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: (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 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.

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: (learning german)
(Still, always, want to type that as Duolinguo. Gah.)

So I am at the point with Spanish where I have gone through all of the Duo lessons and am mainly doing "practice weak skills" over and over again. Which is not unwarranted -- there is a lot I'm shaky on still, even of what duo gives me, and I am nowhere near ready for real world applications.

But I sort of want to use Duo to brush up on my German. And I can't decide how to do it.

Option one is to do both German and Spanish, one right after the other. Which is easy enough to get in the habit of (the biggest hurdle is remembering to do it; two lessons instead of one is not a problem) but seems like it would be the most confusing to my brain.

Option two is to alternate days. Spanish one day, German the next, etc. Less immediate switching between languages, but still involves some.

Option three is to alternate weekends/weekdays (so do one Monday-Friday and the other Sat-Sun). Has the advantage of making it easy to remember which I'm supposed to be doing on a given day.

Option four is to alternate weeks.

Option five is to just use duo for German and find a more immersive source for keeping Spanish practice.

...I can't decide. Halp?

Poll #16370 Decide for me
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10


Which option should I do?

View Answers

Both every day
0 (0.0%)

Alternate days
1 (11.1%)

Weekday/weekend split
2 (22.2%)

Alternate weeks
0 (0.0%)

German only, find something else for Spanish
6 (66.7%)

Spanish only until you're fluent, you slacker
0 (0.0%)

Ticky?

View Answers

Ticky!
5 (55.6%)

Tea!
2 (22.2%)

Tea and ticky
5 (55.6%)

Ticky needs to go to sleep
5 (55.6%)

ysobel: (learning german)
and I just figured out why I have a problem with the Spanish word for 9.

See, okay, one of the things that trips me up is the set of words for this/that/those. One aspect is just remembering which is this and which is that (current convoluted mnemonic is the inverse t factor: "that" ends in t, "eso" doesn't have a t; "this" doesn't end in t, "esto" has one). And then there's the third one (that-over-there), which is aquel but I had to look it up because I couldn't remember. I wanted to say allí but that is a different word.

But the other aspect is gender. Most of Spanish has two grammatical genders, but demonstratives have three: eso/ese/esa and esto/este/esta. Neuter, masculine, feminine. The masculine and feminine forms are used when there is a (gendered) noun associated with it: "this book is mine". Neuter is used (according to the site I just looked up again) for abstract ideas and unknown objects.

Which is fine escept for which is which. Masculine adjectives in Spanish end in -o for the most part, but eso/esto are the *neuter* forms, and ese/este are the masculine ones.

Which is where nine comes in.

The Spanish word for nine is nueve.

The Spanish word for new is nuevo.

I found tonight, not for the first time, that I keep wanting to read nueve as new. So, like, "otros nueve goles" -- another nine goals, a phrase I got in today's Duo lesson -- had me staring at it going "......uhhh, other new goals? What?". But I only just figured out *why*: overgeneralization of the esto/este thing.

Or something.
ysobel: (learning german)
So I have officially started with Spanish learning

(Duolingo; I'm on as ysobelflp)

and am chugging my way through.

The first lesson does get a bit tedious, since you have only singular pronouns (I you he she you-formal) and three whole verbs (to-be, eat, drink) with the relevant simple present conjugations, and two articles (the a) and eight nouns (man woman boy girl apple bread water milk), and there are only so many variations you can have. "You are a boy. I am a woman. The girl drinks milk, the woman drinks water. The man eats an apple. You drink water." ...yeahhhh.

But still, starting small is good for, well, starting.

#

Though I do get some amusement out of the user comments, especially when it comes to gender. I have no problems with grammatical gender, but then again, I've taken German, and Latin, and Russian. (And, a very long time ago, French, and a longer time ago Spanish, and while I don't remember anything from those it still probably affected things.

And it seems somewhat reasonable to English speakers that hombre, man, is grammatically male, and mujer, woman, is grammatically female. But apparently it is vastly confusing that manzana, apple, is grammatically feminine, and you get people commenting to the sentence El hombre come una manzana, the man eats an apple, with things like

"But why isn't it *un* manzana when it's a man doing the eating?"

and, one that sent me into gigglefits,

"So how do you say apple in a masculine way?"

#

I tried taking the German placement test that they have, just to see where I rank -- used to be semifluent at the end of high school and have decayed horribly -- and discovered three things. One, my comprehension is way higher than recall; I can translate German-English far more easily than English-German. Two, my pronunciation and aural comprehension haven't decayed nearly as much as my vocab and grammatical knowledge. And three, it is a bad idea to mix learning two different languages, because it confuses both.

This is not to say that learning multiple languages is impossible, even simultaneously.

So on my walk back today, I was going over the limited verb conjugation that I've been exposed to so far. Not for ser, because that's irregular (still important though; soy eres es somos * son; in full conjugation there is sois where the * is, but apparently that's a difference between Spain Spanish, which uses vosotros for you-plural, and Latin America Spanish, which uses Ustedes and therefore takes the third-plural conjugation, and Duolingo is going with the Latin America version), but for the other two. Comer, eat, and beber, drink, though technically we haven't been introduced to infinitive.

So I start: yo como, tú comes, er/sie/es come...

...

...maaaaaybe not...

(er/sie/es is of course *German* for he/she/it. The Spanish equivalent for third person singular is él/ella/Usted, he/she/you-formal.)

(como, comes, come, comemos, comen. bebo, bebes, bebe, bebemos, beben. Might shove coméis and bebéis in for verbal repetition since six feels more balanced than five. I'm not sure yet whether it helps or hinders that the 3pl form reminds me of German infinitives.)

#

ftr: http://www.spanishdict.com/ is my new best friend \o/

Profile

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

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 123456
7 8910 11 1213
1415161718 19 20
212223 24 252627
28293031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated May. 29th, 2017 02:02 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios