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

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Iversen
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 Message 1633 of 3959
15 January 2010 at 3:45pm | IP Logged 
My my, I haven't touched this log for 14 hours, and now it's buried AGAIN! But I'm sitting in a library right now, so I'll have to be brief.

SP: Acabo de pasar unas horas en un tren, y aquí por fin he podido comenzar a estudiar "El gran libro rojo de expressiones idiomaticas españoles". Hay 4000 expressiones que se debe presumibilmente aprender. Peró aún que sea un trabajo duro podria también ser divertente. Hay expressiones neutrales como "ser un caso perdido" (to be a lost case), pero la majoría prodrán así bien hallarse en un dicionario de argot y modismos, y hasta bromas como estas: "Le conocen hasta a los perros", "echar los perros a alguién" (come down on someone as a ton of bricks), meter los peros en danza ("to set the cat among the pigeons"). Hay también la posibilidad que yo pueda aprender algunas expresiones en inglés.

Edited by Iversen on 17 January 2010 at 11:52pm

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Iversen
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 Message 1634 of 3959
17 January 2010 at 11:51pm | IP Logged 
OK, I'm back home again. Before writing more about the big fat book of Spanish idioms I would like to mention a first time meeting with a new language.

GER: Meine Mutter hat Astra, und dadurch kann sie viele deutsche Regionalsender sehen. Und ich habe so zufällig ein Programm gesehen in Sorbisch, die ernst gedrohte Slawische Sprache die im Mittelalter weit verbreitet war am Ostrand des deutschsprechenden Gebietes. Damals wurden die Sprecher oft Wenden genannt, und wir Dänen haben unsere Problemen mit ihnen gehabt. In der Tat trugen die dänischen Königen lange mit zweifelfaften Recht den Titel "de Venders og Goters konge" (die Gothen hier sind the Sweden, cfr. Götaland und Göteborg). Aber mit dem Vordringen der Deutschen sind the Sorben verdrängt geworden, - die meisten Sorben leben jetzt in dem Gebiet um Cottbus im ehemaligen DDR.

Der aktuelle Anlass der Sendung war die Mitteilung, daß das vornehmste sorbische Folklore Ensemble jetzt halbiert wird, weil das Geld fehlt. Das könnte man natürlich diskutieren, aber nicht hier. Ich möchte aber ausnahmweise meine volle Anerkennung an einer Deutschen Fernsehsender aussprechen, weil man nicht wie gewöhnlich einen quatschenden Deutschen Simultan-dolmetscher eingeschaltet hat, aber statdessen Untertiteln gezeigt hat. Ich habe deswegen mit Vergnügung lauschen können, während ich die Untertitel lies, und ich habe konstatiert, daß ich ganz viel verstanden habe, weil diese Sprache viele Wörter mit der Russichen Sprache teile. Jetzt wo ich wieder zu hause bin, habe ich natürlich auch den Artikel in Wikipedia gelesen, aber damit hat meine Beschäftigung mit dieser Sprache auch seine Grenze gefunden - ich werde nicht versuchen, sie zu lernen.     

--------

I have watched a German TV program in Sorbian, - fortunately with subtitles instead of dubbing, which is a rare, but welcome exception from the normal dismal way of doing things in German television. Sorbian is a West-Slavonic language, the last remnant of a language that in the middle ages was spoken in much in the area of the later DDR. I couldn't really understand what they said, but I did recognize a lot of single words from Russian - which testifies to the near relations between the Slavic language as Sorbian and Russian do not even belong to the same subgroup. The concrete reason for the program was the plight of the largest Sorbian folklore ensemble, which will be cut down to half size because of economical problems. And this is probably symptomatic for the situation of the Sorbian culture in general. It was pampered during the DDR time, but now it faces the same problems as other minority languages in Europe.


Edited by Iversen on 18 January 2010 at 12:44pm

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Iversen
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 Message 1635 of 3959
19 January 2010 at 1:19am | IP Logged 
SP: Ya he mencionado como compré en Londra (London) el Gran Libro Rojo de expressiones en español (y inglés). Actúa como un complemento a un libro mucho más antigua, "Beyond the Dictionary in Spanish", en el cual se discute las palabras isoladas.

Por ejemplo:
"Merienda (f): A rather movable feast. It is essentially an informal meal taken outside the normal hours or circumstances and so will often mean 'picnic' (...)".

En el libro rojo hay expresiones de pocas palabras (con ejemplos) y proverbios (completos). Por ejemplo:

"la bronca (fam.) (a) row (fam) , set-to (fam.), racket (fam.) scrap (sl.), (b) ticking-off/telling-off (fa., Br.E.), scolding. [I}Anoche se armó una bronca bestial. There was an almighty row last night (...)"

"bueno good. Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno (prov.). Brevity is the sould of wit. (prov)"

Los ejemplos en la primera mitad del libro. Hay ejemplos similares en inglés en la segunda mitad del libro.

Ultimamente quiero avanzar al nivel de fluidez avanzada, y estudiar estos libros (y también un montón de español auténtico, tanto hablado como escrito) será un elemento importante para lograr. Pero es necesário hacer una seleccion - 4000 expresiones estàn demasiado par aprender. Por eso hago copias a mano de unas 70-80 expressionas cada dia, y después creo que basta leerlas una o dos veces. He discutido en mi "Guía para aprender idiomas" metodos concretos para mejorar la retención de locuciones (imágenes, traducción hyperliteral..), pero esto genero de trucos está mas necesario a un nivel mas bajo.

--------

I have been studying the Big Red Book of Spansih (and English) expressions which I bought i London. It appears to be a good companion to a much older book, "Beyond the Dictionary in Spanish", which mostly deals with unexpected meanings of single words. The red book has indeed single words, but then they are not only illustrated with parallel English expressions, but also with examples. However most of the time it deals with small frases and even complete proverbs. In the second half of the book the same thing is done with English expressions.

I like both these books, and one of these days I'll try to see whether there are other books in the 'red' series, because then I just might want to buy them.

I have discussed some concrete methods to enhance the memorization of phrases in my Guide to Learning Languages (in the Techniques room), but right now I just rely on copying by hand of a limited number of examples, plus one or two repetition rounds. I feel that this kind of books are extremely relevant for getting from basic to advanced to nearnative fluency, but of course only in conjunction with a lot of reading and listening - without this it is impossible to develop an intuitive feeling for the use of those expressions.


Edited by Iversen on 20 January 2010 at 2:13am

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Iversen
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 Message 1636 of 3959
20 January 2010 at 3:19am | IP Logged 
The homepage of my travel club has been hacked, and I have spent a lot of time the last couple of days cleaning up the mess, which entails reading a lot of HTML and javascript and error messages in English and computer forums instead of studying more relevant languages. So I'll be ultra brief now (it is 3 o'clock in the night here!).

I have written some word lists in Russian and reread a few old ones (from the period where I was studying the Tunguska thing). And after that I took my guide to the Beograd zoo and translated some of the animal descriptions in it (with the help of a Cyrillic Serbian dictionary and a Latin Croatian ditto) - it is actually not to difficult to understand the meaning, partly because the language is fairly repetitive - all animals have males and females and mating periodes and young ones that are born after a certain number of months - and they live on plains or in the mountains or in swamps or in woods, and consequently you just have to learn the words for those things. An example:

Xималајски тар: Живе y стаднма која чини 15-80 чланова. Старији мyжјаци живе yцамљенички.
Himalayan Tahr: Lives in herds which number 15-80 members. Old males live alone...

.. and so forth. Piece of cake, as you see. But only because I have spent a lot of time learning Russian words. Maybe my written Russian is rotten, and my written Serbian is still non-existant, but getting some passive skills is a useful first step. The problem is of course that I can't spend much time on this language (or its twin, Croatian), so it will probably take some time to get just moderately fluent.


Edited by Iversen on 20 January 2010 at 4:18pm

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Iversen
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 Message 1637 of 3959
21 January 2010 at 12:31am | IP Logged 
I managed to clean up the mess at the homepage of my travel club, - I found the culprit file at 4 O'clock this morning. So this evening I could at long last indulge in a fair bit of language learning. But the wordlists I have made for Russian and Greek may not be too exciting to read about so I'll spare you. I also got time to revert to my Serbian souvenir: the zooguide from Beozoo. Today I have read about skunks, badgers, coatis and racoons, and I'm surprised how easy it is - mainly because the text reuses the same words again and again! For some reason we have to know the length of the gestation period for each and every critter, which takes up a sizeable part of of the limited space. I guess that I will soon have to revert to the magazine I bought in Copenhagen last year, or to new stuff from the internet.

I also got time to write a few lines of Latin, and in a moment I'm going to read a chapter or two in my Irish Teach Yourself, which currently serves as my bedtable goodnighte reading. It's a souvenir from my first visit in the 90s, but I only read a few pages back then - tonight it may serve two purposes: teaching me some Irish and making me fall asleep.

GR: Θα πρέπει επίσης να αναφερθεί ότι έχω εκτός από κάποιες ελληνικές λεξιλόγιες έχω διαβασει μερικά κείμενα από τη Βικιπαίδεια. Πρώτον, υπήρχε ένα κείμενο για την ιστορία του Οιδίποδα, αλλά εγώ αναφέρω τη πήδηξε από τις πτυχές της ψυχαναλυτική - ψυχανάλυση δε μου αρέζει. Σε επιπλέον, υπήρξε μια σύντομη επισκόπηση των αρχαίων Ελλήνων συγγραφέων, συμπεριλαμβανομένου τους ιστορικούς και γεωγράφους. Θα ήθελα πραγματικά να διαβάσετε τις περιγραφές του Παυσανία σε τίς ςαρχαίες μνημείες, αλλά πρέπει να είναι στην σύγχρονη ελληνική, επειδή δεν (ακόμη) έχω μάθει τις παλαιές μορφές της γλώσσας. Ή αυαγνωστική ικανότητά μου είναι να γίνει αρκετά καλή, αλλά ακούω μόνο λίγο λίγο ελληνικά.

... And besides doing some Greek wordlists I have been reading some texts. First one from WIkipedia about the Oidipos figure (but not about the use of the legend in psychoanalysis), then one about Greek authors in general, including the historians and geographers. Some day I would like to read Pausianias' descriptions of the classical sights as they appeared in the antiquity - but it will have to be in Modern Greek, not in Classical Greek as it should be. We all have our limitations.


Edited by Iversen on 21 January 2010 at 12:40am

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Iversen
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 Message 1638 of 3959
22 January 2010 at 12:45am | IP Logged 
One more evening where I have been able do indulge in a wide variety of languages. I have spent maybe twenty minutes listening to programs in Irish from the homepage of http://www.tg4.tv/, and of course I only understood a few scattered words. But taken in account that this is my first real listening session I'm fairly satisfied with my guesses about the general sound of the language, - and it will certainly make it safer to read Irish words if I can trust my guesses about the pronunciation. Actually it isn't nearly as irregular as I thought - weird, but not irregular.

GR: Έχω, επίσης, πέρνει τον χρόνου για να διαβάσα καπóιους άρθρους στα περιοδικά που αγόρασα στην Καστοριά τελευταία χρόνια - για παράδειγμα, ένα άρθρο για τη Σαχάρα στο "Science Illustrated". Και όταν είχα τελειώσει ακούγοντας ιρλανδική Gaeilge τηλεόραση, Άκουσα και πάλι να δύο στοιχεία από την GLOSS, - η οποία προφανώς δεν έιχα κανένα νέα στοιχεία στα ελληνικά από την τελευταία μου επίσκεψη, αλλά είναι ένα από τα λίγα μέρη όπου μπορώ να ακούσα σε ελληνική ομιλία με μετάφραση και μεταγραφές. Ένα από τα δύο άρθρα ήταν από τους Ολυμπιακού Χρóνου, αλλά αναφέρεται την καταστροφική μείωση του αριθμού των τουριστών - και την προθυμíα τους να πληρώνουν.

I have read some articles in Greek in my science mags, including one about Sahara in my one and only issue of "Science Illustrated". But after listening to the news in Irish at Tg4 ("Cúrsaí Reatha") I also spent some time listening to two old items from the G.L.O.S.S. site, - the concept is brillant, but it doesn't seem that there has been added new clips since my last visit in 2009 (!). The one I spent most time on was from the Olympic year (Heaven and people with an interest in sport may know when that was!), but paradoxically described a severe reduction in visitor numbers, especially from UK, Germany and the Netherlands. And in such a situation the hotel owners feel tempted to compromise on their prices to survive, a situtation which big foreign tour operators promptly exploit. Whence the title: Tourism: "Only the Outsiders Are Doing Well" ("Τουρισμός: Πάνε καλά μόνο τα αουτσάιντερ"). Btw the rendering of 'outsider' in Greek is hilarious ... "αουτσάιντερ" !



Edited by Iversen on 22 January 2010 at 12:50am

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Hobbema
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 Message 1639 of 3959
22 January 2010 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
...The one I spent most time on was from the Olympic year (Heaven and people with an interest in sport may know when that was!), but paradoxically described a severe reduction in visitor numbers, especially from UK, Germany and the Netherlands. And in such a situation the hotel owners feel tempted to compromise on their prices to survive, a situtation which big foreign tour operators promptly exploit. Whence the title: Tourism: "Only the Outsiders Are Doing Well" ("Τουρισμός: Πάνε καλά μόνο τα αουτσάιντερ"). Btw the rendering of 'outsider' in Greek is hilarious ... "αουτσάιντερ" !


In America, we have a terrific National Park system. But there have been lawmakers who have proposed selling large sections of our parks to land developers for private use. Mostly to pay for the last war, I suppose. So we’re running out of money too, but as far as outsiders doing well... European and Asian tourists are present in the parks in large numbers. I was in Mesa Verde a couple of years ago in the Indian ruins. My daughter fainted because of dehydration and high altitude. No big deal, she was okay but the only people who stopped to help? A German doctor, a German nurse, and a French nurse. They spoke pretty good English, too...
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Iversen
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 Message 1640 of 3959
24 January 2010 at 10:26pm | IP Logged 
I have visited several national parks in the USA and always found that the information centres are very helpful, but once you are moving around you rarely see the employees. But of course they can be called by phone if necessary, I suppose? Your fellow countrymen may be scared of helping because of the risk of being sued. Selling off these areas would of course be a crime, - and those that propose it should be sent the nearest nuthouse.

Apart from that, I have been away from my log thread for a couple of days because....

LAT: Dies venera colloquiam societatis meae peregrinatorium adfui, et heri quam spectator loquens in convento praesii societatis interfui, id quod fere totem diem durabat. Discutabant inter alia de proiecto librum publicare ut XVimo anniversatium societatis nostri celebrare. Non scio cur consiliae praesidiis semper tam longae sunt, etiamsi bis cibum sumebamus. Forsitan melius sit non cibum, cerevisionem aut colam ad partecipantibus dare?

Hodie iterum tempus liberum habebam lingvas meas studere, sed cumplures horas impendi indices verborum copiasque vaquefans - antes multas schedas papyri ubicumque in acervis habebam, sed nunc in astrictoriis aut in scirpulo sunt. Tamen in sello sedens et schedas digerens televisionem videre poteram. David Attenborough in 'Discovery World' de Megalobatracho japonico et alibus animalibus fluminium et lacuum mundi narrabat - in sermone anglice, ut intellegitur, sed eo omnem ignoscere possum (fautor sum ei). David Attenborough etiam in Museo Scientica Historiae Naturalis in Londino repraesentatus est: ibi plesiosaurus nomine "Attenborosaurus" in androni laterale videtur, et erga isto etiam fossilium Ichtyosauri de Mary Anning repertum vidi. Mary Annings cum Richard Owen et Gideon Mannings vere scientiam paleontologicam in Britannica fundabant. Postea Darwin et Huxley eam excolebant, sed prima necesse erat fossilia invenire. In museo statua Darwinis in scalis sedens in marmore blancae videtur, Owen sub tecto ad sinistra, Huxley ad recto sunt.

---

I attended an ordinary meeting in my travel club Friday, and most of Saturday I spent on a board meeting in that same club - I'm not a member of the board, because as webmaster and responsible for the member list I don't need to. But I simply don't know why it always has to take a full day. We got two meals, - maybe we should try to refrain from eating and drinking to speed up things. Though yesterday we at least had an excuse: a book project to commemorate the 15 year's anniversary next year.

'nuff said. Today I had time for some studying, even though I spent several hours putting my piles of paper sheets (wordlists and copies) in order. Some were placed in cardboard folders, others ended up in the dust bin. But while sorting paper I had the pleasure of watching the indefatigable David Attenborough whisking around along the lakes and rivers of the world to show us their inhabitants, included the Japanese giant salamander - the largest amphibean of the world. David Attenbourough (count me as a fan) is finally also represented in the Museum of Natural History in London: on a wall in a corridor I saw the skeleton of a plesiosaur called Attenborosaurus. Straight across the corridor a skeleton found by Mary Annings, as far as I remember an Ichtyosaur. The extraordinary (and unlikely) fossil hunter Mary Annings was one of the founders of British paleontology in the early 1800s, way before Darwin and Th. Huxley.   


Edited by Iversen on 25 January 2010 at 1:01pm



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