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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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

 
 Message 353 of 541
18 August 2013 at 9:39pm | IP Logged 
POLISH

I finished Chapter 23 of "Polish in 4 Weeks - II". The dialogue consisted of Alice and Basia going to a spa. The main topics for grammar were the declension of nouns for professions (e.g. artysta, instruktor) and case governance of certain verbs referring to persuasion or recommendation (e.g. namawiać, polecać). None of the material was new to me, but it wasn’t a waste of my time to review it in the exercises.



(From Komiksy « KochamSzefa.pl)

1) “Marriage is like in a company; someone has to lead. For example in my house I’m the manager!”
2) “A who is the president? – [The] wife.”

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

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (nominative plural, genitive singular)
VERBS (where applicable using convention of imperfective > perfective): infinitive (1st person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb], 2nd person singular present tense [imperfective verb] / future tense [perfective verb])
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

SLOVAK

I did the exercises on pgs. 41 in the textbook for “Hovorme spolu po slovensky! B - Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk” and finished exercises on pgs. 34-35 in the course’s workbook. The textbook’s exercises involved some listening comprehension on a short interview about a tourist’s train, while the workbook’s exercises were some reading comprehension questions about tickets for trains and public transport.



(From Pravda Slovenska!!! – Pokec.sk)

1) “Slovakia from the perspective of a central Slovak.”

zasraní džurindovci “god-damned Džurindites / lackeys of [former Prime Minister] Džurinda” (refers to central Slovaks’ contempt for those in the capital, Bratislava)
somári “donkeys” (refers to contempt for western Slovaks who are stereotyped as stubborn and dim-witted)
maďare “Hungarians” (reference to the Hungarian minority in southern Slovakia)
slota land “land of [ultranationalist politician] Slota” (Ján Slota was from a village in northwestern Slovakia and the region including the nearby city of Žilina acquired a reputation about 15 years ago as a base for extreme Slovak nationalism with particular vitriol reserved for Gypsies and Hungarians. See 5) below for another reference)
my “us” (literally “we”)
banda cigánska “Gypsy gang” (stereotype that poorer eastern Slovakia is crawling with Gypsies. Personal observation: Gypsies are everywhere in Slovakia but during my visits in Spiš, I noticed a lot more of them than in central and western Slovakia)
šaľený výhod “The Wild East” (stereotype of being untamed and populated by Gypsies and Rusyns, the latter of whom are stereotyped by my Slovak friends from further west as heavy drinkers like the kindred Ukrainians on the other side of Slovakia’s eastern border.)

2) “Slovakia from the perspective of someone from Bratislava.”

Blava ne? “[This is] Bratislava, no?” [Blava is a colloquial shortening of Bratislava)
sedláci “Peasants” (a variation of the urban-rural stereotype around the world)

3) “Slovakia from the perspective of an easterner.”

veľmi ďeľako “very far”
ďeľako “far”
najšamľepšia zem “the best place” (literally “the best land”)

4) “Slovakia from the perspective of a southerner” (i.e. stereotyped as someone from the Hungarian minority)

Magyarország “Hungary” [in Hungarian] (the territory of modern Slovakia formed the north of the Hungarian Kingdom for about 1000 years and Hungarians today occasionally and informally refer to all of Slovakia as Felvidék ~ “Uplands” thus recalling the days of the Hungarian Kingdom.)

5) “Slovakia from the perspective of someone from Žilina”

slováci “Slovaks”
skurvení maďari “Fц¢ќïń Hungarians” [See label of slota land in 1)]

The humour is not only in the geographically-, politically- or ethnically-laden references, but also in the use of a few non-standard items in the labels (e.g. ďeľako in an eastern Slovak dialect for standard ďaleko, šaľený výhod in a central Slovak dialect for standard šialený východ)

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 the exercises on pgs. 124-125 for Chapter 7 and pg. 137 for Chapter 8 in “Modern Ukrainian”. The last exercises in Chapter 7 reading comprehension questions while those for Chapter 8 dealt with locative singular for adjectives.



(From Паніка! via Комікси українською мовою)

1) “Dear God! A shark!”
2) “Dude, we also are sharks. – Oh, right.”

- чувак (чувака) “dude, guy”

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 (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

***

OTHER LANGUAGES

Time to do some Finnish soon.
______


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hribecek
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3756 days ago

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

 
 Message 354 of 541
18 August 2013 at 10:33pm | IP Logged 
I really liked the Slovak section today. I've had so many conversations with Slovaks and
Czechs along these lines so I think I'll show them this.

By the way, my wife's dad is from the 'Wild East' of Slovakia and is also a very hard
drinker.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 355 of 541
19 August 2013 at 5:15pm | IP Logged 
That's nice to read.

I've known about that joke map for a while and thought that now was about as good as time as any to post it seeing that I haven't found as much in the way of short comic strips in Slovak as I have for other languages.
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Bbcatcher 08
Diglot
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United States
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130 posts - 154 votes 
Speaks: English*, Latin
Studies: Russian, Mandarin, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Serbo-Croatian, Hungarian

 
 Message 356 of 541
20 August 2013 at 2:03am | IP Logged 
How are you finding the time to sit down everyday and go over these languages?


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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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20 sounds
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Polish, Slovak, Uzbek, Turkish, Korean, Finnish

 
 Message 357 of 541
20 August 2013 at 5:15am | IP Logged 
I have a long ride on public transport between home and work. Every working day I can get about an hour's worth of L-R, reading my textbook's notes on grammars or even doing a few drills from FSI Finnish. I don't necessarily study every evening after work but I do it often enough that things don't fade completely. I'm looking forward to finishing TY Serbian and then let myself spend a bit more time with one fewer language to think much about. On weekends I can usually put it a few hours in total but with the majority of my languages now I'm just practicing either by doing exercises with grammatical points that I had first seen many years ago or sometimes fooling around with comic strips, short stories or YouTube clips in those languages. Only Northern Saami and Turkish are so novel to the point where I'm tied down to following closely textbooks since my abilities are still low enough that I can't delve into more advanced material at my leisure.
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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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

 
 Message 358 of 541
20 August 2013 at 6:51am | IP Logged 
Some of my commentary on Bekavac et al.'s mongraph on comparing BCMS/SC would make their inclusion in a typical entry in my log with their notes on several languages too lengthy for my liking. Therefore I will continue to allot a separate entry in my log for BCMS/SC as I have done here.

The second part of this entry contains my comments and analysis of the sections describing what Bekavac et al. label as the “morphological level” of differences in BCMS/SC.

For reference, my first set of analysis which deals with the abstract and what Bekavac et al. label as the “phonological level” of differences in BCMS/SC is here.

***

BCMS/SC

I’ve finished working through Chapter 16 in “Teach Yourself Serbian”. The contents focused on using certain modal verbs (e.g. morati “must” sm(j)eti “to be allowed”), body parts, as well as phrases appropriate for describing medical problems or taking medicine as presented in the chapter’s dialogues and narratives.



(From Qolombo)

1) “I have a big nose… Such a big nose… An oversized nose…”
2) “Is something bothering you, Admiral?”
3) “Not anymore!”

- mučiti > izmučiti (mučim, muče > izmučim, izmuče) “to bother; torment” (мучити > измучити (мучим, муче > измучим, измуче)

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

---

Here is the second part of my analysis and commentary on this comparison of the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian versions of the “Southeast European Times” done in 2008 by the Croatian academics Božo Bekavac, Sanja Seljan, and Ivana Simeon who among other things are invovled with computational linguistics.

To keep the entry from getting overly long, I will include only relevant sections of the text including its abstract and put my comments in blue. The full paper is freely available here through the Croatian Scientific Bibliography.

Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
3.2. Morphological level […]
At the morphological level several rules could be identitifed:
- for future tense, Croatian and Bosnian use the analytic model (verb in the infinitive form preceded or followed by the auxilliary verb) as in sastat će se / će se sastati, izabrat će / će birati while Serbian uses the synthetic model merging the two words and ommitting the consonant -t as in sastaće se / izabraće, etc.


This hints at a deliberate misrepresentation of the construction of the general future tense in BCMS/SC. To begin with, using “analytic” and “synthetic” here is questionable since it conjures a typological contrast which is appropriate in a broader discussion for classifying languages by their structures in total (sometimes approximated to how often they express their grammatical relations by case-marking/affixation or in the syntax of independent and free morphemes) rather than a comparison of one tense’s construction. The second point of contention is that the authors fail to mention that this distinction between expressing the future tense in Croatian and Serbian is cosmetic. The pronunciation is identical regardless of being “analytic” or “synthetic” by virtue of different spelling.

Croatian and Serbian have different means to express visually the future tense. Bosnian allows for both conventions to be used with the choice possibly dependent on the speaker’s feelings towards Croats or Serbs because of the symbolism inherent in the exclusivity associated with the conventions.

E.g.


“We will meet tomorrow.”
Cr: Sastat ćemo se sutra. (sastati se “to meet”)
Sr: Sastaćemo se sutra. (sastati se “to meet”)

“We will bring [by car/truck] the boat tomorrow.”

Cr: Dovest ćemo čamac sutra. (dovesti “to bring [by vehicle]”)
Sr: Dovešćemo čamac sutra. (dovesti “to bring [by vehicle]”)

As the examples show, the authors are misrepresenting the Croatian (and Bosnian) convention by stating that one merely takes the infinitive and places the future clitic separately. In reality, one first removes the final –i from the infinitive and then places the clitic for future tense separately. In the case of verbs whose infinitives end in -ti, the Serbian convention is to remove the final -ti from the infinitive and then attach the clitic for future tense. For infinitives ending in -sti, the final -ti is removed and the final -s of the resulting stem becomes . Finally the clitic for future tense is added to this stem.

Despite the visual difference, I reiterate that the prescribed pronunciation of the respective forms is identical in all standards and it seems somewhat similar to making a point about the difference between “web page” and “webpage” or between “judgement” and “judgment”. I also acknowledge that this difference in spelling the future tense does have a strong ethnic (i.e. non-linguistic / emotional) undertone given that Croats and Serbs each appropriate just one convention to their respective standard.

More seriously from my point of view, different rules that are not mentioned by the authors apply when the stem does not begin the sentence or the infinitive does not end in –ti or -sti. These rules and their results decrease the validity of emphasizing the visual differences in expressing this tense under only one of the permitted combinations in BCMS/SC syntax.

E.g.


“When will we meet?”

Cr: Kada ćemo se sastati?
Sr: Kada ćemo se sastati?

“We will tell you tomorrow.”

Cr: Reći ćemo vam sutra.
Sr: Reći ćemo vam sutra.

We will meet tomorrow.” (emphasis on “we”)

Cr: Mi ćemo se sastati sutra.
Sr: Mi ćemo se sastati sutra.

“When will we bring [by car/truck] the boat?”

Cr: Kada ćemo dovesti čamac?
Sr: Kada ćemo dovesti čamac?

The authors’ implicitly generalized dichotomy of “analytic” and “synthetic” for the future tense aligned to ethnic divisions is invalid because of the common syntactic rules in BCMS/SC for clitics (including the reflexive pronouns and future tense markers) as well as the common stock of verbs whose infinitives end in -ći or -sti instead of -ti (e.g. doći “to come” (perfective), dovesti “to bring [by vehicle> ” (perfective), moći “to be able to”, prevesti “to translate” (perfective), reći “to say, tell” (perfective)).

Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
- while the infix -ij/-ir is more used in Croatian (e.g. akcijski, nacionalizirati), the Serbian uses more -io/-o (e.g. akcioni, nacionalizovan)


Attempts at recasting tendencies found in the entities forming BCMS/SC as rigid or regular contrasts when justifying treatment as separate languages are common. Yet when considering BCMS/SC as a pluricentric language, analyzing such tendencies as the authors have done here does not contribute much to the evidence of reclassifying or reinterpreting the entities as distinct languages instead of distinct standards/variants.

With respect to this contrast of Croatian -ij/-ir and Serbian -io/-o, one wonders how the authors may feel about the following:

E.g.


“shareholder”, “police” [adjective], “to telephone”
Cr: akcionar, policijski* telefonirati
Sr: akcionar, policijski*, telefonirati

*Cf. Cr: & Sr: policijska akademija “police academy”

What the authors state is true in that -ij is more frequent in Croatian while -io is more common in Serbian, but both elements appear in all standards of BCMS/SC and their occurrence seems to be lexically-specific as opposed to an implicitly simple mapping/stereotyping of –ij for Croatian to –io in Serbian. The contrast or implied opposition of -ir- and -o- is odd or even misplaced to me considering that the former is borrowed from the German derivational suffix -ieren while the latter is a fragment of a Slavonic derivational suffix -ovati. The researchers' attempt to align Serbian -o- with Croatian -ir- implies that the Serbian suffix is *-oti or *-oati rather than the correct -ovati. Their simplified contrast also runs afoul of the fact that –irati is a productive suffix in standard Serbian, meaning that a supposedly emblematic Croatian -ir- can correspond to Serbian -ir- in addition to -ov-. See here and here for examples of verbs containing -irati in both standards.

Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
- Serbian and Bosnian use the suffix –lac to denote the agent, while Croatian generally uses the suffix –telj.


After searching in descriptivist dictionaries, a more accurate interpretation is that –lac and –telj occur in all standards. However I suspect that the authors’ statement belies a sociolinguistic judgement that –telj is a Croatianism while –lac is not which leads in turn to a preference for derivatives ending in –lac among Bosnians and Serbs, and counterparts ending in –telj among Croats wherever doublets ending in –lac and –telj exist.

E.g.


“reader, interpreter, servant, friend, diver”
Cr: čitalac / čitatelj, prevodilac / prevoditelj, poslužitelj, prijatelj, ronilac
Sr: čitalac / čitatelj, prevodilac / prevoditelj, poslužitelj, prijatelj, ronilac

Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
3.2.1. Names
In some text genres, names are very important because they cover up to 10 percent of all tokens in text. As we are conducting are study on informative texts, we consider them as inevitable part of language comparison. […] names are spelled in Croatian and Bosnian (2) as they are in the original language, while in Serbian are transcribed to match the pronunciation. This is likely the result of the extensive use of the Cyrillic alphabet in Serbian.


For the purposes of translating to a given standard language, it is necessary to consider the standard language’s naming conventions as well as relevant spelling conventions. However this is still not necessarily additional evidence that we are working with different languages.

Foreign names are often spelled in the original in a Bosnian or Croatian text particularly if the source/intermediary language of those foreign names is in Latinic script. On the other hand, the Serbian prescription is that foreign names are transcribed using either of the Serbian alphabets in a way that approximates closest to the phonemic inventory of BCMS/SC. However this distinction is not as simple as implied by the authors or elsewhere.

E.g.


“Barack Obama, Moscow, Vladimir Putin, Washington D.C.”
Cr: Barack Obama, Moskva, Vladimir Putin, Washington
Sr: Barak Obama / Барак Обама, Moskva / Москва, Vladimir Putin / Владимир Путин, Vašington / Вашингтон

What the spelling doesn’t reveal is that Croats and Serbs would pronounce each set of words identically per BCMS/SC conventions unless they were also familiar with the native pronunciation of these foreign names. Needless to say the convention in BCMS/SC does not necessarily align to the pronunciation or spelling conventions of the source/intermediary language and this would be obvious with foreign names containing phonemes unknown to native speakers of BCMS/SC. For example, “Washington” would be typically pronounced in BCMS/SC as something like ‘Va-shing-ton’ by Croats and Serbs rather than the American English /‘wɒʃɪŋtən’/ (~ “washing-tin”).

Results differ from the above distinction when dealing with foreign names (especially large cities or capitals in Eurasia) which were likely familiar to the ancestors of Bosnians, Croats and Serbs long before the standardization of Serbo-Croatian began in the 1850s or with those foreign names from source languages which do not use Latinic or Cyrillic alphabets and reflect mimicry of the intermediary language.

E.g.


“Copenhagen (Danish: København), Geneva (French: Genève; German: Genf), Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa), Rome (Italian: Roma), Vienna (German: Wien)
Cr: Kopenhagen, Ženeva, Lisabon, Rim, Beč
Sr: Kopenhagen / Копенхаген, Ženeva / Женева, Lisabon / Лисабон, Rim / Рим, Beč / Беч

“Aswan [Egypt], Athens, Bangladesh, Beersheba [Israel], Beijing, Chiang Kai-Shek, Kolkata [India], Seoul”
Cr: Asuan, Atena, Bangladeš, Beersheba / Beer Šeba / Beer Ševa, Peking, Čang Kai-šek, Kolkata, Seul
Sr: Asuan / Асуан, Atina / Атина, Bangladeš / Бангладеш, Birsheba / Биршеба, Peking / Пекинг, Čang Kaj Šek / Чанг Кај Шек, Kolkata / Kолката, Seul / Сеул

Contrary to the authors’ attempted generalization that Croatian (and Bosnian) leave foreign names in the original language while Serbian does not, the first set of examples show divergence between the original names and the Croatian realizations. Interestingly, the Croatian and Serbian realizations here are identical (after accounting for Serbian’s biscriptal nature) while still diverging from the original language’s spelling and pronunciation.

In the second set of examples. the Croatian prescription can match the Serbian one (e.g. “Asuan”, “Seul”), while the example of “Peking” shows that the codification reflects adoption of an older term for current “Beijing”. The transcriptions of “Athens” and “Chiang Kai-Shek” are interesting for differing between Croatian and Serbian while the oral realization of the latter is identical for both conventions despite the visual difference. “Beersheba” is realizable in Croatian using an apparently English source, or transcriptions of Hebrew using BCMS/SC orthography (like Serbian but in this instance these are not identical). Lastly there are also instances where the transcription in BCMS/SC matches that of the source/intermediary language given that it aligns either with the Croatian tendency to adhere wherever possible to the original spelling or the Serbian one to transcribe the name as accurately as possible within the constraints of the phonemic inventory of BCMS/SC.

This examples also cast doubt on Bekavec et al.’s supposition (see below) that the Cyrillic alphabet is the probable reason for the Serbian transcription matching pronunciation of BCMS/SC rather than keeping the foreign name’s spelling. The examples mentioned in the study all trace their origin to languages that use a Latinic script, and in that light it’s understandable (if not surprising) that these academics extrapolate the evidence to proffer what turns out to be an insufficiently considered supposition. As seen above, Croatian prescriptions in their Latinic script have comparable limitations when dealing with foreign names arising from languages with non-Latinic scripts or divergent phonemic inventories regardless of the associated writing system. In addition, the phrase “original language” is unclear and inconsistently applied since taking the statement to its logical conclusion means that foreign names in Croatian texts should be expressed using the script of the source/intermediary language (e.g. “Peking” would be rendered in Chinese characters even in a Croatian text rather than the Latinic transcription based on likely Germanic intermediation). I’d instead hypothesize that the Serbian transcription is another application of the phonemic spelling principles prevalent in BCMS/SC which are not followed in the Croatian standard as strongly when it comes to foreign names.


Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
…names are spelled in Croatian and Bosnian (2) as they are in the original language, while in Serbian are transcribed to match the pronunciation. This is likely the result of the extensive use of the Cyrillic alphabet in Serbian.

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Chung
Diglot
Senior Member
Joined 5563 days ago

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

 
 Message 359 of 541
25 August 2013 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
FINNISH

I’ve finished the workbook’s exercises for present passive and plural inflection in Unit 6 in “FSI Conversational Finnish”. Even though none of this was new to me, I had more trouble with the drills for inflecting into the plural. That’s what a few weeks of relative inactivity can do. I need some more practice with these since the rules governing when or how to apply gradation, as well as which ending to use (e.g. plural illative has three sets of endings, the use of which depends on the stem) turned out not be as sufficiently internalized to my liking as I had thought.



(From Pulmakulma via Musta hevonen –sarjakuva » 2013 » heinäkuu)

1) “What is a ‘first world problem’? – I don’t know. Let’s investigate!”
2) “First world prob…” [typing]
3) “No internet access” [message at the top of the smartphone’s screen]

- verkkoyhteys (verkkoyhteyden, verkkoyhteyttä, verkkoyhteyksiä) “internet access”

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

NOUNS & ADJECTIVES: nominative singular (genitive singular, partitive singular, partitive plural)
VERBS: 1st infinitive (1st person singular present tense, 3rd person singular past simple tense, active past participle)
ADVERBS & INTERJECTIONS: no extra information given

***

HUNGARIAN

I finished Selection 9 of “FSI Hungarian Graded Reader”. The text was a folktale about a shepherd and his landlord and was accompanied by transformation exercises with imperative.



(From Napi Garfield képregény: Vizivilág via Locitrom – Humor – Vicces videók - Viccek)

2. “It was a really good idea of John for us to go out to the waterpark.”
3. “Actually, where did he run off to? – I think that he’s having a go on that big slide.”
7. “On the ‘Atomizer’. – Can we go home now?”

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

***

NORTHERN SAAMI

I finished Unit 8 of Davvin 3 whose main topic in grammar was the relative pronoun gii etc. “who” referring to personal antecedants. Here is my understanding of the chapter’s “new” main point (any misunderstandings of the material are mine alone).

1) The relative pronoun gii translates to “who” with a personal antecedant. It can also be declined depending on the case governance in the subordinate clause (e.g. geat “who” (nominative plural), geaid “who” (accusative/genitive plural))

E.g.

Mus lea ustit, gii orru Ánaris. “I have a friend who lives in Inari.”
Oainnátgo duon guokte nieidda, geat čohkkába biillas? “Do you see those two girls who are sitting in the car?”

Vocabulary of Unit 8

bálddas – “beside”
bártnáš – “little boy”
gahpir – “cap”
gassa (attr.) gassat (pred.) – “fat, thick”
heittogis (attr.) heittot (pred.) – “bad, poor, weak”
jorba (attr.) jorbbas (pred.) – “circular, round”
moarsi – “bride; girlfriend”
romes (attr.) ropmi (pred.) – “ugly”
sálbmagirji – “hymnbook”
sárdni – “sermon”
seakka (attr.) seaggi (pred.) – “slim, thin”
verdde – “friend”
vuogas (attr.) vuogas (pred.) – “attractive; proper, suitable”

***

TURKISH

At long last I’ve got going again in Turkish. Because I’m not likely to travel to Turkey this year, I’ve scaled back my involvement accordingly but will start using a similar strategy as followed when reviewing BCMS/SC. I’ll be using both Çankaya et al.’s “Turkish Self-Study Course” and Öztopçu’s “Elementary Turkish” and for upcoming log entries involving Turkish, I expect to report completion of 1 or 2 units from the former course, and/or just a few pages in a chapter from the latter course (cf. my use of “Modern Ukrainian” and “Hovorme spolu po slovensky! B - Slovenčina ako cudzí jazyk”). The former’s chapters are quite short (e.g. chapter 2 introduces vowel harmony, copula sentences and demonstrative pronouns in singular; its list of vocabulary comprises about 20 items) but have a sufficently high ratio of exercises to the grammar introduced per chapter. The drawback is that for someone who is more keen on learning Turkish, progress would be very slow (e.g. one doesn’t learn the greeting “How are you?” until about 100 pages into the book which is when the personal suffixes needed to answer such a question are taught). In contrast, the latter’s chapters are quite long while still having a decent ratio of exercises to the grammar taught per chapter. The drawback is that for someone less keen on learning Turkish, there’s a lot of material introduced and it can seem overwhelming (e.g. chapter 2 introduces vowel harmony, present continuous tense, copula sentences, demonstrative pronouns, personal pronouns, a few conjunctions, and personal suffixes; its list of vocabulary comprises about 80 items).

This strategy for Turkish is likely to keep me motivated by not only providing positive reinforcement in the small accomplishment of completing at least a short unit or two in “Turkish Self-Study Course” every week or two, but the different teaching sequences and dialogues/narratives used in these courses should complement each other. Before long the lower pace in “Turkish Self-Study Course” will mean that I’ll be often and involuntarily reviewing content that I’ll have encountered initially in “Elementary Turkish”. I experienced something slightly similar when using “Teach Yourself Serbian”, “Beginner’s Serbian” and “Spoken World Croatian” concurrently since the pace and sequence of the content taught weren’t the same. I don’t know why I had never tried this technique before when studying other languages. I often get bored with studying a language when leaning heavily on just one course/textbook for at least several months (in the case of Northern Saami I have little choice since “Davvin” is all that’s useful to me, and my level of knowledge is still too low to take in much authentic material as a useful supplement)

---

I’ve worked through Unit 2 of “Turkish Self-Study Course” and the material on pgs. 16-19 (Unit 2) in “Elementary Turkish” (I skipped Unit 1 of both courses since they introduce the Turkish alphabet and pronunciation, for which I’m fairly comfortable via completion of “Teach Yourself Beginner’s Turkish” earlier this year). I studied (more like reviewed) declarative sentences with demonstrative singular pronouns, vowel harmony and the copula suffix -dır, -dir, -dur, -dür in the former. In the latter I studied (more like reviewed) basic greetings (including the T-V distinction) and vowel harmony.

***

OTHER LANGUAGES

A Slavonic routine will be back for the next entry.
______



Edited by Chung on 25 August 2013 at 7:55pm

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Chung
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 Message 360 of 541
26 August 2013 at 2:40pm | IP Logged 
Some of my commentary on Bekavac et al.'s mongraph on comparing BCMS/SC would make their inclusion in a typical entry in my log with their notes on several languages too lengthy for my liking. Therefore I will continue to allot a separate entry in my log for BCMS/SC as I have done here.

The second part of this entry contains my comments and analysis of the sections describing what Bekavac et al. label as the “morphological level” of differences in BCMS/SC.

For reference:
- Part 1 (analysis of the abstract and what Bekavac et al. label as the “phonological level” of differences in BCMS/SC
- Part 2 (analysis of what Bekavac et al. label as the “morphological level” of differences in BCMS/SC

***

BCMS/SC

I’ve finished working through Chapter 17 in “Teach Yourself Serbian”. The chapter introduced the gerunds in present and past, and the use of čiji “whose” while also providing some detail on the prepositions available to translate “from” (i.e. iz, od, s(a)), how to construct street names, and terms for pieces of clothing. I’ve noticed that the quantity of exercises drops noticeably after Chapter 15, almost as if the authors were starting to get a little tired and itching to get to the end. It’s probably just as well for me since I’m already looking forward to finishing the course and setting BCMS/SC aside to focus just a bit more on the other languages.



(From Hogar strašni via Politkin Zabavnik)

1) “Man, another year is almost over!” (literally: “Man, another year will expire!”)
2) “I know what’s going to happen.” (literally: “I know what is waiting for me.”)
3) “It’s time for me to make some resolutions for the upcoming year! – What?”
4) “You never stick to them, anyway!” (literally: “You never keep them, anyway!”)
5) “This year will be different.”
6) “What I promise now will be true! – And what is that?” (literally: “What I promise, will be thus!”)
7) “I promise that I will never again make a New Year’s resolution!”

- ионако “anyhow, anyway, in any case” (ionako)
- наредан (наредног(а)) “following, next” (naredan (narednog(a))

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

---

Here is the third part of my analysis and commentary on this comparison of the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian versions of the “Southeast European Times” done in 2008 by the Croatian academics Božo Bekavac, Sanja Seljan, and Ivana Simeon who among other things are invovled with computational linguistics.

To keep the entry from getting overly long, I will include only relevant sections of the text including its abstract and put my comments in green. The full paper is freely available here through the Croatian Scientific Bibliography.

Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
3.3. Lexical level
The first level we investigated is lexical. The problem found in comparing the titles of the articles is a lack of consistent translation of corresponding lexemes, even though they are a part of the lexicon of the given language. Moreover, if the same root is used by translators in another language, it is very often used in a different POS category, e.g. CR: poništenje (noun) and BS: poništi (verb), or the same word has a different MSD (e.g. different inflectional cases).


The lexical differences within BCMS/SC include orthographic differences, false friends, and presence of words that are not found in all codifications. The authors’ comments touch on the ability of translators to use different word categories and this is not surprising since translators have leeway to convert texts conforming to stylistic preferences. Even though the authors do not mention them, synonyms or different registers used in translations can also complicate the task of trying to create machine translation tools guided by fixed relationships between words aligned to national standards. Despite these considerations, the authors fail to mention that these different approaches taken by translators (especially stylistic decisions) do not necessarily lead to incomprehensibility, ungrammaticality to all native speakers of BCMS/SC.

For comments on lexical differences within BCMS/SC, please refer to the relevant entries for the language in my log which compare 15 transcripts of the dialogues in “Beginner’s Croatian” and “Beginner’s Serbian”. I have read estimates on lexical differences within BCMS/SC varying from 10% to 30% depending on the source but one can manipulate the results either way by including or ignoring less common lexemes, uncommon meanings, synonyms, slang or words differentiable by spelling (especially sets which differ by showing distinct reflexes of the ancestral vowel ě)


Bekavac, Božo, Seljan, Sanja, Simeon, Ivana. “Corpus-Based Comparison of Contemporary Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian”, 2008 (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb) wrote:
3.3.1. Acronyms
Another interesting phenomenon we investigated were acronyms. None of the three languages treats acronyms consistently when it comes to morphological properties. […] …the actual use of the acronym may vary from one translator or text to another. […] [Ed. Bekavac et al. show a table of examples with “ICTY” and “UN”] It is evident from the above examples that abbreviations can either be translated, as in Serbian (e.g. MKSJ), or remain the same as in the original language (e.g. ICTY), which is the case in Croatian and in Bosnian. In the Croatian language, abbreviations are inflected (e.g. tužitelji ICTY-a, žalbeno vijeće UN-a), while in Serbian they are generally translated (e.g. MKSJ) and remain uninflected (e.g. žalbeno vijeće UN-a), and in Bosnian, the abbreviation appears in the same form as the original but can be either uninflected (e.g. tužioci ICTY) or inflected (e.g. apelacioni sud UN-a, dužnosti predsjednika Generalne skupštune UN).


Interesting and relevant detail for translation but even these few examples contradict the authors’ observation that acronyms are translated in Serbian but left untranslated in Bosnian and Croatian. Using the authors’ examples, the Serbian articles in the corpus indeed translated “ICTY” (International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia) as MKSJ (Međunarodni krivični sud za bivšu Jugoslaviju), but in the textual example with “UN”, the Serbian articles left it unchanged like in the Croatian translation in addition to uninflected as in the Bosnian translation.

The only element that is true in this comparison is that none of Bosnian, Croatian or Serbian treats foreign acronyms consistently and this exists even within a given entity. Why Bekavac et al. admit initially to the inconsistent treatment even among translators and then pick examples to build a case for ethnically-delineated consistency that differentiates Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian is a little puzzling.


E.g. “NATO” as found in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian media:

Bs: “Instruktore iz BiH cijene zemlje članice NATO-a”, “Ana Trišić-Babić: BiH je u “zoni sumraka”, izlaz je u NATO-u”, “Srpski ambasador pri NATO-u ubio se zbog teške bolesti”

Cr: “Hrvatska službeno postala 28. članica NATO-a”, “Hrvatska je NATO-u vjerodostojan saveznik”, “Ubio se srpski veleposlanik pri NATO-u”

Sr: “Osiromašeni uranijum u agresiji NATO na SR Jugoslaviju”, “Članice NATO o novom strateškom konceptu Alijanse”, “Ubio se srpski ambasador pri NATO”

NATO is inflected but untranslated in the Bosnian and Croatian examples. It is uninflected and untranslated in the Serbian examples. Note the last link in each section is a newspaper article from each of the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian press about the suicide of the Serbian ambassador to NATO

E.g. “G20” as found in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian media

Bs: “Samit G8: Sirija pokvarila privid jedinstva ‘osam velkih’”, “Danas počinje sastanak ministara finansija G20”, “Počeo sastanak ministara finansija i šefova centralnih banaka G20”

Cr: “Članice G20 dogovorile ‘primirje’: ‘Neće biti rata valutama’”, “Uoči početka summita G20 sastaje se ‘Frankfurtska skupina’”, “Sastanak G20 o rastu cijena hrane”

Sr: “Nema susreta Putin-Obama ni na samitu G20”, “Članice G20 MMF-u obećale 361 milijardi evra”. “FAO: Potrebna koordinisana akciju G20 oko cena hrane

G20 is uninflected and untranslated in all examples.

E.g. “OPEC” as found in Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian media

Bs: “Nafta jeftinija nakon nepromijenjenog nivoa proizvodnje OPEC-a”, “U Beču danas sastanak članica OPEC-a”, “Nafta pala ispod 95 dolara poslije sastanka OPEC-a”

Cr: “Hrvatska će biti ulaz Kini i zemljama OPEC-a u Europu”, “Fedun: Rusija bi se trebala pridružiti OPEC-u”, “Irak postao drugi najveći proizvođač nafte u OPEC-u…”

Sr: “Rekordan prihod OPEK-a”, “Nafta pored sastanak OPEK-a $72”, “Venecuela ima najviše nafte u OPEK”

OPEC is inflected and untranslated in Bosnian and Croatian examples. In the Serbian examples it is untranslated but not consistently inflected (although this second point may arise from a typographical error in the headline). In addition it is transcribed such that the transcription per BCMS/SC orthography gives a nearly identical oral realization of the English “OPEC” (i.e. OPEK).

I reiterate that the treatment of acronyms within BCMS/SC is inconsistent. Their being translated and/or inflected seems to vary from one acronym to the next and defies tidy ethnic categorization as presented by Bekavac et al.



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