Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
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Re: Mista's new perpetual log (interludium: Old English and various reading)

Postby Mista » Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:12 pm

So, I have more or less kept to the plan I posted two weeks ago:
- finished a number of books I started on in the course of the year, some quite recently and some as early as in January, and even one last year, I think. 2 in Icelandic, one in Swedish, one in Italian and two in German. I'm now back to reading Quo Vadis.
- a few visits to the cinema, as mentioned in the previous post
- one chapter a day of TY Complete Old English.

As the new year is approaching and I'll be starting on the 366-day challenge, I want to make sure I have a plan for what I'll be doing, so that's what I'm going to figure out right now (although I have been thinking about it for a while). Generally speaking, I want to spend this time on more concentrated study, although I will allow myself to do reading, listening, or app learning (i.e. the activities i normally find easiest to do) in special circumstances when other activities will be difficult, like if I'm traveling, or only have time to study on the subway.

French
One thing I really want to do more of this year is writing, and as I'll be doing a literature course at the university, I will have something to write about. I want to sit down and write something about literature in French at least 2-3 times a week. I won't be counting reading, but I will count vocabulary work and more intensive reading sessions. I also want to check out the "une dictée par jour" site to see if it's useful for me, and the WorkAudioBook that I also picked up here in the forum somewhere. In addition to that, I want to do some grammar work (Grammaire progressive). The testing of new resources is something I want to do during the two first weeks of the year, before the academic year starts up again.

Generic challenge
I've registered for 4 languages - Russian, Northern Sami, Icelandic and Arabic, and I want to try to do a week of each language, in the order I've put them here.
- Russian: Colloquial Russian 2, which I got from the library, until I finish it or have to return it. Weekend break with Duolingo one day per week. Kindle reading or Harry Potter in special circumstances.
- Sami: Davvin 2, where I will skip the exercises because they are driving me crazy. Wikipedia reading as weekend activity. uTalk app for special circumstances.
- Icelandic: intensive reading with Broðir minn Ljónshjarta and Islex. Reading without dictionary, or listening, as alternative activities.
- Arabic: Mastering Arabic 1. Duolingo as weekend activity. Mondly and/or Drops in special circumstances.
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
x 545

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (interludium: Old English and various reading)

Postby Mista » Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:17 pm

2018-2019 Super Challenge final results

French 177 films 182 books
Swedish 14 films 82 books
German 0 films 25 books
Icelandic 21 films 12 books
Russian 11 films 6 books
Italian 4 films 10 books
Japanese 6 films 0 books
Sami 5 films 0 books
Turkish 1 film 0 books
Ancient Greek 0 films 0 books
Latin 0 films 0 books
Portuguese 0 films 0 books
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
x 545

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Mista » Tue Jan 14, 2020 5:36 am

Christmas is over - classes started up again at the university this week. I'm planning a pretty full schedule with classes in Norwegian, French and English. But first, a few words about the last month.

Old English
My goal was to do a chapter a day in TY Complete Old Englsih, and I made it all the way through. It was a lot of fun - I loved the book, and it was interesting to learn a little bit of an older Germanic language. Despite my general interest for older languages - I studied Ancient Greek, Latin, a little bit of Sanskrit, and Coptic - this is my first experience with an older Germanic language at a serious level. I found that I recognized things (words or grammar) from modern English, Norwegian, German and Icelandic. But when he started talking about influences from Old Norse, it is all stuff that has completely disappeared from Norwegian, funnily enough. I didn't get around to reading anything outside of the book, though, apart from a little lit of a grammar book, so I have yet to read the article I posted in the challenge thread.

Reading (and cinema)
While it was still 2019, I made an effort to finish some of the books that I have started on earlier in the year for the Super Challenge. I especially made progress with German, where I finished Die Brücke über die Drina by Ivo Andric, and Das Floss der Medusa by Franzobel, both of which were great reads. In Italian I finished Lessico Famigliare by Natalia Ginzburg. I've also been to the cinema quite a lot, and since I bought a membership for half a year at the film club, I have continued with that in the new year. One thing I really struggled with, was to find soething to watch in Turkish, and I ended up placing an order for some old Disney films from Amazon Germany with Turkish dubbing, but those didn't arrive in 2019 (although they must have passed the toll in 2019, or the new rules would have been applied).

In 2020, I started the new year with some new and Norwegian (and English) books. Among other things, I've read Vårofferet by Lars Mytting and Manaraga by Vladimir Sorokin, in Norgwegian translation. Inspired by Quo Vadis?, which I still haven't finished, I started reading From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68 by H.H. Scullard. In the car, I'm currently listening to the second of Elena Ferrante's Napoli books, which I honestly find a little less brilliant than the first one. In French, I started on a book for a lit class, Pas Pleurer by Lydie Salvayre, about the Spanish civil war.

366 day challenge
I have a dual challenge going, one French and one with a mix of my other languages.

In French, I have been testing out Une dictée par jour, which I have found very useful so far. I'm generally good at written French, so I don't make a lot of mistakes, but it's not always obvious to me what I'm hearing, so it helps me to improve my listening comprehension. I usually spend 15-20 minutes on that, and then I spend the rest of the time with Vocabulaire progressif. I've also done some writing. One of the things I want to do this semester is to write in connection with my reading, but that means I have to do the reading first. So far, I read the first 13 pages of my first book for the lit class, and wrote this:
Pas Pleurer de Lydie Salvayre
Le concept du livre est présenté au début, c’est une conversation entre une mère et une fille, la mère raconte de sa jeunesse, du début de la guerre civile en Espagne, quand elle avait quinze ans. La fille, le narrateur principal, dit qu’elle ne veut pas introduire des personnages fictionnels, le livre est donc présenté comme une narrative vraie, une mémoire. Par la mère, nommée Montserrat, nous sommes introduits à quelque autre personnages de la narrative, sa mère et son frère Josep, le Don Jaume qui cherche une nouvelle bonne, plus servile que l’ancienne, et sa sœur Doña Pura, qui semble haïr les rouges plus qu’elle aime le Dieu. Finalement, l’écrivain Georges Bernanos, qui était présent en Espagne au début de la guerre civile et qui a décrit les événements dans son livre Grands Cimetières sous la Lune, mais il n’est pas présent dans la narrative de la mère, c’est plutôt la fille qui utilise le livre en parallèle pour mieux comprendre l’histoire.
Le style d’écriture est très oral dans les parties où la mère raconte. Elle utilise beaucoup de paroles espagnoles, ou paroles qu’elle considère être françaises, et la fille la corrige. À la fin, la mère perd la patience et commente qu’il faut arrêter avec toutes les corrections.


In the generic challenge, I'm doing Russian, Sami, Icelandic, Arabic, one week of each. I started out with Russian, where I am working with the Colloquial Russian 2. There's a huge grammar repetition chapter at the beginning, which seems it will last all year. The grammar isn't going bad, I'm doing worse with the vocabulary really. But I'm working through it thoroughly, writing everything out to get some writing practice as well, and when I start up again next time, I think I'll repeat those last exercises I was working on orally, to get the speaking practice as well. Hopefully, some of the vocabulary will stick. In Sami, I worked through chapter 18 of Davvin, working thoroughly with the texts but ignoring the hopeless exercises completely. Vocabulary goes into my Goldlist system, grammatical variations go into quizlet, and now that I have discovered WorkAudioBook, it is a lot easier to practice pronunciation and listening. This week, I've started on Icelandic and a new reading of Bróðir minn Ljónshjarta, which I also have the audio for, so I will probably do some pronunciation practice with WorkAudioBook this week too.

Fitness Challenge
My weekly fitness goals are going well so far. I've also started on my skiing course for freestyle technique, which will run for three weeks. It isn't really possible to going skiing outside the areas where they produce artificial snow, so it's a good thing I have a course to go to.

Spring Semester at the university
I was very happy to get a B on my essay on the French school reforms last semester. This semester, I'm doing a literature class where we will be reading indirect/second generation memoirs. Apart from the already mentioned Pas Pleurer, the books are Petit Pays by Gaël Faye, L'Art de Perdre by Alice Zeniter, and Voyage de noces by Patrick Modiano. I'm also doing a Norwegian-French translation class, and retaking an exam I didn't do so well on last year.

In Norwegian, I'm doing two classes in Norwegian as a Second Language, one on reading and writing, and one on literature.

Then I have also registered for two English classes, one on phonetics and one one grammar. With my academic background, I don't expect these to be very challenging, but having the exams will give me other opportunities.
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Caromarlyse
White Belt
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:31 pm
Languages: English (N), French (C1*), German (B1/B2*), Spanish (beginner)

* = estimated levels, French based on Dialang, German based on recent and historic assessments
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Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Caromarlyse » Tue Jan 14, 2020 4:01 pm

Can I ask which of the Vocabulaire progressif books you're working with? I've got the highest level (the grey one) but I'm finding it pretty hard going and am wondering whether I'd be better off going down a level and working my way back up. I suppose this is an issue of "harder" vocabulary - it becomes so much less tangible and hence (I think) a bit dryer.
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
x 545

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Mista » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:00 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:Can I ask which of the Vocabulaire progressif books you're working with? I've got the highest level (the grey one) but I'm finding it pretty hard going and am wondering whether I'd be better off going down a level and working my way back up. I suppose this is an issue of "harder" vocabulary - it becomes so much less tangible and hence (I think) a bit dryer.

I'm actually doing the débutant. Obviously, there are plenty of words in there I already know, but there are also plenty that I don't. At my level, I don't really need to learn "Michel fait de la musique", for example, but I do need to learn banking vocabulary like "versement", "prélèvement" and "remboursement". Usually, there's something new on every page, and sometimes the whole topic is largely new to me. I'm not sure if I would choose that one if I were to make the choice today, but since I already have it (it's been on my shelves for years), it's well worth going through. I'm actually quite amazed sometimes at when kind of vocabulary they introduce me at the débutant level. If you haven't done any of the others, I would definitely recommend that you try one at a lower level.
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Caromarlyse
White Belt
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:31 pm
Languages: English (N), French (C1*), German (B1/B2*), Spanish (beginner)

* = estimated levels, French based on Dialang, German based on recent and historic assessments
x 36

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Caromarlyse » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:57 pm

Mista wrote:
Caromarlyse wrote:Can I ask which of the Vocabulaire progressif books you're working with? I've got the highest level (the grey one) but I'm finding it pretty hard going and am wondering whether I'd be better off going down a level and working my way back up. I suppose this is an issue of "harder" vocabulary - it becomes so much less tangible and hence (I think) a bit dryer.

I'm actually doing the débutant. Obviously, there are plenty of words in there I already know, but there are also plenty that I don't. At my level, I don't really need to learn "Michel fait de la musique", for example, but I do need to learn banking vocabulary like "versement", "prélèvement" and "remboursement". Usually, there's something new on every page, and sometimes the whole topic is largely new to me. I'm not sure if I would choose that one if I were to make the choice today, but since I already have it (it's been on my shelves for years), it's well worth going through. I'm actually quite amazed sometimes at when kind of vocabulary they introduce me at the débutant level. If you haven't done any of the others, I would definitely recommend that you try one at a lower level.


Interesting, thanks. Yes, I agree that it's a good idea to look at stuff that's supposedly at a lower level - I'm looking at "B" level idiomatic expressions, and I don't know about half of them. I'll probably invest in the lower level of these books when I'm feeling ready to dedicate myself to serious vocab memorisation!
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Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
x 545

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Mista » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:20 pm

Polyglot fitness challenge
I've been keeping up with everything so far, and finished my skiing course despite a lousy winter. Unfortunately, my back dislikes something I'm doing, and I'm not quite sure what, so I keep making small adjustments, while trying to squeeze in some yoga/stretching exercices as often as I can - for example when I know I should get out of bed but feel too tired. If nothing else, it helps me to get out of bed.

6WC Challenge/Arabic

I'm registered with Arabic, but I have kept up with my system of rotation for the languages Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic, and since I was in my Russian week when the challenge started, I'm not exactly in the lead (yet :lol: ). But I started out doing a couple of lessons on Mondly every day, and this week, the MOOC started, which means I'm now doing around 45 minutes every day of Arabic, in addition to the 30 minutes of French and the 30 minutes of Sami for the 366-day-challenge. So far, it's repetition. I'm getting the feeling that I actually know a little bit of Arabic now. I'm still occasionally mixing up the dots (on the letters) and mishearing the h-sounds, but I feel that I've come a good way with both the phonemic adjustment process and the alphabet. I also know some basic grammar, like how to make a feminine form and how to conjugate a verb in "present", and a few words (the vocabulary is the same across all resources I use, but "engineer" isn't necessarily the word I'm most desperate to learn - I'd rather have the bears and owls of Duolingo, but the Arabic Duolingo tree doesn't seem to have those words). I'm very ready to learn something new now, but I expect both the MOOC and my coursebook will get there soon. I'll be back to Arabic in my rotation next week, and I think I'll keep on doing Mondly and the MOOC outside of the 30 daily minutes, so that I can also make some progress with the "Mastering Arabic" coursebook.

Sami
Doing Sami this week, and working through chapter 20 in Davvin, which deals with postpositions and the past tense. The audio for this course is an old radio program, so the CDs have 20 minute tracks with both Norwegian and Sami speech, which has caused me a lot of frustration in the past, but is now much easier to deal with thanks to the WorkAudioBook program that I downloaded at the start of the year. I'm using it regularly for all my languages and I absolutely love it. In the case of Sami, it's the only thing that makes listening and pronunciation practice actually possible to do. Why? Because I can easily pick a passage and repeat it again and again, with no effort or annoyabnce whatsoever.

Russian
Started on chapter 2 in Colloquial Russian 2, which has so long chapters that you should pop a bottle of champagne every time you make it through one. The first chapter was repetition of cases and verbs, so the second chapter is in a way the beginning of the book. I started out listening to the conversation a couple of times without looking in the book, and then started working through the text. I had to leave it there before I was done, so when I get back to Russian again the week after next, I'll start out with some listening again and then finish working through the written text, and after that I'll continue with some pronunciation practice using the soundtrack and WorkAudioBook. I'm trying not to think about how long it will take me to finish the chapter ... (nobody will give me a medal anyway, so who cares, really?)

Icelandic
In Icelandic, I finished last year by reading Broður minn Ljónshjarta by first listening to each chapter and then reading it aloud. Now I'm reading the book again, but looking up all the words, with a look at the grammar when necessary, and goldlisting the vocabulary. I've done one chapter per week (the weeks I do Icelandic), and when I'm done, I use the rest of the time for listening and pronunciation practice. Right now this feels very useful, but I've also started thinking about picking up the grammar book again.

French
In French, I'm doing a literature course and a translation course (TO French, which means that the goal isn't translation, but language learning). My main goal in general is to work on active skills, and these two courses go well with that. I want to speak more comfortably, write more comfortably, and produce better French when doing both. For speaking, I'm still going to a completely informal French group to chat once a week, plus that I get some practice in my classes. For writing, I'm trying to do so regularly, and one of my main projects is to write about the books we are reading in the literature class. I'm happy to say that I made it to my goal of 4000 words in January, and I expect to do so in February too. We have been reading Pas pleurer by Lydie Salvayre, and will now be starting Voyage des noces by Patrick Modiano. Pas pleurer is a sort of semi-fictional memoir about the Spanish Civil War, and is a challenging read because it has a weird mixture of Spanish and French, not only between sentences but even inside words. The mother of the narrator, who is really the one telling the story, is Spanish and has lived most of her life in France, but her French leaves something to be desired. It' s a very interesting style of writing, but quite demanding for a learner of French. Modiano, on the other hand, writes in a very straightforward manner, which is a relief right now.
3 x

Mista
Green Belt
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 11:03 pm
Location: Norway
Languages: Norwegian (N), English (QN). Studied Ancient Greek (MA), Linguistics (MA), Latin (BA), German (BA). Italian at A2/B1 level. Learning: French, Japanese, Russian (focus) and various others, like Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese, and anything that comes my way. Also know some Sanskrit (but not the script) and Coptic. Really want to learn Arabic and Amharic.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7497
x 545

Re: Mista's new perpetual log (currently French, Russian, Sami, Icelandic and Arabic)

Postby Mista » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:44 am

The last few days have been a little wild here in Norway. I'm only affected by the coronavirus in the sense that I have to adjust to the crazy new world I live in, but right now, that seems plenty. It all started on Wednesday, when the university cancelled all classes. The day after, they also closed down the buildings. Throughout that day, emails kept ticking in about closed cinemas and libraries, cancellations at the opera, etc. Over the weekend, they have shut down the borders to tourists (which they should probably have done earlier - I heard about someone who had met some Italians here in Oslo who were quarantined in Italy and therefore decided to take a little vacation in Norway). On the last news update this evening, I heard they have now issued a ban on staying in your cabin if it's not in the same municipality as your regular address, the reason being that people should stay where there is medical capacity to treat them if they should get sick.

I still get to go to work, but I only work for two hours a week, so I'm likely to spend a lot of time in my own company for a good while. On the emotional level, I'm not really worried about the virus as such (although I take it seriously), it's more that I don't know what will happen with my classes, with my exams, and with all the other stuff I've planned. For example, I applied to a summer course in the Faroe Islands, and last year (for the course in Iceland), I got my acceptance email around this time, but right now, I have to think that no news is good news, because it means they haven't cancelled (yet). The cabin ban probably means that I have to stay at home for Easter (although it hasn't been extended to Easter yet). I think the most important things for me right now is that I try to focus on studying, stay away from the daytime news (which go on and on forever) and make sure I get out of the house at least once every day.

Polyglot Fitness Challenge
Up until now, I have done most of my exercise at the gym, so I've had to make some new plans there. I think a daily jogging routine will probably be the best basis, although the allergy season has started, so I'll have to try to do it after sunset. As a weekly alternative activity, I'll have to see if skiing will remain possible or if I have to prepare my bike for use. Two strength sessions per week, one outside (legs and arms) and one inside (core). Then for yoga, I'm going to do a session of around ten minutes every morning before breakfast (specifically focusing on my stiff joints in the hip and the shoulders), and for stretching, ten minutes after every jogging session.

The deadline for registering for a DELF test is in three days, or the 4th of April, depending on which page you look at. Presumably, they have extended it due to the situation, in which case, I still have a few weeks to think about it.

6WC/Arabic
I finished the challenge at 34h34. I've been working on the MOOC, which was a lot easier during the first two weeks, since I have done those before, and after that, I had to slow down, and have been using two weeks per week of the course. I'm now halfway through the fourth week, and hope to finish it before Easter. In Mastering Arabic, I finished chapter 7 today. I've also been doing Mondly almost every day, and Drops in the same weeks as I've been working with Mastering Arabic. Progress is slow, but steady.

Sami
I pushed Arabic forward due to the 6WC, so Sami is now last in line and what I'll be starting on tomorrow. In Sami, I'm doing one chapter a week. Last time, the big grammatical topic was the past tense, and that will continue now. As usual, I'm not happy with the book, and in this case, it's because once it has given you the grammatical patterns, it gives you a text where someone talks about what they did and asks you to do the same. Which is a useful exercise, but I wish there were some simpler ones first. However, since I've had these kinds of problems with the book for a while, I have a box with flashcards with all the verbs from the first book, so one of the things I'd like to do next week is use those to practice conjugating verbs.

Russian
Still on chapter 2 in Colloquial Russian. Those chapters are eternal! Not sure how much I like it, but I'll stick to it until I can pinpoint what teh problem is. Well, the length of each chapter, but that's not enough to drop it. Anyway, I could check out other books at the library, but first I will have to wait for them to open.

Icelandic
Not much to say, still reading the book, also did some grammar exercises this time, mainly because I couldn't find the other book (but it was useful).

French
Mostly focusing on the stuff I do for classes, but I also do the occasional dictée, and now I've also checked out Quiziq (which has me at B2 level). My biggest worry right now is that I need to do something for speaking practice, as all the stuff I usually do has been cancelled. For now, I've started reading aloud on a daily basis, and I'll keep on writing and speaking about my exam topics as often as I can (but I have to read the books in order to talk about them, so it's difficult to do that on a daily basis). Right now I don't know if classes will start up again after Easter, or what they will do about the exams if they don't, so I think I'll have to reevaluate this later.

Faroese
No, I haven't started studying Faroese yet, but the day before the university library closed (which I didn't know at the time), I was there to check out what I could find there on Faroese, and came home with An Introduction to Modern Faroese by W. B. Lockwood. My idea was that if I got accepted to the summer course in Faroese, I would study the language for the next 6WC. We'll have to see what happens with that, but now I'm stuck with the book, anyway.
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