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

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Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 811
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
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:25 am

lichtrausch wrote:
Ogrim wrote:I guess I qualify as an old member, and lately I've been posting sparingly. I don't think I've graduated yet, though, because I still have this (foolish) ambition of learning Arabic to a high degree as well as taking my Russian to C-level, so I am still a language learner, although I do "indulge" more in languages I already know well than studying actively those I do not know so well. I know where I've been, but I am not so sure where I will be ;) .

Do you see yourself giving up serious language study once you reach a high level in Arabic and Russian? I find the idea of "graduating" appealing, but I think something would be missing in my life if I wasn't at least semi-seriously studying some language or another.


At my current pace it will take me 20 years to reach a high level in Arabic, although I am proabably retiring in 10 years time, so then I will have plenty of time to accelerate my learning. :) Seriously though, as long as my brain functions well I don't think I will give up language learning, but I am already at a stage where I don't want to get stressed about it. I feel more and more tempted to give in to wanderlust and take small bites of different languages here and there. I'd love to learn a lot of languages, but realistically I know I won't have the time and energy to become proficient in another five or ten, so I lower my ambitions to have basic notions of a few more. Celtic languages are definitely on my list, especially Irish, and so are a few other Slavic languages, primarily Czech and Serbian/Croatian. Then there are a few "exotic" ones I would like to dig into, like Basque and Armenian.

Right now my attitude to Arabic is that I will try to be consistent, doing at least some study every day, however modestly, but I don't let myself get frustrated over lack of quick progress. I also need time for all the other things I want to do in life.
9 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 811
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
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:02 pm

I said in another thread that the coronavirus situation did not affect my language learning, but now it has because my Russian classes have been cancelled until further notice. Not that they posed any particular risk, after all there are just four of us including the teacher, but it is a general measure in my workplace where all meetings and "non-essential" activities are cancelled or postponed. This is partly because the Haut-Rhin, the neighbouring département, has been declared a "zone à risque" as the number of confirmed cases has increased a lot, and partly because we normally receive people coming from all over Europe every day.

Apart from that, life continues essentially as normal in my city. People still go to restaurants and cinemas, take public transport and go shopping. So far there is no panic-buying going on, and hopefully it will remain this way.

My other language activities continue without other interruptions than those I choose myself. I've had a mostly good couple of weeks with Arabic, working mainly on acquiring more vocabulary, which for me is one of the hardest part of this language, so I have spent some time doing word lists and drilling some verbs in order to try to make them stick. Due to the nature of Arabic verb conjugations, I've been experimenting with doing lists of e.g. 1st person singular of 10 different verbs, then 2nd person singular of the same verbs etc. rather than just listing all the persons and numbers in one "table", which si what I have always done with Romance languages. Not sure if it makes much sense or is just a waste of time, but I think that it at least helps me better memorising the meaning of the verbs.

I've also been watching some videos in Russian about astronomy on Youtube, thus combining one of my interests with learning Russian. It is sometimes a challenge as I have not really spent much time learning space- and physics-related vocabulary, but they are interesting, and there are some aimed at children which are relatively easy to follow.

I've been reading and watching quite a lot in Italian as well lately. I've started a biography of Giuseppe Verdi written by Orazio Mula and it is quite entertaining. Then I have also followed the news from Italy more intensely these last weeks. Right now the whole country seems to be in quarantine so not a good time to visit. There is of course a lot of serious reporting going on, but on YouTube you also find that many Italians still keep a sense of humour, like the four guys in this video:

6 x
Ich grolle nicht

User avatar
Ogrim
Blue Belt
Posts: 811
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 2641

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

Postby Ogrim » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:54 pm

Just a quick update. I am in confinement as everyone living in France and soon most of Europe. I work from home, as much as I can, and go out once a day to buy groceries or just take a quick walk around the "quartier". You need to always bring with you an "attestation de déplacement dérogatoire" and ID whenever you leave the house, if not you can be fined 100 euros or more. it's a self-declaration but there are only five valid reasons: for work, in order to buy necessities like food or medicine, to got to the doctor, to help vulnerable family members or take care of children, and finally, to do some sports on your own, but always close to where you live and at distance from other people.

We're only on day 3, and this will last for at least two weeks, probably four or more. Not a problem for me so far, I have plenty to occupy myself with. Apart from the work I have to do, my wife and I try to do some house cleaning which we never seem to find the time for, and then I study languages, read, watch videos and Tv. Spent a couple of hours with Wagner's Tannhäuser while listening and reading the libretto at the same time. Then I am reading a lot more Russian than before, and also advancing in my Arabic efforts, so not all is bad.

My daughter managed to get here from London just before the lock-down, so the whole family is together, which is nice. Now we just have to manage not getting on each other's nerves as time passes - it is important to do things together but also to find time for individual activities.

Hope you are all well out there. Take care, and we will get through this.
8 x
Ich grolle nicht


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