Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

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cjareck
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby cjareck » Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:13 am

Ani wrote:One of the log's readers notes that HiNative attracts people of extremely low class. This reader comments that she often avoids helping with posts that she finds disgusting or abusive to women. She recommends trying another app to find a long term exchange partner or two. Her top suggestion at the moment is Tandem, particularly due to the fact that it is simple to adjust the age of persons suggested for a match, thus hopefully allowing the elimination of those who's brains haven't completed their development.

Log's Author found Tandem some time ago, but he, as a shy person, had not enough courage to register and look for language partners. The breaking psychical blockade is a real problem for him. He read once that such a thing is because of conceit as one does not want to show his weak points. He will somehow deal with the problem soon.

Ani wrote:Correction for the second to last post -- did not find :)

Log's Author would like to thank for the good news!

StringerBell wrote:I am really enjoying reading your "formally written log"!

It is a pleasure to hear that ;)

StringerBell wrote:Since you said that you are practicing writing in a formal way and you would like corrections, I will suggest two small ones to make your writing a little more formal.

The log's Author would like to express his gratitude for this. For him, this means reaching the next level. The road ahead is long since he has difficulty in recognizing what is formal and what is not. However, it is not too long since Grammarly as the first filter is quite an effective tool, and there is a native speaker as a second filter ;)

It seems that the writing experience in English becomes the most profitable thing for the log's Author from registering at this forum. It is better than was initially planned since English is the essential language even in Humanities now.
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby StringerBell » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:52 pm

cjareck wrote: English is the essential language even in Humanities now.


Some options for writing "now" in a more formal way are: "at present (or: at the present time)", and "currently".

So, if I were writing this sentence in a formal paper, I would use any of these, though the third option would be my first choice:

(1) Even in the Humanties, English is currently an essential language.
(2) English is currently an essential language, even in the Humanities.
(3) At present, English is an essential language even in the field of Humanities.
(4) English is at the present time an essential language, even in the Humanities.

I always see it written as "the Humanities", I think because it refers to a specific collections of fields (literature, philosophy, etc...).
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Ani
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby Ani » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:44 am

cjareck wrote:
Ani wrote:One of the log's readers notes that HiNative attracts people of extremely low class. This reader comments that she often avoids helping with posts that she finds disgusting or abusive to women. She recommends trying another app to find a long term exchange partner or two. Her top suggestion at the moment is Tandem, particularly due to the fact that it is simple to adjust the age of persons suggested for a match, thus hopefully allowing the elimination of those who's brains haven't completed their development.

Log's Author found Tandem some time ago, but he, as a shy person, had not enough courage to register and look for language partners. The breaking psychical blockade is a real problem for him. He read once that such a thing is because of conceit as one does not want to show his weak points. He will somehow deal with the problem soon.

Just register and see what happens. I don't know if men get the same response but I've yet to actually message anyone and I can't keep up with the messages. I didn't even fill out my profile..
Ani wrote:Correction for the second to last post -- did not find :)

Log's Author would like to thank for the good news!


Oh I should have been more careful! You wrote "dig boy found" up on that post. It should be changed to "did not find" Sorry I was unclear!
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cjareck
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby cjareck » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:55 pm

It is not a casual time for an update for this log, but there is a serious reason for it. The log's Author had his second session in Hebrew. The first one was a year ago, so it does not count. The language partner does not come from Tandem, but from https://www.conversationexchange.com/
The website which log's Author found on this forum. It was rdearman who suggested it to someone. It was a great idea to follow this advice. Log's Author registered there and quickly found a potential language partner. Unfortunately, the Israeli due to his vacations had to schedule the Skype session for the beginning of October. It was a success already. In the meantime, another person contacted log's Author. This time he was not only Israeli interested in Polish, but also he is researching history like this log's Author. Both persons have just finished speaking. It was simply amazing! It is difficult to write about this event in formal, unemotional language, but it is possible. However, the Reader is requested to look between the verses and see how much positive emotions like happiness and excitement may be found there. There is a great chance not only of regular Skype sessions but also of some scientific cooperation.

The other work on the Hebrew language goes without such spectacular successes. Log's Author (by the way can anyone advice some other way of speaking about myself without using personal pronouns?) slowly works through recently added exercises at a rate of about 20 new sentences daily. He started also preparing audio for the lesson 24.

There was some work with Arabic also. Log's Author started adding new exercises from Lesson 6 of the DLI's MSA Basic Course. Since there is more than 140 of them, one may see that there is a long way ahead.

There is one question about English to be asked. If log's Author writes something in a passive voice, Grammarly which he uses gives him always advice to rewrite this in an active voice. So is the passive voice unformal or a sign of a wrong style? Shall it always be avoided? Log's Author does not "feel" the English language well enough to understand what sounds good and what does not. Except for some apparent expressions he learned as slang by watching Cartoon Network for example.
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby MamaPata » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:19 pm

Personally, my experience is that academia is moving away from 'the author' and is more encouraging of people writing in first person. I suspect you would also write more clearly and naturally if you weren't talking about yourself in the third person, which would make your writing look better (though it is obviously already good). For the moment, I would encourage you to write in the first person.

In terms of passive vs active, Grammarly and Word often encourage the user to write less in the passive, whereas I wouldn't discourage it. Sometimes the point is more exact in the passive than it would be if written in the active form. But, for example, "There is one question about English to be asked." is clunky. For me, "I want to pose a question about English usage" would be much more natural and still formal. There's no reason for it to be in the passive - you're the person asking, we know you're the person asking.

I know it's not the answer you're looking for, but it's a case by case issue. You just have to weigh up your options.
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cjareck
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby cjareck » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:33 pm

MamaPata wrote:Personally, my experience is that academia is moving away from 'the author' and is more encouraging of people writing in first person. I suspect you would also write more clearly and naturally if you weren't talking about yourself in the third person, which would make your writing look better (though it is obviously already good). For the moment, I would encourage you to write in the first person.

Writing in the first person seems to be the easiest solution, but in Poland, it is not common in academic texts, and it irritates me in Polish. Therefore I will try to avoid it. In the case of this log, however, I will use the first person. There are two reasons for that - since the language log is about the personal experience, it is difficult to avoid personal pronouns. That is why I so desperately needed a substitution for "the log's Author." In real texts, the necessity to write about oneself is rather seldom. The other reason is that even Grammarly accepts the "I" when I set it to "Academic" -> "Essay" (earlier it was "Academic" -> "General Academic"). Posting a language log on this forum seems to be more like writing an essay than a scholarly text.

What concerns passive voice - I will still try to avoid it, but not for all cost. The best solution is to read contemporary academic literature to absorb the language and style. I will try to apply this method. I am aware that I will always need a proofreader for my texts in English, but I hope to avoid the necessity of hiring a translator.
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby MamaPata » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:29 pm

cjareck wrote: Writing in the first person seems to be the easiest solution, but in Poland, it is not common in academic texts, and it irritates me in Polish. Therefore I will try to avoid it. In the case of this log, however, I will use the first person. There are two reasons for that - since the language log is about the personal experience, it is difficult to avoid personal pronouns. That is why I so desperately needed a substitution for "the log's Author." In real texts, the necessity to write about oneself is rather seldom. The other reason is that even Grammarly accepts the "I" when I set it to "Academic" -> "Essay" (earlier it was "Academic" -> "General Academic"). Posting a language log on this forum seems to be more like writing an essay than a scholarly text.

What concerns passive voice - I will still try to avoid it, but not for all cost. The best solution is to read contemporary academic literature to absorb the language and style. I will try to apply this method. I am aware that I will always need a proofreader for my texts in English, but I hope to avoid the necessity of hiring a translator.


Yeah, I think that it's not too hard to avoid 'I' in academic texts (though I would still say that if you find that your sentence is getting unnecessarily complicated, just say I and grit your teeth and bear it! :D ). I don't think you'll need to hire a translator based on how you write here - you're understandable, you can make your point clearly... And I definitely agree that the more you read, the more you will have your own sense of the style.
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Re: Military historian's corner - Hebrew and Arabic (and English also ;) )

Postby StringerBell » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:38 pm

cjareck wrote: Both persons have just finished speaking.


A more formal way to say "finished" is "concluded".
A more formal way to refer to a person is to refer to them as a "party" (which is frequently used in legal contracts).

So, you could rewrite the above sentence as:

The aforementioned parties recently concluded their first conversation.

cjareck wrote: There is one question about English to be asked. If log's Author writes something in a passive voice, Grammarly which he uses gives him always advice to rewrite this in an active voice. So is the passive voice unformal or a sign of a wrong style?


Writing in a passive is not wrong, though we (or at least I) was taught throughout school and university writing classes that strong writing avoids passive voice unless there is a specific reason to use it. Passive writing is acceptable as long as it is used sparingly and there is a specific reason for it (the writer wants to reinforce the passivity of the subject).

I'm pretty sure passive voice is used far more frequently in Polish because I've come across a lot of sentences that are written in a passive voice whereas in English, these same sentences would be written with an active voice.

That being said, I think that passive voice is a little more common in academic journals and research papers. I read a lot of medical research, so I'll keep an eye out for this to see how common it is.
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