AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby Caromarlyse » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:29 pm

AroAro wrote:
cjareck wrote:The German dialects that I've heard are Berliner (sorry for Polish transcription), "jut," "jenał" (in English spelling it would be something like "ut, yenau") for "gut" and "genau" and Freiburger (Schwarzwald) where they say "donnersztag" (in English "donneshtag") for "Donnerstag."


I am exposed basically only to Hochdeutsch, so whenever I hear some deviations from the standard pronunciation, it makes me question my listening skills. The number of German dialects is just staggering.


Occasionally I put on German winter sports on TV and question whether I even know German at all!
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Thu Dec 24, 2020 8:58 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Hebrew/Russian - as predicted, I did some overtime in the past days but probably not as much as I initially feared and definitely not as much as in previous years, so I had time to progress through my Assimil courses. I am now at the lesson 15 in both languages. For Hebrew each new lesson is more complicated, the grammar and vocab are totally unknown to me. I need to listen many times to each dialogue to really let it sink in, and in general each day I spend more time on Hebrew than on Russian. I try to do one lesson in each language daily but maybe I should modify my plan and continue to do one Russian lesson daily and for Hebrew I'll spend two days on one lesson to consolidate the new material. The thing is that we're expecting a second baby in May/June, so I'd like to do as much as possible before the "big day" (based on my experience with the first kid, I won't be able to do any studying for many weeks or even months). On the other hand, I don't want to rush through Hebrew and do the lessons too quickly and superficially - I fear I might easily forget everything just as quickly. I'll think about it next week and maybe I'll change my study plan starting with January.

Maintenance languages - I bought a pocket calendar for 2021 to keep track of the things I do in these languages because I don't remember it exactly. Anyway, I listened to one episode of "Horsaal" from FunkNova about works of art that were brought in to Europe from Africa. It was above my level but I managed to understand quite a lot. In fact, I can easily understand news and reports on current issues but other, more elaborate, topics are sometimes still a challenge to me. I also listen a lot to NDR Info when working. As for Romanian, I watched two episodes of "Romania, te iubesc" (about Jerusalem and about young people who left Romania and study in England) and I'm now at the episode 25 of "Istoria Romaniei". And of course there is some listening and reading in English, French and Italian on the days allocated to each of them (I can recommend an episode from "Nova Lectio" about the last days of Constantinople). I'm now reading "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith in English, quite a good read (though there are some historical inconsistencies, but I won't complain).
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby cjareck » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:06 am

AroAro wrote: The thing is that we're expecting a second baby in May/June, so I'd like to do as much as possible before the "big day" (based on my experience with the first kid, I won't be able to do any studying for many weeks or even months).

Congratulations! Are you sure that is only one? ;) With my twin girls, we also were initially told that there is only one baby ;)
Nevertheless, when you go for a walk with such a small child, you may listen to audio recordings as it sleeps. I tested it on myself for quite a long time...
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:34 am

cjareck wrote:
AroAro wrote: The thing is that we're expecting a second baby in May/June, so I'd like to do as much as possible before the "big day" (based on my experience with the first kid, I won't be able to do any studying for many weeks or even months).

Congratulations! Are you sure that is only one? ;) With my twin girls, we also were initially told that there is only one baby ;)
Nevertheless, when you go for a walk with such a small child, you may listen to audio recordings as it sleeps. I tested it on myself for quite a long time...


Thank you! Wow, that must have been a big surprise! But I hope we'll get only one baby this time as well :) and you mean IF it sleeps... ;) because honestly, our first kid did not sleep that much for the first few weeks (be it night or day). So I just hope this time it will be different because I've already had my share of sleepless nights!
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:28 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Hebrew - I'm at the lesson 21 from Assimil. As planned, I slowed down the pace with this language because I prefer to learn the new material well, Hebrew being so different from the languages I've learned so far. I noticed that the young woman from the Assimil recordings does not pronounce the letter "he" ה at all. I wonder if it's some generational change in pronunciation?

Russian - lesson 26. It's as if I were learning a language that I knew a long time ago but did not use for many years and I'm rediscovering it now. Of course, there will be less and less similarities the more I progress.

German - I'm feeling that my extensive listening to German podcasts has finally started to pay off. I listened to an interview with a German humanitarian aid worker on FunkNova and I literally understood everything - her pronunciation was excellent so that helped a lot of course... I'm aware that my German is not near to any kind of fluency but I know I'm doing progress in the area I'm specifically working on (listening) and that's a really rewarding feeling.

Romanian - I was inspired by other forum members who decided to measure their level in some languages at the end of the year and I did the same for Romanian. On the internet site of Institutul Limbii Romane there are a few exam tests from previous years for all the levels. First, I did the test for B2 level and my score was 87%. Of course, I did only reading, vocabulary and listening parts. Then, I did a C1 test and though my score was 82.77%, it took me more time to complete it and I felt less at ease. The texts and recordings were more complex than for B2 level - who would have known ;) - but I mean that my level is probably indeed somewhere between B1-B2. For a short moment, I even had a temptation to sign up for B2 exam for the next session (it takes place on-line anyway due to Covid and the fee is not very high) but in the end I did not. I would have to learn how to write in Romanian, go through a lot of tests from previous years to get accustomed to the format, and sign up for some conversations in Romanian. Well, I prefer to spend this time by consuming native content in the language and I bet I will never need to write much in Romanian in my lifetime anyway. Having a certificate is a nice thing but honestly, it's not that useful in real life and it only proves the level of the language one has at the moment of the exam, which leads me to...

English - exactly 10 years ago, in December 2010 I passed a First Certificate in English with grade A which confirmed my B2 level (I believe the exam changed the name since then). I wanted to take this exam to assess my level in English because I had learned this language all by myself. The problem with Polish schools was that although English was and is part of the curriculum, the parents were expected to enroll their kids to private "language schools" that gave English classes in the evenings because it was widely believed you could learn the language only in private lessons and not at school. My parents could not splash out the money for me and my sister and anyway, it's ridiculous that teachers at public schools were allowed to neglect English lessons and let the private schools flourish instead. I mean, we already pay taxes and so on so why we need private schools to complement the public ones... I remember there were dozens of those private language schools in each town. I wonder if it was only a Polish phenomenon?

Italian - and in June 2011, I passed a CELI3 "Livello B2 - con grado A". In all honesty, I do not think that my level was B2 at that moment :) the listening part was the most difficult because I had hardly listened to any Italian before. The oral part went quite smoothly, probably because I had some conversations with an Italian student as part of my preparations before the exam. After the exam, I put Italian on the shelf for a few years. If I remember correctly, I wanted to pass an exam for each of my languages and I wanted to get to C1 or even C2 level exams but I gave up along the way. When preparing for the exam, one learns a lot of stuff that is needed only for the exam. In the end, I preferred to spend this time on consuming native content and so on. I'm not dismissing the idea of exams, maybe if I had more time, I could sign up for some exams myself, but my priorities are elsewhere now.

Sorry for this long post, I did not report much on my progress but rather drifted away from the main subject. I'll try to be more concise next year.

Wishing already all the best in 2021 to all the Forum Members!
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby cjareck » Wed Dec 30, 2020 8:46 am

[quote="AroAro"]
I noticed that the young woman from the Assimil recordings does not pronounce the letter "he" ה at all. I wonder if it's some generational change in pronunciation?
[/qoute]
It may also be due to her background. The Jews are from the whole world, so they really pronounce things differently. On the other hand, however, I remember one older veteran saying that the younger generation speaks Hebrew badly. But this may probably refer to all languages...
I struggled to pronounce that letter currently and once received advice to pronounce the vowel since many native speakers regularly do it.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:21 pm

cjareck wrote:
AroAro wrote: I noticed that the young woman from the Assimil recordings does not pronounce the letter "he" ה at all. I wonder if it's some generational change in pronunciation?
[/qoute]
It may also be due to her background. The Jews are from the whole world, so they really pronounce things differently. On the other hand, however, I remember one older veteran saying that the younger generation speaks Hebrew badly. But this may probably refer to all languages...
I struggled to pronounce that letter currently and once received advice to pronounce the vowel since many native speakers regularly do it.


I searched for some information about it and the site https://www.iwrit.pl/alefbet.php states that in fact more and more Israelis do not pronounce this sound at all, so I guess Assimil Hebrew creators wanted to familiarize the users with this new way of pronunciation:

"to łagodne, delikatne H, jak w angielskim home, niezbyt łatwe do opanowania dla Polaka, ponieważ polska głoska H jest znacznie mocniej artykułowana (lekko charcząca). Lepiej więc tego [h] nie wymówić wcale (tak zresztą robi coraz więcej Izraelczyków), niż wymawiać je jak polskie H."

"it's a soft, delicate H, as in English "home", not so easy to master by Polish speakers, because the Polish sound H is much more articulated. It's better not to pronounce this H at all (just like more and more Isrealis don't do it anyway), than to pronounce it as Polish H."
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:30 am

WEEKLY UPDATE

Hebrew - lesson 26. I'm not the only one who slowed down the pace, it seems the Assimil course does exactly the same thing between 20-30 lessons. Of course, new words show up in each dialogue but I'd say that the grammar part is neglected. We'll see what happens in next lessons.

Russian - lesson 37. Here, on the other hand, new grammar concepts are introduced in each lesson but I'd like to have a full table of declension patterns along the way but they show it only in the grammar appendix section. But I take it as it is, Assimil courses are famous for other things than grammar detailed overview. I'll grab a grammar book once I'm done with it.

English - read 4 pages from Time (still about climate change) and listened to Langfocus video about Australian English and BBC radio documentary about a possible breakup of UK

French - read 3 pages from Le Point and watched 1 Poisson Fecond video (about chewing-gum in Singapore, usually he makes better videos)

Italian - read 4 pages from L'Espresso and watched 2 Nova Lectio videos (about Kazakhstan and Rothschilds)

German - read 2 pages from Der Spiegel and watched 2 videos by MrWissen2Go, listened to 2 episodes of Zeit Verbrechen podcast and 1 episode of Weltempfanger podcast from FunkNova, and 2 episodes of Zwischen Hamburg und Haiti from NDR Info

Romanian - read 2 articles from the Romanian service of DeutscheWelle and watched/listened to: 3 episodes of Romania te iubesc (about seasonal workers, the Danube river and the poorest towns in Romania), 2 Telejurnalul (news programme), an interview with the newly elected president of Moldova Maia Sandu, 2 Agenda Globala episodes from Radio Romania Actualitati, and 2 YT videos by TopOpt (about cats) and Atentie cad mere (something about most important inventions)

I track down my language related activities in a pocket calendar and I can see clearly that I spend most of my time working with Romanian - whereas my goal was to work mainly with German. Maybe I instinctively look up for things in Romanian because I can understand this language better than German. My listening skills have improved definitely in recent months but there is still some work to be done in German, so I hope the trend will reverse next week.
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby ilmari » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:54 am

I noticed that the young woman from the Assimil recordings does not pronounce the letter "he" ה at all. I wonder if it's some generational change in pronunciation?


You are right, there is no difference any more between alef, he and ayin א ה ע in spoken Hebrew, they are all silent. The other day, I was listening to the Haaretz newspaper weekly podcast, and the last part was an interview with Dan Ofri דן עופרי, one of the mythological announcers of the Israeli public broadcast, who is retiring after some 50 years of broadcasting. Ofri explains how, in the past, radio announcers were required to make a clear distinction between the three letters, even though they already did not distinguish between them in normal talk. Today, explains Ofri, even announcers are not required to make the distinction.
You can listen to the podcast here (or on your favorite app), with the interview starting at 40:16.
https://www.haaretz.co.il/digital/podcast/weekly/.premium-PODCAST-1.9425022?lts=1610098795786
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Re: AroAro's log Pусский and עברית

Postby AroAro » Tue Jan 12, 2021 8:45 am

ilmari wrote:
I noticed that the young woman from the Assimil recordings does not pronounce the letter "he" ה at all. I wonder if it's some generational change in pronunciation?


You are right, there is no difference any more between alef, he and ayin א ה ע in spoken Hebrew, they are all silent. The other day, I was listening to the Haaretz newspaper weekly podcast, and the last part was an interview with Dan Ofri דן עופרי, one of the mythological announcers of the Israeli public broadcast, who is retiring after some 50 years of broadcasting. Ofri explains how, in the past, radio announcers were required to make a clear distinction between the three letters, even though they already did not distinguish between them in normal talk. Today, explains Ofri, even announcers are not required to make the distinction.
You can listen to the podcast here (or on your favorite app), with the interview starting at 40:16.
https://www.haaretz.co.il/digital/podcast/weekly/.premium-PODCAST-1.9425022?lts=1610098795786


Thank you, that's really interesting! I hope I'll be able to understand this interview one day :)

It all reminds me of a change in pronunciation that happened in Polish language with the letter "ł". And now that I'm learning Russian, it's a pity that this change ever occurred!

So, up until the mid 20th century, Polish "ł" was pronounced like the Russian hard letter "л" (one must touch the upper teeth with the tip of the tongue). However, during the last few decades, this pronunciation was completely replaced by the new one - "ł" is now pronounced like "w" in English word "way" (it's more of a vowel than a real consonant). The old/Russian "ł" is called "ł sceniczne" ("theater ł") because it was required for actors/tv presenters to pronounce "ł" in this old way but nowadays I don't hear it anymore, not even on TV. People are maybe ashamed to use the "ł sceniczne" (or Russian hard "л") in everyday speech, it's perceived as some kind of regional, eastern variant and not the common norm. If anyone's interested, I paste the link to Wikipedia and a radio report on that (though in Polish only). A similar shift is now taking place in Bulgarian - more and more people pronounce the Bulgarian "л" like Polish "ł".

Personally, I find it very difficult to pronounce the Russian hard "л" because I'm not used at all to this sound though it's very beautiful.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocaliz ... nd_Sorbian

https://www.radio.bialystok.pl/reportaz/index/id/25909
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