Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

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chove
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Languages: English (N), Spanish (intermediate), German (intermediate), Polish (very very low intermediate?), French (just started). I dabble sometimes but rarely commit.
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Thu Feb 25, 2021 12:55 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:The grammaire progressive du français that I have, has several chapters on the rules. So, e.g.:

J'ai invité des voisins. Des voisins sont venus. = plus de 1 ou pas tous
J'ai invité les voisins. Les voisins sont venus. = tous ou connus

J'aime les pâtes. J'ai horreur des pâtes. (avoir horreur de + les)

de + nom avec article = valeur concrète - le directeur de la banque = son directeur
de + nom sans article = valeur abstraite - un directeur de banque = type de directeur


That looks a bit terrifying. I'll see what I can find in terms of a grammar book.
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Caromarlyse
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby Caromarlyse » Thu Feb 25, 2021 1:37 pm

chove wrote:
cjareck wrote:
chove wrote:Anyone know of a good place to find out what the actual rules are?

What do you need rules for? In a real conversation, you will have no time to think about the rules. I would recommend looking at FSI and/or DLI course where they are surely drilled thoroughly so you will be able to produce the necessary word naturally. ;)


I plan to avoid actual conversations wherever possible :D French is a language I'd like to be able to read and some writing would be nice as well. Also I just like knowing the rules for things like that. It's nerdy fun!


French is the right place to go if you want absolutely pointless grammar rules whose main purpose is to earn the user some nerd points ;-). Compare "les 6 kilomètres que j'ai couru" (no agreement of the past participle) with "Les dangers que j'ai courus" (agreement of the past participle). The only difference is that in the first, you are speaking about an amount, and in the second, using a figurative meaning. The same happens with the verb coûter. I heard some radio programme where a French minister was going on about keeping standards high in French, and he then proceeded to demonstrate that he had not assimilated this rule, nor other similar ones. I was amused...

In any case, I'd agree to some extent with the above and not worrying too much - after all, what I've given you is in the most advanced grammar book, so it's clear that even by the time learners get there, educators are still having to try to get them to get it right!
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:53 pm

French:
Duolingo has taught me that it's "les" with a verb of preference/like/dislike/etc and "des" otherwise. Now I just need to work out when I need du before a noun at other times. I think it's... most times when there isn't an article?

German:
My tutor told me I am not in fact her worst student! Which seems like an odd thing for her to say but I had been telling her my anxiety problems with the course and mentioned that I tend to end up assuming all the other students must be better at it than I am. It's easy to get intimidated doing this course, because there are always some native/fluent speakers doing it for certifcation and/or "easy credits," and they tend to be the ones who post most often on the forums, which is about the only contact you get with the progress of your fellow students.

This week the topic is women in history, and I learned that Herschel had a sister (also called Herschel, funnily enough) who was also a famous and successful astronomer, but she's been mostly forgotten in modern times. Then in about a fortnight I have to turn in an assignment about the Berlin Wall. I like the history topics, it's been the most interesting part of the course so far.

Spanish:
Still working through Habitacion de los Reptiles, one character has died now, and the Baudelaire orphans may or may not have been saved from Peru by a car accident. The good thing about Spanish is that the "difficult" words are the ones more likely to have obvious English cognates, so it's possible to read texts on unfamiliar topics such as deadly snakes and orphans.

Polish:
I have finally met the Locative case! I'm on the Duolingo prepositions lesson, which shoves a lot of words at me and I need to learn both the words and what cases they require. As I've (probably?) said before, I think the Duo Polish course is quite hard in terms of how much it throws at you in one lesson. Maybe just because it's a complicated language for English speakers? You need to learn the cases early to make even quite simple sentences, and I don't suppose there's any to avoid that but it can be overwhelming sometimes. It's been the hardest language I've done anything with, I started years ago and still can't read much in it. But sometimes I can understand the gist of a Tweet or an Instagram caption, and then I feel mighty. Even though I have the reading level of a small child. :lol:
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Ale
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby Ale » Tue Mar 02, 2021 4:30 pm

chove wrote:French:
Duolingo has taught me that it's "les" with a verb of preference/like/dislike/etc and "des" otherwise. Now I just need to work out when I need du before a noun at other times. I think it's... most times when there isn't an article?

I posted this the other day, but since the post had to be approved you may have missed it.

du/de la/des are also the "articles partitifs", which are used when you are talking about a part of something uncountable. For example, let's say you want to say in French "I want wine". Wine is uncountable, so you need to specify you want some (a part of) wine:

Je veux du vin


Hope this helps.
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Tue Mar 02, 2021 6:22 pm

Ale wrote:
du/de la/des are also the "articles partitifs", which are used when you are talking about a part of something uncountable. For example, let's say you want to say in French "I want wine". Wine is uncountable, so you need to specify you want some (a part of) wine:

Je veux du vin


Hope this helps.


So it's like needing an article on everything and you use the de ones for uncountables?
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Fri Mar 26, 2021 9:14 pm

Well, currently I am thinking of dropping out of my languages degree. I've finished the Spanish half and I'm about halfway through German, but it's very stressful especially when I have not been doing that well healthwise the past few months. Haven't decided yet but I am leaning towards giving up on it. I would continue with German on my own, which has the advantage of not needing to write boring essays that get assessed and therefore make me panic over marks.
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:41 pm

I've withdrawn from my German university course until at least the next academic year, I am very glad about this as it was getting incredibly stressful.
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:47 pm

Been a while, eh? I'm feeling a lot better since I stopped the German course, and have spent the past few weeks unwinding from it so I haven't done much language stuff at all for about a month. Today I watched an episode of 'Star Trek: Voyager' in Spanish and I ended up turning the subititles on partway through because I was finding it too hard to follow the dub. I felt like that was cheating somehow but why should I feel like that? It's still in Spanish, and I can always stand to improve my reading speed anyway. I'll get there in the end, there's no rush. It's not like I'm off to Spain on holiday or anything. So now I'm starting to get back into doing languages on my own, without the pressing need to do German every day for university. I still don't know when I'll return to that course, or even if, because I have two years of study left and I'm not sure I'll enjoy it plus it does seem to be bad for my mental health after a while.

So that's my update :)
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chove
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby chove » Mon May 03, 2021 3:50 pm

It occurred to me that if I don't need to do German academically I can look at Dutch again, which I have been avoiding because they're so similar. I had a go of it on Duolingo and I remember a wee bit and can guess a lot from German. So I might dabble in that a bit, depending on what happens when I talk to the university next week.

The "Breve Historia de Espana" is more than 700 pages of quite small text, despite the name, and it's a bit beyond me in places but if I read two pages a day I could in theory finish it in a year. Willl I actually do that? Maybe not, but I'm up to Phonecians mining tin. (I only know from other places that tin is required to make bronze and the Bronze Age was trending in those days.) I think my previous best was making it as far the Visigoths. Anyway it's a goal to aim for.

I learned last week that "ganz" tends to me "entire, entirely" *except* it's "quite, somewhat" when used with common positive adjectives, which is why "ganz gut" isn't a great compliment on your cooking. So there was rule all along! The Germans aren't just guessing each time they see/hear it! I wish someone would have mentioned that during the several years of German education I got in school and university. Have you ever learned something that was simple once explained and a mystery otherwise that nobody ever bothered to tell you about?
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Re: Chove's Log (Spanish, German, Polish, French)

Postby badger » Tue May 04, 2021 9:11 am

chove wrote:French:
Duolingo has taught me that it's "les" with a verb of preference/like/dislike/etc and "des" otherwise. Now I just need to work out when I need du before a noun at other times. I think it's... most times when there isn't an article?


de (& du, de la, de l', des) can be confusing because they can mean different things.

so:

I like apples.
J'aime les pommes.

speaking about apples in general.

I have some apples.
J'ai des pommes

speaking about some particular apples.

so in this instance it's acting as a plural of "un/une" where we would say "some" (or "any" in the negative*) because apples are countable.

but also it can be used for uncountable stuff:

I have some butter / jam.
J'ai du beurre / de la confiture.

I hope that make sense :) the French do like a definite article though. ;)


* in the negative you only need "de" because the negative implies the (lack of) quantity:

I have some apples.
J'ai des pommes.

I don't have any apples.
Je n'ai pas de pommes.
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