Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Jan 05, 2021 2:36 pm

Expugnator wrote:Happy New Year, Ogrim!

Just thought I'd join the discussion on French-based Arabic resources:

Voie Express - Arabe - Brigitte et Bassam Tahhan
Méthode 90 - L'arabe d'aujourd'hui en 90 leçons
Langues pour tous - 40 leçons pour parler arabe

Méthode 90 is my second favorite after Assimil (which I know you dislike, but Méthode 90 is like Linguaphone lessons made shorter and with all within 4 pages).


A very happy new year to you too, Expugnator!

And thanks for the tips about Arabic resources in French, I will check them out, although if they are all at beginner level they may not be so useful to me anymore.

_____________________

Today I decided to update my Goodreads profile. I realised I have not been on Goodreads since April 2020, that was during the first lockdown here in France. I also realised I haven't read that many books in the meantime, that is not from beginning to end. During the summer I tended to jump from one thing to another, so I started on a German book about Ancient Greek literature, I read some of Nietzsche's work, I started on a couple of Russian novels but never got into them, and I also started on SPQR by Mary Beard, so I guess I could add all of them them to my currently reading list, although for the moment I have put them aside and I concentrate on other stuff. In short, I read a lot from January to April, but much less after that. I am aiming at reading more books in more languages this year, as personally I have always found reading books to be more interesting and more fruitful in terms of language learning than watching series or movies.

Currently I am reading books in Latin (Apuleius), Swedish, Romansh, English, Norwegian and Russian. I should probably try to stick to just one or two books at a time, but I always get tempted to start on a new one which seems interesting, so my currently reading list just gets longer and longer. Hopefully I will soon be able to move one or two over to the list of books I've finished.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:41 pm

Romontsch sursilvan

Oz vi jeu scriver empau sin Romontsch, per l’emprema ga in memia bia temps. La caschun ei che jeu hai mirau l’emprema seria web completamein sin romontsch, che senumna « Metta da fein ». Quei ei ina seria da mo quater episodas, e tracta dad in polizist en ina pigna vischnaunca sursilvana che sto anflar la causa dad in mazzament d’animals. Il culpeivel ha scursalau las combas dils animals e perquei tertga la glieud ch’ei tracta dalla “Metta da fein”, in monster che scursala las combas dils uffons sch’els mavien nel prau. Ei dat biaras persunas aparti ed il humor ei ners, aber la seria ha bein plaschiu a mei. Jeu sperel che la televisiun romontscha fetschi pli serias sco quella. Sche vus leis vus pudeis mirar il trailer cheu.

Jeu hai era entschiet a leger in roman sin surmiran, che ei in dils pigns idioms romontsch, e jeu veva buc anson legiu in cudisch sin quel idiom. Igl ei buca lev, schebi il surmiran seigi pli paregl al sursilvan ch’il vallader oder il puter, e jeu duei meinsvart encurir ils plaids. Igl ei in roman fantasy, quei ei buca miu gener preferiu, aber jeu leva empruar da leger sin quel idiom, e sche jeu zumpignel leger quel cudisch alla fin, ei il sulet idiom sin il qual jeu hai buca legiu in cudisch il sutsilvan.

(English translation: Today I want to write a bit in Romansh for the first time in too long. The reason is that I have seen the first web series that is entirely on Romansh, which is called "Metta da fein". This is a miniseries of four episodes and is about a policeman in a small village in Surselva who has to find the reason for animals being killed. The killer has cut off the legs of the animals, and therefore people think that it is "Metta da fein" who is behind it, a monster who cuts of the legs of children who run into the fields. There are some pretty weird people in the series and the humour is black, but I enjoyed it. I do hope that Romansh TV will make more series like this. If you wish to watch the trailer you have the link above.

I have also started on a novel in Surmiran, which is one of the smaller Romansh idioms. I had not yet read a book in this idiom. It is not easy even if Surmiran would be more similar to Sursilvan than Vallader or Puter, and I sometimes have to look up words. It is a fantasy novel, which is not my favourite genre, but I wanted to try to read in this idiom, and if I manage to read the book til the end, the only idiom I have not read a book in yet is Sutsilvan.)

Français

Je vais maintenant passer en français, juste pour dire que j’ai organisé ma collection de CD et retrouvé beaucoup de CD que j'avais oublié d'avoir acheté. J’en ai beaucoup, même si aujourd’hui j’écoute la musique presque toujours en streaming, et j’ai redécouvert tous les CD de musique française que j’ai achetés au début des années 90, quand je voyageais régulièrement à Paris pour des réunions de travail. À l’époque il y avait un Virgin Megastore sur Champs-Élysées, et j’aimais y aller pour découvrir les nouveautés de la musiqué française. Donc voici trois clips de mes favorites de l'époque : Jean-Jacques Goldmann, Mylène Farmer et Thomas Fersen.






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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Fri Feb 05, 2021 6:02 pm

I am really into Romansh again. It is kind of funny how I can let a language "rest" for a good while, meaning I don't really spend any time on it except reading the odd news article here and there. I do receive the e-paper version of the Romansh daily "La Quotidiana" every weekday, but I sometimes only spend like 10 minutes on it, browsing through titles and reading a short article here and there if it interests me. Then suddenly, for whatever reason, I get fully into it again, watching videos, reading books and listening to podcasts and radio. It happens regularly with Romansh, but I have had the same experience with Catalan and Italian for example.

That said, I am trying to push my Arabic onwards and upwards. I have finally started on the Arabic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet which I have talked about in this log. I am advancing very slowly, like a page a day at most, because I want to get the most out of it. My routine is reading the text with the vowel signs while listening to the recording. Then I only listen to the recording without the text, then I read the text without the audio, trying to remember the pronunciation of each word. I write down every word I don't understand, and listen again following the text in the version without vowel sign. It means progress is slow, but I believe this "method" works for me, although I probably will need to spend some extra time revising vocabulary as I progress in the book. As I advance I most likely will go back and re-listen to earlier parts of the story.

I have also decided that I need to revise Russian grammar in general. As I no longer have classes, my Russian studies are very passive, mostly reading and watching the odd YouTube video, so I think I have forgotten quite a lot of grammar rules. The challenge is to find time for more active Russian studies in addition to Arabic, other languages and non-language related hobbies. Time always seems to be a scarce resource, even now that I am always working from home (but maybe that is part of the problem, the line between working time and spare time is getting more and more blurred).

Finally, I am also enjoying reading Dutch again, mostly thanks to my subscription to Readly. They have lots of magazines in Dutch, and I find it much easier to read magazines than books in languages I am less proficient in, so I have bookmarked several Dutch magazines as favourites, spanning themes like classical music, technology, philosophy and history, as well as Dutch versions of National Geographic, Vogue and Elle à la table.

Readly is a subscription service giving you access to thousands of magazines from a number of countries around the world, including USA, UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Turkey and the Netherlands. It is a Swedish company which apparently has the ambition of becoming the Spotify of magazines. Lately they have also started a new section with newspapers, for the time being they have several UK newspapers, like the Guardian, the Independent, Daily Express, from Germany they have Die Welt and Bild, from Sweden Aftonbladet and Sportbladet.

Not all countries are represented with quality magazines though, you won't find any of the big French titles yet, and their Norwegian section is pitiful, but they seem to expand all the time, and in any case they offer more magazines than you can possibly read in a lifetime, if you know the languages. For 10 euros a month it is a bargain, that is if you like reading magazines a lot. Her is article about the company.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Wed Feb 17, 2021 3:46 pm

I keep coming back to Latin and Classical Greek, because I just can't resist the attraction. For Latin I have found this really good resource which is the website Latinitium. They have a lot of audio and video in Latin, as well as links to other Latin resources, including the whole library of the Loeb-series of classical texts in Greek and Latin. They are in pdf format so easy to download and put on your tablet or e-reader. If you don't know Loeb Classical Library, it is a series of bilingual books (Greek-English and Latin-English) covering most famous Greek and Latin writers. I think the Latinitium website is really going to be a good resource for improving my ability to read classical Latin.

My Greek is still far from being at the same level, so I have taken up Reading Greek again and I have done a few more chapters over the last two weeks. I move faster as I go forward, because even if I have to relearn vocabulary, I still remember a lot of grammar from the time I did Greek at university.

The danger is that my classical studies make me spend less time on Arabic, but I have managed to be disciplined and keep at least half an hour each day for Arabic meaning one or two pages of Romeo and Juliet each day. Progress is slow, but it is quite intense so I don't think I would get a lot more out of spending more time on it each day. I think being consistent is better than trying to rush.

Last Sunday there were regional elections in Catalonia, so I tuned in to the Catalan TV station TV3 to follow the count and get the reactions from politicians and "experts". I won't comment on the result, I just mention it to say that it was the first time in months that I have heard any Catalan spoken and it was nice to know that I can still follow it without any real difficulties.

The "loser" in the fight for my time is Russian. I guess I am just not motivated enough to spend a lot of time on Russian right now, but I don't stress about it, because I know I will get back to it one day.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:04 am

I never thought I would say this, but I am getting fed up with working from home all the time. During the first lockdown almost a year ago, it was a new experience but I soon got used to it, and when I went back to the office last summer I missed the flexibility teleworking gave me. Now I've been teleworking constantly since the beginning of November, when we had the second lockdown here in France, and it's becoming tiring. Sure, the flexibility in time management is still something I appreciate, but I miss putting on a suit and tie to go to the office in the morning, and I surely miss seeing my colleagues for real and not only on a screen. I have been to the office a couple of times during the last three months, but there is almost nobody there, the cafeteria is closed, it is prohibited to sit down for a coffee with colleagues and of course we have to wear a mask all the time when in the building. All meetings are of course via videoconferencing, so I may just as well stay home.

At least the flexibility means I can put in some language learning more easily during the day. Instead of having a coffee break chatting with colleagues I take a coffee break reading Apuleius, or listening to another chapter of Romeo and Juliet in Arabic, or I go through some Classical Greek vocabulary.

Talking about Latin, I found this website with Latin podcasts, Quomodo dicitur. I don't necessarily understand everything, but it is fun listening to spoken Latin and I've learnt a few neologisms, e.g. that Facebook is Prosopobiblion and to tweet is pipiare. I am always impressed with people who are able to speak Latin, but I don't really have that ambition myself.

I am slowly working my way through the Arabic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, but I have also gone back to Arabic Voices to broaden my vocabulary and listen to some different people speak.

As for other languages, I keep reading and listening to Romansh almost every day, and I have started reading a book called Die Welt der Deutschen Literatur - Vom 18. Jahrhundert bis zur Gegenwart by Siegfried König. I have read a lot of German literature over the years, but I have never really studied it as such, and I thought it would be interesting to learn a bit more about the great German writers from Goethe to Peter Handke and Herta Müller.

Finally I have also done a little bit of Russian again, and I have decided to start on Отцы и дети (Fathers and Sons) by Ivan Turgenev. I have read very few Russian classics in the original, so I thought I would give this one a try before going to Tolstoi and Dostoyevsky. One day I am certainly going to read all 800 pages or so of The Brothers Karamazov.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:45 pm

Another month has past, and if I have not made any update until now it is because I don't really have any news to share. I keep trotting along with Russian, Arabic, Latin and Classical Greek. Some days I manage to do a lot, other days very little. Work has been busy these last few weeks, and there have been other interruptions in my private life as well which distracted me from my study routines. Still, I am slowly advancing on all fronts, although I must admit the classical languages are taking up more and more of my time and interest. I feel I have made good progress on Classical Greek lately. I am still going through Reading Greek and I am taking it slowly on purpose, to be sure I internalise well the vocabulary and grammar of each section. I am now on Section Five, which introduces texts adapted from the works of Aristophanes. As I progress the texts will be less and less adapted and closer to the original. The next section introduces texts by Plato. I really enjoy Classical Greek and I am already browsing a bit to see what manuals or books I could pick up once I am done with this one.

I also spend quite a lot of time on Latin. I decided to become a Patreon supporter of Latinitium.com. I love this website and I think the videos, audios and texts are an amazing resource for a deep-dive into the Latin language and culture. Therefore I think a few euros a month is money well spent to support this great channel

One thing that has dawned on me is how important listening is for learning a language well. When I did Latin back in my student days at university, all we had were texts, dictionaries and grammars, and my professors could not really speak Latin, so it was just reciting the texts, translating and analysing them. On Latinitium they actually speak "real" Latin, and listening to Daniel Pettersson explaining books, ancient myths and Latin grammar in his own words in Latin really makes a huge difference.

I have not progressed too much on my Arabic lately, I had a little break three weeks ago so I have mostly returned to the parts of Romeo and Juliet that I had already covered in order to relearn vocabulary and pick up the thread in the story again.

My Russian studies consist mainly of reading these days. I have started on Отцы и дети and I try to get through a couple of newspaper articles every day. I should work more on grammar, but I just can't find the time for it right now, as my priorities are Arabic and classical languages.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Apr 13, 2021 2:43 pm

Ancient Greek seems to become my main focus these days, and I've been spending more time on it than on my other study languages combined this last week. I think I am just impatient to get through the basics and acquire a level where I can begin to really enjoy reading classical texts. I have therefore also acquired some more study material. I've bought the book Complete Ancient Greek from the Teach Yourself series, the Intermediate Greek-English lexicon by Liddell and Scott and The Cambridge Grammar of Classical Greek. I am still focusing mainly on getting through Reading Greek, which I have written about before, but it is nice to have supplementary material to work with as well. Oh, and I've also bought a New Testament with interlinear Greek-French texts. As I am familiar with a lot of the content, I use it for "extensive" reading in the sense that I read the Greek text of a verse to see how many words I can understand, then I check the French text. Sure, the Koiné of the New Testament isn't exactly like the Attic Greek of Aristotle, but it is still the same language, so I don't think there is any harm in working with both.

I mentioned how I enjoy listening to spoken Latin, and I have tried to find some similar sources for spoken Ancient Greek. There seems to be less of it available, but at least I found a YouTube channel called Podium-Arts which contains snippets of Greek texts read in reconstructed pronunciation. Here is an example from Aristotle's "Politics". On the website of Podium-Arts you can buy audiobooks of several classical works. They are not cheap, but if I pursue my Greek studies I might get one or two of them.

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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby guyome » Tue Apr 13, 2021 3:10 pm

I've recently become aware of Ancient Greek: a Structural Programme (1973), which is basically a FSI course for Ancient Greek (pleeeeenty of drills and sentences in the dialogues introduced bit by bit in reverse order). The first volume (units 1-19) and the audio can be found online.

https://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-for ... =2&t=70484

I don't know if this will fasten or impede your progress though :D I've found that there is such a thing as a course being too thorough/rich in material.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:32 pm

guyome wrote:I've recently become aware of Ancient Greek: a Structural Programme (1973), which is basically a FSI course for Ancient Greek (pleeeeenty of drills and sentences in the dialogues introduced bit by bit in reverse order). The first volume (units 1-19) and the audio can be found online.

https://www.textkit.com/greek-latin-for ... =2&t=70484

I don't know if this will fasten or impede your progress though :D I've found that there is such a thing as a course being too thorough/rich in material.


Thanks a lot for this, I will certainly check it out.

You are right about being too thorough, and I've made the mistake in the past of trying to do too many courses in parallel, but this looks like a good additional resource.

And thanks for directing me to a Classical languages forum, I did not know such a thing existed.
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