Archive for the ‘Dreams of Valhalla’ Category

Study-and-click: 2 hours (55 total)
New passive words: 122 (4016 total)
Today’s reading score: 95% (+2%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 17, 100 words)

95% today – secondary target achieved!

Wow…I’m simply amazed how well the study-and-click method has worked out over the last couple of weeks. Especially considering I’ve averaged just 2-3 hours a day, and all whilst relocating to another country. From 31% to 95% reading scores in just 19 days and 55 hours, I’m absolutely over the moon!!

This also coincides with my last night in Darmstadt, so the timing is really excellent too. I’ll definitely be celebrating with a few drinks tonight…

Now begins the second leg of my Swedish journey. Oh, you didn’t think I’d stop there now, did you?! 😉

STAGE 2: 8000 clicks and 1M words

I aim to continue until I’ve clicked 8000 words, and listened to and read approximately 1,000,000 words of new material in Swedish. This is simply to fix the sounds and flow of the language more firmly in my head, whilst continuing to efficiently maintain and build up vocabulary and intuit new grammar.

I also hope that this will level up my listening skills and enable me to deal more fluently with missing data given surrounding context. With any luck, I’ll consolidate what I’ve learned, and eventually conjure up a little “Swedish djinn” in my ear who will guide me later on with correct pronunciation and expressions in spontaneous speech. That’s the idea anyway.

Why 8000 clicks? Because I believe this is how many words I need to know passively in order to make the best of extensive listening and reading in the target language only. I’ve also seen 95-98% mentioned several times in studies relating to learning efficiently from context, and I think 8000 words should bring me into this range.

Why 1,000,000 words? Well, I’ve heard several people like Katzumoto recommend this milestone for those on the path to fluency, so I thought why not?! I also note in my Russian language learner’s frequency dictionary that 1,000,000 words may well provide multiple reviews for the most frequent 8000 words, which would be ideal if these statistics apply to languages like Swedish as well.

As Dreams of Valhalla was about study-and-click and reaching specific goals in reading, I’ll stop posting daily progress now, and continue adding updates for the second stage in my usual weekly log instead.

I’m really looking forward to immersing myself in as much Swedish literature as I can over the coming weeks (around all the flat hunting). I’ve got Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy to keep me going for a little while longer, but will probably need to start ordering from Bokus again soon. If anyone could recommend some fun Swedish books that aren’t too hard and also available as unabridged audiobooks, that would be brilliant?

For the remainder of the evening, I’m heading off to celebrate this little success in town before my flight back to England tomorrow. Så under tiden och bara för ikväll…skål för Harry Potter! (So in the meantime and just for tonight…cheers for Harry Potter!). 🙂


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Study-and-click: 5 hours (53 total)
New passive words: 309 (3894 total)
Today’s reading score: 93% (+1%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 16, 100 words)

A brief window of opportunity for some Swedish again…hooray! Although there’s still more than enough to do at the flat before I hand over the keys tomorrow…booo!

Incidentally, when I sat down to eat in an Italian restaurant last night, the Harry Potter theme tune came on full blast, and I started laughing. “Just can’t get away from that persistent little fella – this is definitely a reminder!”, I thought to myself.

I was also mistaken for being Dutch by the maître d’, which makes a refreshing change to my earlier days of being considered French, Italian or Belgian. Never British so far though… 😉

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Study-and-click: 5 hours (48 total)
New passive words: 280 (3585 total)
Today’s reading score: 92% (+2%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 15, 100 words)

It’s time to catch up in Swedish from my little hotel room today! And I’ve already noticed a couple of improvements…

The first is that it’s much quicker and easier to study, seeing as I no longer need to pause the audio quite so often. Hopefully it won’t be long now until I can fit an additional audio file into each 50 minutes. The exposure to additional material in each study session would really help counterbalance the decreasing amount of new vocabulary per page.

The second is that the number of clicks I log for listening in each session is catching up with (and on occasion even surpassing) my number for reading…an excellent sign that my listening skills are on the up and up too.

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Study-and-click: 2 hours (43 total)
New passive words: 122 (3299 total)
Today’s reading score: 90% (+1%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 14, 100 words)

It was another beautiful afternoon outside in Darmstadt (especially considering we’re already well into October). It therefore seemed such a shame to be inside cleaning and scrubbing all day, rather than out in a park snatching at Frisbees or strolling leisurely around the lake with Pimsleur in the background.

I’ve managed to put in a couple of hours of study this evening, all the same, but feel so frustrated I can’t do much more right now.

I’ll be packing everything up for the removal men and moving out of my flat tomorrow, so things are going to get even crazier around here shortly. I also need to decide what’s best to bring with me in the big suitcase (with a 20kg allowance for the flight) before I head off to the hotel. I need to consider this carefully, in case I don’t find a flat within the first couple of weeks and end up a raggle-taggle hotel-hopping gypsy longer than anticipated.

I’ll be back at the flat over the weekend to repaint the place and put in my share of last-minute DIY-ing (yes, you know you’re in Germany when your walls are spotless, but you still need to repaint…). That hopefully gives me a decent window of study on Friday (fingers crossed for a desk in my hotel room), and some more time on Monday and Tuesday before my flight back to England.

I’m finding it hard to fit it all in and still have time for some Swedish at the end of the day; but hell…that won’t stop me! ^.^

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It was business more than usual today, so I just had time to listen to some Harry Potter whilst in transit. I’ve only now got in the door and it’s early morning, so to be honest, I’m shattered.

I’ll try and make up the study hours later this week. I hope I don’t plummet too far down with my vocabulary for missing out a day or so, but with things as chaotic as they are this week, it can’t really be helped. [edit]

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Study-and-click: 1 hour (41 total)
New passive words: 59 (3177 total)
Today’s reading score: 89% (-4%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 12, 100 words)

It was hard to get back on track this Monday with so many goodbyes to say before I leave. So I just ended up putting in an hour of study after I returned from an evening out with friends at a Vietnamese restaurant. This, and a few glasses of japanischer Pflaumenwein, no doubt reflect in my reading score tonight. 😉

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Study-and-click: 2 hours (40 total)
New passive words: 104 (3118 total)
Today’s reading score: 93% (+2%, “Män som hatar kvinnor”, Kapitel 11, 100 words)

The tenth of the tenth of the tenth, and a pleasant sunny Sunday on the whole! I was simply exhausted by the end of this week, so I’m really glad I took some quality time out to relax and go for a wander in the countryside today. Carpets of rustling, crunchy leaves, and a shedding tapestry of beautiful autumn hues. I’m now wondering what it’s like in Sweden this time of year too? 🙂

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