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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 2870 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 1369 of 1511
13 March 2015 at 3:01am | IP Logged 
An Analysis of my Weaknesses in Various Languages

To be confident of progress you always need to be aware of where your bottlenecks are.
Some things are eternal hindrances (like the characters in any of the Chinese
languages).

Other things are only problems in passing and things you can solve (like getting used
to a new alphabet). In this post I want to give an overview of the things that hold me
back in my languages, including the ones I am good at and ones I am notoriously bad
at.

So let's start:

French

French is a language I'm very allround at, and I can confidently say I speak good
French, but I still have weaknesses here. They are mostly in the area of listening
comprehension and occasionally pop up when I am: 1) not paying proper attention or
focusing or b) speech is ridiculously slurred, uses slang, or people have very thick
accents. I have a lot of trouble with the Québécois accent.

Reading and speaking are mostly all right, but small gender errors still persist, and
I may screw up a preposition or two. However I could do with more accuracy at my
level. Morphology is not an issue.

Russian

Stress is the kicker in Russian for me still. My vocabulary has massively improved,
and I speak very good, fluent Russian with a good accent to boot. I just need to know
where the stress is. There are some small grammatical details I need to fix, some
preposition issues, and there's still a lot of unknown slang or idioms I don't know,
but it's all coming together. Except for the stresses. Stresses HURT in Russian.

German

It's not Dutch. That's my biggest problem. I speak fairly good German but my knowledge
of the grammar is woeful, my gender-radar is somewhere below zero, drowned in an
ocean, and my vocabulary is strongly influenced by the fact I'm Dutch (syntax is never
an issue).

I need to pay attention to some false friends (although this doesn't occur too often),
my accent, and particularly the more complex grammar that's absent in Dutch.

Swedish

I'm very allround at Swedish but I could do with more listening and reduce the number
of prepositional and en/ett mistakes. But that's quibbles - my Swedish is very very
good. There's also a lack of proper melody going round but... eh.

Romanian

I really miss a lot of gender cues in Romanian. There are very often formal or better
ways of saying things that I don't use - however I speak very clear Romanian and my
accent is pretty good. I also lack a lot of uber-slangy youth vocab and idioms that
people use. I know a few, but not enough by far. But the gender issue is the biggest
one.

Norwegian

It's basically not Swedish! That's the biggest problem. I use Norwegian words, but I
need to train my pronunciation more specifically. I've already done so and eliminated
the worst giveaways of my Swedish accent, but it's still very noticeable and
occasionally I'll give it away by using some Swedish word obliviously without
noticing. Grammar and spelling is also an issue in writing because I have to
consistently check the spelling of verb endings (because they're a bit weirder than in
Swedish).

Mandarin

What isn't a problem? But the real kicker for me is still the lack of vocab and
characters that I'm going to have to put a lot of time in. I can deal with reasonably
slowly spoken Chinese, but everyone has a bloody accent I don't understand which
doesn't help. Argh. Listening comprehension is quite good for more standardized
accents though. But characters remain the big issue for me. There's also tones, but I
can generally repeat the tones and sounds pretty well even though I'm not always 100%
clear on them.

Greek, Spanish, Portuguese

Verb forms, all of them have too many verb forms and weird shit going on! In most
cases it's also listening comprehension, particularly Portuguese is awful in this
regard. My Greek vocabulary is surprisingly large.


Hebrew

The fact I can't read texts very well really hurts with vocabulary study. And this is
due to their writing system. I've also let it fade so I really need to crack down on
my Hebrew at some point - but I'll do it when my Mandarin and Greek are better.
5 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 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 1370 of 1511
16 March 2015 at 3:14am | IP Logged 
我的新城市。

About my new home for the next 4 months or so, in Mandarin! Now for the English review of
the Song of Ice and Fire Series. That's planned for this week.
1 person has voted this message useful



ellasevia
Decaglot
Winner TAC 2011
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 4305 days ago

2150 posts - 3229 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Croatian, Greek, Japanese, Turkish, Italian
Studies: Mandarin, Persian, Arabic (Written)

 
 Message 1371 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 4:35am | IP Logged 
I've just finished reading your composition in Mandarin, and I have to say that you're doing quite well for how long you've been studying! There were a few constructions that didn't sound to me like correct idiomatic usage, but that's to be expected. You also had the wrong character in a few places, probably just typos due to homophony -- e.g. 根 instead of 跟, or 听的东 instead of 听得懂 -- but otherwise it was pretty good and I was able to make sense of almost everything you wrote (even though I'm not as familiar with simplified characters). I even learned a couple new words (引得,腹泻,水平).

我希望你繼續這樣進步!加油!
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 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 1372 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 6:37am | IP Logged 
Homophony is the bane of writing Chinese on your laptop. But I didn't even know the
characters for tingdedong were wrong - thanks for pointing it out. My Hanzi are
abominable...
1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3172 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 1373 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 10:36am | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:

Greek, Spanish, Portuguese

Verb forms, all of them have too many verb forms and weird shit going on!


This made my day, thanks!!! ¨

Good analysis, thanks for the information. A recurring theme is "it is similar but not
the same", isn't it? I am a bit scared of this as well, as I am slowly diving into
similar languages as well.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 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 1374 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 10:45am | IP Logged 
On the whole that's more of an advantage, because it means it's really easy for me to be
understood. Especially when it comes to all the Germanic languages, the only one I would
be lost in at this point is Icelandic (or some of the really small ones like Frisian but
even Frisian I can work out in writing). The problem is that it becomes a weakness if
you're looking for areas to improve; keep in mind that for German and Norwegian, we're
talking high B-level abilities, I can converse normally in both languages for the most
part.
2 persons have voted this message useful



Solfrid Cristin
Heptaglot
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
Norway
Joined 3497 days ago

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

 
 Message 1375 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 11:15am | IP Logged 
Kinesiske templer
With corrections – and I know capital letters come across as screaming, but bold or italics are too difficult here. Where there were superfluous letters I have just deleted them, so you may want to compare the texts carefully.

The text is actually really good – even if it may not seem so when you see the corrections. With a single exception – I have absolutely no idea what “trommetåren” is supposed to mean – everything was perfectly comprehensible, and I have been strict when correcting it.

På mandag fikk jeg DRA til noe kjente STEDER i Peking, deriblant Lama-templet (også kalt Yonghegong), og tromme- og klokketårnene i Beijing (Gulou og Zhonglou). Gulou er vel kjent fOr trommene sine:

HVER time kan man se en trommeforestilling av kinesiske medlemmer (?) som slår virkelig hArdt på trommenE:

Jeg tror jeg STO kanskje fem eller ti meter fra trommene – det gjorde VONDT i hodet, så HARDT SLO DE. Det var virkelig imponerende. DE SOM SLO var veltrenTe og hadde god rytme – det var som en symfoni. De HADDE alle samme uniform også (virkelig kommunal følelse, som er vanlig i Kina), med unntak for lederen, SOM BAR ET rødT kostyme, ikke eT hviT. (To Tarvos: Vi ville antagelig heller ha brukt kommunistisk enn kommunal her).

Yonghegong, som jEg besøkte før trommetåren (???), var fullt AV folk som kom for å be til Buddha – eTtersom jeg er ikke religiøs I DET HELE TATT (vil man vite hvorfor, må man se på mine andre innlegg på russisk som forklarer forholdet mitt til religion og guder – man kan vel si AT deT helt MANGLER). Jeg vet ikke heller hva det nå er folk må gjøre når de går TIL gudstjeneste – det virker som de BØYER seg hele tiden for å bevege Buddha til å VURDERE DEM TIL Å VÆRE verdig hans GUNST. Som jeg ser det har det kun bidraTT til AT religionen hEr ble stenrik MED årenE – alt er fuLlt av gYLLENE statuer og andre rikdommer. Dessuten må man betale 40 kuai for å gå inn, så templet HAR sikkert TJENT SEG RIKE PÅ ANDRE INNTEKTER. Det LUKTER AV RØKELSE og andre rituelle saker, man kan vel si at deT stinker.
KlokketårnET gir EN en bra utsikt over Peking, og MAN FÅR HELLER FOKUSERE PÅ DET:

Dessuten er klokken selv virkelig gigantisk:


Jeg har gjort mer I LØPET AV uken men det finnes ikke noe foto SOM fortelleR om DET, så dere MÅ vente på nye (foto) BILDER fra Chengde. Jeg kommer TIL å flytte dit i morgen – jeg håper at dere VIL lEse om mine eventyr derFRA også.

3 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 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 1376 of 1511
18 March 2015 at 11:54am | IP Logged 
A couple things: I did not mean communist. I meant communal, which I say because in
China things are often done together and shared. There is a communal feeling about the
way Chinese live because of how often things are meant to be done in unison. This
hasn't got anything to do with communist politics.

Trommetåren - I meant trommetårnet. The thing is that it's a drum tower and those guys
hit hard! I probably made a typo of some egregious sort.

I am aware my written production still rests heavily on my Swedish, but as you know my
Swedish is even better than my Norwegian. I would describe my Norwegian as basic
fluency, which was the goal.

Thanks for the corrections, I will update my blog when I have the time to do so :)

Edited by tarvos on 18 March 2015 at 11:57am



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