages I already speak, so fun but not what I'd been trying to focus on!) and the Portuguese there kept having conflicts because of when the holidays fell this year.  And somehow I've volunteered not just to host a German conversation group but to help moderate. - and if anyone else wants conversation or classes in any number of languages, check it out, because they're adding new classes and new languages all the time.

But should focus more on actual learning of the languages I'm supposed to be... learning!

I'd love to be able to read a real Portuguese book by next year.  With Chinese I don't have such a lofty goal - just one foot in front of the other and we'll see where we get!

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I passed the 50 days milestone in Duolingo German (with help of those blue amulets). I still don’t have the idea of learning much new stuff but still repeating what I learned at middle school. Just doing to keep my mind active.

I am bad at goalsetting in foreign languages.

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