Serbian log

Discussion in 'Language Learning Logs & Super Challenges' started by pensulo, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    hmm the first half of that sounds like what I'm doing. Do you get to listen as much as you want?
  2. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    You are given 3 versions of each file essentially in the GMS folder - the first has L1 + L2 + L2, the second has L1 + longer space for your translation + L2 and the last is simply L2. In each file it has 50 sentences. I have also ordered the transcription so that I can compare what I think I heard to what was actually said (I have yet to receive this PDF but have been told I should get it soon).

    I have listed to the first file of the GSR method (in these files there are 10 new sentences per file and then 40 of previously covered ones and each new sentence is repeated a couple of times) and the first half of the first file from the GMS folder. Since there are 50 sentences per file in the GMS folder I listened to the L2 (or C) files and attempted to transcribe what I heard, and when I get the transcript I will compare it to what I wrote. I may also do a recording of my voice and compare the pronunciation to the source file, but in a far more relaxed way than the GMS method states.

    Here's a link to a better description of the programs than I am probably giving.
  3. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Here's a fun little fact - here's the amount of time I've spent so far in memrise and anki memorising vocabulary:

    519mins, or 8hrs and 39mins.

    This is for just a little over 3 weeks and works out being around 22mins a day - quite impressive far more than I would have guessed to be honest and this isn't including the time I spend in my textbook which would easily add at least 30mins a day, and on some about 60-90. With this in mind, I've spent at least 20hrs these last couple weeks. Thus, if I continued at this rate, I'd get approximately 233hrs of study - not bad at all.

    Using Glossika, it will give me an additional 45hrs or so this year bringing that up to around 278hrs (once again assuming 30mins of textbook study a day). If I can average about 45mins a day of textbook study, that would instead bring me to around 345hrs. Using the FSI recommendations as a guide which suggests around 1100hrs for what I understand to be a B2/C1 level - that will take me about a 1/3 of the way there, which if I give heavier weightings to the higher levels would mean I would probably be a strong A2.

    I'm thinking that my goal for B1 might be too much of a stretch at this point but I will have to wait and see - I may end up pumping a lot of hours here and there which may get me closer to that B1 level, but I won't count on it. I need to basically double my time to 2hrs a day to get me halfway through that FSI scale - this is unlikely to happen. Still, I will strive for this and see what happens. Adding movies to my schedule will give me additional time and may help boost my levels, but I fear they won't be of use till I am further ahead in my vocabulary. Anyways I am sorta documenting my hypotheses and my my time spent to give me better perspective in the future and to help improve my accuracy whenever I decide to add more languages to my repertoire.
  4. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    I've picked up on my forgotten vocabulary for the most part which I am pleased with. Another day or two of intense drilling should do the trick. After which I plan on continuing to learn more vocab. I don't mind forgetting some words - but I knew something was wrong when in some cases I forgot a quarter or more of the words in my various memrise courses.

    I'm day 2/104 in my Glossika course. Not too bad at all. In the car I listened to one of the GMS files and attempted repeating what I could while driving. After my update here I will go through my textbook a bit and do some more reviewing - I haven't gone through it hardly at all over the last few days which is a bit slack on my part - but I have at least been keeping up with other stuff. Anyways, onto the textbook :)
  5. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    I finished reviewing most of my forgotten words and I'm now ready to expand again. I started adding more words to my anki deck - just a couple here and there though. I don't want to add too many and start getting an uncontrollable deck size. I will be happy when I get a deck to the size of 2000. About a fifth of the way there now. I am on day 4 of what I might call my "glossika challenge". There are 3 sets of 104 files coming to a total of 312 files - which at a pace of 1 a day is about 10 months worth. That's a long time and a lot of files and I find it very tempting to speed things up, but I know myself and I know that this will only end in disaster.

    So, July 17 is I guess my first major milestone - that is when I will finish all 104 files from the first set. From there I will decide if I want to speed things up (most likely it will involve 2 files a day on the weekends). I am finding listening to them and repeating them enjoyable. I find that it does end up taking a bit longer than the actual play time as I end up sometimes having to rewind and replay certain segments where I am not picking up the words at all and then if after a few tries still no luck I look them up in the provided texts. At their longest they're close to 30mins each but they seem to be mostly between 20-25mins after the first few days which are all less than 20mins.

    I need to get back into my more active habits though as I notice I am not really getting into the textbook as much as before and I am spending more time on memorising vocab or listening to my glossika files. After this post I am gonna try to spend an hour or two on this to rectify it, and try to set aside about 30mins a day of doing it. I think my main problem is habit development, rather than motivation or desire itself. I am an aweful procrastinator and this is just another area it seeps into.

    I also find myself spending far too much time imagining myself reaching my goal and heading towards other goals as well - I should probably stop doing this as I notice this can lead to dissatisfaction with one's pace. Anyways, that's it for now.
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  6. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Ah, I have something else I want to mention - but before I do you may notice now I have a avatar - I choose it because I just like the word for rat in Serbian - It's pacov. I think I like it because it's so Serbian - like when I think of Russian words, hardly anything is as Russian sounding to my ears as "njet" (probably spelt wrong). In some ways I am almost disappointed when a word is a cognate to an English one, even though I am quite thankful as it makes the job of memorising the vocab easier, but I digress.

    So, I was a good autodidact today and actually hit the text like I said I would and I realised that I'm totally sucking with the use of biti (to be). It's placement seems almost random for me, not to mention I confuse myself when using "iz" which is Serbian for "from". For example:

    Odakle su tvoji prijatelji?
    Moji prijatelji su iz Beograda i Zagreba.

    Where are your friends from?
    My friends are from Belgrade and Zagreb.

    You know what I keep doing though? Dropping biti (in this case in the form of "su") since the word "iz" makes me think of "is" and I know "iz" means "from" so in my mind I now get "is from". Yes, stupid I know. Other examples of where I mess up in the use of biti:

    Gde je moja kniga?
    Tu, kod mene je.
    Zašto su sve naše knjige kod tebe?
    Jer ih čitam.

    Where's my book?
    It's here by me.
    Why do you have all of our books by you?
    Because I'm reading them.

    So the forms of biti here are su/je. Notice how in the second and third sentences they're in different spots? I just need to get use to the patters as I find myself switching the spots or almost putting biti somewhere random. Obviously need to drill this more so good thing I am revising my chapters some more.
  7. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Just plugging away still but was thinking about that chart again today when talking with a friend - I noticed both he and I were making similar sort of mistakes - take for example the word "raditi" - in Serbian this word takes on the meaning of both "to work" and "to do". So you get sentences like this "What are you working?" from a Serbian speaker's angle. From my side, there's a few but it an excellent candidate is "voleti" - this expresses the English concepts of loving, liking and wanting (but in certain circumstances). I find it hard to sorta know when to use zeleti (to wish, to desire) over it - though I do know you use zeleti if you're talking about wanting food or drinks etc.

    Anyways, just a rambling of mine. Another quick one is I felt a bit kinda "discouraged" today. I was reading about how it's a fairly rare trait for anyone who knows more than one language to be able to fully express themselves in all their languages and I thought that it would suck if I was only able to handle daily tasks and not be able to fully express myself in another language. I guess I'll have to cross that bridge when I get there - I just need to set realistic expectations of the time needed to get to that sort of level and not let the time frame get me down.
  8. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    So, today did the usual and slacked off with my textbook work - did a tiny tiny bit of the fifth chapter. I am sort of dreading this chapter as this is where the difficulty is starting to kick up a notch - the genitive plural I am really dreading - there really is no good reason for it as I have simply just made it into a big monster in my mind for no reason. Because of my constant reading ahead, reading back habits I tend to have an ok grasp of what's going on and can sorta manipulate words and sentences the way I like based on structures I've been exposed to, but I definitely need to have more practice doing it. I sorta go through the exercises once and call it a wrap, which I shouldn't do and which is why I have gone back to solidify my understanding of some concepts.

    On another note, I've got the FSI textbook and I've read it's good for drilling concepts so I might take a better look at the book and see what I can do to incorporate appropriate drills into my regimen so that I am ensuring concepts are getting drilled in and that I develop a bit more spontaneity in expressing myself with what I know. Lastly, I have been going through my Glossika recordings and have finished my first week *yay*.

    I have been meaning to go through the GMS C files and listen to each of them and attempt to transcribe what I hear and compare in order to improve my listening comprehension. This is actually something I find interesting to do so I don't know why I haven't been more pro-active with this side of things but I wish to do at least a couple files a week from now on - that's about 150 or so sentences I'll be exposing myself to (though not necessarily understanding) which is a bonus on top of the benefit it gives me of improving listening comprehension.

    This is something that definitely needs to be a top priority as slavic languages tend to have this consonant clusters and combined with their fast talking speed makes it easy for one to totally not catch anything being said. A good recent example is a sentence of mine that recently came up "toronto nije u sjedinjenim drzavama" - toronto isn't in the united states. That is a tongue twister and I honestly had to look at the text before I even could begin to make a connection to what was said. Anyways, that's it for now.
  9. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Found a Serbian youtuber who does videos on games and the like. I find the material and his presentation interesting enough to keep hooked watching his videos. I've watched a couple and I might try to watch some regularly-ish to help give me some more input. I'm obviously far from picking up most of it, and I would even't say I get the "gist" of it either but I am picking up words here and there and on odd occasions understand a complete sentence. In one video I must have heard the word bed and home about 100 times. From that I gathered that whatever he was doing in the game was for the aim of building a bed in his house and then later build a roof. It was rather amusing to see how often some words seem to be said that you wouldn't otherwise pick up if it wasn't for the fact you don't understand anything else.
  10. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    So, I've been keeping on keeping on. Finished 10 of the 104 GSR files so far so I am 10% of the way there roughly. Slow and steady eh? I've been adding new vocabulary to my anki deck and been studying my textbook regularly, but not exactly daily. A lot of my initial steam has diminished. I noticed I get the most work done on the weekends and during the week it's sorta hard to get the engine started. I sorta need to set myself up with a schedule when I get home from work so I actually spend more time studying than bluding around. I think a big part of my slowdown is the grammar is sorta hitting me hard and I know I am probably going to have to go over this and the last chapter again after doing the next one. I think I need to do more of the exercises for it to sink in. Also, I think taking the translated dialogs in the back of the back and putting them back into Serbian should also help.

    I also think I need to do more writing on lang8 to practice creating more sentences based on the grammatical structures I am familiar with and have been exposed to in Glossika. Slow progress for sure, but I'll get there :)
  11. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Do you prefer lang8 to italki?
  12. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Don't really have a preference - just haven't tried it with italki. I googled it and lang8 was the first result that came up and so I created an account for it. I found out about italki shortly after but I haven't really bothered looking into it. What would you say the advantages are of italki over lang8?
  13. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    I haven't used Lang-8 much, but I remember there was a point system there that could potentially keep me from getting a correction. At italki, no such system exists, and I get tons of corrections immediately after posting. But that was for Russian; don't know about Serbian.
  14. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    yeah, I seem to get plenty of corrections atm so I'm not too concerned about the points system as there are really so few people learning Serbian I don't mind, plus I like helping back by giving corrections.

    Anyways, as for my Serbian - I'm still in a bit of a slump. I'm doing anki, memrise and glossika everyday still but still a bit sluggish with studying the textbook. A did a bit yesterday and the day before, but overall it's sorta slumped to every other day. Which is fine and better than nothing but I really ought to put more into it. I'm going to try and set up a routine with specific goals in mind - I know this sort of structure is helpful for me, I'm just sorta lazy atm to set this up. Will get around to it eventually though.
  15. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Don't worry, I'm still going at it. Just nothing really to report. I am still listening to glossika every day as well as my anki deck/memrise. The textbook is sorta abandoned for now. I've decided to stop beating myself up over it and just do it when I feel like it. I've also been perusing my Serbian Grammar book which I bought years ago and to be honest not sure why I got it. Not really all that insightful. it's only use for me at the moment is to mine sentences to plug into anki. On another note, I have been weighing up whether or not I want to get a tutor. I think it would probably be a good idea but I dunno if I would like sorta having to do something to a schedule (I like my spontaneity) plus I find it hard to believe that a 1 hour meeting would be useful - I'm guessing I'd need more time with them but I'm not sure as I haven't used one before. Anyways, will keep you guys posted.
  16. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Haven't posted much because I haven't really got anything exciting to say. I have since my last post had a couple of meetings with an italki tutor and I've found it to be a bit of a hit or miss situation. The first tutor I used I quite liked and will stick with her for my future lessons, the other couple I used I didn't really feel a connection much at all and in some cases they felt a bit too pushy for my tastes. I might still try out others here and there but I am overall happy with who I now consider to be "my" tutor.

    I have been too neglectful of my textbook. I'm still sort of beating myself up over it but I am finding it hard to sorta slot it in - it's an excuse I know but it has to do with not yet developing a routine for it. I have been meaning to do this for a while now, but have yet to figure it out in my mind and deciding to stick with it. I think it will be a bit easier once I move onto a different shift at work and get home earlier - I'll then have more free time to play before bed :)

    Anyways, I'll post again in a week or so to let you know if my textbook situation has improved at all :)
  17. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Don't worry, not dead (yet, and not soon either I hope - another 60 years should do me fine, but I digress) just spreading myself over a couple of language forums, and places in general. I have pretty much decided to let the textbook study stuff die for now. I might try reviving it later on, but for now I'm accepting that it has died. So, what does my current study situation look like?

    Memrise and Anki - I review everyday, but I'm slow to add cards as of late but have been getting into the habit again recently. Currently only have 500 cards in my Anki deck, with Memrise and words that I just know too well to even bother putting in my deck - I'd say my know vocabulary at this point is easily over the 1000 word mark. I estimate at my relaxed pace I'll be somewhere near the 2000 word mark in Anki at least by the end of the year. At the very least I suppose this will make me a strong A2 if not a B1 lite.

    Glossika - Also do this everyday, I'm 2/3rds through it so far and not this Friday, but the Friday after I will have reached my 3/4 mark (there's 104ish files but the first section covers all 1000 sentences in the first 100 which is all I'll probably be doing, we'll see) in Fluency 1. Which means I'll be going into Fluency 2 next month - very exciting. From what I've been told sections 1 and 2 are very much about the grammar so they conservatively introduce new vocabulary - but 3 builds on the foundation of 1 and 2 and starts pumping in new vocab. It will be very interesting to see how I turn out by the end of it. I'm considering of using Glossika by itself to learn another language next year perhaps without the use of flash cards or books or any other such thing to see how effective it is to teach someone from scratch. I'm considering doing something crazy like buying the Mandarin package, but we'll see what happens as that's months away yet (at best).

    Lang-8 - I started writing there everyday after abandoning it for quite a while. My goal is to write at least 100 words a day till the end of the year. Since I am too lazy to actually fix up my entries afterwards, I look at the corrections and if I see I used new vocab correctly it gets chucked into Anki and if I notice some sort of easily memorisable pattern to the mistakes I've made (like wrong case, or word order) I'll note it down other wise I don't worry about it too much. I'm taking quite a lax approach to it all.

    Italki - I'm seeing my tutor at least once a week and I do the "homework" that I'm assigned. I've been seeing her twice a week, but due to some circumstances we've had to push back to once a week and I might ultimately keep it there. Due to the crappy exchange rate I'm getting, the lessons are costing me about 33% more than they were just a couple months ago. I'm not a cheap person by any means, but it's starting to get pricey and if things go on the way they are with exchange rates I might be soon starting to pay double and I definitely won't be doing 2 lessons a week then.

    Aside from that, I do the occasional reading of material on wikipedia or various books in Serbian but I haven't put forth a regular habit out of it. Same goes with news, movies or music. Anyways, that's an update from me, will let y'all now how I'm going again in a few weeks! :)
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  18. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Another update.

    Looks like I'll be heading over to BCS for a couple months towards the end of the year (still waiting for the final seal of approval from work). It's going to be mostly a total immersion experience from what I know as my relatives don't really speak English. I am sorta going through two different emotions. Sometimes I'm not sweating it and I think "it'll be ok" and other times I think "I am seriously going to crash and burn". So with that said in the next few months I want to cram in as much as possible. I'll be ramping up casual pace of learning vocabulary and try to hit the books a bit more to learn some more grammar. Getting to a B1 level from where I'm at in a few months seems like a real challenge and I don't know how likely it will be. I want to be as close to it as possible as the current level I'm at at the moment I think will make things too painful.

    Aside from this, lang-8 has been going well - nearly 3000 words and it's not yet the end of the month. I think I'll have around 3500 words by months end and approx 25000 words by year's end. In just a few days I managed to get comfortable in writing and had a dramatic improvement in speed, so I can only imagine what it'd be like after I've done 25000 words. I even took a crack at cyrillic even though I'm not really interested in spending too much time on it at the moment. I'll eventually be turning my deck over to cyrillic as I need the practice, but that's for another day. Here's a picture of it - for those who speak other slavic languages i'd be interested in knowing how much is comprehensible to you :)

    I have almost finished Fluency 1 of Glossika. I have less than 3 weeks to go. By the time I get to BCS, I should have also finished Fluency 2, it should be interesting to see how much this helps me. I plan on going back to one of my books, either TY or Colloquial as I want something a bit easy to play with. I also plan on ramping up my speaking practice. Not by a lot, but at least 3 sessions a week, once with a tutor and twice as an exchange. Lastly, I am also a bit excited to know how well I'll speak once I get back. I'm really curious to see how much of a magic bullet can immersion be. Can I really be fluent in three months? Let's find out.
  19. pensulo

    pensulo Member VIP member

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    Another update, though not much more new to add.

    I did end up having over 3600 words for that month on lang-8. I am very lucky in having regulars who check out my writing. Still doing Glossika, but I am back in a sort of a rut with it. At least I am coming up close to finishing this first module, will be doing that mid next week. I'm close to 1000 words known in anki, and mentioned previously I will probably be on around 3500 by end of year. Will be good. Really interested in seeing how the immersion experience will go. I'm hoping I will be really close to a B1. If I get to a B1 I think that will make the experience there far more easy on all involved I think, and probably really help me boost my learning. I think from there new vocabulary acquisition from various media and conversations will be easier and more natural and require less effort. I could just be fooling myself though :p In any case the fun really starts at B1 and I hope with my time there I leave a strong B1 so when I get back I can start working on bringing it up to a strong B2, with a lot less of the pain that I am experiencing now :p

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