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

Re: September Update

Postby Ezra » Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:55 pm

cjareck wrote:
Ezra wrote:Mediaeval prose is easier.

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" :)

So true! :D While it might be true that for puzzle-solving latinist, who treat Latin texts as a kind of linguistic puzzle, deviations from Classical Latin might significantly obstruct his puzzle-solving ability, for a latinist of reading type Mediaeval Latin is way easier in spite of said deviations -- on the contrary, they might simplify things considerably.
3 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

User avatar
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: September Update

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:25 pm

Ezra wrote:for a latinist of reading type Mediaeval Latin is way easier in spite of said deviations -- on the contrary, they might simplify things considerably.
Agreed. Medieval Latin all in all is easier than classcial Latin, and for me, at any rate, more interesting.
4 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

October: Intermediate Report

Postby Ezra » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:46 pm

Two weeks into my 3-month vacation. I have to say: if one does not have to work every day — there is much more time for languages! On average I am able to devote 3-4 hours to language learning activities.

Latin

I continue with reading of Loeb's edition of Augustine's "Confessions". I read this books using parallel=text method but noticed that sometimes I just glide through Latin text (especially when he uses his favourite expressions and constructions). On the other side, sometimes he is going deep into reflection and philosophy, and it would be impossible for me to get through "Confessions" without using English translation. Effect of parallel-text reading is seen when browsing other text: my vocabulary got much better, including those pesky "q"-words, and I internalized much of grammatical structures I could not grasp just by reading their description in a grammar book (like, for a ten times). Conjunctive is becoming not an illusory but a definite possibility :lol:.

I am nearing the end of first volume and probably will switch to the second part of Justus Lipsius' "De Constantia". Justus Lipsius writes in relatively uncomplicated style, and my main problem was having to use a dictionary too often -- even using modern electronic tools it was quite uncomfortable. I looked at the second part and it seems my enlarged Latin vocabulary should make its reading a more pleasurable experience that the reading of the first.

Classical Chinese

Classical Chinese is going strong this month (about 20 hours already, though Latin is a close runner-up). I've re-read eight introductory lessons and proceeded to intermediate part, which no longer has grammatical desctiptions (though still featuring glossae and notes). But I found an interesting concise grammar.

I also found and interesting resource: translation of all Du Fu's poetry in English which might be of interest to students of CC (available for free).

Hebrew

Isaiah is finished, at last! I moved to Jeremiah and he is much easier to read.

Italian

I found a lovely "Grammatica generale delle due lingue italiana e latina" from 1845 that is written in Italian and uses a scholastic method, i.e. dialogs. It is actually much more interesting to read than a usual grammar, so I decided to give it a shot. It covers both Italian and Latin in parallel, so it might be especially useful to me.

Japanese

I decided to make some adjustments in the Japanese department as well. While playing a multi-part saga about black-white bear's killing madness is, undoubtedly, a worthy thing to devote one's time and efforts to, it is not most effective one in terms of language learning. The main problem is that searching of unknown words is too time-consuming as I can not just copy it to dictionary. So, for now I am switching to reading ranobes. I settled on 狼と香辛料 (Spice and Wolf).

German

I know. I said I will not learn German. Apparently, I lied. Or better say, I changed my mind. Abundance of philological resources in German, especially the mammoth Classical Chinese grammar (a link to which might be found few posts earlier), made me reconsider the wisdom of not-learning German. Still, I only have three month to lay a strong foundation, so I needed some plan to stick to. Here is what I came up with:

Karl C. Sandberg's German for Reading -- seems to fit ideally for my goals. I already start to work though it and it is going nice. The book has 78 small units, so it should be possible to work through during my vacation (I already did ten of them, but they are getting harder).

Assimil's German course in parallel: for phonetics mostly. I need German only for reading but I prefer to get these phonic things right irrelevantly to whether I am going to use it for speaking or not. And you never know, German is actually quite demanded in my trade after all.

After getting through this two courses, I intend to read these natural method textbooks:

Worman - Erstes Deutsches book
Worman - Zweites Deutsches Buch
Worman - Deutsches Echo

They are printed in Fraktur :o. I consider this to be a good thing as much of the older stuff in German on archive.org is printed using this font.

I also have a couple of readers in a similar venue.

It should be enough to get a foothold in German and being able to read the aforementioned grammar and Zuntz' Ancient Greek course.
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

October Update

Postby Ezra » Tue Nov 05, 2019 2:08 pm

A fabulous month. I did not fully achieve my goals, and the end of month was somewhat uninspiring due to some RL stuff, but in the language learning department things were pretty fabulous.

Latin (38 h)

The king of the month was Latin. Having finished firstt volume of Augustine's "Confessions" with the aid of parallel text, I proceeded to the second part of Justus Lipsius' "De constantia" unaided. Unfortunately, it is still far from being easy. To get through a page tooks me about 15 minutes. Still, it allows for more or less rewarding reading as I am interested in Stoic philosophy and Justus Lipsius is one of much less known stoics out there.

Classical Chinese (30 ½ h)

Going through Fuller. CC is a nice change after heavy-inflected Latin. On the other side, characters are the main time sink: I have to check every new character in a dictionary (as Fuller usually only gives a meaning pertaining to the given text passage) and add it to Anki. So I am on 15th lesson now. I actually like Chinese stories provided in this textbook from Zhuang Zi, Garden of Stories, Han Fei Zi, Mencius etc. They might seem trivial at first but underneath there is strong, even brutal pragmatism and a very practical outlook.

Hebrew (20 ½ h)

I've read 30 chapters of Jeremiah. Much more easy to read than Isaiah. Its language less flowery and there are much more prosaic chunks.

German (20 h)

I've finished 23 units (3 of them in this month) of "German for reading". Ideally, I would like to finish it in November, leaving Worman's readers for next month. In general, I like German language. Nice phonetics (unlike French), nice orthography (unlike French), great literature (unlike French; well, it is great enough but not my type of greatness). Somehow, I like German's syntax and the way you can create compound words on the spot.

Italian (3 h)

Not much time was devoted to Italian. I've started to read "Grammatica generale delle due lingue italiana e latina"

Japanese (2 ½ h)

Seems like not much love to Japanese either. I've actually contemplated dropping Japanese altogether but decided against that at the end. It is probably that Classical Chinese has filled my Far East slot almost entirely, so there is not much energy left for another Far East language. Still, I will probably try to finish one ranobe and then we will see.
3 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

PfifltriggPi
Green Belt
Posts: 299
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:44 pm
Location: Amerique du Nord
Languages: Uses daily : Français (heritage) English
Reads : Castellano, Català, Italiano, Lingua Latina
Studying: Українська мова, Ελληνικά
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=4860
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Re: October: Intermediate Report

Postby PfifltriggPi » Tue Nov 05, 2019 3:23 pm

Ezra wrote:Italian
I found a lovely "Grammatica generale delle due lingue italiana e latina" from 1845 that is written in Italian and uses a scholastic method, i.e. dialogs. It is actually much more interesting to read than a usual grammar, so I decided to give it a shot. It covers both Italian and Latin in parallel, so it might be especially useful to me.


Would you care to share where such a wonderful grammar could be found? As I'm sure anyone who reads my posts has realised, historical philology is a passion of mine, and this seems very interesting. Have you noticed much difference between 1845 Italian and modern, btw? I vaguely remember reading that there was at some point a spelling reform which did things like get rid of J's, but I know nothing of it.
0 x
Please correct my errors in any tongue.

"Зброя - слово." - Леся Українка

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: October: Intermediate Report

Postby Ezra » Tue Nov 05, 2019 5:24 pm

PfifltriggPi wrote:Would you care to share where such a wonderful grammar could be found? As I'm sure anyone who reads my posts has realised, historical philology is a passion of mine, and this seems very interesting.
Sure. Here it is.
PfifltriggPi wrote:Have you noticed much difference between 1845 Italian and modern, btw? I vaguely remember reading that there was at some point a spelling reform which did things like get rid of J's, but I know nothing of it.
Not yet. But I have not read enough of Italian texts both modern or old. Some old books in Italian (from XVI century for example) did seem to be odd to me but I did not try to pinpoint what was exactly strange.
3 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

November Update

Postby Ezra » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:21 pm

November has come and went. If we judge it by overall number of productive hours, it was fine (180+ h) even if not close to ideal (that would 240 h). I am not fully satisfied though as there was not as much language-related study as I would like.

German (52 ¾ h)

Wow. That was unexpected. But I am hell-bent on finishing "German for reading" until my vacation runs out, so I try to finish at least on unit a day. It slowed considerably during few units devoted to Karl Marx. For some reason I can not stand him and every time I tried to read him or his fellow Marxists (modern ones included) my head is starting to get heavy, so I had to force myself to go through this units. Fortunately, Otto von Bismark was next, and things got easier. I still has 39 units to go.

Classical Chinese (19 ½ h)

Well, it seems it is going to be a long road. My goal is to read old and mediaeval works comfortably - to the extent it is possible to do so in Classical Chinese. For that, I need to about 3000-5000 characters. A good thing is that in Classical Chinese most of words are exactly one characters long :lol:, so it is not like in Modern Chinese where you need 3000-5000 characters and even more actual words on the top of that!

Let's say I will put 20 characters in Anki a week, that is 1040 a year, or 3-5 years to reach required number of characters. Obviously, I am not going to do Anki solely (I am not really a fan of) but to read textbook, readers and parallel-text. In general, I am optimistic, but it is really a mount Olympus, and not one in the Greece, but on Mars. On the other side, based on preliminary research, it might be easier to reach high level of reading proficiency in Classical Chinese than in Sanskrit. But "it is not exactly" as Russian meme goes :).

Latin (18 ½ h)

I've finished "De constantia" by Justus Lipsius! Hooray! It is my first book in Latin read without using a parallel text. A good thing is that now I am able to work through Latin text if necessary. A not-so-good is that my reading ability is still faltering, reminding me of my first book in Spanish. I still can not take on more complex books.

My next goal is to read a second volume of Augustine's "Confessions" using a parallel text.

Hebrew (14 ½ h)

Book of Jeremiah is finished, I've proceeded to Ezekiel. In first chapters he described angels, who were sent to him by God, and it is a quite interesting read. His angels are quite unusual (they are not those angels from icons or movies), and he really struggles trying to describe something very unusual he never saw before. Ezekiel is shorter than Jeremiah and also seems to be mostly prosaic.

Conclusion

I did not get to other languages this month. Mostly because of German, but I really want to get a foothold in it, as German is a part of my Inner Circle of Languages. It will also give me ability to read a lot of useful specialized literature needed for my quest in pursue of knowledge. And while I do not like German philosophy, which is too dead, and sometimes deadly, serious, I like German literature. When I was a teenager I liked Herman Hesse and Erich Maria Remarque a lot, and it would be great to eventually re-read them in original.

So November was quite focused. German, Latin and Hebrew. This month I intend to follow the same course though I might give some attention to Italian.
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
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: November Update

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Dec 02, 2019 12:12 am

Ezra wrote:And while I do not like German philosophy, which is too dead, and sometimes deadly, serious, I like German literature. When I was a teenager I liked Herman Hesse and Erich Maria Remarque a lot, and it would be great to eventually re-read them in original.
I always leap at the opportunity to recommend Remarque's WW2 quadrilogy:

(1939) Liebe deinen Nächsten
(1945) Arc de Triomphe
(1962) Die Nacht von Lissabon
(1971) Schatten im Paradies

Although my German was very limited and halting, the books were compelling enough to keep me reading the original. Remarque once expressed a high opinion of Ernest Hemingway, but Hemingway wrote nothing to equal Remarque's depth. The last of these, Schatten im Paradies, the only one set in the USA, was life-altering for me.
3 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: November Update

Postby Ezra » Mon Dec 02, 2019 4:19 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I always leap at the opportunity to recommend Remarque's WW2 quadrilogy:

(1939) Liebe deinen Nächsten
(1945) Arc de Triomphe
(1962) Die Nacht von Lissabon
(1971) Schatten im Paradies

Although my German was very limited and halting, the books were compelling enough to keep me reading the original. Remarque once expressed a high opinion of Ernest Hemingway, but Hemingway wrote nothing to equal Remarque's depth. The last of these, Schatten im Paradies, the only one set in the USA, was life-altering for me.

Thanks! A lucky coincidence, but it seems I have not read any of this novels (or I do not remember). I've checked "Liebe deinen Nächsten", and it seems his language it not very complex. Hesse, on the other side, is delighted to use German syntax to its full potential - something I very liked about him when reading his novels in translation, but I will have to wait patiently until my German is up to his style...
1 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

The Year in Review

Postby Ezra » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:25 pm

This year is coming to an end. I will post final stats for 2019 in January, but for now I would like to make a short review of what happened language-wise and my plans for 2020.

Review of 2019

I devoted a lot of time to reading in Latin and Hebrew. The biggest progress, I feel, was achieved in Latin. While most of reading in this languages was parallel-text, I was able to read Justus Lipsius' "De Constantia" without. This is an important landmark. Not sure, which is going to be next. There are several tempting options, so it is hard to make a choice.

Hebrew is doing fine though for now I am not ready to leave parallel-text crib. I am going to continue reading the Bible, and if there are nothing unexpected turns out in 2020, I expect this endeavour to be finished before 2021.

Japanese is stalled. I have devoted more than hundred hours to it, but this is not enough for this language. For now, I do not want to devote much time for Japanese, mostly because I do not have much use for it. I am long past the age when reading manga and watching anime is good enough reason, and Japanese literature and/or other media do not motivate me that much. It might change in the future, but in 2020 Japanese will be on hold.

Italian did not get that much time I thought it would get. In face of limited time and unlimited language-learning desires, I had to cut both on Japanese and Italian, because of two new contenders: German and Classical Chinese. Both undertakings are quite successful. Unlike Ancient Greek, which did not took off both times I tried it, Classical Chinese quickly devoured all the time allocated for Japanese and is not going away any time soon. German, as well, has started very strong.

Plans for 2020

I feel like I have reaching my limit for new languages, so I do not expect to start anything new. Maybe Ancient Greek, not sure. Depends on time and how fast other languages will progress. For classical languages, my main focus will be Latin and Classical Chinese as well as reading of the Bible, but I want to try a new approach, which is actually has a long tradition: learning by heart. Historically, people started to learn Classical Chinese by learning Thousand Characters Classics and similar poems by heart. For Hebrew, I would like to memorize Psalms. For Latin, maybe Virgil, if I get to him next year.

As for modern languages, I have a bunch of half- and quarter-learned languages: French, Spanish, Italian with German is soon to join their company. I would like to get one of them on par with my English, i.e. reaching B2-C1 competency not just in reading but in speaking, listening and writing as well. After some consideration, I decided German is going to be that language. There are a lot of pros, and not much cons. Not only I like it, it is very relevant to my line of work, as well it is very useful for my Classics studies.

So, there was a lot of work done this year, much more to be done next. For now, it is time to relax as several holidays are overlapping. I wish you all great Hanukkah, Merry Christmas (both) and Happy New Year (pick whichever you like most or all) :).
4 x
1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000


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