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

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
aloysius
White Belt
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:49 pm
Location: Stockholm
Languages: Swedish (N), English, German.
Studying: French, Russian, Italian, Spanish.
x 34

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

Postby aloysius » Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:52 pm

Ogrim wrote:
Arnaud wrote:
Ogrim wrote:If only there were an Assimil course in Alsatian.
There was one, but it's out of print now.
You can find the pdf online and I have the audio in mp3 on my HD, if someone is interested... :roll:


Vade retro, Satanas! :evil: Seriously, I had to work hard to not start learning Irish Gaelic, I am supposed to study Romanian (not doing very well so far), I want to put even more effort into Russian and now you tempt me with Alsatian??? ;)


Whenever someone mentions Alsatian I remember this one over on htlal. Don't know if it adds to your temptation.

I was on my my way to Strasbourg on holliday a couple of years ago but ended up in Cologne instead. So it's still on my hit list.

You write a very interesting log, which I will keep on reading if you keep on writing :)

//aloysius
2 x

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:19 am

aloysius wrote:Whenever someone mentions Alsatian I remember this one over on htlal. Don't know if it adds to your temptation.

I was on my my way to Strasbourg on holliday a couple of years ago but ended up in Cologne instead. So it's still on my hit list.

You write a very interesting log, which I will keep on reading if you keep on writing :)

//aloysius


Thanks for the link - interesting reading. The temptation is always there, but I try to keep a lid on it. I get this wanderlust ever so often, but it is often an impulse that will fade away after a few weeks. However, since I live in Alsace I might just take up Alsatian one day, just for fun.

Strasbourg is a great and beautiful city, well worth a visit. And thanks for the nice words about my log. I will keep on writing at irregular intervals, as I have been doing over the last few months.
0 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Tue Dec 15, 2015 1:44 pm

Français
Le second tour des élections régionales ont eu lieu dimanche dernier. Je ne vais pas commenter les résultats, sauf en ce qui concerne une particularité. Pour la première fois dans l’histoire de la 5ème république, les nationalistes ont gagné les élections en Corse. Vrai, la liste « Pè a Corsica » (Pour la Corse), mêlant indépendantistes et nationalistes, n’ont obtenu que 35,54% des votes, mais comme le système électoral français donne une « prime » à la liste la plus votée, ils vont siéger avec une majorité à l’assemblée régionale. Je trouve que cette information est intéressante d'un point de vue "langues", parce que le parti principal de la liste, Femu a Corsica (Faisons la Corse), a comme revendication politique la coofficialité du corse et du français. On estime qu’à peu près 10% des 350.000 habitants de la Corse utilisent le corse comme première langue au quotidien, donc moins de 40.000 personnes, mais environ 65% de la population, soit 200.000 personnes, savent utiliser la langue. Vu que le français est la seule langue officielle de la République et que la "coofficialité" des langues régionales se heurte à la Constitution, il serait intéressant à voir jusqu'à quel point le nouveau conseil régional va aborder cette question.

(Short English summary:) In the regional elections in France, a nationalist coalition has won a majority in the Corsican Assembly, and that is interesting from a language point of view because one of their aims is to make Corsican a co-official language on a par with French. Corsican is spoken more or less by 200.000 Corsicans, but less than 40.000 use it as their first language. The problem the new Corsican executive will face is that the French Constitution states that the language of France is French, so it will be interesting to see how they are going to treat this question in practice.
2 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:31 pm

How reading Romansh improves my German

This may sound like a funny title, but it is true: the more time I spend on Romansh, the better my German gets. I’ll explain why:

Back in 1984, when as a young man I went to see a very distinguished university professor to say that I wanted to study Romance Philology, his first question to me was: “Do you know German?” The reason for this rather odd question was that a lot of the scientific work about the history of the Romance languages has been written and published in German, as German linguists were in many ways the pioneers in comparative linguistics back in the 19th and early 20th century. And true enough, I read several books and articles in German during my studies. However, his question turned out to be highly relevant for learning Romansh as well. Being a minority language in a German-speaking area, practically all the learning material, dictionaries and bilingual texts you find are in German. I have one grammar book written in French, but that’s about it.

I mostly prefer to read Romansh novels extensively, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t look up the odd word here and there to be sure I get the meaning. And this is when my German improves as well, because by looking up the meaning of the Romansh word I don’t understand, I often come across a German word I don’t know either, so either I go to a German-English dictionary or I google the German word to see what comes up.

I will just give an example to illustrate what I am talking about. In a book I read, two farmers were fighting because they could not agree on where to put the “palera”. I could not figure out from the context what this meant, so I looked it up and the German translation was “Gesamtheit der Zaunstäbe”. That did not leave me much wiser because I did not know what Zaunstäbe meant, so I googled it and lo and behold, I found this picture amongst others:

Image

So basically a “palera” is a fence made of wooden sticks, or what in my native language we call a “skigard”. I now fully understood what the quarrel was about, an in addition I had learnt a new German word.

Obviously this takes time, and it means that I lose the flow of the text, but the fact that it takes time and that I have to do a little bit of research to fully understand the translation into German means that the word sticks better in both languages.

As much of Romansh literature is about the life of farmers and hunters in the Alpine valleys, I regularly come across rather specific words relating to nature, farming equipment, animals or plants. These are not words I am likely to use in German. I would hardly ever use them in Norwegian. In many cases though I add very useful words to my German vocabulary thanks to Romansh. It may seem like a hassle, but if you accept that you will have to spend a bit more time on it, then it is actually fun to learn a TL through another TL.
5 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Josquin
Blue Belt
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:38 pm
Location: Germany
Languages: German (native); English (advanced fluency); French (basic fluency); Italian, Swedish, Russian, Irish (intermediate); Dutch, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic (beginner); Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Sanskrit (reading only)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=737
x 1742

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

Postby Josquin » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:36 pm

I'm kind of wondering whether the German translation was quite accurate. Obviously, I don't know any Romansh, so I can't really comment on the quality of the translation, but literally the German phrase means "entirety of fence sticks". However, to my mind, the "entirety of fence sticks" is a fence, which means "Zaun" in German.

Having a look at the photo you posted, it seems to be a special kind of fence, which is called "Jägerzaun" ("hunter's fence") in German. But obviously I don't know whether that's the optimal translation either. A quick google search gave me the translation "Drehkreuz", which would be a turnstile, so I don't know what's the correct word at all.

Sorry if this post has caused more confusion than clarity, but I had to comment anyway.
1 x
Oró, sé do bheatha abhaile! Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Wed Dec 16, 2015 3:57 pm

Thanks for the explanation Josquin. You have pointed to a potential problem with my approach, but that is always a risk with internet searches. However, from the context of the story, I am pretty sure they were fighting over some sort of fence which would separate the property of one from the other. A "Zaun" in Romansh is normally a "seiv". You are right, I cannot be 100% sure that it was this kind of wooden fence it refers to, but it is probably something similar.

I guess the German translation "Gesamtheit der Zaunstäbe” is because palera is what is called a collective noun. It derives from the word "paler", and effectively, in German it is translated as "Zaunstab". Romansh has several of these nouns which are in feminine singular but indicate a plurarlity. For example, a stone is normally "in crap", plural "craps", but you have also the word "la crappa", which means something like a lot of stones together. So a collection of stones will be translated "ina collecziun da crappa".
1 x
Ich grolle nicht

Daristani
Orange Belt
Posts: 107
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:43 pm
x 377

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

Postby Daristani » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:33 pm

In connection with the importance of German for Romance philology, I'm reminded of the comment that "German is the most important Slavic language":

http://blog.bulbul.sk/2009/09/german.html
1 x

User avatar
Josquin
Blue Belt
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:38 pm
Location: Germany
Languages: German (native); English (advanced fluency); French (basic fluency); Italian, Swedish, Russian, Irish (intermediate); Dutch, Icelandic, Japanese, Portuguese, Scottish Gaelic (beginner); Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Sanskrit (reading only)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=737
x 1742

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

Postby Josquin » Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:38 pm

Ogrim wrote:I guess the German translation "Gesamtheit der Zaunstäbe” is because palera is what is called a collective noun. It derives from the word "paler", and effectively, in German it is translated as "Zaunstab". Romansh has several of these nouns which are in feminine singular but indicate a plurarlity. For example, a stone is normally "in crap", plural "craps", but you have also the word "la crappa", which means something like a lot of stones together. So a collection of stones will be translated "ina collecziun da crappa".

Thanks for the explanation! That's very interesting. I thought the German translation was somewhat awkward, but given that "palera" is a collective noun it obviously makes sense.
0 x
Oró, sé do bheatha abhaile! Anois ar theacht an tsamhraidh.

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:45 pm

End-of-the-year summary

There are still a few days left of 2015, but I will be going on holiday as from next Monday and that means I will probably not have much time to post here, I thought I would do a very short summary of what I have done and where I am since a year ago.

I have progressed a lot in Russian. I have done a lot of "semi-extensive" reading as well as intensive vocabulary study, so my reading skills have improved a lot. My listening skills as well, and I think that this is in some way due to listening to Russian pop music almost every day. This summer I did a small "song texts translation project" which was quite fun. I have also spent more time on Russian Youtube clips, such as trying to get the point of the sketches by Уральские пельмени. My spoken production has advanced as well, although my practice is basically limited to my weekly classes. However, I am not in a hurry, I know that slowly but surely I will improve. However, I do want to work more on writing Russian. I like to write, but for some reason I procrastinate a lot when it comes to writing Russian, not only because I have to use a Cyrillic keyboard or cursive handwriting, but simply because I don't write as fluently as in other languages. Now I won't be able to write fluently in Russian unless I practise writing it, so that is my only New Year Resolution for 2016. That is also why I signed up to the Output challenge, much as I am no fan of challenges.

As regards my other languages I stick to the goal-less method. Romansh is going along nicely, I mostly read books, watch TV programmes and listen to the radio at RTR, but I also find that I write it more easily than I did a year or two ago. As for speaking it, I don't really have any opportunities to do so - finding a Sursilvan language partner is easier said than done.

Catalan is another language in the same category as Romansh. Mostly reading, some TV and radio. I will just continue in the same way.

German is a language I do speak more often, because I go to Germany almost every week. I get along nicely, but struggle somewhat if I have a long and "deep" conversation in German. However, my mistakes are mostly about applying the wrong gender or case in certain constructions. I have the vocabulary to express what I want in most situations, but I do need to "warm up" in order to engage in a longer conversation.

I have not done much with Latin this year, apart from the occasional read of Ephemeris. They same can be said about Italian.

As for English, French and Spanish, these are languages I use every day all year round, so not much more to say really. They take care of themselves.

I had planned to start, or rather return to Romanian this year, but it has not really materialised, due to lack of time. I'll keep it on my list though, as I would like at least to get back to speed when it comes to reading the language.

My wanderlust this year has led me to brief encounters with Alsatian, Irish Gaelic, Luxembourgish, Friulian, Armenian and Corsican. And I should not forget Ladino or Djudeo-espanyol - iguanamon tempted me to buy Las Aventuras de Alisia en el Paiz de las Maraviyas a year ago, and from time to time I have taken it out of my bookshelf to read a chapter or two.

So my Resolution for 2016 is not to have any resolutions (Russian writing being the exception to the rule). I'll keep on enjoying using multiple languages and I'll let my wanderlust take me on unexpected voyages - who knows, maybe I will fall in love with Corsican, or Breton, or Welsh? In any case I will continue to update this log with whatever comes to my mind or captures my imagination, be that in Romansh, Spanish, French, Catalan, German or even Russian.
6 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 873
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am
Location: Alsace, France
Languages: Norwegian (N) English (C2), French (C2), Spanish (C2), German (B2), Romansh (B2), Italian (B2), Catalan (B2), Russian (B1), Latin (B1), Dutch (B1), Arabic (learning), Romanian (kind of learning)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=873
x 3076

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

Postby Ogrim » Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:12 am

I have been mostly "offline" since 20 December, so I missed all the TAC sign-up fun, but that is all right, as I decided early on I would not join TAC this year. I am pleased to see that it is still going on though and good luck to everyone who has signed up to it. Now I need to find some time to get on top of all the things that have happened on the forum during the last three weeks.

Christmas in Spain is not the best time for working on language learning, but I did manage to read quite a lot in Russian. I am still ploughing my way through Как жить с францусом, which I have written about earlier, and I've started on another novel, called И снег приносит чудеса, which I guess can be translated as "And the snow is bringing miracles". It is sort of a New Year/Christmas story, but I have not got very far yet, so I do not know what kind of miracles to expect. The language is not too difficult, but as always there are a lot of new words to look up. Fortunately it is not a very long novel, about 140 pages, so I should be able to finish it before the summer :) .

Having signed up to the Output Challenge, I need to get my act together and start writing in Russian, so hopefully there will be a lot of Russian text in this log very soon - although I won't necessarily post everything I write, I want the texts I post here to be potentially interesting to anyone who reads them. Just another banal text like "My name is X and I live in Y..." won't do.

That is all as an introduction to 2016 - happy new language year to everyone.
1 x
Ich grolle nicht


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: nooj and 2 guests