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Tarvos - TAC 2015 Pushkin/Scan

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
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China
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Joined 2816 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 569 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 2:47pm | IP Logged 
I have been studying languages lately, of course. This morning's clumsy train ride was
spent on Modern Hebrew and I have studied possession in Hebrew, which is expressed (not
unlike Breton and other Gaelic languages, as well as having a sort of parallel in
Russian) as "there is to me an-object". The choice of preposition in Hebrew is "l"
(usually pronounced as lo, but not always...), which is a particle (because it's one
letter and that is never a word in Hebrew) you tack on to the thing possessing the
item. Alternatively, because it is a pronoun (and in this it indeed again mirrors
Celtic languages), it can take the personal suffixes to indicate "I have, you have
etc.". Indeed you can do this with most (all?) Hebrew prepositions, INCLUDING the
preposition that precedes a definite direct object (for which the rules are not the
same as those of English). Therefore I love you translates as (in transliteration) "Ani
ohev otach", where otach indicates that the direct object is feminine in gender. (For
males you would say Ani ohevet otcha - ohevet because I am assuming the ani is female.
Of course you can say Ani ohev otkha, but that would imply homosexuality of course.)

Note also that in the present tense verbs conjugate like adjectives (because the
present tense is formed from a participle) and conjugate for gender and number (but NOT
PERSON!). So as long as we are talking about a male person, then it's ohev. In the
singular.

Furthermore I have studied some Romanian anecdotes in my trusty Assimil, and done ANKI
reviews. Sunday was spent on some Breton as well. And apart from that I had Swedish
class on Monday and will have both Russian and French tomorrow. Neither of which I have
prepared, but if my return train has internet then I'll use that to do my French and my
Russian on the way home. And if not... well... we'll find a way with smartphones and
all that.
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renaissancemedi
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 2467 days ago

941 posts - 1308 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Ancient Greek*, EnglishC2
Studies: French, Russian, Turkish, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 570 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 2:52pm | IP Logged 
Wow, keep it up. You are trully immersed in languages.

Taking advantage of "dead" time is great. It always helps get work done.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2816 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 571 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 2:54pm | IP Logged 
1,5 hours+ of dead time. Eternal commute.
2 persons have voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2816 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 572 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 4:28pm | IP Logged 
From a thread on French pronunciation, an observation made during my high school days:

By the way, a tidbit of funny side info: in atlases, the back of the book lists a guide
to the pronunciation of foreign place names for a wide range of foreign languages.
Because most people own the "Bosatlas" which is used in the schooling system, and
French (and German) are compulsory in secondary schools, it is
assumed that German, English and French (aside from Dutch) pronunciations are KNOWN to
Dutch speakers. Which seems to be a fallacious assumption given the strength of Dutch
accents in all three languages (although a lot of it is prosodical; the phonemes are
often prononounced correctly independently in French).

This is a particularity of how Dutch people culturally approach languages. Because we
are obligatorily whacked over the head with them in schools (everyone learns German and
almost everyone learns French), and because we have borders with teutophone regions and
(if you count Belgium) francophone regions, these pronunciations are assumed to be
known. The German /g/ for example, is not a native Dutch phoneme - it is only ever used
in loanwords, as to us /g/ represents a voiced /ch/ (or a voiceless /ch/) - but I
rarely see someone incapable of distinguishing or pronouncing that phoneme (it does
occur in a few loanwords) and saying "g van garçon" is a very common way of introducing
that sound, because it is assumed that people know the g of garçon sounds like the
voiced equivalent of k.
|
Of course most people do not ever use French or German often (or actively). So the
ability of Dutch people to speak either varies much more crudely than that of English
and can show very sharp peaks and troughs - mostly troughs, as language education
reforms in the late 90s and 2000s caused a wholesale loss of foreign language ability
in everything that was not English. The government has tried to reform and reintroduce
the old language system, but it hasn't functioned particularly well (and it is only
truly reinstated in the high school level that prepares for university, unless you
choose to study languages in high school already - in which case French and German are
usually your options, period). As a rule, I would say that older people (especially
those in their 40s or 50s) tend to speak better German and French than today's youth,
although I do not live near the German border where communication necessities in German
are bigger than here (and the linguistic barrier of those dialects with their German
counterparts is much smaller; westerners often refer to these parts of the Netherlands
as "Germany" in a mildly pejorative way, the same way Limbourg and Brabant are also
seen as "extensions of Belgium/Germany", because often their dialects have much more in
common with German or Flemish dialects than they do with the standard Dutch language).

My observation is, however, that French is all but forgotten by most and that German
for most people survives only in a passive format, where people do not speak German but
due to its similarities understand and can respond (often in English, sigh). Those
Dutch people that do have enough basis in their school German (or French) often speak
fairly Dutchicised versions of those languages, which leads to bad French and funny
German - the structural similarities between the latter two can lead to curious
misunderstandings. But a Dutchman who moves to Germany is expected to learn German and
it would be considered quite strange for that person to not speak German - German is
traditionally difficult grammatically but its syntax and lexis are close enough that
most people's botched Dutch with awareness of German grammar rules, pronunciation and
false friends seems to lead to a kind of "Dutch-German" that seems to be understood
most of the time.

Although most Dutch people hate speaking German and will readily resort to English if
they can nowadays, that is how it used to be - and it is how I speak German because my
priority is not German at this point and it allows me to be quite functional in that
language.

French only survives in the use of loanwords in Dutch, which from French are extremely
plentiful and make up a substantial part of the vocabulary. But loanwords is not
something Dutch is short of - our colourful history means that we occupy a fairly
central position linguistically in Europe. And external communities also lead to
borrowings - for example, Indonesian, Yiddish/Hebrew, and Latin/Ancient Greek have
contributed to the Dutch language (in some cases quite substantially, and in some cases
more dialectal). Hebrew/Yiddish is funny in that regard because most Hebrew/Yiddish
loans are actually Amsterdam slang (I doubt they are used in Belgium if at all, maybe
in Antwerp dialect? I think not), because of its great Jewish community before the
second world war. However some of these loans are in very common use in the standard
language and it would be unthinkable NOT to use them as a speaker: the use of "tof" for
"cool", or "mazzel" for "luck" is very common and not at all dialectal, and used widely
outside of its roots of origin. Some Dutch expressions can be rendered fairly well by
using a Hebrew or Yiddish loan word.

And in slang, Amsterdam has a Hebrew nickname: Mokum (from "makom", place), but that is
a bit weird because it is actually "Mokum Alef" (city A), and other cities such as
Rotterdam were called differently "Mokum Resh" (city R). Note how the letters mimick
the initials of the city referred to. The latter disappeared but Amsterdam can still be
called Mokum in slang. And Amsterdam is historically seen as a city with strong Jewish
influence.



Edited by tarvos on 13 March 2013 at 4:36pm

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tastyonions
Triglot
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United States
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Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
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 Message 573 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 5:00pm | IP Logged 
^ Very interesting info!

Your mention of "Dunglish" in another thread made me think of all the different portmanteau names like that (Singlish, Spanglish, Franglais, etc.). "Dunglish" must be the least pleasant-sounding of the terms. :-P
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renaissancemedi
Bilingual Triglot
Senior Member
Greece
Joined 2467 days ago

941 posts - 1308 votes 
Speaks: Greek*, Ancient Greek*, EnglishC2
Studies: French, Russian, Turkish, Modern Hebrew

 
 Message 574 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 5:32pm | IP Logged 
We say Greeklish. Latin script and all. It's unreadable really.
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2816 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 575 of 1511
13 March 2013 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
^ Very interesting info!

Your mention of "Dunglish" in another thread made me think of all the different
portmanteau names like that (Singlish, Spanglish, Franglais, etc.). "Dunglish" must be
the least pleasant-sounding of the terms. :-P


It is. But it's a common complaint, especially among students nowadays who all seem to
have picked up English, getting annoyed at the language mangling that their professors do
when English instruction is a requirement at university.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2816 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 576 of 1511
14 March 2013 at 12:14pm | IP Logged 
Tonight some French class (my teacher couldn't make today's Russian lesson). Instead I
spent some time doing a short Hebrew unit and then in the metro to the Hague I will
probably spend some time on Breton. I have also read a bit through my Romanian Assimil
but not studied anything; I will probably do some Anki at a bus stop or something though.

Hebrew seems to be fitting in a little better now. But I still lack any knowledge of past
or future tense, which is basically the thing I really think I will need to study soon.
Once I spend some more time with that and gain some more vocab my Hebrew will get a
little better.


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