vendredi 30 janvier 2009

TAC Log for Jan 29

More flash card reps. Averaging about 200/day still. I'm down to ~900 unseen cards from the initial 2400 card import. Anki guestimates another 5-6 days until I've seen them all, then I guess it'll start _actually_ reviewing them. Actual _new_ vocab (as in, I have no idea what that word means) from this course seems to be much lower than the 50% mark I had guessed, and I'd say it's maybe 1/3-1/4 stuff that I totally know and would be able to spit out the example sentence in everyday conversation. The rest of it are phrases or words that I recognize and can understand, but not pull them out from passive if I needed them in conversation. It's not that I couldn't express the idea, I just wouldn't be able to do it fluidly and with the "right" expression.

I feel my learning of new vocab has slightly dropped off since I've stopped doing the "fun" reading. Partly it's because the flash cards are still in the "processing" stage so they're not being reviewed. Secondly, my chapter studies for DVC have slowed down (it's a chore...). I think I have the vague excuse that I want to re-listen to the chapters before doing the study, but now that I've recognized it for what it is, I'm going to drop the requirement and Just Do It. Secondly, the chapter studies don't seem useful because I'm only grabbing sentences and they're sort of vanishing into the void. I'm not putting them into anki yet because of the massive backlog. So there again it seems less useful. I'm sure there's lots of good vocab and sentences in DVC and I'll be glad to actually start _learning_ from it, rather than just circling words on the page, but until then it's just disheartening to be in the middle of it..

More thoughts about the vocab course. While I'm certain I will end up learning the words through SRS, reviewing the vocab away from my computer is much harder. The vocab course has dialogs, which I'm not learning (for me I think it's because I have no audio for them -- they just end up being more vocab in context.) But the advantage is being able to rattle off the dialog and remember the 20 new words. Similarly, with Iversen's word list method, I could glance at the sheet and just have the words quickly called to mind during the day. With anki, it's a once-per-day thing for me. I'm sure once I've finished the initial import, the SRS _will_ work as expected, but until then it's just disheartening to be in the middle of it..

I can't wait for Mic/Webcam support to be unborken under Linux. A number of language chat sites use flash for chatting, and I'm stuck with text. Also, Linux's compose key doesn't seem to work on Sharedtalk which means I have no French accents.

Yeah, I"m on sharedtalk for the moment, but thankfully not so much on the chatting. Just waiting to see if this attempt to find a conversation partner works out. I've signed up for another "find skype language exchange" site ( We'll see if this one works any better than Mixxer. I've tried setting my Skype to "SkypeMe!", but all that does is let the spambots message me.

I've also decided to change my google interface to French. I had been putting off doing this for a while, because it's not just the google messages it changes, it's also changes the ranking so that French pages will be presented first. Given the amount I use google, I'm a bit concerned about this. I just don't want the English pages I might be looking for to be totally hidden way at the bottom. On the other hand, if there are useful pages near the top in French, then I should train myself to click on those ones. This was why I made the change, to increase the incidental amount of French I see during the day (in this case, at work..)

Finally, I've lost the last excuse I had for not doing lang-8 posts: journal prompts. I figured out the proper google query and found a list of 1000. I'm starting with the achievable goal of twice a week: Sunday and Wedneday. There we go, I've said it and commited. Twice a week lang-8 posts, and I have a topics to write about. No more procrastinating!

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