polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
French has been put aside temporarily so I can focus on Italian, since I do better in French after studying Italian. I'm almost done with the Italian tree on DuoLingo, and moving through the Rosetta Stone course at a really good pace.

I'm starting to initiate conversations with Italian and Spanish speakers. Spanish speakers I can find online regularly with GoSpeaky and have been speaking in Spanish every evening. Italian speakers are much harder to come by, due to time zone differences, so we mostly have only made written contact. In the near future, I'm planning on forming a spreadsheet with my target languages for each day of the week, sitting on GoSpeaky, and making tabs on which languages are online at what hours.

I'm not seeing the DuoLingo tree as "completion" so much as "round 1." After that I plan on reviewing the tree and working harder on my Practice Makes Perfect textbooks and Living Language, as well as listening to TV shows and podcasts in Italian, with more organized efforts to seek language exchange partners. But at that point I'm hoping to be comfortable enough in Italian that I can move on with confidence and work on French.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I've been studying Italian very consistently recently because I'm pretty sure I can soon be conversational. I've learned of a new website, GoSpeaky for finding and practicing with native speakers. But I want to get some more time studying in before I try with Spanish.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
So, I'm just a few days back into studying languages, but I'd say it's going pretty well. I'm going to continue reviewing for two weeks through the sources I have access to at home and then begin using WeSpeke in cafes (to try to discourage creeps from being, well, creepy.)

My focus right now is supposed to be French. But I alternate with Italian (it soothes me when I'm irritated with French) and then German, because one of my friends is learning German. She is a fluent Mandarin speaker and she doesn't mind if we practice our languages together... So I'll probably be able to move forward with that this year, too.

Hopefully December will show a lot of progress! (Though probably more if I had more people to study different languages with.)

Updates

Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:10 pm
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I have been so busy that it probably comes off as not studying; I have been studying a little less, but not by much, and once I explain why I imagine the full benefit of my absence will be clear:

• I got a job at a bookstore. I now get a 30% off employee discount on almost everything in the store. So I've been buying Practice Makes Perfect book for Spanish, French, and other languages of study. I've also been collecting the complete Living Language courses (not the Platinum editions! Too expensive.)

• I've been speaking French and Spanish with customers speaking those languages at the bookstore! It's so weird but we regularly get French speaking, Spanish speaking (less unexpected), Russian speaking, and German speaking customers. So I've actually been practicing in a very hands-on approach.

• I've made a friend who speaks Mandarin and have agreed to help her learn more conversational Spanish. She's fine with talking Mandarin with me.

• Plus I have a multilingual co-worker! Someone to practice Spanish, French, and German with (and Chinese, if I get conversational.)

So, I have been busy with languages still, just not so much online.

I have been reconsidering AYC in favor of becoming conversational in Chinese and French first, then applying to PeaceCorps. Also, it would give me time to get certified before I go. I'm not sure I trust AYC to give me the tools I need to teach English very well, and I'm suspicious of any language program that doesn't work to make you conversational in the local peoples' language before expecting you to work with them. Certainly, my Spanish ability makes me a better worker here.

Updates

Sep. 22nd, 2014 12:04 am
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I'm slowly making my way through French still (and a tad through German.) With some Mandarin whenever I can, but not as high a priority since I don't have anyone to practice with.

I've been listening to podcasts in French and Spanish; I think it's actually helping a bit with the listening comprehension. Not to say I understand a majority of what's going on, but I'm having slightly more luck catching sentences in these exercises I'm doing.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I need to start picking up Mandarin again, but I'm trying to speed up French so I can speak with my grandmother.

Unfortunately, my spelling and listening comprehension are quite low.

Okay, granted, I only started earnestly studying French this year, and 'earnestly' is a huge stretch of the term until I hit August, because I was prioritizing Spanish review (given I was preparing for and then in Mexico.) But. I'm still disappointed in the lack of forward progress. I need to work harder, maybe do some exercises from the textbook I had for a French I class I ended up dropping. If I want to be able to speak with my grandmother in French by December, I will need to seriously up the ante on my studies.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
Estudié español esta mañana pero no puedo estudiar mucho más hoy porque tengo que ir a la pasantía. No estoy contenta porque quería practicar otros lenguajes también - especialmente italiano y frances.

Pues tengo que irme antes de estoy tarde.

Study Break

Sep. 1st, 2014 05:30 pm
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I was studying before I fell asleep, but I think I'm done for today. I'm spending most of the day treating my eye, and that means minimizing computer time. Instead I'm just listening to My Mad Fat Diary as I apply hot compresses.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
-Studied Spanish
-Studied French
-Studied Italian

I'm going to try to add Living Languages study for Chinese, and clear out everything from my iPod except Chinese study because I need to make it a higher priority based on the assumption that I may be living there for a year or more.

I need to network with speakers. Someone recommended WeSpeke and I'm going to try that, given it seems hard to find speakers here. I wish I lived in New York City; it has many speakers of other languages.

Duolingo

Aug. 28th, 2014 12:54 pm
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I've been using Duolingo alongside Rosetta Stone and I was wondering about people who claimed they were studying languages not available on Duolingo.

So I went to the website and they have languages there not available on the apps (at least currently.) It looks like more will soon be in the works.

So now I'm studying more languages.

I'm starting to test out of Duolingo levels because I'm tired of making myself go through them all JUST IN CASE there's a new word like pato hidden in there. I wanna build vocabulary but... I have my limits of sitting through stuff I already know.

I wish these programs would all make vocabulary boosters.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
They're not.

I made it to the first writing exercise today and they teach you how to use the romance alphabet to write Mandarin as opposed to actual Chinese characters. In other words, instead of 你们好 it will come out as Nǐmen hǎo.

I'm really frustrated about that - not that both aren't important, as the romance alphabet is involved when typing Pinyin (and because of this lesson I can now write out a lot more phrases correctly than before!) It's just that I know that I need a stronger focus on the characters if I'm going to learn to read and write Mandarin symbols. The romance letters are actually manageable after learning the tonal symbols. The symbols comparatively will involve a lot of studying.

Updates

Aug. 25th, 2014 11:18 am
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
1. I'm probably moving to China so Mandarin's become a higher priority to learn. I'm trying to save money for Skype classes online. Learning to type the pinyin is hard, though, and even when I know what I want to write, it often doesn't happen.
2. As always, studying Spanish.
3. I now have French-Canadian friends to practice French with as well as my grandmother, so hopefully I'll be building up conversational skills and vocabulary up to a point where I can navigate literature and conversations.
4. I use Italian to give myself a break from French and it seems to help me understand French better than Spanish does.
5. My dad's trying to study Hebrew so I might develop opportunities for that as well.
6. I need to get back to PolyGlotClub but I am a bit afraid of the dude with the guitar (it's a language exchange website, not a dating network!)
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I'm trying to basically rip through language study and get conversational in all the Romance languages I'm studying as well as one non-romance language. I'm really hoping if I get conversational, I'll be able to obtain an opportunity to use them to a point of fluency, or near-fluency.

Studies

May. 23rd, 2014 06:00 pm
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
Today I worked on French and Italian a little, and I will be working on Spanish later. I'm trying to start adding some degree of Hebrew back into my studies even as I primarily target French and Latin American Spanish.

I've purchased five-subject notebooks for Spanish and French, to practice the writing, and I will do so for other languages as well as time allows.

Review

May. 17th, 2014 12:53 am
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
This method of review is working really well for me! I blew through the review material on Italian tonight (I've only been studying it for two days) and moved onto a review of French (a substantially longer process I probably won't complete tonight.)

I may use my iPad with the applications tomorrow, if the headset is compatible, so I can review these materials with the images. While I'm doing that, I would like to see if I can find my Pimsleur audio tracks in Spanish - I can do that thirty minutes per day to try to build my confidence in conversation again. If not, hopefully trying to avoid my language and immerse myself as much as possible in these other ones will help.

On a side note: I am trying to find and get involved with language groups locally. There are a few difficulties:

• The area seems to lack a language meetup not hosted by one of the language private schools.
• My schedule makes it difficult to meet with them anyway.
• They seem to never meet anywhere near me.

But the cornerstone of language acquisition is speaking it, so I need to work on finding local speakers.
polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
I was disappointed to find out that the Instant Download for Rosetta Stone does not include the Audio Companion, but using my iPhone at work with the TOTALe Companion application is almost the same thing. (Outside of work, it would be better, the problem is it requires too much handling at work.)

So now I'm going to get roughly eighteen review hours per week without even trying. I'm still deciding how to break it up:

• I could divide the night in half between two languages.
• I could focus on one language at a time until I'm roughly fluent.
• I can study languages within the same family.
• I can just study a different language each night based on what I feel like.

I'm leaning toward the third option, because I find studying Italian helps me understand French grammar and spelling better. (Additionally, I need to study Spanish, since I will be living in another Spanish-Speaking area for a few weeks for school.) After I do that, I can rotate any language I want with no problem, but probably with more focus on French, since I would like to become a competitive PeaceCorps candidate for placement in Morocco. (I may try to add Arabic at that time, even if I can't specifically add Darija. I've waited so long for it to become available, but starting something would be better than waiting, since I'd at least be learning to some degree the structure and grammar of the language.)

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polyglotting: Books with different languages as titles. (Default)
Je ne suis pas un stylo.

December 2015

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