TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

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TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-15, 6:54

I don't think I was entirely sure this year whether I'd create a TAC, but I guess I'll go ahead and do one after all. This year, I think I'll try to actually make it at least a little more challenging for myself on the language-learning side. In addition to posting stuff on UniLang, I hope to actually make some noticeable improvements off UniLang for...well, as many languages as possible on my list. I may also be ready to toy with adding Arabic and Amharic to my list since so far, I haven't done anything with any Semitic languages on UniLang yet. If I'm doing that, I definitely want to try to learn the Amharic writing system once and for all. So far, I can only read a few of the Amharic fidels.

I don't expect to actually start doing anything until next week or so (though who knows), but so far, I seem to have gotten somewhere with my Malayalam to the point where I've decided to (tentatively) give myself four stars for it (see last page of previous TAC :P) even though I don't think my vocabulary in Malayalam is as good as I'd like and my dad caught me making a grammar mistake just this evening. :lol: I think it would be intriguing to see whether I really can get to the point where I can take a language proficiency test in some of the languages I speak best and be evaluated as having a near-native level in them. Maybe that could also help me figure out how well I really know Malayalam, too. If I'm doing that, though, I definitely want to try to keep my proficiency in Malayalam as high as in those other languages. It's technically my first language, after all! I think it would (or at least might) be relatively easy to get from a 2-star level to a 3-star level, though (compared to getting from 3 stars to 4). I've also started toying with the idea of posting multilingually like all the time even though this would take forever.

So I'll start by posting stuff in my home forum (South Asian languages). But I don't have to dive in and post stuff on Malayalam just yet. It's not warm enough yet! So I suppose I'll start out by just posting a bunch of songs in languages spoken in those areas of South Asia where it actually gets cold. :whistle:

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-16, 8:44

Also, I think after I'm done posting in the South Asian forum, I'll move on to Chinese. I'm curious as to whether I can get my Chinese to a near-native level. Maybe that's a tad too ambitious. Idk we'll see. :P

Anyway, I seem to have started getting how the Amharic alphabet works as a whole.

I was also thinking of maybe making a list of what languages I know even a little bit of. :D Or at least adding some languages to the list in the last section of the very end of this post, like Khmer, maybe Vietnamese? And I'm already forgetting what else. :ohwell:

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Saim » 2017-01-16, 9:03

It's cool that you've put four stars on your Malayalam. I think my Serbian is getting there as well, it's a great feeling to have mastered your heritage language.

When you say Arabic are you mostly going to be doing reading/MSA or...?

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-17, 1:15

Saim wrote:It's cool that you've put four stars on your Malayalam. I think my Serbian is getting there as well, it's a great feeling to have mastered your heritage language.

Hvala! Da, to jest predivan osjećaj!
When you say Arabic are you mostly going to be doing reading/MSA or...?

Oh, that's a good question. I'm not sure yet! Ideally, though, I'd probably do Levantine Arabic, preferably Damascene, I think, since that was what I was studying when I last did anything with Arabic anyway. (Did I ever tell you about the three white people in a seminar I took on historical linguistics who were always talking to each other in Syrian Arabic and taught me a little? :lol:). I might also quickly review Mastering Arabic, which teaches some basic MSA, mostly just because I like it more than any of the other print resources I have for any variety and I've already read most of it anyway. I think it might also be fun to learn bits of other varieties along the way! I think my main problem with doing Levantine is just that I don't know of all that many learning resources for it yet, but I can see that you're familiar with more than I am already, which gives me hope that I can find some useful ones just by looking at what everybody else doing Levantine here is using. :D

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Saim » 2017-01-17, 2:59

Mumtaaz! Yeah, on my own TAC I wrote a list of audiovisual resources (with transcription/translation) for Levantine I'm using. I find them really useful given how hard it is to look up dialect word (lack of standardised spelling); I don't think I'd be able to get really far just using coursebooks and tutoring. I see a huge difference in how much I'm learning since I moved from the textbook onto more "natural" resources.

On a similar topic, it kind of irritates me to see people coming out with the same beginner-level apps again and again. I tried Babbel because of how much I liked their ads but it was just a glorified phrasebook with built-in flashcards. I wish more commercial efforts were focused on developing good lower-intermediate and intermediate resources (which show the language in a natural way but with transcriptions, translations, and grammar notes) but I guess there's just more money in making things for the eternal false beginners.

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-17, 3:07

Saim wrote:I wish more commercial efforts were focused on developing good lower-intermediate and intermediate resources (which show the language in a natural way but with transcriptions, translations, and grammar notes) but I guess there's just more money in making things for the eternal false beginners.

Are you by any chance familiar with LangMedia?

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Saim » 2017-01-17, 3:15

No, but it looks pretty good. :D

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-17, 3:20

Saim wrote:No, but it looks pretty good. :D

Right? That's actually one of the few resources I know of for Levantine Arabic (and some other varieties of Arabic). Another is a blog called The Arabic Student, which hasn't been updated in almost four years but is where I was first introduced not only to both GLOSS and LangMedia but also to songs and their lyrics (and other random things, like clips from Turkish soap operas dubbed in Damascene and clips of The Simpsons dubbed in Egyptian Arabic :lol:).

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Saim » 2017-01-17, 3:28

Yeah, awesome. I wish I knew it when I was still lower-intermediate in Urdu, it would've helped a lot. I'll still go through it all though, I guess even now I might be able to learn a bit.

It's cool they have so many languages of the Islamic world, as well. :)

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-18, 4:02

You guys are making me want to start learning Arabic! :D
Follow my TAC 2017 here.

(N)  (en-CA) | (B2)  (fr) | (B1)  (pt-BR) | (A2)  (es-CO) | (A1)  (ja) (ko) (sv) (ta-LK)
(A0)  (de) (fy) (haw) (hi) (hu) (id) (it) (oc) (oj) (pl) (ro) (sq) (tl) (tr) (zh)

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-21, 7:37

I think I'll finally start posting in the South Asian languages forum. :ohwell: I'm not really sure what I'll do to improve my Chinese. Maybe I should read news and watch videos and even use PRC-specific online services (e.g. Youku, Tudou, QQ, Baidu Baike, Baidu Zhidao) a bit more. :lol:

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-22, 6:52

OK, so to be honest, I never did start posting on the South Asian languages forum again. :silly: I do intend to sometime soon, though (basically ASAP). Meanwhile, I've started getting a bit of a firmer idea of how I can improve my Mandarin fluency. I have a bunch of untapped resources for Mandarin, plus of course there's plenty of resources on the Internet (including the movie 《五个女子和一根绳子》 (Five Girls and a Rope)).

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-28, 9:21

So I guess by now, I've posted everything I wanted to in the South Asian languages forum. I've also started trying to read things (mostly books I have here at home) in order to improve my Chinese, and I have at least learned one new word in Chinese so far as a result. I think I'll just move on to the Chinese forum ASAP unless somebody posts something on the South Asian forum I can respond to first. I'm also thinking of going through textbooks to help improve my proficiency in at least some of the languages I give myself two stars for. I haven't given much thought to what I'll do to improve my French, Spanish, or German, though. For French, I do have TY Business French, which is sure to have some interesting vocabulary. In any case, I found some relatively challenging literary material for all of my three-star languages a long time ago, so that shouldn't really be a problem.

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-29, 5:33

I've been thinking about what new languages I'd like to learn and (presumably) post about here. In particular, I've been wondering what new Papuan languages I might pick. I think I might try Ternate, spoken in northern Maluku (and possibly related to some of the languages of West Papua) and then either Bunak or something closer to Papua New Guinea like Kombai or Western Dani.

Apart from that, I believe I was thinking of my next Semitic language being Tigrinya - or was it Hebrew?? My next Austronesian language would definitely be Malagasy, and then I guess Balinese after that. My next North American language might be...well, I was going to say Tlingit followed by Lushootseed or something, but you know what, why not just try learning Chinook Jargon? (Although I might be convinced to do something else instead, like Cayuga...). My next Central American languages would be K'iche' and Yucatec almost for sure, and my next South American languages would be Guarani and Tukano, since I'd already started on all of these anyway. Maybe I should add on the Central American languages before the South American languages, even though that feels kind of wrong somehow. :? My first non-Semitic Afroasiatic language would have to be Hausa, followed closely by Somali I guess? Or maybe Oromo. Or Afar, but that's just a temptation because it can apparently sound so similar to Hindi it's really ridiculous, and I don't mean because of loanwords (at least I don't think I do). I already know what my next two Bantu languages would be, I'm sure, but what would my first non-Bantu Niger-Congo language be? Yoruba? Mòoré? Or something more closely related to Bantu like one of the Jarawan languages?

I should probably give Georgian a try, too, after all that. I used to think I should try learning Armenian first since it's Indo-European, but nahhh, I guess not. I'm sure Georgian has tons of loanwords from Turkish/Persian/Russian/other such languages I'm more familiar with. Maybe I'd do Armenian after Georgian. Oh, and Basque...And Hungarian, and Finnish. Then...I guess I could try Greek? And Albanian? And then Bengali, even though I already kinda speak it?

This is almost all just long-term speculation, of course. :P
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2017-01-29, 5:55, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Koko » 2017-01-29, 5:40

vijayjohn wrote:(including the movie 《五个女子和一根绳子》 (Five Girls and a Rope)).

that sounds a bit too kinky :shock: (or maybe... not kinky enough)

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-29, 5:45

vijayjohn wrote:I've been thinking about what new languages I'd like to learn and (presumably) post about here. In particular, I've been wondering what new Papuan languages I might pick. I think I might try Ternate, spoken in northern Maluku (and possibly related to some of the languages of West Papua) and then either Bunak or something closer to Papua New Guinea like Kombai or Western Dani.

What resources are you planning to use? And what's your goal - just to learn about the language, to learn how to read/write in it, or to learn also to speak? I ask because while I've always wanted to seriously study/learn minor languages, I tend to not because of lack of resources.

Koko wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:(including the movie 《五个女子和一根绳子》 (Five Girls and a Rope)).

that sounds a bit too kinky :shock: (or maybe... not kinky enough)

Get your mind out the gutter!
Follow my TAC 2017 here.

(N)  (en-CA) | (B2)  (fr) | (B1)  (pt-BR) | (A2)  (es-CO) | (A1)  (ja) (ko) (sv) (ta-LK)
(A0)  (de) (fy) (haw) (hi) (hu) (id) (it) (oc) (oj) (pl) (ro) (sq) (tl) (tr) (zh)

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-29, 5:57

Koko wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:(including the movie 《五个女子和一根绳子》 (Five Girls and a Rope)).

that sounds a bit too kinky :shock: (or maybe... not kinky enough)

It's not kinky. :P They commit suicide. The title totally ruins the ending! It's such a shitty title for the movie.
dEhiN wrote:What resources are you planning to use? And what's your goal - just to learn about the language, to learn how to read/write in it, or to learn also to speak? I ask because while I've always wanted to seriously study/learn minor languages, I tend to not because of lack of resources.

I don't have any plans yet because I'm not thinking of doing this all that soon. I want to see how adding Arabic and Amharic goes first (and how well I do in my other languages). :) (And of course I almost wrote "Aramaic" :ohwell:).

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby Koko » 2017-01-29, 6:50

vijayjohn wrote:
Koko wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:(including the movie 《五个女子和一根绳子》 (Five Girls and a Rope)).

that sounds a bit too kinky :shock: (or maybe... not kinky enough)

It's not kinky. :P They commit suicide. The title totally ruins the ending! It's such a shitty title for the movie.

Is it a good movie though?

Is 和 "and?" It looks like a weird character for a conjunction, but i also have zero knowledge of Chinese to have a good opinion on it.

dEhiN wrote:Get your mind out the gutter!

Con un titolo di film come quello non è possibilie :P (non ho idea proprio di cosa significa la corda nelle azzioni sessuali, ma...)

Vijay, with Chinese, are you focusing on Mandarin?

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-29, 6:55

Koko wrote:Con un titolo di film come quello non è possibilie :P (non ho idea proprio di cosa significa la corda nelle azzioni sessuali, ma...)

I'm actually not studying Italian and only know like a handful of words, but I pretty much understood every word in what you said except for "proprio" and "azzioni". I though "proprio" might be cogante with "propre" in French, but that means "own" like "one's own", which wouldn't make sense in what you said.
Follow my TAC 2017 here.

(N)  (en-CA) | (B2)  (fr) | (B1)  (pt-BR) | (A2)  (es-CO) | (A1)  (ja) (ko) (sv) (ta-LK)
(A0)  (de) (fy) (haw) (hi) (hu) (id) (it) (oc) (oj) (pl) (ro) (sq) (tl) (tr) (zh)

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Re: TAC 2017 - vijayjohn

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-29, 7:00

"With a movie title like that, it isn't possible :P (I don't have a good idea of what the rope means in sexual actions, but...)." (Pretty sure he means 'sex(ual) acts': atti sessuali. 'Sexual actions' would actually be azzioni sessuale).
Koko wrote:Is it a good movie though?

I think so. Some people think it's underrated, though to be fair, I guess the technical quality isn't the best (though this is probably true of most Chinese movies). It's a Taiwanese movie set in rural mainland China during the early 20th century and is about five women and the misogyny they experience.
Is 和 "and?"

Yes, and it can only be used for conjoining nouns AFAIK.
It looks like a weird character for a conjunction, but i also have zero knowledge of Chinese to have a good opinion on it.

It's used to mean various things. I think its use as a conjunction is inspired by the rebus principle or "punning"; i.e. at some point, the word for 'and' (between nouns) presumably sounded like (i.e. was homophones with) some other word that was written with 和, and 和 was extended to mean 'and' as well.
Vijay, with Chinese, are you focusing on Mandarin?

Yes, because I know Mandarin far better than any other variety of Chinese already, and as you might be able to tell from that long post I was editing while you and dEhiN were replying ( :lol: ), I'm not interested in adding any more Eurasian languages at this point. (I don't count Arabic as Eurasian ;)).

EDIT: Oh, and I just realized I do have an answer for this:
dEhiN wrote:And what's your goal - just to learn about the language, to learn how to read/write in it, or to learn also to speak? I ask because while I've always wanted to seriously study/learn minor languages, I tend to not because of lack of resources.

To learn whatever I can get on the language (which is not much because not a whole lot of work has ever been done on Papuan languages. The reason why I'm doing this, though, is that at least it helps me be more familiar with the linguistic variation of the Earth as a whole instead of just Eurasia or whatever :)).


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