If you give an עכבר a كعكة

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:43 pm

Neurotip wrote:
Deinonysus wrote:And then I realized, oh no! This language is really cool and I like it a lot!

Exactly the same happened to me earlier this year. I had no idea how much fun learning Arabic script would be and now I'm so hooked that I may have to take up calligraphy solely in order to be able to write Arabic as beautifully as it deserves.
How could you say that, I wasn't even thinking about the calligraphy but now I have to keep talking myself down from buying an Arabic calligraphy set! :evil: :lol:

~~~

It's really crazy how Arabic writing was just a bunch of intimidating squiggles a week or two ago, but now it's familiar and I am able to pick out some words here or there when I run into Arabic in my Reddit feed (mostly proper nouns).

Studies are going well. Earlier I thought that Assimil would be secondary to my textbook but I actually prefer it and I've been doing a lesson a night. I usually review each lesson after a week when I go through an Assimil course, but the lessons at the beginning of this book are so short that I've been listening to the audio for all the previous lessons before starting each new one. I finished lesson 4 last night so the review only took around a minute. Once I get close to the end of L'arabe I think I'll need to invest in a copy of Perfectionnement arabe.

So far my level of French has not posed a problem. I would estimate my reading level at around B2, with my other skills maybe a bit lower.

My textbook work is going a bit slower than my other resources. I think I forgot to review my Anki vocab yesterday. I also want to review the audio from the course website more often. I remember things better when I can hear them in my head.

Duolingo is continuing to go quickly. I've finished almost 1/6 of the course in just eight days. At this rate it shouldn't take me more than a month or two to finish the whole course. Rather than replacing the Duolingo timeslot with something comparable from another language, I'm thinking of using that timeslot for my textbook so it doesn't compete with Assimil in the evening.

I'm anxious to finish FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology and get around to Pimsleur so I can practice real words and phrases, but I think the FSI course is very valuable in training my ear to hear distinctions that don't come naturally to me, and anyway it isn't that long and I should have it finished in a few weeks.

After I finish Pimsleur MSA I'm a bit torn about whether to start Pimsleur Levantine Arabic or stick to al-fusḥa exclusively for a while and do FSI Written Arabic or DLI Arabic Basic Course. But I have plenty of time to decide since again, I still haven't even started Pimsleur MSA yet and for all I know I could get distracted and switch to Sumerian in a month.

Progress-O-Meter™

العربية
: 8 / 19 FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology
: 36 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 4 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 0 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
Last edited by Deinonysus on Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Freude, schöner Götterfunken, | Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, | Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder | Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder | Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Ogrim » Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:22 pm

I am happy for you that you like Assimil Arabe. I tried it but it wasn't for me. Far too little "meat" in the first lessons and way to slow audio for my taste, so I went with the German Langenscheidt course instead. It is all a matter of taste and study habits I guess, I have for instance never used Pimsleur or Michel Thomas, as I am an old school learner who prefer comprehensive grammar explanations and textbooks with longish text and long wordlists. But of course there are different routes leading to the same result (hopefully), which is to get a command of the language we are learning.

Calligraphy is not for me, my handwriting is so awful in any script that I sometimes don't even know what I have written. :D
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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:21 pm

Ogrim wrote:I am happy for you that you like Assimil Arabe. I tried it but it wasn't for me. Far too little "meat" in the first lessons and way to slow audio for my taste, so I went with the German Langenscheidt course instead. It is all a matter of taste and study habits I guess, I have for instance never used Pimsleur or Michel Thomas, as I am an old school learner who prefer comprehensive grammar explanations and textbooks with longish text and long wordlists. But of course there are different routes leading to the same result (hopefully), which is to get a command of the language we are learning.

Calligraphy is not for me, my handwriting is so awful in any script that I sometimes don't even know what I have written. :D

Fair enough. I've used teaching grammars for classical or low-resource languages and I can see the appeal. You learn a lot quickly and it's very systematic.

For living languages with a lot of resources I prefer to take a bunch of easy courses that hold your hand and do them all at once. Of course I get the concepts more slowly and I miss some big-picture patterns, but I have found that I have a much easier time thinking in the target language that way and my input and output are fast and comparatively effortless.

The first ten or so lessons of an Assimil course are usually laboriously slow but then it gets up to a more comfortable conversational speed, although it is still fairly deliberate.

Was the Langenscheidt course you did from the Mit System series? I bought the one for Norwegian a couple of years ago but never opened it up. I don't think my German vocabulary is good enough to get through a course with it though.
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Ogrim » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:16 am

Deinonysus wrote:Was the Langenscheidt course you did from the Mit System series? I bought the one for Norwegian a couple of years ago but never opened it up. I don't think my German vocabulary is good enough to get through a course with it though.


Yes it is Arabisch mit System. I like this series very much, but it is true that you need a good knowledge of German to take full advantage of it.
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:54 pm

I'm getting over a mild cold so I lost a couple of days of FSI (couldn't repeat and interact because of a sore throat) and Assimil (went to bed early without doing a lesson).

But on the plus side I'm finally on the board with Ahlan wa Sahlan! I finished the first chapter of the workbook this afternoon. I also got the textbook proper in the mail yesterday. It even came with the CD and DVD!

I'm still not losing any steam with Duolingo. I got into a bit of a dogfight for first place with two other people in my league. We're way ahead of everyone else. I'm on track to finish the second checkpoint today or tomorrow.

I wonder if I'll be able to fit DLI Basic Arabic into my schedule once I'm done with Duolingo. It might be too intensive to do it concurrently with the textbook, but I'll have to see if I have the time and energy. With Arabic I figure you have to go big or go home.

Progress-o-Meter ™

العربية
: 9 / 19 FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology
: 51 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 5 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 1 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
Last edited by Deinonysus on Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Freude, schöner Götterfunken, | Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, | Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder | Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder | Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:08 pm

Hebrew and Arabic Shared Vocabulary

I've been noticing a good number of cognates from Hebrew. The most recent one I noticed was ملكة (malika), meaning Queen. It is very similar to the matching Hebrew word which is מלכה (malká). Also, the Arabic response to "good morning" is "morning of light", and this is also true in Hebrew. I wonder if that is a calque from Arabic.

Linguist Andrew Bayles posted a response on Quora where he calculated the lexical similarity between Modern Standard Arabic and Modern Hebrew based on only the 100 most common words and found that it was 58.5%, which is very close to the similarity between English and German which is 60%.

On the other hand, Paul from Langfocus, who has studied both languages, gives a ballpark estimate that about 1/3 of the vocabulary is shared. This may seem far off from the Bayles' estimate, but considering that it is based on the language as a whole, not just the 100 most common words, I think that fits with the analogy of English and German. An English speaker who first learns German will probably learn the basic vocabulary very quickly, but will still need to learn a massive amount of words to read a newspaper article. So I think I would apply the 1/3 estimate to English and German as well, for the vocabulary as a whole and not just the most common words.

Compare that to the relationship between English and French. Learning the basic vocabulary and grammar is more difficult than with German, but once you have the absolute basics down you can easily read a newspaper article because so much of the advanced vocabulary is free.

This all points to Arabic being a moderate-sized but not massive help to learning Hebrew vocabulary. If I were only learning Arabic because it would help me with Hebrew that would be discouraging, but luckily I am also learning Arabic for its own sake. If I were only learning Arabic to help with Hebrew it wouldn't be worth it, but on the other hand if I didn't have the extra motivation that it would help me with Hebrew it might also not be worth it to study Arabic now as opposed to French or German. But both medium-sized motivations add up and I'm very happy to be studying Arabic right now.

ألعربية

Pretty good progress. I passed the second checkpoint in Duolingo and all my skills are golden. Arabic is now my fifth-highest XP language. It's starting to feel a bit grindy and I might start slowing down a bit, but it still shouldn't take much more than another month to finish the tree. I'm starting in on Chapter 2 of my workbook and I'm starting to load the vocabulary from Chapter 3 into my Anki deck. This time I listened to and repeated the audio several times to make sure I have the right pronunciation in my head. I'm also back to doing an Assimil lesson every night. Haven't gotten back into FSI yet but I'm hoping to do that in the car tonight because I have some errands to do.

Progress-o-Meter™

العربية
: 9 / 19 FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology
: 60 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 7 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 1 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
Last edited by Deinonysus on Tue Oct 20, 2020 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Freude, schöner Götterfunken, | Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, | Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
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Alle Menschen werden Brüder | Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Tue Oct 20, 2020 5:54 am

I find similarities between Arabic and Hebrew annoying and not helpful. When I had an Arabic LEs, I had to struggle not to say something in Hebrew. Similarly, during my Hebrew LEs, it was the opposite. The problem disappeared with LEs, but I hope to return to them soon.

I remember struggling to separate English and German some 17 years ago. Thanks to data provided by you about the similarity, I perfectly understand why ;)
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:47 pm

Oddly enough, I just had my worst case of interference and it's from French, not Hebrew.

The first verb form that Assimil L'arabe started out with is the third person past masculine singular, for example كَتَبَ (kataba, meaning "he wrote"). This may seem weird at first. Why are they starting off with the past tense and not the present tense? But my Biblical Hebrew textbook started out the same way (well to be precise it started out with the perfective aspect, which would eventually become the past tense in later Biblical Hebrew and eventually Modern Hebrew, so let's just call it the past tense for short). And the reason is simple. The third person past tense masculine singular is the dictionary form for Hebrew, because it consists of only the three consonants of the root and no other consonants. The Hebrew word for "he wrote" is very similar to Arabic, it is כָּתַב (katáv in Modern Hebrew). I assume this is also the case in Arabic and that is why Assimil chose to start with the past tense. By contrast, Duolingo hasn't introduced verbs at all yet. So far it's sticking to sentences where the verb is omitted.

Last night's Assimil lesson introduced the third person past feminine singular, for example كَتَبَتْ(katabat, meaning "she wrote"). There is a potential confusion with Hebrew here because there is a similar form כּתַבְתְּ (katávt) but this isn't the third person, it's actually the second person singular! So it would mean "you wrote" when said to one female. The third person feminine singular in Hebrew is כָּתְבָה (katvá). That did cause me to forget what I knew about Hebrew conjugation, but it came back to me before too long. That wasn't the main problem.

The main problem is, when the third person past feminine verb is followed by the definite article "al-", the tāʾ at the end, which would normally not have a vowel, gets an "i" at the end, which replaces the 'a' of "al-". So "the girl wrote" would be:
كَتَبَتِ البِنتتُ (katabati-lbintu)
But my brain keeps parsing it as the made-up French sentence « cataba-t-il bintou ? » which would mean "did he cataba bintou?" or I guess "did he write 'girl'?" if we're going for Frarabic. As a result of this glitch, I had to listen to the recordings for last nights lesson about eight times before it started making sense.

Progress-o-Meter™

العربية
: 10 / 19 FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology
: 61 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 8 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 1 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
8 x
Freude, schöner Götterfunken, | Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, | Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder | Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder | Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby cjareck » Tue Oct 20, 2020 3:59 pm

Deinonysus wrote: Why are they starting off with the past tense and not the present tense? [...]. The third person past tense masculine singular is the dictionary form for Hebrew, because it consists of only the three consonants of the root and no other consonants. The Hebrew word for "he wrote" is very similar to Arabic, it is כָּתַב (katáv in Modern Hebrew). I assume this is also the case in Arabic and that is why Assimil chose to start with the past tense

It is exactly because of that. My Polish ESKK Arabic course introduced the present tense first what is very unnatural in case of the Arabic.

The worst confusion I struggle ist the past form of the 2nd person feminine past tense (-ti) "katabti" since the ending corresponds to the Hebrew 1st person past tense.
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HE vocabulary: : 7140 / 10000


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Deinonysus
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Re: If you give an עכבר a كعكة

Postby Deinonysus » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:30 pm

@cjarek That does sound confusing!

العربية

I just started the "family 1" skill on Duolingo and I didn't need to hover over any of the definitions on the new vocabulary, they were all easily guessable if you know a little Hebrew.

I'm getting to possession suffixes in Duolingo and Assimil at around the same time. The first person possessive in Arabic is the same as Hebrew, you add an /i/ sound at the end. So for example "my brother" is "akhi" (that's /axi/ in IPA) in both Hebrew and Arabic. In Hebrew it's spelled אחי and in Arabic it's أخي.

I think I'll need to take a break from the FSI phonology course for a while. My throat was starting to feel better but then I really overdid it practicing the voiceless pharyngeal fricative (the letter ح in Arabic) and I think I set my recovery back a few days.

I think I'll pass on Assimil Perfectionnement arabe after all. It's supposed to get your Arabic to a more idiomatic level, but I don't think level of French is high enough for me to understand those kinds of subtleties. Also, I didn't get very far in advanced Assimil for French because by that point I was already reading native materials anyway so I didn't see much of a point to finishing it.

I think I finally have Anki under control. That's the aspect of language learning that I like the least, so lately I've been making sure that I finish it at breakfast before I can start any of my other resources. I guess that's the language learning equivalent of finishing your vegetables before you can get to your dessert.

Progress-O-Meter™

العربية
: 12 / 19 FSI Levantine Arabic Phonology
: 66 / 230 Duolingo Arabic
: 11 / 77 Assimil L'arabe
: 1 / 6 Ahlan wa Sahlan Workbook
6 x
Freude, schöner Götterfunken, | Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken, | Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!
Deine Zauber binden wieder | Was die Mode streng geteilt;
Alle Menschen werden Brüder | Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.


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