Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March progress - Turkish

I figured I should give an overall status of where I am so far this year with Turkish. I'm continuing on with my normal plan, and I've also added a couple things as I've progressed.

My main study material continues to be Yeni Hitit. I've completed volume 1 and am about a fourth of the way into the second volume. The first volume gave me quite a bit of new vocabulary, but not much new in the way of grammar. One grammar point that I had studied prior, but Yeni Hitit really drove it home for me, was the simple present subjunctive mood. The last part of volume 1 had a lot of practical examples, and the workbook had many exercises to practice using subjunctive. I gained close to 400 new words from volume 1.These are every day words that I probably should have already known, but just didn't have the exposure. I've made sure to try and use a lot of the new vocabulary in my conversations with my Skype partner, when possible.

I mentioned in a previous post that I've also started using Busuu. I've now completed both the A1 and A2 courses. Neither course gave me any new grammar, but I got a TON of new vocabulary. I gained another 360 words from the two courses. Again, these are every day words that come in handy. They differ from what I've learned from Yeni Hitit, in that most of Busuu's vocabulary is in the form of adjectives and adverbs. All these adjectives and adverbs have really helped push my conversation forward from basic to a more intermediate level. I can express so much more with this added vocabulary.

I've now started on the B1 course in Busuu, and am already running into new grammar. I continue to be impressed by Busuu in general, but also in how much the courses cover, provided I pay attention to the actual examples and not just new vocabulary. Their example sentences really show good usage of both vocabulary and new grammar points.

Of course, I continue to watch a lot of TV - 3 or more hours a day. These hours are concentrated viewing, for the most part, and they happen at the end of my day. It's always a mix of a soap, the news (which, due to the time difference, is the morning news), and finally a daytime interest-type show. In particular, I've learned a lot from Mutfağım.

And finally, for all those little in-between moments, I use Twitter to inform me of everything from news headlines to when a program is starting on Kanal D or CNNTürk. When I first started using Twitter for this, I used the application's built-in translator for words I didn't know. I now mostly just make a note of a word that I don't know, then look it up later, or - increasingly more common - I understand it from context.

I'm pretty happy with my progress so far this year. I'm making a huge effort to surround myself with the language in as many forms as I can throughout my day. My plan to get to a solid B2 level by the end of the year is looking pretty attainable at this point.