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Chung at work / Chung pri práci

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hribecek
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3861 days ago

1243 posts - 1458 votes 
Speaks: English*, Czech, Spanish
Studies: Italian, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Toki Pona, Russian

 
 Message 121 of 541
26 March 2012 at 12:18pm | IP Logged 
Keep these phrases coming. It's a lot easier to remember when you just introduce one each time. I like seeing how they would say these things in Slovak too. I don't think I've heard a Czech say "do frasa". Maybe they would say "krucinál" for this level of strength. "Do prdele" would be the next level after that probably.
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Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 5064 days ago

734 posts - 1036 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 122 of 541
26 March 2012 at 2:40pm | IP Logged 
I'm happy to see you've taken up Latvian again. I look forward to reading about your progress and any challenges that pop up. I find the process of people learning Latvian fascinating.

I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have about Latvian grammar.

Good luck!
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viedums
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Thailand
Joined 3178 days ago

327 posts - 528 votes 
Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 123 of 541
26 March 2012 at 4:17pm | IP Logged 
Yes, good luck with Latvian, it's not that hard really.

Have you seen the old edition of "Teach Yourself Latvian" by Tereze Budina-Lazdina? I used this as a child, it was a popular text in the emigre schools. It has a lot of nice grammar exercises which would help you get the cases etc down. In its grammar orientation I think it may be more useful than the newer texts like Colloquial, which don't really provide a complete picture. A classic in short.


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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5668 days ago

4228 posts - 8256 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 124 of 541
26 March 2012 at 6:39pm | IP Logged 
Liels paldies, Evita un viedum.

So far the hardest part has been the basic vocabulary. A lot of it is not registering in my Uralo-Slavonic-addled mind. I do recognize the obvious loanwords (e.g. tramvajs, bibliotēka) but there's a lot of basic vocabulary so far that's been unintelligible to me or the etymological connection (if any) is not known to me (e.g. strādāt, veikals, cik). The grammar so far hasn't been out of the ordinary and reminds me most of Slavonic stuff with all of the fusional inflection to mark nominative, accusative and the limited amount of dative that I've seen (i.e. jums cf. -m ending for dative plural in most Slavonic languages and German dem, einem). I haven't been able to hear the distinction in pitch-accent even though it was something that I approached a bit warily at first.

I've heard of that old edition of TY Latvian but haven't been able to browse the contents. Its orientation to grammar sounds good to me though. In any case, I'm fine with sticking with the newest editions of Colloquial Latvian and TY Latvian as I feel that I'm getting something useful and interesting out of the effort.
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Evita
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Latvia
learnlatvian.info
Joined 5064 days ago

734 posts - 1036 votes 
Speaks: Latvian*, English, German, Russian
Studies: Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 125 of 541
26 March 2012 at 7:05pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
I haven't been able to hear the distinction in pitch-accent even though it was something that I approached a bit warily at first.

This is an interesting statement. I thought for a while after reading it, pronouncing various words in various positions in my head, and suddenly a thought occurred to me that had never entered my mind before and that I hadn't read in any websites discussing Latvian tones or accents. But I believe this may be the reason you haven't noticed any difference so far.

The thing is - you can only notice the different pitch if the word is at the end of a sentence, meaning it has a falling intonation. It's not a rule I've read in any book but I believe it's true. Words that are pronounced with the falling tone, like dēls or ābols, switch to the level tone in the middle of the sentence because, I guess, the sentence has to flow naturally and you can't just insert falling pitches in random places. The last word of a sentence usually has a falling intonation so that's when you have to worry about getting the tone right. I've prepared a few audio samples on my website, you're welcome to check them out.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5668 days ago

4228 posts - 8256 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 126 of 541
27 March 2012 at 6:20am | IP Logged 
hribecek wrote:
Keep these phrases coming. It's a lot easier to remember when you just introduce one each time. I like seeing how they would say these things in Slovak too. I don't think I've heard a Czech say "do frasa". Maybe they would say "krucinál" for this level of strength. "Do prdele" would be the next level after that probably.


I agree. Doprdele would follow in greater vulgarity for the Slovaks just as for the Czechs.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5668 days ago

4228 posts - 8256 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 127 of 541
27 March 2012 at 6:25am | IP Logged 
Evita wrote:
Quote:
I haven't been able to hear the distinction in pitch-accent even though it was something that I approached a bit warily at first.

This is an interesting statement. I thought for a while after reading it, pronouncing various words in various positions in my head, and suddenly a thought occurred to me that had never entered my mind before and that I hadn't read in any websites discussing Latvian tones or accents. But I believe this may be the reason you haven't noticed any difference so far.

The thing is - you can only notice the different pitch if the word is at the end of a sentence, meaning it has a falling intonation. It's not a rule I've read in any book but I believe it's true. Words that are pronounced with the falling tone, like dēls or ābols, switch to the level tone in the middle of the sentence because, I guess, the sentence has to flow naturally and you can't just insert falling pitches in random places. The last word of a sentence usually has a falling intonation so that's when you have to worry about getting the tone right. I've prepared a few audio samples on my website, you're welcome to check them out.


Mielenkiintoinen ajatus.

I admit that I don't seem to fare well with detecting tones in languages and recall that I had somewhat similar experiences when learning BCMS/SC which also has pitch-accent.
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viedums
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Thailand
Joined 3178 days ago

327 posts - 528 votes 
Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 128 of 541
27 March 2012 at 11:00am | IP Logged 
Some Latvian etymologies – strādāt (work) is cognate with Russian stradàtj (suffer). There’s a semantic parallel with French travailler and English travails. Compare Latvian, Russian and other IE words for feet, legs and nails and they seem mixed up, e.g. Latvian nagi “nails” and pēdas “footmark, trace”. Russian has the taboo term medvyed or “honey eater” for bear, but in Latvian it’s lācis or “licker.”

I recall learning that Latvian borrowed a set of Finno-Ugric terms for things dealing with the sea. Possible ones might be kuģis “boat” (or was it laiva), jūra “sea”, kaiva “gull”.

I would advise learners to just ignore “tones” in Latvian. There are isolated examples of minimal pairs like augsts “high” vs. auksts “cold” which sound the same except for a different tone, but context will always make the intended meaning clear. I consider myself fluent in Latvian, and I have no idea what any of the tones are supposed to be. There is a lot of variation between dialects in any case. Any Latvian “philologist” who tells you to pay attention to this is guilty of fetishizing the language (sorry Evita!) A common problem with Latvians in any case.

If you know German and have access to a university library, you might want to check out the four volume dictionary by Muehlenbach and Enzelīns, it’s a great window into what the language was like in its feudal past.




Edited by viedums on 27 March 2012 at 11:02am



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