Saturday, August 02, 2014
I haven't been writing here much recently, simply because I've been so occupied with reading. Maybe two months ago I came across this study showing the effects of massive amounts of reading (1+ million words) and how it compared to time spent abroad, and apparently the general rule is 1 million words equalled about the same improvement as a year overseas. This one here is interesting too, especially the chart a few pages down. That chart shows that the volume of text needed to be exposed to 10,000 words at least once is 600,000+ words. To see them three times each: 3+ million.
So I thought I would read The Wheel of Time (4+ million words) in two languages and see what a difference it makes. And also to truly get a feel for what a million words is like. A million is a lot of words. I'm currently halfway through book 5. I read up to book 8 in English before back in the 1990s, and decided that I would stop reading until the series was completed, which it was two years ago.
I don't like to treat Page F30 as a polyglot blog, given the limitations it places on what one can write about, but this spreadsheet might be interesting to readers.
Words means the number of words I've deleted that day (I use Readlang.com for this), words learning is the number of words registered there, and it goes up as new words are added and others I don't need to review anymore are deleted. Total is the total number of new words I assume have been put in my head since starting this, 1400 is just a number to make the graph look nice, pages is the number of pages read that day, words read is pages multiplied by 350. Then divide that by new words, which gives words per new word. That last column has turned out to be less meaningful than I thought because it depends on my mood whether I click on a word or not. Sometimes I feel like adding a word I kind of know but want to see a few more times anyway, and other times I don't.
On days off I can read 20,000+ words, on work days I can get 10,000 words in, sometimes fewer.
|Date||Words||Running total||Words learning||Total||Pages||Words read||New words||Words per new word|
|July 15||2||492||715||1207||1400||39, on page 685||13650||24||568,75|
|July 16||13||505||734||1239||1400||102, on page 39||35700||32||1 115,63|
|July 17||2||507||737||1244||1400||29, on page 68||10150||5||2 030,00|
|July 18||110||617||637||1254||1400||21, on page 89||7350||10||735,00|
|July 19||120||737||535||1272||1400||64, on page 153||22400||18||1 244,44|
|July 20||55||792||490||1282||1400||41, on page 194||14350||10||1 435,00|
|July 21||41||833||456||1289||1400||19, on page 213||5795||7||827,86|
|July 22||39||872||431||1303||1400||17, on page 230||5950||14||425,00|
|July 23||18||890||418||1308||1400||13, on page 243||4550||5||910,00|
|July 24||36||926||423||1349||1400||34, on page 277||11900||41||290,24|
|July 25||35||961||415||1376||1400||29, on page 306||10150||27||375,93|
|July 26||18||979||450||1429||1400||54, on page 360||18900||53||356,60|
|July 27||24||1003||449||1452||1400||40, on page 400||14000||23||608,70|
|July 28||24||1027||448||1475||1400||40, on page 440||14000||23||608,70|
|July 29||8||1035||449||1484||1400||25, on page 465||8750||9||972,22|
|July 30||36||1071||453||1524||1400||47, on page 512||16450||40||411,25|
|July 31||52||1123||453||1576||1400||82, on page 594||28700||52||551,92|
So let's let to the other items in the title.
Armenian Wikipedia: I remember being disappointed at its tiny size a year or two ago, and apparently it has exploded since then due to a national campaign to have everyone write one article each. Here's one video encouraging Armenians to contribute:
Rosetta: the mission, not the language learning software. I an extremely pleased with them releasing daily images of the comet as Rosetta approaches. Dawn had better do something similar when it approaches Ceres in the next few months, as the lack of images during the Vesta approach was simply unacceptable.
Mormons: NPR has an article on the techniques they use to learn languages. I've always been impressed by the way they learn languages, since the first time I ever spoke with a non-Japanese person only in Japanese with a Mormon from Brazil in Nagoya.
Gaza tunnel diggers: This documentary with French subtitles is one of the more interesting documentaries I've seen in a while. It is a few years old, and is just 50 minutes of following a few of these tunnel diggers around as they do their thing. It has music but no extra commentary, which is great. A documentary without the typical dozens and dozens of quips from specialists speaking on the matter in their office is a rare treat.