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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1281 of 1511
07 November 2014 at 10:14pm | IP Logged 
Vise și visuri

About the orphanage, and a few personal stories...
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1282 of 1511
11 November 2014 at 10:12am | IP Logged 
hvorfor norsk

The biggest problem was the differing vocabulary between Norwegian and Swedish and
spelling (I keep writing og as och...)
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1283 of 1511
12 November 2014 at 11:50pm | IP Logged 
Experiences after speaking Norwegian for an hour

Disclaimer: I do not in any way, shape, or form, claim to speak perfect or fluent
Norwegian. I speak Swedish, which helps immensely, but you shouldn't see what I speak
as Norwegian at all. I am not a native speaker of Swedish either, but I've got a
fairly decent level and it's more than good enough to hold my own.

I can make the following remarks (given that my teacher was from Alesund and that she
changed her speech a bit to suit me as a learner):

1) It's not hard to understand what she is saying for the most part. Most standard
Norwegian is intelligible and the times that it is not, it is about an expression you
do not know. You may miss a word here and there, or a bit more if you're not a native
Swede like I am, but you can manage just fine. If you have to speak English to a
Norwegian, but you've studied Swedish, then your Swedish isn't good enough yet.

2) False friends are your biggest enemy. This is really the only big worry you have
because everything else is to a big extent a relative problem. You want to know what
the Norwegians say for certain things that Swedes just don't. In fact, these are
usually sidewalk/pavement differences, but sometimes they are also in effect for more
common verbs, and then you have to know that Norwegians use "snakke" but Swedes "tala"
or "prata" (snacka exists but it has a bit of a connotation). So try and remember what
"rolig" means.

3) Some other vocabulary is simply different. They say this, you say that. Ok. That
you have to know. But once you've been through a few important lists you're pretty
much set on this one.

4) Pronunciation. The good news: if you pronounce things like a Swede, you'll be
understood. I tried to "Norwegify" my pronunciation, and that means that I use rising
intonation more often and check the vowel changes. Some vowels are a bit different in
Norsk. Not enough to miss the pronunciation of the word, but enough to stand out. Also
Norwegians pronounce the r at the end of verb forms, whereas some forms of Swedish
drop it (Kalmar anyone) or they kind of weaken it at the end. This is why svorsk is
possible, because the pronunciation isn't what is messing up your comprehension. The
different words are, or the differing meanings. You need to pay attention to it if you
want to sound more Norwegian, though.

5) Some dialects just suck to listen to. Those take practice. But rest assured, you'll
manage.

6) If you want to write Norwegian, you don't need to start from scratch, but you do
need to make a list of all the small things that are different. Everything is almost
the same, but sometimes the endings are written differently. This is more relevant for
Nynorsk because there the spelling rules shift even more compared to Swedish. Bokmal
is relatively straightforward. Most of my time is going to be spent in actually
checking how verb forms are made in Nynorsk because it's different. This goes for
gender too.

7) If you already speak good Swedish, do yourself a favour and don't use English. You
don't need it that badly here.

6 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1284 of 1511
16 November 2014 at 4:52pm | IP Logged 
I haven't written any articles in any languages outside of Dutch (but considering
that's not foreign it's not really worth posting here). My guess is that there will be
more Romanian again next week when it comes to articles, but other than that I've been
keeping myself busy with other experiments, and most importantly the language I will
need next year, Mandarin.

I can however tell you that I keep up to date with all of my other languages to
varying degrees. Mostly that means reading books because it's the easiest way, but I
also peruse Wikipedia in foreign languages a lot. Recently I've read through "Tusen
strålande solar" in Swedish, a translation from the English of course, and I'm about
2/3rds of the way through Master i Margarita. Last week I also read an entire master's
thesis in Bokmål. This week I plan on getting through some Nynorsk material on the
radio and read through a few grammars (just to check the differences with Bokmal and
of course Swedish).

I have also obtained three more Russian books to read, and a few weeks back I also
completed a novel in French. That means that, after I finish M&M, I still have six
books to read on the list (there's always something to read in my case). That is:

Обломов (Гончаров)
Игра в отрезанный палец (Курков)
Иностранка (Довлатов)
Hundraåringen (Jonasson)
Xenocid (Orson Scott Card - Romanian translation)
Copiii minții (Orson Scott Card - Romanian translation).

But mostly I am using a bunch of materials to improve my basic Chinese. The next step
is dealing with more and more Hanzi for when I get to China, and along with that
broadening my vocabulary (this is really the biggest problem that I have at the moment
- my pronunciation is satisfactory for the time being).

Since it will be Sinterklaas soon, all I have to do is ask for More Books and then
we'll get through a whole library that will keep me satisfied in China (because I
don't expect to get good at reading Chinese that fast).

Edited by tarvos on 16 November 2014 at 4:53pm

1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1285 of 1511
24 November 2014 at 5:59pm | IP Logged 
Вера и дьявол

About Master and Margarita, in Russian of course.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1286 of 1511
26 November 2014 at 4:31pm | IP Logged 
About vocabulary items

I've noticed recently with regards to Russian that I am especially improving with
regards to my vocabulary (reading and listening play a big role at a higher level and
I'm finally capable of reading more complex material indepently, whole novels and so
on, although it's always nice to be able to do L-R with Echo Moskvy for example). But
what I've especially noticed that the size of your vocabulary can be fairly large
(although containing significant gaps), but still miss overlap with that of native
speakers because you understand certain jargon that they don't. My teacher has
commented on my articles saying that "I use such intelligent words" because she had to
look them up when I used them! (A good example is the word прозелитизм). And it wasn't
a case of misusing them or using them out of context (which can of course happen) - I
am perfectly aware what that word means. This leads to the paradoxical observation
that Russians consider me an advanced speaker with a huge vocabulary, precisely
because I know a bunch of rare items and some expressions which aren't extremely
common, leading them to believe I must be very learned or have a big vocabulary.

Not that my vocabulary is small - it isn't, my Russian vocabulary is quite decent and
I never have too much trouble explaining what I mean even though it doesn't always
work when I try to explain the defensive mechanisms of the Japanese honey bee against
the Japanese giant hornet (when Japanese hornets prey on bees, they send out scouts to
track down the nests and mark them for future destruction. Hornets are capable of
destroying bee nests in hours and they're bigger too - a hornet can easily take out 30
to 50 bees on its own. European bees are powerless against these hornets, but Japanese
bees have a defensive mechanism where they lure a scout into the hive, swarm it with
hundreds of bees in a ball, and raise the temperature such that the bees survive but
the hornet can't (the Japanese bees can survive at higher temperatures and CO2
concentrations than the hornet, and by flapping their wings rapidly they literally
roast the hornet scout alive). I tried to explain this to someone in Russian the other
day, and managed to succeed.

However, when you get to B2-C1 level, your vocabulary should be approaching that of
most natives, and people shouldn't wonder if sometimes you will know a word that a
native simply doesn't, if it belongs to a particular register they simply don't use
often. Proselytism is something that is usually a descriptor of religious
organizations, and not a word that is used every day (but I happen to know and use
it). It's much easier to describe it as "convert people" or "win souls" or something
than to say "to proselytize", even though that covers it in one good word. And that
leads to the paradoxical situation that sometimes you know more words in certain areas
than natives do, and your vocabulary distribution becomes uneven. (My vocabulary is
heavily slanted towards the colloquial register in Russian, at which I'm quite good -
for example I have to know exactly what the word фигня means).

In return, there are always a lot of words in certain registers you use less that you
simply don't know even with a very broad general education in a certain language. And
that is what contributes to people's unease - the fact that there may always be words
that you do not understand. But here, as you can see, the thing is, that is not
exclusive to foreigners. Natives have a much better command of idioms, of
pronunciation and a sense of cultural knowledge, but your vocabulary could very well
outstrip theirs as it's not something most people consciously study. Therefore, once
you get to a level where connected speech isn't a problem anymore, it's the rare vocab
items and particular expressions that your focus should be on. Where my Russian fails
is not general grammar or pronunciation. I tend to fall down when I have to deal with
literary registers, complex technical documentation, or slangy colloquial expressions
that aren't used that often. And honestly, that stuff still occurs often enough to
make me uneasy, but it shouldn't, because at this point I can simply ask what that
particular expression means and truck on.


2 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2815 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 1287 of 1511
27 November 2014 at 6:55pm | IP Logged 
Η Πολική αρκούδα

Short Greek practice, about polar bears. I need to do more of this.
1 person has voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3442 days ago

4143 posts - 8862 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 1288 of 1511
27 November 2014 at 7:48pm | IP Logged 
I think you are just amazing. You started way after me, and you are way ahead of me.

I would give my right arm to be where you are :-)


1 person has voted this message useful



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