Author Topic: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress  (Read 2359 times)

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #50 on: January 25, 2019, 06:18:03 AM »
Test results for the JLPT were posted. I passed the N4! Listening was hard, but my score was on par with what I got on the N5 listening section, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Already started an intermediate textbook. Enjoying it so far, though the listening comprehension has gotten tough there. Audio is a lot faster and it's hard to keep up. I know that's part of what's needed in order to think in the language and not mentally translate or search about for the meaning of a word. Still rough while making that transition.

Congratulations! That is great.

FunkyStickman

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 512
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Louisiana
    • Living Outside the Box
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #51 on: January 25, 2019, 06:34:26 AM »
I started learning Japanese about a year and a half ago. I'm currently using only apps on my phone (so I can do them anywhere). I'm using Mango (free from library), Memrise, Duolingo, and Anki cards. Each ones has strong points.

I'm nowhere near fluent, but I'm to the point where I can pick up on a lot of phrases I hear in anime. I haven't touched it in a few months, it's probably time I got back to it...

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #52 on: February 03, 2019, 03:32:18 PM »
Test results for the JLPT were posted. I passed the N4! Listening was hard, but my score was on par with what I got on the N5 listening section, so I'm pretty happy about that.

Already started an intermediate textbook. Enjoying it so far, though the listening comprehension has gotten tough there. Audio is a lot faster and it's hard to keep up. I know that's part of what's needed in order to think in the language and not mentally translate or search about for the meaning of a word. Still rough while making that transition.

Belated congratulations for this. It is nice to have a real milestone like that. Good luck with the intermediate textbook.

For my part, I'm beginning to spend more and more time on Korean. My weekly language exchange meetings have started back up after a holiday hiatus. I'm watching Korean dramas on Viki in the evenings, and I'm drilling vocabulary on Quizlet (this set). I've also gotten out a couple TOPIK prep books, though I haven't spent nearly as much time with them as on Quizlet. I've listened to a few Talk to Me in Korean podcasts, but I find it hard to get into podcast listening.

One big thing is that I told my boss I would be going for the Korean language exam, so it is now officially part of my job to pass this thing. I can't spend much time on this at work because of all the other things that need doing, but at least I can drill vocabulary now and then or listen to a Korean podcast while working on something tedious.

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #53 on: February 09, 2019, 05:04:20 AM »
One big thing is that I told my boss I would be going for the Korean language exam, so it is now officially part of my job to pass this thing.

The other day, I finally sat down and did a proper timed mock test for the reading section of the TOPIK 1. It was awful. In spite of all the time I have spent on this so far, I would have been better off guessing at random. I'm not sure what happened with the test I'd taken online before and passed, whether it wasn't accurate or whether I was just better with listening. I spent a lot of time on Korean the past couple weeks because I had some quiet time at work and also stayed late and brought things home and had language exchange sessions one evening a week and watch Korean dramas at night with dual subtitles (English and Korean). It is super frustrating, especially now that I've told people I'm doing this.

My post-mortem on the mock test is that I need to prioritise TOPIK-specific vocabulary memorisation. This should help with both accuracy and speed. I only finished 60% of the questions, which obviously hurt me. I think my time management should improve just by having done it once and having a better sense of the big picture. I do feel I'm following the words and Korean subtitles more closely now with the dramas, and I'm recognising words I've studied. That makes me feel a little better, but it's not giving me new vocabulary, only reinforcing what I've done. On Quizlet, I'm now showing 14% progress on the TOPIK 1 vocabulary list, but it seems like I get more questions wrong than right, especially when it comes to spelling words in Korean.

omachi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #54 on: February 09, 2019, 09:30:33 AM »
Vocab on tests is one of the biggest frustrations that I have with Japanese as well. There's what I've learned through whatever sources, and then there's test specific stuff that you're expected to know. I'd say my textbooks probably covered 3/4 of what was needed, along with a whole bunch of stuff that's not needed for that specific test. Like, I was 1/4 of the way through the N3 vocabulary when I looked at what was needed for it, because in learning N5 and N4, I picked all that up.

I guess what's particularly frustrating is that if you don't look at test specific vocab, then you'll end up not doing well. But if you do, you're just learning to the test. A lot of that vocab hasn't stuck particularly well because the context I have for it is just a couple flashcards I had to make to get exposure to the word, not something I came across in a more organic manner. My big goal is to learn the language, not just pass a test at a certain time, so it's a little less fun to cram that stuff.

What's particularly funny is that in reading childrens' books, first grade level stuff, I'm picking up a bunch of N1 ("fluent") words. So a first grader is expected to know the word, or ask a parent and then know it, but foreign learners don't need it until they're approaching fluency. Yay tests.

Hope you can get things in shape before the TOPIK test. If you only got through 60%, you're obviously going to be hurting at scoring time. My only tip there is that if you don't know something on a question, mark it in your booklet, skip it, and come back to it if there's time. If you're only going to get through ~60% of the questions, make sure they're the ones you know. It's possible you could have nailed the remaining 40% if you'd just gotten to them in time.

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #55 on: February 09, 2019, 12:00:46 PM »
Vocab on tests is one of the biggest frustrations that I have with Japanese as well. There's what I've learned through whatever sources, and then there's test specific stuff that you're expected to know. I'd say my textbooks probably covered 3/4 of what was needed, along with a whole bunch of stuff that's not needed for that specific test. Like, I was 1/4 of the way through the N3 vocabulary when I looked at what was needed for it, because in learning N5 and N4, I picked all that up.

I guess what's particularly frustrating is that if you don't look at test specific vocab, then you'll end up not doing well. But if you do, you're just learning to the test. A lot of that vocab hasn't stuck particularly well because the context I have for it is just a couple flashcards I had to make to get exposure to the word, not something I came across in a more organic manner. My big goal is to learn the language, not just pass a test at a certain time, so it's a little less fun to cram that stuff.

What's particularly funny is that in reading childrens' books, first grade level stuff, I'm picking up a bunch of N1 ("fluent") words. So a first grader is expected to know the word, or ask a parent and then know it, but foreign learners don't need it until they're approaching fluency. Yay tests.

Hope you can get things in shape before the TOPIK test. If you only got through 60%, you're obviously going to be hurting at scoring time. My only tip there is that if you don't know something on a question, mark it in your booklet, skip it, and come back to it if there's time. If you're only going to get through ~60% of the questions, make sure they're the ones you know. It's possible you could have nailed the remaining 40% if you'd just gotten to them in time.

Thank you, Omachi. This was a helpful and encouraging post.

I hope I can catch up, but to be honest, I found there were very few questions that I could have answered in any amount of time. I've got just over 2 months. I'm hoping that drilling the vocabulary first and then doing more mock tests will make a difference.

Yeah, vocab for tests is different from vocab for life, but I think this one is based on studies of word frequency in Korean. It should be helpful to know the most frequent words. I just really haven't made as much progress as I had hoped at this point. I wonder sometimes if it's because I'm much older than I was when I started learning Japanese or if it's because this time I'm trying to teach myself instead of taking structured classes.

In committing to taking the TOPIK, I wanted to give myself a definite goal to work toward. Even if it's just a test, it provides some structure, and there's a set of vocabulary and grammar on which I can focus. I guess even if I don't pass it this time, I will still get the benefit of whatever preparation I do for it.

omachi

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Location: Minnesota
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #56 on: February 09, 2019, 01:18:09 PM »
Yeah, vocab for tests is different from vocab for life, but I think this one is based on studies of word frequency in Korean. It should be helpful to know the most frequent words. I just really haven't made as much progress as I had hoped at this point. I wonder sometimes if it's because I'm much older than I was when I started learning Japanese or if it's because this time I'm trying to teach myself instead of taking structured classes.

In committing to taking the TOPIK, I wanted to give myself a definite goal to work toward. Even if it's just a test, it provides some structure, and there's a set of vocabulary and grammar on which I can focus. I guess even if I don't pass it this time, I will still get the benefit of whatever preparation I do for it.
That's pretty much my reason for taking the JLPT as well. Something small and concrete to work towards instead of trying to eat the whole elephant in one go. Failure wouldn't be a problem so long as it gives me good direction on what I need to study. Of course, passing is nice, so good luck.

None of the JLPT vocab was useless, it's just that there were probably other words that might be more useful in frequent contexts. Like knowing the word for "vocabulary word" before "embassy". One is really useful in a learning context, the other only if you have a big issue in Japan.

YYK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Location: Scattered disc
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #57 on: February 11, 2019, 10:12:30 AM »
Like knowing the word for "vocabulary word"
単語? I'm finding there are a lot of words that map to the same or close English definition so I often don't know which is the correct one to use in a certain situation without having seen it in the wild numerous times. E.g. 納得 vs 承知. I should probably start using Japanese definitions.

@Kwill how are you studying vocabulary? I find it useful to write down (in my case, add to my Anki deck) every unfamiliar word I come across in context, such as when watching a show with Japanese subtitles or reading a book. It was really tedious in the beginning when I was looking up 4/5 words but I have about 4200 in my deck now and it's a lot smoother. This approach definitely forces you to pick up a lot of vocab relatively quickly.

Kwill

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1079
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #58 on: February 11, 2019, 03:05:01 PM »
Like knowing the word for "vocabulary word"
単語? I'm finding there are a lot of words that map to the same or close English definition so I often don't know which is the correct one to use in a certain situation without having seen it in the wild numerous times. E.g. 納得 vs 承知. I should probably start using Japanese definitions.

@Kwill how are you studying vocabulary? I find it useful to write down (in my case, add to my Anki deck) every unfamiliar word I come across in context, such as when watching a show with Japanese subtitles or reading a book. It was really tedious in the beginning when I was looking up 4/5 words but I have about 4200 in my deck now and it's a lot smoother. This approach definitely forces you to pick up a lot of vocab relatively quickly.

It's a good idea. Right now I am focusing on the vocabulary for this specific test, so I'm mainly using Quizlet with flashcards that someone else made up for the test. There are 1153 cards. Lately I've been doing them in 'Learn Mode' which tests vocabulary. It uses spaced repetition and only introduces a few terms at a time. Sometimes I'll just let the flashcards play, and sometimes I'll do a matching game if I'm waiting somewhere.

As you said, context helps. Once I recognise a word in the wild, I remember it better. Right now I'm re-watching 'W' with both Korean and English subtitles, and I'm recognising more words than before.

yakamashii

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 103
  • Location: Japan
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #59 on: February 11, 2019, 06:10:42 PM »
Like knowing the word for "vocabulary word"
単語? I'm finding there are a lot of words that map to the same or close English definition so I often don't know which is the correct one to use in a certain situation without having seen it in the wild numerous times. E.g. 納得 vs 承知. I should probably start using Japanese definitions.

Using Japanese definitions is an excellent idea. That will make it a lot easier to see differences that aren't apparent in the most common English gloss (and you'll see that, particularly with 漢語 words, you can't rely on the most common gloss).

In your example, 納得 means to understand _and_ accept ("Yeah, that makes sense/sounds reasonable"), while 承知 as in 承知しました is simply acknowledging receipt of information ("I have been informed."). The difference is stark in Japanese, but that's hard to see without hearing it in the wild, as everyone's saying. A 和和 dictionary will help.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 08:36:22 PM by yakamashii »

YYK

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Location: Scattered disc
Re: East Asian language study -- share your goals and progress
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2019, 09:49:33 AM »
In your example, 納得 means to understand _and_ accept ("Yeah, that makes sense/sounds reasonable"), while 承知 as in 承知しました is simply acknowledging receipt of information ("I have been informed."). The difference is stark in Japanese, but that's hard to see without hearing it in the wild, as everyone's saying. A 和和 dictionary will help.

That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.