Ezrae Via Linguarum Classicarum

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Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

June Update

Postby Ezra » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:33 am

June has passed. It was not very strong language-wise, but was not weak either.

Latin (30 h)

Latin was the King of the month. I continued to read "Puer Romanus" and Augustine's "Confessions". There was an important amendment in my learning process: Anki is back in the game. It seems, my Latin vocabulary is quite weak, so I've downloaded a 3000-word deck and set it up for 25 words a day.

Japanese (10 ½ h)

Continuing with Danganronpa 2. I also have an "official" :) announcement to make. Provided there will no be unforeseen obstacles, I will go for JLPT this December. As for level, N3 looks like to worth a shot. I will try to finish "A Dictionary of Basic Japanese" before the exam as well.

Hebrew (8 h)

Started Isaiah. A very slow-going. It is mostly poetic, and Isaiah seems to have a very rich and unusual vocabulary. I have to check almost every line against the English translation.

German (9 ½ h)

German is quite an interesting language. I use Sandberg's "German for Reading" and a 4000-word Anki deck to bootstrap my German vocabulary.

Italian (5 ¼ h)

Another tactical change. I was finally fed up with phonological shifts in Hebrew language (people! just stop that! just make your mind and use whatever pronunciation you want however complex, just do not change it!) and dropped "Storia della lingua ebraica". It gave me 90 pages :). I will start Max Pohlenz's "La Stoa. Storia di un movimento spirituale". It is a two-volume 1500-pages book about stoics. Hopefully, they were not that much into phonic things.
2 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

Notes on Progress in 2019 & Classical Chinese

Postby Ezra » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:53 pm

Half of 2019 has passed already (time surely flies fast!), and it is time to reflect on my progress.

Start of the was quite weak due to my other projects, but I made a comeback in May. Last couple of months were quite intensive in terms of language learning. Reviewing my language skills, I found that my Latin, Hebrew and Japanese got better. Not that they become fluent in six month but increase in my abilities is evident.

Japanese

I understand more when listening Japanese podcasts and read faster and more when playing Danganronpa. There was a gap between finishing first Danganronpa and starting the second game in the series, but after I played for several ours I picked my kanji back :D.

Hebrew

Hebrew was a breeze until I hit Isaiah, so my Hebrew activity slowed down. Still, my skills in this language are getting better. Not that fast like in Latin, but, overall, I am satisfied.

Latin

Among all my classical languages Latin was first to give me real results, i.e. ability to read something without parallel translation, related to my interests, and hard to get in modern languages: having finished "Puer Romanus" I moved to "De Constantia" by Justus Lipsius. I cannot say I can read it comfortably: my vocabulary is still somewhat weak, so I have to look up words quite often.

I also started to employ my Latin skills for Hebrew by using Hebrew-Latin dictionary. Maybe this will help to memorize some words, be it Hebrew, or Latin ones.

Ancient Greek

I've started Ancient Greek using English edition of Zuntz' textbook. Greek does not seem to be this impossible as it did first time I tried it (it was before I started Latin). Actually Zuntz' approach is great, and there is also Italian Athenaze!

Italian

It was a quick grab. I like the language, would be great to be able to use it not only for reading, but for a time being I will just read in it.

Wanderlust

I was in a state of wanderlust last few months. I first went for German, then, after my necessity to learn it vanished, for Aramaic, and then for German again. Wanderlust is normal for our kind, still something was amiss. I was searching for it and could not find it. And then... Then I found it.

Classical Chinese

Well, CC was actually on my list for a long time. The problem was that I was convinced that one can not learn Classical Chinese without learning Modern Chinese first, and this enterprise was certainly not something I was eager to undertake. But some time ago I stumbled on the blog of Victor Mair, who is an old school American Sinologist. Basically, his point is that one does not have to know Modern Chinese to learn Literary one. Those two are really very different languages.

I've thought a little, then quickly procured «An Introduction to Literary Chinese» by Michael Fuller, and started to read it. First thing I liked about this book is that, in his words, his goal to teach how to read Literary Chinese (and not translate). Before lessons, he gives a sketch of CC's grammar, and what was unbelievably unbelievable is that I was able easily to follow it! It seems that two years of playing Danganronpa equipped me with enough hanzi skills.

Another peculiar feature of CC is that it is very writing-oriented and not really meant for voicing it aloud. Historically, users of this language just used their own language if necessary, so Victor Mair points out that you do not have to use pronunciation of Modern Chinese. One might use Japanese or Korean one. Actually, one might get away by not using any system. So, I set on Japanese on'yomi.

After that I looked up whether there are other necessary resources for learning Classical Chinese: a dictionary at least. And yes: there are. Knowing French gives access to a couple of good dictionaries. One is freely available on archive.org (it was written in the beginning of XX century) and the other is "Le Grand Ricci" (you need to buy access). And, it seems, after reaching a certain level of CC, one can use dictionaries written in CC itself! :)

And so, the deal was sealed. I found the Black Pearl of classical languages.

Summary

Overall, I am satisfied with my progress during first half of 2019. I think my language list is finally set for a foreseeable future, so I do not expect any new languages to be added, but what is expected is a lot of hard, albeit pleasant work on Latin, Hebrew, Ancient Greek and Classical Chinese.

And some Italian books in-between.

Yeah, and playing Danganronpa :).
7 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

Jule Update

Postby Ezra » Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:57 pm

Latin (24 ½ h)

De constantia is going really nice. I can not say it is easy, but I do not struggle with grammar or syntax: mainly, it is vocabulary that is slowing me down, so I have to check new words quite often in a dictionary.

Japanese (14 ⅓ h)

Danganronpa 2, as expected. I have almost finished first chapter.

Classical Chinese (12 ¼ h)

CC has quickly secured the third place in few days I studied it (currently I use Michael Fuller's An Introduction to Literary Chinese). Most of time was devoted to looking up characters in Dictionnaire classique de la langue chinoise, adding them into Anki and reviewing them later. But it is actually quite relaxing and meditative activity :).

Ancient Greek (9 ⅓ h)

I've started with Zuntz' textbook. Now Ancient Greek does not seems to be that hard as it seemed to me several years ago; still, I am not sure whether I will be able to go anywhere with ten hours a month, which I've allocated for this language.

Hebrew (6 ⅓ h)

Still ploughing through Isaiah -- almost 30 chapters are done, but there are other 30 to go through!

Italian (3 ¼ h)

Italian did not get much attention last month, but the plan is to allocate about 20 hours in August for Italian-related activities. I also started to listen to Italian podcasts.
2 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

August Update

Postby Ezra » Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:27 pm

This month was not productive as I hoped: my goal was to hit 100 hours of language learning this month, but my friend's cat, which was living at my apartment for two weeks (while my friend was on vacation), commanded me to buy a new 65'' TV box. I could not resist a cat's request, so I bought this time-devouring device (if it were not to please this purring creature, why I would need it at all?) and spent a little less than 20 hours watching some series on Netflix. Still, it was not bad month either.

Classical Chinese (25 h)

CC is the new king! Within a month I read 7 lessons of Fuller's "Introduction to Literary Chinese" along with adding all used hanzi in an Anki deck. CC is really interesting language -- a very different comparing to either Latin or Hebrew. Lack of declinations and conjugations is quite refreshing.

I also decided not to invest too heavily in pronunciation. At first, every note in my CC deck generated two cards: one for meaning, another for character's sound. After a couple of weeks I decided to removed sound cards. The reason is that if my endeavour with Classical Chinese is to be successful, learning modern variety is a logical step, in which case I would prefer to associate hanzi with modern Chinese phonetics. But I put on'yomi on card with meaning, though during review I count only whether I remember the meaning of the card.

Japanese (20 h)

Japanese did well this month too. And it was not Danganronpa only as before. I tried Glossika for seven days and decided that I liked idea but disliked all the typing and price, so I've downloaded Nayr's deck that has 5k sentences with audio. I say aloud every sentence every time I encounter it -- both first time and during reviews. Currently I can not say whether it is/will be effective.

Latin (15 h)

I've read a first part of Lipsius' De constantia. An interesting book because Justus Lipsius is a stoic but he is neither too far (in time) from us, and neither too modern. His take on stoical problems is rooted in experience worthy of stoical contemplation: his country was going through the civil war and accompanying tumult, so he had to leave it. Lipsius also wrote a book on politics, which I would like to read after De constantia.

But for now, I need a break from reading unadapted material. While it was steady reading, it was not that comfortable. I am thinking about either some Latin reader or continuing with parallel-text reading of Augustine's Confessions.

Hebrew (6 h)

I've made though a poetic sea of Isaiah and, finally, set foot on the land of prose. It is much easier, so I hope to move though the rest much faster.

Overview

It seems that Far Eastern block triumphed in August. Honestly, I did not expect Classical Chinese to be that interesting. My anticipation for being able to read Confucian books also increases the drive to learn this language. On the other side, Italian took a strong hit and it seems that my second attempt to start learning Ancient Greek did not took off. Maybe, Latin plus Greek gives way too much inflections.
8 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

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MorkTheFiddle
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
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Re: Ezrae Via Linguarum Classicarum

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Sep 07, 2019 11:44 pm

Your post bore fruit for me. Thank you for the reference to Michael Fuller's book (just now ordered it) and for the link to Victor Mair. I did not go back far enough in his blog to find the piece about literary Chinese, but he does have some interesting things to say. And may I ask the name of the French-Literary Chinese dictionary on archive.org? Thanks.
0 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

Re: Ezrae Via Linguarum Classicarum

Postby Ezra » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:38 pm

MorkTheFiddle wrote:Your post bore fruit for me. Thank you for the reference to Michael Fuller's book (just now ordered it) and for the link to Victor Mair. I did not go back far enough in his blog to find the piece about literary Chinese, but he does have some interesting things to say. And may I ask the name of the French-Literary Chinese dictionary on archive.org? Thanks.
Sure, here is the link to the dictionary. There are several editions of this work available. There is a digital scan (as is) of the old book, which is not very comfortable to use, and another one is this, which allows to copy and search text. It has a couple of issues, but still a great resource to use.

There are two versions of it on this site: one with traditional character and another with non-sensical simplified ones.

And here is the link to Mair's posts on Classical Chinese.
2 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

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MorkTheFiddle
Brown Belt
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: usa
Languages: English (N). Read (only) French and Spanish. Studying Ancient Greek, aiming for mastery by 2424. Studying a bit of Latin and Japanese. Once studied Old Norse. Dabbled in Catalan, Provençal and Italian.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 11#p133911
x 1931

Re: Ezrae Via Linguarum Classicarum

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:34 pm

Ezra wrote:
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Your post bore fruit for me. Thank you for the reference to Michael Fuller's book (just now ordered it) and for the link to Victor Mair. I did not go back far enough in his blog to find the piece about literary Chinese, but he does have some interesting things to say. And may I ask the name of the French-Literary Chinese dictionary on archive.org? Thanks.
Sure, here is the link to the dictionary. There are several editions of this work available. There is a digital scan (as is) of the old book, which is not very comfortable to use, and another one is this, which allows to copy and search text. It has a couple of issues, but still a great resource to use.

There are two versions of it on this site: one with traditional character and another with non-sensical simplified ones.

And here is the link to Mair's posts on Classical Chinese.

Thanks for these. Mair's comments about taking on Literary Chinese without knowing Mandarin are reassuring. I'll do what I can with all this. :)
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

Mammoth Grammar of Classical Chinese in German

Postby Ezra » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:58 pm

German tempts me again. Look, what I've found: a 1491-pages Classical Chinese grammar!
2 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

Ezra
Orange Belt
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:33 am
Languages: Russian (N), English (C1),
In use: French, Spanish, Italian
Studying: Latin, Classical Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Classical Chinese, Japanese, German
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8792
x 327

September Update

Postby Ezra » Tue Oct 01, 2019 12:46 pm

Speed of time flying scares me a little. Another month has passed! :shock: It was good in language-learning department. Not perfect but decent still.

Latin (24 h)

Sometimes, it seems to me that my languages wage a kind of Darwinian struggle among themselves. I might make plans, try to predict a winner next month — but actual outcome usually leaves me somewhat befuddled. Past month it was Classical Chinese to claim the throne of the month. In September, however, Latin made a comeback. I suppose the reason is two-fold: first, my Latin became much better and, therefore, reading in Latin became much enjoyable as well. Another one is that Augustine's "Confessions" are very interesting. Augustine lives in future relatively to us, so reading his opus provides interesting food for thought (yes, chronologically he lived almost two thousand years ago but the society he lives in is a bit on more advanced stage than ours). His personal story is equally interesting as well.

I also quite often these days browse latin books on Archive.org and my hard drive, opening this or that book and picking some paragraph at random to read. Often it works. Mediaeval prose is easier. Some of the Renaissance works are not bad as well, though some of Renaissance author were hell-bent on imitating Cicero, and such works are impenetrable to me for now.

Japanese (19 ¼ h)

Japanese got a decent share of learning in September. Time was spent roughly equal between Anki and playing Danganronpa. Japanese is progressing quite slowly. Unlike in case of other my languages, I can not say I experience any kind of "breakthrough". It gets better and easier, but very gradually and, basically, it is a slow slog upwards.

Classical Chinese (9 ½ h)

I finished first 8 chapters of Fuller's "Introduction to Literary Chinese", which are themselves are introductory. Here is my routine for every chapter: read chapter's grammar explanation, then text using glossary and notes; after that significant amount of time is spent on putting all characters and compount words to Anki. I do not rely solely on meanings in chapter's glossary but check them against «Dictionnaire classique de la langue chinoise». Now I decided to re-read this eight introduction chapters before advancing to next ones.

Hebrew (9 ¼ h)

Have not finished Isaiah yet, 6 chapters are still to go.

Vacation

Good news: I took a long vaction for three and half month: about 100 days! I intend to spend 3-4 hours for a non-language-related project and the rest of free time devote to language learning. At first I wanted to start learning German as usual but was able to restrain myself. Probably, the main focus will be Latin. And I would like to finish the Bible -- this is not very likely, though, as I need to read 8 pages a day while playing Danganronpa and learning Classical Chinese. But who knows...
4 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

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cjareck
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Re: September Update

Postby cjareck » Tue Oct 01, 2019 1:53 pm

Ezra wrote:Mediaeval prose is easier.

When I was studying history, we had three semesters of Latin (simply language learning), and 4th was for specialization like classical, medieval or church Latin. I went for the first one since we had an excellent teacher and she was teaching classical also, and I didn't need Latin for my 20th Century, so it was the best option. Medieval had an opinion of being very hard since not every grammar rules vere relevant, vocabulary was mixed and so on. A friend of mine chose medieval and was very satisfied. When I asked him if it wasn't diffcult for him, he replied, "No, I understand it very easily. The people who wrote it, in most cases knew the Latin grammar at the same level as I know it" :)
2 x
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