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Chung at work / Chung pri práci

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Expugnator
Hexaglot
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Brazil
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3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 297 of 541
17 March 2013 at 11:26pm | IP Logged 
Hi Chung, regarding the linguistic profiles, I'm concerned by the fact that I wouldn't
want to write an introduction about a language and make it look like a wikipedia entry.
Do you think there is a way to escape this format?
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5424 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 298 of 541
18 March 2013 at 1:30am | IP Logged 
I don't see it as a problem since it's just an introduction. What I think makes a profile different (and arguably) better than most articles in Wikipedia describing languages is the degree to which profiles focus on information that's useful for the learner. What kind of propsective learner would not want to see information on courses, authentic material in the target language, grammar, phonology or aspects that are difficult for most learners to figure out?

Are you interested in putting together a profile or is there a profile whose format doesn't sit well with you?
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
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3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 299 of 541
18 March 2013 at 2:07am | IP Logged 
In fact, I want to write some annotations on my own, not a profile, and I would like the
intro to be more interesting, appealing, to show the big picture and not to be a cold
unrolling of statistics about number of speakers, country's area and population etc.
1 person has voted this message useful



Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5424 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 300 of 541
18 March 2013 at 2:41am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
In fact, I want to write some annotations on my own, not a profile, and I would like the
intro to be more interesting, appealing, to show the big picture and not to be a cold
unrolling of statistics about number of speakers, country's area and population etc.


It's all up to you then. The profiles here merely follow what François laid out here.

As an example, here's part of the introduction in the rough draft of that guide to Uralic languages that I'm working on. Apart from the first paragraph, the rest of the introduction describes my goal and some comments on what a prospective reader could think about (e.g. difficulty in finding updated learning material for "minor" Uralic languages) but are not suitable in the contents which focus on comparing a handful of Uralic languages or describing the grammar. The most interesting material follows the introduction for that's where the examples are, and where I juxtapose examples to clarify points and put things in perspective.

excerpt of the introduction in the rough draft of the guide to Uralic languages wrote:
INTRODUCTION

The Uralic languages are spoken mainly in northern Europe and northwestern Asia of which Hungarian is a striking exception by being spoken in central Europe. Approximately 25 million people are native speakers of an Uralic language of which Hungarian is the largest by counting roughly 14 million speakers. Most linguists consider Uralic as unrelated to any other language group. However proponents of the Nostratic school typically postulate that the Uralic languages are related to those of the Afroasiatic, Indo-European, Altaic, Eskimo-Aleut, Kartvelian and Dravidian families.

This guide is intended primarily for English-speaking learners who have at least a high-beginner’s (approximately A2) competency in an Uralic language (particularly Estonian, Finnish, Northern Saami, Meadow Mari or Hungarian) and are interested in learning a second such language. It addresses this interest by exploring various linguistic topics and describing them succintly for each of the languages in question to facilitate comparison and study of subsequent Uralic languages. Many of the topics under comparison are derived from what may be found in a beginner’s textbook of a foreign language.

[...]

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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5424 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 301 of 541
25 March 2013 at 6:33am | IP Logged 
BCMS/SC

I finished reviewing Chapter 6 of “Teach Yourself Serbian”. The dialogues involved shopping with associated vocabulary for dealing with shopkeepers and counting over 100. The main grammatical topics introduced nominative and accusative forms of adjectives, demonstrative pronouns, using personal pronouns of the 3rd person, one of the infinitive or the combination of da preceding a conjugated verb followed by da and feminine nouns ending in a consonant.



(From Qolombo)

1) “Listen, Santa Maria. I don’t have anything against you, but understand…”
2) “…what will the crew say if it sees how I’m talking with a ship?”
3) [addressing the broom] “Hey, did you see that? The admiral is talking with a ship!”

- posada (posade) “crew” (посада (посаде))
- shvatati > shvatiti (shvatam, shvataju > shvatim, shvate) “to grasp, understand” (схватати > схватити (схватам, схватају > схватим, схвате))

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary) (this will be put in both scripts partially to accommodate those unused to Serbian Cyrillic and also so that I get at least a little bit of practice using the keyboard layout for Serbian Cyrillic).

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

See here for the rationale of the excursus devoted to comparing Croatian and Serbian using the dialogues of “Beginner’s Croatian” and “Beginner’s Serbian” published by Hippocrene Books.

Resources include descriptive dictionary of standard Croatian based on the work of Anić et al., Benson’s SerboCroatian-English Dictionary, Alexander’s Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, a Grammar: With Sociolinguistic Commentary and discussions on usage in BCMS/SC from Unilang and WordReference.

Chapter 2

1) Cr: što | Sr: šta “what”
The codified difference is along the lines of tko vs. ko “who” (see 2) under BCMS/SC in here for more information) with the difference resting in the nominative and accusative while the sets of declensional endings are the same in the remaining cases.

Nominative: što vs. šta
Accusative: što vs. šta
Genitive: čeg(a) vs. čeg(a)
Dative: čemu vs. čemu
Locative: čem(u) vs. čem(u)
Instrumental: čim(e) vs. čim(e)

Moreover the monolingual dictionary of Standard Croatian lists šta as a colloquial variant of što in its nominative form. Overall the difference is not as stark as can be portrayed by fixating on the codified forms in nominative. Incidentally, što can turn up as a colloquial form of zašto “why” for Serbs with this forum’s Aineko being among one of them initially having experienced small misunderstandings when dealing with Croats unaccustomed to this usage.

2) Cr: kamo | Sr: kuda “whither, (to) where”
This is a codified difference with kuda being a bit of a false friend for Croats. Kuda for them is codified to mean “which route/direction to that destination” and does not refer to the destination as implied in kamo. On the other hand, kamo has no codified meaning to a Serb and the semantic counterpart of Croatian kuda is kojim putem which is closely translated as “by/with which way/path to that destination”.

3) Cr: oprosti(te)! | Sr: izvini(te)! “sorry!”
This is another codified difference but the monolingual dictionary of Standard Croatian lists izvini(te) se as a colloquialism and Serbianism. As far as I know, oprosti(te) is not normally used quite in this way by Serbs expressing apology, but the verb oprostiti does mean “to forgive” or “to pardon” to Croats and Serbs.

I recently got wind of a somewhat sappy but also mildly reassuring tidbit from Bosnia and Herzegovina as reported in the Huffington Post taken from reddit.



Although I’m a bit disappointed by the headline talking about the “bravest thing ever” which is an exaggeration to me and shows perhaps some ignorance about the various fronts in the Yugoslavian Wars (all that I’ll say on this point is that I agree with a comment that their relationship and the picture would have had left a greater impression if they happened in Vukovar, Croatia), the girl’s reaction to an elderly spectator’s pointed question made me smile as I compare Croatian and Serbian with a descriptivist’s eye.

***

HUNGARIAN

I finished Selection 6 of "FSI Hungarian Graded Reader". The text was about the morning routine of a bachelor with vocabulary about basic tasks for that time (e.g. grooming, bathing, making breakfast). The accompanying exercises involved changing singular forms to plural ones, and converting verbs from their basic senses to intranstive ones as marked by the derivational suffixes (k)odik / (k)ödik, ódik / ődik (k)ozik / (k)özik. I also completed the last exercises from “Magyarországon szeretnék dologozni” in eMagyarul-2 which were listening comprehension questions related to jokes and Hungarian music.



(From Marabu BlogLap: Ez ám a nagy dodóshét!)

5) “I’ll give a piece of good advice, Dodo. During flight never try to scratch your back.”

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary).

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (nouns only: nominative possessive for 3rd person singular)
VERBS: 3rd person singular present tense (infinitive)
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

SLOVAK

I’ve done my week’s allotment of Slovak homework using “Hovorme spolu po slovensky! B - Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk”. Since my last entry, I’ve worked through pgs. 27-29 of the first workbook which consisted of exercises on vocabulary related to the use of rád etc. to express affinity to something/someone or an activity, and verbs in their imperfective and perfective aspectual counterparts.



(From Shooty – Som Grogy…)

2) “What are you thinking about?”
3) “Nothing.”

Convention for vocabulary in the comic strip that's unfamiliar to me (i.e. needed to consult a dictionary)

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (3rd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 3rd person plural present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

UKRAINIAN

I’ve done my week’s allotment of at least 3 pages from “Modern Ukrainian” by working through pgs. 67-69. The exercises here focus on genitive including the endings for demonstrative pronouns of which I’m not quite as comfortable as I am with nouns and adjectives.

***

OTHER LANGUAGES

The next deadline for Northern Saami is coming up.

______



Edited by Chung on 25 March 2013 at 6:57am

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2975 days ago

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Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 302 of 541
25 March 2013 at 8:53am | IP Logged 
Hello Chung. Two of the languages I want to study in the future include BCMS (probably
Croatian or Bosnian variant) and Czech. Given I have some background in Russian (and some
other languages), what are the things I would need to focus on with these languages to
learn them efficiently. BCMS pitch accent?

(aside from vocabulary acquisition)
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5424 days ago

4228 posts - 8254 votes 
20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 303 of 541
25 March 2013 at 5:29pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Hello Chung. Two of the languages I want to study in the future include BCMS (probably
Croatian or Bosnian variant) and Czech. Given I have some background in Russian (and some
other languages), what are the things I would need to focus on with these languages to
learn them efficiently. BCMS pitch accent?

(aside from vocabulary acquisition)


It's tough to say in detail since I know a few things about Russian because of my interest in comparative linguistics rather than how to use it, but I suspect that the linguistic characteristics that could be weird to you are Czech umlaut (česká přehláska) and the BCMS/SC prosody (basically pitch accent and different placement of stress). A small point is these languages regularly use the copula in present tense whereas Russian rarely does (and even then it seems restricted to есть from what I can tell).

There're at least two textbooks of Czech designed with people who already know Russian in mind called Contemporary Czech by Michael Heim and Czech through Russian by Charles Townsend and Eric Komar. If you're into comparative Slavonic linguistics, I highly recommend Common and Comparative Slavic Phonology and Inflection: Phonology and Inflection : With Special Attention to Russian, Polish, Czech, Serbo-Croatian, Bulgarian by Townsend and Laura Janda. This last book could be worthwhile for more background knowledge because it focuses on three of the Slavonic languages that are relevant to you.

My copy of Magner's Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language has a bit of advice for those learning BCMS/SC with a background in Russian which is a fairly common occurence in universities on this side of the pond. Even though I've quoted it before, I'll do it here anyway.

Magner, Thomas F. “Introduction to the Croatian and Serbian Language”. University Park: Penn State Press, 1995, pp. xi-xii wrote:
If you have previously studied Russian, your knowledge of that language will be helpful in approaching Cr&S. For one thing, it will be easier for you to master Serbian Cyrillic, once you have learned the small differences between Serbian Cyrillic and Russian Cyrillic. But be careful: Similarities are not identities. Both Russian and Cr&S have the word "sestra", 'sister,' and "mikroskop", 'microscope,' but in Russian the stress accent is on the final syllable, that is, "sestrá" and "mikroskóp", while in Cr&S, which as a general rule NEVER has an accent on a final syllable, the accentuation would be "sèstra" and "mikròskop". And what language scholars call "false friends," that is, words that look alike but have quite different meanings, can cause confusion and sometimes embarrassment. For example, in Russian "urók" and "ponós" mean 'lesson' and 'diarrhea,' respectively; in Cr&S, however, "ùrok" means 'a spell' or 'a charm,' while "pònos" means 'pride.'

Unlike Russian and English, Cr&S has no reduced vowels; every vowel in Cr&S "gòvorite," 'you speak,' is pronounced as spelled, while in Russian "vi govoríte" only the accented vowel is pronounced as spelled. You will notice that it is not necessary to use the pronoun in Cr&S, since pronouns are used only for emphasis: "vi govorite," 'YOU speak.' So while a knowledge of Russian can be helpful, don't lean on it too heavily; Cr&S and Russian are distinct languages.


(N.B. Magner uses "Cr&S" as shorthand for "Croatian and Serbian")

Check out the following for some comments since they touch on the idea of learning Russian with a background in one of BCMS/SC or Czech (or vice-versa).

Hardest languages for Slavic natives
Hey, so... Croatian?
Polish/Croatian from Russian
Russian and Serbian grammar question
Serbo-Croatian or Russian?
Pitchless Serbian?
Russian from Serbo-Croatian
Urdu/Farsi vs Russian/Croatian similiarity
Czech and Russian - similarities?
Czech and Russian
Czech through Russian
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2975 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 304 of 541
27 March 2013 at 11:03am | IP Logged 
Hvala, Chung.

I am going to use FSI Serbo-Croatian for BCMS (no ideas yet on my Czech approach, but I
can't learn everything at the same time anyway; and my current focuses are Hebrew,
Romanian and to a lesser extent Breton). Have you got any experience with this
textbook? I'm fine using either standard but will probably end up with more Bosnian or
Croatian words anyway.

I'm not a linguist, more an engineer - so comparative linguistics is kinda lost on me
beyond the point of "that obviously looks the same" or "I can see what they changed
here" and so on, but I found the quote from Magner helpful (my Bosnian friend mentioned
something similar about the way Bosnian/Croatian/whatever is spelled).

Have you experienced bonuses through learning related Slavic languages? Were they
substantial to the extent that I can expect something similar as learning Swedish
through Dutch (and some knowledge of German, I guess?)


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