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Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:17 am
by nooj
Je suis encore une fois bouleversé par les Québécois, qui ne cessent de produire des groupes ou des artistes qui me fascinent.

Les Colocs:

Depuis les dernières quelques semaines, j'étudie intensément le français par le biais de regarder des videos, des interviews, des interventions académiques. La dernière que j'ai regardée, par ailleurs très interessante et édifiante, traite du multilinguisme au sein de la famille d'origine étrangère.

Et quant à mon plan de lecture, je lis actuellement une traduction du journal d'Anne Frank.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:26 pm
by nooj
A lot has happened since my last entry. Most notably uni has started again.

One of my postgraduate courses is in Spanish. That is to say, the lectures are given in Spanish, the work is handed in in Spanish, the discussions are in Spanish.

One of the courses I audited is Russian. They are moving insufferably slowly for my tastes, so I am studying by myself.

Another of the courses I am studying is Intermediate Arabic. This one is going at a pace I like more. It is nice to finally get some structure to learning standard Arabic. One of the professors is Moroccan, I like being able to talk to her in Moroccan. It is vanishingly rare to find Moroccans here, so I take the time before classes to chat with her.

Yesterday I went with a Spanish person to a nature reserve. We met up with a bunch of French people who came here as au pairs and students. Neither the French nor the Spanish person spoke each other's languages beyond the very basics, despite one of the French guys having taken Spanish as one of his langues vivantes. It looks like the French school system is just as bad as ours.

To top it off, the Spanish girl has basic English so it was not an option to switch to English, she simply wouldn't understand.

I ended up translating between the two groups for most of the day, flipping from Spanish and French and English and Catalan (the Spanish girl grew up in Catalunya). I admit that I really wasn't helping this girl's English, that is to say that she should have been practicing more English with the French instead of both parties relying on me, so I often tried to split off with one French guy and leave her with the rest of French people. It worked, I could hear them speaking English behind me while we were walking around. They were frighteningly obsessed with the kangaroos, like foreigners tend to be, but I was more interested in the platypuses (I managed to see one in the lake).

I admit I was taking this opportunity to speak French and Spanish, which doesn't come by often in my city, but I should have been helping her more with her English.

By the end of the day I was a bit frazzled. I took them to a Korean restaurant where I finished the day by slipping into my native language with the Korean restauranteur and camareros.

At this point I ignore what Spanish and French speakers say about how I speak their language. It used to, but now it no longer matters to me what they think. I know there is an infinity of distance between me and them, so if they say I speak very well, well that's actually damning praise.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:12 am
by nooj
I finally found a house. I was getting a bit desperate. It's far from uni, but that's okay, it means my scrawny little legs will get a work out on the bike.

The house's owner, who lives in her own room in the backyard, is a Russian babushka, who speaks little English. One of the housemates is Iranian. I am so pleased. I will be able to practice both Russian and Persian when I am at home!

Today I went to the informal Arabic conversation group. Luckily there was the Moroccan girl I had met before to talk with (have I mentioned meeting her before? I can't remember), because my standard Arabic is definitely not up to scratch yet, and I know nothing of Levantine or Egyptian Arabic, so talking with the Egyptians and Lebanese would have posed some troubles.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2018 12:12 am
by nooj
I'm finding I have some uneven coverage with my vocabulary in French (it's more obvious with this language). I have a very neutral French, in the sense that it is perfectly grammatical, but not super inventive or fun. E.g. saying that someone is arrogant vs il pète plus haut que son cul.

I am working on that by just asking French speaking people how to say this or that familièrement AND en soutenu.

It's not the biggest problem in the world, but I admire the way that fully fluent speakers with complete grasp of the registers can modulate. J'arrive pas à être grossier, gentil, excessivement rigide/retenu ou détendu. Autant de choses que je dois travailler dans les prochaines semaines...

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 5:50 am
by nooj
Working more on French the last few weeks. Met some people from la Réunion and la Martinique. J'ai une folle envie de leur demander de m'apprendre le créole de leurs îles respectives.

Je m'intéresse pas mal au bouddhisme comme religion (intérêt personnel de longue date) et je trouve l'émission 'sagesses bouddhistes' très bonne. On y invite des bouddhistes. Je trouve que leurs interventions sont justes à la tradition qu'ils représentent. En voici un lien sur yt.

Danse de mots. Une chaîne de radio qui depuis quelques mois consacre une espace aux langues régionales de France. La dernière émission porte sur l'alsacien. Avant ça, le basque.

Moroccan Arabic:

Found a book written by a Japanese linguist in the 70s. Interview of a house keeper of the Japanese embassy of Rabat about numerous topics. No English or Japanese and translation, just straight forward transcription in IPA. Lots of vocab I don't recognise. Working through it with a native speaker.


Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:02 pm
by nooj
I did three dictées. Had a duo of French women testing me. I keep forgetting that in French from France orthography (not in French from Canada), you have to put a space for the deux points like so :

I am really, really over French. I should take a couple months off and see if that helps me regain any kind of affection for this language.

Which is great because I started Italian today.

Everything feels so easy compared to Arabic having some kind of base in Romance languages. I can immediately open up an Italian youtuber and understand chunks of it, even though I've never studied Italian before. I borrowed some textbooks from the library so I'll be working off that. I hear some Italian being spoken in my city, from Italian-Australians as well as Italians. I am excited to talk to them.

In three days I will meet an Italian guy who I have become friends with. He talks to me in Spanish because he wants to practice, but little does he know that I also want to learn his language. My goal is to hold a basic conversation with him. That gives me three days to learn present perfect, future tense, present tense of avvere, essere, some basic verbs, comparatives, superlatives, prepositions, relative clauses, questions. We will see.

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue May 29, 2018 1:41 pm
by nooj
Found a useful book in my library and spent some time reading it: Odd pairs & false friends: dizionario di false analogie e ambigue affinità fra inglese e italiano, by Virginia Browne. The copy I was reading was translated into Italian, meant for Italians learning English I think.

I also found an online copy of an excellent comparative grammar of Italian-Spanish, written in Italian, Contrastiva Grammatica della lingua spagnola. Spagnolo --> Italiano. I had read this book before in Spain, but that was before I had interest in learning Italian.

This seems to be a recurring trend with me: I get interested in languages at the wrong time, after the moment in which I should be interested in them. Of all the foreign (non-hispanohablante) accents I have heard speaking Spanish, Italian is my favourite. I hung around with with many foreigners, but the Italians were my favourite to listen to in Spanish. It's all about the intonation. The Portuguese come close behind. A Portuguese Portuguese accent in Spanish sounds quite different from a Brazilian Portuguese accent in Spanish.

All aboard the Italian train, choo choo...

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:17 am
by nooj
Une chanson québécoise que j'aime, je sais pas pour l'endroit où elle a été tournée, on dirait la Louisiane ?

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:59 am
by nooj
Moroccan Arabic:

جاني الجوع - hunger came to me - I became hungry
قيا الجوع - hunger is in, on me - I am hungry

MA doesn't always use the subject + adjective, it often describes states (like emotions) with verbs.

جيتي زوينة بهاد المكياج - you came beautiful with that makeup - you look beautiful with that makeup

Re: Nooj's language journey

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:07 am
by nooj
السيارة فيها عطل - the car, there is damage in it, on it - the car broke down.

Another example of what I mean. It is unidiomatic to say that the car is damaged.