Saim's blog 2017

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-27, 6:52

vijayjohn wrote:Eu vi. Achei que é possível porque as coisas como "estou com forme/sede/frio/quente".

"Estou com quente"? :hmm:[/quote]
Desculpe! A frase é "estou com calor".
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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Osias » 2017-02-27, 13:42

dEhiN wrote:
Michael wrote:
dEhiN wrote:
Michael wrote:Estou de acordo.

"Estou com acordo" funciona bem também, né?

Pode dizer apenas "estou de acordo" ou "concordo com…".

Eu vi. Achei que fosse possível porque coisas como "estou com forme/sede/frio/quente".
2017 est l'année du  (fr) et de l' (de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-27, 22:31

Osias wrote:
dEhiN wrote:Eu vi. Achei que fosse possível porque coisas como "estou com forme/sede/frio/quente".

Obrigado!
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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-03-08, 10:31

Here are some of the things I've been listening to lately:

Urdu

Interview of underground Punjabi rapper Guru Lahori
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXQe7pMlKak

Hebrew

Comedian Assaf Harel on the occupation in the Palestinian Territories
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPsLQI3hWvU

German

Comedian Serdar Somuncu on anti-refugee sentiment in Germany
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBwcqO2Xc6o

Funnily enough, the automatic German subtitles provided by Google, though not perfect, were good enough to help look up lots of words. It's amazing how far we've come; language learning just gets easier and easier!

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-03-13, 2:36

I just started Easy German, and I find it funny how I could tell these kids were Polish even before the more clearly Polish names (Agnieszka, Mateusz). Their pronunciation of hobby is the most obvious example.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luM9zypWm9Y

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-13, 3:17

Oh yeah, that's because Cari is in Poland right now. :)

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-03-31, 1:41

Update:

 (ru)

This is probably the language I've done the most for over the past couple of months, and I'm really getting into it. I think it makes sense for me to try and get Russian to an advanced leavel because I know lots of speakers and , and also listen to quite a lot of Russian hip hop. It's interesting because as far as I can see only Russian and Bulgarian have much commercial, danceable hip hop and hip-hopish or RNB music.

Recently, besides Кухня, I've also been listening to this interview of the rapper Kristina Si, but honestly I don't think she really said much. Dunno if it's just that the interviewer was asking stupid questions or if she really didn't have much to say because her producer (or whoever) does all the actual work on the music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g9RE7OyzjI

"кто не рискует, тут не красавчик" :lol:

I'm also doing the ocassional Russian class over Skype, and I feel like my teacher is probably the best teacher I've ever got on iTalki (or most adequate for my level and learning style). It's the perfect balance between structure and just general chatting. Go too far the first way and it can get boring and you don't get a good idea of your actual level, go too far the second and you can tread a lot of the same round and hit a plateau.

There is a Russian conversation group in Brisbane. I've gone twice, but it's only gone from bad to worse:

-The first time there were only four of us. The organizer was an older guy who talked for ages about the case system (this is genetive because blahblahblah, but then he'd have to stop and think to use any of them correctly in actual conversation) and about how he was in Siberia once (which is fine, but a bit irritating if it's taking over the whole exchange...). There was a trucker who knew no Russian and seemed to just come to talk to the older guy about WWII military bullshit (yeah so there's these tanks, and these rifles, and these other rifles, and the Red Army had x and y and z, and the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact made lots of sense when you think about it). Then there was a Russian who came in talking Russian but then ended up speaking English the whole time because the other two immediately switched to English. The other two guys were fanboying over Putin, so the Russian said something to the effect of "yeah, Russia and the USSR have never invaded any other country". :roll:

-The second time was utterly shithouse. To my left was the organizer, who promtly started saying all the same stuff he did last time (genitive is when you have of and from but it's different because you change the ending and also did I mention I was in Vladivostok once?). In front of my was some guy who kept reading out random passages from his Russian textbook (and who, of course, fanboyed over Putin). In front of me to my right is this Lithuanian guy who seemed nice and knew lots of Russian but also made me uncomfortable because he would make weird comments about women.

And here comes the kicker: to my right is a (Czech-Australian) guy who tried to pass off some weird Czech-Ukrainian as Russian (he said "nie govorím, ale panimájem" maybe three or four times). The Lithuanian would speak to him in Russian but he responded in English, and I would try to speak to the Lithuanian but I had nothing to add to their conversation because it was mostly made up of stereotypes, and I was getting the impression I was really bothering the Czech-Australian guy for reasons that later became apparent (like, he wouldn't look at me for the whole time I was trying to join their conversation).

Ultimately the Czech-Autralian started talking about how he was a Czech refugee to Yugoslavia (in the 80s?), and that his opinion is that if "we" (it became increasingly clear that I couldn't be part of this "we" even if I wanted to) just shot 50 refugees "they" would stop coming. I asked him if that means he's proposing murder as a political alternative, and he says "no, I'm saying we just shouldn't let them in" (why are racists alows too fucking cowardly to say what they actually believe!??). Earlier he'd also said it's really "gangster" that opposition leaders in Russia can just get shot in the street (and he wasn't joking, the look on his face made it really clear he actually admired this aspect of Russia) and implied that Trump will "clean things up". Then the Lithuanian guy said something about how refugees are as bad as Gypsies because none of them work. I left in disgust, which was probably the right decision because I heard later that when I left he started praising Hitler ("he kept the German people under control"). I reported the dude to Meetup.com but I don't think I'll go back again.

 (de)

I've put a fair bit of work into German. I took a couple of conversation classes over Skype, but I feel like I need to build my vocabulary a bit before conversation is really the most efficient way to learn. To this end I'll try to memorise (through flashcards) a large proportion of the new vocabulary (as well as words I'd probably recognise but there's no chance I would actually produce) in the Netzwerk A1 kursbuch.

 (tr)

I'm feeling good about this one. The past couple of days I've been burning through İstanbul Yabancılar İçin Ders Kitabı. I'm having less trouble memorising new words than I expected, which I guess is down to a combination of being familiar with a similar phonological system represented by a similar orthography (i.e. Hungarian) and all the Persian, Arabic and Romance loans and Greek/Latin technical terms (I was pretty surprised that vase is vazo, for example) vocabulary.

 (hu)

The other day some Hungarians sat next to me in a kebab place while I was having a dürüm falafel. That was fun, although it was also a bit weird because the one I was talking to most, instead of adding me on Facebook, got his friend (who honestly seemed a bit bored) to add me. He justified it by saying something about how he can't go out much "because of [his] girlfriend" (wat?) and I should hang out with his friend to "expand [my] vocabulary".

Other than that I've been doing a bit of Jó szórakozást magyarul.

 (ar-apc)

Kind of fallen by the wayside. Not really sure where to go from here. Maybe I should do some more fusha.

The other day my uber driver was Palestinian, but all he did was point out that I was speaking dialectal Arabic and not fusha (in English). I'm like, yeah I know, thanks. :lol:

This corner store on my street also has at least one speaker of Levantine Arabic working there (I overheard him talking to a friend of his who'd come into the store to ask him something). He didn't really seem into talking to me though, which is IME uncommon but fair enough given he was at work.

 (fr)

I've been reading the /France subreddit and looking over the lyrics to French rap.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-31, 3:47

Saim wrote:I was getting the impression I was really bothering the Czech-Australian guy for reasons that later became apparent (like, he wouldn't look at me for the whole time I was trying to join their conversation).

Ultimately the Czech-Autralian started talking about how he was a Czech refugee to Yugoslavia (in the 80s?), and that his opinion is that if "we" (it became increasingly clear that I couldn't be part of this "we" even if I wanted to) just shot 50 refugees "they" would stop coming. I asked him if that means he's proposing murder as a political alternative, and he says "no, I'm saying we just shouldn't let them in" (why are racists alows too fucking cowardly to say what they actually believe!??). Earlier he'd also said it's really "gangster" that opposition leaders in Russia can just get shot in the street (and he wasn't joking, the look on his face made it really clear he actually admired this aspect of Russia) and implied that Trump will "clean things up". Then the Lithuanian guy said something about how refugees are as bad as Gypsies because none of them work. I left in disgust, which was probably the right decision because I heard later that when I left he started praising Hitler ("he kept the German people under control"). I reported the dude to Meetup.com but I don't think I'll go back again.

As horrible as the situation of the Roma is worldwide (though in completely different ways depending on, say, which side of the Atlantic they're on), IME the Czech Republic especially seems to have a bad reputation among Roma and is notorious for antigypsyism to the point where international newspapers have been reporting on antigypsyism in that particular country for decades already. There is even less ethnic intermarriage between Roma and the local population there than in other countries, as a direct result of which Roma in the Czech Republic are almost invariably dark-skinned and look very much like South Asians and dark skin is, IIUC, automatically associated with Roma there. I used to be in touch with a Romanian Romani friend who told me some pretty horrific stories about what Roma have to go through in his country at a time when he himself had reason to fear for his own life, and even then he told me the Czech Republic was much worse.

There is a picture in a book my advisor wrote of a shooting target used at a rifle club in Frenštát pod Radhoštěm "between 1839 and 1900, depicting a Romani couple." Despite the length of time between then and now, I have always found it scary that to me, the woman in that picture looked like she could be my own mom. Oddly, Frenštát pod Radhoštěm's sister city (if it can even be called a "city," really...), La Grange, is one of the only two places I can recall off the top of my head that's located on the road between Austin and Houston.

I have Czech co-workers, all of whom seem to be friendly enough with me, but sometimes, I wonder for these reasons whether they're really just hiding their true feelings for the sake of their jobs or something.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2017-03-31, 9:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Osias » 2017-03-31, 9:23

Your Russian stories: :shock: :shock: :shock:
2017 est l'année du  (fr) et de l' (de) pour moi. Parle avec moi en eux, s'il te plait.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby voron » 2017-03-31, 12:40

Cool stories, Saim!

Saim wrote: (tr)
I'm feeling good about this one. The past couple of days I've been burning through İstanbul Yabancılar İçin Ders Kitabı.

It can probably make you feel a bit more motivated to study from that book if you know (or maybe you know already) that this book is universally used throughout Istanbul at free classes that teach Turkish to Syrian refugees and other foreigners. It offers modern daily Turkish. I used to help my Syrian friend with homework from this book, it was fun!

 (ar-apc)
Kind of fallen by the wayside.

Do you do italki lessons for Arabic? How are the teachers?

 (ru)

Удачи с русским! Если хочешь, я могу сделать субтитры (на русском) для интервью с Кристиной Си, мне это несложно.

Btw I have a Turkish friend who's staying here and he wants to learn Russian, and I want to help him. He picks up words and phrases very quickly but whenever I try to teach him any grammar he gets bored. What would be your advice as to what materials I can use to teach him? I tried Pimsleur (only the dialogues from it), but omg Pimsleur Russian is so stilted and unnatural. They teach господин and госпожа in like lesson 3, while the last time I heard those words was probably a year ago. I think videos like these Kurdish lessons - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXr8vX40VZk - would be ideal, but I can't find anything like this for Russian. Essentially I need videos (films, cartoons, songs, lessons) with simplified Russian, and I'd like them to have a storyline, instead of just being a collection of phrases (the latter are plenty on youtube).

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Kenny » 2017-04-01, 9:38

There is even less ethnic intermarriage between Roma and the local population there than in other countries, as a direct result of which Roma in the Czech Republic are almost invariably dark-skinned and look very much like South Asians and dark skin is, IIUC, automatically associated with Roma there.

Sounds like Hungary.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-04-01, 12:30

vijayjohn wrote:I have Czech co-workers, all of whom seem to be friendly enough with me, but sometimes, I wonder for these reasons whether they're really just hiding their true feelings for the sake of their jobs or something.


Anti-Romani sentiment is pretty mainstream in Europe, but the fact that it's an "acceptable" form of bigotry means it's not necessarily correlated with other forms of xenophobia. I could easily imagine a strongly anti-Ziganist Serb with largely neutral or even positive views of Indians.

voron wrote:It can probably make you feel a bit more motivated to study from that book if you know (or maybe you know already) that this book is universally used throughout Istanbul at free classes that teach Turkish to Syrian refugees and other foreigners. It offers modern daily Turkish. I used to help my Syrian friend with homework from this book, it was fun!


It definitely does, thanks! I had no idea, I just found it on some random blog. I've been going through the A1 book.

Do you do italki lessons for Arabic? How are the teachers?


Yeah, I did a couple of lessons with this girl from Syria (who actually lives there), but at one point the connection wasn't good anymore and I just couldn't here her. I thought it might be because the internet isn't working well in Syria but she said she had called other people in Europe and North America and it was working fine, so I dunno.

In any case I feel like I'm still not at the level where conversational classes are the most efficient way to learn... I guess I should just keep chugging along and then get back to classes later this year.

Удачи с русским! Если хочешь, я могу сделать субтитры (на русском) для интервью с Кристиной Си, мне это несложно.


Да, если у тебя есть время, это бы мне много помогло, спасибо!

Btw I have a Turkish friend who's staying here and he wants to learn Russian, and I want to help him. He picks up words and phrases very quickly but whenever I try to teach him any grammar he gets bored. What would be your advice as to what materials I can use to teach him? I tried Pimsleur (only the dialogues from it), but omg Pimsleur Russian is so stilted and unnatural. They teach господин and госпожа in like lesson 3, while the last time I heard those words was probably a year ago. I think videos like these Kurdish lessons - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXr8vX40VZk - would be ideal, but I can't find anything like this for Russian. Essentially I need videos (films, cartoons, songs, lessons) with simplified Russian, and I'd like them to have a storyline, instead of just being a collection of phrases (the latter are plenty on youtube).


I dunno, I got a lot of passive exposure (had lots of friends who were either Russian speakers or studying Russian) before I bothered actively studying it and with Serbian and Polish the grammar is pretty intuitive for me. I pretty much skipped beginner-level resources for the most part.

duthu94 wrote:Where do you find motivation for Pashto? Do you meet many Pashto-speaking people in Islamabad?


Yes, Islamabad has people from all around Pakistan but the two main groups are Punjabis and Pashtuns.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-01, 14:18

Kenny wrote:
There is even less ethnic intermarriage between Roma and the local population there than in other countries, as a direct result of which Roma in the Czech Republic are almost invariably dark-skinned and look very much like South Asians and dark skin is, IIUC, automatically associated with Roma there.

Sounds like Hungary.

Kind of, yes. From what I last heard, it's been getting consistently worse in Hungary.
Saim wrote:Anti-Romani sentiment is pretty mainstream in Europe, but the fact that it's an "acceptable" form of bigotry means it's not necessarily correlated with other forms of xenophobia. I could easily imagine a strongly anti-Ziganist Serb with largely neutral or even positive views of Indians.

I know. My understanding is that the Czech Republic is somewhat different in this respect.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby voron » 2017-04-01, 18:26

Saim wrote:Да, если у тебя есть время, это бы мне много помогло, спасибо!

Вот! Не забудь включить субтитры!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3-bGfZ79og

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Kenny » 2017-04-02, 13:21

vijayjohn wrote:
Kenny wrote:
There is even less ethnic intermarriage between Roma and the local population there than in other countries, as a direct result of which Roma in the Czech Republic are almost invariably dark-skinned and look very much like South Asians and dark skin is, IIUC, automatically associated with Roma there.

Sounds like Hungary.

Kind of, yes. From what I last heard, it's been getting consistently worse in Hungary.
Saim wrote:Anti-Romani sentiment is pretty mainstream in Europe, but the fact that it's an "acceptable" form of bigotry means it's not necessarily correlated with other forms of xenophobia. I could easily imagine a strongly anti-Ziganist Serb with largely neutral or even positive views of Indians.

I know. My understanding is that the Czech Republic is somewhat different in this respect.

Yeah. I'm sad to say most of my family is pretty anti-Roma (and I'm not going to lie, it's my instinct, too, since - many if not most Roma being poor - the little exposure I got to them as a child was through poor and, as a result, often poorly educated people; but since I became more self-aware, I do my best to suppress this sentiment), but also strongly against antisemites and xenophobes. It's probably because most of my family has had some bad experiences involving the Roma, but none that involved Jews (prejudice against whom is different in that it doesn't come down to the basest of instincts: fear of being attacked/fear for one's life and disdain for those perceived as "leeches" and "baby mills") or black people (barely any of them here and those who are here had to make some kind of an effort to be here, so clearly it's not going to be the poorest and they won't have to nor will they want to resort to crime and such).

Wow, that came out somewhat more complicated than I had intended to, but I hope you somewhat understand my point (/explanation, and not a justification, of this weird ass shit).

Sadly, it is seen as a lot more acceptable to hate the Roma than it is to, say, hate foreigners. Hating Jewish people is somewhere between the two. You might hear someone criticize our regime for the way it treats refugees arriving here or Jobbik's antisemitic rhetoric, with the same person then asking a friend whether he checked how many Roma live in the part of town he's planning to buy an apartment in and to reconsider if there are too many, all in one breath.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-03, 0:55

I get what you mean. It's the same in almost all parts of the world by now, really; IMO the only real difference is the exact nature of antigypsyism.

Here in the US, for example, the nature of antigypsyism is (as I'm sure you could guess) completely different from antigypsyism in Hungary or elsewhere in Europe. To my knowledge, in the US, there are no antigypsyist pogroms, no neighborhoods where Roma are forced to live separately from other Americans, no hate groups that target (only?) Roma, no denial of American citizenship to American-born Roma, and very few people who are even aware that Roma exist in this country in the first place. And yet I don't believe that the overall situation in the US is any better than in Hungary; it's just that in Hungary, discrimination takes the form of physical violence (for example), whereas in the US, it takes the form of effectively denying people the right to self-identify altogether. People can't target Roma here because people don't know Roma here, but when people don't know Roma exist in their country, too, then they won't come anywhere close to even beginning to talk about the problems that Roma in their country face just for being Roma.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-04-03, 1:18

I don't know much about Romani people in the US, but I do know that American TV aggressively promotes anti-Gypsy stereotypes. I've lost count of the amount of times a character gets a curse cast on them by a Gypsy.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-04-03, 3:26

TV, movies, books, magazines, cartoons, comics, you name it, they all have such stereotypes in the US (and to varying degrees elsewhere). Even when they don't, they very, very rarely portray Romani life from a Romani perspective.

EDIT: That reminded me of Emir Kusturica's movie Dom za vešanje a.k.a. Time of the Gypsies. It's about Roma and is mostly in Romani but is still presented from a distinctly non-Romani point of view and for a non-Romani audience.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-05-07, 15:00

Update 8/05

 (ru)

Russian is by far the language I've done the most with, and I've seen serious progress. My pronunciation has gotten better, and I more or less get the vowel reduction and the palatalisation, ы and и. I can also write Russian fairly quickly, and when I think of Russian words they come to me automatically in Cyrillic. I've realised that I understand songs that I've listening to for a while much better than I used to, and am better at recognising and separating all the syllables and words without looking at the lyrics. I'm really motivated now and think I'd like to take Russian to a very advanced level (C1) over the next couple of years.

I've started reading a lot at the lingvoforum.net, which is a brilliant resource to get Russian reading practice if you're interested in languages.

I've also noticed that I understand Ukrainian much better now, so I'm happy that the basic Ukrainian I learned a couple of years ago hasn't disappeared and is in fact getting stronger due to a deeper understanding of Russian and Polish. I am getting wanderlust for Ukrainian though. :lol:

 (tr)

I'm still going through the Istanbul textbook. I think I might go through the Duolingo course again and try and translate more songs.

 (ar)

Haven't done much over the past month. I'm going to try and work on the McGraw Hill Easy Arabic Reader.

 (fr)

My French has gotten to a much more active level, to a sort of shaky conversational level. My understanding of rap music has also gotten better. I've been doing much more regular reading practice, especially on r/France over at Reddit. It's been fun to read debates on the French elections.

 (hu)

Been watching some videómánia videos on YouTube.

 (de)

I have a more solid command of the basics now, but I think I'll have to put it aside for the time being and go back to it at a later date.

 (he)

Haven't really done much, maybe I should choose a month to do it intensively or something because I think I need to do some more intensive learning to get out of the rut I'm in. I think the only skill that's keeping me from a solid B2 level is reading comprehension, but I'm not sure what I should be reading, I don't know of any interesting forums in Hebrew or where to look for it... and I'm kind of sick of just reading the news.

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Re: Saim's blog 2017

Postby Saim » 2017-05-13, 2:34

Turkish

Found subtitles for the first episode of Mühteşem Yüzyıl. I think I'll go through chunks of the subtitles for reading practice (marking new words) and then listen to the audio along with my notes. Once I've studied the whole thing I'll listen to it on my phone in the gym/shopping/whatever.


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