Language Learners, or: The Owl Comes For Us All

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by kmoss, May 20, 2019.

  1. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    A place to commiserate about language learning!

    people who already know the language are welcome to add input about tips and tricks
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  2. Ipuntya

    Ipuntya your purple friend

    vaguely related:
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  3. marquis

    marquis Member

    tried to learn norwegian on duolingo once, the owl has my kidney now. maybe i'll try again over the summer though, languages are neat to have.
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  4. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    you can do it!

    I'm currently attempting German, and half-assedly polishing my Spanish

    it's, really difficult to get the you plural down actually. maybe just because my OG language (English) doesn't really Have it, or grammar rules for it
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  5. marquis

    marquis Member

    if you need any help with german, i'm happy to explain or even practise with you (native speaker here) :)
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  6. Loq

    Loq cursed blue crab pincher

    the real duo experience is shotgunning four languages at once and then mixing them up
    esst and ест are two very different words, no matter how close the pronunciation is
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  7. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    the last time I did duolingo I decided I wanted to try Irish, Turkish and Romanian
    I'm sure they're great languages but they would not have helped my life in any way
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  8. Loq

    Loq cursed blue crab pincher

    do I need to learn Russian or Chinese? no
    am I a linguistic ho ready to learn anything except french? absolutely

    that's not horrifying at all
    (for non-german: "the fruit is eating a man")
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  9. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    ..And incorrect too. (Should say einen Mann)
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  10. TheOwlet

    TheOwlet A feathered pillow filled with salt and science

    I think it's meant as 'the man eats the fruit' bug with WEIRDASS grammar...
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  11. Loq

    Loq cursed blue crab pincher

    the "select the correct grammar" choices are sometimes iffy, yeah-- I'm p sure they just order-scramble and correct capitalization
    (the proper sentence the above was a Wrong Answer for was "Ein Mann isst das Obst")
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  12. keltena

    keltena Probably Exists

    I just started studying Japanese properly again this spring! Technically I started back in high school, but I've mostly neglected it since then, and I'm enjoying it more than ever this time around. :D

    I don't use Duolingo, so I've only heard about its... interesting sentence ideas secondhand, but from what friends have shared with me I'm very concerned about these example sentence people who don't eat or drink most foods under the sun.
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  13. Alexand

    Alexand Rhymes with &

    I'm also studying Japanese right now! I started about a year ago, but I kind of lost my motivation and got busy in the spring semester this year, so I'm really behind on my studies... But I found my motivation again. And now I only have...uh...702 reviews to catch up on. :DDD;;

    Here are my WaniKani and Bunpro accounts, in case anyone wants to race me. I started Bunpro a lot later, so I'm still on the N5 grammar...and I still get もう and まだ mixed up all the time, for some reason... >>; But I'm a little proud of how much kanji/vocab stuff I remember, despite not interacting with WK at all for several months!

    Anyway, I haven't tried Duolingo's Japanese material, because I...I'm kind of hoping that I can hack it with just a combination of WaniKani/Bunpro/purposeful reading of raw manga...and I was thinking of maybe checking out Satori Reader, too...but I've tried Duolingo for some other languages. I'd like to try their Ukrainian material sometime, when I have time. No one in my family can speak Ukrainian anymore, despite most of us growing up in Ukraine, and I think that's kind of a bummer...
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  14. keltena

    keltena Probably Exists

    @Alexand: High five on finding your motivation again! It's such a great feeling. :D

    How are WaniKani and Bunpro? I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to paid subscriptions, since study methods can be so hit-or-miss in terms of both quality and individual learning style, but I've been eyeing both of those speculatively for a while. Based on your experience, would you recommend them?
  15. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    This, this is me right here
    Except Hebrew and Japanese
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  16. Alexand

    Alexand Rhymes with &

    I've really enjoyed WaniKani so far! I may be taking it at a slower pace than the really dedicated people, who can get through the entire curriculum in a year...meanwhile, I've gotten through about 30% of the curriculum in that same amount of time...other obligations are hard. But I'm always surprised at how much kanji I remember, even when I'm returning to WK after a several-month absence. Makes me wish I was as good at memorizing other things as I apparently am at memorizing kanji/vocab...

    I'm not as sure about Bunpro yet...which may just be because I haven't been using it as long. But, also, I'm not sure if the SRS memorization system works as well for grammar as it does for kanji/vocab? I do feel like I'm learning something from Bunpro, I'm just not sure how much of a difference it's making in my ability to read Japanese (which is the main way I measure my progress). Like, with WK, I pretty often get that experience of "oh, I couldn't read this sentence a week ago, but now I can read it just fine". But I don't get that experience with BP as much...

    ...Well, the other thing about Bunpro may be that you get as much as you put into it. Bunpro is a little more self-paced, in that it doesn't have specific "levels" that it encourages you to go through, or a specific order material is presented to you - you're just expected to start adding new grammar to your SRS review schedule whenever you're ready for it. So far I've gotten added most of the N5 grammar to my queue, but that's it - maybe I'll start feeling better at reading once I move on to the higher levels? Like, maybe the grammar I'm learning right now isn't that relevant to the material I'm trying to read?

    Anyway, I don't know. I'm still trying out Bunpro. At some point I want to properly try out Satori Reader, too, since that one also looks promising (and it uses the WaniKani API to tell which kanji you do and don't know already - another advantage of WK). How does anyone even learn grammar anyway? Grammar is hard.
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  17. Verily

    Verily a very ineffective hitman

    I like languages with new and exciting sounds that don’t exist in English, which makes Duolingo probably one of my worst options. Shrug, that’s what youtube and podcasts and the library are for.
  18. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    After taking one (1) course on Second Language Acquisition, I can confidently tell you that :mystery:


    Either works
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  19. keltena

    keltena Probably Exists

    @Alexand: That's good to know; thanks!

    I'm trying out the free trial of both apps now, and I see what you mean. I still have a good ways to go on WaniKani before I catch up to where I'm actually at, but at least for the handful of words/readings I wasn't already solid on so far, it seems incredibly effective for memorization. I'm definitely going to stick with it after I finish the free period, so thanks for the rec!

    WRT Bunpro—yeah, grammar just seems way trickier to automate in that way, unfortunately, because it's so much less conducive to a "did you input the correct answer, y/n?" system. I actually am really impressed by how well Bunpro compensates for those issues so far (accepting minor differences in wording if they're grammatically equivalent, telling you when an answer is correct but not the one they were trying to prompt you for, a lot of places where they'll clarify why something is slightly wrong or different from the answer they wanted...), as well as how responsive they are to feedback, and I'm definitely going to keep using it, but I think it's a much better method of practicing grammar than of learning it? It's taught me a few simple new grammar points so far, but the more complex/nuanced ones I'd want to learn through a more thorough teaching method before coming back to drill them on Bunpro. (YMMV depending on learning style and quality of available resources, but my experience has been that classes/tutoring > textbook > Bunpro for learning new grammar, with online grammar lessons like the kind Bunpro links to varying in quality from "as good as or better than a textbook" to "less helpful than the Bunpro explanations".)

    And yeah, I think the "self-paced" aspect is a bit of a double-edged sword, depending on how you are with these things. It means you can customize it to the pace that works best for you, but you're also stuck relying on your own judgement to figure out what pace that is. I'm glad Bunpro has that option so I can speed through the parts I already know, but the way WaniKani handles the pacing for you entirely is really nice.

    "Reading is hard" fistbump. I know I need to practice to improve, but I always end up putting it off because it's so frustrating when you're still at a low level. >_< You never realize just how much grammar is basic, everyday grammar until you find yourself having to stop and google new constructions twice a sentence. (And even with grammar I know well, sometimes it just... dissolves into vague incomprehension in my brain the moment I encounter slightly non-textbook usage, lol.)

    I hadn't heard of Satori Reader before; that looks really nice! I've been using TangoRisto for a while, which I guess is something like a free, less fully-featured version of Satori? ...Lately I've mostly just been trying to read the occasional Japanese tweets that show up on my timeline, plus occasional comic on Pixiv, though. (And also binging Inspirational Japanese's archives, because Inspirational Japanese is ♥.) I just picked up a Japanese volume of Yotsuba&!, though, so hopefully that will help motivate me to read more, haha.
  20. kmoss

    kmoss Under Construction

    dear Germans
    how do you navigate gender
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