Bønder og Bønner - 6 Norwegian courses in 4 languages

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Iversen
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Iversen » Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:36 pm

Carl wrote:This is something I'm trying to figure out in Danish. I often hear the Danish "meget" pronounced like "mæl" or something. But sometimes like "meget." I suspect it depends on the speaker's dialect.


Written "meget" generally sounds like English "my" plus a hard (but not too hard) 'd'. Or alternatively with a 'soft d' - you can do both and even switch between them.

If you stress the word it may be pronounced as /meee/ (with a flat 'e' sound, not an 'æ') plus something that in English might be spelled "yeut": "meee - yeut". Luckily this last variant isn't as common as the first one. There isn't much dialectal variation with precisely this word, except that the open 'a' sound in the first version (i.e. the 'y' of "my") can be more or less open - but a very open 'a 'here may appear as slightly vulgar.

There is also an inflected form "megen" (for instance "megen omhu"), but this is quite formal and will mostly be pronounced as (short) English "mine", with "meee-yeun" as the alternative form.

And ahem, all this would be much easier to explain if it weren't supposed to be illustrated with letter sequences in English with its arcane writing system.

And as Carl I find weird to refer to things as "er" oder "sie" in German and to living neutra as "es". It doesn't bother me much to say "das Mädchen", but after 50 year with German I still cringe when i have to refer to a lady with the word "es" just because there is a -chen attached to the word that denotes her. In Danish you can humoristically refer to ships as "hun" (feminine living form), but that's the only case I can think of. Otherwise you always refer to things as "den" or "det" and to persons as "han" eller "hun". However you can refer to animals with both sets of pronomina, depending on your relation to them. A beloved pet (female) dog would be "hun", but my neighbour is "det" because the thing irritates me. However I'm sure its family call it "han".
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Carl » Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:32 am

In case it needs further clarification, PeterMollenburg was right on when he said, "the esteemed professor's comments were likely made in jest."

As I said, the whole thing is worth reading. Mark Twain will even teach you how to enliven your German and amaze your interlocutors by tossing Schlag, Zug, and also randomly into conversations.;-)
https://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/twain.german.html
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:00 am

Interesting turn of events. My wife needs to quarantine for a while because one of her students tested positive for covid, and our daughter isn't allowed in daycare until the quarantine is over so I'll need to stay home from work to take care of her. They've been taking precautions at my wife's school so I think it's unlikely she got it, but it's still obnoxious to have to deal with that situation. But I'll be glad to get so much extra time with my daughter, that's the upside.

At first I was afraid this might derail my Norwegian project since I won't be commuting and that's when I usually use Pimsleur. But I think I should be able to do it while my daughter plays, so I think I should be able to keep going.

My Assimil superpack came in the mail today! Now I have all 5 of my courses.

20201105_213219.jpg
20201105_213219.jpg (125.28 KiB) Viewed 298 times

Well, Pimsleur and Duolingo being apps, I couldn't really get them in the picture. I'll also plan on getting volume 2 of Nils but Amazons ships it fast so I won't order it until I'm almost done with volume 1.

Carl wrote:@Deinonysus:
Sofies verden--that's a great choice! Sort of the Harry Potter of Norway. A young adult book that's interesting enough to be a bestseller; it's translated into a bunch of languages; and there's a Norwegian-language film version for watching and making subs2srs-style Anki cards out of.

I haven't tried for a while, but I've had difficulties finding ways to buy physical books in Norwegian or Swedish for shipping to the U.S. I've given up and just go with ebooks these days. Here's Sofies verden from one place I've used:
https://www.adlibris.com/no/sok?q=sofies%20verden&pn=1

Thanks for the heads up! The ebook is also available through the publisher's website. I would prefer to get my hands on a nice hardcover copy though. No luck from US sellers but there do seem to be a couple of Norwegian online bookstores that ship internationally. I am kind of running out of room in my house though, so maybe the ebook would be better after all...

The Awful German Language is a classic! Of course in English it is massively disrespectful to use our third gender pronoun on a person because it implies non-personhood, so it's hard to get used to other languages where the third gender doesn't have a negative connotation.

I did a bit more research and found a bunch of threads online where some people were saying that using "sie" to refer to "Mädchen" is not uncommon (maybe it comes from English influence), and then prescriptivists were getting very angry and telling them that they were wrong no matter how many people use it. In any case, it doesn't sound like anyone would fault a German speaker for referring back to a "Mädchen" as "es".

Ogrim wrote:Just a word about "meget" in Norwegian. As far as I can tell you won't hear it much in modern colloquial Norwegian. As an adverb meaning "very", most Norwegians would use svært or veldig, so "very good" would be svært bra or veldig bra. I don't think many would say meget bra nowadays. It sounds kind of conservative even to my old ears. :)

Thanks for the tip! I'll insert them into my Pimsleur sessions in place of "meget".
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby tangleweeds » Fri Nov 06, 2020 8:36 pm

Did you find an alternative to the terrifying prices I've been seeing for Assimil Le Norvégien on Amazon or Ebay? If so, please share! (if not, please ignore the rude question).

Can someone in the US order directly from Assimil, who only want 74,90 €, instead of $200? If so, how are they shipping to the US these days? My sources of Japanese materials have been nixing USPS due to their recent problems with timely delivery, and DHL is pricey.
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Deinonysus » Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:01 pm

tangleweeds wrote:Did you find an alternative to the terrifying prices I've been seeing for Assimil Le Norvégien on Amazon or Ebay? If so, please share! (if not, please ignore the rude question).

Can someone in the US order directly from Assimil, who only want 74,90 €, instead of $200? If so, how are they shipping to the US these days? My sources of Japanese materials have been nixing USPS due to their recent problems with timely delivery, and DHL is pricey.

I ordered directly from Assimil, it was around $100 including shipping to the US, and it came in around three days. Their site is available in English now, I think that's new. I'll definitely be ordering directly from them again unless I can find a really good deal from a US vendor. I don't remember what the shipping company was, I think there was only one option and I hadn't heard of it before.
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:11 pm

If there is one thing I could go back and change about how I learned German, I would have learned Norwegian first. It's not that Norwegian has no grammar for me to learn (there the grammatical gender and definite noun forms, for instance), but these grammatical rules seem trivial compared to German. In German I had to think very hard about how to order words, but with Norwegian I need to train myself to stop thinking so much about word order. If I spit out the words in the first order that comes to mind it's usually right, but if I start thinking about how I might say it in German that's when I get confused. With Norwegian, I can focus on learning vocabulary without needing to worry too much about grammar or syntax.

There have been a couple of advantages from learning German first, though (aside from being able to use a German course). First, I can guess where there is a silent g before a j if there is a German cognate that starts with a g. For instance, I heard "gjerne" in Pimsleur and I knew without looking it up that it started with a silent g because of the German word gerne. Second, I was able quickly to notice the pattern that Norwegian nouns ending in an e tend to be feminine (as in suppe, klokke, or hytte), because German has that same pattern.

My current plan is that depending on my Norwegian level after this project, I'll consume a bunch of Norwegian media to strengthen my vocabulary and start working on my French with the CLE books and FSI Basic French. Then when I finish my French materials, I'll start trying to get my German fluent and hopefully it will be much easier before after learning a lot of Germanic vocabulary from Norwegian. And after that, I'll get back to Arabic.

Progress was a bit slow yesterday, I can't be too surprised. I have a bunch of chores to do at night and it takes me a while because I can't concentrate, and then I go to bed late and I haven't had much time to work on my resources. But on the plus side, I was able to do most of a Pimsleur lesson while I was cooking dinner and finish it while I folded the laundry later. I also did a little bit of Duolingo and I've been chipping away at my Anki decks (mostly the Nils one).

Progress-o-Meter™

: 6 / 60 Pimsleur Norwegian
: 38 / 860 Duolingo Norwegian
: 2 / 26 The Mystery of Nils (Part 1)
: 0 / 15 Langenscheidt Norwegisch mit System
: 0 / 100 Assimil Le norvégien
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Montmorency » Sat Nov 07, 2020 11:32 pm

Ogrim wrote:Just a word about "meget" in Norwegian. As far as I can tell you won't hear it much in modern colloquial Norwegian. As an adverb meaning "very", most Norwegians would use svært or veldig, so "very good" would be svært bra or veldig bra. I don't think many would say meget bra nowadays. It sounds kind of conservative even to my old ears. :)


Is it cognate with "mighty" by any chance? (pure guess on my part).
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby Deinonysus » Sun Nov 08, 2020 1:15 am

Montmorency wrote:
Ogrim wrote:Just a word about "meget" in Norwegian. As far as I can tell you won't hear it much in modern colloquial Norwegian. As an adverb meaning "very", most Norwegians would use svært or veldig, so "very good" would be svært bra or veldig bra. I don't think many would say meget bra nowadays. It sounds kind of conservative even to my old ears. :)


Is it cognate with "mighty" by any chance? (pure guess on my part).

Good guess but apparently not.

From Old Danish mikin, originally an accusative form of mikil, from Old Norse mikill, from Proto-Germanic *mikilaz, cognate with Norwegian mye, Swedish mycken, mycket, English much and Gothic [...] (mikils). The older form with l is retained in some placenames like Møgeltønder. The Germanic adjective goes back to Proto-Indo-European *méǵh₂s (“big”), compare Ancient Greek μέγας (mégas) and Latin magnus.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/megen#Danish


Mighty comes from the Proto-Germanic word "mahtīgaz", and its descendant in Norwegian is "mektig", whose meanings include mighty:

Etymology

From a late Old Norse mektugr, borrowed from Middle Low German mechtich, from Old Saxon mahtig, ultimately from Proto-Germanic *mahtīgaz.

Adjective

mektig (indefinite singular mektig, definite singular and plural mektige, comparative mektigere, indefinite superlative mektigst, definite superlative mektigste)

  1. mighty; powerful
  2. vast; huge; enormous
  3. rich
  4. (geology) wide; thick; large

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mektig
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Nov 08, 2020 2:01 am

Carl wrote:PeterMollenburg wrote:
However, with English to compare against, German suddenly appears disrespectful, even outrageous.

Bingo! In fact, the title of Mark Twain's essay is "The Awful German Language."

He further expounds,
To continue with the German genders: a tree is male, its buds are female, its leaves are neuter; horses are sexless, dogs are male, cats are female--tomcats included, of course; a person's mouth, neck, bosom, elbows, fingers, nails, feet, and body are of the male sex, and his head is male or neuter according to the word selected to signify it, and NOT according to the sex of the individual who wears it--for in Germany all the women either male heads or sexless ones; a person's nose, lips, shoulders, breast, hands, and toes are of the female sex; and his hair, ears, eyes, chin, legs, knees, heart, and conscience haven't any sex at all. The inventor of the language probably got what he knew about a conscience from hearsay.

Now, by the above dissection, the reader will see that in Germany a man may THINK he is a man, but when he comes to look into the matter closely, he is bound to have his doubts; he finds that in sober truth he is a most ridiculous mixture; and if he ends by trying to comfort himself with the thought that he can at least depend on a third of this mess as being manly and masculine, the humiliating second thought will quickly remind him that in this respect he is no better off than any woman or cow in the land.


The whole thing is worth a read; it even comes with helpful suggestions for reforming the German language so it makes more sense to native speakers of English. :-)


Carl wrote:In case it needs further clarification, PeterMollenburg was right on when he said, "the esteemed professor's comments were likely made in jest."

As I said, the whole thing is worth reading. Mark Twain will even teach you how to enliven your German and amaze your interlocutors by tossing Schlag, Zug, and also randomly into conversations.;-)
https://faculty.georgetown.edu/jod/texts/twain.german.html


Perhaps the issue is in the terminology. Should linguists even use 'gender', 'masculine', 'feminine', 'neuter' and such terms? This is a manner of distinguishing or categorizing words, and yet usually nothing to do with gender in terms of sexual gender or how masculine or feminine certain objects are except perhaps in some cases. From what I read, Twain was clearly venting his frustration with learning the German language. :lol:
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Re: Norwegian Blitz: 5 courses in 4 languages & 4 months

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:01 am

Deinonysus wrote:My Assimil superpack came in the mail today! Now I have all 5 of my courses.


I've just completed Lesson 8 of Assimil - Le norvegién. Although it has the tones marked throughout the conversations (but not in the exercises, which do not introduce new words, so it shouldn't be an issue), the feminine gender is not used :cry: Anyway, I wanted to bring this to your attention. Line 5 in Lesson 8 in Norwegian goes like this:

Du må skynde deg ellers kommer du for sent igjen.

The French translation in the latest book (I have the same one as you) is as follows:

Non, c'est mon frère.

It didn't take me long (probably a few hours ;) ) to realise the translation with just a little bit off. The older version of the book, ironically has the correction translation, which is:

Il faut que tu te dépêches (tu dois te dépêcher), sinon tu arriveras (arrives/viens) encore en retard (trop tard).

So, keep that in mind for when you reach Lesson 8 (in a few years time ;) - hey I've got to knock out the 6WC competition anyway I can, right? 8-) )
Last edited by PeterMollenburg on Sun Nov 08, 2020 3:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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