Drp9341 is (accidentally back) in POLAND for another year!!!!

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Re: Drp9341's (NOW) "back in the USA" Advanced Spanish - Polish - French - Portuguese - and Italian LOG!

Postby drp9341 » Thu May 14, 2020 12:45 am

DaveAgain wrote:
drp9341 wrote:I've also been working on my French listening comprehension. I cannot understand (most) French movies and TV series without French subtitles.
What are you doing to improve your listening comprehension?


I've been using https://languagelearningwithnetflix.com/ with Netflix to repeat all the things I don't understand in the series I'm watching. I will do it many times until I can hear all the sounds/figure out what sounds correspond to each word. I am also letting the Youtube videos, "Francais Authentique" play in the background, since that's very clear, and it helps me to cement what the words should sound like. Also, watching those videos will help my pronunciation, since I very often realize that I've been pronouncing, (or assuming it's pronounced) in a different way than it really is.

I'll take the sentences that really surprised me phonetically, and transcribe them into the IPA. I also read a decent amount about French intonation patterns and using that to help me try and figure out where and how the stress falls and . I'm only using Wikipedia. I've noticed that if I prime myself for what I may expect, then it (I think...) helps me decipher things easier. Like (the wikepdia page for example)

"on the final syllable of every "rhythm group" except the last one in a sentence, there is placed a rising pitch. For example[27] (as before the pitch change arrows ↘ and ↗ apply to the syllable immediately following the arrow):

Hier ↗soir, il m'a off↗ert une ciga↘rette. (The English equivalent would be "Last ↗evening, he ↗offered me a ciga↘rette (BrE) / ↘cigarette (AmE).
Le lendemain ma↗tin, après avoir changé le pansement du ma↗lade, l'infir↗mier est ren↗tré chez ↘lui.
Adjectives are in the same rhythm group as their noun. Each item in a list forms its own rhythm group:

Chez le frui↗tier on trouve des ↗pommes, des o↗ranges, des ba↗nanes, des ↗fraises et des abri↘cots.
Side comments inserted into the middle of a sentence form their own rhythm group:

La grande ↗guerre, si j'ai une bonne mé↗moire, a duré quatre ↘ans.
from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(linguistics)#French


It seems to me though that in order to understand TV shows and movies I will have to know the French language very well. Unfortunately, it seems there are many sounds and words that are often not pronounced, and one just needs to know (very well) the way French speakers use the language in order to "fill in the gaps." As in, "there's no other thing that would make sense to say there except X."

I thought about it, and I never really "dedicated" much time to French. I studied French for one year in High School for an easy A my senior year, and then I (crappily) studied for an exam to pass out of the first two year courses, (CLEP tests for US Universities.) I then did one semester of French Composition and Conversation.

I got in a lot of speaking practice in and out of classes, but most of it is was with Haitians or Quebecois. I think I still have it as B2 on here, but honestly, it's B1. It may seem like B2 because my other languages prop my French up, but in terms of the French language itself, I actually don't know that much. It was "really easy" back in the day, (6 years ago) and I just kind of did those University courses, did the Assimil Basic course, and then started engaging with the language steadily over the course of years. I go to French language exchanges whenever I'm invited, or if I see one being advertised, but I've never really dedicated any time to French except back in my Sophomore year of college/University, and my attention wasn't so focused on languages back then. French is pretty ubiquitous I guess. I notice, though, that I have to really struggle to keep up with a group of native speakers, and that it wouldn't be so much work, (a year? 18 months?) to get to a C level. I don't know when I will do so, but I've been in the mood to do some phonetics related stuff, and my French could use some improvement. Regardless, right now French is not going to be very useful to me in the short term, as far as I can see. I'm going to continue working on Polish as my "main project" and just try to watch a Francais Authentique or Inner French video every day. Listening comprehension takes years to build, even when you, "know the language really well."


I'm putting Spanish on the backburner until I get news about the courts reopening. I still speak Spanish multiple times a week, and I watch a lot of TV in Spanish just because I like it and it's not mentally taxing as long as it's not some crazy accent. In terms of Italian, I really don't care. I'm not going to be able to maintain the level I had when I was in Italy, but I listen to Alessandro Barbero almost daily, (he's great, seriously) and through the big WhatsApp group message me and my friends in Italy have, and from calling them from time to time. Italian is so entrenched in my life from so many experiences and encounters I've had in Italy, with Italians, or even with family members, that it would be very hard to forget things. In terms of Portuguese, I'm just letting it hang out for now. I've done it before and it doesn't seem to fade. I still use it for online correspondence and random things I come across on the internet as well as talking to students, but it has gotten a little more Spanish like, especially in terms of the way I phrase things, but that's to be expected.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby drp9341 » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:37 pm

This was a response to a post on another thread, that I'm copying here so I don't loose it.
Anything in bold is an addition to the original post


Thank you, man! The last 3 weeks I've been working a job with all Mexicans, (out of 8 people there's only one other person that speaks English.) It's actually a lot of fun and great for my Spanish. It's total immersion. At night I watch podcasts by comedians and watch standup comedy. My Spanish is improving in terms of uncommon vocab, but mainly I'm getting really good at banter.

This has actually been really interesting. We make fun of everyone and everything, and the guys have a great sense of humor. In terms of Mexican slang I'm actually WAY better than what I would have expected. Netflix, Mexican Youtubers, and reading Mexican forums online over the years really helped. I learned a few words, like "El Zote" for soap. I also heard tons of funny expressions that I understood but would have never came up with. I can't think of the others. I try not to speak with a Mexican accent, which was getting harder by the day. A few Latin Americans who I came across while working with these guys asked if I was from Colombia, one guy even said Spain, but that's probably just based off of how I look.

I'm working at a new job for 3 weeks starting Friday, then going to Poland for 5 weeks before starting grad school. I'll be working with Americans so I'm gonna get back into Polish. (I'm doing jobs for a construction contractor I know outside the city since a lot of stuff - including the courts! - still haven't reopened fully in NYC.)

I had the day off today, and I spoke Polish on the phone for about an hour and listened to the Imponderabilia podcast while I cleaned my room up, (the episode with the guy talking about the war in Ukraine.) No change except that I couldn't think of individual words, but when I was speaking fast those same words that I "couldn't recall" came back naturally.

I'm gonna just keep up with the podcasts and chilled studying as you said. When I go over to Poland I'll check out bookstores and see if there's anything that interests me. I actually finished "Sostiene Pereira" a good Italian book, the other day. (I had to stay with a relative for work the last few weeks, and I brought that book (Idk why, I guess because it's small.) I'll update my progress via my log if you or anyone reading is interested.

I might even copy this post over onto there. Your advice makes a lot of sense though. Taking it slow is a great idea. Also, the advice regarding reading is awesome. I'm gonna start doing that now with interesting books I already have, then switch that to Polish books when I get my hands on something interesting. Any recommendations?
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby cjareck » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:44 am

drp9341 wrote: I'm gonna start doing that now with interesting books I already have, then switch that to Polish books when I get my hands on something interesting. Any recommendations?

It depends on what you are interested in and what your goals are. If you wish to learn about Polish culture and what shaped people who fought for our independence in 1918-1921, then read
"Trylogia" by Henryk Sienkiewicz ("Ogniem i Mieczem", "Potop", "Pan Wołodyjowski"), but it is reather heavy 19th century literature.
Kornel Makuszyński wrote many stories for teenagers in interwar period - "Szatan z siódmej klasy" should be nice.

There are a series of books, "Pan Samochodzik." I read only one "Pan Samochodzik i templariusze," and it was a really exciting detective story. I was a teenager back then. Those books were written in communist times, so language is rather modern, and luckily there is not much communist propaganda in them.

If you are interested in modern Polish literature, I can't help since I'm not reading novels anymore. My wife read the series "Jeżycjada" by Małgorzata Musierowicz and is extremely happy with that, but it is rather literature for teenage girls or women.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby Saim » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:58 pm

I'll have to admit that I've yet to read a Polish-language original from cover to cover. When I started getting into novels in foreign languages a couple of years ago, despite the fact that I was living in Poland, I focused on Hungarian and French, although I did read a couple of Polish non-fiction books (I remember liking Inna rzeczpospolita jest możliwa). Nowadays I'm still mostly focusing on Serbian, although I am looking forward to getting back into Polish fairly soon. As for the things on my reading list, I'm keen on reading some of Olga Tokarczuk's stuff, and I'd also like to get into Polish science fiction and fantasy since that's something I haven't read much of since I was a younger teenager/preteen and it seems like they have a fairly disproportionately developed scene over there.

I have been reading the novel Biegnij, chłopcze, biegnij, and I've been enjoying it quite a lot. That said, it was originally published in Hebrew, although the movie based on it was filmed in Polish.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby cjareck » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:49 pm

Saim wrote:f Olga Tokarczuk's stuff.

I wouldn't recommend that. She received Noble Price only due to political reasons as being in opposition (from the left side) against Polish government.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby Saim » Thu Jun 25, 2020 7:19 pm

cjareck wrote:
Saim wrote:f Olga Tokarczuk's stuff.

I wouldn't recommend that. She received Noble Price only due to political reasons as being in opposition (from the left side) against Polish government.


Have you read her? :)

I don't care about Nobel prizes at all (which means I care even less about complaints that people shouldn't have got Nobel Prizes), it's not something that's on my radar.

It's also a matter of public record that Tokarczuk had already won several awards (Nike 2008, Gloria Artis 2010, Vilenica 2013, Nike 2015) before the current PiS government came into power (October 2015), not that that really matters that much.

Of course, in principle there's nothing wrong with being somewhat put off by an author's political orientation or ideological background. I'd just object to the idea that an author should be avoided based on a single Nobel prize.
Last edited by Saim on Fri Jun 26, 2020 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby Dagane » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:09 pm

Saim wrote:
cjareck wrote:
Saim wrote:f Olga Tokarczuk's stuff.

I wouldn't recommend that. She received Noble Price only due to political reasons as being in opposition (from the left side) against Polish government.


Have you read her? :)

I don't care about Nobel prizes at all (which means I care even less about complaints that people shouldn't have got Nobel Prizes), it's not something that's on my radar.

It's also a matter of public record that Tokarczuk had already won several awards (Nike 2008, Gloria Artis 2010, Vilenica 2013, Nike 2015) years before the current PiS government came into power (October 2015), not that that really matters that much.

Of course, in principle there's nothing wrong with being somewhat put off by an author's political orientation or ideological background. I'd just object to the idea that an author should be avoided based on a single Nobel prize.


I have read one book by her in English and I thought the topics were covered in an interesting way that is common in certain political circles but new to literature. The language was also very beautiful even in the translation. The book I read is "Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead".
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby cjareck » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:15 pm

Saim wrote:Have you read her? :)

As you probably assumed, no ;) I read (or heard) an interview with her. She became a "moral authority" of PO, which is enough for me to keep away from her. To make one thing clear - I'm by no means PiS supporter. I am a conservative catholic and monarchist ;)

Saim wrote:Of course, in principle there's nothing wrong with being somewhat put off by an author's political orientation or ideological background. I'd just object to the idea that an author should be avoided based on a single Nobel prize.


You're right. But my objections are not because of the Nobel Prize, rather I treat Nobel Prize as an argument that my objections are true ;) Our ideological background is different, and that is the only reason I neglect her works.
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby drp9341 » Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:33 am

So this is week 4 of working this construction job. 12 days from now, I'll be going to Poland. If Grad School will be conducted entirely online, then I have made arrangements to stay there for a few months in fall. If not, I'll return to the US on the 26th of August. (Although it seems very unlikely that my particular University will be conducting physical classes.)

Spanish!
My new job is plumbing. I have never liked plumbing, but I grew up doing it, so I am saving up a lot of money doing so. It really does pay to have a trade to fall back on, especially during times like these! The job I'm working on is huge. There are probably 500 workers on the site. I would say that more than 90% of them are from Latin America. I speak Spanish basically all day. Sometimes I work with the one American guy on our crew, and he doesn't speak any Spanish, (although 3 out of the 6 guys in our 'crew' do not speak much English haha.) So the days I work with him, (maybe 2 days a week,) I speak probably 50/50 Spanish-English. On the other days, I speak 90/10 Spanish-English. It's really good for getting used to different accents. My "main" crew is made up of us two Americans, and then two Mexicans and two Colombians. Sometimes I'll get put working with another crew in the second building, (it's a huge job site,) and there it's mostly Guatemalans, Hondurans, and one guy from Mexico and one from Ecuador.

I am quite tall (6'2" / 1.9m) and I think this is the main reason people are so shocked I speak Spanish. It depends where they come from though. The Guatemalans and Hondurans are usually very confused, (there have been so many funny reactions at this point I don't even know where to start,) while people from elsewhere in Latin America normally don't say anything, and then if we talk more and ask where I'm from, they're very confused when I tell them I'm from the US, and that "no one in my family speaks Spanish." Mexicans and other non-central Americans normally just assume I'm a native speaker, they usually say that they thought I was Colombian when they find out I'm American / I'm not a native speaker. There are so many different Spanish accents on that job, that I totally get why no one would flag me as a non-native based on the way I speak.

Flagging me as a non-native because of how I look is a whole other story lol. There is one Mexican guy who is a bit shorter than me, but he has blue eyes and blonde hair. He looks like he's of pure Scandinavian or German descent, to be honest. I don't really know him, and my interactions with him have only been to communicate regarding work, (i.e. are you guys going upstairs after lunch? Cuz we need to work in that spot today. - the most common question asked on a job-site after, "Do you mind if I plug into your extension cord with my 3-way? or some variation of such.) To make a long story short, I've heard him on two different occasions ask Central Americans to please speak to him in Spanish, that he's Mexican and doesn't know English well. One time I heard the guy trying to respond to him in English, even after he asked him something in Spanish, and then when the guy responded in English, he asked again in Spanish, and the guy responded to him again in English. This is when he said that the one time, the second time I wasn't paying attention and didn't hear the build-up. Both times were quite funny.

I do make mistakes in Spanish though, especially depending on how tired I am that day. Usually, though I don't I make mistakes, (at least I don't think so!!! - the things talked about are usually pretty simple.) and I don't think I have a "gringo" accent 97% of the time, (I can normally hear when I pronounce things with an accent, I can feel my mouth not making the sounds correctly and it sounding wrong when it comes out.) This does not mean that I speak perfectly. It ONLY means that normally the things that I need to talk about are quite simple, and I've talked about them, and heard them talked about hundreds of times before. When I work with someone all day, and when we go into a deeper discussion, I do have a non-native accent, and I do make mistakes. Especially if I'm talking about something I've never talked about in Spanish before. Also, the heat, physical exertion, fatigue, and the fact I need to focus on doing something with my hands make it hard to really focus on my speech. It's definitely good for my Spanish, even if it's not really pushing it to improve in terms of vocabulary or grammar all that much. It is however pushing my listening comprehension. When I have a dude with a Cali (Colombia) accent asking me a question on one side, while I'm trying to not be rude and listen to some old Guatemalan tell me his life story, it requires me to really understand Spanish automatically. It's super cool using Spanish with so many different people from so many different countries though. If I have time, I'll ask them questions about how they say things, or ask them about their country's slang, etc. I speak with, (and listen to) the two Colombians the most though by far. I'm open to picking up their intonation, Colombia really does have cool accents, even the accent from Bogota is just awesome to listen to despite it being so neutral in many ways. I like how the way they pronounce "D" makes them sound almost like they have an American accent at times lol.

So yes. I'm using Spanish all the time - but I don't really know if it's improving. I'm doing absolutely nothing to work on Spanish outside of speaking it at work and listening to the comedy Podcast, "Escuela de Nada" whenever they come out with a new episode during my commute. This is because I have been studying POLISH exclusively as of the past few weeks.


__________ P.O.L.I.S.H.___________
I have started doing Anki again, (I think this is week 4,) but I'm doing something a little different this time. I am toggling new cards on and off depending on how many reviews I have, and how much time I want to be spending with Anki. I am NOT working on speaking or pronunciation at all - that will be taken care of naturally when I'm there. I love working on those two skills in all my languages, often to the detriment of my writing and grammar.
Areas of Polish I'm working to improve

- Vocabulary[
*1* I'm reading Reddit's "Polska" subforum for about an hour or more a day, I probably run across 5 new words or expressions that I need to
put into Anki. (I always run it past my girlfriend first to see if it's a "normal" word and if I'd sound weird using it. - this is so helpful.)

*2* I'm reading THE ROUTLEDGE INTERMEDIATE POLISH READER by Grundy and the legendary, Oscar Swan. I rented this book on kindle, and take a lot of notes and learn LOTS of new things - both linguistically and Poland/Polish Society related. Anything by Oscar Swan I've read/studied thus far has been 10/10. I'd even argue that he has made it crossing the "intermediate plateau" in Polish twice as feasible.

- Listening Comprehension
*1* THERE ARE LOTS OF "SLANG" / ALTERNATIVE PRONUNCIATIONS TO POLISH WORDS. I realized this recently with the word, "trzeba." I wrote "trza" instead of "trzeba" (Some of Poles pronounce trzeba this way sometimes.) and my girlfriend told me that she never thought about it, but that many Poles do in fact say "Trza" instead of "Trzeba" quite often.

*** Another one is "Wszyscy" some people say it like "Syscy" or (I may be wrong... but even: 'Sysy')

*** The other day while watching the show, "W głębi lasu" one lady said, "nimiełyś dżyś jehać?" instead of "Nie miałeś gdzieś jehać?" I showed it to my girlfriend and she instantly understood it. She said that "it's like a slang, sometimes people talk like that." She has no interested in linguistics or dialectology, so after a few questions all I could gather was that anyone might say it; it's not confined to a social class, geographic region, or age group. This makes sense, since the character who said it was playing a University Professor in Warsaw.
- Some things are regional, (my girlfriends family members almost always say, "czeba" instead of "trzeba" or pronounce the 'Ę' as "EN" / with virtually no nasality at all. So it's like, /ɛn/ or /ɛm/ instead of /ɛw̃/ (ę is usually pronounced /ɛw̃/ - an open e sound followed by a nasalized "w." It's almost like a diphthong of sorts. Just like the Ą is pronounced /ow̃/.

- Idioms / "little expressions"
A good example is "Jest to o tyle ironiczne, że..." (I just reviewed that card in Anki lol.)
*** This is pretty self-explanatory, but I've been making an effort to get better at recalling common idioms / "smart sounding clauses."



At the end of the day, the biggest roadblock for me when it comes to Polish is the sheer amount of vocabulary I have to learn to get to a "highly fluent" level. In Spanish, z I can talk about so many random topics. It's going to take so long for Polish to get to a similar level. I'm just taking it slow though. Slow and steady wins the race!
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Re: Drp9341's "back in the USA" - Polyglottery in America?

Postby cjareck » Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:43 am

Hope you don't mind small correction in spelling:
drp9341 wrote: "Nie miałeś gdzieś jehać?"

It should be jechać - the pronunciation of "ch" and "h" is the same despite my wife saying that they are little different ;)

As for changes described by you, the people who speak there are rather old or from special regions. Most educated or higher class people rather speak standard Polish. There are also regional differences: my wife sometimes uses phrases in Polish but based on Russian grammar: "daj to dla Darka" instead "daj to Darkowi." She is from part of Poland that, in the years 1795-1918 was part of Russia (from 1915-1918 occupied by Germany). My mother, however, who comes from part that was once part of Germany, says: "usiądź się" instead of simply "usiądź." She simply copies German "sich setzen" with Polish words.
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