ShenaniTims Vs. Anki: Round 52

It’s funny how knowledge of certain words or phrases in a (foreign) language will immediately mark you. Saturday’s class illustrated this point with the term 엉망 (messy). Now learning a language is all about making connections: connections to what you know, what you think, what you’ve heard, etc. So when I heard 엉망 I immediately noted that I didn’t know “messy,” but I did know its opposite: 깔끔하다 (to be neat/tidy).

At which point I had to check my memory by asking the teacher if I was remembering it correctly. I was, which caused David, my study partner to note, “팀의 깔끔해요” (Tim’s neat). Which lead to the teacher asking me if I was, in fact, tidy/neat. Leading us down the rabbit hole we’ve been down before on this site of my perception vs. that of everyone else. I don’t think my desire for cleanliness equates to actual cleanliness, but apparently wanting to be clean is all you need. Fake it until you make it!

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Bringing the term 깔끔하다 on par with other phrases that either define you, or become irrelevant the moment you learn them. Case in point (also from Saturday): I can’t speak Korean well. The class’ head asked me if I was speaking Korean well (she’s a big booster of mine), “한국말 잘 할 수 있어요?”

I immediately answered this the negative, “아니요, 한국말 잘 못해요” (No, I can’t speak Korean well). Which, by fact of using a negative in a phrase where it transforms the sound of the following word (해요here goes from the normal “hey-yo” to “tey-yo”), means that by the time you learn that negative phrase, you’re too skilled to properly use it in denying your proficiency.

And what would a two week span be if I didn’t try a new technique for learning vocabulary. So, after a lackluster last week (barely anything added to _anki_), this week has kicked off in high gear. This morning I added (by night’s end) ~80 new words, and I still have a lot leftover. I also bit the bullet and changed Anki’s (new word) distribution method. See, most often I’d struggle through 20 new words day. Then I’d make to day 2, still doable, but definitely tougher. Because then you’re dealing with a mixture of new words and the 20 new ones from the previous day. Then you hit days 3, 4, 5, etc. and all comprehension goes out the window. Too many words, too soon. You’re only remembering around half, recognition of previous words is close to nil, and so on.

So this week’s genius plan is to add a boatload of new vocabulary (80+ words yesterday, 20 by 7:30am Monday morning), but to limit the amount of new cards shown each day. Changing the total from 20 down to 10. We’ll see if this move help mitigate and, or all, the confusion from adding too many.

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