ysobel: (Default)
I've decided to temporarily give up on Greek -- I'm still curious about it, but Duo isn't the best mechanism for learning it.

Still haven't decided between Russian, refresher course in Spanish, or German. For tonight I did Russian, going back to the beginning, but I think it is more like Greek, in that I really need solid grammar info as well as what Duo gives. There is something to be said for using real words instead of memorizing charts, but there's also something to be said for the charts. Especially since my brain is not the super-elastic brain of a child.

But I did find that the Greek iThing keyboard is a lot easier to grok for English speakers than the Russian keyboard.

blathering about keyboard layouts )

Ah, human/computer interaction and user interface design. Two subsets of my major that I learned very little about! (I'm still resentful about my major -- I sort of herded myself into it because I could finish in time with what I had already taken, and while there's a lot of fascinating stuff, flailing is not the best way to come at a major. And I picked a specialty in eenie-meenie fashion, ending up in computer music because "I like music" and because it had the fewest classes, or at any rate the fewest horrid-sounding ones (I thoroughly hated philosophy by that point); only I'm not a composer and the classes turned out to be basically graduate-level, which is not the best for a flailing depressive undergrad. I still half feel like I didn't deserve my degree, that the (minor but still freaky) car accident I was in gave me sympathy points and the resident faculty member of my dorm was the head computer music person (oh yeah that was another reason) and idek. Back to the point though: if I'd come in wanting to do symsys from the first, rather than starting with computer science and then not being able to do that but not having enough time to do another major (and there's no way in hell im going TiVo ask my parents now whether they would have funded another year if I'd needed it, because the answer will probably make me sad) and so grasping at symsys as a last resort panic option, I would have made different choices, something more linguistics-y or user interface design -y. And I've lost track of my parenthetical. Was this a parenthetical? I think so.)
ysobel: A cat flopped out on the floor; text: meh (meh)
Well, the whole "learn Greek" thing seemed like a great idea until I got out of the alphabet section and into the words.

I need to check the website info (it drives me crazy that the website has information -- like blurbs about indefinite articles or conjugations or whatever -- that doesn't appear in the app) but there's no way I am going to remember anything. There are about five words for a/the (and without information I don't know whether it's based on noun gender or whether the next word Astarte with a consonant or whatever), plus I can't remember the words for "man" and "woman" even from one screen to the next.

So my options seem to be a) stay with Greek and get completely overwhelmed; b) switch over to Russian to see if that sticks any better; c) go back to re-refreshing German; or d) refresh Spanish and start getting serious about things like consuming Spanish media and whatever so that I can get passably ... well, fluent seems unlikely, but I guess conversant or whatever.

Or e) give the fuck up because my brain is broken so why am I even trying. But I think that's the depression brainweasels talking.
ysobel: (learning german)
So I went to the Duo Facebook page to see if there was information about the app changes (health meter and "gema")

There wasn't

...but a) there was an announcement about Japanese coming to Duo, and b) i sort of ended up starting the Greek course. No real reason (especially since it's modern Greek rather than ancient) but it's not like welsh had a purpose, lol. I do judge courses based on the early lessons (eg i want to learn danish but the first lesson makes me despair -- "drengen" sounds like drying but smushed into one syllable, "kvinden" sounds like kving, and it doesn't make *sense*) but Greek is starting with the alphabet. Sensible.

So far I can say such useful things as το γράμμα δέλτα (to gramma delta / the letter d), woo. Knowing Cyrillic helps, because I'm already used to ρ being r and π being p; otoh I suspect knowing German will make me inclined to read β as ss rather than b.

...I'm not sure why I'm switching. I'm not at the end of the German course. I'm not even up to where I was before -- I did the course up to like 10 units from the end, and then wandered off to welsh, and then had forgotten some of the German so I went back to re-do each unit that had unfamiliar words, and I'm only up to the middle of the fifth section, 57 units behind the farthest unlocked one. And it would make sense to stay with German because it's familiar -- I used to be fluent back in high school, so right now it's a weird mix of translation and knowing; there are some words that i have to think about and some words that are just sort of there, I have to look up tatsächlich but selbstverständlich is just, well, self-evident, no pun intended.

Semi unrelatedly, I'm still frustrated at the differences between the website and the app -- how much information isn't available through the app. Things like https://www.duolingo.com/words or like the blurb for a lesson about how articles work or conjugations or whatever. I find the app easier to use, but then I miss stuff. Grarh.
ysobel: (Default)
I know I keep disappearing, and I'm sorry. It's not intentional. I'm just finding it really hard to keep up with ... well, anything.

So. Updates!

Health: having continued fatigue and stamina problems, along with shit when I'm tired like aphasia and problems focusing my eyes right. I'm half considering asking my doctor how much she knows about ME/XFS and whether that's a possible explanation.

Niecelet: is two and a half (what), a total chatterbox, and really freaking adorable still. Also it appears I will have a nephew in a month and a bit (what). The sad thing is my sister has more energy at 7 months pregnant with a 2yo and a full time job than I do...

Crafting: glacially slow. It takes me a month to loom knit a hat. And then I get frustrated and don't work on stuff. There's tons I want to make, I just need more energy and mobility.

LJ stuff: ahahaha what oh lj. I'm so glad I don't do support there any more. I haven't decided whether or not to agree to the new tos ... which of course means this entry won't crosspost. My instinct is to not agree, but that's just a knee jerk reaction, plus I hate to just disappear.

Social media overview: I'm most active on rav, second most active here. Have picked up twitter again a little bit, do Facebook occasionally. Have an instagram account but it's not very interesting. Don't tumblr much. And as I said before I'm having trouble keeping up, so if I have missed any significant life events, I promise it's not personal. Feel free to comment with stuff I should know.

Other shit: some jerkwad dickface asswipe ran into the back of my van while it was parked downtown. No note of course. It goes in Tuesday to be fixed, which will take 3 days unless they find more damage than expected.

Games: Currently obsessed with Clicker Heroes (and I just transxended for the first time, eek!). Secondarily Abyssriun (why the fuck they changed it to tap tap fish, I don't nbkw but it's stupid), zen koi, a few others. I still want to write up game reviews. (Clicker Heroes is Steam, though I think there's a mobile version; the rest are mobile.) Oh, and Pokémon on 3DS, which I can't do for long stretches but I like way better than Pokémon go, though I've been playing Pokémon X for quite a while and barely have a clue what I'm doing.

Language stuff: went back to revising German on duo; I keep getting tripped up by false cognates (no, sinnvoll is not sinful!) but I've maintained my current streak, almost 250 days, yay me.

Um. I think that's all for now. Fair warning: I am typing this on my phone and my eyes aren't focusing right, so there may be typos or autocorrect weirdness. I apologize and will fix whey I can.

... wow

Feb. 13th, 2017 09:18 pm
ysobel: (learning german)
I was talking elsesite about Duolingo, and lingots. And how I have too many. (I'm 88 short of 4k. That's a lot of lingots.)

In the process, I was calculating how long I've been doing Duo, as a way of explaining why I had so many. And um.

My streak is currently at 166 days; I had a 625 day streak that ended in Sept 2016 (not my fault, the app didn't send info to the main servers) and a 455 day streak before that (forgot two days in a row); and I started in August 2013. Now, streak freeze has saved my bacwn a number of times, but still. It's been 1268 days since I started. I've done 1246 days of duo.

That's a fucking 98% success rate. For a daily task over three and s half years.

I'm kinda boggling.

(And no I have no idea how. I don't stick with things that well. Hell, I don't brush my teeth with that level of consistency...

In other news, it's good to know Duo is trans-friendly ;)

proof )
ysobel: (Default)
I have not heard back from duolingo re the streak thing. I don't know whether I will.

I have several dilemmas.

Do I keep going, which allows me to unofficially add the 625 to my streak since I know I continued it even if they don't? Pro: it still gives me a daily target, and learning in small increments is better than not at all. Con: Typing is hard on the computer, and the web interface sucks on iPad; it might be nice to take a break; it doesn't have to be duolingo that I do every day.

If I keep going (or take a short break and come back), what language? Welsh is fun but impractical, and of course getting harder; German would be nice to re-fluent-ize in, but there's very little practical benefit to that either; Russian has a practical benefit (one of my aides is Russian); and I could always start a new language, like Dutch or Hebrew, just for fun. I don't think it would be a great idea to try to do more than one at a time. I suppose I could do a different one every month, and just spend the first few days refreshing on that language, but that might not be the greatest.

Or I could just give up, because it's not like there's any point anyway sorry, brainweasels got out for a bit there.
ysobel: A man wielding a kitchen knife and making an adorable yelling face (rage)
Fuck you with the pownr of a thousand burning suns

I had a 620-ish day duolingo streak going. The app had been behaving oddly (several skills not gold but "there's nothing to practice, try learning something new". But whatever, I worked on Past Tense 2, all is well.

Today, the app is not able to connect to duo. So I log into the site.

The site says I have no activity since Friday.

Dear duo: Fuck you forever.

Yikes

Aug. 21st, 2016 09:41 pm
ysobel: (easily distracted)
Apparently I forgot to do duolingo yesterday.

Thank fuck for streak freeze, is all I have to say.

(620 and counting.)

Oh, Welsh

Aug. 7th, 2016 09:38 pm
ysobel: (welsh)
Phrase: fy ngŵr (my husband)

Fy, separately, sounds as "fuh" but with a short vowel
Mgŵr, separately, sounds like "shoor"

Fy ngŵr as a phrase? "imoor" (or kind of like a Yorkshire accent saying th'moor but without the th sound, just the 'moor bit)

::insert "that's not how the force works" gif::

(Yes I know I have no room to complain because English is worse, but...)

(Ps 607 day streak, yo)
ysobel: (learning german)
I was golding up some Welsh skills, because I'm obsessive this way.

"Dw i'n hoffi coffi" translates to "I like coffee". Word-wise it's basically "Am I liking coffee"

"Dw i'n hoffi coffi da" translates to "I like good coffee," Welsh does adjectives after the noun (so good coffee is "coffi da", literally "coffee good", rather than *da coffi.)

Except my brain wanted to parse it first as "I like coffee, yes", and then as "I like coffee here", before being willing to settle on the correct one. (Russian and German uses of "da", rather than Wrlsh.)

...I keep being tempted to really confuse my brain by double-duoing, but maybe I shouldn't, lol.
ysobel: (welsh)
Today I learned welsh for sea, ocean, Pacific, Atlantic, North, and Mediterranean.

It seems like bodies of water are all Môr (sea) and cefnfor (ocean) is for nonspecific use like I swim in the ocean.

I will never remember Tawel, Canoldit, or Iwerydd, but I did find it interesting that for the Pacific Ocean, Môr Tawel, tawel translates to quiet, and for the Mediterranean, Môr y Canoldir, canoldir also translates as midland or inland. Duo didn't tell me either of those, I looked them up.

I am baffled, though. This unit is Countries, though I'd've called it geography since it covered continents and oceans as well as countries, but one of the sentences I got?

"Do you want new tights?"

...

Moar welsh

Jun. 23rd, 2016 11:03 pm
ysobel: (welsh)
Non welsh stuff -- niecelet has learned to say "oops", but in a very Scandinavian way, more like øpps. It's freaking adorable.

Welsh word of the day: daearyddiaeth. (It means geography.)

Welsh/duolingo wtf of the day: why does "gwlad fawr ydy America" -- country big is America -- translate as "America is a big country"? Why isn't the verb first? Why isn't the subject first? I'm so confuuuuused.

relevant pictures )
ysobel: (welsh)
Dear duolingo,

Refreshing my knowledge of words is good, but did I really need five reminders that "actor" is welsh for "actor"?

Baffeledly,
Me

More Welsh

Jun. 16th, 2016 09:53 pm
ysobel: (welsh)
A) Remember parsnip-indecisive Owen?

He showed up again. )

B) Welsh possessive confuses me. As far as I can tell, in a sentence "X has Y", Y is the grammatical subject -- I have an orange cat (yes, they gave me that sentence! proof )) is Mae gen i gath oren, where mae is third person and not first person -- but also things change; I also got this ) and I *think* fi glosses directly as me rather than I, which makes sense from the standpoint of the possessed being the grammatical subject -- Russian also does "at me is thing" rather than "I have a thing", so "is dragon black belonging me" works, but then why is it Mae gen i gath oren and wah -- unless gen and gyda actually belong to two different verbs -- *quiet sobbing*

C) I hit a pretty streak number today. Read more... ) Next major goal: 730 (hahaha yeah right)

Welsh wtf

Jun. 11th, 2016 09:48 pm
ysobel: (Default)
No no no no I was just getting used to *beginning* consonants changing, now you're dropping final consonants too? In spelling, not just pronunciation? Wahhhh.

(Five is pump, pronounced pimp. Except when it's bump. Except when it's bum. Mae hi'n bum munud wedi pedwar: it is five minutes past four. Mae hi'n bum munud i bump: it is five minutes to five.)

(Argh and it's not just "mp becomes m before m". Six is chwech, but six minutes is chwe munud. I guess munud is a hungry word?)

Also why is it "bum munud ar hugain) (five minutes on twenty) and not hugain bum munud silly language.

Otoh I have a decent streak going:

Read more... )
ysobel: (welsh)
Brecwast (breakfast) is frecwast in this sentence.

Also I still don't get why you say things like "mi ges i reis i swper" (translates as I had rice for supper) and not just "ges i reis i swper". Especially since it just gave me "ges i gyri a reis i ginio" (I had curry and rice for lunch).

In "words that are so hard to remember" category, welsh for salad is salad...
ysobel: (welsh)
A sentence in today's lesson: "Do, es i i'r dafarn" -- yes, I went to the pub.

Immediately after, I get: "Naddo, es i ddim i'r dafarn" -- no, I didn't go to the pub.

Make up your mind...!

(I'm not clear on the difference between es i and dw i mynd, nor why "mi es i i'r caffi" has mi (glossed as to-me) at the beginning but translates as I went to the cafe, or when you use ddydd versus dude, but eh, it's not like I'm a very advanced speaker, lol.)
ysobel: (welsh)
Remember when I was first learning welsh, and one of the words was "Plis" for please, and I speculated that it was a combination of welsh borrowing English loanwords, and duo starting with easy variants!

Today I got a phrase that duo glossed as "please".

"Os gwelwch chi'n dda"

O.o

I like plis better, lol

(i mean, it's not like English doesn't have complicated ways of saying please too -- "if it's not too much trouble" is a sort of indirect please -- but yikes. I'm never going to remember that!)
ysobel: (welsh)
I'm confused, welshwise.

Dydy Owen ddim eisiau pannas = Owen doesn't want parsnips.
Mae Owen eisiau pannas = Owen wants parsnips
Ydy Owen eisiau pannas? = Does Owen want parsnips
Mae Owen yn bwyta/hoffi pannas = Owen eats/likes parsnips

I haven't figured out why eisiau doesn't require the yn that other verbs do -- but the (d)ydy/mae thing is throwing me off. (First person seems to use dw for both; second person uses dych and I don't know if there's an alternate; and I forget all the plurals.)

As much as I like duo's use of phrases and sentences rather than memorizing charts, sometimes it drives me absolutely batshit.

ETA -- per Wikipedia, the verb meaning to-be inflected for tense and, in present/past, has special interrogative and negative forms. Still want a chart though.

Also per Wikipedia, yn is the equivalent of -ing, wedi makes it perfect (so I guess Mae Owen wedi hoffi pannas = Owen liked parsnips, whereas Roedd Owen yn hoffi pannas = Owen was liking parsnips, or something) but that doesn't explain why eisiau doesn't use yn/wedi/newydd...

ETA 2 -- per reddit (lol), yn/wedi/newysd are aspect markets that apply to most verbs, but eisiau, which is also spelt isio, is an exception. Which makes me feel oddly better. (Apparently it's not really a true verb, and the 'proper' construction would be equivalent to "the desire for whatever is at me", so it's just a special snowflake.) and the ydy/mae forms I've put in a comment on this entry.
ysobel: (welsh)
Today's duo lesson: place names!

Abergwaun = Fishguard
Caergybi = Holyhead
Drenewydd = Newtown (and I already know newydd/new)
Casnewydd = Newport
Pwllheli = Pwllheli

...

*squints at list*

*sings softly, "one of these things is not like the others..."*

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ysobel: (Default)
masquerading as a man with a reason

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