I was disappointed when I was doing my Pimsleur lesson and I kept mishearing that "gjerne" sounded like it was tone 2 when I knew it was tone 1. But then I looked it up when I got home and it was tone 2 after all, I just wrote it down wrong in my Assimil Norwegian tones Anki deck! I appreciate that Assimil writes the tone for every word in a dialog that has one, but the way they represent it is really stupid. The stressed tone is bold, and for tone 1 that's it but for tone 2 the vowel at the end of the tone phrase is marked with a vowel in italics. But it's really hard to tell a single italic letter from a single plain letter!
I ran into the subordinate clause "kansjke" construction in Duolingo and it was the one they recommended! I had used the V2 construction and they accepted that one too.
One really confusing thing about learning Norwegian after German is that in German, the suffix "en" marks the plural, but in Norwegian it marks the definite singular. So I see something like "damen" in Norwegian and I think it means "ladies" (which it would in German) when in fact it means "the lady" in Norwegian.
I've been distracted from language learning again (see below). But I'm starting to get back into language learning. Yesterday was the first time in a while that I did an Assimil lesson; I also reviewed the audio for all of the previous lessons. I'm trying to catch up on my Anki deck. My highest priority resources are Pimsleur, Assimil, and CALST. If I can also make progress with Nils
that would be great, and I'm also doing just enough Duolingo to keep my streak going and not get kicked out of diamond. I've given up on working on Langenscheidt for now but I'm hoping to go through it later.English
I've been distracted from language learning again. I have a shallow English writing system with no digraphs I've been working on for years. By shallow I mean that it has few if any spelling rules; a deep writing system would have many spelling rules. Over the years I've started to think that deep writing systems and digraphs aren't bad as long as they're consistent and unambiguous, and dealing with Norwegian's rules for long and short vowels inspired me to create a new deep writing system for English. I went through a few iterations over the weekend and I ended up with something I really like. I'll keep practicing it to work out the kinks and formalize the rules, and then maybe I'll make a post about it.
My shallow writing system had something like 50 letters, but the deep system only has two completely new letters (ð and þ are back from Old English, but they are only used about as often as ß in German). There are also five new diacritic marks for the five vowels a, e, i, o, and u:
- Without a diacritic mark, the vowel can be short or long depending on spelling rules.
- A grave accent marks an always-short sound; ì would usually be written as "y" as in "happy" unless it could be mistaken for a consonant, as in "strontìàm" (strontium) or "carrìer".
- A circumflex is used for checked long vowels; unlike other long vowels, these must be followed by a consonant and can't end a word. Examples are "âsk", "ôrànge", and "hûrt".
- The letter "a" has an additional long sound that is spelled with an acute accent. It is used in words like "pám" (palm) and "fáðer" (father).
- If the long version of a plain vowel would be used in a place where spelling rules would indicate a short vowel, it is marked with a macron, as in "nōbler" and "mīnd". The final diacritic mark indicates stress. The vowels à, è, er, and ỳ can never be stressed. By default the primary stress goes on the first stressable vowel. If this is not the case a stress mark (vertical line) is placed under the stressed vowel, as in "himse̩lf". A stress mark can occur together with any other accent mark.
Consonants have some complicated rules. Some consonant sounds are spelled differently depending on whether the following vowel is "slender" or "broad". The slender, or front, vowels are any variation of e, i, or y; all the other vowels are broad. Consonants can also have different forms based on position in a word and whether the sound is alone and immediately follows a short vowel.
Most of the 100 or so most common words and their inflected, contracted, or compound forms all keep their traditional spelling, even when a prefix or suffix with new spelling is added. Stress is marked as normal even in irregular words.
Here's a sample text (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights):
- Traditional: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
- Deep: All humàn beings are born free and equàl in dignity and rites. They are èndowed with rezàn and conshànce and shùd act tàwôrds one ànother in a spirrit of brutherhùd.
- Shallow: Ăl hūm·n bēiŋz år bôrn frē and ēq·l in dignitʏ and rīts. Ðā år ᵋndŏd wiþ rēz·n and konʃ·ns and ʃʊd act t·wôrdz wun ·nuðᵋr in a spirit of bruðᵋrhʊd.
Above is the most radical version of my shallow alphabet. It has no spelling rules and only three irregular words. I also have more moderate versions with some spelling rules and more irregular words. I think the shallow alphabet was pretty good for what it was but was maybe a bit too out there. The deep version should be much more readable for users of traditional English spelling, although it would be harder to learn for new learners of English writing because there are so many rules to keep track of.Progress-o-meter™Norsk :
Pimsleur Norwegian :
Duolingo Norwegian :
Assimil Le norvégien : The Mystery of Nils (Part 1) :
Langenscheidt Norwegisch mit System :
CALST long ø drillsEnglish :
Nathaniel Hawthorne - The House of Seven Gables