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

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

Postby iguanamon » Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:18 pm

Ogirm, I'm sorry to hear that you caught Covid 19. I meant to respond earlier and then it must have just slipped my mind. I am so glad to know that you and your family are ok and you are on the mend. Good to know that you are still at it learning languages too. One day, hopefully soon, this pandemic will be in the rear-view mirror for all of us. Some day, I want to see your part of the world... in person... and I believe I will.
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Sun Apr 26, 2020 3:37 pm

Thank you iguanamon for your kind words. You are certainly most welcome if you decide one day to come and visit - I would really like to meet up with you in person and share thoughts about languages, literature and anything else we would decide to talk about. And we have some great wine here in the East of France as well. ;)

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

The confinement has been very good for the family economy. Being at home all the time has made me realise how much money we spent on restaurants, cafés and buying stuff we don't really need. Also the fact that my daughter ended her contract for the student accommodation in London has made us save a lot of money.

In this regard I also decided to take stock of what I spend on various subscription services. I have a lot of them. I decided I want to keep most of them in the end because I find the money worth it. And so I thought I would share the list with you here on the forum. Many are somewhat language-related, but not all.

Newspapers and magazines:
Aftenposten (Norwegian). About 19 euros per month. This is the main daily newspaper in Norway, and I subscribe to the e-paper which I read every day on my iPad. It's my way of staying in touch with what goes on in my native country.
El País (Spanish). 9 euros per month. I subscribe through an app called Kiosko y más, where occasionally I also buy other Spanish magazines. I've been reading El País ever since I went to Spain for the first time in 1990.
Die Zeit (German). Some 15 euros per month.This German weekly gives me a lot of interesting articles and also access to an audio version I can listen to on my iPhone when I am out walking or jogging.
Die Welt (German). About 10 euros per month. A good German daily with lots of quality writing.
La Quotidiana (Romansh). About 12 euros per month. The only daily newspaper in Romansh and my daily link to this minority language.
The Times and the Sunday Times (English) 9 euros per month. The Times and the Guardian are the only UK newspapers where I still find quality content and contributors I like to follow.
Gramophone magazine (English). 9 euros per month. The world's oldest? monthly classical music magazine - keeps me up to date on the latest recordings and events in the world of classical music.
Readly (English, German, Swedish, Italian....). 10 euros per week. This is really an app that gives access to probably more than a 1000 magazines with a very good selection of magazines from Italy, Sweden, Germany, the UK and the USA. It covers a lot of my interests: music, art, literature, technology and science.
SFR Presse (French). Free with my TV box subscription. A decent selection of French newspapers and magazines. Includes Le Figaro, Liberation, Le Point, Express magazine, Jazz magazine, Classica, Pianista and others.

Film and series (I don't think I need to explain much about these):
Netflix. (14 euros per month.)
Amazon premium (Included in my general Premium subscription)
Apple +. Free for the time being as I bought a new Apple product a few months ago.
Disney +. (5 euros per month).
YouTube premium (10 euros per month.)

Music:
Apple Music (9 euros per month).
Idagio (10 euros per month). Classical music streaming service of very high quality.

I used to subscribe to La Repubblica (Italian) for 19 euros per month, and a Russian monthly called "Diletant", which is a history magazine (for 5 euros a month), but I stopped my subscriptions, "Diletant" because their app stopped working properly so I could no longer download the magazines, and La Republica because there is just a limit to how much time I can spend reading newspapers every day, and I had to make a choice.

So yes, I spend quite a lot on various subscriptions and streaming services every month, but I feel it is money well spent as I think my life would be poorer without them. I know I can read news in German, French, Spanish, Norwegian etc. for free, but it is not the same as receiving the e-paper version of those newspapers and magazines I like and who provide excellent journalism and commentary. I don't mind paying for quality.

I have not included spending on my internet connection, my TV license etc. as these I consider essential utilities, just like electricity and water.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby IronMike » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:50 am

Ogrim wrote:...
I have not included spending on my internet connection, my TV license etc. as these I consider essential utilities, just like electricity and water.

This review of all my subscriptions is something I don't want to do. Still, I must say, I think I don't spend as much as you. ;)
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Thu May 07, 2020 10:36 am

We are on day 51 in confinement here in France, if I have counted correctly, and it is slowly getting to me, in the sense that I I am more moody and less motivated for work. There is going to be a partial easing of the restrictions as from Monday, and this afternoon we will learn more when Prime Minister Edouard Philippe presents the details to Parliament. As the Grand Est is declared "zone rouge", I expect that quite a few restrictions will still be in place here. It is already clear that I will continue to work from home at least until the end of May. On the one hand I look forward to more freedom, but on the other hand I am not sure I will use it very much. I have started to look suspiciously at everyone I cross in the street whenever I have to go out, and if I see more than three people gathered I cross the street to the other pavement. As I already had the virus I guess I should be more relaxed, but there are so many uncertainties about how this virus works that I am still not at ease.

But enough about that. At least for me the confinement has made me spend more time studying languages. I see some forum members mention that they have lost motivation for language learning - for me it is actually the opposite. Time I would normally spend being out and about in the street I now spend reading, revising and advancing in Arabic and Classical Greek and dabbling in Czech. So that is really the only positive thing that has come out of this situation for me.

I am also reading a novel in Spanish (the first novel I've read in a long time). It is called Lloran las piedras por Al-Andalus, by Juan Luís Pulido Begines, a Law Professor at the University of Cadiz. It is a historical novel about an Arabic-Andalusian Muslim family in the 13th century, when the reconquista was well underway. I have read about one third so far and I really enjoy it. The author has clearly done a lot of historical research and he seems well versed in Islam and in medieval theology and customs. It is interesting how he has chosen to tell the story from the point of view of a learned Andalusian Muslim, a cadí (judge). The book certainly also inspires me to pursue my Arabic studies further. Once I am done with this book I will probably reread El manuscrito carmesí by Antonio Gala. I read that novel many years ago - it is the story of the last ruler of Granada before the final reconquista by los Reyes Católicos - and I really enjoyed it, so I think it is worth reading again now that I have more knowledge of Spain in the time of Al-Andalus.
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue May 12, 2020 4:09 pm

My Russian classes have started again, but this time via Skype. The teacher offered the three of us who were still in the class a group call or individual classes. I opted for the latter. I don’t mind being with other learners in a classroom situation, but my experience with multiple people online is not the best. I think I did well, because I get a lot more out of 40 minutes individual coaching than I did from a traditional one-hour class. I have to pay a few euros more per lesson, but it’s worth it.

Today we talked about the Coronavirus situation (of course), but we also talked about Dostoyevsky and did some grammar exercices. I still get confused sometimes when I have to choose between также and тоже. I should have learnt the difference by now but I do not always get it right. More generally I noticed that I have neglected Russian too much over the last few weeks, giving priority to Arabic and Ancient Greek. I need to find a way to do more Russian without necessarily taking time from my other favourite languages as per today. As always it is lack of active vocabulary that is the most annoying when I want to speak. The only solution to this is more time reading and listening to Russian and more regular revision of vocabulary.

As usual I read more than one book at a time, and in addition to the Spanish novel I mentioned in the previous post, I have started on a German biography of Johannes Brahms, and seeing that I need to spend more time on Russian, the novel Азазелъ by Boris Akunin. I am just a couple of pages into this last one, so too early to say if I will enjoy it, but anything Russian will do right now.

From time to time, a German friend of mine sends me some small phrases to show the intricacies of German grammar. I liked this one in particular, so for you learners of German who read this, let’s see if you get the meaning:

Der, der der, die die Rose pflückte, das Pflaster gab.
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby gsbod » Tue May 12, 2020 5:21 pm

Der, der der, die die Rose pflückte, das Pflaster gab.


He who gave the plaster to her, who plucked the rose?

Honestly, I think it makes more sense in German :lol:
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Tue May 12, 2020 6:24 pm

gsbod wrote:
Der, der der, die die Rose pflückte, das Pflaster gab.


He who gave the plaster to her, who plucked the rose?

Honestly, I think it makes more sense in German :lol:


Absolutely right! Not sure it makes a lot of sense in German either but a good example of the many uses of der and die. German grammar can be fun :mrgreen:
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Nogon » Tue May 12, 2020 7:29 pm

I have another one:

Die, die die, die die Diebe verraten haben, verraten haben, sind selbst verraten worden!

I especially like the double "verraten haben". :D
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby David27 » Wed May 13, 2020 2:34 am

https://akniga.org/boris-akunin-azazel

На случай вы хотите слушать аудиокнигу чтобы тренировать сушение... Я дослушал до главы 12, но иногдо мне надо перечитать части как например главу 11, потому что я не очень понял все произошедшие. Особенно в детективax не хочу пропускать детали.
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Ogrim
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Re: Ogrim's language experiences - Russian, Romansh, Romanian, Arabic and more

Postby Ogrim » Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:50 pm

I almost cannot believe it's been more than four months since my last post here, but I have really not been doing much language learning in these months. During the confinement last spring I was really motivated to study (as can be seen from earlier posts in the log), and the fact that I spent almost every hour indoors at home meant that I had more time for studying as well. Once the lockdown was eased however, I actually started to suffer from some sort of "post-lockdown depression". I found it very hard to go back to the office again, even though I have my own private office so i can lock the door and take off the face mask when I am alone. Strict sanitary measures are in place, so being at work is just not the same as it was before the pandemic.

We did manage to visit both Norway and Spain during the summer, which I was not at all sure about until the last minute. We went both places by car, as I didn't trust international public transport to be reliable - I would not risk to book flights just to see them cancelled at very short notice - so I must have driven over 6000 kilometers during the months of July and August. I do not like driving, so that was also very tiring.

All this and some other personal issues meant that my active studying came to a sudden halt at the end of May. I just could not muster the motivation and energy to work on Arabic grammar, Classical Greek vocabulary and the use of Russian verbs of motion. So the only really language-related stuff has been reading a couple of books in German, starting a Russian biography about Dostoyevski and the usual browsing of news articles in various languages.

If I come back to the forum now it is because firstly, I've been missing you, and secondly because I am slowly but surely getting back into a regular study pattern again - my motivation is coming back. Of course, a four-month gap means that once again I have to go back and revise a lot of Arabic and Russian vocabulary and grammar. I am not sure if I will continue dabbling in Classical Greek again, I am somewhat tempted but if I am to catch up on the two most important TLs, I should not spread myself out even thinner.

I also have to catch up with what you all have been up to during the summer - but can't promise to read every single post. ;) I also cannot promise I will post here very regularly myself in the near future, but hopefully it will be less than four months until the next time.
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