The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:30 pm

It was commented sometime last year that animals are popular in log titles in this forum, and that's when I started thinking about which animal I would have used to symbolise my language learning - it didn't take me long to come up with the troglodyte. This is a word I picked up from David Attenborough in the BBC series Planet Earth. It's not the namee of an animal, but rather a term used collectively about animals living in caves. The word itself is Greek and means "cave dweller" - it is actually attested in Ancient Greek, Herodotus uses it about a tribe of Aethiopians. In that particular episode of Planet Earth, there were two types of troglodytes: some never move outside of the cave, but stick to their cave, bleak and pigmentless, all their lives. Others, like the bat, live in caves but go out at night to find food. It's this second type I have in mind when thinking about myself - I wuld love to sit inside reading a book, but occasionally I'll have to venture out and speak to people too...

In this initial post, I'm going to give an overview of what my plans are for this year, though since my plans tend to follow the university, it will mostly be about the first half year for now.

French

The essential thing with French is that my speaking really sucks compared to the other skills, and that has to be my main focus. This term I'll do one course in literature and one in history, both taught in French and with oral exams. The literature course is one I have done before, but the curriculum is slightly changed, so I get to read some new stuff and some old. One good thing about reading French classics is that the books are really cheap - I downloaded Dom Juan (Molière) to my new kindle yesterday, and the price was just 2 euro, which means I can have a kindle book AND a physical book if I want.

I've registered for the Output Challenge in French, and my plan for writing is to write regular summaries of what I read in these two courses. For speaking I'm going to start with reading aloud (from B1 easy readers, which I have a whole bunch of), but hopefully I'll get to talking about the curriculum eventually, beecause that's what I'll have to do when I get to the exams.

I also want to work on grammar, where my main challenge is learning the forms (verbs especially) and putting them to use. As so soften, I found a suitable book on my own bookshelf - The Grammaire progressive du français (niveau intermédiaire).

Russian

Last term, I did an introductory course in Russian at the university (although I had been studying on my own for a year or so already). Although there wasn't much entirey new stuff, I still benefitted a lot from it - I hate memorizing morphology (or anything else, or that matter), and Russian has a lot of endings to learn, so that's something I know a lot better now that I've been forced to do the hard work.... We did the full case system, finite forms of verbs, aspect and verbs of motion last year. This year it seems we are starting out with the participles, followed by the subjunctive. The pace of these courses is really high, so I'm impressed by those who got through it with no previous knowledge.

Apart from following the course, I'd like to try to read a little bit. I've also registered for half an Output Challenge in Russian.

Sami

I'm learning Northern Sami together with a friend, we're working through a course book with audio, and also trying to read a little bit (so far, we've tried Mari Boine lyrics and children's books). I hope we'll finish the first course by summer, and that we both will feel ready for more. There are four courses in the series, and the last one is at B1 level.

My main issue with this course we're using is that it doesn't focus enough on pronunciation. I've therefore started taking the audio apart using Audacity, so I have audio files with only Sami speech, and some space in between for me to repeat, instead of having to listen to all that Norwegian speaking every time.

I also got the uTalk app a few days ago. It's pretty basic, but as long as I'm at a pretty basic level, that's fine. It will teach me a basic vocabulary, and it has audio all the way. The two things I want more than anything right now.

I'm also reading a book I found at the university library, Parlons Lapon - Les Sames: Langue et culture by M. M. Jocelyne Fernandez. the book gives an overview of Northeern Sami grammar, vocabulary, and culture, and is a perfect read-through introduction.

Norwegian/Swedish/Danish

My exam in Nordic literature didn't go very well, so I've registered for a new attempt in the spring. This means I'll be reading more Swedish and Danish and Nynorsk this term, but I'm probably done writing Nynorsk for now.

My new Norwegian courses this term are 1) discourse analysis and 2) norwegian language structure in a comparative light. This last one is partly a course in language typology, partly a study of Nowegian compared with some common immigrant languages. It looks like the languages in question this year will be Vietnamese, Turkish and Tigrinya. We are not supposed to learn these languages, only about them, but I'd like to learn a little bit anyway - I've studied linguistics before, and I know that a practical knowledge of a language will deepen the understanding of the theory. I'd be very happy for any recommendations on resources for Tigrinya.

Vietnamese

As a consequence of the above, I've started learning Vietnamese. I actually started a little bit about a year ago, with the Duolingo course, but found it very challenging (it has since become available on android, which is a big plus). I'm now using Duo, Mondly, and the Teach Yourself Getting started with Vietnamese, which has an excellent introduction to the phonological system, with lots of pronunciation practice.

Turkish

I've studied a little bit of Turkish before, and will probably want to look at it again some time this spring. Probably whenever I feel I could use a break from Vietnamese. My resources for Turkish are the usual: Duo, Mondly, and a textbook (made for use in Norwegian schools).

English

I learned (or aquired) English living in the US, and it has never occured to me since that learning English might be good for anyting. However, a lot of my vocabulary comes from extensive reading, and I've hardly ever used an English dictionary at all, and as a consequence, I know a lot of words in a slightly inaccurate way. As an example, someone once asked what "garrulous" means and I immediately answered that it means "quarrelsome" - meanwhile, someone else looked it up and found that it means "talkative". The scary thing is that it would never occur to me to look it up... I use dictionaries all the time for languages i learn, but never or Norwegian or English. Anyway, I got a Kindle for Christmas, so I thought that would be the perfect way to work a little more actively on vocabulary. I started out getting "Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie, and I picked that one because my mother once told me she had tried reading the book in English, but gave up after a few pages because of the vocabulary was too heavy for her. After that, she has only read Rushdie in translation - and so have I, because I have mostly borrowed the books from her. "Satanic Verses", however, is a book I haven't read at all before. So I started reading a few pages (the pages in question, presumably), and my verdict so far is that my English vocabulary is probably better than my mother's, and that the difficulty of the passage comes not so much from the vocabulary itself as its usage by the author - but you do need to know the words, because you can't possibly guess their meaning from the context. Anyway, whatever else I will get out of this, at least I'll get to read "Satanic Verses".

German, Italian, Latin, Greek

I really should try to find the time for some easy maintenance of these languages. And that's about all I have to say about that for now :roll:
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:30 pm

Books bought

1. Flaubert Trois contes
2. Golden/Mac Donald/Ryen Norsk som fremmedspråk. Grammatikk
3. Jessenne Révolution et empire
4. Lothe/Refsum/Solberg Litteraturvitenskaplig leksikon
5. Bratberg Roald Dahl: grensesprengeren
6. Enquist Livläkarens besök
7. Lunde Bienes historie
8. Fielding The history of Tom Jones, a Foundling
9. Undset Kristin Lavransdatter
10. Tristan et Iseut
11. Bachmann Das dreißigste Jahr
12. Olesha The Three Fat Men
13. Houellebecq La carte et le territoire
14. Selboe Hva er en roman?
15. Булгаков Мастер и Маргарита
16. Herrmann Victoria: En dronning for sin tid
17. Benhabib Et annet verdensborgerskap
18. Zamoyski 1812: Napoleons russiske tragedie
19. Guillou Brobyggarna
20. Sundgren Sociolingvistik
21. Khemiri Ett öga rött
22. Vargas Dans les bois éternels
23. Allende Die Abenteuer von Aguila und Jaguar
24. Cixin Liu The Three-Body Problem
25. Fløgstad Etter i saumane
26. Pettersson Svenska språket under sjuhundra år
27. Gerner Rysslands historia
28. Kniivilä Putins folk
29. Wägner Pennskaftet
30. Lagerkvist Dvärgen
31. Lagerlöf Gösta Berlings saga
32. Söderberg Doktor Glas
33. Burton Gutenberggalaxens nova
34. Moberg Utvandrarna
35. Moberg Invandrarna
36. Dostojevskij Brott och straff
37. de Faire Boken om Yousef
38. Gluchovskij Metro 2033
39. Bojs Min europeiska familj
40. Larsson/Marklund Svensk historia
41. Druon Les Rois Maudits 1: Le roi de fer
42. Pamuk Mon nom est Rouge
43. Guilliou Dandy

Books read

1. Molière Dom Juan
2. Tønnesson Hva er sakprosa?
3. Khemiri Montecore
4. Huntford Fridtjof Nansen
5. Duun Menneske og maktene
6. Bussi Un avion sans elle
7. Selboe Hva er en roman?
8. Sandel Alberte og friheten
9. Guillou Brobyggarna
10. Hansson Masja
11. Khemiri Ett öga rött
12. Wägner Pennskaftet
13. Næss Global grammatikk
Last edited by Mista on Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:55 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:31 pm

Output Challenge

Frech words written: 1772 / 50000
French minutes spoken: 183 / 3000

Russian words written: 982 / 25000
Russian minutes spoken: 60 / 1500


Vietnamese
Duolingo: 22 / 84
Mondly: 3 / 40
TY Get Started: 1 / 14


French
Vocabulaire progressif débutant: 13 / 30
Grammaire progressive intermédiaire: 10 / 53
Last edited by Mista on Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:54 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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zatris
Yellow Belt
Posts: 67
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:22 am
Location: Brazil
Languages: Portuguese (native), English
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 81&p=92296
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby zatris » Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:41 am

Ohh, another person who longs for Amharic! I can't even explain why the language attracts me, I've barely heard it being spoken, I don't know anything about Ethiopian literature (and getting to read the literature is my default main objective when learning a language), but for some reason it sparks my curiosity.
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Corrections are welcome.

I have the patience of an ox. (Gustave Doré)

Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:48 pm

zatris wrote:Ohh, another person who longs for Amharic! I can't even explain why the language attracts me, I've barely heard it being spoken, I don't know anything about Ethiopian literature (and getting to read the literature is my default main objective when learning a language), but for some reason it sparks my curiosity.


I've heard it spoken a lot at work. We have a lot of African students working there, and for a period of some years, the Ethiopians were really abundant. When I started working there, I could hardly place an African country on a map, but as you get to know people, you start wanting to learn a bit about their country and culture (and language!) as well. And it's easy to get fascinated, when the only thing you've ever heard about in connection with Ethiopia previously is famine and war. Oh, and long-distance running, of course. I'd love to visit some of those rock churches one day. But I still don't know anything about Ethiopian literature, either.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

These last two weeks, I've used the time off at the university to put in some extra work, and that means working nights. And working nights means sleeping in the day, and a tired body and mind. Therefore I've spent a lot of time on the couch with my tablet, and whatever language learning I have done has been happening on that tablet. The motivation has been where it should, though, so I have been working consistently, if not a lot, doing Duolingo Vietnamese and Mondly Vietnamese. I also got a new app, the uTalk Sami, which is kind of limited in scope, but still quite useful for me at the moment, as it helps me with my two focus areas, the sound system (listening and pronunciation) and gaining a basic vocabulary (of course, the two are a good match).

I've also been looking a little bit for Tigrinya resources, and found that 50 languages has it. I've downloaded that app too, but haven't started working on it yet. I don't think I can work on Vietnamese, Tigrinya and Turkish at the same time, so I'll stick to Vietnamese for now, and when I feel like switching, I will.

Another thing I did last week was get new course books. Since I'm a bit short of money and my flat is filling up with books, I decided to try the library first, and that worked out very well - now it remains to be seen how long I'll get to keep them. In theory, I think I can keep them for a year or two as long as nobody else is on the waiting list.

So today was the first day of the new term, and when I was back from work yesterday, I suddenly found the energy to start studying properly again. So I finally got back to work on the Output Challenge, for both French and Russian, did some reading for a couple of the courses I'm doing, and located the Vocabulaire Progressif and Grammaire Progressive books and did some work in those. I also decided I want to try out the Goldlist method (no challenge though, just trying it out on my own), so I've made a slow start on that. For French, especially, there should be more than enough vocabulary to work with from my course work.

In the French History course, we have one class a week which is meant to be focused on speaking practice. I had that class today, and we got an assignment to work on in pairs. I was very lucky with the guy I was paired up with, he didn't say a single word in Norwegian throughout the class, including the hellos and goodbyes. It was a good start.
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Maiwenn
Orange Belt
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:26 am
Location: Grand Est, France
Languages: English (N) & French
beginner+: German, Moroccan Arabic
beginner-: MSA
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7321
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Maiwenn » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:26 pm

Mista wrote:I've also been looking a little bit for Tigrinya resources


Tigrinya!! I'm so happy to see someone interested in learning Tigrinya. I imagine you'll have already found these, but just in case, here are some resources I found a few years ago for a friend:

http://tewle.com/en (Has some proverbs, song lyrics, and names with their meaning)
http://www.memhr.org/tigrigna/links.shtml (list of resources)
https://www.facebook.com/Tigrigna.Poetry/ (self-explanatory: Tigrinya poetry)
https://fieldsupport.lingnet.org/productList.aspx?v=lsk <-- This link seems to no longer work and I couldn't find a replacement. Hopefully it's just temporary as it was a great resource with recordings, though with a, er, military-use bent.
https://play.google.com/books/reader?id ... pg=GBS.PP1 (Grammatik der Tigriñasprache in Abessinien, Franz Praetorius, 1871.)
https://archive.org/details/grammaticaeleme00vitogoog (Grammatica Elementare della Lingua Tigrigna, L. de Vito, 1895)
(Tigrinya Grammar, John Mason, 1996)
BBC in Tigrinya: https://www.bbc.com/tigrinya

I had written the following to her about Tigrinya apps at the time, not sure if pricing, etc, is still accurate:
There are various Tigrinya apps available for iphone/ipad. One of which (Tigrinya by Petros Asrat -- a free version and one for $4.99, obviously start with the free one...) is flashcards. Another (Feedel + Ahaz) is the alphabet and numbers with audio if you click on the symbol. There's also the bible in Tigrinya for free (Qal AmlaK - Tigrigna Bible). Axum Tigrigna Fidel ($1.99) seems to be for studying and learning the script! There's a memorization game. It's relatively new, so only one review, which was positive. It could be a fun way to quickly study when taking the elevator/going to meetings/standing in line.
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Corrections are always welcome. :)

SC Arabic movies: 9000 / 9000
SC Arabic books: 611 / 5000

Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:27 pm

I've been snotty and sneezing for a couple of days, and today I woke up with a cough and headache as well. Still, I had to get out of bed early to prepare for my Russian class at noon, but when I checked my email over breakfast, I found out that the class has been cancelled due to illness. So now I get to stay home for a couple of hours extra, before leaving for a lecture on French literature. Looking outside, it seems to be snowing sideways, I can't say I'm looking forward to going out there. I was, however, looking forward to going skiing tomorrow, when I have a short (and early) day at uni and the sun is supposed to be back. I just hope I'll be in shape for it.

French

I'm reading Molière and history, and I'm trying to do it thoroughly to pick up ll the unknown words. The problem is, it's not going fast enough. I still think it's a good idea to be thorough in the beginning, but I'll have to speed up eventually if I'm going to get through it all. I think I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing now and see how things develop. I'll also have to start doing some writing soon. My most immediate plan in that area is to write a summary of the play we are reading (Dom Juan).

Russian

In one of my Russian classes, we are going to do a translation every week. I've done two of them by now - it's a lot of work, but very useful. We have to hand in three of them and have them corrected. Since I've done two already, I'm almost there - that's why it's nice to have the Output Challenge, to have some extra motivation to keep on doing them. The word count has been around 200-250 so far, so by the end of the course I'll probably be at around 10% of the goal :roll: The last text was about what tourists do when they come to Oslo, so they have a practical approach.

Sami

The course book seems to be picking up the pace, which also means that the audio is less annoying to use as is is. This weekend I brought the CD along in my car and listened through the chapter we're working on three times in all, on my way to and from work. In between, I sat down on Saturday evening and read through the chapter in the book, and did a few of the exercises. When we met on Monday, we practiced reading the text. Normally, we would have done the exercises orally as well, but my friend was less prepared than I was this time, so we'll leave that for next week. We are moving through te cases one by one and have now come to the illative, whichin a comparative light seems to have some dative functions (action directed towrds a person) and some accusative functions (movement towards a location).

Vietnamese

I'm going for slow and steady at the moment - 2 Duolingo lessons and 2 Mondly lessons. I'm slowly improving both with listening, spelling, voculary and grammar. It's still fun :D

Tigrinya

My plan was to start tomorrow, with the 6WC (I've registered with Russian, however, because I can't afford to spend a lot of time on any languages other than Russian and French). But I'll have to see what kind of shape I'm in when I wake up tomorrow. A promise to myself: If I go skiing, I'll do Tigrinya too! I'll start slowly, working with 50 languages for 10-15 minutes a day. Since I have no experience with that resource, I'll have to see if I like it or not.

Somali??

I found out that for the course in comparative grammar, we are also supposed to choose a fourth, individual language, preferably from the book of comparative grammars that we are already using for the other three languages. The options, then, are Albanian, Dari, Romanian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil and Urdu. My mother mentioned that Dari and Somali are the most relevant languages (of these) for those who teach Norwegian to foreigners, while also noting that the most relevant languages (of all) are missing from the book (Arabic comes to mind, for example). Anyway, if anyone would like to promote any of these other languages, I'll be happy to hear you thoughts.
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:31 pm

I got sick last Saturday. Just a regular cold, and I tried to ignore it at first, but on Wednesday I collapsed in bed at 9 PM and slept for 11 hours, and when I woke up and still felt terrible I gave in and cancelled all my appointments. I had a compulsory essay for my Norwegian Grammar class due today, so yesterday, I took my laptop to bed and wrote three pages about particle verbs in Norwegian and Swedish, one short interval at a time. In between, I finally allowed myself to start reading the German translation of Game of Thrones. It's been a while since I read any German, but somehow, it seems to be a lot easier than I remember. The language of the book is very straightforward as well - which doesn't surpise me, since I have read the original.

I haven't updated my log since the 6WC started, so here's a summary of what I have been doing the last six weeks or so. Looking back at my last post, it seems I was sick back then too :? Maybe I'm stressing too much, I don't know.

French

I finally decided to to something serious about my speaking skills, which are seriously lagging behind. For most of the 6WC period, I was simply doing the minimum required for my courses, mainly reading and some writing. But then I decided to send out a message to the other students on the history course, asking if anyone would be interested in some group work. The idea is simply to meet twice a week and talk about the curriculum, one topic at a time - summarize the main points, talk about things we haven't understood, and do it all in French so we get as much practice speaking as possible. The exam is oral, so this is an obviously useful way to prepare for it. The first week, I got one other student with me, and we had two sessions together. Then another person expressed her interest too. She hasn't had the chance to join a session yet, but I met her on the subway station after class one day, turns out she lives close to me, so we spent 20 minutes chatting on the subway that day. In French, of course :D . She's not Norwegian, and has only been here for four years, which explains why Norwegian isn't an obvious first choice for her. She also speaks French much better than i do. In the beginning I was a bit slow in responding, and she asked me if it was okay that she spoke French, but I explained to her that I didn't have much practice speaking and therefore was a bit slow in responding, but that I was very happy to get some practice. After that things got gradually easier, and I'm actually quite happy about how I handled the whole thing. I mean, we had a conversation, and it went reasonably well. I've never had a conversation in French before.

I also started doing French on Mondly, to get some repetition of useful basic stuff, and I borrowed an audio course at the library. I want to try out different things and see which turn out to be most useful. I've also been thinking that I should write more, and that writing about the stuff we talk about in history would be a useful approach - that way, I get extra repetition of the content AND I get the chance check essential vocabulary, useful expressions, etc. I haven't starteed yet, but I hope I'll get the chance during Easter.

Russian

My Russian studies at the university are very time consuming, and I never seem to be doing enough. But I can tell that I'm learning a lot. The grammar book has so many exercises, you could drop dead trying to do them all. And yet I am trying.... :D I'm very eager to start reading again when the Super Challenge starts up, and I'm sure that when I pick up that Harry Potter book again, it's going to feel like a whole different book. I'm waiting for the challenge because, in the meanwhile, I want to get through as much of that grammar book as possible. Aside from grammar, we are writing translations from Norwegian to Russian once a week, and we have classes where we practice speaking once a week. For that last class, we all have to do an oral presentation on a subject of our own choice (on topics related to the ones in the book we are using, in most cases). I'm doing mine the week after Easter, and I'm planning to talk about my home town. Besides the course work, I recently started on a new round of regilding the Duolingo tree. The last part of it has lots of things that we have been going through in the classes, so it seems like a good time for it.

Arabic

Aravinda (I think) posted here on the forum about the MOOC series "Kit de contact en langues orientales", and I just couldn't resist registering for the Arabic course. Arabic has been on my list for a long time, but I've never made it past the "phonemes & letters" stage. I only managed to do two weeks of this course before I got too busy with other things, but I it's not too late to get back to it. Hopefully I'll manage to do so over Easter, and then we'll see how far I get before the deadline. So far, my impression of the course is very good. In the beginning, you spend a lot of time learning the alphabet, with exercises of two types: 1. you get a letter or word, read it out loud, then get it read out loud for comparison, 2. you get a sound/word read out loud, then pause and write it down, then you get it written on the screen for comparison. An extremely useful approach, for me at least. There are also videos with basic communication, vocabulary and grammar all blended together in a very nice way. The French, by the way, is very clear and simple, and always supported by writing. I'm pretty sure they have had non-native French speakers in mind when they made the course.

Vietnamese, Turkish, Tigrinya, and Somali

All these were put on hold when I started Arabic. Once I've finished the Arabic course, I'll probably get bck to one of them, most likely Tigrinya. I did work on Tigrinya using the 50 languages app for a few days - it looks useful, but in order to make the most of it, I'll have to learn the alphabet. A little discouraging at first I admit - I do think it's an obvious part of learning a language, but it's not really my favorite part. However, I already have a resource for it on the shelp, as the alphabet is the same as in Amharic, and it doesn't look as difficult as I had feared. Although it's a syllable script, it seems the consonant and vowel components can be clearly distinguished, which makes it a lot easier to learn than hiragana, for example. Not to mention that they, unlike in Japanese, write everything using the same alphabet... (or syllabary, I suppose)

Swedish

In Swedish, I'm reading the novel Montecore by Jonas Hassen Khemiri. A very interesting book, but not suitable for intermediate learners, I think, because it's not exactly standard Swedish he's using. It's also quite metalinguistic, so it's important to be able to see what's going on with the language. It's meta in many other ways, as well, in fact. For example, the author gives the protagonist his own name, while making it clear from the biographical details that the character is fictional. The book is written as a sort of written dialogue between the protagonist (who, of course, is a writer) and a friend of his father, where they are discussing how he should write a biography about his father. Both the father and the friend are from Tunisia, which is why we get the unorthodox Swedish.

Aside from that, I got a last minute notice a while back about a series of summer courses at various Nordic universities, arranged for students from other Nordic countries. When I looked this over, the immediately most tempting course was the one in Reykjavik on Icelandic language and culture. I would hae loved that, but it starts a week before I have finished my exams, which makes it impossible (this year, at least). Instead, I applied for a course in Uppsala on Swedish language, sociolinguistics, and literature, and I got the acceptance letter today. The best thing about this course is the funding: we get 8500 NOK, which is supposed to cover accomodation and travel. Accomodation is arranged and is estimated to cost 4000 SEK (around 3700 NOK). That leaves me a decent amount for the travel, considering a return plane ticket to Stockholm seems to be around 1500 NOK. Of course, that's just because I live in Oslo - in some parts of Norway, I'm sure you would need all that money to cover the travel. What this indicated, however, is that someone is very eager to sponsor students who want to learn more about their neighboring nordic countries. Either the government or some Nordic governmental orgaization, I suppose.

I have no details about the curriculum yet.

Sami

Trudging on. Last time we met, it was time to learn the clock. And we got a little lesson in language contact, as well. The Norwegian way of telling time is pretty exotic - I've never heard of another language where you can say "five to half ten" to express 9.25. But in Sami, you can. That can't possibly be an accident...

We are now working on chapter 11 of 12 in the first book. Almost there :D (Where? At the champage bottle. And the second book. Or something like that)

High Valyrian :lol:

What can I say? I'm sick, I'm in bed, I'm reading Game of Thrones (in German), and suddely it occurs to me: "Didn't Duolingo release a course in High Valyrian?" So I had to try it. Not much more to say bout that. It was fun, but I wouldn't hold my breath for an update
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Mista » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:54 pm

I did the dialang tests for French over the last two days. The results were:
Listening: B1
Writing: B1
Reading: B2
Grammar: B1
Vocabulary: B1
All in all, totally unsurprising. I think the self-evaluation is difficult, though - I don't like answering "yes" or "no" when the real answer is "kind of" - but overall I ended up answering "yes" to those questions, and that turned out to be the wrong answer, in that my self evaluation placed me at B2 while the test results placed me at B1. It also made the test very stressful, since I got very difficult questions and ended up being very relieved when I got the result B1 (which is where I had placed myself if I had been asked to self evaluate myself by simply stating my level).

I'm still not well, but I have to start packing. Clothes are easy - I need my skiing clothes, and something to change into when I get back. Same procedure every year. I should probably go buy some sun screen as well (feeling optimistic :D ). Then i have to pack reading and study materials. i'll be spending 6 hours on the train each direction, which is reading time (internet can't be counted on on Norwegian long distance trains). Alternatively knitting+listening time. Once there, I'll have internet, but it's most reliable in the mornings (too many streaming Easter tourists in a very small location with only around 50 permanent residents, I think). How much time I'll have is uncartain, but I probably should try to limit proper working time and try to focus on activities that blend in with the leisure activities of everyone else - like reading a book. Also, I want to avoid carying too many heavy books.

So, my focus areas will be:
- Russian grammar. If I could squeeze in 30 minutes a day of serious grammar study every day, that would be great. I can also work on this on the train. I should also at some point prepare for my oral presentation.
- French literature. I have the books on Kindle, so it's easy enough to carry. I've read through all the books now, but I'm going through them again more thoroughly, looking up all the words (Kindle is, of course, perfect for this). If I get some extra time, I can do some writing in connection with these texts too, and/or practice reading aloud.
- I'm bringing my tablet, and planning on spending some minutes on Duolingo and Mondly every morning (my family is very used to this already). French + Russian.
- If possible, I'd like to get going with the Arabic course. This is also 100% online and entails no extra weight.
- I have a reading list for Norwegian (Scandinavian) literature that I really need to get going with if I'm going to have any chance of improving that lousy grade I got on the exam last semester. I think I want to go for the Swedish history of Literature. Then pick one or two lightweight novels.
- For the comparative Norwegian grammar class, the book on Phonology.

Ok, that's the checklist done. Time to get to work.
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User avatar
Finolia
Yellow Belt
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:21 pm
Location: Germany
Languages: German (N), English (C1), French (B2), Spanish (A2), Vietnamese (beginner)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=7587
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Re: The troglodyte's path: Mista's log 2018

Postby Finolia » Sun Mar 25, 2018 11:14 am

Mista wrote:The Norwegian way of telling time is pretty exotic - I've never heard of another language where you can say "five to half ten" to express 9.25. But in Sami, you can. That can't possibly be an accident...


In German, we say "fünf vor halb 10" as well :)
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Elementary Vietnamese: 8 / 14


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