Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:25 pm

With the last two repetitions (Finnish, Indonesian) I have reached the end of my megamulti wordlist campaign for now, but I'll definitely do a couple of rounds more - later. However this means that I am free to do other tasks, and one of the things I have planned to do is to try to read some texts in Czech and Ukrainian - i.e. the two 'new' languages which I haven't studied. I did this with a couple of Wikipedia articles in Slovenian about caves and karst formations and dolinas and things like that, where much of the vocabulary is international, and that went quite well so I expect get smoothly through similar articles in other Slavic languages by now.

Then there are a number of sadly neglected bottom level languages like Albanian and Irish which must be restudied almost from scratch - but since I have worked with them before I expect to get them back to low dismal A-something faster than the first time I tried. It's also some time since I last wrote something in Portuguese here, but I have been thinking in this language several times since I returned from Brazil, and in Bratislava I even got a chance to have a conversation in this language. So I sat down to think about a suitable subject and it occurred to me that I never got around to write a proper travelogue in Danish about my trip to Recife and Natal, so I decided to do it in Portuguese - after all I only write them for my own pleasure so it doesn't matter whether anybody else can read them. You get a bit of it below - I'll write the whole caboodle later.

POR: Eu visitei o Brasil pela primeira vez no ano de 2002 (Iguaçu e Rio), mas depois passaram muitos anos onde eu considerei a próxima viagem sem fazer nada de concreto. Pensavo ao ir seja para o Pantanal seja para às cidades costeiras o a Manaus, más acabei escolhendo algumas das cidades costeiras. Também ficou claro que a rota mais direta da Dinamarca para o Brasil passa por Portugal, onde se fala quase o mesmo idioma como no Brazil, e a TAP tem boas conexões com as cidades mencionadas. Eu comprei um bilhete de retorno para Recife (com uma estadia de uma noite ao retorno em Lisboa), e eu reservei quartos de hotel nesta cidade e em Natal, que está localizado dentro de um passeio comodo de ônibus para o norte. Mas depois de retornar para casa fiquei um pouco aborrecido por não ter escolhido também uma terceira cidade, seja Salvador ou Fortaleza. Never mind, foi uma viagem muito interesante onde não faltava coisas para fazer. E apesar de Recife ter uma assustador reputação como uma das cidades mais criminosas do Brasil, eu escapei vivo para casa sem nenhum problema.

Na saída, tive tempo suficiente em Lisboa para sair do aeroporto e visitar o zoológico, mas cheguei ao Recife antes da meia-noite do mesmo dia devido à diferença de fuso horário. E aqui surgiu o primeiro problema: o meu hotel ficava bem em frente ao aeroporto, mas do outro lado de uma estrada larga e muito movimentada. Por isso (e por causa da reputação da cidade) eu escolhi contratar um táxi para me levar ao outro lado. No dia seguinte, claro, descobri como ir lí a pé sem pagar nada em cinco minutos. E também encontrei a estação de metrô. Descobrí que anciãos como eu podem dirigirse de graça por metrô en Recife, e isto foi muito prático pois eu fui para o centro cada dia salvo um. A exceção foi no dia seguinte onde tomei um táxi para o zoológico 'Dos Irmãos' porque o tempo parecia suspeito. Mas não funcionou como planejado porque começou a chover durante o passeio - e, a propósito, a viagem levou quase uma hora por causa dos engarrafamentos. Mas claro que eu visitei o parque, armado com a minha guarda-chuva. E à noite assisti a filmes de catástrofe na TV de Rio e de São Paulo, onde a chuva foi bastante forte para inundar bairros enteiros.

Natal também tem um zoologico, mas ninguém o sabe, porque começou como um aquário e ainda se chama aquário embora que seja agora tanto zoológico quanto aquário. Localiza-se na estrada costeira a um quilômetro ao norte do distrito de Redinha (do outro lado do rio), de onde você pode pegar ônibuses para o centro. Isto é provavelmente o único aquário do mundo que tem sereias no programa (vide infra). Aliás, meu dicionário indonésio afirma que uma sereia se chama "putri duyung" na bahasa indonesia (literalmente "filha (de) dugongo"), mas eu não penso que as adoráveis senhoritas aquaticas da foto sejam parecidas com os dugongos tradicionais.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby rfnsoares » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:39 pm

You can translate the expression "never mind" as "não importa". By the way, excellent Portuguese level.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:49 pm

Thank you. I actually intended to do my annual speech at the gathering in Bratislava in Portuguese, but its censorship committee lamentably thought otherwise so I had to scrap that plan.

Portuguese is one of the languages I have taught myself so my pronunciation is probably floating around like a shapeless blob of seaweed somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, midway between Brazil and Portugal. I have alway loved the drawn-out Brazilian vowels, but my Danish accent is closer to the European variant, and besides I am fond of split futures and condicionals and inflected infinitives etc, which are more commonly found in Portuguese texts than in the ones from Brazil. Anyway, there is ample room for improvement...

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:10 am

One week ago I borrowed a Japanese textbook from Akademisk forlag at the main library of my town, and my first impression was that it was utterly worthless. And I have had no reason to change my opinion about that. Across a double page it gives you the romanized version and the original version of a sentence in Japanese to the left, and to the right you get a free translation. I presume it's a free translation because the number of words doesn't fit the romanized version, and that means that it is bound to be misleading and irrelevant. To learn a language you need to know how it works, and this book doesn't give you any information about. Actually it doesn't give you any information about anything else, so I wonder how a normally sensible editing house could succomb to publishing this pile of rubbish.

Today I'm going to return it to the library.

In contrast my tiny Kauderwelsch is giving me most of the things you need to know to learn a language - and luckily it is so small that nobody in their sane mind would think that you could learn Japanese from a book of this size, which saves me from succombing to Wanderlust. Its consistent use of romanization is the worst problem, but I take it as a pointer in the same direction - which is: don't try to learn Japanese.One problem is that is refers to cases by number, which is stupid even for standard European languages, but apart from this the format is roughly the same as that of the small Assimil booklets, and I suspect that the two series are created in unison behind the closed doors of the publishers. In spite of these minor misgivings it gives you some useful hints as to what the written part of a GOOD textbook should contain.

And what then are the advantages? Point one, you get a lot of 'extra' information which makes the book entertaining, and point two: when it gives you a Japanese sentence (romanized) it tells you as closely as possible what the sentence ACTUALLY says, and also what the corresponding free translation would be. Any textbook that doesn't give you both is wasting your time. The book also gives you some hints about grammar, though not in the form of a real miniature grammar, but enough to give you some sense of how the Japanese language functions.

So right now this Kauderwelsch has been put on my nightchair (which in my flat replaces the usual nighttable), and I intend to read all of it. And after that I'll tell myself that I know enough about Japanese, and I'll return to my obsessively Eurocentric world.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:31 am

As planned I returned the bad Japanese textbook to the library. Maybe I should have warned the librarian in charge against it so that it could be relegated to a distant depot (or thrown away), but I forgot to do that. Instead I brought back another item from the same area, namely a Japanese-Danish dictionary published by Munksgård. This editing house published a number of excellent dictionaries in the last part of the 20. century, but then it was bought by its main competitor Gyldendal - and Gyldendal hasn't really been able (or willing) to fill out the void.

I show a section of the dictionary below, and judged from this Japanese seems to be fairly straightforward - in spite of its insane writing system. But it is also evident why a romanized transcription can't do it justice. Take for instance hibiki and hibiku. The first sign is the same (and I would need a magnifying glass to distinguish all the lines it contains), but then there is a simple sign behind it to indicate the ending. This sign is from a syllabary, and syllabaries can be learnt. You may wonder why the sign is after the incomprehensible glyph since Japanese mostly is written top-down and right-left, but that's not my problem. Hibiki and hibiku means 'sound' respectively as a noun and as a verb.

Now take hibachi which also starts with hi- . Here the least comprehensible glyph is the second one, and the simpler first one can be found further up at hi. Now hi means fire or flame and hibachi is a pot with hot glowing cinders, which makes sense. So here the simple glyph actually is the one that indicates the root and its meaning. Notice that hi also means the Sun. but here the glyph is different so according to the Japanese the sun wasn't simply a lot of fire in the sky, it had its own root and its own glyph. The numbers in the dictionary refer to a dictionary of incomprehensible Chinese glyphs compiled by a lexicologist named Nelson, and I don't have that book.

Now look at hidari, whose glyph resembles a man who has run into a table (ouch!). This glyph is reused as no. 1 in hidarigawa, but here the second glyph also is endowed with a meaning - it is the glyph for gawa, 'side', which actually is quite logical. What isn't logical is that the dictionary only gives a number for the first Chinese glyph in the Japanese version of any word, not both in a case like this. But never mind, it doesn't matter since I don't have the book the numbers refer to. And even though Japanese doesn't seem to be more complicated than for instance Finnish, I'm not going to study it. And the main reason is the hidoi number of ugly small lines in the more complicated Chinese glyphs.

Apart from that..

GR: Έχω μελετήσει τρία κείμενα για τις ελληνικές διαλέκτους. Η πρώτη αφορούσε την αρχαία ελληνική διάλεκτο που ονομάζεται δωρικός. Όταν βλέπω αυτή τη λέξη νομίζω πρώτα απ' οι απλούστεροι πυλώνες από την αρχαιότητα, αλλά και απο τους απλούστερους και λιγότερο πολιτισμένους Έλληνες. Το επόμενο άρθρο ξεκινά με Αρχίζει με πολλές προτάσεις χωρίς πραγματικό περιεχόμενο πριν αρχίσω να λαμβάνω πληροφορίες σχετικά τις διαλέκτους - και αλλά σταματά το κομμάτι που έχω εκτυπώσει. Το τελευταίο γράφτηκε από ένα μάλλον αηδιαστικό άτομο που γελοιοποιεί μια ελληνίδα ηθοποιό γιατί δεν θα παίξει σε ομάδες όπου υπάρχουν αρκετές διαλέκτες (στην προκειμένη περίπτωση την κυπριακή διάλεκτο). Και η κατάχρηση ακολουθείται με μια αναφορά σε μια καταιγίδα σκατά ('shitstorm') που άλλα κατώτερα άτομα ενεργούσαν στα λεγόμενα κοινωνικά μέσα.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby tarvos » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:35 am

Actually nowadays Japanese is often written left-to-right.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:40 am

But was that also the case when the canonical order of the elements in written words was established long ago?

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But there is still some activity on the European continent. I have been studying a Bulgarian text about the period at the end of the Silurian and the early Devonian where animals began to colonize the continents. It is some time since I printed it out, and the source back then was a homepage called pomagalo1.com, but since it was such an excellent article I searched for the article again in the hope of finding more of the same stuff. And I did find it, but this time at www.referati.org - all in all 31 pages in Bulgarian about paleontology .. who would have thought that? But the Google translation was a joke:

BU: Бях превел първия текст на немски, но резултатът беше смешен. Думата "суша" на български може да означава както сух период, така и континент, а преводът последователно избира неправилно тълкуване. Това е малко трудно да се разбере какво се случва - освен ако не изберете да прочетете текста и да игнорирате превода. Този пасаж "излизане на животинския свят от морето на сушата" се превежда към "(den) Ausbruch der Tierwelt aus dem Meer der Dürre. Суха вода? Вижте също, например, това изречение: "Напоследък повечето палеонтолози считат, че сухоземните животни се появили още през силур." Беше преведено така: "Am Ende ist die Mehrheit der Paläontologen der Ansicht, dass die Landtiere mehr in Silhouette erscheinen". По-скоро мисля, че те мислят, че артроподите са ходили на брега в края на ерата Силур. Google T също не може да преведе думата "членестоноги" (артроподи), която подчертава една точка от една тема, която аз някога съм писал за този тук, а именно, че трябва да се сложи пълен голям речник в стомахата му за всеки език - така че проблемите с речника в поне стават по-редки!

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... and by the way, my Swedish <-> Finnish dictionary from Norstedt has arrived, and it looks very promising!
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby lichtrausch » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:20 pm

Iversen wrote:Now take hibachi which also starts with hi- . Here the least comprehensible glyph is the second one, and the simpler first one can be found further up at hi. Now hi means fire or flame and hibachi is a pot with hot glowing cinders, which makes sense. So here the simple glyph actually is the one that indicates the root and its meaning. Notice that hi also means the Sun. but here the glyph is different so according to the Japanese the sun wasn't simply a lot of fire in the sky, it had its own root and its own glyph. The numbers in the dictionary refer to a dictionary of incomprehensible Chinese glyphs compiled by a lexicologist named Nelson, and I don't have that book.

It's perhaps worth pointing out that in English "hibachi" refers to something completely different than in Japanese. An English speaker apparently confused hibachi with shichirin (七輪, small charcoal grill). And in a further twist, Ariana Grande apparently thought 七輪 (literally "seven rings") would make a good tattoo to celebrate the release of her single "7 Rings"...

火鉢
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Hibachi
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Tattoo meaning "small charcoal grill"
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:32 pm

Thanks to Lichtrausch for pointing out the difference. Actually I didn't know about those flambé-happy Japanese restaurants in North America, and I only knew miss Grande by name - my musical focus is on dead people from long ago. But at the end of the day it seems that the dictionary I have used identified hibachi correctly as a pot filled with cinders, and the Japanese signs it uses to denote this object are these: 火鉢 . So it didn't fall in the trap of the North American Japanese restaurants, nor in that of miss Grande. Speaking of Ariana Grande and her seven wheels: I stuffed the Japanese signs into Google translate, and the outcome is actually interesting: it gives the literal meaning (seven wheels) as its main translation, but then underneath it comes up with an earthen charcoalfilled pot (narrowly avoiding the trap of a restaurant on fire) - so now I'm more confused about the setup of Goggle translate than I was about the Japanese words in question. Normally the main translation proposal would also figure among the alternatives beneath.

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I have read most of the pronunciation and grammar chapters of the Japanese Kauderwelsch booklet, but apart from that I have also worked on Bahasa Indonesia and Russian today. The Indonesian article told about the famous Wallace line that runs between Bali and Lombok. These two islands lie close together, but the flora and fauna are apparently as different as if they had been separated by an ocean the size of the Pacific. Reading about this made me look up how much flight and hotels actually would cost to Indonesia, and I had to mobilize my innermost defence mechanisms not to just buy a trip to somewhere on each side of the line to see whether the differences actually are as monumental as claimed (I have visited Sulawesi, Java and Bali, but not the Eastern part of Indonesia).

In Russian I read a couple of articles the Magadan in Eastern Siberia. I would definitely like to visit Russia again, but ahem, maybe not Magadan. By the way, I checked the Russian rules for obtaining a visum, and they are rather cumbersome and costly: you have to prebook a complete itinary with all hotels through a Russian agency (or a local representative of such an agency), and then you get an invitation, and then you have to visit an office in Copenhagen in person and... well, I'll wait a couple of years. After all Ukraine and Belarus have loosened their visa regulations, so maybe Russia decides to do something similar - and I hope I'm still able to travel when that happens. By the way, an American visum is almost as complicated to get, but so far (fingers crossed) it is still possible for most EU citizens to get in without a visum by completing a form on the internet.

But while I wait for the Russians to slacken their rules I keep pounding at their language barrier, and not totally without effect. The Magadan articles are from a collection I once made, where I long ago studied the first one (about a local astronaut) and then left the others for later - and well, 'later' has come now. Article to 2 is about a market place in the town where you can buy all sorts of food, and the third one (from magadan.by).. well, it is somewhat complicated, but I think it is about some people who organize a march to commemorate a space programme day of sorts. But they have to get through some problems to get this event off the ground:

RU:: Им нужно было достаточно большое место с пространством для участников. Они сразу же отказались от поляны по имени 'Потаповщины', скорее всего потому, что там не хватало места для участников. Следующие два места были по обе стороны от местной реки Свислочь, называемой как 'мутной вонючкой Свислочей'. С одной стороны в воздухе висят вешалки с тяжелыми силовыми кабелями, но деревья красивы - они почти рассматривают возможность распускаться. И с правого берега "имелась рукотворная силоцоподобная яма". Слов "силоцоподобный" нет в моих словарях, но, вероятно, его означает ферментированные свиные чаи, используемые для удобрения. Но трем неукротимых командира и их помощникам удалось построить платформу и привести в порядок, и я надеялся, что их мероприятие имело большой успех. Они этого заслуживают, когда живут в Магадане!

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:01 pm

I have been away on a family visit with more gardening (and marmalade cooking) than language learning. I did however watch television in at least Danish, German, Norwegian, Swedish and - well, it is hard to avoid it - English during this visit, and I also brought along my Japanese Kauderwelsch for studying late in the evening. It functions admirable as a sleeping pill, especially since the part I still haven't read it the one that is supposed to be used for communication. The point is of course that I can't see the point in trying to learn to speak a language which I probably won't visit in the near future and whose writing system is so complicated that it would take me several yars to learn. Reading the Japanese dictionary which I borrowed from the library last week would probably be more captivating.

However just before taking the train back home I sat down in a library where I had time to read read some thirty pages of a book about stress in Serbian - not because of the theme, but simply because it was in Serbian (and probably the only non-fictional book in Serbian there). Surprise surprise: the two authors were Danish, but apparently their book is used in the systems that deal with stressed immigrants and foreign workers. I continued this line of study today by studying an article about paleozoic invertebrates in the Museum of Natural History in Beograd, and I felt much more at home with this topic than with stressed humans. And because I hadn't switched on my PC yet I could also listen to some Polish and some Serbian/Montenegrin TV programmes. If I had switched on the computer I would almost certainly have been listening to my music collection instead (I am at Morley now and see Moscheles, Moszkowski and the two Mozarts looming ahead).

But after that I went downtown to visit three museums and a cultural house and a greenhouse and the library so I didn't get more studying done - it will have to wait to the upcoming evening, and I have a lot of texts in a plethora of funny languages waiting for me.

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The rant below was originally a far too long and mostly irrelevant message in the New Year's resolution thread:

I never make new year's resolutions, but I have done one unpledged thing from new year 2018/19 and onwards: I have stopped visiting HTLAL. It was like visiting a graveyard or your old school yard - pointless and depressing. On the other hand I have made one solemn early spring 2019 resolution: NEVER again submitting a proposal or participating in a Polyglot gathering (at least not as long as the current junta is in charge of it). And once I have taken such a decision like that I stick to it.

The latest example of such a decision was in the mid 90s when I cut all connections to amateur musicians and stopped playing and composing music myself overnight. I made one shortlived exception to that in 2002 where I wrote a toccata, and then again in 2018 when I revised many of my old compositions (and added a few new ones) in order to publish them at a site called IMSLP, where there they will rest in peace forever until that site closes down. And I have not budged on my pledge to avoid all contact with classical musical amateurs. Putting your fate in the hands of others just leads to disappointments.

A few years before this I stopped painting - but this time not because of animosity towards a specific group. I was painting in a cultural place called 'the House', but when I got a fulltime job and the amount of free table space in the evenings was limited I often came there just to find that all space had been occupied. Besides they had started to play ugly music. I still came there to talk to old aquaintances, but then the place was closed - or rather, it survived in another location, but not in the same form. I tried to paint at home and even bought a blue daylight lamp, but using a one-room flat as your atelier isn't easy - the turpentine fumes were intolerable. So I stopped, and since then I have only corrected a few details on old pictures. However today I was portrayed by a speedy Gonzales Dutch artist in our local Art museum (Aros), who made a drawing of me using both hands at the same time - I have never seen that before! And then I made one of her, though only using one hand (shame on me). But that was the first drawing I have made since 2014.

And even earlier I stopped playing chess because I was at the point where I ought to join a chess club and study openings, but I didn't feel the urge to do this. I finished my chess career with a draw in blindfold chess at 'the House', so I left with my honour unblemished.

And still earlier I stopped studying languages from 1981 or 82 because I saw that the chances of getting a university level job in French or other languages were minimal (I was right in predicting a decline in the use and teaching of foreign languages, but I didn't foresee the extent to which this has happened). But then around 2006 I accidentally ran into HTLAL and decided to relearn my lost languages and maybe add a few new ones - and that's what I still am doing right now. Maybe not a broken new years's wow, but almost...

Kunst142.JPG
'The House'
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