Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

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Sae
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Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:09 am

Ahoyhoy, I'm a new member here, but figure I give one of these a try to keep track, especially now I am learning more than 1 language and I know it is a challenge.

What and Why?

Vietnamese: Intend to visit the country and maybe even work there, there is a demand for my job and I have a list of reasons why I'd want to move there, but it's a big decision and one I've yet to make. Even if I dont, it'll be a good place to visit more than once. And I liked the idea of learning a new language and would like to speak Vietnamese when I go to Vietnam, so I started learning it.

Tuvan: I have been learning Tuvan throat singing. The interest comes from a rabbit hole I dug myself into, it started from taking an interest in Mongolia, its culture, history and music and it broadened from there and found an interest in Tuva too. I ended up buying a Morin Khuur (in my avatar) and started to learn and joined a couple of online groups related to it. And then I saw an advertisement in a group for Tuvan throat singing lessons and I jumped at the opportunity. The guy teaching me lived in Tuvan until recently and his fiancé is Tuvan. As part of my learning to sing in Tuvan, I will need to learn some Tuvan.

But if I am going to learn some Tuvan, why not learn some fluency in Tuvan? I know it's an endangered language, so it feels silly to miss the opportunity to learn it. Especially as I have people I'd be able to practice it with.

Mongolian: I am wanting to learn it for similar reasons to both Tuvan & Vietnamese. But, as to not over do it, I am not learning Mongolian straight away. I've had months with Vietnamese and just started Tuvan. And given there are Mongolic influences in Tuvan, I figure it makes sense not to start them at the same time. Once I am confident enough, I may challenge myself with a 3rd language.

The plan:

Make Vietnamese my first priority. It is the language I've progressed the most with. I am taking lessons 2x a week and am at a point where I need to focus on practice and expanding my vocabulary and getting better at listening & speaking. And the following may help:

  • More online interactions in Vietnamese and language exercises. This will help me develop my written Vietnamese and expand my vocabulary & practice the rules I've already learned. Such as through iTalki
  • Keep regular sessions with my tutor, we're getting more and more conversational, so I can keep it up and he can correct me or offer better ways of saying things.
  • Once more confidend, see if I can find Vietnamese language partners to speak to for a variety of speakers

With Tuvan, I am pursuing the Mango online course, which I have started and I will make sure I write down what I learn because I retain information better that way. I will focus on the sounds to start with, because a) the sounds are important for my singing and b) it's one of the parts I struggle with when learning a language, and I think nipping that in the bud early will help when I learn new words. It's something I wish I did with Vietnamese.

I will need to learn Cyrillic, but Mango makes it easier for me to learn this as I go along. My singing tutor might be able to offer Tuvan lessons, depending on budget, I will consider it. Vietnamese is my priority and my tutor budget is currently spent on that and my singing lessons.

I will aim for 1 lesson per day on Mango to start with and then at least 1 review a day after wards. I know after time, one lesson a day is less sustainable and I may look at twice a week like I am with Vietnamese. But I think it is good to get a good rhythm going whilst I have new language motivation.


The Challenge

I know learning more than 1 language at a time can be a challenge, so it is something I am conscious of. I'm not an experienced language learner and have looked up advice for doing this, which I will refer back to occasionally so that I do not lose sight. Fortunately I have a good headstart on Vietnamese and the two languages are very different and there are things I've learned from studying Vietnamese that I can apply to improving my learning of Tuvan.

The biggest challenge I expect will be when I add Mongolian to the mix, because there are Mongolic influences in Tuvan. I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
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Sae
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Thu Jun 23, 2022 1:32 pm

I guess to get started, I can review my week & progress so far with some thoughts.

Attempting daily Tuvan already is challenging when it comes to days I work in the office, because I leave early and by the time I get home my brain isn't engaged. On work from home days it's not so bad. So I think to revise my current plan, maybe every day I am not in the office is more realistic.

Vietnamese I think I have a good routine for, my last session with my tutor seemed to go well, it was mostly conversation and I tried to experiment a bit. I'm still slow, but I think that's normal for the stage I'm at. But learning Vietnamese I think has definitely helped me learn some lessons I can apply to Tuvan. There's things I wish I did with Vietnamese at the start that I'm now doing with Tuvan, such as learning the sound and pronunciation more and keeping a hand written record of everything I practice and embrace just a lot of repetition when I learn something new. I find it helps me retain more. And also writing them in a way I can cannot those sounds. EG: I've written Tuvan's "Bayrlyg" down as "Buy-a-lu" next to it (goodbye).

Fortunately there are a couple of things I've picked up from Vietnamese that helps with Tuvan.

EG: Tuvan seems to form questions in a similar way:

Uruungar bar be? (Tuvan)
Bạn có con gái không? (Vietnamese)

The question word sits at the end, 'be' in Tuvan and 'không' in Vietnamese, but this is only a yes/no answer question, so both languages have a specific word to signify such questions and then way I end up interpreting it in my head would be, "you have a daughter, right?" as the best like-for-like translation into English, rather than "Do you have a daughter?" Though to differentiate the two languages here, Tuvan seems to rely on context here (which I believe Japanese does too) whereas Vietnamese is a little more specific. Because in Tuvan the translation is closer to "daughter have, right?" and Vietnamese it's, "you have daughter, right?"

I know they're not related languages, but it's interesting to spot patterns I can use to better memorise another language and establish where they vary so I don't confuse rules.

And Tuvan deviates from this structure when it comes to other questions, whereas Vietnamese doesn't tend to.
A good comparison is maybe "How are you today?"
Bögun siler kayi hireh siler? (Tuvan) - Today, you which about you? (literal)
Hôm nay bạn thế nào? (Vietnamese) - Today, you how? (literal)
And interestingly 'nào' without the 'thế' before it means 'which'. So it looks like both languages add a word to 'which' to form 'how'.
In Vietnamese the question word is still at the end. But in Tuvan, it has a pronoun at the end. And this seems common in their use of pronouns, where there's repetition. And you'll see in it sentences like: "men eki eves tur men" or "I am not well" ("I well not am I")

And a couple of cool things I've found over the last week:
1) This woman reciting poetry in Tuvan, which is cool.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5gC7zVKnkY
2) The Tuvan national anthem has no right being this good. I plan to study the lyrics too.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQaw-li9NQ8
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby rdearman » Thu Jun 23, 2022 2:38 pm

An eclectic mix of languages. Good luck!
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Sae
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:13 pm

Thanks!

To update this. A few notes: admittedly I got a bit too lax on my Tuvan, but with busy times at work there is the tendency to get in the mind of relaxing my brain.

So to account for the loss this week, I've revised all my old material and typed up my notes from my book. I found a new language learning planning template for Notion, so I've set it up for my language learning and started adding my notes to that.
So the result of today's Tuvan review, is that I have everything I've learned so far typed up. I find writing stuff down helps me remember.
But on a positive note, I also did a review in the Mango app and got 7/10 correct, not as bad as I could have done. And my failed sentences were ones I only covered in my last lesson and am less practiced with them.

Looking through my notes, there's a couple of interesting things that strike me. The first is how both verb and noun endings change based on the purpose of the sentence and the second is that the vowel may change to ensure vowel harmony.

EG:
Оглуңар бар бе?/Oglungar bar be?
Which means:
"Do you have a son?"
'-ңар/-ngar" is the word ending
And then in
Өөңер-бүле бар бе?/öönger-bileh bar be?
Which means
"Do you have family?"
The word ending has become "-ңер/-nger"

And it sounds nicer that way. But another point, in trying to use a Cyrillic keyboard I've found that actually Tuvan's Cyrillic has letters that the Russian one doesn't, so I can't use a couple I found online to get 'ң', 'ү' or 'ө', which are 'ng', 'ü' and 'ö'. So I'm going to see if I can dig out software that has these represented.

With my Vietnamese, however, I've still been keeping regular sessions and focusing on conversation. I'm looking at new tools to help supplement my lessons to challenge my understanding of sentence structures and expand my vocabulary. Clozemaster looks like it may be a useful app/site for that and I will see how it goes. But I have a plan this week to revise some of the lessons we've gone over before my next session.
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby vonPeterhof » Sat Jul 02, 2022 3:24 pm

Sae wrote:But another point, in trying to use a Cyrillic keyboard I've found that actually Tuvan's Cyrillic has letters that the Russian one doesn't, so I can't use a couple I found online to get 'ң', 'ү' or 'ө', which are 'ng', 'ü' and 'ö'. So I'm going to see if I can dig out software that has these represented.

If you can't find a specifically Tuvan keyboard, all three of those letters exist in Kazakh and Kyrgyz Cyrillic, which should be more widely available.
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Sat Jul 02, 2022 6:14 pm

vonPeterhof wrote:
Sae wrote:But another point, in trying to use a Cyrillic keyboard I've found that actually Tuvan's Cyrillic has letters that the Russian one doesn't, so I can't use a couple I found online to get 'ң', 'ү' or 'ө', which are 'ng', 'ü' and 'ö'. So I'm going to see if I can dig out software that has these represented.

If you can't find a specifically Tuvan keyboard, all three of those letters exist in Kazakh and Kyrgyz Cyrillic, which should be more widely available.

Good call, it looks like Lexilogos has an online Kazakh one. Thanks.
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Sae
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Sat Jul 09, 2022 3:57 pm

This week ended up having more of a Vietnamese focus, because it is my primary focus language and last weekend I reviewed all of my Tuvan, but I've got little snippets of it done throughout the week.

Conversation has definitely been improving with Vietnamese, I'm now giving longer full answers, because I've go the tools to. And today's conversations started quite naturally, rather than my tutor forcing prompts, because it started with asking whether i had work today, confirming that I only work week days and checking what days I'm in the office and at home and then asking what I'm doing with the weekend and if I had any throat singing lessons. We went onto talking about why I have had one (because my tutor is in Turkey this week) and it progressed into questions about why I wanted to learn throat singing and playing the Morin Khuur and as I'd never mentioned Tuvan before, he was curious about why I was learning and so on. I am still stumbling in places, but he's repeating less, saying more at normal speed and getting quicker answers (for the most part) out of me.

And this week I also ended up looking at new stuff to watch in Vietnamese and stumbled across Shark Tank Vietnam and it reminded me that I still have a way to go, but there were things I could get the gist of and pick out, but a lot. But I like that I was able to almost instantly tell whether somebody was Northern or Southern Vietnamese. I'd probably have caught more if they spoke slower, which I know comes with time and practice.

And in the coming weeks I'm going to be focusing on reading and writing, but still keep conversational practice, which I know I need. And I think it will help me connect tones better too.

I've also started looking at resources I might use for Mongolian, I know I was going to wait longer, but I want to test the water and also see what resources work better. If it interferes with Tuvan, I'll stop. Although there is a relationship between the two languages, so far they seem different enough to no confuse them.


In semi-related news, I got tickets to go see The Hu, this is going to be my 4th attempt to go see them...lets hope nothing screws this up. And I still keep listening to a lot Tuvan and Mongolian music. And my Tuvan throatsinging has been improving, this week I've managed to get the basic technique of Sygyt down and that's the technique I thought I would struggle the most with. There's a lot that can be improved on it, but hey, at least I go the sound out, now I can work with my tutor to refine it and improve technique.

For reference, as I like sharing videos of this stuff:
Sygyt:


And for a song in Tuvan, this is one song I've expressed to my tutor that I want to learn.


And finally, this is in Mongolian. The above band (Alash) worked on the same soundtrack this is from, but the singer, Uyanga Bold, I feel sings beautifully in this song. (And this has subtitles in English & Mongolian):



And er...looking back at this post, I feel I should try to find music in Vietnamese that I like as another means of accessing the language.
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Amandine » Sun Jul 10, 2022 8:57 am

Good luck with seeing The Hu, they are very cool I would love to see them sometime. I also love Tuvan and Mongolian music and am very impressed by your learning the languages.

If you don't know him, Bukhu is a Mongolian singer/morin khuur player who is based here in Sydney and I've seen him live numerous times. Spellbinding sound and a very nice guy to boot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds7XmRnrDdM
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Sae
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Sun Jul 10, 2022 3:17 pm

Amandine wrote:Good luck with seeing The Hu, they are very cool I would love to see them sometime. I also love Tuvan and Mongolian music and am very impressed by your learning the languages.

If you don't know him, Bukhu is a Mongolian singer/morin khuur player who is based here in Sydney and I've seen him live numerous times. Spellbinding sound and a very nice guy to boot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds7XmRnrDdM


Thanks! I can't wait to see them.

And that's a great song, I've heard it before but never seen the guy live, so I am little jealous.

And kudos to him, I love his cover of Micheal Jackson's Earth Song, which is not a song I often hear covered.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QYvXEZ7xtc

The only Mongolian band I've seen (well half of them are American) and that's Tengger Cavalry and they were great, this is from when I recorded them, but sadly the lead singer passed away a couple of years ago.




And I'd love to catch Alash too for seeing a Tuvan performance.
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Sae
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Re: Sae's Log (Vietnamese, Tuvan & Mongolian)

Postby Sae » Sun Jul 17, 2022 10:20 am

I didn't get too much practice in this week aside from the weekend. I blame the hot weather, totally. But I managed to get 2 Vietnamese and 1 Tuvan session in.

The Vietnamese sessions went well and we've been practicing conversations more and more and picking different topics each time. Today's topic was on some of my hobbies and he had me write out a paragraph at the end to talk about a hobby and this is about as far as I got within the time limit he gave me:

ở nhà anh thích hát Tuva vì anh thích nhạc của Tuva và anh gần đây chơi Morin Khuur. Anh đã nghĩ anh không thể hát nhưng bạn của anh nói mọi người có thể hát.

Anh đã thấy 1 quảng cáo cho hát của Tuva và anh bắt đầu học hát với giáo vein mới của anh. Em ấy tên là Rob, và em ấy hát cho ban nhạc của Mông Cổ và em ấy hát từ còn trẻ. Anh học hát 9 tuần và nó rất tốt. Bây giờ anh biết Khoomei, Khoomei là một phong cách hát.


Which means:
"At home I like to Tuvan sing because I like music from Tuva and recently started playing the Morin Khuur. I thought I wasn't able to sing but a friend told me that everybody is able to sing. I saw an advertisement for Tuvan singing and started learning with my new teacher. His name is Rob and he sang in a Mongolian band and has sang since he was young. I've been learning singing for 9 weeks and it has been going well. Right now I know Khoomei, Khoomei is a style of singing."

And he didn't correct anythin but said he gives me 8/10 on pronunciation. So I take that as a win. I had more ideas to express, but I was given a time limit.

Also, this week was the Naadam celebration in Mongolia, I love watching Artger and they put out a video of them making Naadam Khuushur with a couple of guests:



Artger is a great channel for Mongolian culture, which is mostly delivered through the channel's love of food and every so often they bring in foreigners either to try something out or to share something. EG: they brought in people to cook Japanese food for nomads as well as Korean and Vietnamese. So I kind of like their desire to bring people together with the content they put out & it can be kinda wholesome.

On the Tuvan side, it was mainly new vocabulary I've learned this week and I'm still only covering basics and trying to memorise stuff. I'll try to get out a mock conversation when I get far enough. But on the Tuvan singing side, that's going pretty well and my teacher seems impressed with my progress and I am hoping to get a song in Tuvan practiced soon, although I've got a consistent Khoomei when my tension is in the right place, I am now focusing on the different notes in my vocal range and he's given me exercises to harmonise my notes and get the right pitch between each and the feel for them, my range seems to be between A and D at the moment. Then I need to get used to changing my overtones without losing tension, he's given me a phrase in Tuvan to help with that. He also said an altai jaw harp will help, which I've ordered and he'll teach me to play, because the tongue positions used in play the jaw harp are pretty much the same for your overtones. But I am proud of that progress so far.


I've not got much in the way of Mongolian yet, I want to find the right resource, at the moment i've been doing a little with the Ling app, but I'm still shopping around, it's a shame that Mango doesn't offer it, because I like how their app teaches. Sadly a tutor is not in the budget right now.
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