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

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Iversen
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 Message 3137 of 3959
10 December 2012 at 11:33pm | IP Logged 
I have spent some time this evening on writing Indonesian wordlists, but apart from that the most memorable thing I can report is watching TV in two languages which I can't use for the report: Hungarian and Croatian.

The Hungarian program dealt with a crusader castle in Syria, and no, I didn't understand what the presenter said - but because I recently have read a small book about the language I could identify some endings and a few common words and to some extent even the general structure of the sentences. Hungarian is just another language, not a scary monster. At least that's what I keep telling myself.

The Croatian program was on the History Channel, which is one of the few decent Anglophone channels where they leave the original language (or sometimes languages) as it is and use subtitles. The program told about about the Croatian rulers from Borna to Trpimir I, but for the sake of this forum the most interesting thing was that I more or less could understand what they said in the program (with some help from the subtitles). Even though I have spent far too little time on listening to Russian it is clear that it has had some impact on my understanding of other Slavic languages.

Edited by Iversen on 11 December 2012 at 12:15pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3138 of 3959
13 December 2012 at 4:27am | IP Logged 
GR: Έχω διαβάσει τελικά τα σχόλια για το τραγούδι "Skype me Maybe", και είδα ότι Sprachprofi έπρεπε να υπερασπιστεί τις δύο σειρές στην ελληνική γλώσσα που έγραψα εγώ. Η θλιβερή αλήθεια είναι ότι η κριτική είναι δικαιολογημένη, αλλά δεν παρέχει έτοιμες λύσεις. Ο πρότυπο ήταν οι σειρές "Hey, don’t be shy man / You gotta practice your language", και εγώ έγραψα "δεν είσ' άτολμος / Θα πρέπει πράξη". Η πρώτη πρόταση είναι στι ενδεικτική - πρακτικά ήθελα μια πρόταση στην υποτακτική "δεν να είσαι άτολμος", και εδώ θα μπορούσε να σώσει μια συλλαβή επιλέγοντας "είσ' άτολμος" αντί "είσαι ντροπαλός" - αλλά δεν μπόρεσα να βρω χώρο για να τη λέξη "να". Δυστυχώς πρόσεξα η απλή λύση "Μην είσ' άτολμος". Η σειρά δύο περιέχει τουλάχιστον ένα, αλλά μάλλον δύο σφάλματα. Η πρώτη εικασία μου "Θα πρέπει πράξη" ταιριάζει απλά πάρα πολύ καλό στον ρυθμό, αλλά η πραγματικότητα είναι ότι η λέξη "πράξη" σημαίνει 'deed, action', δε 'practice' ή 'training'. Εδώ δεν έχω μια απλή λύση. "θα πρέπει" έχει το δικαίωμα ρυθμό, αντιθέτως μόνη "πρέπει" τονίζεται το λάθος συλλαβή. Επίσης "χρειάζω" (ή "Θέλω να") έχει τρεις συλλαβές και δεν είναι καλύτερη από "θα πρέπει" - ο οποίος αφείνει επίσης μόνο δύο συλλαβές μιας λέξης για την κατάρτιση (4 συλλαβές) ή την άσκηση* (3 συλλαβές). Τι μπορείτε να κάνετε; Η καλύτερη εικασία μου σε μια εναλλακτική λύση θα μπορούσε να είναι στο λατινικά ("Necess'est loqui").

*"ήθελ' άσκηση" maybe?

The two lines in Greek I wrote for "Skype me Maybe" have been critized in the commentaries on Youtube, and with reason. The first line was a problem because I couldn't fit the subjunctive particle "να" into the available feet. So I changed the negation from "μη(ν)" into "δεν", which turned the phrase into a simple indicative - and after this change I simply overlooked the simple solution: a negative imperative with "μη(ν)" which can dispense with the "να". The second line is more difficult to save. The word "πράξη" means 'deed, action', not 'training' or 'practice' - I needed a two syllable word and grabbed the nearest false friend without consulting a dictionary. Bad idea ! The problem is however that I so far haven't found a usable alternative* which both follows the rhythm and fits within the available feet (whereas in Latin "Necess'est loqui" might have been a possibility under these circumstances).

*Except maybe "ήθελ' άσκηση", which means "I would like (some) training', but has got its accents in all the wrong places.

LA: De lingua latina obiter dicendum est quod congeries textorum ex "Ephemerides" legi. Inter alia Robertus Spatarus Pontificiae Academiae Latinitaties Vaticanae de 'twitter' locutus est ('twitter' = Pipitorium). Etiamsi studiabat nuntium breve de puellis captivis "Pussy riot", de captura ducis camorrae Neapolitanae Caterino et de receptione nationis Palestinae apud Nationum Unitarum. Textum de venatores cattae Schroedingerianae (felis simul mortua et viva) tractandum nondum legi, sed in raeda longa domum postea hodie lecturum est.

PS: speaking about Greek and errors, I remember a case where I was asked to demonstrate that I knew a little bit of Greek (and I had not even used the word 'fluent'). One of the sentences I was asked to translate contained the expression "a ticket to Athens",and I said "ένα εισιτήριο για την Αθήναι". But no, it had to be "ένα εισιτήριο στην Αθήναι", the lady announced and looked really dismayed at me. Google gives 5 hits on "ένα εισιτήριο στην Αθήνα" and zero for "ένα εισιτήριο στην Αθήναι", but 405.000 for "ένα εισιτήριο για την Αθήνα" ("Αθήναι" exists, but there no hits at all for "ένα εισιτήριο για την Αθήναι"). Even "ένα εισιτήριο για Αθήνα" gets more hits (23.400). Some corrections are correct, but you shouldn't believe they all are.


.   

Edited by Iversen on 13 December 2012 at 1:32pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3139 of 3959
15 December 2012 at 1:15pm | IP Logged 
I didn't write here yesterday, but I did some studying. And now that I have been associated to the Celtic clann I did of course my stint and studied several texts from www.lionra.com, using bilingual printouts where the Danish version is made by Google.translate. Do I trust it? Of course not, but it can be used to keep me on track when I study the Irish version and it can give me translations of specific unknown words (though not always correctly translated), and getting fast answers while you read is better than getting squeekily correct answers when it is too late.

So far I treat Irish mostly as a passive language, but... OK, here goes (have mercy with a hapless bungler):

IR: Ní raibh mé ag scríobh rud anseo inné, ach rinne mé staidéar ar aon. Agus go raibh anois tá mé ina bhall comhlach an clan Ceilteach, bhí sé loighciúil go mé staidéar freisin roinnt téacsanna í nGaeilge. Rinne mé téacsanna dá-theangacha as lionra.com le cabhair ó Google Translate. Tá súil agam Google translate? Ar ndóigh, ní. Ach ní féidir muinín liom féin. Agus is é an rud is tabhachtaí a fháil freagraí tapaidh nuair a bhíonn tú in amhras. Agus caithfidh tú ansin a mheas cé acu a chreideann tú i dóibh.

Déileáileann sé an chéad cheann den dá alt le dúnadh an iris "Comhar" í 2008. Agus tá sé brónach: "Go bunúsach, is é an fhadhb nach féidir linn gabháltais nua a dhéanamh". An t-alt dara inis trasdula na hEastóine go dtí an euro. Tír cróga é.

I also studied Bahasa - and for once both Indonesian and Malaysian. I have made a trilingual printout with the original article in Malaysian about Yap La Koy, the Chinese man who shaped Kuala Lumpur, and then I let Google Translate make both a translation to Indonesian and one to Danish, and the idea was of course to be able to see how much difference there was. And so far I can't see much difference in the sentence structures - it is mostly in the words you can spot some minor differences (which can be due to the inventiveness of Google translate), and sometimes just in the spelling (inggeris - inggris - English, china -cina -Chinese). A typical example:

BA Malaysia (original)
BA Indonesia
BA Inng(e)ris

Di samping itu, perkilangan ubi kayu dibangunkan di Jalan Petaling.
Di samping itu, manufaktur ubi kayu dibangun di Jalan Petaling.
In addition, the manufacturing of cassava developed in Petaling Street.

Doesn't "perkilangan" exist in Indonesian? Oh yes, but my excellent Tuttle informs me that it means 'refinery'. On the other hand my Malaysian-English 'Kamus Dwibahasa Oxford Fajar' doesn't contain "manufaktur". In Danish "manufaktor" generally indicates something with textiles - a "manufakturhandler" sells men's clothes.

It is slightly puzzling that the postfix "-kan" isn't used in the Indonesian version as the combination "di-" + "-kan" also is the usual way of expressing a passive meaning in Indonesian. But leaving that aside, the example shows that the two languages are very close - maybe as Danish and Norwegian Bokmål.

But Google Translate should be spanked for repeating one of its absolutely unpardonnable inbult errors: the tendency to change geographical names, languages names etc. to something parallel in the target language. The Google staff is supposed to be a bunch of smart guys - how come that they can't eradicate this stupid error?

Peranannya dalam pembangunan Kuala Lumpur
Peranannya dalam pembangunan Jakarta
Role in the development of Kuala Lumpur





Edited by Iversen on 18 December 2012 at 4:41pm

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Brun Ugle
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 Message 3140 of 3959
15 December 2012 at 1:31pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:


But Google Translate should be spanked for repeating one of its absolutely unpardonnable inbult errors: the tendency to change geographical names, languages names etc. to something parallel in the target language. The Google staff is supposed to be a bunch of smart guys - how come that they can't eradicate this stupid error?



I used to have to do some translating in connection with my former job. I'm not very fond of or good at translating and to make it go faster, I used to get help from Google Translate. I always had to fix things, but at least it gave me suggestions so I didn't have to ponder for several minutes over every word. It isn't so bad with Norwegian to English translation, probably because they are closely related, but sometimes it comes up with some strange things, especially with names. Once it translated Iver Lykke to Iver Happiness which gave me a good chuckle, but I don't understand why it would change Lykke to Happiness and not translate Iver to Eagerness. And sometimes it translates half a name. There was one person with the last name Aunehaugen and it changed it to Aune Hill. Crazy.
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Iversen
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 Message 3141 of 3959
15 December 2012 at 1:48pm | IP Logged 
Those things are very common in translations by Google Translate, but luckily you normally know which words are proper names in the original, so you can avoid trusting any translation of a proper name. The big problem is the fanciful mistranslations of ordinary text. The Italians have the expression "traduttore - tradittore", and in Danish we have the notion "undersættelse" ('translation' is "oversættelse" in Danish). And Google is good at it, but it is still the best and easiest way to make bulk translations of the stuff I like to read. Literary translations are often too free to be useful, but I noticed that my Latin translation of Harrius Potter II is very close to the original. Btw. I also copied a couple of pages from that book yesterday.
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Iversen
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 Message 3142 of 3959
16 December 2012 at 2:23pm | IP Logged 
I guess that many families have some purely idiosyncratic expressions which you never would hear from outsiders. One of these led me to read about a number of Italian noblemen from the renaissance: "Du aldobrandino" ('thou aldobrandino') as an expression of surprise. The most elaborate was one which my maternal grandfather said once in a while - apparently it was concocted while he was an apprentice in Flensburg in the part of Southern Jutland which back then was under German rule: "a colomom bèra du français del puttepont del chutteneure del brasseau" (my spelling) - which of course isn't French, but that was apparently how French sounded to those youngsters around the year 1900. They also spoke Low German, but I have never heard my grandpa say a word in any kind of German - with his background as a Danish-minded person i Flensborg it can't be too much of a surprise that he detested everything German. So I had to learn my Platt from Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR).

IT: Alcuni dei personaggi che hanno portato il nome "Aldobrando" (forma diminutiva: Aldobrandino) erano dalla famiglia d'Este, cui palazzi adornano oggi la nobila città di Mantova. Ma ho trovato che per esempio Aldobrandino III d'Este fu signore di Ferrara e di Modena. Il problema è che Italia all'epoca era un mosaico di piccole stati, e si deve essere un esperto della storia d'Italia per sapere dove erano le frontiere. "Aldobrando" evidentemente è un prenome che può essere usate in più di una famiglia. Mi pare che sia una testimonianza delle invasioni Germaniche nella parte settentrionale d'Italia - goti, longobardi ed altri. Nel tedesco abbiamo un nome quale "Hildebrandt" - portato dal papa Gregorio VII: "Gregorio VII, nato Ildebrando Aldobrandeschi di Soana (Sovana, 1020/1025 – Salerno, 25 maggio 1085), fu il 157º papa della Chiesa cattolica dal 1073 alla morte". Lui fu il Papa che costrinse l'imperatore Enrico IV a fare la famosa penitenza a Canossa.

OK OK, questo è un poco confuso, ma illustra bene come io mantengo le mie lingue con lettura estensiva sul web. Normalmente scrivo piuttosto delle mie studie intensivi di teste brevi perché dá un'impressione meno confusa. Ma la confusione totale regna quando io sto navigando sul web.


PS: I have also listened to the conversation between Richard Simcott and Luca Zampariello, and afterwards the triple interview with these two plus Susanna Zaraysky - the one with the famous gong sound at the outset: bonnnnnnnnnnnnnng!

Edited by Iversen on 18 December 2012 at 1:07pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3143 of 3959
18 December 2012 at 1:58am | IP Logged 
RO: Astazi am facut o călătorie la Viborg ca parte din munca mea, și am avut astfel mai mult de o oră liberă pentru a citi în fiecare direcție. La direcție spre Viborg am lucrat cu Bahasa Indonezia, și pe drum spre casă am citit câteva texte românești - unele cu traduceri, altele nu, dar aproape nu contează pentru că am putut înțelege totul cu ușurință. Textele i-am imprimat împreună cu textele de șah în alte limbi, cei ce am menționat mai devreme în acest topic, și vin de "Revistamagazin.ro" în limba română. Din pacate acest magazin nu folosc semnele române ortografice, dar acest ește foarte comun la Internet - ceea ce face foarte dificil de a învăța limba pentru incepatori.

În ceea ce privește șah: este raportată de pilda ca Kiril Gheorghiev a jucat 260 partide simultane la 14 ore în 2009, și George Koltanowski a jucat 56 meciuri simultani ca partide în orbe. A câștigat 50 și facut 6 remize, și "Dupa ce jocurile s-au terminat, el a fost capabil sa reproduca din memorie fiecare mutare, in ciuda faptului ca, in viata de toate zilele, era un uituc incorigibil." PS: am învățat un cuvânt nou aici: "uituc" (de "a uita", 'to forget').

După aceea am citit despre pește care puteau vindeca psoriazisul consumatând straturii de piel bolnav, mai tîrziu despre Evanghelia lui Iuda Iscariot și despre Gustave Whitehead, primul aviator al lumii, un om extrem de sarac care a facut un zbor de câteva sute de metri cu un avion construit de fragmente găsite într-un râu care au costat-o viața de un alt pionier aviator. Și conform cu reporte de mărtori oculari Whitehead a zburat doi ani înainte de frații Wright, carilor a revenit pe nedrept tot creditul primului zbor. Dar este destul de normal - de asemenea Alexander Bell a furat brevetul telefonului de săracul Italian Antonio Meucci.

I have travelled to a neighbouring town Viborg as part of my job, and that meant that I had more than one hour in each direction for my studies. On the outwards tour I spent the time on Indonesian, while I read texts from the Romanian internet magazin "Revista" on the way back. Unfortunately that homepage doesn't use the special Romanian letters, but I have sufficient background to live with the reduced character set. However - as I have pointed out before - it must make it more difficult to learn Romanian from scratch from written sources, because you can't see how the words really are pronounced. But this has unfortunately become common practice.

The articles were however quite interesting. I read about chess (I made the prints at the same time of the other ones about chess, which have been discussed some time ago in this thread), and one funny detail was the reference to a certain Koltanowski, who in 1960 played 56 simultaneous games blindfolded with 10 seconds per move on average and just gave six draws away. Afterwards he could recall each and every move in each and every game, even though he was notorious for his forgetfulness in his daily life. Afterwards I read about a cure for psoriasis, based on small carnivorous fish who rasp the sick skin layers away while leaving healthy skin unharmed. I have seen that practised as footbaths, but somewhere in Turkey the whole body is submerged in hot springs with these fish. Furthermore I read about the controversial gospel of Jude Iscariot, which makes Jude the only disciple who really understood what Jesus had planned, and I read about a dissolving comet which is circling around the Sun in an orbit which the 14 May 2006 took it to within just three times the distance to the Moon. And finally I read about Gustave Whitehead, who flew an airplane several hundred meters two years before the brothers Wright did their first flight. But Whitehead, who was poor as a doormouse and had built his airplane of scraps fished from a river where another early pioneer had lost his plane and his life, was forgotten even though several eye witnesses saw the event and wrote about it in two newspapers. The world is not always fair to inventors. For instance it is well known that Alexander Graham Bell stole the patent to the telephone from a poor Italian named Meucci. And Edison didn't invent the electric bulb - he just made the first commercially practical bulb. Which certainly is an achievement in itself.


Edited by Iversen on 18 December 2012 at 4:47pm

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Iversen
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 Message 3144 of 3959
20 December 2012 at 4:34pm | IP Logged 
I have recently become an associate member of the Celtic Clann Lugus - and I'm just associate because I want to keep on adding to my monolithic megalog rather than establish small new ones for each activity. I even study ... for instance I read about food terms in the Kauderwelsch booklet yesterday in the bus back home from work. But I doubt that I will learn to speak it fluently - so far the goal is to be able to read and write it. However I could also have subscribed to other teams because my linguistical activites are as dispersed as ever.

Some members have already published their annual status reports, and because I'll be working between Christmas and New Year I may just as well follow in their footsteps now. The following list includes languages in which I just have dabbled during 2012.

DANISH: my native language, obviously no major changes.

ICELANDIC: I have read a fair amount of texts, but not listened enough. I have a CD with one of the sagas ready to get some exposure. There is an Esperanto congress in Reykjavík next year. I still ponder whether I should go there. It will be somewhat costly, and I might want to do my next trip to Iceland a monolingual one (after a couple of weeks af hard training, obviously), so the jury is still out.

NORWEGIAN: More activity in 2012 than expected. I have never tried to speak the language, but I think I have a good passive level - for instance I almost can understand "Parlamentet" on TV (our resident Norwegians will know what level that is) - but apart from one video I have not once spoken it in public.

SWEDISH: Lots of passive exposure and advanced passive skills, but not used once in 2012 for actual conversations.

IRISH: Well, it has taken a lot of time in 2012 without much to show for it. I can contruct sentences, but it takes time and I'm not quite sure how bad the result is - only that it must make the few native speakers/writers cringe. In 2013 I should get to the point where I can read my Potter I in Irish.

ENGLISH: well, it is unavoidable. I watch more TV in English than in my native Danish, and I read, think, write in English daily - sometimes I even get a chance to speak it.

(HIGH) German: Also an easy language to maintain because I have lots of TV and texts, and I use it for studies of other languages, I have even been to Germany twice in 2012. No change expected in 2013.

LOW German ('PLATT'): in recent time I have watched 1/2 hour of TV, but I understood just about everything, and I have read some texts from the internet without problems. But it is hard to keep a language active without activating activities.

DUTCH: not much active use lately, but I am contemplating taking a monolingual trip to the Netherlands and Flandern in 2013 to boost my skills.

AFRIKAANS: Also good and stable passive skills and if I went to South Africa again next year I would definitely try to use the language. But alas, there is a long list of places I ought to visit next year, and I can't find time and money for everything on the list.

... (West)Frisian: Not quite the new kid on the block, but I actually could understand the written version when I last tried. Just a few years ago I found it quite difficult, and it is not clear exactly why I should progres without doing anything about it. Alas I don't have time to learn it properly, and I doubt that I even have heard any spoken Frisian in 2012. Maybe I can buy some books in and about it in the Netherlands, if I go thee on holiday next year (see under 'DUTCH')

....Old English/Anglosaxon, Old Saxon, Old High German: in periods I have read a number of texts in these long gone languages, and with some help from translations it was certainly possible to understand most of the content. I still need to confer with a translation in the case of Beowulf, but as a matter of fact I didn't have translations for several prose texts (mentioned in my log), but still understood most of the content AND the sentence structures. No plans for active studies.

LATIN: Good old acquaintance, but the funny thing is that I mostly read Modern texts - such as Harrius Potter and Ephemerides. I gave Saxo a try, but it wasn't as interesting as I had hoped (medieval Latin is plagued by interminable sentence structures). My spoken Latin has not been trained properly the last year.

PORTUGUESE: No problems reading the stuff and reasonably fluent in understanding internet TV (especially the Europan version, which is the one I have trained most). I visited the Algarve coast in 2012 and had no problems in communicating with people.

... Galician: Not something I study, but I can watch TV Galicia through Astra and understand most of what they say. No plans for study.

SPANISH/CASTILLIAN: I also visited Spain in 2012 and could communicate with the Spaniards. My main mission for 2013 in Spanish will be to learn some more idiomatics and maybe get a clearer picture of the dialects. I have planned to visit Cuba in 2013, and I am going to stay at small particulares (= B&B) and travel on bus from place to place, so there my Spanish will definitely get a boost.

CATALAN: Tried and found in good order during a visit to Catalunya and Mallorca in 2012, and I can think fluently in the language. Probably no change in 2013.

FRENCH: One of my main languages with lots of exposure - and again a langage which I have tested in 2012 (with visits to both Northern and Southern France).

.. Old French, Old Occitan: I can still read read both, but there is no reason to learn to speak them. As for Occitan it is hard even to find sources for the modern variants, although I have heard a few samples of spoken Occitan on Youtube.

ITALIAN: Also tried and found in good order during a monolingual trip to Sicily. Raiuno is generally a lousy channel, and apart from one Superquark about the ailing Italian economy I haven't watched it much lately - but sometimes I hear spoken Italian at the History Channel and it is easy to hear it on the internet.

ROMANIAN: Not as much activity in 2012 as I would have hoped for. But maybe I can combine my participation in the announced polyglot congress in Budapest with a sidetrip to Romania.

MODERN GREEK: My Greek is stable, but full of holes because I don't hear enough and don't use it enough actively. I am fairly sure I'll go to Greece on a monolingual trip in 2013, but it will take a couple of weeks of hard work to convert my pasive skills into something useful and trustworthy for communication. And I'm still irritated over my 2-3 errors in 2 lines in the Maybe thing. Still, maybe.

... Hungarian: no, I'm not going to add Hungarian to my repertoire in the near future. But I have read through a language guide and learned something about the pronunciation.

RUSSIAN: More or less as Greek it has become mostly a passive language, and more a written language than a spoken one due to a lack of listening opportunities. The visa rules are becoming more and more byzantine - now you can't send your application to the embassy by mail anymore (not even snail mail), and the price has gone up. But the right thing for me to do at my present stage would be to go to Rusland to get a much needed boost.

... Polish, Serbian, Bulgarian etc.: I had a project in Polish once, but set it aside for other things. In 2012 I haven't been studying other Slavic languages than Russian, but I have from time to time heard and read them, and it has irritated me that I almost could understand them. So in 2013 I'll probably add one of them to my study agenda. I can buy access to TV channels in Polish and Croatian/Serbian through my cable provider, so it will be one of them I choose.

ESPERANTO: As I mentioned above I'm still thinking about going to the Universal congress in Reykjavík, but haven't decided anything yet. If I don't go then I'll probably find something smaller in Europa - like when I went to Galway in July 2012.

BAHASA INDONESIA: I have spent a fair amount of time on this language, but one minor problem is learning enough vocabulary. Right now I'm getting to the point where I can understand simple texts with just a couple of unknown words on each line - and I mostly read bilingual texts in order to get problems solved here and now. But using monolingual texts should definitely become possible in 2013. As for practical uses I haven't had any chance to use it for communication with a native or fluent speaker, but once I have enough vocabulary it shouldn't be too difficult to activate it.

... Bahasa Malaysia, Filipino: Malaysian is so close to Indonesian that I shouldn't deal with it before my Indonesian has become more automatic and stable. But it should be an easy and tempting target later on. As for Filipino I have studied the verbal system a few years ago, and it was complicated with all those pre- and infixes and reduplications, but not worse than solving a Rubik cube in each sentence. However I'm worried that the Pinoy will stop using it before I have learned it.


Edited by Iversen on 20 December 2012 at 4:48pm



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