TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby voron » 2017-02-17, 13:49

Antea wrote:If now I begin to learn a dialect (with the time that it should imply, instead of improving my fussha Arabic), that would imply that I should only be able to use it with the people of that specific country. But what happen with people from other Arabic countries. How many dialects should I learn, then? I don't know if that would be very useful for me :hmm:

For me the reasoning is very simple. I like dreaming about being able to go to the country where my target language is spoken, and spend some time working there. With Turkey and Turkish, this dream came true. I don't know if it's going to happen with Arabic, but if it ever is, I'll certainly need a dialect. I doubt I'll feel comfortable enough to pass through all the routines (job interview, residence permit, work permit, renting a flat and whatever else may be needed), and eventually making good friends, if I don't speak a dialect.

So I guess the bottom line is, when choosing between learning MSA, or a dialect, or both, it all depends on your goals. If you want to be able to communicate with as many Arabs as possible, with the least learning effort, then I guess MSA is the right choice.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-17, 16:11

dEhiN wrote:I didn't know you could use fussha to speak to Arabic speakers.

I suspect it varies depending on education level and probably also whether an Arabic-speaker's school taught Fusha (I would think there were schools where Arabic was either not a required school subject or not taught at all in various parts of the Arabic-speaking world). The article Osias linked to claims that you may be understood if you speak it with Arabic-speakers but they won't necessarily be able to respond in it.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-02-19, 9:35

Yes, I suppose it all depends on the goals or expectations one might have regarding the use of the language. In my case, unfortunately, I think it hardly likely that I could move to an Arabic speaking country and work there in Arabic. I know people that have done it (move to another country), but because they were westerners, their work was totally carried out in English. In fact, there are countries, were it is actually very difficult to speak Arabic with someone, because all the shops and services are carried out by foreigners, and everybody speaks English on a daily base (I'm now thinking of Dubai, for example).

But, of course, moving to another country and working in the goal language, that would be the best way to improve the language. Although I suppose, that may also require a very good level in that language, to be able to do the job in another language.

Has anyone tried it? Was it very difficult for you? I would be very glad to hear any experiences of working immersion. :yep:
Last edited by Antea on 2017-02-19, 11:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby dEhiN » 2017-02-19, 10:45

Antea wrote:I think it hardly difficult likely that I could move to an Arabic speaking country and work there in Arabic.

When we say hardly + adjective, it means that there isn't a good chance of that happening. So hardly likely means it is not (very) likely. Hardly difficult would mean it isn't (very) difficult.

If you want to use difficult in your sentence, I would change it to something like: I think it'll be difficult (for me) to move to an Arabic speaking country and work there in Arabic.
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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-02-19, 11:14

Thanks, I corrected it. :D

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby eskandar » 2017-02-20, 6:10

Antea wrote:I listened to this video, which treats precisely the problem of teaching Fussha or dialects for Arabic teachers. I found it interesting, they speak clearly and I think I could understand it pretty well (though it's a long video, almost 1h30).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA4PYlt1zaM

Thanks, I enjoyed watching this as well!

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:I didn't know you could use fussha to speak to Arabic speakers.

I suspect it varies depending on education level and probably also whether an Arabic-speaker's school taught Fusha (I would think there were schools where Arabic was either not a required school subject or not taught at all in various parts of the Arabic-speaking world). The article Osias linked to claims that you may be understood if you speak it with Arabic-speakers but they won't necessarily be able to respond in it.

AFAIK all schools throughout the Arabic-speaking world teach (some amount of) fuS7a, including English- or French-medium ones. They do differ in how much emphasis they place on it, however. In Syria, the medium of instruction is standard Arabic for all subjects, including high levels of science, which is why Syrians are famous for their strong command of fuS7a. In Egypt, Egyptian Arabic is used for most subjects (except "Arabic class") and English may be used for higher instruction; a similar dynamic is the case in many other Arab countries. In Tunisia, where fus7a competes with Tunisian Arabic, French, and English as languages of instruction, people as far as I could tell tended to have a relatively high level of fuS7a, probably because the quality of instruction there is high.

Antea wrote:In fact, there are countries, were it is actually very difficult to speak Arabic with someone, because all the shops and services are carried out by foreigners, and everybody speaks English on a daily base (I'm now thinking of Dubai, for example).

Yeah, this is true of most of the Gulf countries, where only a minority of the country's population is Arab (let alone local) and English is the dominant lingua franca.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-20, 13:22

eskandar wrote:Yeah, this is true of most of the Gulf countries, where only a minority of the country's population is Arab (let alone local) and English is the dominant lingua franca.

Wait, is that actually true that Arabs are a minority in most Gulf countries? :shock: I know most of them have lots of non-Arab immigrants, but I was under the impression that they were still a minority even if they were all taken together.

Wikipedia lists the basin countries of the Persian Gulf as Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Oman. Arabs are of course a minority in Iran, and at least according to Wikipedia, they form only 42% of the population in the UAE and 40% in Qatar but 75-80% of the population in Iraq, 60% in Kuwait including Arab expatriates, and 90% in Saudi Arabia. In Bahrain and Oman, the picture is apparently more complicated as even the indigenous population is not entirely Arab, making it more difficult to tell whether Arabs are in the majority or not. The indigenous population is indeed in the minority in all of these countries except Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Oman, and apart from perhaps the first two of these countries, there doesn't seem to be any one group (more specific than "expatriates/foreigners/immigrants") that has a clear majority. I'm also not sure how accurate the census figures are regarding the proportion of Arabs in each country.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-02-20, 14:05

When I visited Dubai, I remember having read somewhere that the population that was really from the country, was about 10%. And almost all the people who worked on restaurant or shops, I would say they were from other nationalities. I have found this link that give some percentages.

http://www.bq-magazine.com/economy/soci ... tionality#

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby voron » 2017-02-20, 16:21

Antea wrote:Has anyone tried it? Was it very difficult for you? I would be very glad to hear any experiences of working immersion. :yep:

As I told above I had the experience of finding a job and working in Turkey.

I met my Turkish boss by chance. He was on a business trip here in Belarus and I was introduced to him by one of the teachers of my Turkish class. It's only two years later that I decided I wanted to move. He first invited me for an interview in Istanbul, so I went there for the interview and returned. One month later when I received the positive answer I moved there permanently for work.

As I could already speak Turkish relatively well, I used Turkish for all my daily routines, like communicating at shops, renting a flat, opening a bank account, arranging the residence permit etc. At work only one of my colleagues spoke English so I spoke English with him and relied on his explanations at first, and I spoke Turkish to everyone else.

Yes it was hard at first... It was really exhausting. I remember that by the end of the day my brain stopped understanding even the simplest phrases, and when I arrived home I was so mentally exhausted that I would have dinner and immediately go to bed. It took me a few months to adapt.

My writing skills improved a lot too. From the very start I wrote all my work emails in Turkish, and gradually I started writing long and demanding texts like technical documentation. I communicated with our customers too, though not too much, as this was not my immediate responsibility, and I conducted job interviews with new candidates.

After 2 years of working in Turkey I switched my life completely to Turkish. I acquired wonderful friends, and I can say for sure that they are my best friends, and I travelled around the country. I fell in love with the country and the people and I would definitely stay longer if not for the last year's coup attempt, which affected my company too and because of which I had to leave.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-02-20, 16:49

voron wrote:
Antea wrote:Has anyone tried it? Was it very difficult for you? I would be very glad to hear any experiences of working immersion. :yep:

As I told above I had the experience of finding a job and working in Turkey


Thanks for sharing your experience, Voron. It's very interesting. I think that working in another language is the best way to get immersed in the country, to improve the language thoroughly and to know people. :yep:

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-02-21, 2:31

Antea wrote:When I visited Dubai, I remember having read somewhere that the population that was really from the country, was about 10%. And almost all the people who worked on restaurant or shops, I would say they were from other nationalities.

This definitely matches my understanding of the Persian Gulf. I once visited Kuwait and most people I saw there were Malayalee. Even the security guards were probably Malayalee.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-03-11, 19:56

[flag=]ar[/flag] I'm listening to a lot of material in Arabic, now. Mostly, youtubers, and some documentary films about tourism and cities. I think that my level of understanding is improving. But when I try to talk, my level is still very basic. I suppose that's the consequence of so many time of no using it, that all the vocabulary and structures had gone rusty.

[flag=]ru[/flag] Because now I'm concentrated on Arabic, I'm trying not the forget Russian. So I try to watch every now and then some material in order not to forget the vocabulary.

[flag=]de[/flag] The other day I had the opportunity to have a long conversation in German, and I think that my level is still Ok. I can express myself without difficulty, I can find my words and expressions easily (at least without seeming desperate to find my words, like it happens when I speak in Russian :roll: ). It's such a relief to be able to speak at some level, but of course that was the work of six years of studies, and many more of really using the language afterwards. And still, I know that I continue to make errors.

[flag=]hi[/flag] I just have reviewed some basic sentences, like introducing oneself, etc.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-12, 9:49

Antea wrote:I suppose that's the consequence of so manymuch time of not using it, that all the vocabulary and structures had gone rusty.

I would say "... consequence of not using it for so long". "So much time of not using it" sounds non-native to me, although it's grammatically correct. Also, "had gone" works but I think "have become" sounds more idiomatic.

Because now I'm concentrateding on Arabic, I'm trying not theto forget Russian.


The other day I had the opportunity to have a long conversation in German, and I think that my level is still Ok.

I would write either "OK" or "ok". The only time I've used or seen "Ok" is at the beginning of a sentence. In that case, the person usually would write "ok" but is following spelling rules for sentences.
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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-03-27, 10:06

[flag=]de[/flag] Well, I am changing the name of my TAC, because being realistic, I am not learning nor improving my German. I had a couple of conversations with native Germans, and I think it's OK, we can comunicate easily. So, for the moment, if I do anything related to this language, it will be more like "maintenance tasks".

[flag=]gan[/flag] On the contrary, I have to recognize that I have started to learn Chinese. At first, I thought it may only be one of my usual wanderlusts, but let's face it, It's been 2 months since I began, and I suppose I will keep on learning, so...let's add it to the list :whistle: Anyway, I am going slowly with this one, and for the moment, I feel none of the desperation I got with learning Russian (which was almost like a "vital need" :hmm: )

[flag=]ar[/flag] I'm watching a lot of video material in Arabic. And I don't care anymore if it's in Fusha or not. I just divide it in two categories: those that I can understand, and those that I cannot :hmm: . It depends also on the person who's speaking, and on the subject they talk about (they are persons who can express themselves more clearly than others).

[flag=]ru[/flag] I am now used to watch a lot of things in Russian. I am also reading a lot on internet (but still not books, they are too difficult for me, with tons of literary vocabulary :hmm: ). Most of all, I like to take a look at the Russian map, and look for cities and regions that I have never heard of. And then I look for some documentary films abouth them, their history, monuments, etc.

[flag=]hi[/flag] I don't know what to do with this one. I spent last year learning the language (an academic year), but as I was learning it at the same time that Russian, the latter just wiped Hindi out of my language study plan. Now I'm trying to revive it, but as Arabic has returned with such strength, I have not so much time or motivation :roll: , for Hindi, which is still at a very basic level. That means, that I can not understand any video or writting material, and at this stage that makes the learning process a little bit boring (with Chinese that is different, because it is a completely new language for me, and I a suppose that makes it more interesting to me :hmm: ).

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby voron » 2017-03-27, 11:18

Very cool language list, Antea! And you have languages on your list which are considered the most difficult languages to learn (at least among the popular ones).

Antea wrote:[flag=]ar[/flag] I'm watching a lot of video material in Arabic. And I don't care anymore if it's in Fusha or not. I just divide it in two categories: those that I can understand, and those that I cannot :hmm: . It depends also on the person who's speaking, and on the subject they talk about (they are persons who can express themselves more clearly than others).

I should start doing that too. I'm listening to songs in the Levantine dialects but I don't dare start watching videos, as I am afraid I won't understand anything. Yet I should stop procrastinating. My level is enough to at least understand separate words, and even that alone is beneficial for improving listening comprehension.

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-03-27, 13:43

voron wrote:I should start doing that too. I'm listening to songs in the Levantine dialects but I don't dare start watching videos, as I am afraid I won't understand anything. Yet I should stop procrastinating. My level is enough to at least understand separate words, and even that alone is beneficial for improving listening comprehension.


I don't understand everything, too. There are always words that I don't know. But, it's also a way to increase the vocabulary.

I put here a link as an example of the kind of videos I like to see. Mostly channels about travelling, or language learning. Concretly this one, has Arabic subtitles that can be viewed if you activate them (so its easier to look for the vocabulary). This one is about the capital of Azerbaijan.

https://youtu.be/J3sD-od0K1Q
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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby dEhiN » 2017-03-27, 21:07

Antea wrote:(they are persons who can express themselves more clearly than others).

I think in English it's more common to use people as a general word, and persons for specific situations. In that sentence above, I would use people.

Also, your English is improving! At least your written English (since I've never heard your speak :D).

For Hindi, one possibility might be to connect with Meera. She taught herself Hindi and knows it at an advanced stage. I know she is always willing to help someone and I'm sure would be willing to practice with you or teach you stuff. Send her a PM. (She's one of the global moderators).
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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-03-28, 7:46

dEhiN wrote:For Hindi, one possibility might be to connect with Meera. She taught herself Hindi and knows it at an advanced stage. I know she is always willing to help someone and I'm sure would be willing to practice with you or teach you stuff. Send her a PM. (She's one of the global moderators).


Thanks, Dehin. But I think the problem is just of motivation. I suppose I have to find the motivation to pull me out of this initial level and so be able to progress. :yep: Time and motivation :roll:

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-03-28, 13:05

Another example of a video that, I think, can be understood. It's about education in Norway (but this one has no subtitles).

https://youtu.be/qE4n4AYBNyM

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Re: TAC 2017 - Antea (Russian, German, Arabic, Hindi)

Postby Antea » 2017-04-03, 8:51

[flag=]ar[/flag] I am concentrating on Arabic, and trying to increase my vocabulary. I would also like to find some simple poetry, that I could read and understand. But so far I only have found "Al Mutannabi", and I would like something more romantic :roll: . Maybe I should learn some more Persian, and try to read Persian poetry :hmm:

[flag=]ru[/flag] I am also watching lots of things in Russian, but I am not speaking it :roll:


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