TAC 2017 dEhiN

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby Michael » 2017-03-17, 10:43

voron wrote:
Michael wrote:I'm also the kind of person who is in favor of learning MSA prior to tackling any of the regional Arabic vernaculars, contrary to the majority preference of some learners of Arabic here on UL.

This majority are who? :o AFAIR every single dialect learner here on Unilang knows some (or big) amount of MSA, too.

Saim wrote:Yeah, even I know a fair bit of MSA. I just don't bother to try to speak it or write it anymore, because it's not a priority.

What Saim wrote in his comment is closest to what I intended to say. You two do know MSA to varying degrees, but don't focus as much on it as you do on your dialects of choice (in this case, Levantine). Whereas, when I used to learn Arabic, I concentrated solely on MSA and wouldn't have begun to branch out into a vernacular until I attained a solid A2 in reading skills. I must also mention that I'm attracted to literary Arabic in its own right, and don't necessarily view it as a prerequisite. However, a base knowledge of it will certainly help me appreciate the divergences from the classical language of whichever dialect(s) I end up learning, as I'm highly interested in learning about the evolution of the dialects.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-17, 11:09

vijayjohn wrote:I just watched the video, and I actually wasn't sure he meant to correct her at all, just neglected to mention the dialect difference until she pointed it out (and of course it's good that she did!).

Never thought of it from that perspective. I could see that: he was just using the dialect he's comfortable with and then she started to emulate him.

vijayjohn wrote:That's pretty much exactly how I (used to) feel about learning Malayalam. ... but hey, at least you do get the data in the end. *shrug*

Thanks for sharing; it helps to know you felt the same way. And yeah, at least you do get the data in the end. Over the past 2 years I have been trying more to take whatever I can get, and just take note of the differences in my head. I think I'm pretty good with pronunciation differences (especially major ones like <எ> being pronounced word-initially as /je/ (IT) versus /e/ (SLT)) and some vocabulary differences. It's the grammar ones I'm not too familiar with.

Michael wrote:David, my personal advice to you would be to use any Tamil resources you can get your hands on, even if it's only tailored for Indian Tamil.

That's a good idea Michael, and like I just wrote in the previous paragraph, I've been trying to adopt that approach more over the past 2 years. The other approach I've been sometimes using it to use a resource that teaches the Literary Standard, since that would also use the Tamil script.

voron wrote:AFAIR every single dialect learner here on Unilang knows some (or a big) amount of MSA, too.


Michael it sounds like you like to learn the Standard or Literary Standard (if it exists) up to a certain level before attempting any dialects or spoken varieties. While others might learn both simultaneously.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-17, 11:22

So there's a corollary to the thinking I shared before about Tamil. I also have this belief that since I have the ability to study different languages, and I'm good at it, then all the more I should learn my heritage language. Or else what kind of a language learner am I? Or what kind of a Tamilian am I? Have any of you who grew up not knowing your heritage language felt this way before? How did you deal with it? Because I'm pretty sure this thinking activates the perfectionism, which in turn is what causes me to not consistently study Tamil. It's quite possible this belief is the biggest reason I started learning Tamil when I was 15/16 and 17-18 years later I'm still a beginner, albeit I have learned some stuff in those 17-18 years.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2017-03-17, 17:13

Michael wrote:
Then again, I'm also the kind of person who is in favor of learning MSA prior to tackling any of the regional Arabic vernaculars, contrary to the majority preference of some learners of Arabic here on UL.


Although I'm studying a dialect right now, I 100 percent agree with that assessment.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby voron » 2017-03-17, 17:38

Michael wrote:What Saim wrote in his comment is closest to what I intended to say. You two do know MSA to varying degrees, but don't focus as much on it as you do on your dialects of choice (in this case, Levantine). Whereas, when I used to learn Arabic, I concentrated solely on MSA and wouldn't have begun to branch out into a vernacular until I attained a solid A2 in reading skills.

Yes I see your point. From my experience with Arabic I believe one has to know both a dialect and MSA if they want to be functional in an Arabic country and feel integrated into the local society. This is my goal in any language (try to be able to do what a native can do), so for me it's not a question of whether to learn only MSA or only a dialect or both, it's only a question in which order and proportions. And this fully depends on the learner's personality: if they like reading, they can start with MSA, if they are more into pop media and talking, they can start with a dialect.

I made this mistake of limiting myself with MSA for too long (from the current experience I see it as a mistake since as soon I started a dialect it became more fun), so my advice to a new learner would be to try both and see which one they like more, or just choose a book which combines both, but definitely not limit oneself with only one for too long. (Anyway take my advice with a grain of salt since I haven't achieved any considerable progress with Arabic yet).

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-17, 19:25

dEhiN wrote:I think I'm pretty good with pronunciation differences (especially major ones like <எ> being pronounced word-initially as /je/ (IT) versus /e/ (SLT))

I'm honestly surprised every time I see anyone saying something like this (you're not the only one!) because I've heard both /e/ in Indian Tamil and /je/ in Sri Lankan Tamil word-initially. I thought this was a difference between Malayalam and Tamil (because Malayalam almost always seems to have [j] before a word-initial front vowel whereas Tamil doesn't necessarily), not a difference between varieties of Tamil. I suspect that that's not a difference between Indian Tamil and SLT at all but rather that they're in free variation in both varieties.
dEhiN wrote:So there's a corollary to the thinking I shared before about Tamil. I also have this belief that since I have the ability to study different languages, and I'm good at it, then all the more I should learn my heritage language. Or else what kind of a language learner am I? Or what kind of a Tamilian am I? Have any of you who grew up not knowing your heritage language felt this way before?

Definitely.
How did you deal with it?

I think I probably did what I always do with such inconvenient problems: distract myself with something else and just ignore it.

I think one thing that used to throw me off a lot with Malayalam and Tamil is that they both seem so weird compared to most Eurasian languages, or at least most of the ones we encounter. Then I came to realize that it all depends on what you're comparing them to. If you're comparing them to some non-Eurasian languages (some random language from the Amazon, for example), they can look much more normal. Something similar seems to be true for Malayalee/Tamil vs. other Eurasian vs. non-Eurasian cultures.

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby księżycowy » 2017-03-17, 23:15

dEhiN wrote:So there's a corollary to the thinking I shared before about Tamil. I also have this belief that since I have the ability to study different languages, and I'm good at it, then all the more I should learn my heritage language. Or else what kind of a language learner am I? Or what kind of a Tamilian am I? Have any of you who grew up not knowing your heritage language felt this way before? How did you deal with it?

I can't really speak to the heritage aspect of it in the same way that you and Vijay (for example) can, but I kinda felt the same way about my heritage languages as well.

I'm removed enough from my heritage languages that they aren't spoke around me, so I don't get that kind of pressure from parents or relatives or what not. Well, aside from the few Polish words and phrases my one grandmother could remember. But I always felt the urge to pick up and take up the torch that had been extinguished, so to speak.(I still do for that matter.)

I'm not sure I was quite as hard on myself as you seem to being (have been?) on yourself on it.

I do remember a conversation my grandmother on my other side had with me once; she always told me I'd never be able to learn Irish. She had heard it spoken and felt that it was near impossible to learn. If anything that drove me to want to learn it all the more to prove her wrong. :lol:

As I've gotten older I've grown out of the whole "hardliner torch-bearer" attitude, and have grown to understand that there are many ways to express, share, and explore my heritage. It's not just linguistic. That takes some of the pressure off.
Much like I was saying before, it's about a healthy balance, as with all things. You can't get caught up in things that stagnate your efforts to explore and share your heritage(s).

Again, not sure if my rantings help or not. :P

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 0:06

Eh, I don't see a reason to doubt the helpfulness of your posts. :)

For me, there has definitely been some pressure from my relatives to learn Malayalam, but I think what affected me even more strongly was the fact that I'd constantly find myself in a very distressing position where I was surrounded by people speaking what at one time was the only language I knew at all and yet I had no idea what anyone was saying. I guess it would be kind of like if you forgot English for some reason and you were sitting around with your parents' friends or relatives without understanding anything anybody was saying to anybody else and this kept happening for years on end.

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby księżycowy » 2017-03-18, 0:55

As I said in my previous post, you would be able to speak much better than I on the issues surrounding the heritage language being spoken around you. I don't know that side of it. Which is why I wasn't sure if it would be that helpful to dEhiN, hence what I said.

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby Saim » 2017-03-18, 5:26

Michael wrote:What Saim wrote in his comment is closest to what I intended to say. You two do know MSA to varying degrees, but don't focus as much on it as you do on your dialects of choice (in this case, Levantine). Whereas, when I used to learn Arabic, I concentrated solely on MSA and wouldn't have begun to branch out into a vernacular until I attained a solid A2 in reading skills. I must also mention that I'm attracted to literary Arabic in its own right, and don't necessarily view it as a prerequisite. However, a base knowledge of it will certainly help me appreciate the divergences from the classical language of whichever dialect(s) I end up learning, as I'm highly interested in learning about the evolution of the dialects.


I also started with MSA (I don't know of any non-native on this forum who started with the dialect first), I just find it frustrating to study so much and then not be able to chat with anyone or understand much of popular music. But in the long run they both complement each other, of course.

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 15:28

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:I think I'm pretty good with pronunciation differences (especially major ones like <எ> being pronounced word-initially as /je/ (IT) versus /e/ (SLT))

I'm honestly surprised every time I see anyone saying something like this (you're not the only one!) because I've heard both /e/ in Indian Tamil and /je/ in Sri Lankan Tamil word-initially. I thought this was a difference between Malayalam and Tamil (because Malayalam almost always seems to have [j] before a word-initial front vowel whereas Tamil doesn't necessarily), not a difference between varieties of Tamil. I suspect that that's not a difference between Indian Tamil and SLT at all but rather that they're in free variation in both varieties.

Perhaps it's not in free variation but more environment-specific. I'm not sure about the others who have said this to you, but for me, I was thinking about how (from what I remember) anytime I've heard "who/what/when/where/how", an IT speaker has always added /j/ in front of the Tamil word, while an SLT speaker never has. From this bit of knowledge/experience, I extrapolated to all words. Which in hindsight, is dangerous to do. Do you remember when you heard the SLT speaker use /je/ word-initially? What were they saying? What word was it? But getting back to these "wh-h" questions, another thing that tells me it's probably a spoken IT "rule" is that many IT speakers will write romanised Tamil using "ye" instead of "e".
Last edited by dEhiN on 2017-03-18, 19:39, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 15:36

Thanks Vijay and Pawel for your input on the heritage language stuff. And yes Pawel, your responses do help; they offer me another perspective to consider, as well as someone else's experience. It's weird, but often when it comes to my own beliefs, I find it hard to come up with another way to see something even when my existing way is causing me difficulties. I say weird, because in any other area of life, I'm pretty good with coming up with different ways of seeing things.

Yeah, there are different ways of sharing my heritage and "carrying the torch". And just because I'm able to study languages, doesn't mean I have to learn Tamil.

Getting back to my TAC, I've been slowly writing out the resources I'm going to use for French/Portuguese/Swedish/Tamil, and the schedule I'm going to take. The schedule I'll start with will probably be one chapter/unit/lesson every two weeks. And I think I'm going to rotate through the languages, doing one at a time. I have French and Swedish written out; I am fairly certain which resource I'll use for Portuguese, but am still deciding for Tamil.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 15:51

Every single song I ever posted in Sri Lankan Tamil has word-initial [je] and/or [jɛ] and usually [ji] and/or [jɪ]. :)

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby księżycowy » 2017-03-18, 18:47

I wouldn't nessicarily say you don't have to learn Tamil, rather that you don't have to focus solely on learning Tamil.

I guess I just meant you don't have to push yourself so hard regarding it. Something like that anyway.

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 19:06

księżycowy wrote:I guess I just meant you don't have to push yourself so hard regarding it. Something like that anyway.

Yeah I get that. And when I said I don't have to learn Tamil, in my mind I added "just because it's my heritage language and I'm a language enthusiast". Meaning: if I choose to learn Tamil or not, or even if I try to learn Tamil but am not able to or I take a long time to do it, it matters not. I can treat Tamil as I would any other language. And hopefully with that mindset, I won't push myself so hard and I will feel freer when I'm learning it.

Because as much as I can say I've been learning Tamil for 17 years and am still a beginner, I can also say I haven't given up on learning it. So there is at least a modicum of real desire to learn the language and fascination with it.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 19:38

Slightly OT to my TAC, but Meera and I decided to learn Hawaiian together. I created a thread over in the Polynesian forum. You can check it out here.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 19:45

Yeah, I saw. I've tried learning a language with somebody else before. It never worked because they'd always lose motivation and get tired of it at some point. Maybe it'll work better for you, though, idk. (And it's not OT, it's your TAC after all! :D It's just that your (and her) TAC plans changed a bit ;))

Good luck! :)

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 19:59

vijayjohn wrote:Yeah, I saw. I've tried learning a language with somebody else before. It never worked because they'd always lose motivation and get tired of it at some point. Maybe it'll work better for you, though, idk. (And it's not OT, it's your TAC after all! :D It's just that your (and her) TAC plans changed a bit ;))

Good luck! :)

Thanks! And I wrote OT mostly because I don't really want to add Hawaiian to my TAC, since I guess I still look upon the/my TAC as languages I'm concentrating more on. So for example, I want to do Hawaiian and also Chamorro, but right now I'm thinking to not add them to my TAC. Later on, I also want to go through the various language books I have, as well as the online courses I've started (mostly on FutureLearn) just to finish them. So the point there wouldn't be to pick one language and take it to a certain level, but finish the resources I have or have started. I briefly debated doing that alongside the 4 TAC languages I'm doing now. But I'm pretty sure that would be too much for me. I might change TAC approaches at the 6-month mark and do the approach I just mentioned.
My TAC for 2017.

N:(en-CA) | B2:(fr) | A2:(es-CO)(pt-BR) | A1:(ja)(ko)(sv)(ta-LK) | A0:(de)(fy)(hi)(hu)(it)(pl)(ro)(tr)

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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-18, 20:30

Osias wrote:
dEhiN wrote:Tenho uma dúvida: somar pode significar "to sum" ou somente "to equal"?

Na verdade significa "to sum". Você deve ter visto alguma frase como "2 e 2 somam 4" que seria uma forma abreviada de dizer "a soma de 2 e 2 é igual a quatro".

Obrigado Osias! Eu vou corrigir minha carta de Anki.
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Re: TAC 2017 dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-03-18, 20:53

All I understood from what you were saying in your response to me is that although you just started Hawaiian, it's not one of your top-priority languages. :P

I was thinking just today that maybe someday, I should start a TPAM game in Tamil if nobody else does first. I wonder how you'd say "the person after me" in Tamil. என் பிறைகிலுள்ளவர்?


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