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Iversen

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
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 Message 41 of 107
16 July 2008 at 5:17pm | IP Logged 
Thanks. Both word lists and morphological tables have had some seriously bad press during the preceding century, but I think that it helps to be systematical about what you do while you are learning a language - the error of the old school masters was not that they used these techniques, but that some of them became too perfectionistic and dogmatic in their way of using them.


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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 43 of 107
18 July 2008 at 11:36am | IP Logged 
In my opinion a beginner in a language won't benefit much from travelling - he/she may learn a few set phrases to survive (and for fun), but that is not the same thing as learning how to speak freely in a language. You have to be able to talk to people around you to get the kind of exposure that will be useful for you, and you have to be able to to understand them fairly well to notice when they are saying something in another way than you do. So the one who will benefit most is probably the one that has at least basic fluency skills.

But even the intermediate speaker will benefit to some degree from travelling. It can never be a total vaste of time to be in a place where you can hear your target language around you all the time, where all newspapers are in that language and where you can try out a phrase here and there on a shopkeeper or the person who sits beside you in the bus. When I travel I may not get more than, say an hour of conversation every day, but in between I think in the local language and everything I read and listen to is in that language. Back home I will be tempted to use Danish all the time, but abroad I don't have the temptation to do that. It may be more difficult for those of you who have English as your native language, but your chances of avoiding the English language is far greater in Peru or Spain than in the states - though Miami might be a reasonable alternative (<--- joke).

Living with a family or having one-to-one classes abroad must be an effective way of getting enough exposure though I have personally never done it - maybe I should try once. Language classes with lots of other foreigners can't be nearly as efficient, and travelling around with your friends from back home must be absolutely the stupidest thing you can do if your goal is to learn the local language. The idea behind (shorttime) immersion must be to avoid your native language as much as possible.

* long term immersion may be different: if you were back home it might be more efficient to look up words in a bilingual dictionary or consult a grammar written in your native language. And if you are away for months that may be a good idea even in your new environment. But with only a week or two at your disposal it is important to spend as much time as possible on the local language (except for a brief peek in a pocketsize dictionary now and then).



Edited by Iversen on 18 July 2008 at 11:51am

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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 45 of 107
18 July 2008 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
It is difficult to recommend specific places, but small hotels or hostels away from the most well known tourist traps would be a reasonable choice. Private rooms are also a logical choice - though there is no garantee that your host will be the talkative type. There are also organisations that arranges visits or even short stays with local people (for instance Servas), - try asking for something like that in the local tourist informations. If you feel that your Spanish is good enough then you could also try to follow a guided tour in Spanish. But ultimately it all comes down to your own self confidence (just as back home), - you have to speak to people around you. I may not be the best guide to the noble art of getting involved in conversation - my sister on the contrary is a master at that. For instance she can't walk through a museum without speaking to all the custodians, while I may forget to speak to anybody because I get too occupied with the things on display.

Edited by Iversen on 21 July 2008 at 4:08am

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 4791 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 46 of 107
18 July 2008 at 11:50pm | IP Logged 
I'm terribly sorry if I've misunderstood something, but there seem to be some mistakes in your sample Russian charts. There's no stress shift in words like датчанин. Out of the two words I can think of with the suffix stressed one undergoes it though - гражданин (but: семьянин...I had to google the plural nominative of it btw - I had no clue what it was :D). At least one of them is probably an exception though :/ dunno which one :D

Also, words like котёнок drop the o in all cases in the singular except the nominative (котёнка, котёнку, котёнком, котёнке), -мя changes to -мён in the genitive plural and -ие to -ии in the prepositional singular.

And many thanks for your post on morphology :-)
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4897 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 47 of 107
20 July 2008 at 2:41pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the corrections, - of course you are right on all accounts. My only defence is that I wrote these tables at a stage where I was still a total novice. In fact I wrote them as part of the learning process, and before publishing them here I should have corrected them or at least mentioned where the errors were (though to be honest the -мён might still have slipped through, - it is a weird form, isn't it? Some sort of zero-ending as in the feminine, after an infix). I just put it on the forum as an illustration of the method without realizing that people might be reading the actual content of the tables. Now that I have become wiser I'll try to rewrite them as soon as possible. EDIT: corrections made



Edited by Iversen on 21 July 2008 at 1:18pm

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Gilgamesh
Tetraglot
Senior Member
England
Joined 4436 days ago

452 posts - 468 votes 
14 sounds
Speaks: Dutch, English, German, French
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 48 of 107
20 July 2008 at 2:47pm | IP Logged 
As long as we're still talking: How is your Dutch coming?

You wrote you studied it and I think you forfeited it at the time to focus more on Russian. The fact that you know German as well as some Platt should help you immensely. I'd like to see you on one of the Dutch threads.

So?


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