In the 26 days since my last blog post about Glossika (sorry about the huge gap), I’ve quit a job, visited family over 2,000 miles away for Christmas, and started a new job. Somehow, despite all of this, I’ve still managed to do my GSR files for Glossika every day.
At this point in time, I’ve approximately two thirds the way through the first fluency level of Glossika, which is the smallest standalone course you can buy from them. I’m still thoroughly impressed with the quality of the course and am enjoying doing it.
Doing the lessons:
Since my new job involves about approximately an hour commute each way, 35 minutes of which is me walking, I’ve been doing the GSR files while walking through San Francisco. Half of the lesson I’ll do on my way into work, and the other half on the way back. Splitting the course in two chunks during the day hasn’t really seemed to effect me learning from the course, but I’ve also been supplementing the content by doing Anki with the sentences while on the train for the remaining part of the commute. The effect is that I’m rather enjoying my 2 hours of commuting every day, because it gives me a chance to do double duty with language learning, which I probably would’ve spent about 2 hours a day doing anyways.
I’ve changed from using Listen Audiobook Player to Podcast Addict for managing the GSR files. Listen Audiobook Player is still a great app I’d recommend for listening to mp3 audiobooks (like maybe Harry Potter in German or Ponniyin Selvan in the original Tamil?), but it doesn’t work great for the GSR files because it assumes you will always have the entire audiobook on the phone at the same time. In an effort to save disk space on my phone, I prefer to preload only the next week or two of GSR files and delete the ones I’ve already listened to. Turns out this is more in line with listening to podcasts. So Podcast Addict allows me to treat a folder on disk as a local-only podcast series, shows them in order of filename, and allows me to delete the ones I’ve already listened to. It still has the same features of storing position in the file I’m on so that when I resume the lesson on the walk home, it’s at the same place I left it when I got into work.
A small gripe I’ve had with the actual course at this point, is that some sentences have multiple translations with no explanation as to why. For example, “I don’t watch TV very often.” (sentence #433), is translated into Spanish as “[Yo] no veo la televisión con mucha frecuencia. > normalmente no veo la television. > Usualmente no veo la televesion.” There’s no explanation as to why there are 3 variants of the sentence, and every time the sentence comes up in the GSR files, it plays the audio for all 3 of them. I don’t really see a reason for this, if one of them is as good as the other, than just pick one and reduce the amount of audio being played in the lesson. This has been rare, but I’ve now heard it for multiple of the languages in my triangulation course.
Something strange about doing the triangulation course, is that it’s not doing wonders for keeping the languages straight in my head. Not that I’m mixing them up while trying to speak them, though admittedly I haven’t tried to speak any of them overly often lately. But, I’m not doing great with knowing which langauge I just heard in real life. In the last week I’ve had two different experiences to this effect.
While shopping at 99 Ranch Market last week, the cashier turned to her manager to ask a question in Chinese. I understood the short conversation just fine, but I honestly have no idea what language it was in. I’m thinking it wasn’t actually straight Mandarin or Cantonese, but some dialect of one or the other, but still, I understood the conversation without knowing what language I was actually listening to. Kind of a weird experience.
The other day, I had a similar experience. Podcast Addict started autoplaying a podcast I had downloaded a while ago after I finished my Glossika lesson for the day on the way home from work. I was listening to the podcast for a little while, struggling to try to understand the speaker’s strange Spain-Spanish accent, when it finally clicked after a few minutes that they weren’t speaking Spanish at all. The presenter was speaking Italian with a lisp…which caused me to think it was Spanish. It got a little easier to understand once my brain clicked into Italian mode, but it definitely wasn’t much of a switch to go between the two.
At this point in my Glossika experience, I’d be happy to recommend it to other people. Probably not the multilingual triangulation course like I’m doing, because it’s rather insane. But the single language version? I think it has a lot to offer people. And even if you don’t actually like the format of the GSR files, it’s not too hard to just mine the sentences from the course PDF and associated audio files and use the high quality translations and recordings in whatever method suits your learning best.