TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-30, 1:03

vijayjohn wrote:I'd love to join you if it's okay

Of course!

voron wrote:We'll use the same format as we used for Kalila wa Dimna, right? -- reading a story, and then commenting on new words, and difficult or interesting sentences. (And I'll be cheating a bit, as I have a bilingual version with Turkish translation. :whistle: ).

Yeah, that sounds good to me. I want to finish Kalila wa Dimna before I start, but I think I only have 8-9 stories to go, so I'll try to get through them as quickly as possible and then I can catch up to you guys.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-03, 4:58

I think I'd like to at least finish الأسد والثور if possible, even if I have to do that and start قصص النبيين at the same time. :lol:

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-07-06, 13:07

Italian: Finished Michel Thomas Italian Advanced CD3. I really like MT in the beginning stages but I'm not sure the advanced CDs are really worth the time. They are so repetitive and cover very little over a long period of time. Maybe this kind of slow, repetitive practice would be necessary for Chinese or something, but coming from knowing Spanish and French, I don't need to endlessly drill basic Italian grammar this way. I might stick it out with MT just because I like to finish what I start, but I'm definitely not prioritizing it.

Hebrew: Passed the 2000 flashcard mark a little while ago - that's 2000+ mature cards representing words that I can actively produce. I'd like to be at ~3000 words by this time next year.

Arabic: Finished Kalila wa Dimna. Soon I'll start Qisas al-Nabiyyin.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-07-07, 8:08

I think I'll keep track of my progress in Qisas al-Nabiyyin here rather than in the Arabic Study Group thread, like voron is doing, in order to avoid cluttering that thread up. Anyway, I read stories 1-6 from Qisas al-Nabiyyin.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby voron » 2019-07-07, 8:49

eskandar wrote:I think I'll keep track of my progress in Qisas al-Nabiyyin here rather than in the Arabic Study Group thread, like voron is doing, in order to avoid cluttering that thread up. Anyway, I read stories 1-6 from Qisas al-Nabiyyin.

How do you like the book so far?

Also I thought since we are doing it together, posting in the group would be more convenient for discussing it, but it's up to you.

(I posted my first report about this book in the study group thread, have you seen it? :)).

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-07-07, 15:37

Italian: Finished MT Italian Advanced CD4.

Hebrew: Picked up Colloquial Hebrew again. I'm halfway through, on chapter 7 of 14.

voron wrote:How do you like the book so far?

Also I thought since we are doing it together, posting in the group would be more convenient for discussing it, but it's up to you.

(I posted my first report about this book in the study group thread, have you seen it? :)).

It's a bit simple so far, but that's OK since I want to dedicate most of my effort to Hebrew and Italian for the next month.

I saw your post in the group and responded to it, remember? :D Sure, let's post in the group. I just meant I'd post in my own thread if I have nothing more substantial to say than "I read another story", but I can post that there as well - doesn't make a difference to me.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-07, 21:15

I agree, I think posting in the group makes sense. I'll try to do that myself soon (but not before doing some Persian first!).

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-07-18, 9:55

Hebrew: Finished Colloquial Hebrew chapter 7. I like the book's sense of humor, and appreciate that everything is also transliterated, but I have to double-check things (especially expressions) with native speakers because apparently a lot of them are very old-fashioned. "My grandmother doesn't even say that anymore," someone told me after I tried using an expression I'd learned in Colloquial Hebrew. :oops: Despite the title, some of what it includes is very formal/literary, as well.

Arabic: I've been reading a novella called كيف تصبح كردياً في خمسة ايام by Marwan Ali. Lately I've been reading either Arabic or Italian in bed without a dictionary, after I've put away my computer and phone. Aside from helping me relax before going to sleep, I've found this arrangement to be really helpful for recognizing words. When I'm reading in a foreign language during the day, it's too easy to whip out my phone or open my laptop and look up words I don't recognize, and so it's hard to ignore that temptation. However, while reading after I've put everything else away, I'm forced to dig deeper into the recesses of my memory to pull up words I'd learned before, or otherwise extrapolate a guess from the context and then move on.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Luís » 2019-07-18, 20:28

eskandar wrote:Hebrew: Finished Colloquial Hebrew chapter 7. I like the book's sense of humor, and appreciate that everything is also transliterated, but I have to double-check things (especially expressions) with native speakers because apparently a lot of them are very old-fashioned. "My grandmother doesn't even say that anymore," someone told me after I tried using an expression I'd learned in Colloquial Hebrew. :oops: Despite the title, some of what it includes is very formal/literary, as well.


I'm using that book as well. Do you happen to remember which expressions were considered old fashioned? :|
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-07-22, 8:18

I'd be interested in knowing, too. I'm also using Colloquial, though I'm sure I'm way behind either of you especially because remembering words in Hebrew takes me forever. :P

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-07-25, 16:31

Luís wrote:Do you happen to remember which expressions were considered old fashioned? :|

Sorry, I don't remember offhand, since I made a point of not remembering them after learning that they're not used anymore. But I'll try to note them here when I encounter them in the future.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-08-06, 3:54

Arabic: I'm on page 36 of كيف تصبح كردياً في خمسة ايام . Up til now I've just been underlining words I don't know and moving on, but tonight I decided to go back to the beginning and start looking up some words. I'll just do a few at a time because otherwise it's too tedious.

Vocab

تبن chopped straw, chaff
المواشي livestock, cattle
اقطاعية feudalism
دَين - جمع ديون debt
سدَّ to pay (a debt)
ازعج to annoy, bother, disturb
صفقة deal, bargain, transaction
ادمن to be addicted (confusingly, it can also mean "to give something up"!)
باض to lay eggs (should have guessed this one)
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-08, 0:31

How's your Italian going? Are you still reading something in Italian? What is it you were (are?) reading, anyway? :)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-08-15, 1:41

Italian is kind of on hold these days but I hope to get back to it soon. I've been trying to read some of the works of fin de siècle Italian Orientalists, namely Italo Pizzi. I was in Italy for about a week and enjoyed trying to speak to people while I was there. Italians are so much more receptive of learners than the French are!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-08-16, 17:02

eskandar wrote:Italians are so much more receptive of learners than the French are!

Huh, I thought the stereotype here was that the French demand to be spoken to in French. :P So in reality, the French are basically Indian? :D

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-08-18, 0:20

vijayjohn wrote:So in reality, the French are basically Indian? :D

No, the exact opposite of Indians in the sense that, as a non-Indian, from day one of learning Hindi/Urdu, I've always been met with enthusiasm and encouragement from Indians, no matter how little I knew or how bad my pronunciation was at the start. On the contrary, with the French (at least in Paris--I think people are nicer elsewhere) it doesn't matter how well you speak French. If you're not a native speaker and make mistakes, no matter how intelligible you are, people look down on you and give you a hard time. It is true that most people demanded to be spoken to in French (other than in touristy areas where people who work with the public speak English quite readily). I have no idea if Italy is the same way because I've only visited as a tourist, whereas I've lived and worked in Paris. The Italians who didn't know English were very encouraging when I spoke broken Italian with them. I can't recall that ever happening in Paris - it's not that every single person was annoyed with my bad French, but no one ever greeted my French warmly, either - and I probably still know more French than Italian.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Luís » 2019-08-18, 11:32

eskandar wrote:it doesn't matter how well you speak French. If you're not a native speaker and make mistakes, no matter how intelligible you are, people look down on you and give you a hard time


Maybe I've been lucky so far, but I can't really relate to that.

Sure, the French can be a little impatient if you're a beginner (or if you try to speak English to them), but once your level improves they suddenly become much friendlier. I speak decent French (although I'm sure I have an accent and still make plenty of mistakes) and I've gotten random compliments from people in Paris.

eskandar wrote:No, the exact opposite of Indians in the sense that, as a non-Indian, from day one of learning Hindi/Urdu, I've always been met with enthusiasm and encouragement from Indians, no matter how little I knew or how bad my pronunciation was at the start.


The Chinese tend to be like that too. Frankly, while that can be encouraging at the beginning, after a while it becomes a bit irritating :P No matter how bad you speak or how crappy your pronunciation is, they'll never correct you and always say something like "Oh, your xxx is so good!", which is clearly not true.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Saim » 2019-08-18, 11:33

I’ve heard two contradictory stereotypes regarding French people, both that they refuse to speak English and they refuse not to speak English. It’s probably different groups of people who have different language skills, as many people might not be particularly comfortable speaking English even if they can understand enough to take orders, whereas others might be proud of their English skills and might sometimes overcorrect and want to show tourists that no, actually we do know English. Other than that, I think among beginner learners of French there’s a bit of a tendency towards spelling pronunciations and a general lack of understanding of basic French phonemes, which can be hard for Francophones to understand even if they’re used to non-natives from their former colonies who by and large do make these distinctions (things like ou - u, on - one, on - in/un).

As for Indians, I think the reaction is a bit different depending on whether you have South Asian physical features or not. To date the only languages where natives have criticised my language skills to my face are Urdu (tumhari urdu kafi weird hai) and Punjabi (taadi panjaabi kafi ghat hai na?), whereas Poles and Hungarians constantly lose their mind about my level and did so even when I knew almost nothing (although at times at upper-intermediate level there was the irritating phenomenon of complementing me on my Polish in English. So I imagine Vijay may have had similar experiences to mine.

Edit: to add on to Luis’s experience, I’m in Nice at the moment and I haven’t had much of an issue talking to people in French. One or two people switched to English but only towards the end of the interaction and only when I stumbled a bit or didn’t hear something the first time. Still kind of disheartening but I guess it’s more important (and rewarding) to have Francophone friends willing to speak to you in their language than to harass impatient waiters.

Edit2: I just realised we’ve been talking about encouraging responses rather than whether they switch to English. In that case I don’t think I would expect encouragement from strangers for speaking their language in their country, because speaking the language is the “expected” thing to do. I think I only rarely get encouragement from strangers in any language. That said I think French people I’ve met outside of France have generally been quite encouraging when it comes to speaking French, not to the point of “oh wow you’re so good at Polish it’s so hard why would you learn it anyway”, but I find that a slightly awkward conversation anyway.

I also think it’s the case that in France there’s less of an expectation that people should be friendly to customers (ar least compared to many other countries), and the US is at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Honestly I’ll admit that I prefer the French attitude.

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby voron » 2019-08-18, 12:57

Saim wrote:In that case I don’t think I would expect encouragement from strangers for speaking their language in their country, because speaking the language is the “expected” thing to do.

Right. I very rarely get complemented for my Turkish here in Turkey.

Last time I remember, I was complemented for my English. My friend who is a cafe owner needed a translator when a foreigner visitor asked him something in English, so he asked me for help. The next day one of the waiters who was there while I was translating told me: "You were so good! I wish my English was anywhere near as good as yours!" I had been coming to this cafe and talking to him in Turkish for like 3 months before this episode, and he didn't say a single thing about my Turkish. :D

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Luís » 2019-08-18, 13:25

voron wrote:
Saim wrote:In that case I don’t think I would expect encouragement from strangers for speaking their language in their country, because speaking the language is the “expected” thing to do.

Right. I very rarely get complemented for my Turkish here in Turkey.


As far as I understood, eskandar wasn't complaining about not receiving compliments, but rather that people looked down on him or treated him badly because his French was not perfect, which is a completely different thing.

Btw, for me the best compliment you can get is being mistaken for a native speaker (even if just for a while :P)
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