Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

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Pkdragon
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Pkdragon » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:28 pm

it's good to see you though, treed
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:29 pm

oh hi scis
wisdom
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:34 pm

Treedweller wrote:I don't come here much anymore, but when I do, I always check out this topic. It's been fascinating to watch your progress, Sven.
great to see you around treed. hope life is going well for you.

idk, this topic is mostly here to show that progress in learning a language comes more from just trying and restarting stuff over and over again rather than following some perfectly crafted program.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:01 am

very sick this week. didn't get a lot done in general. gonna have to focus on school rather than japanese for the next little while to catchup, and then it's exams. might not be able to really focus on japanese for a whole month.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:37 pm

not the end of the world, bud
wisdom
"the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread" - anatole france

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:16 pm

Four! things this week:
---
I found the coolest way to lookup words!

https://fluent-forever.com/multi-search/

Basically, it's a script I run through my browser that has me type in a Japanese word.

The script runs and opens up three tabs for me, one with a google image search result for the word, the second with recording of a native speaker reading the word, and the third with a Japanese children's online dictionary definition.

Convenience is the name of the game when you're going through a zillion words, so every little bit helps.
---
My Japanese is good enough now that I can follow along with high school mathematics lessons when they're presented as videos - the new words are clear in my head for the duration of the video, and since the steps are basically the same as in English I immediately know what they're talking about. Unfortunately none of the vocabulary really sticks in my brain afterwards just by watching the videos. I'll need to learn them through Anki flashcards.

Eventually I'd like to make my own videos in the language, maybe I'll try and make one over the summer.
---
Anki.

I've never been able to use Anki as the "long term memory storage system" it claims to be.

My usage habits basically involve cramming a block of about 1000 words over the course of 2 weeks, followed by 2 weeks of only reading. Some new words will stick, some won't, and that's ok. I'll then find a different word list, and learn 1k words from that over 2 weeks, etc. Repeat Repeat Repeat.

I don't really have a good measure of how effective the method is. I know for sure I'm not learning 1000 words a month, but how much am I really forgetting?

Cue:
---
The J-CAT, or "Japanese-Computerized Adaptive Test". Basically it's a computerized proficiency test that you can take for free every six months. It judges listening, vocabulary, grammar, and reading skills.

I'll be taking the test later today. I'm pretty interested in where it thinks my listening is relative to my other skills. My guess is that it'll be Reading>Listening>Vocabulary>Grammar in terms of score, but who knows really.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:11 pm

took the test. grammar's better than i thought, reading is worse, but it's relatively balanced overall. i don't think i need to change how i study based on these results.

Image

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:35 pm

Google (and Youtube!) searching words useful to the point that it honestly blows my mind that I never did so before.

Sometimes, the Japanese language writes the same word with different characters to further describe the word. That's horribly abstract. Let me give an example.

The word "ana" meaning hole has two different kanji. A far more common one, 穴 and a much rarer one, 孔. Here's a picture of 穴

Image

and here's a picture of 孔

Image

穴 has a few other types of holes, but there's something very interesting about 孔. 95% of them are pegboards! Problem solved! It's way nicer to be able to come to my own conclusion about how the language works than the alternative: sorting through a bunch of internet posts in a foreign language, none of which actually agree on what the differences between the two characters is.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:26 pm

I'm reading Doctor Slump, a manga about the adventures of a little robot girl, her creator, and the various people they interact with in their town. It's very, uh, 80's.

Image

Until I wrote this post I didn't actually know that the author later went on to create Dragonball. Cool!
---
Beyond that midterms for two weeks. Probably won't do much in Japanese, mostly just checking out stuff to use to study for the JLPT N2.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by HPD » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:37 pm

There's even a weird Dragonball/Doctor Slump crossover during a few Dragonball episodes. It's pretty silly.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:36 pm

i watched some of the crossover stuff. gag manga power level hype.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:59 am

watching/reading some cool stuff about stephen krashen. he's the guy who thought up something called the input hypothesis.

i'd always heard about the "input hypothesis" and that more input = more language learning but i'd never really looked into the details.

the input hypothesis is basically that language learning occurs when you're exposed to new language that you understand the meaning of. explicitly learning grammar rules doesn't help in the way you'd think it does. neither does memorizing vocabulary. the theory asserts that learning a language is an unconscious process rather than a conscious one. it's a very... interesting hypothesis? programs implementing the theory basically never ask the learner to do translations, grammar drills, or vocab lists. instead, they ask the learner to just read more.

there's a bunch of evidence that seems to back him up. i dunno. it's complicated, i guess.

he does have some practicable? advice:

-you want comprehensible input. incomprehensible input is just noise.
-evidence seems to indicate that your grammar test scores will be ok even if you ignore grammar. this was quite shocking to me.
-some language rules, for whatever reason, will not be unconsciously acquired. grammar rules and correction are useful in this case, but this is only necessary quite late in development.
-academic and conversational language are different things. you need to work your way up from conversational to academic language.
-read narrowly at first, then branch out later - only detective novels, only sports novels, that sort of thing. the shared context makes it easier to comprehend.
-at intermediate levels, learning something new in the target language seems to improve language ability just as much as an intermediate language class does.

there's more but that's a good start i guess.

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scraggypunk
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:27 pm

makes sense to me
wisdom
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Xenesis » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:05 pm

Actually yeah. I learnt a surprising amount of Japanese vocab just playing various JRPGs here and there.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:52 am

thoughts about being intermediate, implementing krashen's advice, and what my goals actually are from this point.

I watched the first episodes of the anime I'm interested in watching this season in Japanese. Last week, I booted up a short and easy visual novel I wanted to read, set it to autoplay, and finished it in a ~4 hour sitting. I watched an hour long television special on the state of Japanese education now compared to the past.

I didn't do any of these things perfectly with 100% comprehension. There were a couple times I was completely lost and I had to look up words and rewatch to understand what was going on. On the whole though, I knew what was going on, even if there were words I was missing. The point, I guess, is that I finally feel comfortable calling myself an solid intermediate instead of late beginner/early intermediate.
---
i had a really long thing written out about how to implement krashen's advice but it's actually just dead fudge simple: read a lot of stuff that i actually enjoy, dropping it if it's too hard. THE END.

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Treedweller

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Treedweller » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:06 am

This is anecdotal, but for European languages as a native English speaker, Krashen's input hypothesis works. The input hypothesis gives you an excuse to tackle low and middle-brow movies, books, and games that are actually fun to watch, read, and play instead of just doing things that are supposedly good for you, like memorizing grammar rules and vocab lists and eating your figurative steamed, limp language-learning broccoli.

It might just be a function of the sheer amount of hours you can spend on enjoyable input without exhausting your willpower (like, maybe conscious study of a language could be just as good for you if spending that much time studying was actually sustainable for beings other than a cyborg, but I dunno, I like the unconscious thing that Krashen talks about for languages, anyways), but I think you'll see some tangible improvements in your Japanese in 6 months to a year of input. Like to advanced, probs.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Dragonite » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:57 am

That's really noticeable for those who have English as a second language too. It's just so commonplace it's a cliche to mention it. When I had my first formal English education I mainly had trouble with more mundane objects(or specially British terms) that don't get namedropped in games much. I'd probably still able to make mistakes there. Although I have no idea why my English output was so bad when I first joined even though I could read everything easily. Very low amount of actual writing experience, most likely.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:53 am

There's some research done on people from Korea/Japan/China learning English through reading/watching a lot of English media, and the results are good! But the problem is that all the subjects had 6+ years of formal English education in school. It might be that *both* formal study and a lot of informal listening+reading hours are necessary for language development. They couldn't really test anyone that had only tried to learn English through comprehensible input, they don't really exist.

Anecdotally, the English natives who have the best results learning Japanese seem to be both using Anki and reading a lot. I suspect there's something very specific about kanji needs to be formally learned, but the rest of the language can be 'acquired' naturally.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Sat Apr 22, 2017 3:15 pm

our brains are weird
wisdom
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:44 pm

Extremely weird, yeah.

I think Monday marks two years of learning Japanese, so woo!

Stuff I can do:

-pick up a light (young adult) novel and enjoy reading it without a dictionary
-watch anime/drama and actually follow the dialogue.
-read the news and tell you roughly what's going on.
-express myself and communicate, both written and spoken.

Stuff I can't do:

-read and write the general use kanji set (2200 characters). i recognize most of them, but i can't read about a third of them, and i'm sure i've forgotten how to write many of them since i stopped using Anki.
-listen to the radio. i still need kanji or contextual clues for comprehension.
-read something 'literary' enjoyably.
-produce error free speech or writing.

stuff i wish i'd done more/less of.

i wish i hadn't been so kanji obsessed. in the beginning, i wanted to recognize/be able to write from memory all the general use kanji before i really started doing japanese. i do think they need ~50 hours of dedicated study as a beginner so that they don't look like scribbles, but there are definitely diminishing returns after that. in the very beginning, learning to write new kanji is easier than learning new words, but on the whole (and especially later on), words are much easier to learn than new kanji. i'm looking forward to seeing if the word based kanji learning courses talked about online help beginners at all. they ask for even more of an upfront investment out of the learner - not only do you memorize a character, but five or so words for the character. i'll be pretty surprised if the method works out for people.

i wish i had spent more time with beginner dialogues and other easy listening material. for reading, i was very deliberate in making sure i worked through an easy set of graded readers when i started. after i finished those, i spent more time working through easy manga. it was enjoyable the whole way through, and i made good progress.

i can contrast how i learned to read japanese with how i learned to listen to japanese. in the first month, i put some songs on my cell phone and the text of an intermediate level listening workbook, because i felt the beginner dialogues were unnaturally slow and pointless to listen to. i listened to what i had on my cell phone over and over and over. i can tell you that i got basically nothing out of that listening for a very, very long time. the music was motivating to listen to, but i couldn't really pick words out. the intermediate workbook was a little bit better, but I still had no idea what was going on for the vast majority of it.

my listening only really started improving when i started watching anime (english subbed or not didn't seem to matter), and i could finally get some context to understand the nonsense i was hearing.

so yeah. i wish i'd let listening/reading reinforce eachother like i do now.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun May 07, 2017 8:21 am

i read and listened a lot this week.

also once a week or so i like to read something more meta about language learning.

I'm reading Kato Lomb's Polyglot, How I Learn Languages. Basically, she learned a lot of languages to a really high level through a lot of really hard work. Of course, she seemed to have loved the language learning process so she never really described it as such. Her advice to language learners is to view classes as a bare minimum introduction and to expect to have to read a lot to make sense out of a language.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kat%C3%B3_Lomb
http://www.tesl-ej.org/books/lomb-2nd-Ed.pdf

I don't know if she later became aware of all the advances in second language research in her later life but her views are similar to those in academia.

...also i think i read this book before embarking on french... 8 years ago? The ending involves some detailed stories of her interpreting for conferences and I definitely remember them all. Funny how nothing jogged my memory until I'd read 200 pages.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat May 13, 2017 10:38 pm

I recently found a bunch of undergrad/grad math stuff in Japanese. It's pretty understandable too, which is nice.

other than that just reading and listening. i might start using anki to get up to ~3000kanji but im not really sure yet.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun May 21, 2017 8:41 am

i found the math board on 2chan this week. so that's pretty nice.

i've started working my way up to ~3000 or so kanji in anki. my goal is to eventually get myself to the level of an educated native speaker.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon May 29, 2017 8:36 am

reading and listening ~

read two books today about learning -

the first is Peak by Anders Ericsson. he's the guy who made the research for one of Malcom Gladwell's books, Outliers.

Anyway the point of the book is basically to talk about what makes someone an expert (lots and lots of practice). More than that though, it starts digging into the details of what good practice is.

the second i've just started reading, it's called Grit by Angela Duckworth. it's about uh, grit. lol.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Mon May 29, 2017 10:00 pm

Will register for intensive German this week!

That's Mon-Thu 19.00-21.30 (oh snap!) for all of June.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Tue May 30, 2017 6:23 am

finished reading grit. was not a big fan.
Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals.

One way to think about grit is to consider what grit isn’t.

Grit isn’t talent. Grit isn’t luck. Grit isn’t how intensely, for the moment, you want something.

Instead, grit is about having what some researchers call an”ultimate concern”–a goal you care about so much that it organizes and gives meaning to almost everything you do. And grit is holding steadfast to that goal. Even when you fall down. Even when you screw up. Even when progress toward that goal is halting or slow.

Talent and luck matter to success. But talent and luck are no guarantee of grit. And in the very long run, I think grit may matter as least as much, if not more.
just find the meaning of life and we'll all be ok guys :roll:

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:39 pm

I'm going to be shooting for the JLPT N1 this winter. If you've ever gone through the European framework for learning languages, it's roughly C1 level, but only for reading and listening. Here's a description:
The ability to understand Japanese used in a variety of circumstances.

Reading
・One is able to read writings with logical complexity and/or abstract writings on a variety of topics, such as newspaper editorials and critiques, and comprehend both their structures and contents.
・One is also able to read written materials with profound contents on various topics and follow their narratives as well as understand the intent of the writers comprehensively.
Listening
・One is able to comprehend orally presented materials such as coherent conversations, news reports, and lectures, spoken at natural speed in a broad variety of settings, and is able to follow their ideas and comprehend their contents comprehensively. One is also able to understand the details of the presented materials such as the relationships among the people involved, the logical structures, and the essential points.
I've bolded some parts above. Reading stories for enjoyment is very different from reading for information, which is very different from reading to try and understand an author's point of view on an issue. Practice time~

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:19 am

I took a practice exam this week to see where I'm at - I have nowhere near the vocabulary needed. First step is to correct that with an anki spree woo.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:57 am

Been to two conversation exchanges - I am totally not an intermediate speaker. I'm wayyyy worse than the people who've been to Japan.

But I seem to be the only one that can read tho, so that's nice.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:34 am

I read Fluent Forever by Gabriel Wyner this week.

It's basically an indepth guide for how to use Anki to learn a language. He advocates mastering pronunciation first, then moving onto learning a core vocabulary of about ~600 words, then moving onto grammar and just learning more common words. Eventually, he advocates learning topic specific vocabulary, reading, shows, and monolingual dictionary usage. At every step of the way you make flashcards with pictures and no English on them, and document whatever personalized mnemonics you have on the cards.

I've made it no real secret in this topic that I think using Anki is fudge miserable, especially long term. After a month or two, Anki is pretty much exclusively drilling you on the parts of the language you are terrible at. It is an exhausting process. He actually addresses this - he thinks that problems with Anki come from using other peoples' pre-made decks, and that a big portion of the learning process is actually making the cards and organizing the information you want to memorize yourself.

One of the things I found most surprising is that he mentions learning about 30! new cards every half hour of Anki - but he makes things clear that this is NOT 30 words every half hour of Anki. He'll often use multiple cards on a single word or grammar point. It's quite something, and I'm not really sure what to think about what he's doing. I'd have to try it myself.

Overall, I pretty much agree 100% with his general advice, and I'm intrigued enough to try it myself.

EDIT: er rereading the above stuff it's pretty disjointed but basically:

he advocates making your own flashcards and having multiple really really easy flashcards rather than a few difficult flashcards

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by HPD » Thu Jun 29, 2017 4:32 am

Duolingo released their Japanese course, so I sort of started doing that for a bit. I honestly don't know if it's any good but we'll see how it goes. At this point I don't expect it to be anything else than a way to pass time during a dull moment. But hey, it feels more productive than checking fb or Reddit at least.
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Pkdragon
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Pkdragon » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:02 am

i've been playing around with that, it kinda bugs me in it's execution but i haven't gotten to the meat of the course yet

also started wanikani on sven's recommendation and i'm liking it so far
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:58 pm

The conversation meetups I go to involve two Japanese people and two English speaking people at one table. We speak English for an hour, and then switch over to Japanese for another hour. Much of the time I feel like I'm fighting the other native English speaker to speak Japanese. I'll see if the feeling continues over the next couple months, these meetups might just end up turning into a game where I compete with another English native speaker to dominate a Japanese conversation. Hopefully not, but we'll see.

Afterwards, the group usually goes to a bar or restaurant to eat as a group and chat. I like this part a lot better. There's still an even mix of English and Japanese used but it's much more natural and based on the topic, competency of the speakers, etc.
---
I don't really think I'm learning much at these meetups, but they're enjoyable so I'll probably keep going.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:59 am

There was a shortage of Japanese people this week so I got put in a group with 3 English speakers and one Japanese person. It would have been okay if the other English speakers could speak a bit of Japanese... but they couldn't. I had the best Japanese out of the English speakers at my table, I spent most of the Japanese portion of the conversation asking very basic questions in Japanese to one of the English speakers while the Japanese person worked one on one with the other person. It was really no one's fault, but that meetup was mostly a waste of time for me.

I had an interesting experience at the restaurant we went to afterwards though - for the first time I ran into a Japanese person who had a perfect accent, flow, etc in English. He had put a lot of effort into learning pronunciation, and it really showed.

The difference between talking to him and talking to other Japanese speakers in English was enormous. Put simply, he was more enjoyable to talk to. Because he spoke natural English, I could speak natural English in response without worrying about being understood.

It convinced me that anything less than native-like pronunciation/accent etc in my Japanese is unacceptable, and that I'll probably have to spend a lot of effort on it. The little things really, really do matter in a big way.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:24 am

I've been going to meetups twice a week for a month now. After settling in and hearing a lot of other people speak, the only word I can really use to describe my Japanese is: average. It's similar to most people who've learned Japanese for 2+ years. It seems people get good enough to communicate and don't really go much further.

gonna go back to the basics and get the accent right. wooo

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:34 pm

hey man nothing wrong with average
wisdom
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:43 pm

it's mostly just reminding myself that i still have a lot to improve on and that there's no reason to get complacent. right now i definitely feel like the japanese people i talk to have to dumb themselves down and i'd love to speak to them without worrying about being misunderstood sometimes.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:51 pm

a worthy goal
wisdom
"the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread" - anatole france

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:18 am

The biggest thing holding me back while speaking is vocabulary. Same thing with reading. Same thing with listening.

Time to focus on vocabulary until August yayyyyyy.

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:46 pm

Decided to update this twice a week cause meetups are twice a week.

Last meetup's group involved 3 people, 2 English people, 1 Japanese person. My Japanese was probably stronger than the other English person's, but not by a huge margin.

It turned out well compared to the time when there were 3 English people and 1 Japanese person, but that's really not saying much. The other English person mostly spoke in English during the Japanese portion, asking for help with translating his thoughts into Japanese. Some people are okay with being corrected or helped by non-native speakers, but he was not one of them.

All of this is fine when there's another person for me to talk to, but it's pretty awful when there isn't. Every minute the conversation would be derailed into a mini-tutoring session I couldn't contribute to. Eventually I just gave up on having a conversation and started asking my own questions so that I could at least get something out of the meetup. I haven't explicitly been keeping track but about a third of the time these meetups are pretty frustrating experiences.

I'm going to try to figure out things I can do to salvage the times when I have to speak to people who switch to English. I don't think I handled it very well. Maybe if I were noticeably better than the other person at Japanese they would accept corrections from me? Maybe I should dominate the conversation and direct it towards easier topics? I think I'll try that for now. Not really too optimistic about it, but we'll see how it goes.
---

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