Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sentence mining, or 10.000 sentences

Ok, so there's a bit of misunderstanding about this going on, and not a lot of information.
I suppose people need... forms or something. "Take this, put it in, do this et voilà"

10.000 sentences at Learn Any Language Wiki

Yes, it really is that simple. You take 10.000 sentences, put them on flashcards (when digital, called SRS and suddenly is not flashcards, which are stupid >:->), and learn them. How you do that is your business.
But, the mistakes a lot of people make, are
- using ANY sentence, preferably someone else's...
- using READY WRITTEN "sentence packs", not writing them themselves
- NOT UNDERSTANDING EACH WORD IN THE SENTENCES. Because you are not to learn words but sentences. (rolling eyes).

One of the "things" with this is that YOU CHOOSE THE SENTENCES.
Of course you can parrot someone else's choices, and you will learn the language, but the point with 10.000 sentences is that you remove the unnecessary junk of language learning. I mean, I have NEVER had the discussion "Hello, how are you? I'm fine, thank you, and how are you? I'm fine, too, thank you." in ANY language. 99% of Finnish courses online start with this practically useless crap, because that's what people think they need to learn.So, think of the situations you imagine you are going to experience and what you would like to be able to say and WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT THE RESPONSES.
It's all fine to say "Hello, my name is Ketutar, and I am a middle-aged Finnish woman, married, with no children, no pets, blah blah blah", but... who is really interested of any of that information?
"My name is...", sure. "What is your name?". "I am Finnish, where do you come from?". "I love animals, especially cats. What is your favorite animal?". "I want to go to this address, could you help, please?" "I would like to have a cup of tea, with milk, no sugar, and something sweet to eat with it. What kind of pastries do you have?" "No onions, thank you."...
Perhaps you don't plan on traveling as your first reason to learn a language, and then learning how to ask for directions is useless information. At this point of your learning. Maybe you would like to read books in your target language? My reasons to want to learn Russian is a) books, tv series and movies in Russian. b) the huge, amazing and skillful arts and crafts community of Russia, sharing a vast treasure chest of information in Russian only. After that there's plenty of other benefits of knowing Russian, and it would be wonderful to visit Russia some time, as a tourist. But that's in the future and secondary. This means that I should choose my 10.000 sentences from the books I want to read and from the artisan blogs I want to understand, not from phrase books or language courses (either in RL or on the Internet.)

Another thing is that YOU WRITE THE SENTENCE. You, personally, write down every letter, every sign, and you read it when you write it. This would be more effective, if you did it by hand, and not by computer. Nevertheless, using someone else's work robs you of this part of learning.
One of the goals of 10.000 sentences is that you are able to write the sentences. If you just copy something on the internet someone else wrote (or copied), do you know how to write it? Can you reproduce it on a piece of paper with no access to internet?

You find out how to PROPERLY PRONOUNCE the sentence and practice as many times as it takes for you to produce as good a pronunciation as you can. Record your pronunciation and compare with original. The point with this is that every time you see the sentence, you also hear it in your head properly pronounced, and soon you won't be able to separate the two. Every time you say it, you will pronounce it properly, and EVERY TIME YOU HEAR IT, you understand it.

There is a Finnish.. anecdote or something, called "hauki on kala" (pike is a fish). A student studies for biology test by repeating mindlessly the words from the text, and then cannot make any conclusions with this information, cannot expand the sentence, wouldn't be able to say what the pike is NOT, or mention other examples of fishes.
Now, language learning doesn't quite work this way, but this is the idea behind "The sentences should be learned without rote memorization. You will end up "memorizing" the sentences merely through repetition, but your goal should be understanding, not memorization."

Now, I didn't choose my sentences. Or, let's say, I didn't choose them to best fit my intentions with language learning, but because of the "that's the way to do it". I have decided to learn the 100 most commonly used words of Russian, so that's what I'm doing, and as they gave some sample sentences, and as people say "don't learn words, learn sentences", I'm going to learn the 100 most commonly used words in sentences, and what the sentences are, I don't care.
So my first sentence  is "Я живу в Москве"
This sentence is given as a sentence where the most common word in Russian is being used.

To do sentence mining properly, now it's time to understand it and every word in it. This is one part a lot of miners do wrong - or, more precisely, don't do at all. They just learn the sentence and move on.

Now, you are not to just learn the sentence as meaning "I live in Moskva", but you are to deconstruct the sentence.
The individual bits of the sentence are "I" (Я, by the way, is the 4th most common word in Russian), "to live", жить "in", в, and "Moskva" (the native name to Moscow), and IT IS THE DIFFERENCES FROM THE BASIC FORM THAT GIVES US THE INFORMATION WE WANT. Which means that WE NEED TO KNOW THE BASIC FORM to be able to know the difference... :-D

One difference is that the verb ends with -у, and not -ть. Checking other verb endings of 1.sing. I see that they all end with -у or -ю́. (I also notice that the other forms end differently, so Russian has verb conjugation in person. Now, I could learn the inflections the same way I did in school (я живу́, ты живёшь, он живёт, она живет, мы живём, вы живёте, они живу́т), which is actually a very good way of learning them, because it works as a mnemonic device - the repetition of same pattern. It also teaches the pronouns very effectively, but that's not the Sentence Mining way. So not going there.)

The other thing I learn from this sentence is "в Москве". Ah. The only reason I notice that is that I know Moskva is written with A in neutral, basic form.This is why it's important to actually use the native names of places when studying languages. So when using в, I need to remember to change the main word as well. I'll learn how as I go, but as for now, "in" will be "в + -е", not just в.

With this it's irrelevant if you use cloze deletion with your SRS, because the idea with this is the massive exposure to the language, not memorization. You are to SEE the sentences and HEAR them in your mind, if not ears, A LOT. Not just a couple of hours a day, no, a lot. Like ALL THE TIME.
"You’ve been mining your sentences diligently, but you still have trouble even following a conversation let alone participating, right? Maybe you still can’t follow your favorite anime. Right. OK, I have a question for you. How much Japanese are you listening to? Whatever your answer is, I can guarantee you that it hasn’t been enough for long enough yet. Which is why I suggest you: Listen to 10,000 hours of Japanese over the next 18 months."
Khatzumoto at AJATT
Yeah... that's about 18 hours A DAY... He's not kidding with "ALL JAPANESE ALL THE TIME". 

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