Not all those who wander are lost

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User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Dec 01, 2019 4:34 pm

@daveagain, this sounds likely. It's interesting to know that there was an Anglo Saxon community there then. I'm need to read up more on the original paper that produced the sample.
Anyway, people everywhere have been moving and mixing forever, and my DNA results sort of surprise me in that they are so strongly northwestern European, even after centuries of mixing in Europe and Kentucky.
The effect of the samples you compare to are as important as the DNA you start off with. If we only had samples from bananas and mushrooms, I would be saying now, "Well, I'm way more mushroom than banana."
Do mushrooms have a language I can study? Are there any good shows on Netflix, full of sex and violence, about mushrooms?
1 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:29 pm

I'm just happlily fooling around with ancient Germanic languages. The past few days I have been fooling with Old English again. I have a 5000 card anki deck that I made from textbooks and online texts, and I'm fooling with that. I definitely spend more time making anki decks than I do studying them sometimes.

I love the anglo-saxon poetry I have been reading. Some of it is so alien to our modern way of life and some of it is so familiar. It's a shame that the Anglo-Saxon tribes that swept through England after the Romans left didn't really write histories. It would be nice to hear their side of the story. One person online pointed out that if one only had the writings of anti immigrant politicians to describe what is going on in our society today, one would see a story of massive invasion and destruction.

The Anglo-Saxons were obviously far more than illiterate warriors. Illiterate they may have mostly been, but they also had brains and insight. And poetry :D
4 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
Iversen
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2778
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:36 pm
Location: Denmark
Languages: Monolingual travels in Danish, English, German, Dutch, Swedish, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Romanian and (part time) Esperanto
Ahem, not yet: Norwegian, Afrikaans, Platt, Scots, Russian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Irish, Indonesian and a few more...
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby Iversen » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:29 pm

I have only read and/or listened to three poems in Old English: Beowulf, Caedmon's wee thing and the Battle of Brunanburh, which you can hear on Youtube - the rest has been prose, mainly chronicles. And that's quite dry stuff indeed.

Which other poetic works have you used? I can see that you have had a peek at Old Norse (in the 'regularized' spelling, of course), but have you also tried to read Old Saxon?
0 x

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:52 am

No, I haven't actually tried Saxon, @Iversen Germanic languages are pretty foreign to me, since I never have even studied one before. I looked at Old Norse a bit, and the similarities to Old English is obvious. I've spent some time at http://mdrout.webspace.wheatoncollege.edu/ . My sentences for my big deck came from various sources on the net and I've made the deck from translations of varying quality.
@Iversen, it is amusing that you would stop by here, because I just made myself a deck with your name in it. I decided that, among other things, I need to blast a bunch of vocabulary into my head quickly to help to get a handle on what I am reading. I build a list of about 3500 words with translations from various sources, and I promptly proved the utility of your wordlist system. I prefer to use anki for my vocabulary study, so I sliced the wordlist up into 6 word lists and started studying those on cards, being sure to study the lists both ways. When I started just slamming into big lists of words, well I was terrible. I would get stuck on the same words over and over again. My attempts to use mnemonics didn't seem to help. Sitting there and taking two or three minutes a word to try to think of a good mnemonic is not an efficient way to learn vocabulary. Today, using your list method was much better. It goes a lot better at 6 words a bite, and the words seem to stick better. Anki is great for remembering things, but it doesn't work so well for learning things sometimes.

I am very shaky on the different paradigms of Old English, and I need to figure out an approach to those. Maybe I'll spend some time singing through the declensions and conjugations, the way we did it back when I was learning (and promptly forgetting) Latin.

Thanks for your generosity in sharing your wordlist method :D

I've got a few thousand sentences from poetry mostly in an anki deck, and I've got a little less than 6 hours of poetry, with bilingual pages to read, listen to, and shadow, so if I keep up my concentration, I should learn something. :D

Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'll start my day by getting out my phone, opening anki, and starting drilling words using my IVERSEN_OE deck.
5 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Dec 08, 2019 6:08 pm

I think that a lot of the fun I'm having with old English is just simply the fun one can get from any classical language, the fun of hearing words in your head from so long ago...
7 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:17 am

I've been over at the Old English holiday challenge recently, and I haven't updated here.

I'm plugging along in Old English. It is an amazing language, which fascinates me still. I've been reading a lot of history about the period, and I'm sort of shocked at how ignorant I was about the whole period. You know, Dark Ages, no history.
I know that the current trend in historical understanding of the period currently emphasizes that the whole MIgration Period was more of a movement by independent groups than it was an invasion by nationalities. While their arguments sound reasonable about the nature of the migration, the thing that surprises me is the clear similarities that exist between the different groups that moved into Britain at different times. I always saw the Anglo Saxons as being very different from the "Danes"; now I realize that the similarities were great also.

Of course, this just shows how much I have to learn.

I have built up a 9000 card anki deck of Old English vocabulary and sentences. I seem to be having trouble getting these cards to stick; I seem to be running at about 80% success rate with the cards instead of the 90%, which anki aims for. My reviews are building up too fast this way, but of course isolated words are harder than language in context. Ideally I would have a bunch of sentences to work on, but finding thousands of Old English sentences with English translations is a little hard. I can't use my usual strategy of just running a bunch of sentences through google translate; I guess google doesn't see enough of a market in translating sentences for ancient Anglo-Saxons.

The other thing I've been doing is shadowing Old English from Pollington's _First steps in Old English_ and Atherton's _Teach Yourself Old English_ I've been working through the files, one at a time, using a formula back when I was fooling around with old glossika. I shadow the a file 5 times each day working though 5 files at a time. After 5 days I will have shadowed files 25 times, which usually means that the material is close to memorized. I have several hours worth of Old English that I can work through this way if my hunger for Old English continues.

Someday, maybe soon, I will get bored with Old English. Another language, quite similar, is Old Norse. Old Norse has some nice features that would make it fun. One of the big features is its similarity to modern Icelandic. Because of this, google translate can translate edited Old Norse to some extent. Icelandic has a whole lot of books available. It's a whole different world...

All is well...
4 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:56 pm

I continue with Old English. I've been thinking of buying a sword. I'm not sure which end you hang on to, so maybe that's a bad idea.
Lately I've been grinding slowly through my Old English, anki deck. This is made up of sentences, vocabulary, and paradigms which I have copied out of the texts I've been working with. I also resurrected my old Irish deck, and am working through Irish again. Ireland may be back on the horizon again for the summer, since my wife, bless her heart, has fought her way through her health problems, and is back to work after several months off.

Nobody needs to learn Irish to visit Ireland, but it has a coolness factor to be able to read signs in Dublin. An Irish friend of my wife is threatening to set up an "Irish language only" pub crawl with some friends in Dublin this summer. I bet we have to order beer in English, even if we speak Irish to each other. I have to learn enough Irish to be able to say, "I'm drunk and need to go home," at least.

I haven't been shadowing that much lately, the anki deck is taking a long time to get through each day. I have a couple of years of cards to work through in both Old English and Irish, so I'm pretty content just to plug away here for a while. I have a tts voice for the Irish that works with ankidroid. I'm thinking of trying to write an Old English voice for espeak. Somebody already has done most of one, but maybe it doesn't work well since I don't see it with the usual distributions. Maybe I'm not looking in the right places. It would be nice to have a tts voice for Old English, even if it's a buzzy espeak voice.

I'm thinking of getting a Linux laptop. This old Windows laptop has been a pain ever since I got it.

Things are going well :)
9 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:55 am

Irish dropped off the radar again; I archived the deck.
I'm pounding my brain on the Old English deck. I find myself enjoying all of the case marking and so forth. Old English is different from the Romance languages I've worked with lately, and the differences make it interesting.
Like any other ancient language, learning the language gives an insight into strange, alien people who somehow became us.

I've learned more about the pronunciation of OE, and I now realize that, while the main outlines are there, there is a bit of disagreement about how to pronounce it. Thtere are also ideas that some teachers have about compromises that allow people to pronounce something close to Old English that will use only the sounds of modern English.

I've started shadowing again. I think I'll be in IDublin this summer I hope there will be some Anglo Saxon traders in town, perhaps trading with Vikings. Maybe by that time I'll be able to recite some poetry for them. What's the name of that thousand year old pub next to O'Shea's? Maybe that would be a good place to meet Saxons.
4 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sat Feb 15, 2020 2:24 am

It occured to me that I have just about enough time to upgrade my Irish before I go there this summer. Once I realized that, I have been torn between Irish and Old English. I have a "big Irish deck" and a "big Ænglish deck". I'm plugging away at both.
I also realize that I'm getting pretty tired of grinding away at cases in books.
I've been thinking about dropping my anki decks completely and just shadowing the living daylights out of _Buntus Cainte_ and _Progress in Irish_, or maybe just _Buntus Cainte_. We all know that there is more than one way to study a language, and, for whatever reason, I have been doing the grammar translation method a lot the last couple of years. I have enjoyed all this grammar, but I'm getting tired of it. Grammar translation does not produce any fluency for us mortals, and I think what my Irish needs more than anything else is just the abiltiy to "spit it out" much more quickly. BC is a course that seems to be set up to do this. I'm thinking that i may just shadow the living daylights out of it for the next few months. I've got to find something to fool around with during odd moments during the day. Maybe I could read a book. I've been pleasantly surprised to find that my Irish hasn't declined to nonexistant during my Old English infatuation.
One thing I've been fooling around with has been a complete failure. I've attempted to memorize two ancient alphabets, the FUTHORC runes system and the Ogham alplabet, for Old English and Irish, respecitively. Runes were easy. They stuck in my head immediately. Ogham was not. In their written, manuscript form (flipped on their sides), they all seem to look the same to me. I made some progress, but my usual techniques wouldn't work. Runes are so much easier, at least for me.
Both runes and ogham symbols have special, esoteric meanings in some systems. Some people believe that they can be used to tell the future, or do magic. I apparently don't know them well enough to make this work.
Despite my best efforts, the mirror shows that I don't look a thing like Idiris Elba.
I haven't won the lottery either.
Right now, I think I'm going to do a lot of shadowing with some pretty easy courses, and try to build some fluency.
Happy, I am.
4 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:

User avatar
sfuqua
Brown Belt
Posts: 1110
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:05 am
Location: san jose, california
Languages: Bad English native
Old English read some
Tagalog imperfect, but use all the time
Samoan speak, but rusty
Spanish read, talk some
French read some
Irish talk some
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9248
x 2917

Re: Not all those who wander are lost

Postby sfuqua » Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:33 am

I'm sort of in shock, but my Irish has started improving quickly. I guess I learned more last year than I thought. I've given Old English a break to concentrate on Irish, and it seems to be paying off. I sliced some of the easier parts out of my "Big Irish Deck" to make it more challenging, and it seems to be working. I'm pushing myself pretty hard, several hundtred cards a day, and it is working.
I don't really think that anki can get one past A2 by itself. I have been shadowing lately to try to keep my Irish pronunciation. It seems to be working also. I think that I just need to be patient a few months and this language will fall into place.

Right now I have 14000 cards in a deck whick I distilled from _Learning Irish_, _Teach Yourself Irish 1961_, and _Buntus na Gaeilge_. They are college level textbooks (mostly), so they move a little faster than _Buntus Cainte_ and _Progress In Irish_ that I started off using. They are excellent books, but I already went through much of them.

I don't mean to overstate how good my Irish is at this point; I'm just psyched that it is improving at all. Irish is very hard for English speakers. Luckily it is logical and amazingly regular. Don't worry, I have Irish friends that will bring me down to size if I become a big enough fool to actually think that I am cool speaking Irish.

I just love Ireland and Irish language, and it makes me happy to learn more about ireland and Irish.

I hope that the world health situation will not interfere with our travel this summer, but I realize that there are very many more important issues than my travel plans...

I'm very happy about my language learning, even though I miss Old English and I have wanterlust for Icelandic.
My students are wonderful(I teach science to 12 year olds).
I'm a happy campter...
7 x
SC Spanish
: 808 / 5000 100 books
: 2115 / 9000 100 movies
: 2440 / 50000 50000 reps (irish)
"50,000 Reps: Engage in casual conversations at the speed of native speakers." :lol:


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