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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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Iversen
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 Message 977 of 3959
21 June 2009 at 6:04pm | IP Logged 
I was posed the following question by PM from a member who is studying Chinese:

What would you suggest for learning Chinese characters with your wordlist method??

I thought the question over and came up with the following asnwer:

Good question - and I don't really know how to answer it. The easy solution for me would be to say Chinese signs in column 1 and 3, English in column 2. And these element certainly should be present. But Chinese pictograms aren't tied to their pronunciation (not even in the untidy and complicated way of for instance English words), and in fact you have not only the task of learning connections between Chinese words (from one of the Chinese languages) and an English word, but also between the Chinese signs and the Chinese word, which maybe, maybe not can be indicated by the corresponding Pinyin version. Ultimately both Pinyin and (representative) English translation are crutches that should be unnecessary from a certain point, but at the early stages of learning Chinese I can't see any reason NOT to use them - after all crutches were invented because they served a purpose, ven though that purpose may at some point become irrelevant.

So my proposal would be to use not three, but four columns: Chinese sign, Pinyin word, English word, Chinese sign. You have to judge for yourself whether this functions, because I can't try it out myself.

-----------------

GER: Man kann das Amerikanischen Blatt "National Geographic" in aller Herren Länder und vielen Sprachen kaufen, darunter auch Deutsch und Dänish. Das Problem is daß wir die Spanischen oder Italienischen oder Französischen Ausgeben in Deutschland oder Dänemark nie sehen, und auch wenn es technisch möglich wäre sie herbeizuschaffen oder darauf zu abonnieren, wäre dies exorbitant teuer. Dafür ist es gut, daß solche blätter auch Heimseiten haben wo man jedenfalls einige Artikeln ganz frei lesen kann. Persönlich lerne ich aber besser wenn ich etwas Papier in der Hand habe, als wenn ich vor dem Schirm sitze.

Ich habe nicht nur etwas über dem neuen Mammuth-Baby gelesen, aber auch eine sendung auf National Geographic darüber gesen. Es ist ja eine ganz abenteurliche Geschichte. Der Sibirische Reintierzüchter Yuri Khudi hat das tiefgefrorene Tier entdeckt, und obwohl es im Glaube seines Volkes eher Unheil bringt so was zu finden, hat er doch beschlossen es zur Kenntnis der Wissenschaftler zu bringen. Aber es wurde gestohlen, und nur weil er sine Verdacht hatte konnte man es von einem lokalen Geschäft zurückbringen und an der Paläntologen weitergeben. Aber alles ging gut, und jetzt wird das männliche Kalb Dima in Skt. Petersburg weibliche gesellschaft haben von Lyuba, - so genannt nach der Frau des Finders.

Die Frage des Arktis ist offiziell ganz ungeklärt, aber klar ist wohl daß Rusland versuchen will ein großteil davon zu gewinnen, und Canada hat auch eine breite Nordküste und wird vermutlich in den Füßstapfen Ruslands treten. Grönland und Svalbard liegen zwar näher, aber die gehören zu kleinen Nationen, und ich glaube derum das wir    - oder eher die Grönländer (die gerade ihre volle innere Selbstverwaltning bekommen haben) - betrogen werden.

---------

I have read about the newfound mammoth baby Lyuba in the Danish version of National Geographic, but also seen a program on their TV channel about the find. Apparently it was found by the Sibirian reindeer keeper Yuri Khudi, and even though it is seen by his own people as a bad omen to find such things he decided to give it to the scientist. But while he was away it was stolen, and only because everyone knows everybody in those communities it was found in a nearby store. Now it will be brought to Skt. Petersburg, where they already have one mammoth baby, named Dima.

--------

Most airport magazines are only glitzy collections of advertisments for their expensive shops, but the one I snatched at the Leif Eiriksson airport at Keflavik, Iceland, contains at least one unexpected gem, namely the story about a certain member of the Icelandic clergy .. as told by the wise Daðir..

IC: Á fyrri öldum islenginarna voru ekki þekktur fyrir þeirra hreinlæti, og sümur buðuðu aldrei. Ekki er það satt fyrir Sæmund Hólm. Hann fæddist 1749 og dró til Kaupmannahafnar, lifði þarná til 1790 (þott ekki væri han vel liðin vegna "óviðfelldinna geðsmuna og undarlegra athafna"). Heimkominn varð hann prestur á Helgafjelli á Snæfellsnesi, og fyrir heilsuna safnaði hann keitu hlandi i stóra lagartunna og lét stækna. Seðan kastaði han húð af hrossi í - með ollu hári á. Í þetta laugaði hann sig nú daglega, þott "ekki þótti fólki þægilegur þefur verða af honum á eftir"... skref Daðir hinn fróði.

----

The priester Sæmundur Hólm was born in 1749, but went to Copenhagen to study and stayed there for 16 years, in spite of some misgivings about his "unpleasant temperament and strange doings". In those days people didn't bathe often, but father Hólm wasn't like that, oh no. this servant of God put up a large barrel next to his bed, and in that he collected urine and the hide - with hair - of a selfdead mare, and this he let rot for years and used it for his daily bath. Even the hardy islanders thought that he didn't smell too well. Nevertheless he stayed happy and healthy for years, but sadly died shortly after his retirement where he lost the access to his selfcontrived ablution environment (which the new priester Grimur destroyed immediately after his arrival).



Edited by Iversen on 22 June 2009 at 10:52am

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Anya
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 Message 978 of 3959
21 June 2009 at 7:06pm | IP Logged 
Hi Iversen
The problem with Chinese signs is that a student is supposed to memorize not only the whole sign, but also the order of lines drawing. So I think the standard world lists are not ideal for Chinese/Japanese learners.
But I find you world list method really great for alphabet languages, thank you for it!
Anya
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Iversen
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 Message 979 of 3959
21 June 2009 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
I second that. However you could just as well say that a student of Russian not only has to learn single Russian words, but also the inflexion of each word. You can in principle mark gender, nominative plurals on -a and other unforeseeable things, and personally I try to learn Russian verbs in pairs (imperfective, perfective) - but basically it is only one standard form of each word that is quoted, and then this one form has to represent a whole inflectionary table for that word. So word lists will always be based on just a subset of the necessary information even in languages with an alphabet.

By the way, can you learn the order of the strokes from a Chinese dictionary? If not, where do you learn it, if you haven't got a teacher hammering it into your head for each and every word?




Edited by Iversen on 21 June 2009 at 7:33pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 980 of 3959
21 June 2009 at 7:34pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
Ich habe nicht nur etwas über dem neuen Mammut-Baby gelesen, aber auch eine sendung auf National Geographic darüber gesen. Es ist ja eine ganz abenteurliche Geschichte. Der Sibirische Reintierzüchter Yuri Khudi hat das tiefgefrorene Tier entdeckt, und obwohl es im Glaube seines Volkes eher Unheil bringt so was zu finden, hat er doch beschlossen es zur Kenntnis der Wissenschaftler zu bringen. Aber es wurde gestohlen, und nur weil er sine Verdacht hatte konnte man es von einem lokalen Geschäft zurückbringen und an der Paläntologen weitergeben. Aber alles ging gut, und jetzt wird das männliche Kalb Dima in Skt. Petersburg weibliche gesellschaft haben von Lyuba, - so genannt nach der Frau des Finders.


Genau das ist die Geschichte von Lyuba, dem tiefgefrorenen Mammut-Baby, das zum Kultobjekt der paläontologischen Wissenschaft avancierte. Beinahe wäre es schiefgelaufen und dieses wertvolle Fundtier wäre verloren gegangen. Ich fand es sehr interessant, dieses alles auf Englisch zu lesen. Die englische Ausgabe von "National Geographic" kann ich auf jeden Fall im Bahnhofskiosk kaufen - falls mal wieder etwas für mich lesenswertes drinsteht.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 21 June 2009 at 7:36pm

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Anya
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 Message 981 of 3959
22 June 2009 at 10:22am | IP Logged 
The order of the Chinese strokes, you can learn it from the textbooks or some web sites, for the basic signs. There are certain "key" signs, which you can combine to produce more complex signs...It is quite complicated! Frankly, then I make my Japanese world lists, I just "draw" kanji as I can. It's not a example to follow...
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Iversen
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 Message 983 of 3959
22 June 2009 at 10:41am | IP Logged 
I have just read in my newspaper (Jyllandsposten) that there is a commission in China that is preparing a minor 'spelling' reform, which may even revert to the traditional writing of some of the signs. For instance the purists have been lamenting that the stroke that indicates the heart has been removed from the sign for 'love' (I can't verify that information, but it does indeed sound like something a Chinese traditionalist would love to lament about).

The same article states that it is becoming more and more common for native Chinese who have trouble with the writing to use a computer which accepts pronunciation indications (I can't see whether this means something close to pinyin or pure speech recognition) and delivers the traditional kind of writing. The opposite must also be tempting: to let a computer read the text aloud and/or produce a 'translation' into pinyin. With those tools it will become somewhat easier for lazy Westerners to deal with Chinese - and Japanese too. So far I'm going to stick to my easy alphabetical languages, though.

----

.. and speaking about mammoths, a new C14 analysis on British Mammoth bones from Shropshire has shown that they were just 14.000 years old, not 21.000 years as presumed until now. The original article from Geological Journal is somewhat technical, but there are several easy-reader versions around, including one in Science Daily. GR: Επιπλέον, η ελληνικη εφημερίδα kathimerini.gr αναπαράγα πληροφορίες για την τελευταία μαμούθ της Ευρώπης.

... and speaking about Science Daily, there is an article about an experiment where mice were artificially given the gene FOXP2, which is seen as one major factor behind our ability to speak, - the apes don't have this gene, so even though they can to some extent manipulate symbols, they can't mimick human speech. But these gene-manipulated mice "have qualitative differences in ultrasonic vocalizations they use when placed outside the comfort of their mothers' nests. But, Enard says, not enough is known about mouse communication to read too much yet into what exactly those changes might mean". So don't expect an intelligent discussion with your resident mice anytime soon. Nevertheless this is an interesting way to explore the precise role of this gene.

Edited by Iversen on 22 June 2009 at 10:59pm

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Fasulye
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 Message 984 of 3959
22 June 2009 at 7:27pm | IP Logged 
Science Daily (www.sciencedaily.com) is an interesting scientific website, thanks for quoting it. I didn't know it before. I will have a look if they offer a newsletter...

Fasulye

PS: Yes, Science Daily offers several newsletters and I've signed up for three. Let's see how the quality is... My two newsletters of "Sterne und Weltraum" are of excellent quality. So I have something to compare the quality with.

Edited by Fasulye on 22 June 2009 at 7:44pm



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