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

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Iversen
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 Message 3153 of 3959
17 January 2013 at 11:22am | IP Logged 
I spent my evening yesterday ordering my photos, so apart from watching TV I didn't do anything language related. However in the message about I mentioned my wordlists, where I basically went through two small dictionaries from A to Z. My Spanish vocabulary is definitely larger than my Greek one, but I used the same layout, namely the one I normally reserve for repetition: 1) Danish/English 2) Spanish, Greek. And because this takes less space than the usual three column format I could fit more words on each page. I ran into a problem when my red pencil ran out of ink: apparently you can't get red pencils in Cuba. But blue and black also functioned.

The three-column format is definitely more efficient than a two column approach, but I started using the two column format with Spanish where I already knew most of the words. And why? Well, I thought that the best time for doing a general survey of my Spanish vocabulary would be during a holiday in a suitable country where I had lots of idle time during the evenings, and it will still be possible to do a repetition later for those words I didn't already know.

The trouble is that I at a certain point also started a Greek wordlist along the same lines - i.e. almost all words in the dictionary, 2 columns and some extra memorizing for new words. And then this second project for some weird reason began to take over more and more of my study time, with Spanish as the obvious loser. As I already have mentioned, the Greek dictionary I used contained relatively few words, but then in greater detail, which made it easier to memorize them. And by and large I think my time was well spent because I did this general survey at the right time in my study of Greek - a time where I have seen a lot of words, but forgotten them again, and a time where I have a fairly good idea about the basic vocabulary so that I can form associations and see relationships. It would certainly not be a good idea to do this exercise at an earlier stage. Maybe I can try out my Greek on a holiday there later this year - at least airfares are reasonably low right now, and it seems that the country won't collapse totally as some newspaper reports suggested last year. It wouldn't be nice to get down there and be suddenly see a junta take over once again!

Edited by Iversen on 17 January 2013 at 1:22pm

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Brun Ugle
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 Message 3154 of 3959
17 January 2013 at 11:34am | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
apparently you can't get red pencils in Cuba.


How odd, considering it's a communist country.
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kujichagulia
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 Message 3155 of 3959
17 January 2013 at 1:34pm | IP Logged 
Ah how I wish I could visit Cuba! But alas, I am American.
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josht
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 Message 3156 of 3959
17 January 2013 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 
Brun Ugle wrote:
Iversen wrote:
apparently you can't get red pencils in Cuba.


How odd, considering it's a communist country.


This prompted a genuine chuckle from me.

Iversen, regarding the two column lists: I assume this is identical to your three column
list, just without the jump back to the column 1 language?


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Iversen
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 Message 3157 of 3959
18 January 2013 at 2:19am | IP Logged 
As I wrote above the two-column layout is not the most efficient for the learning of new vocabulary - I normally only use it for repetition of known vocabulary. However I had a total perusal of my Spanish mini dictionary in mind, so not only would I know a large proportion of the words, but I would also need less time to do the exercise. To do the same thing in Greek is something of an experiment. But I guess that an extra repetition round will tell me whether it was a good idea to use the simpler format. My immediate feeling is that I did learn a lot of words precisely because of the massive undertaking - after all I must have been through almost 3000 words in less than two weeks (out of 4550 in the Greek part of the dictionary), and then you so to say get into a 'Greek mode' where that language suddenly seems almost logical and half forgotten words began to reemerge from the mists. The only thing that still played tricks on my memory was the position of the stress in the words.

The first column in the two-column setup should be in the base language (English or Danish), and the usual rule about working with groups of 5-7 words should be observed. The second column will then be in the target language, and this means that before writing it I must ascertain that I can translate all the words in a given group to the target language.

Because there isn't a first column in the target language I have to do my memorizing (using the usual arsenal of memory tricks) already while I look through the dictionary to find words to transfer to the wordlist. And because I don't copy the foreign words manually during this process I first get the chance to write them when I get to the second column - and then only once instead of twice with the full layout. That's why the full layout is more efficient. But if I had used it I wouldn't have got through so much of the alphabet.


GR: Η λίστες ελληνικών λέξεων από τις διακοπές μου γεμίζουν 5 φύλλα. Κάθε φύλλο έχει 4 σελίδες με 5 διπλές στήλες, και κάθε στήλη έχει τουλάχιστον 30 λέξεις. Αυτό είναι σχεδόν 100 διπλές στήλες και 3000 λέξεις. Θα μπορούσε κανείς να ρωτήσει αν είμαι θεότρελος, αλλά η έκταση της ελληνικής προσπάθειας λειτουργεί σχεδόν σαν μια εμπειρία εμβύθισης. Έχω κοίταξα στα λίστες για να δούμε αν οι νέες λέξεις εξακολουθούν να φαίνονται οικείες, τώρα που είμαι πίσω στο σπίτι στη Δανία, και ναι, το κάνουν. Αλλά χρειάζεται πιθανώς ένα πρόσθετο γύρο της επανάληψης, αν πρόκειται να διατηρήσει τις λέξεις.



Edited by Iversen on 18 January 2013 at 2:34am

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Iversen
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 Message 3158 of 3959
21 January 2013 at 2:39am | IP Logged 
IR: Nuair a thug mé cuairt ar Cúba, shuigh mé uaireanta a léamh leabhar Kauderwelsch ar Ghaeilge. Bhí sé frásaí gearra a d'fhéadfadh a bheith úsáideach do thurasóirí (ach amháin i Cúba). Ó shin bhfuair mé abhaile, chaith mé a lán ama a shocrú ar mo thuarascáil turas agus mo grianghraif, agus go dtí 95 r-phost a léamh. Mar sin, go inné Dé Domhnaigh éirigh liom a léamh rud ar bith i nGaeilge - agus bhí sé abairtí fada deacra . Beidh mé a dhéanamh anailís ar cheann acu, ach ní féidir liom a dhéanamh i nGaeilge, mar sin anois linn a athrú go Béarla.

While I was in Cuba had found surprisingly much time to study languages, which mainly benefitted my Spanish and my Greek, but also to some extent my Irish - several times I sat down to read (and mumble) passages from Kauderwelsch's booklet about Irish. The sentences in such a book are generally short and relevant for tourists ... ahem, did I write that? Well, Irish as such may be of little relevance to tourists in a country which almost exclusively speaks English. But let's pretend that you could find a willing Gaelic speaking native person, then the sentences of the booklet would be of the type you might find relevant in the situation.

When I returned home I went back to the point where I left in Vicipeid's article about Modern Hebrew, and then sentence length, the quotient of unknown words and grammatical complexity suddenly rose considerably. Without a (machine) translation it wouldn't be worth the trouble to deal with such a text, but I do it in two steps. First I copy a passage, identify and look up words which still are somewhat mysterious - or where I at least would like a clearer picture of the meaning and (not least) possible idioms. Then I read and copy it again, and the second time I may occasionally have a shimmer of feeling that I some time in the future will be able to read this stuff fluently.

As the members of our resident clann will know Irish is a language where nominal phrases abound - and I must say to the defense of Google Translate, it actually caught some I almost certainly would have overlooked even with the help of my dictionary.
But let's be practical and have a look at a concrete example:

Chuaigh dícheall is dúthracht Bhen Yehúda an oiread sin i bhfeidhm ar mhúinteoirí na tíre agus gur chínn a lán acu aithris a dhéanamh ar a dhea-shampla: theagascfaidís an Eabhrais feasta mar a bheadh gnáthurlabhra an phobail inti seachas teanga léannta amháin.

Google Translate: Ben Yehúda diligence diligence so many teachers implemented the country and that many of them decided to imitate to good example: theagascfaidís the Hebrew in future as bheadh typical of the community as opposed to one scholarly language.

"chuaigh" is - of course - the perfect 3.p. sing. of "téigh", whose meanings are manyfold, but they cluster around the notion of going. Letter no. 2 ('h') indicates the past tense.

"feidhm" means 'function, use' ... but the expression "téigh i bhfeidhm" means 'have an influence on' (the bh in "bhfeidhm2 is an example of the rule called eclipsis, and here the eclipsis is caused by the preposition "i")

"oiread" means 'amount, quantity', and 'sin' is a demonstrative

"chínn" is the lenited (or aspirated) version of "cínn", which means 'to decide' - and as with "chuaigh" above it marks the past tense.

"lán" as an adjective means 'full', and "acu" is an inflected form of the preposition "a" - i.e. an analogue to "a" + a 3.p. personal pronoun (siad/iad). However the expression "a lán acu" means 'a lot of them'.

"dheanamh" is a lenited substantival form of the verb "déan" ('to do' - although the form quoted in Irish dictionary isn't an infinitive - the only verbal form equal to "déan" is actually its imperative).
"aithris" means 'imitation', so logically "déan aithris" means 'to imitate"

So the first half sentence means ..
"Had! (*went) 'ones best' and commitment of Ben Yehuda (*the) much-this influence on teachers of (his) country , that decided! a lot of them to do imitation of a good-example" or
"The diligence and commitment of Ben Yehudy had such an influence on the teachers in (his) country that many of them decided to follow (his) good example"
   
(NB: I use ! to indicate that the inversion does NOT imply a question - the verb normally stands first in an Irish sentence, though an interrogative pronoun or expression will precede it )

Are you all sitting comfortably? OK, then onwards to the second half:

"theagascfaidís" apparently is too much for Google, but it is clearly a lenited derivation of "theagasc" (to teach). The second part vaguely looks like the ending "-fadh" etc. which is used in the conditional, and until somebody comes up with a better suggestion I read "theagascfaidís" as 'they would teach'

"feasta" simply means 'henceforth' .. but "féasta" means 'banquett' (those pesky diacritics are actually important in Irish)

"bheadh" is left untranslated by Google, but Collins Pocket Dictionary sends me from this word to "bí" ('to be') - which is problematic because the form isn't mentioned in the page where the forms of this irregular verb are listed. But the meaning could very well be something like "be".

"gnáthurlabhra" must be the word hiding behind 'typical', but if so then the translation is wrong. Words with "gnáth-" mean something common, land "labhra" is clearly a derivation of the verb "labhair", 'to speak', so "gnáthurlabhra" in all likelihood means 'the daily language', in this case 'of the people' "an phobail' (lenited genitive singular of 'pobal')

"inti" is an inflected form of the preposition "i"

"seachas" means 'besides. as well as, other than' according to my dictionary - "as opposed to" in the machine translation is slightly mysterious. It almost looks like a wishful guess from a human learner who sees an opposition between a daily language and the language of the scholarly types types and decides that that willy-nilly also must be what the mysterious words in the sentence mean. But the translation "rather than" seems to be compatible with both the suggestions in dictionary and the translation by Google.

'amháin' in isolation means 'sole, exclusive'. It also has an important role as a reinforcer of the number 1 in conjunction with a substantive, but that is not the case here.

So the second half would means something like..

theagascfaidís an Eabhrais feasta mar a bheadh gnáthurlabhra an phobail inti seachas teanga léannta amháin
'(they-)would-teachCOND the Hebrew henceforth as to be daily-language of the people rather-than language learned'
or 'they would henceforth teach the Hebrew language as the daily language of the people rather than a scholarly language'

Even with a dictionary I would have had a lot of problems understanding this sentence myself without the inspiring dea-shampla of Google splashing around in the gutter.


Edited by Iversen on 28 January 2013 at 11:00am

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liammcg
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 Message 3159 of 3959
21 January 2013 at 11:27am | IP Logged 
Hi Iversen, I'm in a bit of a rush at the moment, but later on today I'll post some
answers to the above once I get the time. Liam
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liammcg
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 Message 3160 of 3959
21 January 2013 at 10:24pm | IP Logged 
Theagascfaidís- is indeed a conditional form. The verb is "teagasc".

Bheadh- Also a conditional form, this time of the verb to be.


So a translation would be:
"They would from then on teach Hebrew as if it were an ordinary,public language, and not
only a scholarly one."


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