Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:54 pm

Today I should have studied languages at least some of the time, but it just didn't happen. Instead I got caught up in the process of making stereo versions of all my old paintings (as described in a post from August - but this time I didn't just make one - I made a dozen! It doesn't take quite as long time to make one stereo photo as it did to paint the original artwork back in the 70s or 80s, but almost, so apart from eating and listening to music of composers starting with S and watching TV without sound I have done absolutely nothing else today.

The original is to the right, and even though the left image looks identical it isn't: items that belong far back are moved to the left, and items at the front are moved right, and flat things that stretch into the 3D room are slanted. The idea is that the left eye should watch the left picture and the right eye should watch the right picture - and nothing else. One way of making this happen is to put your hand between your eyes and the screen and then turn it or wiggle your fingers until your dominant eye only sees the image it is supposed to see (in my case the right eyeis the dominant one). And then try to move or turn the hand so that the other eye also is restricted to 'its' picture. And then just look ahead. Maybe something happens, and then you will know what I'm speaking above. Or maybe it just doesn't happen, and then it is just a pity. There are old thingies in the museums that allow people to see such stereo photos through lenses, but it is easier just to look out of your window. Everything out there is in stereo if you have two functioning eyes.

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Iversen
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:34 pm

OK, Bulgarian ... here I come!

Those of you who follow this thread regularly may remember that I left the Bulgarian verbal system dangling in the air a few days ago, simply because the information I had gathered didn't seem to form a coherent system. Yesterday I mostly worked on photos of my old paintings, but when I had finished the report about that project I returned to the Bulgarian verbs - in this time I think that I understood the main lines of the morphology. Using the system correctly in practice is of course another problem. And I have not yet commited my humble musing to glorious paper because I would like to study at least one, but preferably two paper grammars more before I decide that 'nuff's nuff . So my main sources is the Petite Grammaire du Bulgare in French by monsieur Feuillet plus a number of sources on the internet, in particular the Language gulper site and a page at folk.uio.no/kjetilrh plu fr.wiktionary plus the pages Bulgarian_verbs and Bulgarian_conjugation in the English version of Wikipedia.

On his page monsieur kjetilrh writes that a typical Bulgarian verb can have up to 3000 different forms if you count all variations including all the compound tenses. Obviously you can't deal with so many forms so it is necessary to draw the main lines and then let semantics and stylistics and sheer luck determine which forms you dare to combine - and there it is worth mentioning that some of the listed combinations will be so exceedingly rare that some allegedly erroneous forms in practice will be far more common than some of the officially correct ones.

So let's just mention that Bulgarian as a Slavic language of course has perfective and imperfective verbs, and that the separation between them roughly is the same as in other languages. But then it also has a 'common' (or present) stem and an aorist stem of most verbs, which of course complicates the situation somewhat (though I have still find just one verb with two stems in the fr.wiktionary). There is also an aorist in Greek, and there are some similarities in the use of the aorists in the two languages - but the systems in which they are used are so different that there isn't any reason to try to study them together. Forget about Greek.

There are two auxiliary verbs, roughly corresponding to "to be" and "to want" (but not a parallel to to "to have"), three synthetic verb forms (plus a few more for the "to be" verb), at least one imperative and a number of participles of different kinds - and actually also an infinitive, but it is apparently only used in one single fossil-like construction. So in dictionaries the verbs are listed under their 1.person singular present forms (as in Greek and Albanian).

There are three conjugations: one based on the thematic vowel a, one on e and one on no vowel. In the dictionaries you will see that many verbs have 1 p. sing. on -am, others on just -a . Apart from that you can almost guess the forms when you know the stem and the vowel so I'll just quote one verb below, пиша (pisha = jeg skriver), which has the aorist (1.p.sing.) писах (pisah = I wrote).

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Before we continue we have to introduce the simple forms of the two auxiliaries (be, want) since they will be used again and again below:

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From the present stem you can form

• the imperative (only 2. sing, 2. plural) : пиши resp., пишете
• the active present participle: пишащ(a,o, и) (pishashtsh(a,o,i). NB: the vowels in the parenthesis are used if the 'doer' of the action is feminine, neuter or plural, and a definite article can be added - but let's not venture into that quagmire here...
• the imperfect version of the past active participle: пишал(a,o, и) - mentioned by fr.wiktionary somewhere.
• a verbal adverb ('gerondif') from imperfect verbs: пишайки ('while writing')
• a substantival form on -не ) from imperfect verbs - but under rules that apparently also depend on the aorist, and with plural on -та or -ия (plus maybe an article)

From the aorist stem you can form

• the extremely useful past active participle: писал(a,o, и) , indicated as PAP below. Nothing remotely similar in English, but welknown from all Slavic languages.
• the past passive participle of transitive verbs, which can end on -н on -т: писан(a,o, и) (written), but убит(a,o, и) (killed).
• the almost stonedead infinite, which only is used with недей(те) (don't do...)

And now the composite forms:

First I would like to mention the passive forms, which are made with forms of the to-be verb (съм) plus the past passive participle - and it doesn't seem that any form of съм are excluded - which may explain why the grammarians hardly mention the passive system at all - maybe it is too simple to be explained. Alternatively can reflexive constructions with the pronoun "се" be used - - but only in the third person (singular and plural).

Forms built on the PAP comprise first and foremost the

Perfect !!!!!! OK, I would prefer to call it something like compound perfect, and Language gulper calls it "present perfect". Anyway, it consists of the PAP and the present tense of съм (both inflected), i.e. писал(a,o, и) съм, писал(a,o, и) си etc.

Somewhere I have seen that the съм part can be dropped in indirect speech, but it is not something that is mentioned in most sources. There is also an issue with the order of the elements, but let's not complicate matters - yet.

The Pluperfect (aka Gulper's Past perfect): PPP and the past tense of съм (inflected), i.e. писал(a,o, и) бях, писал(a,o, и) беше etc. (however Wikipedia indicated the inverse order of the elements).

Feuillet mentions a slightly different construction under the name 'Hypothétique', namely the PAP plus the weird alternative aorist (or whatever it is) of съм (cfr. the table above): писал(a,o, и) бих, писал(a,o, и) бише etc. I wonder whether this is the same as the "би" in Russian?

Apparently the corresponding combination with an imperfect also exist: пишал(a,o, и) бях, пишал(a,o, и) беше etc. ('imparfait composé). If this is true then the logical name for the pluperfect would be 'aorist pluperfect' (or just 'aorist perfect' since the present + PPP is called 'present perfect' by the Gulper), and the other one would then be 'imperfect perfect' - haha...

Feuillet has a section called 'Temps seconds (mode médiatif)'. His socalled 'imparfait' from this section (built on the imperfect version of the past active participle) would be something like пишал(a,o, и) съм, пишал(a,o, и) си etc., and the corresponding 'plusqueparfait' would then be пишал(a,o, и) бях, пишал(a,o, и) беше etc., But here we are in territory where every source I have seen seems to tell another story - or no story at all.

Forms built on the auxiliary verb "ще" comprise first and foremost the different futures and conditionals:

Ordinary future: ще пиша, ще пишеш etc. (ще er ubøjeligt). But cave canem: in a negative sentence you would usually use the construction "няма да пиша", i.e. a construction with a subordinate clause with the main verb in the present tense.

Gulper's 'Future Perfect' is built on 'ще' plus a perfect of the kind with PAP + present tense of съм (both inflected), i.e. ще съм писал(a,o, и), ще си писал(a,o, и) etc. - although apparently with the inverse order of the elements in the prefect. Feuillet offers both this and an alternative, where the finite verbum is the form named 'future' in the table with forms of съм above: ще бъда писал(a,o, и), ще бъдеш писал(a,o, и) etc And he calls them both 'Futur antérieur' (with a loan from French grammatical terminology).

And finally the constructions that are built on 'щях' /inflected) plus a clause initiated by "да" - you have already seen one example above:

The Gulper quotes a 'Past future' with "щях да" plus an ordinary present tense: щях да пиша, щеше да пеше etc. - NB. щях is inflected (as an aorist).

The Gulper adds a 'Past future perfect' with "щях да" plus a perfect: щях да съм писал(a,o, и), щях да си писал(a,o, и) etc. etc. - NB. щях is of course also inflected here. Feuillet calls this form "Futur conditionnel antérieur" and adds another version: щях да бъда писал(a,o, и), : щях да бъдеш писал(a,o, и) etc. And also here with a variant for negative sentences: намаше да съм/бъда писал(a,o, и) etc.

And as the final item (or "rosinen i pølseenden" as we say in Danish) Feuillet quotes this 'futur-conditionnel' in his section on 'temps seconds (médiatifs)': a PAP of the ще-thing plus the present of съм plus да plus the present tense of the main verb: щал(a,o, и) съм да пиша, щал(a,o, и) си да пишеш. And here again there is an alternative construction for negative sentences: нямало да пиша, нямало да пишеш etc. etc.

... and so far we haven't even discussed how to use these forms, nor how to deal with minor differences in the formation of the different forms. But I think I have done my duty today ...
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:59 pm

... and now I have made the green sheet I mentioned above. Of course it couldn't contain all the information I had gathered, and you could also ask why I don't make more of the standard division into three declensions, but it doesn't seem to be particular useful when it comes to predicting for instance the forms of the aorist - except that the -ox-type ending isn't used outside the first declension. But in one of my sources there are SEVEN subcategories for the formation of aorists, and then it becomes contraproduktive to try to learn which verbs belong where. There are some phonetic rules of thumb, but at the end if the road you just have to memorize them and/or guess. And I doubt that anybody will kill you for using the wrong thematic vowel.

Apart from that I have been studying an article about the Municipal museum in Sofia (in Bulgarian) and some pages from an old language guide to Russian. And I have worked on my music collection - especially the part that has to do with instrumental renaissance music, which has the impractical characteristic that most pieces just last a few minutes, and then to compensate there are literally dozens of them. And I have watched a music quiz in Danish TV, and it IRRITATES me that I recognized an excerpt from Mussorgsky played backwards, but misinterpreted it as something by Prokofiev. Within my fields of interest I want to know everything, but outside them I can't be bothered.

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:55 pm

Semi-old FR: Diverses comfitures

Pour confire les orenges qui soient bonnes a manger dens un jour comme si elles auoient trempees quinze iours:
Prenes les ecorces d'orenge,s & incontinent les feres bouillir dens de l'eau claire auec unebonne poignee du sel: & soit le quantite de sel selon quil y aura des escorches: & feres bouiller tât que verres que leau sera iaolne:& puis vous ietteres ceste eau: & apres les laveres avec cinq ou six eaues, sans toutefois les macerer, ne rompre; & (...)


Qui oncques sut que le docte Maistre Michel de NostreDame, mieulx connu por ses obscurs devinements, estoit itant un conosseor notable ès fardements por les dames et confitures de plusieurs sortes por les lichiers? La recepte ci ensus se trove sur le site oldcook (=vieulx chef coquenil), mais seul en extraict - et gie ne povait trover le texte entiers dans la viele langue el internet.

Gie continuai mes estudes de la icelle maniere, id est - aussi ne povois trouver aucun texte en moyen françois sur le compositor bourguignon Dufay et doncques fus forcé a lire en françois anacroniste sur sa vie et oeuvres . En faict gie appris moult cete soir sur les musiquans du XV et XVIeme siecle, mais gie du lou tot lire en françois moderne..

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EN: At the Monday language café we first spoke English (because the English-only lady was there), but then there came a few persons more so that we could form a German speaking group too. But while we still spoke English we did actually discuss the weird information that "marmelade" in English has to be made from oranges (as in the receipt by Nostradamus above) - else it's jam. But in Danish it is a matter of consistency whether you call the stuff marmelade or "syltetøj" (or even "gelé" (jelly), which basically is water with gelatina and a few drops of fruit sap and NO berries floating around). I'm still amazed at the amount of salt (!) used to make confiture (marmalade) in the 16. century, but at least he washed it out in 5 to 6 'waters'...

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One thing more: I just wanted to check something in Erards book about hyperpolyglots, and then I ended up reading the whole thing - even though it is in English.

A casual remark in that book about the ability to read a book in one's target language as one criterium for knowing a language made me think about the languages in which ... no, let me first give you my first reaction: yikes, how can I answer that when I hardly ever read a full book in most of my languages any more? Even if the library has got'm the items on its shelves tend to be literary and I have more or less dropped literature because I don't like to snoop around in nasty fictive persons' private lives, and that's all there is in most novels. Generally speaking novels are disgusting and demoralizing and boring. So let's include sci mags and WIkipedia, then we get somewhere.

But then I returned to the original formulation - and hit upon another funny fact: some of the books I have read are in languages I officially can't understand so how can having read a book in such a language be a standard for anything? OK, the list doesn't include Chinese or Akkadian, but for instance I have read Icelandic sagas using my limited Icelandic, and I have read Kupka's guide to the art of language learning in Czech using my even more limited Slovakian. I have also read a guide to the Postojna Caves in Slovenian using my Serbian, and many years ago I bought and read a thin booklet containing four tales by Hans Christian Andersen in some kind of Romantsch. If we include books on the internet I have read most of the Anglosaxon Chronicle and Beowulf in Anglosaxon and Erikskrönikan in Gutnisch. But I haven't studied any of these languages formally - just relied on similarities and some guesswork.

This shows that you can get quite far if you know some related languages. But also that the definition of 'having read a book' may be more elastic than most of us will acknowledge. And it is definitely easier to read a book in the languages I just mentioned than it would be to understand a TV program in the same languages or eavesdrop on somebody.
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:11 pm

I have been on a family visit, which as usual limited my study activity to a minimum. For goodnight reading I used the Albanais de Poche from Assimil, and the main problem with this was that I fell asleep far too quickly to really get anywhere. In the train home I read the Guide de Conversation Routard from Larousse, which also is in French. Where the Assimil booklet is a mixture of cultural information and language guide for travellers, the Larousse thing is built like a small dictionary, but with sentences with translations for each word plus a transcription 'help' written for Francophones, but more confusing than helpful if you also know a few other languages. So I try to overlook the pronunciation info, but it is hard because it is printed in black, whereas the Russian sentences - which I really want to read - are printed in a red font which makes them relatively hard to read (especially when this red font is used on a pink background). In spite of these misgivings I think that the format is quite interesting and useful, and I actually find it less tiring to read than the topic-bound structure of the language guides - probably because the same structure is used all through the booklet.

FR: Pourtant il y une chose dans le format 'de poche' qui me manque dans le format 'routard', et c'est les traductions hyperliterales. Bon ben, les traductions dans celui-ci donnent grosso modo le sens, et il sont sur le même niveau que ceux qu'on trouve dans les traductions ordinaires de livres ou articles - mais ce niveau ne suffit pas. Un example: la traduction de la phrase "Quelle est la profondeur de l'eau?" est donnée comme "какáя здесь глубинá?". Et je me demande: où est l'eau allée, et d'où vient le "здесь" (=ici)? Pour vraiment être utile à un étudiant des langues le livre aurait dû éviter de telles 'libertés du traducteur'. Le livre n'est pourtant pas écrit pour les apprenants, mais pour les routards qui ne savent pas le russe, et ils se fichent probablement des differences sur ce niveau. Et alors the traducteurs/auteurs peuvent se permettre impunément des traductions imprécises.

CA: Després del meu retorn, també vaig llegir una mica de català. Un dels meus familiars es troba de moment en Mallorca, i jo he assistit a la reserva d’un trasllat por 'shuttle' que va resultar ser més problemàtic del que s’esperava. Jo vaig trobar llavors una alternativa amb un autobús “normal” a la pàgina web d’una empresa d’autobusos local, i aquesta opció és molt més barata i ximple. Per cert, la persona va arribar al dia de Lluny a l'illa durant una severa tempesta de pluja, però ara els problems meteorològics han migrat a l'oest cap a la part continental d'Espanya (València, Alacant, Murcia).

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:20 am

The language café yesterday was down to 2½ persons. I spoke for a full hour with a man slightly above my age in Spanish, and a girl that wanted to speak French approached us - but since she didn't understand a word of Spanish and he didn't understand a word of French she sat down to wait for more participants. Unfortunately nobody came so she left. The problem is always that you don't know whether there are anybody to speak to, and then people don't prioritize to come. But this time participation was lower than normal - for no good reason at all. And even when there is half a dozen people there most of them are newcomers - there is no continuity.

SP: El señor con quién yo hablé en español ayer usó duolingo para aprender su idioma nuevo, y su razonamiento fue que su hija en Nueva York se había casado con alguien de una familia latina. Mencionó que el padre del novio había vivido en Nueva York durante 40 años, pero aún no hablaba inglés. Esto es sorprendente (y un poco aterrador), pero ciertamente no es imposible vivir 'en español' en una metrópolis como 'la gran manzana'. Probablemente también tenemos algunos inmigrantes en Dinamarca que nunca aprenderan el idioma danés. Y aquí no solo estoy pensando en personas del Medio Oriente o Africa, sino también, y no menos importante, en trabajadores invitados anglófonos. Es demasiado fácil encontrar daneses aqui que hablan ingles.

DA: Hans datter havde for øvrigt forsøgt at lære sine børn dansk, men det gad ungerne da godt nok ikke spilde deres tid på.

RU: Но во время беседы он также упомянул информацию о том, что он выучил русский язык в старшей школе, а затем мы также обменялись несколькими предложениями на этом языке. Но я не утверждаю, что могу говорить по русски - я только строю предложения (и слова медленно появляются в моем мозгу).

EN: Apart from that my main linguistic focus these days is on Polish, and the cause is that I was looking for a plastic chartèque (or folder or whatever you call it in English), and then ...

POL: .. a potem znalazłem magazyn z krakowskiego lotniska w języku polskim i angielskim (równolegle). Moje dwujęzyczne teksty zwykle zawierają tłumaczenia kodowane maszynowo, ale tutaj tłumaczenia są dziełem człowieka

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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:32 pm

I have spent four days at my mother's place, and as usual that has drastically curtailed my study time - but not to point zero. I did bring my small Albanian language guide along and read some pages in it during the outbound train journey, but I have been more active on the Russian front. Yesterday night I had studied some pages in my small Russian language guide rom Assimil and then went to bed. But I somehow came to think about Russian touristical sights and their names in Russian, and it bothered me that I couldn't even remember the word for "church". OK, up again to fetch the small Danish <--> Russian dictionary which I also had brought along, and I got the word " церковь" (which I of course recognized as soon as I saw it). Then it occurred to me that it was a shame and a disgrace that I could write in Russian, but not speak it - even though my vocabulary should be big enough for the task. And the same could be said about Serbian, Bulgarian, Slovak and Polish, which I know passively and as written languages to varying degrees, but can't speak. Shame shame and shame....

So ..

RU: Я задавался вопросом: как мне не управляю говорить по-русски, когда я уже могу комфортабельно писать в нем? И ключ кажется в том, что я сначала должен тренировать свою способность думать на языке. При написании текста у меня - слишком много времени: нормально искать слова в словаре и не проблема, если слова появляются в вашем уме медленно. Но когда ты говоришь, твои слова должны исходить как снаряды из калашникова. И то же самое верно для мышления. И тогда я решил начать думать по-русски - и тут же засыпал ...

Сегодня я сидел в поезде с плеером MP3 в ушах, играя звуки водопада, и сделал все возможное, чтобы думать исключительно на русском языке. Когда я не знал любое слово, я иногда искал его в своем небольшом словаре, иногда Я решил игнорировать его и продолжать, несмотря на выбоину на дороге. Но у меня очень маленький и старый словарь, и не все слова были найдены в нем. Например, в нем не было слов "автобус" или "уйти" (нуждался в обоих словах, когда я проезжал мимо автовокзала). Он содержал слова для "поезда" и "вокзала", а нет для "уехать на автобусе" или " уехать на поезде" - только для отбездь на паровую лодку ("плыть парахóдом" (!!!)). Тем не менее мне удалось думать исключительно на русском языке почти полтора часа. Время моего дебюта в качестве русскоговорящего подойти ближе.

EN: Apart from that I have spent some time today reading in English and German and Spanish about jellyfish species from the waters around Mallorca. My sister has asked me by telephone to identify a big brown and violet jellyfish which she saw on the beach, and I have tried to comply - but while I have lots of bird guides in my collection I have none about invertebrates, and even the internet is less informative about big ugly jellyfish than it is about cute small birdies.

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Iversen
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:31 pm

Not much to report today, partly because I have spent most of my time listening to Russian composers like Glazunov and Glière and Ippolitov-Ivanov. Glière once wrote a monster symphony named Ilya Muromets, which lasts some 70-80 minutes in its full version. Then I discovered on Youtube a shortened version by stokowsky with just 38 minutes - and of course the commentators were furious about such a vandalism. But the real problem is that it only has ideas for 38 minutes so I prefer the politically incorrrect short version. My favorite work by Glière is however the suite from his Красный мак (Red Poppy) and I particularly like its last movement, where a bunch of drunk Russian sailors parade through a city. By the way, Reinhold Moritzevich Glière aka Рейнгольд Морицевич Глиэр was born in Kiev (and baptized as Reinhold Ernest Glier), and Красный мак is also a place on Crimea so there definitely is an Ukrainean connection there. As for Glazunov he is mostly known as the guy who completed professor Borodin's works when the learned man couldn't find time to do it himself. But where does Ippolitov fit into the picture? Well, long ago in a dim and distant past where dinosaurs and pterosaurs still roamed the Earth and vinyl was the thing of the day I bought a Turnabout record with Westchester Symphony orchestra and ballet music by him and mr. Rheingold, so now those two are forever linked like Siamese twins in my mind.

SP: Acabo de escuchar las obras del español Enrique Granados (EN:) and his arch-English collegue Percy Grainger from Australia, so ... NO: den neste store komponisten i samlingen min (målt i minutter og antall lyriske stykker) blir i alfabetisk rekkefølge nordmannen Edvard H. Grieg. Dennes gode ven Percy Grainger hadde for øvrig en faible for nordiske saker: (DK:) han brugte en hel del tid på at samle danske folkesange, (SW:) och han gifte sig i 1929 med den svenska damen Ella Ström, med vilken han redan hade avlat en dotter (född i år 1909). EN: Besides Grainger was a fervent believer in pre-Norman English- he would have loved to read the Ænglisc Wikipedia, but sadly he died in 1961 before it came into existence.

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Speaking about Russian ..

RU: я все еще прогуляюься вокруг, пытаясь думать по-русски, и все лучше и лучше. Однако, я заменил свой маленький датско-русский словарь на небольшим словарем Берлица, в котором существует слово "автобус".

EO: Mi estis ankaŭ ĉe la biblioteko hieraŭ por la semajna lingva kafejo. Unue mi parolis la francan kun komencantino de la lingvo, sed poste venis du aliaj homoj kaj ni ŝanĝis la anglan. Al la fino, oni parolis la danan, sed almenaŭ pri lingvoj. Unu el la partoprenantoj estis el Eritreo, kie oni havas 9 lokajn lingvojn (Afar 1,2 3....), do komunikante unu kun la alia ili uzas lingvon 'Tigrina'. Venis ankaŭ somala rifuĝinto, kaj finfine venis juna sinjorino, kiu kapablis paroli la araban - kaj ŝi laudire tion lernis, kiam dum kelkaj monatoj laboris en rifuĝejo-tendaro. Dum ni forlasis la lokon, mi hazarde aŭdis la eritreanon kaj la somalion laŭdantan ŝian araban prononcon. Kaj efektive ŝia prononco sonis bele eĉ al iu kiel mi, kiu ne parolas la lingvon mi mem.

RU: Кстати, я позаимствовал книгу из библиотеки: книгу писательнитси Джин М. Ауэл о клане пещерного медведя, том 1. Какая-то маленькая пятилетние сапиенс просто сидят в кустах, наблюдая за пещерными львами, очень напугана, но вскоре неандертальцы находят ее, а потом она в безопасная среда, и я могу перестать читать с чистой совестью - тогда то ответственность членов клана, чтобы держать ее в живых.
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1027
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Re: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:17 pm

Since Tuesday (where I published the message above) I have continued intermittently to try to think in Russian, but mostly for fairly short periods, and I have used the first forty pages or so of "The Clan of the Cave Bear" as goodnight reading (and if you didn't already know it functions admirably in that role - the maximum pages I have succeeded to read in one session before falling asleep was 9 or 10 pages). The wee Ayla has been accepted into the clan of Neanderthals in spite of her weird appearance, although with warying degrees of enthousiasm, and I know that she has to survive for 6 thick volumes so I don't have to worry about her any more. I'll return it to the library on Monday, but actually I visited that place already today - although without the book. They had a big welcome event for newcomers to the town, buth foreign student and foreign workers, and besides I read the latest issue of the Danish sci mag "Illustreret videnskab", and it contained some interesting articles.

IT: Per esempio Etna si é avanzato di 4 centimetri nell'anno scorso, e e un rapporto suggerisce che l'intero lato del vulcano potrebbe scivolare nel mare dentro i prossimi dieci anni, causando un mega-tsunami che causerebbe il caos su tutte le coste del Mediterraneo.

SP: Hay predicciones similares con respecto a la isla canaria de Palma, desde la cual un mega tsunami podría cruzar fácilmente el océano Atlántico hasta las costas americanas. pero aquí científicos con una mentalidad prosaico han logrado a posponer el incidente en el futuro. En cualquier caso, esta es la conclusión que les gustaría que creyéramos, pero a los productores de documentales les gusta más asustar a las personas con desastres aterradores.

EN: The magazine also contained a new evaluation of the likelood of producing a planet like the Earth with a reasonable chance of producing life. And the odds were not in favour of this thing happening - for (at least) nine reasons. First a nearby supernova had to pepper Proto-Earth with minerals, then it had to be hit by a planet that kicked out the debris that became the Moon, but not hard enough to smash it totally, then asteroids pushed from their orbits by the outer planets had to deliver our water during the 'late heavy bombardment' some 4.000.000.000 years ago, and when Jupiter started to drift inwards towards the Sun it had to be dragged back out by a newly emerged Saturn ... and after that something had to initiate both our magnetic field (which requires having moving metallic masses in the innards of the planet) plus continental drift on the planet.

All in all it was from the outset extremely unlikely that we would come into existence, but if this unlikely event hadn't happened we would not have been here to wonder how it all happened, let alone to blame it on miracles or visits from outer space. One conclusion from these calculations is that there may be other inhabitable planets in the Universe, but it is not likely that the ones with life will be close to us - not even on an astronomical scale.

And evolution can in principle run backwards: it would just take changes in two genes to give chickens their teeth back, and the chicks of the Southamerican hoatzin have already succeded in clawing back their lost claws. Evolution theory isn't static.

RO: În plus, am studiat un articol despre București în revista mea poloneză-engleză din aeroport din Cracovia și am compus o ciaconă politonală pentru flaut, corno englez și violoncel. S-ar putea ca să nu sune bine, dar dat că nimeni nu îl o să juca vreodată nu-i important cum ar suna dacă cineva o ar fi vreodată jucat-o. PS: basul repetitiv începe abia mai târziu în piesă.

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Iversen
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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: Iversen's second multiconfused log thread

Postby Iversen » Mon Sep 30, 2019 11:18 am

Just a short message this time: I woke up this morning after a partially Greek dream, and to boot one with links to recent actual experiences. A couple of weeks ago I spoke about homelearning techniques to a lady who teach Greek at an evening school, and a few days ago I happened to be at the library when there was an introductionary event for newly arrived foreign workers and students, and here I asked the representatives of the same school whether they actually had succeeded in establishing some of their more exotic language courses - and they said that not only their course in Greek actually had started as planned, but also Chinese, Japanese, Korean (!), Arabic and a number of other languages. Well, congrats to them.

And then this morning I woke up from a dream where somebody tried to convince me to take an evening school course in Greek. They spoke Danish to me but I stubbornly tried to say 'no' in Greek in as many ways as possible (including "δε θέλω να πάω" -I have forgotten the rest). And I woke up while still refusing to join..

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