Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Fri Oct 30, 2020 6:47 pm

Thanks, cjareck! Audio is indeed missing for lessons 1-18 (out of 100). That's unfortunate...Good thing is I'd tackle the course after going far enough with Assimil (wherever that may be) so I'd already have the basics covered and might be able to take the lack of audio in stride.

The DLI course is also much longer than the FSI one, so there's that. And, I just checked, it uses informal pronunciation (including -in for the 2nd p. pl.), so that's another resource I could make use of to approach "normal" speech!
I guess many would think of Persian as a language where resources are few and far between, but coming from Ladino or Manchu, it's like day and night :)

Of course, having-more-resources doesn't necessarily equate to easier-to-learn and the risk of spending a lot of time looking for the Holy Grail of textbooks/podcasts/etc is an ever looming threat. Hopefully, I think years of learning languages where learning material was scarce made me more willing than before to just stick to what works ok for me rather than hunt for the elusive "best thing" around.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:59 pm

Persian
Studied Assimil lessons 28-31. Not much to say about it, things are going well and I enjoy working through the book.

I also use the schoolbooks mentioned above for additional reading practice. I usually get a fair amount of repetition and can often understand a decent amount of what's written in books designed for years 1-3 of Primary school. Take the following story for instance (taken from a year 3 book):
farsi3.jpg
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That day, I and my father were standing in the xxx of the bread-shop. Three persons were ahead of us.
A boy, who also was my [age/height?]; a man of a high [age/height?] and an old man with a xxx-coloured coat.
I looked at the old man. My heart/mind xxx to/for him. Xxx the old man had no hand.
The baker and his apprentice were working xxx and were bringing the breads' xxx from xxx. One xxx, I passed myself [put myself?] (in) the position of the old man.

Truly! If I were in his position, what would I do? Xxx xxx hand xxx, [how?] can he xxx his affairs?
[How?] can he eat meals? [How?] can he brush his teeth? [How?] can he write? And...
Xxx it is necessary that someone always xxx xxx in(?) affairs to help him.
Xxx arrived to the old man. I said to myself: "Now, how does he want to take the bread?"
If I was in his position, I would xxx a xxx to xxx and would pray the baker to xxx the breads there.

The baker looked at the old man, he came towards him and passed [=put?] two breads on xxx.
I was waiting to see what he'd do?...
Xxx two hands came out from under the coat, with one hand he gave the money to the baker and with the other hand he xxx the breads and thanked the baker.
Xxx I became xxx that the old man had xxx the coat on his xxx.
Granted:
- I don't always get that much of the texts I read in these books
- the pictures help
- some things I intuit, often based on vague memories of words and grammar points I saw in my previous aborted runs through Assimil and Mace's TY (and I may have made some mistakes!).
It also shows how useful it can be to "fool around", since I knew a few of the words only because I had seen them while idly leafing through material other than Assimil (râsti, shâgerd, mesvâk,...).

But whatever the reasons or the caveats, I'm quite pleased with what I can do so far. My goal is to reach a point where I can interact with native material and learn by doing stuff that is more enjoyable than textbook study. This will of course take a long time as far as listening and reading material aimed at adults (or even teenagers) is concerned, but reading these lower grades schoolbooks with some ease and learning from them in an enjoyable way may not be too, too far away if I can stick to Assimil for some time.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sat Nov 07, 2020 7:43 pm

Persian
I have finished studying lesson 42, which means I am now slightly further down the course than I was during my last attempt at learning Persian. The last few lessons have been slightly longer (as are the sentences in them) and completely new to me, which led me to think that doing two a day is not the best way to approach them anymore. Schedule wise, I could do it (the lessons are still not terribly long or difficult) but I think the material wouldn't stick as well as it should.

I have also been looking at what Assimil has in store for me. Around lesson 60, the amount of new words in each lesson increases dramatically (from 15 to 25/30, sometimes 40). Vocab learning is my pet peeve and I don't think Assimil lessons provide enough repetition to make learning that amount of words pleasant enough. Because of that, I will probably shift to another main resource once I'll have reached lesson 60 (maybe 63 since this is a review lesson).

Apart from Assimil, I have been doing my usual blend of podcasts listening and reading in the wild. A blog post I read (in French) mentioned Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's diaries and, since that's the kind of stuff I could be interested in, I had a look at them. Turns out I can "read" some and there seems to be a decent amount of repetition between entries. I'll definitely keep "reading" bits here and there.

I also found a couple of comic books. I was suprised to see that the Persian used in them is written according to the everyday pronunciation. Another good resource to get familiar with normal spoken Persian.
holmes.jpg
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Doroste! Un ro bâ kâlaske injâ âvardand!
Dorost ast! U râ bâ kâlaske injâ âvardand!
(written/formal version, if I'm not mistaken)
That's right! They brought him here with a coach.
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby iguanamon » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:44 am

guyome wrote:Persian...I also found a couple of comic books. I was suprised to see that the Persian used in them is written according to the everyday pronunciation. Another good resource to get familiar with normal spoken Persian. ...

Persepolis, the graphic novel by Iranian/French author Marjane Satrapi, might be good for reading later. I read it when at intermediate level in Portuguese translation. No doubt the Farsi version is a translation from French. Could be a good source for a parallel text.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:08 pm

Thanks, Iguanamon! I read the French version years ago, so it would be nice to read it in Persian too.
That also makes me think that I'll have to find a way to buy physical books in Persian (that is, if I ever make it far enough for that to become relevant). I much prefer paper to screens, and I remember my Latin improved when I actually started to have books I could carry everywhere with me (same for Yiddish and Occitan).

I found a couple of online bookstores but they're in the US so they don't always ship to Europe, and if they do shipping costs and delays get in the way...There's another one in the UK but the books are really pricy. I don't know if ordering from some online Iranian bookstores is possible from here. Right now though, it's not a pressing issue, I have plenty of pdf for my short "reading in the wild" experiments.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:05 pm

Yiddish
A passage from I. J. Singer's Yoshe Kalb I've been wanting to write about for some time, but I failed at finding a translation I could copy-paste. I know this will bring down the number of potential readers to abysmal levels but there's no way I'm translating it myself :D
In di vayberishe shtubn ba der kale iz geven groym, luftik. Meydlekh mit meydlekh hobn getantst, farhoybndik di shlepes fun di breyte ongeblozene kleyder, un geredt mit di klezmer daytshmerish.
- Herr muzikant, shpilen zi froyndlikhst ayn sher...

Kelner in kurtse kleyder, mit kleyne yarmelkelekh af di shpits kep, hobn zikh mit kalte getranken geshart iber di shtubn un, mit elegants fun provintser opereten-libhober, tsugetrogen kibed tsu di vayber.
- Vollen zi etvas genisen...
(...)
A badkhn mit a tsekamter poritsisher bord un mit a min galakhishen yarmelke afn shpits kop, hot in hoyln daytsh, mit psukim farbrokt, mit tsitatn fun Shiler un Lesing bavirtst, gramen geflokhtn. Er hot gevorfn mit di hent, geblitst mit di oygn gemakht kuntsn fun a bretl-zinger vi er hot amol in a shtotisher shenk gezen, un gevorfn oyglekh begneyve tsu di meydlekh.

"O heren zi mahl oys hokhgeshetste braaut und ihre libe medkhen,
Sore, Rivke, Rokhl und oykh Roze und Gretkhen.
Das shterben, kholile, und di hayrat kon nyemand mayden,
Den di libe izt dokh fir di yunge layte ayn vahres gan-eydn.

Di rozen duften, ven zi frish zind, zagt der grose dikhter,
Darum freht aykh und libkast aykh, ihr shehne gezikhter.
Und vi di liebe zonne, kale zol dayn likhtik mazl shaynen,
Und baym rabenyu-shel-oylem ayn gliklikhes shikzal oysvaynen..."


Ober ba di mener in beys-hamedresh iz geven eng, dershtikt tsu vern. Ale mol hot an ander khosid gekhalesht fun hits. Yidn hobn im baym kop un fis ongenumen un tsum hoyfishn brunem avekgetrogn. Dort hobn yinglekh af dem farkhaleshtn azoy lang gegosn vaser fun plump, biz er iz gekumen tsu zikh.
- Bir, git mir a glezl bir - hoben yidn gebetn zikh rakhomim ba di meshamosim, vos hobn getsapt bir fun groyse feser.
- Sha zol zayn! - hot Yisroel-Avigdor geshrign - der khosn geyt zogn di droshe. Shtil zol zayn, vi in an oyer. Derekh-erets!
What interested me first here was the insertion of Germanised Yiddish, or maybe rather Yiddishised German. (Modern Standard) German was all the rage in progressive Jewish circles in the 19th/early 20th c., especially in the Austrian-Hungarian empire, and that led to MS German leaving its mark on Yiddish. I mention this because I have sometimes seen German speakers insisting on saying that Yiddish is basically not that different from German and that the differences are mostly due to post-WW2 Yiddishists, who tried their best to artificially make Yiddish different. While there is a kernel of truth in that (I've written about that here I think), it should not be forgotten that before this happened, there also had been decades of people trying to make Yiddish closer to German.

The badkhn's verses here show how one could produce German verses that may have been sort of understandable to Yiddish speakers while being at the same time almost as un-Yiddish as possible: modified phonology (zogt>zagt, sheyne>shehne, zun>zonne, declensions endings...); use of Germanic words that may exist in Yiddish but are far less common than their Hebrew-Aramaic counterparts (gezikhter/ponim, shikzal/goyrl,...); use of Germanisms wholly absent in Yiddish (polite 'Sie', 'Braut' for 'bride',...). Such performance highlights both the very real proximity and the no less real distance between the two.

Another interesting aspect is that all this Germanising takes place on the women's side of the wedding. This is consistent with something I have read about various linguistic situations/languages (Irish English and Occitan for instance): women are the driving force behind linguistic innovation and language shift. This is also the case today in Hasidic, Yiddish-speaking, communities in the USA, where women are reported to have far better English skills than men.


More about badkhonim here. For videos of contemporary badkhonim (such as this one), search for בדחן on Youtube.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:45 am

Persian
Yesterday evening, I was leafing through the DLI Persian course and got an explanation for something that had puzzled me a few days ago, when reading the Holmes comic book I posted about earlier. Many of the sentences I read then used a form of the verb "to have" that seemed unneeded.
Well, turns out it is a feature of informal Persian and can be used to form a progressive tense: man dâram mikhânam "I am reading" (lit. "I have I am reading"). According to DLI (lesson 38), both mikhânam and dâram mikhânam can be used to express progressive present but in spoken Persian the latter is actually more common.
holmes2.jpg
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Dârim harakat mikonim! Khube! Ammâ kojâ dârim mirim?
Harakat mikonim! Khub ast! Ammâ kojâ miravim?
(my attempt at formalising the sentence)
We are moving! Good! But where are we going?

(Got harakat from yesterday's Assimil lesson. Love it when resources all work together.)
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Thu Nov 12, 2020 7:07 pm

I like the illustrations! What's the title of that comic book album? (And who's the illustrator?)
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:50 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:I like the illustrations! What's the title of that comic book album? (And who's the illustrator?)
It's a translation of La Sangsue rouge by Belgian duo André-Paul Duchâteau (story) and Guy Clair (illustrations).
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:21 am

Ladino
There is a book I'd very much like to get my hands on but it is out-of-print and the rare second-hand copies I can find are sold at prohibitive prices. Voices from Jewish Salonika. Selections from the Judezmo Satirical Series 'Tio Ezrá i su Mujer Benuta' and 'Tio Bohor i su mujer Djamila' (dir. David Bunis, 1999) is a large anthology of dialogs published in the Saloniko Ladino newspapers. Here is how Pr. Bunis describes the dialogues in an article published in 1999:
(...) To all of the Saloniki Jews, the contrast between the old-fashioned 'Judezmo' of the conservative, older generation, and the 'Judeo-Espanyol frankeado' of the 'civilised' young people must have been striking. To those with a sense of humor, it sometimes seemed downright hilarious. To writers in search of humorous material for Saloniki's expanding Judezmo satirical press, it was just what the doctor ordered. (...)

[T]he series [of dialogs about Tio Ezra and Benuta] enabled its readers to tune in, once a week, to the 'conversations' of an elderly Saloniki Sephardic couple, bickering between themselves or interacting with their children or grandchildren, nieces or nephews, neighbors or friends. (...) Ezra and Bohor represented the voice of conservatism - particularly in their insistence on the preservation of Sephardic religious and cultural traditions in the face of encroaching modernity. Benuta and Djamila though clearly belonging to the older generation, were nevertheless open to new ideas, and decidely sceptical of the religious establishment. (...)

For the linguist, Cazés' dialogs are a treasure trove. They well illustrate the contextual use of the rich lexicon documented in Joseph Nehama's dictionary of Saloniki Judezmo, while adding lexical items he forgot to include. As in Cazés' poem "Saloniko", the dialogs also illustrate the phonological and grammatical characteristics of the Saloniki dialect, distinct from other major dialects such as that of Istanbul or Izmir (...)
The language of poorer, less educated laborers and vendors such as the series character Semaya, who marries Benuta's niece, Sunhula, is richer in Turkisms - both individual lexical items, and elements drawn from Turkish oral tradition such as proverbs and sayings. The elderly Benuta and Djamila provide examples of some of the peculiarities of traditional women's language, as well as their repertoire of songs celebrating love and marriage; while the speech of Sunhula exemplifies that of the younger generation, with its Italian, French and newly-incorporated Greek elements.

In addition to the linguistic insights they provide, the series dialogs documents elements of the traditional folklore and folk life of the Saloniki Sephardim - proverbs, folk tales, legends, habits and cutoms - many of which were alredy falling into disuse at the time the dialogs were being published. (...)
Sounds so good, I can only hope the book will be reprinted at some point (or that the newspapers themselves will be scanned). In the meanwhile, some of the dialogues can be found online, such as this one in issue #101 of Aki Yerushalayim:
Benuta: Saves, balabay, ke el bakal te mando un kuti de parmachetes ?
Ezra: Para ke ?
Benuta: Para las hanukias.
Ezra: Mandaselo atras.
Benuta: Deke ?
Ezra: Porke ansina kyero yo. Ensupito mos kitates moda oganyo kon parmachetes? Por mas livyaneza. Vadayke tu – todo livyano te parese. No saves si se disho hova i hanukias es kon azeyte. Ya te fize el yoglu ke no merki hanukia de tenekye. Dishites kopikas, kopikas ke sea, ma kon azeyte i mechas.
Benuta: Aman de enkashozo ke kedates, Ezra. Ke es luz kon parmachetes, ke es luz kon mechas — i al parmachet no ay mecha ?
Ezra: Bre, fijika mia, entyende, la fyesta de hanuka se aze porke el Dyo mos fizo akel grande nes de la alkuzika de azeyte ke abasto para ocho dias.
Benuta: Dezvanesido ke te vea i te kantare, balabay. Hanuka non es la fyesta de la alkuza, es la fyesta de la baragania de los makabeos i el kandil yedjesi de la djuderia. Agora esta donanma ya se puede fazer i kon la elektrichita.
Ezra: No esto de akodro, Benuta. A mi deshame rejir kon mi kavesa.
Benuta: Deke, bre mi alma? Ya te ulvidates del tyempo de las donanmas del turko ke areavan kon arabas de la beledie montanyas de fenelikos ke enkolgavan a Beaz Kule. No te akodras de las karaikas de las meshkitas ?
Ezra: Si, ke me kyeres dezir por ei ?
Benuta: Te kyero dezir ke mas moderno de las luzes de azeyte son las de la elektrichita. Luz era akeas? Luz es estas. Ay safek ke mezmo el tamid de las keilod se fazen kon ampules agora ?
Ezra: Bueno Benuta, a mi deshame rejir kon mi kavesa. Yo, hanuka entyendo kon azeyte...
I'll try and post a translation later, but, following some exchanges at iguanamon's log, I'd be interested in knowing what people coming at this dialog from Spanish can make out of it.
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