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Tim’s Catalan Book (Team Caesar)

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Crush
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 Message 49 of 60
13 April 2015 at 12:49pm | IP Logged 
Meddysong wrote:
I've also seen some use of the subjunctive which suggests to me that it's used sometimes to indicate a future:

- Quan baixis, revisaré els teus comptes

- El que perdi el seu trosset de pa dins el formatge fos, paga penyora!
This is similar to Spanish's usage of the subjunctive. "Classical" Catalan favored the French form (future: quan baixaràs, ...). The second sentence feels a bit different to me, essentially the Spanish construction "quien pierda su trozo de pan..." (Whoever loses their piece of bread...), but i guess it's also referencing something in the future.

Meddysong wrote:
And there's been a verbal form with -ss- in it that I've noticed used where the subjunctive would be used if the situation were in the present indicative, so I'm going to hazard a guess that the language features an imperfect subjunctive:

- Us aniria millor se caminéssiu pel pendent d'una muntanya

- Només faltaria que ens rentéssim les mans

- Jo els he demandat que vinguessin
Yep, there's an imperfect subjunctive in Catalan. First and third person singular are often the same, and end in a stressed s. volgués, parlés, servís, etc.

Also, that's really cool to hear about the Esperanto site. I dunno how useful it will be to me in a year, but there are still quite a few things i still haven't internalized, like the use of the -n marker when it's not a direct object (like with measurements of time/distance), more complicated uses of sia (Detala Gramatiko says "li estas pli saĝa ol lia frato", not "sia frato"), some affixes (a common one for me is not being sure whether to use -a or -eca), and especially clauses following a past tense statement (Mi pensis, ke tio estas bona ideo = I thought it was a good idea / Mi pensis, ke estis bona ideo = I thought it had been a good idea). I'm actually working on something similar right now for Basque, though i was also planning on including an Esperanto section. Out of curiosity, what will you be coding the site in?



Meddysong
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 Message 50 of 60
13 April 2015 at 5:17pm | IP Logged 
Crush wrote:
like the use of the -n marker when it's not a direct object (like with measurements of time/distance)

Yep, that is an unusual one that takes some getting used to.

Quote:
more complicated uses of sia (Detala Gramatiko says "li estas pli saĝa ol lia frato", not "sia frato")

Hmm ...

I suppose if the understanding is that "he is taller than his brother is", then I can understand that logic because the "his" would be a subject (albeit with a verb that isn't actually present) and sia can't be. But I don't think anybody would ever pick up on that. I would naturally say lia amiko. I liken it to English "He is taller than I" because "I am" is understood, but realistically everybody is going to say "He is taller than me".

Quote:
I'm actually working on something similar right now for Basque

Basque?! Wowzers - you don't believe in staying in a comfort zone with you languages, do you?

Quote:
Out of curiosity, what will you be coding the site in?

The whole suite is built on Invision Power Services' forthcoming version 4.0. That includes all the bits and pieces; forums, CMS, blog, store and so on. That's straight PHP, CSS and JS, which I'll then customise. I'm paying a developer to do a few custom alterations to it for other functionality, such as a pronunciation database.

The best part of it from my perspective (hence my waiting two years for it to be developed) is that it's fully translatable (as long as you have the patience to do the translating), so mine is seemlessly bilingual.

The machine intelligence which powers the learning component of it (adjusting course content according to the learners' weaknesses) is proprietary software written in Ruby on Rails for the developer's Chinese-learning site. Judith's an Esperanto-speaker who would love to see it put to use for Esperanto too, so signed exclusivity to the Esperanto version over to us because she trusts us to do a good job with it :)



Crush
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 Message 51 of 60
14 April 2015 at 11:05am | IP Logged 
Meddysong wrote:
Quote:
more complicated uses of sia (Detala Gramatiko says "li estas pli saĝa ol lia frato", not "sia frato")

Hmm ...

I suppose if the understanding is that "he is taller than his brother is", then I can understand that logic because the "his" would be a subject (albeit with a verb that isn't actually present) and sia can't be. But I don't think anybody would ever pick up on that. I would naturally say lia amiko. I liken it to English "He is taller than I" because "I am" is understood, but realistically everybody is going to say "He is taller than me".
Yeah, the meaning is supposed to be "He (John) is wiser than his (John's) brother." But i would've probably used "sia" there. The explanation is that in comparisons "si" should represent the implied verb.
"Ŝi amas lin kiel sin mem" - kiel ŝi amas sin mem.
"Ŝi estas tiel saĝa kiel ŝia fratino" - kiel ŝia fratino estas saĝa.
On the surface, it seems like both have the same basic structure, but one uses "si" while the other uses "ŝi". It's definitely one of my weak points.

I'm also really excited to see what you come up with for the Esperanto site. I've always thought some sort of word deconstructor/pop-up dictionary would be cool, it would've been especially helpful when i first started learning Esperanto for learning how to pick apart/analyze words. The lernu dictionary does it to some degree.

And i really love the small regional languages of Europe, particularly in Spain/France. Most of those are Romance languages (Sardinian, Occitan; Catalan/Valencian, Galician), but Basque really stuck out for me and i'd love to be able to provide something to strengthen the language and help future learners (and myself!) learn it. A lot of Basque speakers also seem to be quite proud of their particular dialect, but i'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself now if i start trying to branch out into the major Basque dialects ;)

Edited by Crush on 14 April 2015 at 11:10am



Meddysong
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 Message 52 of 60
22 April 2015 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
Just a quick note to say that I've reached page 416 of my book and Goodreads is suggesting that it's exactly one third through it. That came a lot quicker than I thought it would and means that my silly little project ought really to be doable before the year is out.

I'm going to do a little side project very shortly. At the end of May Clare and I are going to some lakes outside of Gothenburg, Sweden. I know people like to do these six-week challenges and since I happen to have a copy of Asterix in Swedish ... well, I think you can see where I'm going with this!

I've acquired TY Complete Swedish (including CDs) for £5, have purchased a small dictionary, and yesterday picked up 201 Swedish Verbs for £0.50. Bargain. So I'll probably get stuck into this very soon, with the challenge being to read and understand my Asterix book before we go to Sweden.

I haven't got a lot of reading done lately. Last weekend was the annual Esperanto conference (the fourth in a row that I've organised) and so I lost a lot of time to the last-minute preparation. It turned out well, though.

Probably my favourite photo of the event is the following:



These five fellas presented a comedy quiz, which had me laughing my head off. I love that it's possible to be witty and make people enjoy themselves using Esperanto; it really acts as an endorsement. I love this photo because it emphasises how chummy the whole thing was, despite the pretext of the quiz being competition.

I wanted to get a photo where the text at the back is visible. It's from the "missing word" round, where the panel have to guess from the context what a word which was covered up is. (They have to make funny suggestions too, of course.) It was that first word, forfikuloj. If your Esperanto is absolutely fluent, then you might know that it refers to an insect, the earwig.

Most people won't have that luxury though and will instead see it as something composed of smaller parts, namely for- (= away), fik- (= f-word), -ul- (= person who does x or is described by x), and -oj (= a marker for plural). In other words, people who should f-off. Fabulous!

Edited by Meddysong on 22 April 2015 at 11:49pm

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Meddysong
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 Message 53 of 60
09 May 2015 at 11:44pm | IP Logged 
I'm now at the half-way stage; page 625. I'm pleased that I'm reading at a reasonable pace and am not particularly struggling with the vocabulary. I suppose I must be making progress because it appears I only started the book six or seven weeks ago. Strange to think I could have a 1300-page book wrapped up in around three months, given that I didn't know the language when I bought it.

It strikes me as odd that I've only seen the name articles used maybe three or four times so far; I remember in my Asterix books that they were very consistently used. In this one, though, they've hardly ever appeared.

I'm cutting things really fine with Swedish. We're away in two weeks' time and I've only dipped into chapter 1 of TY. I keep on putting it off because there are other things to do but the deadline is really imminent now. I expect I might just tackle Asterix with the aid of a dictionary and break the language down the way I did with Catalan before I started formally learning it. That seems like a good idea; that way I could buy a Swedish book when I'm over there and make it a post-Catalan project to read it. That seems much more sensible, considering I really need to be reading in Italian too; Clare and I are going to Italy (and Switzerland) for a two-week break in three weeks' time, so I need to try to squeeze in some Italian books in advance.



Elenia
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 Message 54 of 60
10 May 2015 at 12:07am | IP Logged 
Meddysong wrote:
I expect I might just tackle Asterix with the aid of a dictionary and
break the language down the way I did with Catalan before I started formally learning it.


This was kind of the way I started out in Swedish, too. I bought a book and then looked
up every single word for the first twenty or so pages. I have been trying a similar
method with German, with much less success, so I think that Swedish is probably suited to
this kind of attack-plan in some way.

Good luck!
1 person has voted this message useful



Meddysong
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 Message 55 of 60
10 May 2015 at 1:06pm | IP Logged 
^^ Thank you for the reassuring words! I've decided I'm going to give it a go, then if I feel any affinity with the language, buy a book when we're in Sweden and set myself a challenge akin to this Catalan one.





Edited by Meddysong on 10 May 2015 at 1:12pm



Meddysong
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 Message 56 of 60
21 May 2015 at 10:02am | IP Logged 
Hola!

Avui em sento una mica trist. No he llegit el meu llibre des de dues setmanes. El problema és que no tinc temps per llegir tants llibres, i va ser important preparar-me per anar al [runs to dictionary] Suècia. Així vaig decidir llegir Asterix en l'idioma [dictionary again] suec.

Però aviat anem viatjar a Itàlia i Suïssa també, així estic llegint molts llibres en idioma italià.

Back to English ... Frustratingly, I noticed on Goodreads the other day that I only started the book on March the 15th, meaning that I had got to the halfway stage within six weeks. That means I could've had the surprise result of wrapping this preposterous project up in only three months, but the presence of holidays means I'm going to have a six-week break in the middle. OK, "I read a 1,300-page book in Catalan in 4.5 months having not known Catalan when I bought it" still sounds good, but it's nowhere near as good as it could've been. I would love to take the book with me on our holidays, but since it's about the same size as my suitcase, that's not really a possibility.



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