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What Expug is doing in 2015 (TAC n more)

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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 65 of 364
05 February 2015 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
Thank you guys, iot was really interesting to learn more about Italian, Turkish and the IPA. You have no idea how useful and encouraging these replies have been, being used to write mostly on my own here.

I studied an interesting text on the day of a pedestrian in Norway. I wonder if the traffic conditions are tenser than average as the author claims. Maybe it's the year the book was written and people weren't so much resignated about having the city dominated by cars. Anyway, I learned important describing participles.

It turns out I'm reading difficult texts in my strongest languages. I'm reading on a different subject in French, and even though my understanding is just fine, sometimes the author uses words that I have to look up so I can process all their expressiveness and figurativeness. In the case of Norwegian, it's rather the dense descriptive and overly formal style of Hunden fra Baskerville that makes my reading slow. It is another reason I prefer contemporary books dealing with contemporary times - I don't like current historical novels that much either.

I'm glad Practical Chinese for Official Functions is coming to an end. It's a good textbook but it's too much info for my level. One page a day of intensive reading is enough for me to actually internalize some new words.

A good day for Georgian reading. It wasn't that fast but at least I understood quite a bit from the text.

Chinese isn't exactly going by leaps and bound. Happy Journey Across China is introducing a bit too complex themes with a larger vocabulary. The Singaporean series hasn't caught up my attention yet; they are all repetitive anyway, and I think the difference in pronouncing the initials is hindering my progress in associating sound and text. The aforementioned textbook is a bit of a stretch with its long dialogues, even though it was a bit better today. Since I don't expect to finish either of the series soon, I hope next week's textbook will provide me with a more appropriate learning rhythm.

Finally a better day with Russian, more focused, and it was worth it. I associated a good amount of Russian sentences and their translations in the Russian series and I made an authentical parallel reading of the book Insurgent (second in the Divergent trilogy). My comprehension was higher than usual, thanks to the familiarity with the plot and the characters.

Duolingo Italian was on gerunds. From my limited knowledge I sense Italian doesn't make an extensive use of the continuous tenses the way English/Portuguese/Soanish do. So, I think Duolingo overused it. For example, "Sai
quanti problemi stiamo avendo?", it is really the most natural way to sai that? Wouldn't it be "Sai quanti problemi abbiamo nel momento/adesso?"? Another one "Non sto andando alla festa" - 'I'm not going to the party', for me it would just be "Non vado alla festa" (that one wouldn't use the gerund in Portuguese either, unless I wanted to emphasize the precise, current physical act - for example, if someone stopped me at the street and asked me where I was going.

I posted my Georgian dialogue at lang-8. Still no correction in Georgian or Norwegian from italki.

Let me see if I got this right in Turkish:

geliyorsun = you come
gelmiyorsun = you don't come
geliyor musun? = do you come?

The difference between negative and interrogative seems subtle if it weren't for the infix x detached particle thing. This system doesn't seem more effective than using just the m- interrogative particle for everything, like Chinese does.

Time for Kuxnya again! I learned a lot from this episode, and I'm starting to really get the hang of the Georgian sentences, as well as anticipate a few ones that I happen to read in English first - mind you, it's English translated from Russian at GT, and yet the material is being useful. Comprehensible input is the way to go.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 66 of 364
06 February 2015 at 8:57pm | IP Logged 
Today at the Estonian blog I came across a bilingual text that has important words for my 'islands', such as in the sentence Täna ma käisin jõusaalis linttrenažööri kasutamas = Today I went to the gym to use the treadmill.

I gave up on using the Spanish translation for paralelly reading Hunden fra Baskerville. There's something more about learning to read other than understanding all the words. I may have a good knowledge of Spanish but I don't have the automatism that allows me for a dinamic reading, for instance. When you are proficient in a language, you recognize not only the shapes of the words, but also the shapes of the sentences. When you look for the missing word in your TL, and then you gaze upon the proficient SL, you know exactly what is likely to surround it. Your stronger, more automated skills in your proficient SL make it possible for you to imagine the whole sentence in your head within the timeframe of flipping your eyes from the TL column to the SL column, and therefore all you have to do is to spot, to recognize the equivalent text and thus the missing word to be translated. It seems hard to put this down in words, because it's almost an abstract notion, but this is indeed what I experience. Your proficient language 'happens' in a more organic, less linear way, this is for sure, and my experience with reading a novel in parallel first with a weaker, less-experienced SL, despite almost transparent, and later with a proficient L1 demonstrates this. I'm sure it would be even faster with my native language, but to this extent I can asses English is much closer to Portuguese than to Spanish.

It turned out to be a good reading of Chinese. I understood quite a bit of sentences beforehand. Besides, i read almost everything before resorting to the translation and didn't miss much of what was going on.

Accomplished Language Textbook



This textbook has a helpful set of dialogues. They are long enough to allow for some 'flow', but perhaps too long at an intermediate level. There are pinyin and translation, but the translations is at the back of the book and all the pinyin comes after all the text in hanzi, so, it's not practical to flip back and forth 5 pages whule also having a look at the translation, even when I use the tablet and the desktop. Regarding this, the French-based readers I've used have a much more appropriate editting format, e.g. Le chinois par boules de neige and Étape par étape.

And so I had a great reading experience with Georgian. I understood much more than usual, and it was also faster, which means I am starting to memorize the shape of some words (even if I have to pay attention not to mix up words with similar preverbs but a slight change in the radical, like a consonant, for example. This is particular critical in shorter and more common verbs). I start to sense some real progress. Next week I will start using the Newspaper Reader intensively and I believe the synergy will be even stronger. Then I am waiting for synergy from Kuxnya and Shua Qalaqshi in the video part.

Today at my Papiamento reading (yes, they keep happening daily, as well as the short news clips) I came across an expression that is exactly like the one in Portuguese: tira na kara. In Portuguese it is "jogar na cara", and English uses a different verb, not 'to throw', but rather 'to rub': rub in {someone's} face. The context:

'Hey, hey n´tin pakico di rabia. E cos'ki a pasa caba y ta pertenece den pasado.'
'Si pero mi ta haya bo straño pa awor bin tir'e na mi cara'.

Pay attention also to the verb 'caba' = to finish, to be over, to run out of, that works now mostly as a perfective particle, so 'a pasa caba' means that things are over, that is, they passed perfective aspect.

In Portuguese, that would be, more idiomatically:

- Ei, ei, não tem por que ficar com raiva. Essas coisas já aconteceram e pertencem ao passado. (Even though 'passaram' is the direct translation and has a more perfective meaning than 'aconteceram = we say 'já passou' for 'it's over' - I would totally avoid 'passaram' and then 'pertencem ao passado' in the same or in a neighbouring sentence, Brazilian Portuguese has a low tolerance to repetition of words or even similar roots).
- Sim, mas eu estou achando estranho você vir jogá-las na minha cara. (Notice the personal infinitive - if it were nós, it would be 'nós virmos...', vocês = vocês virem. The personal infinitive in this and other contexts is the natural option, much more than the subjunctive that always brings somehow the idea of uncertainty and existence of alternatives. The infinive here leaves no doubt that the other person is actually - or has already - rubbed the facts in his/her face, and not considering a hypothetical situation).

It was also great with German. It helps that I'm reading about Brazilian social movements, which is funny, but anyway I also did my reading pretty quickly today and had seldom to resort to French. I also noticed I'm faster at that flipping back-and-forth through the copies and my eyes are finding the stop point much more easily.

I am not enjoying the film Nirgendwo in Afrika that much so far, but at least when I pay attention I can understand the German and associate with the Portuguese subtitles (which are ideally slightly delayed). Thus, I don't feel that much grieve for not having the double subtitles. The film comes in one or two disks and that makes it messy to find matching subtitles. I found the Portuguese but the German I downloaded didn't match and I was so not in the mood to keep searching. Well, at least that forces me to pay more attention to the audio.

Wikipedia helps me with what to choose next for my Singaporean series. I'm sure I won't find all of them, but at least I have a source to base my searches upon.

And then I had my best Russian reading practice ever. I don't know if it were the shorter sentences, but I could flip between the texts easily. It helped that I did it after watching Poor Nastya once again, and not meanwhile as had been the case lately. Today was a special day for reading, a real confidence boost. I believe it is largely due to all languages having improved as whole, which make the activities easy in an almost linear way (though the languages aren't all in the same level, obviosuly). I came back 12 minutes earlier but I started watching Le Trône de Fer, my 1st post-schedule activity, 1 hour earlier than usual, which is already 1 hour earlier than last year. That alone demonstrates how things worked better today - oh, wait, if only I hadn't fogotten to work on the last lesson from Practical Chinese for Official Functions, even after having reviewed the book above. Well, that happens in multilingual schedules. Even more curious: today's lesson consisted mostly of dialogues with medium-length sentences so I didn't have trouble following them and could still learn a lot, and these were my main complains about the book. Now I'm short of short readers with audio for Chinese. I will go for a short textbook called Newspaper Chinese, with interlinear pinyin and English.

Note to self: not to waste time searching for Chinese resources again. I've already noted the books I stil want to use, then no more textbooks. There are so many podcasts out there if I want to read intensively, as well as novels I can read with translation.

My Norwegian article got corrected! Three days later, which means we should remain hopeful. My Georgian one is on both sites but still no corrections. Usually there are several of them.

Here is the corrected version:

Livet
Hvorfor er denne jenta alltid så bekymret? Hun har alt det nødvendige: en fin leilighet med balkong, pene møbler og flotte elektroniske apparater: laptop, smartphonetelefon, tablet og smart-TV. Hun bor sammen med en nydelig katt og ser kjæresten sin nesten hver dag på universitetet. Foreldrene hennes bor ikke så langt unna, og i den samme byen, og hun trives med å spise lunsj og middag med hele familien hver søndag.

Til tross for alt dette er hun alltid engstelig og nervøs. Hun savner gamle dager da hun lekte i gården og i gaten. Hun tror ikke hun er klar for fremtiden. Hun orker ikke se at mennesker blir mer og mer avhengige av gadgets og ikke tør snakke personlig lenger. Hun vil leve et enklere liv og bare bruke teknologi i situasjoner hvor den virkelig gjør livet bedre.


EDIT: Corrected version got the original one messed into.

Edited by Expugnator on 09 February 2015 at 8:18pm

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Emme
Triglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 3978 days ago

980 posts - 1594 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English, German
Studies: Russian, Swedish, French

 
 Message 67 of 364
08 February 2015 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
[...]
Duolingo Italian was on gerunds. From my limited knowledge I sense Italian doesn't make an extensive use of the continuous tenses the way English/Portuguese/Soanish do. So, I think Duolingo overused it. For example, "Sai
quanti problemi stiamo avendo?", it is really the most natural way to sai that? Wouldn't it be "Sai quanti problemi abbiamo nel momento/adesso?"? Another one "Non sto andando alla festa" - 'I'm not going to the party', for me it would just be "Non vado alla festa" (that one wouldn't use the gerund in Portuguese either, unless I wanted to emphasize the precise, current physical act - for example, if someone stopped me at the street and asked me where I was going. [...]


I think you’re right about the more limited use of the gerund in Italian compared to other languages. As usual, it’s difficult to comment on the sentences you wrote because only the context can make it clear when a tense works and when it doesn’t.

I agree with you about “Non sto andando alla festa” vs “Non vado alla festa”: in this case the context you provide makes it clear you’ve perfectly understood how the gerund is used in Italian (and apparently in Portuguese too, even though I must trust you on that, since I know absolutely nothing about Portuguese).

“Sai quanti problemi abbiamo?” and “Sai quanti problemi stiamo avendo?” are actually both ok, but I would use different time expressions with each sentence and the former is probably the more frequently used of the two.

Some examples:
“Sai quanti problemi abbiamo?”
“Sai quanti problemi abbiamo adesso?”
“Sai quanti problemi stiamo avendo al momento?”
“Sai quanti problemi stiamo avendo (in) questo periodo?” [“in” can be omitted in this sentence]
“Sai quanti problemi stiamo avendo questo mese/questa settimana?”

I can’t explain why, it’s just how these sentences sound most natural to me.

EDIT: formatting.


Edited by Emme on 08 February 2015 at 4:47pm

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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
Joined 5228 days ago

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Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 
 Message 68 of 364
08 February 2015 at 8:38pm | IP Logged 
Interesting remark about Spanish-based parallel texts. I've tried to read Naiv. Super in Danish and Ukrainian, but maybe I should refresh my Ukrainian first, or improve my Danish.
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Woodsei
Bilingual Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Woodsei
Joined 3428 days ago

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Speaks: English*, Arabic (Egyptian)*
Studies: Russian, Japanese, Hungarian

 
 Message 69 of 364
09 February 2015 at 2:57am | IP Logged 
Interesting point you made regarding the dynamics of reading, Expug, and it couldn't
be more true. I notice that, when I read difficult texts, even though I may understand
all the words, the dynamic of "seeing the shape of the sentence" just isn't there.
With texts within my level, if I see a sentence, knowing well the context in which
it's spoken or written, I can immediately finish it off before even reading it,
knowing exactly which word will go where, and what comes before and after it. I feel
I'm even able to do this with random sentences, provided that they're within my level.
If I read within a particular topic a lot, it happens too, like for example when I
spent some time reading a lot of fairy tales in Japanese. My experience, I think,
stems from the fact that I've listened and read tons within my level, before trying to
tackle more difficult material. And that this "understanding all the words but not the
sentence" will eventually get better as long as you keep reading and challenging
yourself. The improvement isn't linear, and I can't really explain it well, but it
seems to happen without you really being aware of it. So I think the key is to just
read a lot, and across all levels, to even things out in the end.
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mrwarper
Diglot
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Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 70 of 364
09 February 2015 at 1:58pm | IP Logged 
Woodsei wrote:
[...] regarding the dynamics of reading, Expug, and it couldn't be more true. I notice that, when I read difficult texts, even though I may understand all the words, the dynamic of "seeing the shape of the sentence" just isn't there. [...] I can't really explain it well, but it seems to happen without you really being aware of it. So I think the key is to just read a lot, and across all levels, to even things out in the end.

I don't believe in magic, so when I notice anything like this I put in my queue of things I'll have a look at later.

I once had an argument with a friend over how it was possible I could translate (correctly) all the words in a Russian sentence AND claim I didn't understand it. In that particular case (the title of a video in YouTube), the untrained monkey who had written it had omitted all the punctuation. The friend I was arguing with, who is half Russian, could mentally insert the right pauses in that bunch of words so it all made sense -- at that point, I'd have had to rely on proper punctuation to do the same, but it was missing!

My point is, if you think a bit, you'll most likely find out what's missing in all those and any sentences you mysteriously don't get as a whole, be it familiarity with some subjects on your part, how idiomatic meanings emerge from seemingly random juxtapositions, or whatever -- and there's definitely always a benefit in stopping to find it out, expanding your knowledge just a little bit at a time.
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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3797 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 71 of 364
09 February 2015 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
@Emme, it makes a lot more sense with your examples now. I believe English is the most gerund-spender language, and while Portuguese also uses it a lot, in many contexts it is closer to Italian, like the examples you mentioned.

@Woodsei: the visual aspect of Chinese makes this impression of 'seeing the shape of the sentence' even stronger. My Chinese is still low, but sometimes when I come across a sentence all with known characters, it's as if I've read a whole sentence in a blink!

@mrwarper: you're right, but my point here was that in the case of Spanish I needed to think a bit, but in the case of English, for example, I wasn't. In Spanish, despite being granted with so many cognates plus being trained in the most common 'false friends', I don't have the required experience to automatize this sentence-level perception. I'm sure I can reach this stage when I study Spanish proper, but for now I am only assessing the differences. I mean, I could have stopped longer in each Spanish sentence, process it, figure out the missing words in context and reach a higher level of comprehension, but that wasn't the point in that specific exercise, as I was reading Norwegian after all. It's the same with reading a text without punctuation, you can make sense out of it faster when your level at that language is higher.

Thank you all for participating in this log!
===============================
I'm glad I could keep my pace of 1 French film at the weekend. I watched Espace Détente which is a spin-off from Camera Café. It was rather confusing and I didn't understand much from what I heard either. Once again I figured out I understand more when I don't watch, just listen, as is the case with Le Trône de Fer. Weird, but then it might be related to my focusing on the words instead of the video when I'm just listening. Pity that I couldn't keep the pace with Duolingo and do 4 chapters, so I won't be able to finish it this week and will have to wait till after the Carnival. It's ok, it will just delay my start with Assimil in a few days.

This is the first but last lesson of Learn Norwegian, and I was awarded with the best explanation on modals and verbal phrases and their use to render aspects that the verbal system itself doesn't encompass: holde på å/være i ferd med å; skulle til å; måtte til å; få til å. The one I find most interesting is skulle til å and how it is rendered differently in varied languages, even from the same family:

English: to be about to
Portuguese: estar para + infinitivo/estar prestes a + infinitivo/estar quase + gerúndio
French: être sur le point de

Started using Newspaper Chinese. I thought it would be learner-friendly, but only an introductory, abridged text gets interlinear translation and pinyin. Then there are texts with translation and glossary only, and also with the issue of the translation being four pages further and thus not allowing for a parallel reading. I still don't know how I am going to deal with this. Maybe I will copy-paste the translation separately in an Office window. Anyway, not to spend too much time and effort on a textbook when I have podcasts with all that is necessary.

Once again I managed to have discipline to work on Poor Nastya first, attentively, and then Insurgent. As a result, I had a really nice time with reading Insurgent and understood more than usual. I followed the translation closely when I was unsure about this or that word.

Today's Turkish lesson on the possibility particle -ebilir was difficult. I haven't retained much. Nevertheless, I'm sure this early exposure will help me in the future when I decide to learn the language more in depth.

Now for my Georgian dialogue (yes, it got corrected in lang-8 finally!):

სად მიდიხართ

-შაბათ-კვირას სად მიდიხართ?
-ჯერ ზუსტად არ ვიცი.
-ჩემმა ქმარმა ჯერ თავის დას უნდა შეეკითხოს, შევძლებთ იქ წასვლას თუ არა.
-ის სად ცხოვრობს?
-კოომფორტულ, დიდ სახლში, მთაში.
-აქედან შორსაა?
-არც ისე შორს. მხოლოდ ნახევარი საათის გზაა მანქანით.
-კარგი.სასიამოვნო მოგზაურობას გისურვებთ.
-რას ამბობ?
-დარწმუნებულები არ ვართ, იქ თუ წავალთ.
-კი, მართალი ხარ. სხვა არჩევანი გაქვთ?
-კი, გვაქვს.იქნებ ქუთაისში წავიდეთ. ცოტა მოშორებითაა, მაგრამ ჩემი დეიდა ცხოვრობს იქ.
-მას ძალიან უყვარს ჩვენს ბავშვებზე ზრუნვა.
-კარგი, კარგი. ყველაფერი კარგად იქნება.რშაბათამდე.
-ნახვამდის!

-Where are you going in the weekend?
- We still don't know exactly. My husband has to ask his sister if we can go there.
- Where does she live?
- In a large, comfortable house in the mountains.
- Is it far from here?
- Not that far. Only one and a half hour by car.
- Right. Wish you a nice trip.
- What are you saying? We are still not sure about going there.
- Yes, you're right. Do you have any other option?
- Yes, we do. Maybe we will go to Kutaisi. It is a bit farther, but my aunt lives there. - She really likes to take care of our children.
- Good, good. Still everything will be fine. Until Monday.
- Good-bye!

I still found time for a Kuxnya episode. I'm really enjoying this series and it is doing good to my Georgian, which is even better. Then almost one hour left and I was left unsure about what to do next, thinking if I should practice another language. It's time for Mandarin, but I don't feel like writing a dialogue and I have no idea how to start a text in Mandarin. Anyway,this is what I got. I had most of the trouble with the last sentence, "I want people to value friendship and the environment over money", I had no idea how to render this in the Mandarin syntax.

价格正在提高。我不知道,这是否暂时的还是 永久的。电力贵了一点儿,汽油贵了很多。我 的工资还没增加, 可是我希望它会增加。我们必须省电力和水。 我国锦丽今年不太好,可是我想这是一个全球 性的问题。我认为人家并不关心世界上和邻居 的问题。他们只是想消费多,污染更多。我真 的希望大家将开始重视友谊或者环境,而不是 重视金钱。

Prices are rising. I don't know if this is transitory or permanent. Electricity got more expensive, gasoline got much more expensive. My wage still hasn't increased, but I hope it will. We need to spare energy and water. The country's economy is not that good this year, but I think this is a global issue. I think people are not concerned with the world or their neighbour's problems. They just want to consume more and to pollute more. I really hope everybody will start to value friendship and the environment over money.
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Woodsei
Bilingual Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/Woodsei
Joined 3428 days ago

614 posts - 782 votes 
Speaks: English*, Arabic (Egyptian)*
Studies: Russian, Japanese, Hungarian

 
 Message 72 of 364
10 February 2015 at 12:42am | IP Logged 
@mrwarper: I wasn't trying to say it magically happens. What I meant to say was that the
improvement does happens over time the more you expose yourself to the language,
idiomatic usages, understanding the culture and as such getting cultural references, and
so on and so forth. It's just not progress I can measure, but it all seems to click after
it has been difficult or challenging for quite some time. That's definitely not magic,
from where I see it! But it's subtle.


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