TAC - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-07-07, 23:06

I think they might have made up some of that Sanskrit. Dama in Sanskrit apparently means something like 'self-restraint'. :lol:

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-07-07, 23:13

Yes, very likely there are inaccuracies in this problem. It was written by Andrey Zaliznyak (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrey_Zaliznyak) who is a famous Russian linguist but I don't think his knowledge of Sanskrit is good.

This is the supposed translation:
В доме вдова живет. Дом новый (есть). В доме огонь есть: вдова дом топит. Четверо сыновей не (есть) в доме, овец пасут на просторе. Новая сноха не бодрствует: спит. Вдова эту сноху будит: "Пеки мясо!", мол. Сноха зовет: "Девери, берите овцу", мол. "Которую?". "Ту, тонкую, девери". Трое деверей живую овцу берут. Овца ревет. Девери эту овцу морят (убивают). Сноха мех дерет, мясо печет, в дыму вертит. Вдова сына зовет: "Вези мед" - понуждает. Сын ревет (кричит): "Сейчас (ныне), мать!" Сын мед везет. Вдова сына садит, сноха деверя поит. Теперь четверо едоков сидят, мясо едят, мед жрут.

So, "dame" is supposed to mean "в доме", "(at) home".

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-07-08, 0:32

Today I was showing Istanbul to my cousin, and I used all my 3 TAC languages while he was around:
1) Turkish - to check in at the hotel, order food etc
2) Arabic - we met a student from Palestine on a bus, he studied in Russia and spoke to us in Russian, and I spoke to him in Arabic a bit
3) Kurdish - we took a taxi and the driver was Kurdish (moreover he turned out to be a relative of my flatmate)

After I took my cousin back to the hotel I told him I spoke different languages with all these people, and asked him if he noticed the difference. He said: No, I didn't hear any difference at all, they all sounded the same for me. My show off attempt failed. :silly: (I hoped he would at least notice 3ayn's and kh's in Arabic).

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2016-07-14, 0:52

Just wanted to say I'm so impressed with (and a bit envious of) your progress with your languages! It's all the more impressive on Unilang, which has far more casual dabblers than serious learners. When did you first start studying Turkish?

I've also had a lot of really good interactions in MSA, that made me re-think the whole "no one speaks MSA, dialects are the only way to communicate" approach. There's also so much media in MSA (not just books and newspapers, but TV news and tons of music) which makes it easier to develop good speaking/listening skills.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-07-14, 9:29

Thank you Eskandar. I first started studying Turkish 6 years ago, which I can easily track using my posts on Unilang:
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=30736

Also I've been living in Turkey for 2 years now, so it's not suprising I have achieved some progress. I wish I had some more progress with Arabic.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-10-11, 13:39

 (ar) I've started Pimsleur Arabic and done 10 lessons from it. I hope it can help me improve my spoken fus7a. I keep meeting many Arabs here in Belarus and it bugs me that I cannot talk to them. I've chosen Pimsleur because I recently started a new job which consumes most of my time so I hardly have time for anything but audio only.

Goal: Do Pimsleur Level 1,2,3 within ... a reasonably short time frame (3 months or so, so I roughly have time until the New Year).

 (tr),  (ku) Putting Turkish and Kurdish on hold. Arabic will be my top priority.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-10-13, 18:26

I have created this service where you can type a word or a sentence in Arabic, and it will find related Turkish words (the ones that are derived from the same root). It is intended as a means of helping Turks remember Arabic words (via similar sounding Turkish words). The development is in an early stage but it already produces some useful results.
http://93.89.237.11:81

Try these examples:
http://93.89.237.11:81/default.aspx?%D9%82%D9%84%D9%85 (trivial)
http://93.89.237.11:81/default.aspx?%D8 ... 9%84%D8%AF (slightly less trivial)
http://93.89.237.11:81/default.aspx?%D8 ... 9%88%D8%A8 (non-trivial)

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby Meera » 2016-10-13, 22:27

voron wrote: (ar) I've started Pimsleur Arabic and done 10 lessons from it. I hope it can help me improve my spoken fus7a. I keep meeting many Arabs here in Belarus and it bugs me that I cannot talk to them. I've chosen Pimsleur because I recently started a new job which consumes most of my time so I hardly have time for anything but audio only.

Goal: Do Pimsleur Level 1,2,3 within ... a reasonably short time frame (3 months or so, so I roughly have time until the New Year).

 (tr),  (ku) Putting Turkish and Kurdish on hold. Arabic will be my top priority.


مرحبا فرن! كيف حالك؟ أين تدرس العربية؟ في الجامعة؟
अहिंसा/เจ
True Love:  (hi)
TAC 2017:  (ja)  (fr)
University: (ar)

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-10-14, 11:09

Meera wrote:مرحبا فرن! كيف حالك؟ أين تدرس العربية؟ في الجامعة؟

مرحباً يا ميرا. انا بخير شكراً. كيف حالك انت؟
لا ,لا أدرس العربية في الجامعة. أدرس بنفسي.
و انت, تدرسين في الجامعة؟ كيف دروسك؟ تحبينها؟

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby Meera » 2016-10-21, 2:36

voron wrote:
Meera wrote:مرحبا فرن! كيف حالك؟ أين تدرس العربية؟ في الجامعة؟

مرحباً يا ميرا. انا بخير شكراً. كيف حالك انت؟
لا ,لا أدرس العربية في الجامعة. أدرس بنفسي.
و انت, تدرسين في الجامعة؟ كيف دروسك؟ تحبينها؟


نعم أنا أدرس العربية في الجامعة. دراساتي جيد جدا
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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-10-31, 13:18

I have done 20 lessons of Pimsleur 1 course.

I like to walk a lot, moreover I have to walk to release the work stress, and Pimsleur fits really great into my walking sessions.

Now I wonder, since I get a lot of micro-pauses at work (1-2 minutes when I launch a long task and wait for its completion), can I fit language learning into these pauses as well? Can you guys recommend me any options? Will it even be useful?

One thing I consider doing is glossing songs with the "Learning with texts" application. There are not so many songs in MSA but at least there is Kadhim Al-Saher. :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSyiDieGpwo

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2016-10-31, 21:55

voron wrote:Now I wonder, since I get a lot of micro-pauses at work (1-2 minutes when I launch a long task and wait for its completion), can I fit language learning into these pauses as well? Can you guys recommend me any options? Will it even be useful?

I think anything you do for just 1-2 minutes is going to be of limited use. Listening to a song during those pauses might be a good idea. I like to review Anki flashcards at times like those, but IIRC you're not into flashcards. You could also try Clozemaster for short bursts of time.

There are not so many songs in MSA but at least there is Kadhim Al-Saher.

There really are a ton of songs in MSA, you just need to know how to find them. Majida al-Roumi also has a lot of songs in MSA, to name just one more singer. Here's one I like by her.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02zIthIEauE
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-11-01, 12:22

eskandar wrote:There really are a ton of songs in MSA, you just need to know how to find them.
Majida al-Roumi also has a lot of songs in MSA, to name just one more singer.

Thanks eskandar for the tip! Before writing that I had googled for "songs in MSA" and what came first was a reference to Kadhim Al-Saher and Sami Yusuf, and I already knew both of them so I assumed there isn't much else. It's good to know that I was mistaken, and I'll definitely search for other names.

I just checked the "Share Some Arabic Music" thread and I see that you did post some of the MSA singers in there too, like in this post: viewtopic.php?p=1054846#p1054846 . If you have more to share please do, I'll be following.

eskandar wrote:I like to review Anki flashcards at times like those, but IIRC you're not into flashcards.

That's right, I'm not much into flashcards because I get bored of them quickly, but they surely are a useful tool.

In particular it's flashcards that helped me get me through my Kurdish course. I think I haven't told this story yet here, so here it is.

While in Istanbul, I attended a 4 month long Kurdish course organized by the Kurdish Institute of Istanbul. They offer 3 proficiency levels and I first signed up for the beginners' level but got bored of it very quickly. I transferred to the 2nd level (after a talk with one of the teachers, who wasn't quite enthusiastic of the idea as he thought I would fail, but I managed to convince him).

And at the first lesson on my new level, I was numbed with all the new information. Except 1-2 random foreigners like me, all the students who attend this course are Kurds who want to learn or strengthen their heritage language, and many of them already speak it to some extent, so the communication between the teacher and the students was entirely in Kurdish. At first, I couldn't understand either the teacher or my fellow students, and I couldn't understand the texts we were reading from the book.

Here is where flashcards came to help. I found the decks on Memrise for the textbooks we were using, and started working on them intensively. This way I quickly got down all the new vocabulary. Also, after a few lessons I got used to the way the teacher and students spoke. Everyone was very supportive and the atmosphere of the lessons was great. I aced my midterm exam with the best score in the class of 100 out of 100 :), and I got 97 out of 100 for my final.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby Saim » 2016-11-01, 13:17

That's great, Voron. :D I had similar experiences with the 1 semester of Hungarian and 2 semesters of Hebrew I took in Poznań, I was by far the worst in both classes at the beginning but using flashcards I caught up and ended up learning a lot. Often that kind of challenge can be really motivating.

It's good you insisted with the teacher. I remember when I was taking Occitan classes in Barcelona they wanted to stick me in the beginner's class even though I had been learning the language on my own for over a year, "because of the grammar" ( :?: :?: :?: ). In the end I made them test my level and they let me into the class above where I was probably the one with the second-most advanced knowledge of the language.

I recently got a lesson of what happens when you don't insist, as well. I signed up for some Urdu classes when I got here but the bureaucratic process took so long (4 or 5 hours running between different offices) that I didn't have any energy to ask about the level of the classes. They literally put me in a class where no-one knew any Urdu, and when the teacher (obviously) switched me out to a lower-intermediate class (I was the best even there :roll: ), the Head of Department got on my case for going to classes I hadn't signed up for! The worst part is that I had previously chatted in Urdu with the HoD, even telling her her that I can read and write. Needless to say I haven't been back.

voron wrote:That's right, I'm not much into flashcards because I get bored of them quickly, but they surely are a useful tool.


I used to think like this but lately I've been using Memrise a whole lot. I have, like, 8 different decks and am using all of them every day. Dunno what happened. :lol:

voron wrote:Except 1-2 random foreigners like me,


No Turks? :P

(Or are you counting them as foreigners?)

all the students who attend this course are Kurds who want to learn or strengthen their heritage language, and many of them already speak it to some extent,


Was there any difficulty in terms of heritage speakers being used to different dialect forms?

And did you ever get comments from your Turkish friends about how you shouldn't be learning Kurdish? I often see Turks on the internet freaking out about the Kurds being mentioned even in passing and from a non-separatist or neutral perspective.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-11-01, 16:29

Thanks for sharing, Saim, great stories!

"because of the grammar"

I was told as well when trying to transfer to an upper level of Kurdish that "the grammar is very difficult". To a native Turkish speaker, may be, but come on, are you telling that to me, an Indo-European? I am not easily scared with genders and right-branching sentence structure. :)

Saim wrote:
voron wrote:Except 1-2 random foreigners like me,

No Turks? :P

I got to meet only 3 non-Kurds from the students of all levels:
- A guy from the USA who was going to work in volunteering organizations in the Middle East. His university paid for the classes. He had also spent some time in Jordan learning Arabic.
- A girl from Morocco doing her Phd on comparison of Middle Eastern cultures.
- A Turkish girl with pacifist motivations (she is also a vegan and nature-friendly)

Saim wrote:Was there any difficulty in terms of heritage speakers being used to different dialect forms?

No. Let me tell why.

At the beginners' level, most students couldn't speak any Kurdish, and only had a superficial understanding. To those students, everything seemed difficult. Sadly, most of these students didn't make it past the beginners' level.

At the intermediate level there was only a couple of students with no prior knowledge of Kurdish before the course (the 'survivors' of the beginners' level). All the rest could already speak and understand. Those students were already familiar with different dialects before they joined the course, so they had no problems with understanding. Their main goal was to learn to read and write, and to speak 'grammatically'.

Also, the course didn't make any emphasis on teaching dialects. It only propagated the standard (and with quite a radical prescriptive approach at that -- the dialectal influences in students' speech were mercilessly declared mistakes).

EDIT: Now that I have re-read your question I realize I misunderstood it. I thought you were asking if students had problems with understanding different dialects, and as I said, no they didn't because most of them had already had exposure to dialects. If you are asking were the students facing difficulties because they spoke a dialect natively, then yes. The teachers corrected dialectal influences in their grammar, less so vocabulary.

Saim wrote:And did you ever get comments from your Turkish friends about how you shouldn't be learning Kurdish?

Of course, multiple times. I got reactions as extreme as "why do you need the language of this scum", with a grimace of aversion on the person's face.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby Saim » 2016-11-01, 16:43

voron wrote:I got to meet only 3 non-Kurds from the students of all levels:
- A guy from the USA who was going to work in volunteering organizations in the Middle East. His university paid for the classes. He had also spent some time in Jordan learning Arabic.
- A girl from Morocco doing her Phd on comparison of Middle Eastern cultures.
- A Turkish girl with pacifist motivations (she is also a vegan and nature-friendly)


They sound like really interesting people! :)

It's funny that among the non-Kurds only one was Turkish. It reminds me of the fact that (several times) more German universities offer Catalan classes than Spanish universities in officially monolingual autonomous communities.

Also, the course didn't make any emphasis on teaching dialects. It only propagated the standard (and with quite a radical prescriptive approach at that -- the dialectal influences in students' speech were mercilessly declared mistakes).


That sounds like quite a damaging attitude. I wasn't aware Kurmanji even had much of an established standard.

Of course, multiple times. I got reactions as extreme as "why do you need the language of this scum", with a grimace of aversion on the person's face.


Jesus. :shock:

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-11-01, 17:05

Saim wrote:
Of course, multiple times. I got reactions as extreme as "why do you need the language of this scum", with a grimace of aversion on the person's face.


Jesus. :shock:

The reputation of Kurds in Istanbul is pretty bad, and to be honest there is some ground for it. Istanbul is full of Kurds who migrated recently in search of better luck from economically worse doing regions. Also I was told that multiple people had to leave their villages because their houses were burnt during the Kurdish-Turkish conflict. Having arrived to Istanbul, many of them get involved into illegal activities (pick pocketing, burglary, drug selling). In this metropolitan city there are plenty of opportunities to earn 'easy' money and find victims for cheating, and it can easily corrupt the newcomers. I would make a guess that if we compare Turks/Kurds ratio of criminals in Istanbul, it will be slanted towards Kurds in a statistically significant way compared with the total ratio of Turks/Kurds.

And of course, it's mostly these bad examples that create the public attitude.

That sounds like quite a damaging attitude. I wasn't aware Kurmanji even had much of an established standard.

I advocated this opinion a number of times at my Kurdish classes! Their stance is hard to argue because they strongly associate existence of the solid standard with the unity of Kurds, and are ready to sacrifice dialects for that.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2016-11-02, 3:22

voron wrote:Thanks eskandar for the tip! Before writing that I had googled for "songs in MSA" and what came first was a reference to Kadhim Al-Saher and Sami Yusuf, and I already knew both of them so I assumed there isn't much else. It's good to know that I was mistaken, and I'll definitely search for other names.

You're welcome! I think most singers have at least a couple songs in standard Arabic; it's really common for even the most superficial pop stars to do renditions of famous Arabic poems. The problem is they aren't usually labelled as such, so they might be harder for learners to find. I'll definitely try to share some more if I think of them, or come across them. There's obviously tons and tons of religious music in standard Arabic but I'm assuming that isn't your thing.

Off the top of my head, I know Marcel Khalife has lots of songs that are Arabic poetry (so, standard Arabic) set to music - here's one of my favorites. There's also a great song by Julia Boutros from after the 2006 Israeli assault on Lebanon, where a letter from Hasan Nasrallah was turned into a poem.

Bravo on your progress with Kurdish, by the way! Your story is really impressive. :D

Saim wrote:I recently got a lesson of what happens when you don't insist, as well. I signed up for some Urdu classes when I got here but the bureaucratic process took so long (4 or 5 hours running between different offices) that I didn't have any energy to ask about the level of the classes. They literally put me in a class where no-one knew any Urdu, and when the teacher (obviously) switched me out to a lower-intermediate class (I was the best even there :roll: ), the Head of Department got on my case for going to classes I hadn't signed up for! The worst part is that I had previously chatted in Urdu with the HoD, even telling her her that I can read and write. Needless to say I haven't been back.

Sounds exactly like my experience with Persian classes at Dehkhoda about 6-7 years ago. After spending most of a day going through the bureaucratic process of getting registered, they had me take a placement test (which I very easily and quickly aced) and told me I could enter the most advanced class, where we'd supposedly be reading newspapers and discussing current events. Long story short, it wasn't exactly so advanced, and it took me the better part of an additional day to drop the class and get my money back. Ever since, I've found that classes are a great way for me to get started with a language, but once I'm advanced enough to have a full conversation in the language and read with a dictionary, they mostly hold me back and I'd rather learn on my own or study with a tutor.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2016-11-02, 3:45

eskandar wrote:I've found that classes are a great way for me to get started with a language, but once I'm advanced enough to have a full conversation in the language and read with a dictionary, they mostly hold me back and I'd rather learn on my own or study with a tutor.

I'd rather learn on my own just in general, but I find that classes are a great way for me to improve my skills to a fairly advanced level. I have never taken a foreign language class without already knowing the language to some extent beforehand (and by "to some extent," I mean well enough that my classmates are like "why are you in this class?" :lol:). The closest thing I've ever experienced to that was taking an introductory course on Romani Studies where we happened to learn some Vlax Romani.

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Re: TAC 2016 - voron (Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2016-11-04, 0:46

Saim wrote:I used to think like this but lately I've been using Memrise a whole lot. I have, like, 8 different decks and am using all of them every day. Dunno what happened.

I forgot to ask: where do you find words that you add to Memrise? Are they from songs, articles, textbooks you learn from, or anywhere else?

eskandar wrote:Off the top of my head, I know Marcel Khalife has lots of songs that are Arabic poetry (so, standard Arabic) set to music - here's one of my favorites. There's also a great song by Julia Boutros from after the 2006 Israeli assault on Lebanon, where a letter from Hasan Nasrallah was turned into a poem.

Thanks! Also, thanks for your recommendation about the Clozemaster. Honestly I still have problems with using the Arabic keyboard layout, so this may be something to help me develop this skill.


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