Saim's log 2017-2019

This forum is for the Total Annihilation Challenge. See the sticky thread for more information.

Moderators: ''', Forum Administrators

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-30, 4:50

Saim wrote:I think it's time to bury the fantasy that I'm ever going to read novels in foreign languages,

What's stopping you?
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5197
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Poznań
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Saim » 2019-01-30, 9:28

eskandar wrote:How much experience do you have with reading Hindi and Punjabi?


A fair bit, actually. When I first got into Indo-Aryan languages I spent quite a lot of time breaking my head over Hindi and Gurmukhi Punjabi texts (basically Wikipedia and short news articles), and then later Shahmukhi Punjabi texts (wichaar.com and sanjhapunjab.net[1]). I just took a look at the Hindi Wikipedia and it seems like the material would still be pretty manageable with a bit of work, and when I listened to a Hindi news stream lately I feel like I understood as much as when I listen to comparable material in Hebrew (which is kind of sad in a way...).

[1] It seems this website doesn't exist anymore, which is a shame since they had lots of the same texts in both Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, and some even with audio. :(

And what types of Urdu materials do you want to be able to read more comfortably?


Most of what I read falls under these categories:

- the news
- opinion pieces and political polemics
- general social science stuff

IIRC it's the more formal register of the language, with more Perso-Arabic vocabulary, that you wanted to work on - seems like the register that would be the least help with Hindi. Even though you're more interested in nonfiction, as you mentioned a few posts back, I guess fiction would suit this purpose best, especially stories by Urdu writers who tried to approximate spoken Hindustani in their writing. I have the opposite problem - it's all the very specific Indic verbs in Urdu that usually send me to the dictionary - and I encounter those most often in fiction, whereas scholarly writing and (for the most part) newspapers tend to be much easier for me to read.


The thing is my difficulty in reading Urdu is not just the vocabulary, it's the entire language system -- script, syntax, general writing style, everything.

You know what, I should just bite the bullet and print out some stuff to read, even if it's in naskh (it's kind of scandalous that I still don't have a reliable, easy way to print out nastaleeq texts, but I think my ability in reading nastaleeq is at the point where extensive reading in naskh would be transferrable back to nastaleeq; my flashcards, which have Nastaleeq screenpastes, helped a lot in this regard). No more waiting.

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:I think it's time to bury the fantasy that I'm ever going to read novels in foreign languages,

What's stopping you?


Stopping me from reading novels or stopping me from burying the idea?

Novels take a lot of concentration, are pretty long and I find that my tolerance for noise is lower since the point is to get immersed in a story rather than understand a concrete message (unlike reading the news or whatever).

User avatar
eskandar
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2716
Joined: 2006-12-15, 8:27
Real Name: Eskandar
Gender: male

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby eskandar » 2019-01-31, 4:25

Saim wrote:[1] It seems this website doesn't exist anymore, which is a shame since they had lots of the same texts in both Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi, and some even with audio. :(

Do you know the site http://apnaorg.com/ ? It seems to be along those lines.

The thing is my difficulty in reading Urdu is not just the vocabulary, it's the entire language system -- script, syntax, general writing style, everything.

Gotcha.

it's kind of scandalous that I still don't have a reliable, easy way to print out nastaleeq texts

Wow, that's weird. Does something go wrong when printing nasta'liq stuff from the web? (It usually works fine for me..) Have you tried dumping stuff into Word and switching the font to Jameel Noori Nastaleeq or something? Also, you could try looking through the Annual of Urdu Studies archives for interesting things to read in the Urdu section. It's all in nicely-formatted PDFs written in nasta'liq for easy printing. This article (by a Turkish professor of Urdu, no less - I think we've talked about him before) might interest you, for one example.
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5197
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Poznań
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Saim » 2019-01-31, 8:33

eskandar wrote:Wow, that's weird. Does something go wrong when printing nasta'liq stuff from the web? (It usually works fine for me..) Have you tried dumping stuff into Word and switching the font to Jameel Noori Nastaleeq or something? Also, you could try looking through the Annual of Urdu Studies archives for interesting things to read in the Urdu section. It's all in nicely-formatted PDFs written in nasta'liq for easy printing. This article (by a Turkish professor of Urdu, no less - I think we've talked about him before) might interest you, for one example.


The thing is I don't have a printer, I print every thing at a local xero (print shop); it's cheap enough that students here will even photocopy entire textbooks. So it has to work on their computer, not on mine.

Google Docs unfortunately doesn't support nastaleeq, but I'll try and see if I can make an Open Office doc into a pdf, maybe that'll read properly at the xero.

EDIT: So far Open Office has been crashing every time I convert more than one page at once to Nafees Nastaleeq. :silly: Even if it ends up working I'm not sure if a pdf will show the correct font on someone else's computer, so I dunno if I'm going to keep bothering.

EDIT2: I managed to make a pdf by printing a bunch of articles I put into Unilang's post editor and then clicked 'preview' (I have an add-on that converts texts to nastaleeq). It's a really round about way to do it it but it works so far. Let's see if the xero's computer will read the pdf properly. If not I'll bite the bullet and read in naskh, I guess that's better than nothing.

User avatar
Yasna
Posts: 2086
Joined: 2011-09-12, 1:17
Gender: male
Location: Boston
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Yasna » 2019-01-31, 19:41

Saim wrote:Novels take a lot of concentration, are pretty long and I find that my tolerance for noise is lower since the point is to get immersed in a story rather than understand a concrete message (unlike reading the news or whatever).

Have you tried detective novels? Titles like Män som hatar kvinnor or 容疑者Xの献身 (The Devotion of Suspect X) are usually gripping enough to keep you in the zone, even if they're not great literature.
Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns. - Kafka

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3325
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-02-03, 15:31

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:Novels take a lot of concentration, are pretty long and I find that my tolerance for noise is lower since the point is to get immersed in a story rather than understand a concrete message (unlike reading the news or whatever).

Have you tried detective novels? Titles like Män som hatar kvinnor or 容疑者Xの献身 (The Devotion of Suspect X) are usually gripping enough to keep you in the zone, even if they're not great literature.


I recently started following a rule whereby I'm not allowed to use my phone (or laptop, or any electronic device) in bed at night, and instead I use that time to read. It's been working well for me and my wife, we're reading a lot more that we used to, and noise isn't so much an issue because it's the end of the day so the road outside is quiet, neighbours are asleep and we don't have our phones/TV on. I don't know what your living circumstances are at the moment so maybe it's a bit noisier where you are...?

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5197
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Poznań
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Saim » 2019-02-03, 18:21

Yasna wrote:
Saim wrote:Novels take a lot of concentration, are pretty long and I find that my tolerance for noise is lower since the point is to get immersed in a story rather than understand a concrete message (unlike reading the news or whatever).

Have you tried detective novels? Titles like Män som hatar kvinnor or 容疑者Xの献身 (The Devotion of Suspect X) are usually gripping enough to keep you in the zone, even if they're not great literature.


Thanks for the recommendation, I'll give it a try. :)

Saim wrote:
eskandar wrote:[...]

EDIT2: I managed to make a pdf by printing a bunch of articles I put into Unilang's post editor and then clicked 'preview' (I have an add-on that converts texts to nastaleeq). It's a really round about way to do it it but it works so far. Let's see if the xero's computer will read the pdf properly. If not I'll bite the bullet and read in naskh, I guess that's better than nothing.


It worked! I read through the whole Toker article in one sitting, which is the most I've ever read in Urdu at once. :D

Ciarán12 wrote:I recently started following a rule whereby I'm not allowed to use my phone (or laptop, or any electronic device) in bed at night, and instead I use that time to read. It's been working well for me and my wife, we're reading a lot more that we used to, and noise isn't so much an issue because it's the end of the day so the road outside is quiet, neighbours are asleep and we don't have our phones/TV on. I don't know what your living circumstances are at the moment so maybe it's a bit noisier where you are...?


Oh, I didn't literally mean noise, I mean metaphorically as in a signal-to-noise ratio, like parts of the text (words or expression) I don't fully understand. When I'm reading non-fiction I don't get as annoyed when I miss some nuances or can't fully understand something than when reading fiction.
Last edited by Saim on 2019-02-05, 17:05, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Ciarán12
Posts: 3325
Joined: 2011-12-31, 15:23
Real Name: Ciarán
Gender: male
Location: Baile Átha Cliath (Dublin)
Country: IE Ireland (Éire / Ireland)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Ciarán12 » 2019-02-03, 19:30

Saim wrote:
Ciarán12 wrote:I recently started following a rule whereby I'm not allowed to use my phone (or laptop, or any electronic device) in bed at night, and instead I use that time to read. It's been working well for me and my wife, we're reading a lot more that we used to, and noise isn't so much an issue because it's the end of the day so the road outside is quiet, neighbours are asleep and we don't have our phones/TV on. I don't know what your living circumstances are at the moment so maybe it's a bit noisier where you are...?


Oh, I didn't literally mean noise, I mean metaphorically as in a signal-to-noise ratio, like parts of the text (words or expression) I don't fully understand. When I'm reading non-fiction I don't get as annoyed when I miss some nuances or can't fully understand something than when reading fiction.


Haha, ah, okay, got it. I see your point. I think it's probably a matter of choosing novels that are at your current reading level, which is of course difficult because how can you know if you can read it before you try... I'd say the difficulty also depends on the language - some languages (IME at least) diverge from English in their idioms than others. What languages have you been trying to read fiction in?

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 23150
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-02-04, 3:01

I have so much trouble reading novels in any language...or reading news in any language, or watching movies in any language, or doing practically anything in any language that requires a relatively long attention span. It just takes so much time, and I only have two days off a week!

User avatar
eskandar
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 2716
Joined: 2006-12-15, 8:27
Real Name: Eskandar
Gender: male

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby eskandar » 2019-02-04, 3:29

Saim wrote:It worked! I read through the whole Toker article in one setting, which is the most I've ever read in Urdu at once. :D

!شاباش
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

User avatar
Saim
Posts: 5197
Joined: 2011-01-22, 5:44
Location: Poznań
Country: PL Poland (Polska)

Re: Saim's log 2017-2019

Postby Saim » 2019-02-05, 17:12

Ciarán12 wrote:Haha, ah, okay, got it. I see your point. I think it's probably a matter of choosing novels that are at your current reading level, which is of course difficult because how can you know if you can read it before you try... I'd say the difficulty also depends on the language - some languages (IME at least) diverge from English in their idioms than others. What languages have you been trying to read fiction in?


I think the last novels I read some of were a Serbian one (Ana Marija me nije volela and a French one (Camus's l'Étranger, which I had already read and enjoyed in high school in translation). I could follow both of them well enough but didn't finish either of them. I also read some of a Hungarian book for older children.

Maybe I should try finishing those two, they were actually quite fun. :hmm:

eskandar wrote:
Saim wrote:It worked! I read through the whole Toker article in one setting, which is the most I've ever read in Urdu at once. :D

!شاباش


Thanks! I meant sitting by the way, not setting.

Yesterday I read my first Urdu opinion piece from start to finish (some conservative rant about how minority's in Pakistan shouldn't complain about their treatment). It seems at this point it's more of an issue of concentration than proficiency, so I'm going to avoid reading on the computer.


Return to “Total Annihilation Challenge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests