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Alexander Arguelles

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
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ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5770 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 65 of 71
23 September 2007 at 8:56am | IP Logged 
I have returned to the forum at this specific time because on the 31st of August I received a private e-mail from the site individually inviting me to do so. I imagine that this can only have come from the Administrator, who then kindly offered to establish a venue for me to teach here. As he has not set it up yet, however, this week I will simply update some linguistic information about myself.

I know that I have mentioned in past posts that I have assembled a personal language laboratory containing materials for the study of about 140 different languages. Needless to say, I had to leave this behind when I fled the war in Lebanon. While I knew that my books and tapes had not been destroyed by Israeli bombs, I did fear that they would all be lost in the chaotic aftermath of the invasion. Miraculously and at long last, however, I have succeeded in retrieving almost everything. Months after I myself left, university maintenance men threw all the materials from my office into boxes, which then sat around in my abandoned apartment from more months before being repacked by a shipping company together with the rest of my family’s personal possessions, then sent to a warehouse and eventually put into a shipping container, which finally made it across the oceans and past US customs agents, who opened and went through every box with Arabic writing on it. There were 90 boxes of books and tapes, all packed in the most random and haphazard way. It took me many more weeks to organize it all, but when I did, I found to my amazement that I had only lost a single book. Perhaps another item or two has escaped my notice, but until now I have only missed the main volume of Assimil’s Le Perse, which is actually rather strange because it was in its box together with its companion volume and four tapes, all of which made it through. I was happy about the rescue of my library, but my wife, who lost far more of her “normal” possessions, points out that this is probably only because no “normal” person would care to steal foreign language learning materials even given ample opportunity. She is probably all too right. Still, I am happy to be able to make this report, for when and if I ever realize my dream of establishing some sort of polyglot academy, this material can form the core of a language resource center.

As I happily went about organizing materials I had rather assumed were lost for ever, I played almost all my tapes in the background. I have no plans to ever learn Thai or Cambodian or Laotian or Burmese or … but I can listen to them as a “normal” person would listen to music, and I would at least like to be able to distinguish them and identify them when I overhear them. My interest was particularly piqued by those languages that I thought I had consciously aborted seven years ago—Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Swahili, Breton, and Welsh. Indeed, I recalled so much that I later went back and did some review of the accompanying textual material. I was happily astounded to find that I had forgotten remarkably little. It seems that once you study something consciously and conscientiously in a comparative context, you retain it forever. Despite the long gap of time, I believe I could probably pick any of these up just about where I left them after only a short review.

I would like to express my thanks once again to all those who have expressed interest in my book on polyglottery, both openly and in private messages, and particularly to all those who have made suggestions as to ways of making drafts of chapters available for critique and review. Alas, most of these involve computer skills that are utterly beyond me, for however many human languages I may have studied, when it comes to computer languages, I fear that I am a hopeless functional illiterate. I honestly cannot even manage to successfully modify my personal profile on this site. At any rate, I hope all forum members, and particularly the Administrator who brought me back to you, will understand my underlying copyright concerns about posting extensive professional writings here.

9 persons have voted this message useful



jimbo
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 4808 days ago

469 posts - 642 votes 
Speaks: English*, Mandarin, Korean, French
Studies: Japanese, Latin

 
 Message 66 of 71
23 September 2007 at 11:12am | IP Logged 
You comments on having to make tough decisions on which languages to keep and which languages to drop struck
a chord. As you said, amputation...

I hate to ask but tough love is in order.... what are some of the pros and cons of Turkish vs. Arabic vs. Persian?
Turkish seems it would be a bit easier but Arabic script is pretty, etc.

Also, how similar is Turkish grammar to Korean?
1 person has voted this message useful



Nephilim
Diglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 5659 days ago

363 posts - 368 votes 
Speaks: English*, Polish

 
 Message 67 of 71
23 September 2007 at 2:40pm | IP Logged 
Hello 'the polyglot formerly known as Ardaschir" :-)

I was wondering if you could write a post on time management - in particluar the way you divide up the time available to make sure all your languages get reviewed regularly. You mentioned in an earlier post some of the charts you make to keep track of your languages - would it be possible for you to scan one in and make it available for us to see. I take your point about intellectual copyright but I don't think this affects that. Just a thought anyway. I think most people on this forum would benfit from your input on time management for maintaining languages.
1 person has voted this message useful



Walshy
Triglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 5456 days ago

335 posts - 365 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, German

 
 Message 68 of 71
24 September 2007 at 12:29am | IP Logged 
Ardaschir wrote:
Alas, most of these involve computer skills that are utterly beyond me, for however many human languages I may have studied, when it comes to computer languages, I fear that I am a hopeless functional illiterate. I honestly cannot even manage to successfully modify my personal profile on this site.

It's good to know that you are indeed human ;).

I thought you would never visit this site again, so you could imagine my excitement when the Jimi Hendrix of the language learning world resumed posting here.

Welcome back.
1 person has voted this message useful



ProfArguelles
Moderator
United States
foreignlanguageexper
Joined 5770 days ago

609 posts - 2100 votes 

 
 Message 69 of 71
08 October 2007 at 8:15am | IP Logged 
In response to the request for a post on time management: I think this topic deserves a thread of its own. If you are truly interested, please open one with more contextualization of what it is you would like to know. In brief, I would be happy to share one of my charts, which are on excel files and which are rather detailed, but I would not know how to scan such a thing.
1 person has voted this message useful



Nephilim
Diglot
Senior Member
Poland
Joined 5659 days ago

363 posts - 368 votes 
Speaks: English*, Polish

 
 Message 70 of 71
08 October 2007 at 2:32pm | IP Logged 
ProfArguelles,

Thanks for your response. I will get back to you on this in a day or to with more context. I'm just writing this quick post to acknowledge your reply.Regarding charts, I assumed (though I don't know why) they would be handwritten. If they are on excel files there is no need to scan them in as they can be sent as e-mail attachments.
1 person has voted this message useful



sensejoe
Bilingual Triglot
Newbie
China
Joined 4363 days ago

4 posts - 3 votes
Speaks: Mandarin*, Cantonese*, EnglishB2
Studies: Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 71 of 71
19 September 2010 at 5:44am | IP Logged 
Really inspiring!! It helps me see clearly how to arrange my lifelong plan, as it confused me such a long time. Thanks for sharing and offering the clear path.

Edited by sensejoe on 19 September 2010 at 5:45am



1 person has voted this message useful



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