Poeticsteph's Sranan Tongo Log

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poeticsteph
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:08 am
Languages: Current: English (N), Portuguese (C1), Dutch (A1), Sranan Tongo (beginner)

Next: Saramaccan (beginner), Haitian Creole (A2).

Past: French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Mauritian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Guarani, Lingala, Swahili, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Swedish, Japanese, and Hungarian.
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Poeticsteph's Sranan Tongo Log

Postby poeticsteph » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:42 am

Background: I am an American currently in Suriname, which has the official language Dutch and the lingua franca Sranan Tongo. Many people in Paramaribo speak English, Dutch, and Sranan Tongo. There are also a lot of Portuguese speakers here (which is good, as I've dedicated years to learning/maintaining that language) and a variety of Maroon languages such as Saramaccan and Ndyuka. A friend of mine who is 22 fluently speaks English, Dutch, Sranan Tongo, Ndyuka, and is studying French, Spanish, and Portuguese - which really makes me feel like a dumb American at 40!

Method: I have asked around about people willing to teach me Sranan Tongo, one teacher/tutor will be back in town in a few days and another will be back in town in November! (Due to being an American, I have to basically leave the country every 90 days and then get restamped in. We'll see how that works for me, but that's another story.) I have Dutch tutors/teachers from the Netherlands from sites like Verbling and Preply, and while one knows some Sranan Tongo speakers in Amsterdam I still have not found a tutor. My friend is not a teacher, though I have checked pronunciation with her.

Thus, I am using the Peace Corps Sranan Language Course on LiveLingua https://www.livelingua.com/course/peace-corps/Sranan_Language_Lessons/. Every day. The recommendation is 30 minutes, but with maintaining my Portuguese and intensively studying Dutch (I may start a separate log for Dutch) it's hard to do. I usually do 15 minutes, sometimes more or less.

Start Date: I officially started the course on August 4th, after attending a Winti "prey" with my friend and her cousin - which was held entirely in Sranan Tongo. I have a LONG time interest in African traditional religions, and only being able to understand bits and pieces of the songs and people's conversations basically kicked me in the butt to study it. (Hence why I used to study Haitian Creole pretty steadily, but that's probably going to stay on the backburner for now.)

Progress:I know some basic greetings and can "answer" the dialogue exercises. I review old material pretty steadily and am pretty comfortable with Lessons 1 and 2. I am still mastering Lesson 3 and just starting Lesson 4. My friend says my pronunciation is good. She briefly reviewed the Peace Corps material and said it is accurate.

If anyone else is studying (or interested in studying) this English-based Creole (though I find it has a lot of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and African words), please let me know! I will keep this log as current as possible.
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iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1590
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 11:14 am
Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: Poeticsteph's Sranan Tongo Log

Postby iguanamon » Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:21 pm

Welcome to the forum, Poeticsteph! It's nice to have someone else on the forum who lives near the Caribbean region, speaks Portuguese and is learning a Creole language. We have a lot in common in our languages. Ironically, I'm around 1,000 or so miles northwest of you, but "I can't get there from here" easily unless I were to sail to Paramaribo. I'd probably have to fly to Miami first to get there from the Virgin Islands... and then fly right back over my home island.

Sranan Tongo has been a language I have had interest in learning for a long time. I've always wanted to visit Suriname! Ironically, many years ago when I was learning Portuguese, one of my Brazilian language exchange partners said she had learned her English in Paramaribo. She said she loved the funky, "other worldliness" and cultural diversity of the town.

There are indeed limited resources available for learning the language. Still, I have managed to collect some materials... not much... but perhaps they would be sufficient to get a decent foundation and perhaps even get to a low intermediate stage.

The Peace Corps course looks to be a good, solid introduction. I also downloaded an English-Sranan bilingual dictionary, the Nyun Testamenti of the Bible with audio available on Faith Comes By Hearing (scroll for Sranan, it's a huge file size to download). The sil.org site has a number of resources including the phrase dictionary called Wakaman Buku. Wakaman Buku has phrases and vocabulary arranged by topics that include basic useful phrases, getting your car repaired, talking about yourself, asking questions about another language, etc. The book is a 154 page pdf with multilingual phrases in Saramaccan, Sranan Tongo, Dutch, French and English.

Sil.org - Summer Institute of Linguistics also has several basic readers with folktales, which is one of the ways I like to gain vocabulary, grammar and cultural knowledge. I downloaded 13 of them. Combine all of these resources with a dictionary plus living in country with help from native-speakers, and you should be able to get to basic fluency fairly quickly.

Having experience with learning an Afro-Caribbean Creole language will definitely help you. As well, you'll have help from both English and Portuguese cognates. Being right there in Suriname is a huge plus! I also have collected some Saramaccan resources along the way. It is related to Sranan and I think it would be an easy pick-up after getting to a good level in ST.

I may join you in learning the language next year. I will definitely be following along with great interest! If I can help, please let me know.
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poeticsteph
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:08 am
Languages: Current: English (N), Portuguese (C1), Dutch (A1), Sranan Tongo (beginner)

Next: Saramaccan (beginner), Haitian Creole (A2).

Past: French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Mauritian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Guarani, Lingala, Swahili, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Swedish, Japanese, and Hungarian.
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Re: Poeticsteph's Sranan Tongo Log

Postby poeticsteph » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:26 am

Today I spent about 20 minutes working with the Peace Corps material as well as listening to some of the music I recorded at the Winti "prey."

I spent lots of time lost in the SIL site that iguanamon recommended, downloading not just Sranan Tongo materials but Saramaccan, Ndyuka, and several Brazilian languages. :)
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poeticsteph
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:08 am
Languages: Current: English (N), Portuguese (C1), Dutch (A1), Sranan Tongo (beginner)

Next: Saramaccan (beginner), Haitian Creole (A2).

Past: French, Spanish, Italian, Latin, Mauritian Creole, Cape Verdean Creole, Guarani, Lingala, Swahili, Yoruba, Afrikaans, Swedish, Japanese, and Hungarian.
x 27

Re: Poeticsteph's Sranan Tongo Log

Postby poeticsteph » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:56 am

Thursday: 26 minutes with Sranan Tongo audio Bible and the Peace Corps course

Friday: 16 minutes with Sranan Tongo audio/text Bible and the Peace Corps course

Saturday: 29 minutes with Bible stories/songs and the Peace Corps course

Yes, it’s ironic and possibly hypocritical etc. to be using Christian resources when my main motivation
for learning this language is the Winti religion, but I was raised with the Bible. Thus, I know it pretty well. And Sranan Tongo doesn’t have a wealth of resources. Thanks iguanamon for the idea. In my many years of language learning, the Bible as a resource never dawned on me.

I feel slight progress. Again, my time is currently limited. I was not going to take on a second language to study - as Dutch and maintaining my Portuguese are vital - but I couldn’t resist. :)
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