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

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Ogrim
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:16 pm

aaleks wrote:
Творчество - job satisfaction

Why? I can't think about any context in which creation/сreativity (творчество) could be translated as job satisfaction. It could be that I don't fully understand what 'job satisfaction' means, of course. To me 'творчество' is a process of creating something, 'job satisfaction' is more about result.


Oops. My mistake in copying from my word list. The word for job satisfaction should be Удовлетворение according to the article.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby aaleks » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:34 pm

Ogrim wrote:
aaleks wrote:
Творчество - job satisfaction

Why? I can't think about any context in which creation/сreativity (творчество) could be translated as job satisfaction. It could be that I don't fully understand what 'job satisfaction' means, of course. To me 'творчество' is a process of creating something, 'job satisfaction' is more about result.


Oops. My mistake in copying from my word list. The word for job satisfaction should be Удовлетворение according to the article.

Yes, this one is correct :) . 'Job satisfaction' literally means 'удовлетворение от работы' (satisfaction=удовлетворение).
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:03 am

Eearlier this year I mentioned the "paper tablet" reMarkable. I actually went on and pre-ordered one, having a bit of extra cash to spend and taking advantage of the pre-order special deal. Yesterday it finally arrived. I am just starting to learn how to best make use of it, but I am already quite excited about its possibilities.

The reMarkable is an e-ink device for reading, writing and sketching with a pen/pencil. What distinguishes this product from other similar devices is the very low latency, meaning that your writing or drawing appears instantly, as it would on real paper. I've been using it a bit so far today for note-taking and it was very easy to get used to it. It is also responsive to the pressure applied to the pencil, and you can change between pencils of different sizes, pens and highlighter. Connected to wifi you can save all your writing in a dedicated cloud (free of charge) and you can easily upload pdf files and e-books in ePub format via the cloud.

As I familiarise myself with its various possibilities I will come back and share my experience. I will definitely use it in my language learning, but now I need to explore how best to take advantage of its possibilites.

The drawback: The price, which is high for what after all is a niche product, and the fact that you have to add import and customs duties, as it is shipped from Hong Kong. They do mention this in the terms and conditions on the website, but it actually adds another 20% (depending on your country) to an already expensive product.

Why did I buy a reMarkable? Thing is I am going more and more digital and want to reduce the amount of paper in my life as much as possible, so just as I almost exclusively read newspapers, magazines and books in digital version, I also want to do my handwriting digitally, and it feels much more natural on this device than e.g. on an iPad pro - writing on glass is just not the same.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Teango » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:17 pm

I look forward to reading how you get on with the reMarkable tablet, Ogrim. I had my eyes set on the Sony DPT-RP1 earlier this year, but the asking price was way out of my bracket (not even daring to contemplate the extra costs involved to deliver it to a remote island in the middle of the Pacific!) I do like using my Kindle Paperwhite, but it's very limited. As an academic, it would be really useful to own a larger lightweight tablet to write notes on though, especially if the latency were very low, and if the device boosted greater flexibility and speed with regards to looking up and saving foreign words in the text. Please keep us posted... :)
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:51 pm

Teango wrote:Please keep us posted... :)


I will. In the meantime you may be interested in this video from Good E-reader, which compares the reMarkable to the Sony DPT-RP1.



I have added Dutch to my list of languages in the profile. I never really considered doing this as Dutch is a language I had not been touching for more than ten years. However, as I mentioned earlier in the log, thanks to a certain Catalan politician I started browsing Flemish websites and newspapers again, and to my surprise and joy I could read Dutch quite easily, and a lot came back to me very quickly. I enjoyed the experience so much that I have now started a book of 300+ pages called Een geschiedenis van Belgie, a book telling the history of Belgium from the revolution in 1830 up til today. It feels good reading an actual book in Dutch, and anyway I wanted to refresh my knowledge about the history of this particular country where I spent seven happy years.

I've rated myself as B1, but as with all the ratings it does not say much, because my readings skills are certainly a strong B2. My listening skills varies depending on the dialect (Netherlands Dutch being harder to understand than Flemish) and the topic (news programmes are easier than TV series where people speak fast and casually). I can hardly assess my speaking skills as I have not spoken any Dutch since I left Belgium 15 years ago, I am afraid it would be more Kauderwelsch than Dutch. :)
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:50 pm

I am progressing with Een geschiedenis van Belgie, although so far it is not as exciting as I had hoped. The reason for that is that the author seems to be one of those historians who put a lot of emphasis on economical history, so he spends many pages on the development of the Belgian railway, on textile production in Flandes etc etc. Personally I am more interested in politcial history, although I do of course understand that the socio-economic context is very important in order to get a proper understanding of how and why things happened in the past. Still, I will continue reading the book, but I only manage some five to ten pages in one go, more due to the content as mentioned than any difficulty with the Dutch.

The Flemish newspaper De Morgen has a one-month free trial period for its e-paper and full access to the articles on their websites, so I've signed up to that to get my daily dosis of news in Dutch. The e-paper, which I get through their app, is really nice, and a great bonus is that the e-paper version of the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant is included, as well as the weekly magazines and supplements of both newspapers, meaning I get hundreds of pages of stuff to read in Dutch every week for the next month. :D

At the same time I have ended my digital subscription for a few other newspapers, in particular Le Monde and Le Figaro. I get Le Figaro and a number of other e-papers and magazines (such as La Libération and l'Express) for free through my mobile phone subscription with SFR, so I don't see much point in spending almost 30 euros per month on subscribing to those two when in any case I get one of them and many others for free. I'll see if I continue with De Morgen once the trail month is over. I already subscribe digitally to two German newspapers (Die Welt and Die Zeit), one Spanish (El País), one Romansh (La Quotidiana) and one Norwegian (Aftenposten) in addition to what I get in French, and I really don't find the time to read so many papers every day, at least not in-depth. Especially as I also want to read news in Russian, English, Catalan and Portuguese, and books of course... I do love the e-paper concept though, all my magazines, newspapers (and books) are conveniently stored on my iPad, with new editions delivered automatically every day.

I actually have become so used to reading digitally that I find it strange to pick up a physical book or newspaper. Suddenly it feels unnatural :o It is kind of absurd, I know, but the other day I was actually considering whether I should scan a 200-page Romansh book I have so that I can read it on my newly acquired reMarkable tablet. :geek:
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:05 pm

I finished reading Islam verstehen a week or so ago, so that adds another German book to my reading list this year. Compared to the list I published here in October, I've added two Romansh, one English, one German and one Norwegian, so five more books in two months. This gives the following list:

1 book in Spanish
1 book in Italian
2 book in Romansh
2 books in Catalan
3 books in Portuguese
3 books in Russian
4 books in English
4 books in Norwegian
4 books in French
6 books in German

I might be able to add one Dutch book to that list before the end of the year, although I am not sure if I will make it, as I mentioned the Belgian history book I am reading is not the most entertaining.

I have been dedicating a lot more time to Arabic again over the last two weeks. Since lesson six of the Langenscheidt course they've basically stopped using transliteration, so at the beginning I still spend quite some time figuring out the Arabic spelling, I cannot yet claim to read Arabic script effortlessly. However, I notice I get better and better, so it really is a question of practice. The course book has also done away with short vowel signs in the texts and dialogues, although they do keep them in the vocabulary list. The audio is therefore really essential to learn how to pronounce the words.

Grammarwise I am still struggling with the verb system, trying to learn the different structures based around the roots. I find it really complicated and at one point further on in time I will consider taking classes or find a good tutor to help me out with some of this. That is not for the immediate future though.

I am disappointed that I have not been able to find any really good online course or youtube channel with Arabic learning material to add to my Langenscheidt course. I've done a little bit with Madinah Arabic and checked out a few videos, but nothing convinces me totally. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

I do find nice Arabic music to listen to. My latest discovery is a young singer from Kuweit, Humood Othman AlKhudher (حمود عثمان الخضر), mostly known just by his first name Humood.
This song, called Be Yourself (كن أنت) has been an enormous hit not only in Arabic countries but also in Indonesia, and the youtube video has been seen more than 76 million times by now:



Having concentrated on Arabic I've been a bit lazy with regard to Russian. I still read a couple of news articles every day but I have yet to start on a new book, and I have not worked much on enhancing vocabulary lately. I'll get back to that soon. I do enjoy the occasional video on youtube, in particular sketches by Уральские пельмени, and this little "opera piece" I found quite amusing.

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

Postby Ogrim » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:16 pm

In a few days I will be off for holidays, and as the last couple of days at work will be hectic, I decided to do an "end-of-the-year review" of my languages now, although there are still more days left of 2017. So be prepared for a longish log entry.

English, French, Spanish
There is not much to say about these three, because I use them all day every day. Of course, I still come across new words and expressions to enrich my vocabulary in all three, and I could still work more on my written French to be able to draft (more) correct and elegant business letters and memos. All in all though, they serve their purpose both at work and in private life.

German
I've been reading a lot in German this year, and I've also watched more German TV than previous years, not least due to the elections to the Bundestag this autumn. My speaking practice is more limited, but regular visits across the border and a few days in Austria last spring gave me a few good opportunities to talk in German with shop keepers, waiters, a tour guide in Innsbruck, and on one occasion with a policeman.

Italian
A somewhat neglected language. I read one book in Italian but really very little else. Next year we may go to Florence though, so I should probably "brush up my Dante"* to prepare for that.

Romansh
has become part of my daily life. I read a few articles in La Quotidiana every day, I watch some stuff on RTR every week and I have read two novels and I am beginning on a third one. I also listen to Romansh music a lot. Of course, as with so many of my languages it is mostly "passive" stuff, in the meaning that I don't speak Romansh with anyone, and I only write in Sursilvan from time to time here in my log.

Catalan
Again, due to political events I have been watching Catalan TV a lot this autumn, and I usually read the Catalan version of El Periódico de Catalunya. I managed two novels, both by the same author, and have a few more on my "to-read list" to be read in 2018. The rest of this week I will also spend time on Catalan thanks to the regional elections which take place on Thursday 21th.

Latin
Like Italian, it is a language I have not given much attention to this year. I bought a bilingual Kindle version of Catullus' Carmina which I have picked up at times. It is actually quite good because it has a detailed vocabulary list for each poem with grammatical explanations. I enjoy Latin, but it cannot be one of my priorities right now.

Dutch
This was an unexpected guest to the party this year, but a welcome one. As I've mentioned earlier, I was surprised to see how well I still understood Dutch after many years of not using it at all. I enjoy flicking through the e-versions of De Morgen and de Volkskrant every morning. I'll see whether that will continue once my free trial is over. I also have on my list to read a book by Dutch author Cees Noteboom, but that will not happen on this side of New Year's Eve. I will first try to finish the one about Belgian history.

Russian
has also become one of my daily languages in one form or another. Apart from reading, watching TV and listening to radio, it is also a language I am still learning, as I go to weekly classes and I work consciously on improving grammar and vocabulary. This is THE one language I really want to push up there to be in the group with English, French and Spanish.

Arabic
It has been a lot of ups and downs with this language over the last year, but for the time being we are at peace with each other :) . I struggle my way through the Langenscheidt course, and early next year I hope to be able to move on to more intermediate material. I already have a few good manuals to work with once I get there.

(As an aside, I may not have learnt a lot of Arabic so far, but I have certainly learnt a lot about Arabic music. When I start a new language I like to explore songs in the language, and I have discovered a wealth of artists and genres within what we call Arabic music I never really knew existed. It is actually a bit sad how we "Westerners" are so ignorant about this culture. I've asked a few friends of my age if they could name one or two Arabic pop artists. Only one was able to come up with the name Khaled, because he had danced to the song "Aisha" in his younger days. No one had heard about e.g. Amr Diab, but then to be honest neither had I until a couple of weeks ago. ;) )

Greek
is still on my list but I have done very little with it. I remember to revisit my course book from time to time to revise a lesson or two, but I am not really moving forward, mostly due to lack of time and the decision to focus on Arabic and Russian.

Norwegian
I mention my native tongue because, unlike most people, I don't use it very much at all. I do watch Norwegian TV now and then, and I've read a few Norwegian crime novels this year, but apart from that, and a phone call to my parents or siblings a couple of times a month, my daily life is mostly conducted in my three best L2s, that is English, French and Spanish.

I do not have langugage-related New Year Resolutions, and my goals are very general. I will continue to work on Arabic and Russian, and I hope to find a bit more time for Greek. Apart from that I continue to use all my languages one way or another more or less regularly.

To conclude, overall 2017 has been a good year language-wise, and I look forward to 2018. I also want to say that this forum is a great inspiration, and I honestly believe that I would not have perservered with Arabic were it not for the encouragement I've found in so many great posts from so many great people. Thank you all!


*Footnote: "Brush up my Dante" refers to the song from Kiss Me Kate "Brush up your Shakespeare". Here's a concert version from the BBC Proms.

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

Postby Mista » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:21 am

Hi Ogrim, I was wondering if you could help me out with some advice on using kindle for reading arabic. I saw you mentioned earlier in your log that you have downloaded some arabic books, but I don't know if you got around to them yet.

I asked my parents for a kindle for Christmas, which I'm mainly planning to use for reading French and Russian. When I showed my mother the dictionary and vocabulary builder functions, she started thinking about getting one for herself as well, but she wants to know if she will have these functions available for Arabic. I have tried to search for an Arabic dictionary, but I can't find any. Have you managed to get this working on your kindle?
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Ogrim
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:55 pm

Mista wrote:Hi Ogrim, I was wondering if you could help me out with some advice on using kindle for reading arabic. I saw you mentioned earlier in your log that you have downloaded some arabic books, but I don't know if you got around to them yet.

I asked my parents for a kindle for Christmas, which I'm mainly planning to use for reading French and Russian. When I showed my mother the dictionary and vocabulary builder functions, she started thinking about getting one for herself as well, but she wants to know if she will have these functions available for Arabic. I have tried to search for an Arabic dictionary, but I can't find any. Have you managed to get this working on your kindle?


Sorry for the late reply, being on vacation I haven’t been on the forum for a while.

Kindle doesn’t come with an inbuilt dictionary for Arabic and I have not found any that works like a pop-up dictionary for this language.

Actually the Kindle does not seem very good for reading Arabic script. The font is very small most of the time and in the books I’ve tried (manuals for learners) you can’t change the font size. However it works well with the Kindle app on my iPad as The screen is much bigger and I can zoom in when needed.
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