If you give an עכבר a كعكة

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:49 pm

Back to عربي

I took a break for about a month to work on Norwegian, but Arabic is just too dang cool to stay away from.

As I mentioned in my final (for now) entry in my Norwegian log, I'm back to Arabic now because I watched a video on Lithuanian this week. That's how bad my Wanderlust is. A talk on Lithuanian's conservative Indo-European features came up in my YouTube feed and I thought it was really cool. Then I started looking at Slovenian, because although Lithuanian may have the most conservative declension system in terms of sound changes, Slovenian preserves the neuter gender and dual number, so even though it has one case fewer than Lithuanian it should have more items on the declension chart; unfortunately there don't seem to be many good resources for Slovenian, at least not in English. Lithuanian verbs have lost a lot of Indo-European features. What is the most conservative Indo-European verbal system in a modern language? Probably Greek or maybe Albanian. But of course if you want a really conservative language there's Sanskrit and Ancient Greek. Boy, Sanskrit is pretty cool. Hindi is also really interesting, and if I learned Hindi I would get a lot of Sanskrit vocabulary. Time to watch the Langfocus video on Hindi. Hmm, it looks like even Hindi, which has been heavily Sanskritized, still maintains a good amount of Perso-Arabic vocabulary. Time to look at Persian. Ooh, Persian is really cool.

I found a few cool articles about how easy Persian is to learn. In terms of grammar, it seems just as simple as Afrikaans or the Scandinavian languages, and the pronunciation doesn't seem to present many difficulties either. And this is what pulled me back towards Arabic: this article had a brief passage of Persian with the foreign words highlighted (Arabic words in yellow, country or person names in green, and one Western loanword in blue). Even without any vowels, I was able to understand the Western loanword and all of the green words, and I was also able to identify one Arabic word, وزير (wazīr, meaning government minister or assistant, familiar as the loanword vizier in English). There was also another word سفر (safar) that looked familiar as well, so I looked it up and it means departure, journey, or travel. Swahili has many Arabic loanwords including this one, but a Swahili syllable cannot end in a consonant so they added the vowel "i" at the end, and of course the Swahili word "safari" is very famous and was even re-borrowed into Arabic, so that was why it seemed familiar.

I had been considering abandoning my plans to learn Arabic before Hebrew and instead jump straight into Hebrew. This would likely get me to an intermediate level much more quickly, in as few as 6-9 months depending on how much I get distracted. By contrast, I estimate that going from 1) getting Modern Standard Arabic to an intermediate level where I can understand the news to some degree, to 2) getting Biblical Hebrew to a strong passive level where I can mostly understand Biblical passages, using a bilingual text to fill in what I don't understand and then finally 3) learning Modern Hebrew to a conversational level would take me an absolute minimum of two years but probably more (again, considering how often I get distracted).

But I would be sad to miss out on Arabic. Even at the very beginning stages, I am starting to feel a connection to a very large part of the world that I didn't have access to before, and on top of that I can even pick out the odd word here or there in Persian, Urdu, and any other language that uses the Arabic script. The way I'm going about learning Hebrew is bass-ackwards from the way anyone would reasonably advise someone to do it, but I think my motivation will stay higher because I'm doing it "My Way", even though the quick and dirty way would be much easier.

Reviewing

I listened to the audio from the first seven Assimil Arabic lessons. I have been doing a lot of audio-only reviewing lately and I think it's the way to go. A lot of people on this forum are very into native subtitles, but in my opinion if you do enough listening practice with your learning materials you shouldn't need native subs (unless of course you are deaf or hard of hearing). I'll try to review another 7 lessons tonight and then maybe I'll start the third week of lessons over. I think I had finished 19 lessons before I took a break.

I redid the first lesson of Pimsleur MSA. I can't remember if I did any other lessons before I took my break.

I only have three Duolingo skills that "broke" over the past month. I'll review them and get started again on new skills.

Anki Maintenance

I want to be better about maintaining my Anki decks for languages I'm not currently working on, but will probably return to. Considering that I tend to switch back and forth between languages, I would have an easier time transitioning if I kept all of my decks fresh. I deleted a few that I didn't think were that helpful. I'm going to try to maintain my decks for Norwegian, Inuktitut, Navajo, Biblical Hebrew, Epic Greek, and Modern Standard Arabic. It would take me just under three hours to clear out all my decks, but if I can keep everything up to date I should only have to spend a little bit of time on any given day maintaining my decks.

Progress-o-Meter™

عربي

: 1 / 90 Pimsleur MSA
: 85 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 19 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 2 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook

English

: 2 / 21 The House of Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
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: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
: 8 / 20 FSI French Phonology
: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:08 pm

I've been continuing to review my previous materials. My Anki deck for chapter 4 of the Ahlan wa sahlan has been really hard for me to get through because it contains the Arabic name of every country in the Arab League as well as its capital if different. Most of them are feminine but some are randomly masculine. Many of them include the definite article in the Arabic name but not the English name. And it is hard to remember whether a consonant is plain or velarized because we don't have that distinction in English. I think what will help is to keep listening to the audio until the Arabic pronunciation overwrites the English pronunciation in my head. It may seem impossible to get through but if I work on it every day it will all sink in.

I don't seem to have forgotten many words from Duolingo. As I've mentioned I have a big problem with the way they inserted dialectal grammar into an MSA course without any notice, but I can't deny that it's been a very effective way for me to learn vocabulary. I had been avoiding doing it on the computer because I thought that the keyboard layout was hurting my right hand, but I have been doing some French reviewing because I want to try to get first place in Diamond for a meaningless badge, and I noticed that that was hurting my right hand too. I think the reason isn't the keyboard layout, it's because I am pressing the enter key with my pinky so many times. I've started moving my arm over and pressing it with my index finger to prevent strain. It looks like I have a lot of very useful vocabulary coming up now that I've finished the lessons that are teaching new letters so I'm excited to get cracking again.

I've finished reviewing the audio of the first two weeks of Assimil lessons, but I wasn't able to finish reading the text of the two review lessons last night because I was falling asleep. I should be able to read through them tonight and then review lesson 15.

I'm on the third Pimsleur lesson and I think it's going well. I learned the phrase من فضلك min faḍlik (meaning "please" or literally "from your grace") and unfortunately I was not able to find it in the flash cards that come with Pimsleur's premium subscription plan. I've found that there are a few words missing from the flash cards of each lesson and as often as not, I won't be able to find a word whose pronunciation or spelling I'm not exactly sure of. The premium plan costs 33% more than the audio only plan, so that's a pretty big oversight, because not having to guess how a word is spelled and look it up is my main reason for going with the premium subscription. Fortunately, I was able to correctly guess the spelling on the first try. Those listening drills paid off and I could hear very clearly that the ḍ was emphatic!

As a side note, "faḍlik" would technically have a final vowel "a" when addressing a male or "i" when addressing a female, but I believe that Pimsleur has appropriately left it off because it comes before a pause. The vowel of the second syllable is "i" because it is in the dative case. You see, Duolingo? Pimsleur can introduce the MSA possessive suffixes even if they have a big scary case inflection! Why can't you?

On a side note, I bought a new bookshelf because my collection has been overflowing onto piles on the floor and with books stacked on top of each other on my main bookshelves. I have a couple more on the way. The new one now features most of my coolest language books!

20201203_115831.jpg
20201203_115831.jpg (257.2 KiB) Viewed 298 times
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Corrections welcomed!

: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
: 8 / 20 FSI French Phonology
: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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cjareck
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:46 pm

Deinonysus wrote:As a side note, "faḍlik" would technically have a final vowel "a" when addressing a male or "i" when addressing a female, but I believe that Pimsleur has appropriately left it off because it comes before a pause. The vowel of the second syllable is "i" because it is in the dative case. You see, Duolingo? Pimsleur can introduce the MSA possessive suffixes even if they have a big scary case inflection! Why can't you?

According to the Polish ESKK course, it is "faḍlik" in masculine form and "faḍliki" in the feminine. It seems that they dropped only "a" before the pause. I do not know how native Arabs use it.

Deinonysus wrote:On a side note, I bought a new bookshelf because my collection has been overflowing onto piles on the floor and with books stacked on top of each other on my main bookshelves. I have a couple more on the way. The new one now features most of my coolest language books!

I thought I saw a Polish course, but it turned out to be Indonesian :( (the flag is just an upside-down version of the Polish one)
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HEBREW (27 Dec. 2020)
Listening: 1 (83% content, 100% linguistic)
Reading: 1 (83% content, 90% linguistic)


MSA DLI : 17 / 141ESKK : 7 / 40


Mandarin Assimil : 30 / 105

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:31 am

cjareck wrote:
Deinonysus wrote:As a side note, "faḍlik" would technically have a final vowel "a" when addressing a male or "i" when addressing a female, but I believe that Pimsleur has appropriately left it off because it comes before a pause. The vowel of the second syllable is "i" because it is in the dative case. You see, Duolingo? Pimsleur can introduce the MSA possessive suffixes even if they have a big scary case inflection! Why can't you?

According to the Polish ESKK course, it is "faḍlik" in masculine form and "faḍliki" in the feminine. It seems that they dropped only "a" before the pause. I do not know how native Arabs use it.

Deinonysus wrote:On a side note, I bought a new bookshelf because my collection has been overflowing onto piles on the floor and with books stacked on top of each other on my main bookshelves. I have a couple more on the way. The new one now features most of my coolest language books!

I thought I saw a Polish course, but it turned out to be Indonesian :( (the flag is just an upside-down version of the Polish one)

Interesting. I went back and listened to the end of the lesson again and a man was using "min faḍlik" to address a woman, so that is a difference from the Polish course. I don't remember if the female voice also used it to address a man.

I also found a note in Assimil about it:
20201204_194353.jpg
20201204_194353.jpg (62.9 KiB) Viewed 193 times

I'm not exactly sure if they are saying that "min faḍlik" is not used except in everyday speech, or that no form but "min faḍlik" is used in everyday speech, but either way it seems like "min faḍlik" is gender neutral.

For a long time I could never tell the flags of Indonesia and Poland apart, until I realized that when a slavic flag has a red stripe it's usually on the bottom and if there's a white stripe it's usually on the top. I think the Indonesian flag is almost identical to the flag of Monaco, though.

It's probably only a matter of time before Assimil Polish makes its way into my shelf. I have the bad habit of buying Assimil Superpacks on sale if I think I might study the language, which is one of the reasons why I need more bookshelves.
Last edited by Deinonysus on Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Corrections welcomed!

: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
: 8 / 20 FSI French Phonology
: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Fri Dec 04, 2020 10:10 am

Deinonysus wrote:I also found a note in Assimil about it:
20201203_161414.jpg

I'm not exactly sure if they are saying that "min faḍlik" is not used except in everyday speech, or that no form but "min faḍlik" is used in everyday speech, but either way it seems like "min faḍlik" is gender neutral.

Thank you for the explanation! ESKK course also makes some strange things like teaching the question "Ma ismuh" instead of what would Arab say "ma-smuh" (but it teaches about the inter-word connections). On the other side, there are pausal forms introduced from the start, without any explanation.
Which tense does Assimil introduce first? In ESKK, it is present tense, which is typical for the language courses but is against the Arabic grammar...
Unfortunately, the Assiml course was not translated into Polish, so it was not an option as source material. Honestly, I didn't know about Assimil's existence when I decided to learn the language.

I gather FSI/DLI material. I printed:
- FSI Hebrew
- Hebrew Refresher
- Hebrew Reader
- DLI Arabic
- DLI French
- DLI Mandarin (with a reader)
and Madeenah Arabic
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HEBREW (27 Dec. 2020)
Listening: 1 (83% content, 100% linguistic)
Reading: 1 (83% content, 90% linguistic)


MSA DLI : 17 / 141ESKK : 7 / 40


Mandarin Assimil : 30 / 105

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Dec 05, 2020 1:13 am

cjareck wrote:Thank you for the explanation! ESKK course also makes some strange things like teaching the question "Ma ismuh" instead of what would Arab say "ma-smuh" (but it teaches about the inter-word connections). On the other side, there are pausal forms introduced from the start, without any explanation.
Which tense does Assimil introduce first? In ESKK, it is present tense, which is typical for the language courses but is against the Arabic grammar...
Unfortunately, the Assiml course was not translated into Polish, so it was not an option as source material. Honestly, I didn't know about Assimil's existence when I decided to learn the language.

I gather FSI/DLI material. I printed:
- FSI Hebrew
- Hebrew Refresher
- Hebrew Reader
- DLI Arabic
- DLI French
- DLI Mandarin (with a reader)
and Madeenah Arabic

Interesting, that is definitely a difference from the resources I am using. Assimil's Arabic text is fully vocalized and they used a wasla to show that the two words run together as "mā smuka".
20201204_194516.jpg
20201204_194516.jpg (44.73 KiB) Viewed 192 times

Ahlan wa Sahlan is much less consistently vocalized but it also teaches "mā smuka" and "mā smuki".

Assimil starts with the past tense and Pimsleur starts with the present, which makes sense because Pimsleur contains almost no grammar explanations. I haven't even gotten to any verbs yet in Duolingo or Ahlan wa Sahlan so I couldn't say where they start.

I'm planning on starting DLI Basic Arabic once I start finishing up my shorter courses. Do you think it could be done with audio only while I'm driving, or would I need to be sitting down with the text?
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: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
: 8 / 20 FSI French Phonology
: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:23 am

Deinonysus wrote:I'm planning on starting DLI Basic Arabic once I start finishing up my shorter courses. Do you think it could be done with audio only while I'm driving, or would I need to be sitting down with the text?

I tried to work with the DLI MSA Basic Course by listening only. IT gave quite good results, but I reached the 23rd lesson, and the exercises were too complicated for me to do them. So I started adding everything in Anki. A mixed approach - reading the grammar notes and looking at the drills first and then listening to them - can also yield good results.
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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:14 pm

I made a big breakthrough with Anki today and cleared out all the cards in my Ahlan wa Sahlan deck this morning, studying 177 cards in 41 minutes. I had not finished going through the chapter 4 vocabulary with all the Arab countries and capitals before my Norwegian break so that is really good progress! I will continue to review the dialogues and videos for chapters 1 and 2, and I did be able to get back to work on chapter 3 on Monday.

The Assimil reviewing has been slow, I keep falling asleep reading the second review lesson. If I can finish it and also do lesson 15 tonight and then do a lesson a night after that, I should be back where I left off by Wednesday.
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: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
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: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:14 pm

Since I am learning the past tense from Assimil and the present tense from Pimsleur, I thought I would look into how the verb tenses compare between Arabic and Hebrew, and as it turns out, they both use the same forms for the past tense, but the form that Arabic uses for the present tense is actually used for the future tense in Hebrew! Here are the forms of the verb K-T-B (write) side by side, first with short vowels and soft consonant forms, and then with basic consonants (including long vowels) only:
Arabic Hebrew Tenses.PNG
Arabic Hebrew Tenses.PNG (20.25 KiB) Viewed 113 times

The ʔ symbol is a glottal stop. The lines under some Hebrew consonants represent a soft form that comes when the consonant follows a vowel unless historically doubled; Modern Hebrew doesn't pronounce the soft form of T. The vowel that I'm writing as ɔ is pronounced the same as /a/ in Modern Hebrew. The H at the end of the 3rd person feminine past form is silent and it represents the feminine ending that corresponds to the tāʾ marbūṭah in Arabic.

Now, why on earth does Hebrew use the Arabic present tense as its future tense? And what does it do for a present tense? Well, originally Hebrew didn't have tenses at all. Maybe Arabic was like this too at some point but settled into a tense system.

Towards the end of the Biblical period, Jerusalem was conquered by the Babylonians and the Hebrews were exiled in Babylon. Now, the Babylonian empire originally spoke the Akkadian language; so did the Assyrian empire. However, Aramaic took over as the dominant language in Mesopotamia, and in modern times the term Assyrian is used to refer to a dialect of Aramaic, not Akkadian (which is extinct). Hebrew took on some new traits due to contact with the Aramaic language. One was that the stop consonants gained soft versions, which I mentioned earlier. Another is that Hebrew's aspect system morphed into a tense system. The perfective form became the past tense, and the imperfective form became the future tense. But with both of the fully conjugated forms used up for the past and future, what did they do for a present tense? As it turns out, Hebrews active participle became the present tense form (which is why the present tense behaves like an adjective in Modern Hebrew, which has been discussed earlier in this log). Arabic still retains the active participle and doesn't use it as a tense.

Due to this prolonged contact, and also probably due Aramaic's status as the dominant language of Mesopotamia and the Levant, Aramaic eventually displaced Hebrew as the spoken language of the Jews, which is why Jesus spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew, as his native language. Hebrew would not be spoken as a native language again until the 19ᵗʰ century when it was revived.

Arabic does things a bit differently and in fact it seems to handle tenses the same way that Germanic languages do: there are special forms for the past and present tenses, and the future tense is indicated by adding an auxiliary verb to the present tense form.
3 x
Corrections welcomed!

: 170 / 1035 Duolingo French
: 8 / 20 FSI French Phonology
: 7 / 65 Mauger—Cours de langue et de civilisation françaises livre I
: 1 / 46 CLE—Phonétique progressive du français (intermédiaire)

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cjareck
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=8589
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:35 pm

Deinonysus wrote:Arabic does things a bit differently and in fact it seems to handle tenses the same way that Germanic languages do: there are special forms for the past and present tenses, and the future tense is indicated by adding an auxiliary verb to the present tense form.

I Arabic, you add the prefix "sa" to the present tense form to get the future tense. So it is even shorter than with an auxiliary verb.
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HEBREW (27 Dec. 2020)
Listening: 1 (83% content, 100% linguistic)
Reading: 1 (83% content, 90% linguistic)


MSA DLI : 17 / 141ESKK : 7 / 40


Mandarin Assimil : 30 / 105


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