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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

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Via Diva
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 Message 209 of 364
23 June 2015 at 3:37am | IP Logged 
I read Ausgebrannt by Andreas Eschbach (in Russian, but well...). It was fairly ok, apart from almost heartbreaking mistakes from scientific point of view. Gonna read some other his books because I have an access to audiobooks, at this point I just need
something that can keep me interested in its plot.
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 Message 210 of 364
23 June 2015 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
I read Die Haarteppichknüpfer by Eschbach and wasn't very impressed. To me it
lacked imagination, which is a pretty damning critique for a work of SF. I have higher
hopes for the other Andreas of German SF, Andreas Brandhorst. I want to get started on
his Diamant trilogy soon.
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Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
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 Message 211 of 364
24 June 2015 at 12:10am | IP Logged 
Thank you @daegga, @Via_Diva and @lichtrausch . Suggestions noted down. I decide my books through a series of factors, like availability of translations and audiobooks. Funny how I still don't have a typical "theme" for reading in German. In French I read serious books/literature I would be reading in Portuguese anyway. There is so much available in French that I have to choose wisely. In Russian I read light translated novels for teenagers, mostly sci-fi and distopy. In Georgian I read light teenage/adult novels about contemporary life in the US, France etc. As for German I've read my share of non-fiction on themes similar to the ones in French, but I still haven't made up my mind about a specific genre, either natively German or translation. I try to save the most interesting reads for languages with less resources and which are also more difficult and therefore demand light and easy translated novels. If I plan to keep working with audio as well, I think I don't need to be that strict with German, because the audio helps enormously keep focus on both content and meaning even when the story or the argumentation isn't that captivating.

A new day has started, and I hope this one is better. Yesterday I went as far as studying the Turkmen lesson (I'm just L-Ring the Source) and the Russian reading. No Italian and no Futurama. I hope to compensate today by listening to a meditation video in German (I still only listen to that in French, it works even better than Portuguese. Don't know why).

I wrote an email to citybooks asking if there would be a way to search by language, and although I didn't have a direct answer, I'm impressed with the promptness and politeness. Here is the conversation:

Expugnator wrote:

Good morning!

First of all, thanks for the excellent project. I was wondering if it was possible to add a feature that allows us for searching by language. For example, I'd like to see all texts that were written OR translated in French regardless of being about a French-speaking city or not. In my case I'm studying Georgian through your site and I found six texts about Tbilisi that are in Georgian, but I was wondering, for example, whether there is another text from another city that has been translated into Georgian as well.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Marianne wrote:

Dear         &n bsp;     ,

Thank you for your e-mail, it's wonderfull to hear that you enjoy our project!
Concerning your question: yes and no would be my answer, and I'll explain that.

The outline of citybooks is that each story is available in Dutch, English and French. Besides these three languages, the citybooks are available in an extra language only:
> if the native language of an author is different and/ or
> if the language of the host-city is different, the citybooks about this specific city will be available in that language too.

So: each citybook is available in at least 3 languages, some are available in 4 languages and a few are available in even more.
For example: Austrian author Lydia MIschkulnig wrote about Venice in her native language German, this citybook is translated into Italian (because of the city-language) and French, Dutch and English.

To make things more complicated, there are a few exceptions to this basic structure: thanks to a great intern from South Africa, several citybooks that were not about a South African city nor by an Afrikaans speaking author, have been translated into Afrikaans (for instance: Arnon Grunberg, Saskia de Coster)

So: to find all French citybooks, (original language of translated into French) > each citybook is available (unless a translation is still in the course of preparation). The same goes for English and Dutch.

To find all stories in certain other languages, I'm afraid there is no search mode available on the website.
But, what you can do is :
> search per city that you know speaks (for instance) Georgian.
> search per author that you know writes in (for instance) Georgian
> scroll through iTunes in the citybooks channel 'Other' : /id488115735?mt=2
This lists all the currently available podcasts of citybooks in languages other than Dutch, English and French.
The title will usually tell you what language the story is in.
Off course the citybooks that have not yet been recorded will not show here, so there might always be a temporary discrepancy between the available texts and the available audiobooks.

Reading that you are interested in Georgian texts, I can tell you that besides the 5 citybooks on Tbilisi, there is one more citybook available in Georgian: the citybook that Lasha Bugadze wrote about the Beglan city Turnhout: n-the-city

Accomplished Language Textbook: Eesti keel, ma armastan...

I wasn't expecting to be done with this book so quickly, but the lessons are short and I'm way into an A2 passive level, so the sentences at the lessons didn't cause me much trouble, only the occasional look-ups. It seems to be a book more suited for classwork given there is no answer to the exercises (which itself would be great because they are of the version type, version into Estonian), but the dialogues and then the drilling part all have the translation in Russian. I find the dialogues quite vivid, useful and not so bookish. The quality recording is quite good. This is actually mostly an audiobook, but given that the instructions are in Russian and there is a lot of repetition, I decided to just go through the dialogues once and then read the drilling sentences. They are still effective and I'm glad I could notice from this resource that I'm on the right track with Estonian.

Now I'm going for a PDF I found called 'Estonian Grammar'. It has sample sentences which will help me learn vocabulary and understand grammar at once. It has only 71 pages, so later on I can decide whether I'm picking a Russian textbook that has been OCR'ed or review one of the good textbooks in English I've used. My main concern now is understanding grammar before delving into textbooks with a larger source of vocabulary, aimed at intermediate learners, or even into native material. Which reminds me I should check for audioraamatud. They are surprisingly not as expensive as I'd thought, you can find a lot from 1 to 10 euros. I've found some classics as audiobooks, for which I have the pdfs, so it's a matter of time. This L-R really got on me.

I'm still reading one newsstory a day in Papiamento. Again, I didn't have to look up any words.

Did I say yesterday I was going to do only the text L-Ring for the Turkmen GLOSS lessons? I was wrong. There are some grammatical and cultural gems spread through each of the exercises as info. This non-linear layout still causes me trouble. Well, I'd try my best to go window after window if it was a language I was learning for serious, I swear. Through revisiting second lesson's notes, did I get it right that Turkmen has some sort of noun classifiers?

Surprisingly I could go home almost on time, so no time for Kuxnya or output. All the rest went fine.
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 Message 212 of 364
24 June 2015 at 12:43am | IP Logged 
My last German book was this here: Schloß
. This is rather light entertainment, but
certainly well written.
There are some old-fashioned terms, but most should be transparent from French or Romance
languages in general. The crux is that a small part of the dialogue will be mostly
incomprehensible - with no help from dictionaries in sight. But the reactions and the
general context are usually enough to figure out what has been said. The audio probably
helps too.
Here is the matching audio: YTube

But I don't think you could find a translation for this ;)

Edited by daegga on 24 June 2015 at 12:58am

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 Message 213 of 364
24 June 2015 at 1:06am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
Through revisiting second lesson's notes, did I get it right that Turkmen has some sort of noun classifiers?
That's the bazaar lesson, right? The note is phrased in a way that makes it look like that, but in reality it's nothing as extensive as what they have in East Asia and more like what most European languages have with "head of cattle", "bulbs of garlic" or "pairs of stockings" (the fact that Turkmen uses the same counting word in the former two cases is reminiscent of Russian which uses голова for cattle and the diminutive головка for garlic - not sure if it's a Russian calque in Turkic languages or vice versa). The word "sany" was explained in a particularly confusing way - it's not even a counter word, since it literally translates to "number of". "Maňa üç sany alma beriň" means something like "Please give me apples in the quantity of three". There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with simply saying "Maňa üç alma beriň", although the former phrasing probably helps emphasize that you're asking for three individual apples, not three kilos of apples.
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 Message 214 of 364
24 June 2015 at 11:48pm | IP Logged 
@daegga: I don 't blame you =D I have a link of the most promising Brazilian authors but I haven't read any classics or contemporary novels in the last years. I did read one of Clarice Lispector's books in German and I have one from Machado de Assis I want to read, but I'm not discovering new authors at all. I have my own share of AFLAATT (All Foreign Languages Almost All The Time), that'a for sure.

#vonPeterhof, thanks for clarifying this, I did find this 'sany' rather confusing. How far are you going with Turkmen? I'm just dabbling like I said, next month is already Uzbek.

As I've said before, I'm trying not to repeat the same mistakes with Estonian as I did with Georgian and Russian. Right now, after over a year of limited daily study (30' to 60'), I've noticed what is pushing me back is mostly grammar. I have no active skills because I have little consolidated knowledge of the noun morphology, even though I sort of understood the rules behind it. My vocabulary situation is better than I had thought, and I could notice this through the last textbook I used, which had over 4 pages of dialogues at each lesson from which I only missed less than 10 words. I was thinking about reviewing some textbooks but I'd rather wait till I'm entirely comfortable with the vocabulary so I can mostly skim through it and pay closer attention on filling the grammar gaps.

The textbook by Tuldava is by far the most friendly resource and I might return to it if I find my excursion into the grammar pdf and the upcoming Russian textbooks isn't enough. I really need to perform again the translation exercises for consolidating grammar, and the textbook by Tuldava has plenty of them. On the other hand, some textbooks have literary excerpts that aren't exactly learner-friendly and which I'd rather replace with a translated novel. Anyway, I have to be very assertive about detecting my gaps at this stage and working specifically on solving them, so I can delve into native materials more comfortably. I'm anxious about it. I flipped through one book from Agatha Christie and noticed many familiar words.

The story I'm reading from citybooks, The Knifemaker of Tbilisi, is pretty hard. It was translated from Dutch, and it is written as a stream of consciousness, long paragraphs, few pauses, no dialogues. It's taking me a hard time even to locate where I am. I'm relieved that I will be able to get at least a couple of translated novels to L-R later.

I decided to watch an entire episode of Karl & Co to check whether the problem with time framing was leading me to watch things repeatedly. It turned out the full episode had over 26 minutes, so it's still better to watch 10 minutes a day and the rest the other day. Well, at least at this rhythm I won't need to complement the Norwegian at my post-schedule in order to reach my half-challenge on time, the way I've done with French, German and Georgian.

I'm enjoying German L-Ring so much and I think I'm close to reaching the next level: understanding German sentences on my own without the paused reading crutch. The sentences start to make sense more and more.

Turkmen's genealogic tree reminds of the complication of Chinese. I wonder if it is the same with Turkish. Thsi 'sany' keeps showing up:

GLOSS wrote:

Kakamyň üç sany gyz jigisi - Biwi, Jemal, Maral bar. Ejemiň iki sany gyz jigisi - Nýäzik, Jahan we bir oglan jigisi - Anna bar.

He has three younger sisters, Biwi, Jemal, and Maral. My Mom has two younger sisters, Nazik and Jahan, and a younger brother, Anna.

Time flied today. I have two topics from the forum left to read and I watched no Kuxnya, did no output. Wanderlust: Modern Greek, Turkish, Czech.
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 Message 215 of 364
25 June 2015 at 9:38am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
#vonPeterhof, thanks for clarifying this, I did find this 'sany' rather confusing. How far are you going with Turkmen? I'm just dabbling like I said, next month is already Uzbek.
This Monday I did the last available GLOSS lesson for Turkmen, so I decided to end it here and move on to Uzbek. Right now I'm making my way through the grammatical introduction Uzbekisch Crash Kurs.

Expugnator wrote:
Turkmen's genealogic tree reminds of the complication of Chinese. I wonder if it is the same with Turkish.
I haven't looked into it in Turkish, but I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. I never really mastered all this family-related vocabulary in Kazakh, and I'm pretty sure that they didn't even tell us all of those words at school. It can get pretty complicated when you have to use the same word for "older sister" and "aunt", but different and completely unrelated words for "older sister's husband" and "younger sister's husband".
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 Message 216 of 364
26 June 2015 at 1:44am | IP Logged 
I started to understand more from the meditation video in German, after listening to it for the 5th time or so. It does good, since I'm supposed to be meditating before sleep I don't have to worry that much about paying enough attention to follow what is being said, and being more relaxed I actually understand more.

Today I had to come here later and I couldn't do much in the morning before arriving here. I just read French while taking the train and read Russian later on my way here, at the bus. This was the time I understood the most from the Russian (Insurgent), so when I read in English later I had understood almost everything that was going on.

The Estonian Grammar I'm using is provin really useful. I don't think I'm going to need to read about grammar anymore after that. I am going to need a lot of practice, though. It is similar to what happened with Georgian after my textbook stage. I understood grammar well enough so I decided to go for native materials and only when I have a background of language usage does it make sense to fill in the gaps. So that is what I need for Estonian now, native materials for learning grammar, but then I still need to learn the basic vocabulary. It will all depend on how easy to use the upcoming textbooks will be. I no longer want to spend an hour a day on a Estonian textbook for the sake of translating words that aren't translated, be these words Estonian or Russian.

In watching Norwegian, I noticed I'm reaching a point at which I can understand almost all the words in sentences spoken really quickly, but I can't understand the sentence itself because there's not enough time for me to process it. I rememberthis step in French. That means that progress has been made. I've noticed the video does bounce back to the beginning or close when I open it again, regardless when I check the option to resume the video where I closed it at SMplayer. So, i'm going to take note of the scene where I stopped so I don't have to rewatch stuff and thus never go any further.

Good news! I asked Ogrim to finish the correction of my fable, and so he did. I learned a lot from the corrections and observations. Below is the corrected fable:

Den late fuglen

Det var en gang en fugl som alltid kom for sent til skolen. Mora hans forsøkte å få ham til å komme i gang, enten ved å gå å plukke frokost tidligere eller ved å kaste ham ut av reiret noen grener nedover. Det hjalp ikke. Han skulle alltid finne en måte for å få sove litt lenger eller spise og bade tregere med vilje.

En dag fløy han mellom trærne på vei til skolen. Klokka var halv ti, søsknene hans var allerede på skolen og tok en prøve. Fra en hengende gren kom en skummelt kledd fe som så ut som en troll. Eller var det en troll så lite som en fe? Den lille fuglen var forbauset.

- Hallo, lille fugl. Hvorfor flyr du så fort?
- Jeg? Hva...hvem er du?
- Jeg kom hit for å hjelpe deg. Hva skjer, gutt?
- Jeg må fly til skolen. Jeg har snart en eksamen.
- Hvorfor haste? Kom, jeg har noe viktig å vise deg.
- Men jeg blir sent...jeg...

Plutselig var den lille fuglen midt på gamle trestammer dypt inne i skogen.

- Snu deg hit - sa feen.
- Hva...? Men det er bare et speil.

Feen var flau.

- Å? Vent litt. Det må slås på. Se her igjen.

Fuglen ble betatt av skjermen. Der var han og familien hans. Men han husket ikke disse hendelsene. - Hva? Altså, han så eldre ut. - Hva driver du med, fae...jeg vil si, feen?

- Dette her er en portal til fremtiden. Jeg vil vise deg hva som kommer til å skje hvis du fortsetter å oppføre
deg som en lat fugl.

Fuglen så på skjermen. Der lå han i redet og gråt over at alle søskene hans fikk diplom men han ikke fikk. Han forsov seg og kom for sent til de avsluttende eksamenene.

I den andre hendelsen fikk han se seg selv liggende på gulvet mens de andre dyrene som gikk forbi haddde en helt ny mobiltelefon in hånden. På den tredje hendelsen så man at fuglen kom til en tom kirke i bakrus.

- Fint! Jeg ser at latskapen min skal føre til to tragedier i mitt liv, jeg går til og med glipp av sjansen til å bli den første kjøperen av en ny Eplekake telefonmodell. Jeg legger også merke til at den samme latskapen skal redde meg fra ekteskapet. Likevel synes jeg det er for galt å gå glipp av sjansen til å utføre gode kjøp. Fra nå av skal jeg være mer forsiktig og ansvartig for ikke å forsove meg eller la det hende noe lignende igjen.

- Gratulerer, fugl! Du har lært leksjonen godt.

Og så fra morgenen av kom kan ikke for sent til avtalen lenger.

I read Chinese from two sources and so could add up two more pages, so as to make up for yesterday, when I forgot. I'm reading one of them extensively and even though I don't quite grasp the meaning I'm overall satisfied with the number of characters I can understand from each sentence and how I have an idea of the sentence syntactically.

I didn't manage to buy a Georgian audiobook (it says 'out of stock', I wonder why or how). At least I figured out there is another book from Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the shore, so I bought this one. Also the newest from Paulo Coelho. There's enough reading for when I finish the trilogy I'm reading, which will also take long (I'm about to finish the first one at 4 pages a day).

Best day of КУХНЯ/სამზარეულო ever! I'm understanding the Georgian in all but the longest phrases. Even some longer subordinated clauses start to hang. I only hope there is enough of Kuxnya for me to be able to follow Georgian series without subtitles. Comprehensible input really is a step that shouldn't be skipped. I'm finally having it for Georgian and it is starting to work the same way it does with Russian, even with subtitles in L1-only. Besides, considering that I'm also having input from other sources - series without subs, LR-ing a difficult text, reading a parallel text that is getting easier - there is a synergy going on. I usually see a lot of improvement for the languages I do my second video round of the day, the one over 20 minutes and with at least one of them possessing comprehensible input. So it was with French, then German and now Georgian. It seems the first 10-min session works as a warm-up and when the second comes my ears are trained and ready. I can't do this for all languages everyday, but whenever I see myself stuck at improving my learning skills or learning more conversational vocabulary I now know what to do. By the way, the series is really fun.

No time for output, though correcting the fable and posting the corrected version was already a sort of output practice.

Wanderlust: Turkish, Modern Greek. I found books from Haruki Murakami in these languages plus Italian (and German, and French, and Portuguese of course), and I'd be happy to L-R several books at once, even though I still haven't read anything from him yet.

Edited by Expugnator on 26 June 2015 at 2:28am

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