AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

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AroAro
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:05 am

My last update convinced me to gather in one place my reasons to learn Hebrew - for future reference, in case I don't feel like learning Hebrew:

- I've always been fascinated by the Hebrew script and wanted to be able to decipher it and read it

- I've always loved the melody/intonation of the language and I think it's beautiful

- I think it's mind-blowing that an ancient language has been ressurected and this happened almost before our eyes (of course, Biblical Hebrew had never been totally forgotten but still, its resurrection is an outstanding achievement in history of human languages)

- I dabbled in Hebrew before, 12-13 years ago. I didn't know much about self-learning languages at that time so I didn't reach far. I dabbled in some other non-Indoeuropean languages as well, namely Swahili, Japanese and Malay (and probably some others that I don't even remember now) and I had the most success with Hebrew. So last year, when I had a whim to learn again a non-Indoeuropean language, I thought that Hebrew would be a good choice.

- and finally, a personal reason to learn Hebrew - my grandmother (who passed away 2 years ago) always bragged about being a real polyglot because she claimed to be fluent in German, French, Russian and... yes, Hebrew! It was more of a joke than anything else, of course she was not fluent in these languages but why she threw Hebrew to the mix? You could expect German, French and Russian as these were the languages taught at schools before and after WWII in Poland - but Hebrew? So the story goes like that: my grandmother was born in 1933 and she lived with my great grandmother in one of the bigger cities in southern Poland. My great grandmother worked a lot to sustain them both financially (my greatgrandfather died at a young age), so my grandmother spent a lot of time with her neighbours - a Jewish couple who didn't have their own children. But even if they spoke their language with her, it should have been Yiddish and not Hebrew? Or maybe they prayed with her/in her presence in Hebrew and my grandmother memorized those prayers? Decades later, she could recite whole phrases in what sounded maybe like Hebrew, but I'm not really sure at this point what language it really was. As a kid, I was not that much into languages and when I started dabbling in Hebrew, my grandmother had already suffered a stroke so there was not really any possibility to have a meaningful conversation with her about it. On the other hand, she must have been aware that Jewish people spoke Yiddish on a daily basis and yet she kept on claiming she knew Hebrew. In the end, I have no reason not to believe her and I accept the fact that she probably knew tiny bits of Hebrew (and it was probably Biblical Hebrew). So my goal would be to become "fluent" in the same languages as she was fluent in:)

So that's it, these are my reasons to learn Hebrew. I could probably come up with similar reasons to learn any other language on earth but I'll stick to Hebrew for some time. My reasons for learning Romanian were just as vague but the similarities with French and Italian made it much easier to tackle, while Hebrew is my first serious foray into non-Indoeuropean languages that's why the effort it demands is way bigger.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Jul 16, 2021 5:52 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Russian - "Język rosyjski dla początkujących" - I'm at the lesson 45. I listened to 6 episodes from russianpodcast.eu and thus I've listened to all the 50 podcasts from the series "Useful Russian". In fact, these episodes covered practical topics, such as buying tickets or reporting a theft. Now, I will listen to the series called "Me and others".

Hebrew - I'm at the page 47 of the Shorr's Foundation coursebook. I stopped doing the exercices (there is no answer key anyway) and I treat it like a graded reader. I'm progressing with Memrise - the problem is that the course I've been using has audio files only for the first 150 words. Learning vocabulary without audio support is very dull, and almost soulles. Fortunately, there is another course based on "Hebrew From Scratch I" that has audio for almost all the words, so I started doing that course instead. All in all, I've learned 212 words so far. This new course teaches only 1049 words because the non-audio course has 10 additional lessons about verbs. I'll probably get back to these lessons once I've finished the current course.

Other - I continue to listen to podcasts in my maintenance languages. Only now did I discover ARTEde's YouTube channel, they have plenty of fascinating stories/documentaries to watch.

I also started reading Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" (read 40 pages out of 181).
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:54 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Russian - "Język rosyjski dla początkujących" - I'm at the lesson 52. I still have 2 last lessons to go through, then there is a collection of 12 short texts to read, a chapter on Russian phonology and a grammar overview, so I need at least one week to finish the whole book. I also listened to 7 episodes from russianpodcast.eu

Hebrew - I'm at the page 77 of the Shorr's Foundation coursebook. Only 2 or 3 texts remaining and then, I'll be working with "Samouczek języka hebrajskiego" (Hebrew course for self-learners) published by Wiedza Powszechna. It has 30 lessons and teaches around 900 words. The learning curve is quite steep but it shouldn't be much of a problem because I should already be familiar with basics. The book is aimed at beginners and that's fine, I'm at the stage where more advanced or challenging texts are frustrating while beginner texts actually motivate me to continue to study Hebrew.

Memrise - I know 349 words, I think I got hooked and I try to learn new words in free time. It's such a nice feeling when I review the words I've learned and can actually give correct answers!

Other - I continue to listen to podcasts in my maintenance languages and read news reports in these languages.

I read Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" - what an amazing book. I'm not good at writing reviews but I was bewildered by the use of Igbo proverbs and legends throughout the book and the description of the clash of civilizations and its ominous consequences. "Things Fall Apart" is the first part of Achebe's "African Trilogy" and I'm tempted to read the two remaining books as my next English read.

I started reading Gaston Dorren's "Babel" (in Polish translation), read so far 92 pages out of 411.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Jul 30, 2021 5:59 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Russian - I finished working on "Język rosyjski dla początkujących". Generally speaking, it's a very good book but it has some flaws - mainly, the texts did not age well. There are just too many references to the old good times of Soviet Union. In one of the lessons, the protagonists even spend a weekend at a "kolhoz" - a very prosperous kolhoz at that! The course I used previously ("Mówimy po rosyjsku") was also published some 45 years ago but the dialogues are very neutral. That book could be reprinted today and no-one would notice that it's so old.

Now, it's time for some grammar - I will work on "Repetytorium gramatyczne od A do Z", a collection of 190 grammar exercices with explanation.

I also listened to 8 episodes from russianpodcast.eu. I will try to listen to at least two episodes each day to expand my vocabulary.

Hebrew - so I finally finished Shorr's Foundation coursebook and it's such a relief :) I've already done 3 lessons from "Samouczek języka hebrajskiego"

Memrise - I know 499 words. I was very busy this week and had to do some overtime (and I hate doing overtime...) so I concentrated on reviews actually.

Other - as usual, I continue to listen to podcasts in my maintenance languages and read news reports in these languages. In Italian, I watched some "Unomattina" videos (recommended in this forum by Ogrim) because I've been watching only "Nova Lectio" so basically I am exposed only to this guy's speech, and that's not good for my comprehension.

I finished reading Gaston Dorren's "Babel" (in Polish translation), it was a quick read! And of course a very interesting one, maybe I expected something more from some of the chapters but yes, I can definitely recommend it.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Tue Aug 03, 2021 6:32 am

FRENCH

La 74ème édition du Festival de Cannes s'est terminée le 17 Juillet. Comme chaque année, j'ai regardé la cérémonie du palmarès sur Canal+. Pour la première fois, je l'ai regardée avec mon fils de 4 ans. Bien sûr, il ne l'a pas vue jusqu'au bout, il est encore trop impatient pour ça mais quand même il avait parfois l'air fasciné de ce qui se passait sur l'écran, et surtout, il était bouleversé par le fait que les gens sur la scène ne parlaient pas polonais. Je lui ai expliqué qu'il existe plusieurs langues différentes dans le monde et que là-bas, les gens parlent normalement français. Alors, il m'a demandé de parler aussi français ! C'était assez comique mais bien sûr je me suis mis à parler français pendant quelques minutes. Ensuite, à un certain moment c'est Asghar Farhadi qui est venu sur la scène pour recevoir le Grand Prix et il a commencé à parler persan et mon fils m'a ordonné de parler persan aussi :) mais cette fois-ci, je ne pouvais pas exaucer son voeu parce que je ne connais pas cette langue du tout. Je me demande parfois si mon fils va s'intéresser comme moi aux langues dans l'avenir, ce serait superbe mais bien évidemment je ne vais pas l'y forcer.

Je pense avoir déjà mentionné dans mon log qu'à l'époque je m'intéressais beaucoup au cinéma, j'ai regardé environ 1200 films dans ma vie (je ne veux même pas calculer combien de minutes ça fait au total mais le nombre est sans doute exorbitant !). J'ai étudié aussi par moi-même ce qu'on appelle la théorie du film ou la grammaire du cinéma. Le problème est que, après avoir visionné tant de films, il arrive rarement qu'un film me surprenne parce que je suis capable de déviner assez aisément où va mener l'action du film (soyons francs, il est difficile d'inventer quelque chose de radicalement nouveau dans le cinéma - ce n'est pas un reproche mais seulement une constation des faits). Mais j'aimerais bien en écrire davantage en allemand peut-être parce que l'un des derniers films à m'avoir bouleversé était justement un film autrichien ('Paradies: Liebe' d'Ulrich Seidl). Et je dois absolument pratiquer mon allemand ce qui n'est pas le cas aujourd'hui...

Je voudrais aussi mentionner le fait que cette année, parmi les jurés qui ont accordé la Palme d'Or, se trouvait Mylène Farmer. Un choix assez intéressant (je crois que chaque année, un des jurés représente le domaine de la création artistique qui n'est pas lié directement au cinéma - musique, littérature, etc.). Cela m'a incité à réécouter ses chansons. Non, je ne suis pas son grand fan et d'ailleurs mon plus grand problème est que tout simplement je n'arrive presque jamais à comprendre les textes des chansons en français en les écoutant pour la première fois ! Ok, je comprends des mots et des phrases ci et là mais jamais un texte entier. Je pense que la raison est que :

1) en français, il y a beaucoup d'homonymes et de voyelles (et soudain, même les voyelles muettes sont prononcées), ce qui rend la compréhension du texte chanté plus difficile.
2) les auteurs des textes utilisent pas mal de métaphores ou tournures poétiques qui rendent la compréhension instinctive du texte plus compliquée
3) j'avoue, je n'aime pas trop la musique française, je n'ai donc pas écouté beaucoup de chansons en français dans ma vie donc il me manque d'expérience dans ce domaine. En général, je n'utilise jamais les chansons pour apprendre une langue

Ce qui m'agace, c'est quand il y a une chanson française à la radio, inévitablement quelqu'un me demande toujours - 'elle/il chante quoi maintenant, en français ?'. Et moi, je ne le sais pas trop, je n'arrive pas à déchiffer le texte :) je ne sais pas pourquoi ma compréhension est tellement mauvaise, normalement je comprends assez bien le français parlé. Mais ouhais, il faudrait que je travaille là-dessus parce que la compréhension des chansons ne vient évidemment pas toute seule !

Hereusement, YouTube vient au secours et me propose des chansons 'indie-rock' ou 'dream-pop' françaises (ah oui, parce que ces derniers temps, j'écoute sans cesse Still Corners et donc l'algorithme essaye de trouver pour moi quelque chose de similaire - mais en français). Donc par exemple, j'écoute Christine and the Queens dont les chansons j'ai entendues pour la première fois il y a quelques années déjà - elle a complètement changé de look, je ne l'ai même pas reconnue ! Mais sa musique est toujours top, j'adore, c'est tellement différent de ta chanson typiquement française (voir Barbara Pravi qui a réprésenté la France cette année à l'Eurovision avec une chanson tellement française à donner la nausée, désolé).

Mais ma découverte du moment est la chanteuse et compositrice Marion Brunetto qui a pris le pseudonyme Requin Chagrin, et elle est géniale aussi, un peu mélancolique, un peu indie-rock. J'écoute en boucle son dernier album 'Bye Bye Baby' - je ne m'attendais pas à ce qu'une musique comme ça soit faite en France aujourd'hui. Je suis littéralement sidéré en écoutant ces chansons. Non seulement elle chante mais aussi compose la musique, écrit des textes et joue de tous les instruments en enregistrant ses chansons, une vraie artiste quoi ! J'ai même compris la première strophe (sauf la ligne 'comme attirée par erreur' - j'entendais qch genre 'comme un tiret par erreur' mais ça n'avait pas de sens donc je savais que c'était faux), la deuxième est plus difficile à comprendre :



Maintenant, je dois me mettre à la recherche de la musique comme ça en hébreu, ça pourrait radicalement remonter ma motivation pour apprendre la langue, mdr.

Les corrections sont bienvenues.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby guyome » Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:48 am

Your French is very good! Since you asked, here are a few corrections but these are really minor things (and some are only typos, I guess). As always, they reflect only my understanding/use of French. Other native speakers may disagree.

"fasciné par ce qui" (not saying "fasciné de ce qui" doesn't exist but it's not really something I'd expect to hear)
"deviner"
"constatation des faits" (but "constat" seems more normal here since "constatation des faits" sounds a bit too technical)
"écrire davantage sur ce sujet" ("en écrire davantage" sounds like you'd like to write more movies)
"représente un domaine". "Le" sounds akward to me here. I guess it's because this sentence describes the general rule, what's happening each year. I'd use "le" if the sentence came later, after this rule had already been explained: [Earlier sentence explaining that each year a field unrelated to cinema is represented among the jury] "Et cette année, c'est Mylène Farmer qui représente le domaine qui n'est pas lié directement au cinéma."
"par ci, par là" (or "ici ou là") instead of "ci et là"
"un grand fan"
"poétique"
"je manque d'expérience dans ce domaine"
"ouais"
"heureusement"
"vient à mon secours"
"dont j'ai entendu les chansons"
"représenté"
"une chanson tellement française à donner la nausée" is a bit akward. Maybe "une chanson tellement française que ça en donne la nausée"
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:44 am

guyome wrote:Your French is very good! Since you asked, here are a few corrections but these are really minor things (and some are only typos, I guess). As always, they reflect only my understanding/use of French. Other native speakers may disagree.

"fasciné par ce qui" (not saying "fasciné de ce qui" doesn't exist but it's not really something I'd expect to hear)
"deviner"
"constatation des faits" (but "constat" seems more normal here since "constatation des faits" sounds a bit too technical)
"écrire davantage sur ce sujet" ("en écrire davantage" sounds like you'd like to write more movies)
"représente un domaine". "Le" sounds akward to me here. I guess it's because this sentence describes the general rule, what's happening each year. I'd use "le" if the sentence came later, after this rule had already been explained: [Earlier sentence explaining that each year a field unrelated to cinema is represented among the jury] "Et cette année, c'est Mylène Farmer qui représente le domaine qui n'est pas lié directement au cinéma."
"par ci, par là" (or "ici ou là") instead of "ci et là"
"un grand fan"
"poétique"
"je manque d'expérience dans ce domaine"
"ouais"
"heureusement"
"vient à mon secours"
"dont j'ai entendu les chansons"
"représenté"
"une chanson tellement française à donner la nausée" is a bit akward. Maybe "une chanson tellement française que ça en donne la nausée"


Thanks a lot, guyome! I really appreciate your corrections - I was not able to detect all these typos by myself. And yes, especially the phrase "une chanson tellement française à donner la nausée" sounds not only awkward but even harsh to me now, I should definitely rephrase it by saying simply "it's not my cup of tea" :)
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Aug 06, 2021 5:35 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

The last week was not a good one in terms of language learning. First, I went with my wife and kids to my in-laws which meant I had to work without my second monitor and struggle with unstable internet connection. Next week, I'm taking 2 weeks off so I had to do all my tasks (that are usually spread over 3 weeks) in a couple of days (and that meant overtime). I also made some tweaks to my eating habits but I ended up having headache during the first 2-3 days. So basically, at the end of the day, all I could do was just watch snippets of Olympic Games and listen to French pop (or doing both at the same time, which was a weird experience to be honest). I guess the whole month of August will be like that because now, having holiday means taking care of my kids all day long with not much time and energy left for other activities. I just hope to survive somehow and get back on track in September.

Russian - I'm at the page 71 out of 217 of the grammar book I'm currently using. The problem is that the section on adjectives just flew over my head. And anyway, Russian adjectives and their gradation are quite difficult and that's an area I need to work on more.

I listened to only 5 episodes of russianpodcast.eu even though I wanted to do 2 episodes a day...

Hebrew - I'm going through the lesson 6 of the Hebrew book, I can digest only 2 pages a day so the progress is slow. But I'm happy I do actually anything because as for Memrise, I lost my streak and haven't opened it in the last couple of days but I'll do all my best to get back to it. I've mastered 526 words so far.

Other languages - I listened to 2 or 3 podcasts/videos in French and Italian but I couldn't really concentrate so that doesn't count. I'm also reading a book in Polish but it's not very exciting. I'm halfway through it and then I'll read something in French.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Aug 13, 2021 6:54 pm

WEEKLY UPDATE

Russian - I'm at the page 124 of my exercice book and did two chapters - one on pronouns (these are quite straightforward) and the other one on numerals (these were much easier than the first time I tried to tackle them a few months ago; I got most of the exercises right, the only exception is the declension of двести триста and so on, it's still too complicated).

I also listened to 9 episodes of russianpodcast.eu

Hebrew - I'm doing lesson 9 and I've learned 581 words in total from Memrise.

Other - I'm on holiday so I don't really listen to podcasts because I do it mainly while working. I'm now reading a book in French - "Un léopard sur le garrot" by my favourite French writer Jean-Christophe Rufin. The problem is that I don't really know what the title means - I have never encountered the word "garrot" before and its definitions in online dictionaries are not clear to me. I guess it's going to be explained somehow later in the book.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby cjareck » Sun Aug 15, 2021 7:21 am

AroAro wrote:The problem is that I don't really know what the title means - I have never encountered the word "garrot" before, and its definitions in online dictionaries are not clear to me. I guess it's going to be explained somehow later in the book.

My French is poor, but the sounding of the word, as well as the 3rd definition from the link, are pointing towards [garota
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