AMboy's Learning Tagalog Journal - Day 5 of 588 - Page 2

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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
May 26 2020, 9:13pm CST ~ 1 mo., 12 days ago. 
AMBoy In my opinion, if you're around A1/A2, I think one should either: 1. Expose themselves to more material intended for language learners, gradually increasing the difficulty. OR 2. Use the Listening Practice Videos on this site as opposed to reading the news articles, if one wants to increase their vocabulary. The listening videos with transcripts on this website are very useful, and because the vocabulary used in these videos are more common, you'll get more exposure to the more common words used in the language. You can also read the transcripts while listening to "read while listening", which is what I do. From my experience using this website, I would say probably the easiest resource on this site with transcripts that is intended for native speakers would be the MichelleFamilyDiary videos. This would be followed by the Acy De Castro and Pao Adventurer. The reason why the news isn't something I recommend for beginners is because the news is a lot more at B2+ level, and can frustrate A1/A2 people with all the words they don't know. I can remember when I was at a lower B1 level and I would feel really frustrated reading the news myself and read only at 25 words per minute. It was a significant step up from what I had listened to earlier and the vocabulary used is completely different. Previously, I was mainly listening to easy-to-understand speakers such as akosibail, Dwaine Wooley etc. Instead, if you wish to read, reading some material intended for foreign language learners and importing it into the reader may be useful. It's probably my only suggestion for the reader tool - there isn't enough of this actual "beginner-like" sort of material imported in the reader tool as of yet. It's a similar story with things such as teleserye and movies - I'm watching my first Filipino movie on Netflix and it's not the easiest. It currently takes me 6 minutes to go and 100% fully understand 1 minute of video. Plus all the innuendos, double meanings and unfamiliar sayings can make things awkward without previous exposure to them. EDIT: I've generally done journals on occasion, but I haven't enjoyed them myself so I probably won't create one. But I don't mind helping others out to learn Tagalog!
I may have misrepresented by my progress, perhaps because it says Day 5 of 588, its more like day 180 and 7 years living in PH without active effort. As I mentioned in prior posts I'm really not in danger of burnout or over frustration. I've been there though a few times in the past 6 months, but after a few breakthroughs its all coming together. It's just going to take time, effort and exposure but it's rewarding. Real frustration to me would be to not progress, or to have not reached my goals by day 588.
I think the most important qualifier of content to consume is not if it's easy or for learner, but if its compelling to the learner at all. If you are reading something you don't care about at all (most learning materials) it's very easy to burn out and question why you are even bothering lol. Tagalog learning materials as so bad that even as a 1 month novice I was finding errors in almost every learning material, pretty sad.
I actually think it's better you immediately start reading content by natives for natives. The listening practice is going to be key but I cannot for the life of me embrace those bloggers, prime example of stuff I don't care about and thus will not take extra effort to comprehend. Strange enough, I do enjoy cheesey romcoms, love teams, etc.
So because of this issue I've actually asked @jkos set me up (Thanks !!) with a system that allows me (anyone) to take a youtube video and import my own tagalog closed captioning and use it in the reader tool. I pay natives to transcribe (not translate) content and load it up. However, the current edition of the tool makes it hard to use for me because the video takes up too much of the screen I'm sure @jkos will get that resolved eventually, hopefully soon.
I've already reached the level of understanding where I feel that lack of vocabulary is the biggest thing holding me back hence why I'm trying to hit it so hard. I currently shy away from the labels as there is no formal test for competency available. My metrics are based on my goals for the language. The news is actually quite interesting to me, @akosikoneho and @jkos are I are also reading a decent Wattpatt novel called "Bakaysion" which has many deep words to learn but is still pretty comprehensible and interesting enough to read. Lastly, I'm actually making my way through all 600 episodes of "Be Careful With My Heart" teleseries and find it amazing how much I can follow along with it, in near real time and they don't even offer captioning in either language. This alone has been very motivating for me. As soon as @jkos gets me fixed up on the video consumption issue I will be watching more modern stuff mixed in as novels and news lean quite formal where as a show like Bubble Gang is quite modern, and funny.
Overall sounds the like our strategies are similar, read, read, read, listen, listen, listen, but I'm taking the extra step of actively flash carding unknown words.
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Author Photo Bituingmaykinang
May 26 2020, 11:08pm CST ~ 1 mo., 12 days ago. 
Hi Amboy,
How is your reading? There are a few Filipino comics that are in Tagalog, so I wonder if reading comics can help some help learners regarding their reading? It's not as complicated as reading a book or a news article, but not as boring as sentences in a grammar book.
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Author Photo Scrover
May 27 2020, 12:09am CST ~ 1 mo., 12 days ago. 
Great thing for you then!
Glad to hear that you're doing way better than I thought you were. In such a case though, I hope what I said previously has some use for any of the people starting their Tagalog journey and just stumbled onto this forum.
Hope to read more about your progress over the next few months!
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Author Photo akosikoneho Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
May 27 2020, 11:46am CST ~ 1 mo., 12 days ago. 
One of my biggest pieces of advice in this "go to native content ASAP" world we live in, is pick a good beginners course and finish it. Teach Yourself Tagalog is very cheap for the ebook edition and covers up to the intermediate level in grammar. I myself jumped straight into sentence mining and as a result my advanced constructions have always dragged behind a bit. If I could go back two years ago... I would have finished my book. It has all of what you learn through mass input, but condensed into a nice user friendly manner. Most beginners and intermediates aren't going to just pick apart patterns for affixes that are rare.
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Author Photo jkos Badge: AdminBadge: SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
May 27 2020, 2:12pm CST ~ 1 mo., 12 days ago. 
Good advice...Tagalog is too different from English (if that's your first language) to easily and intuitively pick up a lot of the structure going on just by reading. Now, if your first language is English and you're trying to learn Spanish then pure immersion / native content might be a better option.
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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
May 28 2020, 1:54am CST ~ 1 mo., 11 days ago. 
Yeah I already started with beginner stuff before moving in to more native stuff and it helped a lot, I would never say pure immersion for this, it would be crazy. Study away at the stuff (that's why I'm more excited now to finish but I think if learners spend too much time poking around and "mastering" beginners boring content they will quickly get bored, and worse feel very discouraged when they attempt to read and listen to something they actually care about. Both leading to a high level of quitting, gotta find a balance I think. When you read something you care about, you are motivated to push through it, to learn, to comprehend and this sticks a whole lot better. Hell, I'm even speaking from experience, I pick up my first books from a few months ago and I'm wow I guess I'm fluent now in reading!. Beginners crap (and the creation of most other foreigners) tagalog is pretty easy to understand now but then I read or listen to a native and I see the long road ahead. But it gets easier everyday that's so motivating and rewarding for me.
I think a big problem is that despite all we know or all the best ways to do something we often just don't work like that. Like I would recommend and I think you might agree with me @akosikoneho based on what you just said any new student drop everything and push through an entire course before going further. If I could have forced myself to, I would have liked to just hunkered down and gave Learning Tagalog 120% effort until complete, moved on to the top 1000 flash cards, and then on to my current path of reading/listening w/ dictionary and hardcore flashing unknowns. However finishing LT at the time was just a really difficult thing to do because at the time I was just so bored with it around 30% in. It wasn't until I reached a new understanding where I can go back and even feel excited to complete the course. Human motivation and emotions are weird.
So yeah my current thinking for new learners would be this:
AMBoy Mastery Method for Learning Tagalog ™
1. Complete a course like to full mastery (do nothing else) and ;isten to Pimsuler almost passively during this time, focus on the course.
2. Flashcard to mastery the entire top 3000 words
3. Start reading/watching compelling content with the reader tool system (basically it's you and a dictionary)
4. Take unknown words from step 3 and flashcard them to mastery
5. Move mastered flashcards in to a SRS system (Anki) and do these everyday along side step 3
6. Perform steps 3,4,5 for x amount of time, or better, for a lifetime. At some point it wont be much work at all and SRS system will keep everything you have learned committed to memory.
Obviously real interactions with natives will help a lot but I'm not so convinced you couldn't get pretty damn far with this method even without a native.
I'm just thinking outbound here guys, consider this stuff part of the journal not really a reply to you. I'm actually really excited about this concept I just laid out.
Honestly, I just don't see how, reading/watching tool (with lookup) + hardcore flashing can go wrong (if you can handle it, but if you cant honestly, how motivated are you really?) . I think the worst case is you come out with a near full understanding of the language but you speak a little weird but are still fully understandable to a native which obviously you can fix over time. I don't know how any one (including my future self) could fail to see huge, remarkable gains with this AMBoy Mastery Method. Time will tell but I'm really loving the possibilities.
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Author Photo BoraMac
Jun 03 2020, 10:10am CST ~ 1 mo., 5 days ago. 
Assssssssssstig. Your down a productive path. Good on yah.
Just a couple sources you might work in a bit...
Popular songs on you tube. You will pick up power and standard phrases. Now the phrases are more stylized, not exactly daily conversation. But a bit of well placed gaya gaya can infact spin heads and melt hearts. But most important you will accelerate your exposure to power words (Giliw, Sinta, etc.) and phrases (ibig sabihin, ang sarili ko, etc).
If you want something approaching need to actively adopt your personal style. Find a model of inspiration. Personally I enjoy strong radio DJs - google DJ Heidi (Sarah G) for a small taste.
Really study the movie dialogs...very practical, efficient tagalog.
Keep stepping down your good path. Enjoy
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Author Photo jkos Badge: AdminBadge: SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Jun 03 2020, 11:55am CST ~ 1 mo., 5 days ago. 
@AMBoy Any update on progress lately?
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Author Photo AMBoy Badge: SupporterBadge: Serious SupporterBadge: VIP Supporter
Jun 03 2020, 1:37pm CST ~ 1 mo., 5 days ago. 
@jkos Yes, I've been meaning to update, still studying but also working. Update coming soon. I refuse to let this journal fizzle out like all lame language blogs I see. Also I gotta calculate what DAY it is again next I post.
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