Interacting with your diary entries


Usually when I write diaries I spit out what I want to write rather quickly, upload it to lang-8, and after it’s corrected respond to the comments (in Korean) and only briefly look at the corrections to see any mistakes that I made.

However I didn’t have a good way of reviewing the corrected diaries. I would sometimes for fun or inspiration read the old diary entries straight on the site but I didn’t have any systematic way of reviewing the words and grammar that I had been learned.

As part of my audio library I put it in Learn with Texts. Then I segment it line-by-line  with audacity, and put it in Anki so I can review it. I started this week and already have several diary entries recorded and about 30 cards (with audio) from my diary entries.

These cards really stick well.  Afterall, It’s my story, my ideas, my history. Read by someone else. These are words and phrases and stories I want to say later when I talk to people.

I also originally recorded with Rhinospike but stopped doing that after realizing that (unlike lang-8) there was no way to delete content or protect it after it was put up on rhinospike. I don’t mind much lang-8 readers or my friends on lang-8 reading some of my more personal entries, but i was about queasy about them being searchable on the larger internet.

Fortunately just as I was realizing it, someone on lang-8 out of the blue offered to record my diary entries daily if I would record hers in English. Of course I was more than happy to agree.  We paste our corrected diaries in a shared Google Docs page, and then record on a private audio recording on Sound Cloud.

Of course there is one main problem with using your diary for language input. For language input isn’t it best to use native-to-native resources? Isn’t there a good possibility that your diary entry will have mistakes?

The solution  seems two-fold. First, I depend heavily on lang-8. I combine the corrections I get from several different people there to get an entry that seems the most natural. Often I’ll re-post the corrected version on lang-8 again to get even more corrections that people didn’t see the first time. Then I’m fortunate that my friend who records the audio checks it again one last time before she records it to make sure there is nothing that sounds unnatural.

The second part of the solution is to realize that the input from diaries is useful but limited. It contains words I want to use, grammar that I’m trying to learn, (and perhaps most importantly) corrections to common mistakes that I make so my mistakes don’t get fossilized. And it’s recorded by a native speaker so you get native pronunciation and (somewhat) native intonation.

However it is no replacement to getting loads of audio content from native-to-native sources — dramas, radio podcasts, and the like. As much as I find a diary deck useful, I want to have a much larger deck of native-to-native audio content.


Korean pop & Anki?


I’ve been listening to Korean Pop the whole day with this Korean Pop Youtube playlist. I found them quite by accident but they have a pretty neat playlist of videos they’ve uploaded —  music videos with the Korean lyrics and the English translation all at the same time.

I haven’t listened much to Korean pop the last several months, spending most of my time on the bus listening to Hebrew pop instead. For Hebrew I had a lot of fun segmenting the popsongs line by line and putting them in Anki with the audio. However I’ve never done that yet (with the audio) for Korean popsongs. 

Whenever I can I always ask people how they have improved their pronunciation and intonation in a language they’ve been studying. The answer almost always mention songs as a important key. They were  listening to songs or singing them in any spare moment. The nice thing with Anki is that even if there isn’t time to listen to a whole song I can listen to (or repeat and get the pronunciation right) for just one line at a time.

New Anki input


I’ve benefited so much from using audio with Anki for Hebrew that I’ve decided to try to slowly transform my Korean Anki deck into a deck that also has audio recordings with each sentence. This will take a while because my Anki deck is so large. Right now every once in a while I collect a bunch of new sentences and submit a request at Rhinospike for recordings. That works well. . . but it’s rather slow. Eventually I want to collect several hundred sentences at once and give them to someone on Fiver to record.

Because I’ve been focusing on Hebrew I haven’t added any new sentences to Anki for ages. Yesterday though I was so excited about the new grammatical dictionary I had found that I put in a bunch of requests for recordings in Rhinospike. When I get them back I’ll segment them sentence by sentence and add them to my Anki deck.