TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-22, 23:05

I took some time off from Unilang because it was too distracting from work, but I think I'll come back for a bit if I can limit myself to checking the language forums and maybe a bit of TAC. The main languages I'm working on these days are Arabic and Hebrew but I anticipate doing a bit of Turkish in the summer, and I try to keep my French, Spanish, and Urdu fresh with daily Anki reviews. (I read and speak Persian almost every day so I don't feel the pressing need to work on it actively). I'll also try to learn a handful of Albanian and Icelandic phrases due to travel this summer. 8-)

Arabic: I need to read a treatise of about 90 pages in convoluted Classical Arabic, and I'm totally intimidated. I feel so good about my Arabic when I can have a casual chat with friends, or skim a newspaper without too much trouble, but this text makes me feel like a total beginner, with more unfamiliar words on the page than familiar ones. I know the most efficient thing would be to just slowly power through it, since there are SO MANY words I have to look up, so I'm hoping this blog will keep me motivated to regularly post at least a few words from it.

Hebrew: I started learning in December and I feel like I've been able to make pretty rapid progress without putting too much time into studying since then. This is partly because everything is so intuitive coming from Arabic, and partly because I'm only focusing on speaking/understanding, and completely ignoring reading/writing. I can read Hebrew but since my ultimate goal is communication, I don't even make flashcards in Hebrew script--everything in romanization. My main tools are Anki cramming, Pimsleur Hebrew, Colloquial Hebrew, and lots of native input (mostly Israeli TV shows). I did Duolingo Hebrew up til level 7 before concluding that it's almost completely useless for my purposes and too much of a waste of time to continue.

Turkish: I was in Istanbul for a week last month and got to meet voron which was a lot of fun. Decided I'd like to get serious about Turkish at some point. My goals are to be able to speak decent Turkish (I can get by for day-to-day things for the most part and I'd just like to be able to do that more comfortably) and eventually to read Ottoman. I'll go back to Istanbul for a few days this summer, and I'll probably try to cram some Turkish before that.
Last edited by eskandar on 2018-04-23, 6:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby dEhiN » 2018-04-23, 0:55

eskandar wrote:I took some time off from Unilang because it was too distracting from work, but I think I'll come back for a bit if I can limit myself to checking the language forums and maybe a bit of TAC.

It's good to see you back on here; I was wondering what had happened to you! Good luck with limiting yourself! :D

eskandar wrote:I know the most efficient thing would be to just slowly power through it, since there are SO MANY words I have to look up, so I'm hoping this blog will keep me motivated to regularly post at least a few words from it.

I find this hard to do - slowly power through a text (be it book, article, etc.), especially when there are more new words than familiar ones. But even when most of the words are familiar ones, it's like my brain just stops and refuses to keep going whenever I encounter a new word that I can't determine from context. I guess it's because I try to skip over the word, but usually I lose the train of thought of the sentence, or at least I worry that the word I skipped is crucial to understanding the passage. So basically I don't really use reading foreign texts as part of my language learning process, which is probably not a good thing... :whistle:
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-23, 3:13

If it helps you feel any better, it took me a long time to start getting into foreign-language literature, too.
eskandar wrote:I'll also try to learn a handful of Albanian and Icelandic phrases due to travel this summer. 8-)

OoooOOOOooh! JEALOUS! :lol:
I need to read a treatise of about 90 pages in convoluted Classical Arabic, and I'm totally intimidated. I feel so good about my Arabic when I can have a casual chat with friends, or skim a newspaper without too much trouble, but this text makes me feel like a total beginner, with more unfamiliar words on the page than familiar ones. I know the most efficient thing would be to just slowly power through it, since there are SO MANY words I have to look up, so I'm hoping this blog will keep me motivated to regularly post at least a few words from it.

That sounds like what I did when I tried translating the Malayalam part of my grandfather's World War II memoirs last year (except I posted them on another forum and (unwisely) kept holding off on submitting the post because I kept thinking someone else might respond on the thread :roll:). My grandfather wrote very well in both Malayalam and English and used such unfamiliar words in Malayalam that even my dad learned at least three new words when I read it over with him (to make sure I could read my grandfather's writing correctly!): [ˈd̪oːʃajgəd̪rɯkɯ] 'pessimism', [məˈɾiːd͡ʒiga] 'mirage', and [miːˈmaːmsa] 'philosophy'.

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby voron » 2018-04-23, 17:42

Hey, it's nice to see you back Eskandar, and good luck with your languages!

A few years ago I'd probably frown at your decision to use latinization for Hebrew, but now, after having dealt with a couple of languages with no established written standards... if communication is your primary goal, who cares about the script really.

I briefly wrote about our meeting here:
viewtopic.php?p=1105078#p1105078

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-23, 22:46

And I'm glad to see you back and wish you good luck (and bon voyage!), too! :)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-25, 6:47

Thanks everyone! Voron, I should mention that the Hebrew script is more ambiguous than Arabic, which is part of my rationale for romanizing. The lack of vowels poses a problem, sure, but many of the consonants are ambiguous too - b/v, s/sh, k/kh, p/f... I'd compare it to a learner trying to read Turkish with eastern Anatolian pronunciation, transcribed without any cedillas: you wouldn't know that hatip is to be pronounced 'khatip', or that cesme is actually çeşme, etc. Of course, I could simply memorize the pronunciations like every other learner...but I'm also lazy. :whistle:

Hebrew

-Did Pimsleur Hebrew II: 12
-Transcribed another minute of a Hebrew video I'm working my way through
-Reviewed 55 Anki cards and added 19 new ones

Arabic

-Read a fascinating article, "Diglossia as ideology" from The Politics of Written Language in the Arab World: Writing Change
-Reviewed 25 cards and added 5 new ones

I've always loved learning Islamicate/Persianate languages because vocabulary I learn in one often transfers to the others, so a new Arabic word also strengthens my knowledge of Persian, Urdu, Turkish, etc. The cool thing about learning another Semitic language is that even though Hebrew isn't quite Islamicate in the sense that Persian or, say, Indonesian are--though it does nevertheless have a good layer of Arabic loanwords and even some from Turkish and Persian--I still get to deepen my Arabic knowledge through it. Wiktionary is often really helpful for this; today I learned the Arabic word رصين (calm, serene) because of the Hebrew r'tsini (serious). The other day I learned the verb هرس (to grind, to pound; source of the noun هريسة harissa) through the Hebrew verb laharos (to destroy).
Last edited by eskandar on 2018-04-26, 5:24, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-25, 12:44

eskandar wrote:The cool thing about learning another Semitic language is that even though Hebrew isn't quite Islamicate in the sense that Persian or, say, Indonesian are--though it does nevertheless have a good layer of Arabic loanwords and even some from Turkish and Persian--I still get to deepen my Arabic knowledge through it.

Hebrew is also pretty closely related to Arabic, though - compared to Amharic. :P I try to do this sort of thing with Amharic, but I'm just puzzled. (How did "asalafi" end up meaning 'waiter'??).

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-26, 6:27

Hebrew is definitely closer to Arabic than Amharic is, but not everything is cognate - no connection between Arabic naadil (waiter) and Hebrew miltsar (idem), nor, as far as I can tell, are there any cognate roots in these cases. The one Hebrew word I could find sharing the N-D-L root was nadal (centipede), which is probably unrelated to the Arabic root. Not sure what its etymology is. The Arabic word for centipede is ḥarish, which, as it turns out, is related to a Ge'ez word! So perhaps in some cases there could be cognates between Amharic and Arabic, or Amharic and Hebrew, for words that are not even cognate between Arabic and Hebrew...

I also found a very interesting blog post with some casual observations about cognates between Amharic and Hebrew, which sometimes mentions the Arabic equivalents as well.

Hebrew

-Did Pimsleur Hebrew 11: 13
-Transcribed and translated another minute of spoken Hebrew
-Read Colloquial Hebrew up to page 68/346
-Anki: reviewed 104, added 18

As is often the case when learning a new language, I can't tell if the guy in the video I'm working my way through speaks really fast, or if it's normal and my listening skills are just weak. Today I downloaded the audio and slowed the playback down while listening. It made it a lot easier and I think I'll continue this way for the rest of the video.

Vijay, Voron, Saim -- and any other Levantine Arabic learners -- anyone interested in collectively working our way through the Syrian comedy film Vijay introduced us to, الحدود? It could be fun to do just a minute (or even less) at a time, and I bet we could do pretty well with it if we put in a group effort. Just a thought!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-26, 6:30

eskandar wrote:I also found a very interesting blog post

Oh, you mean the one I commented on? :whistle:
EDIT:
Vijay, Voron, Saim -- and any other Levantine Arabic learners -- anyone interested in collectively working our way through the Syrian comedy film Vijay introduced us to, الحدود? It could be fun to do just a minute (or even less) at a time, and I bet we could do pretty well with it if we put in a group effort. Just a thought!

Oooooh! YESH!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-26, 6:34

:lol: It figures that you would have found it! I didn't read the comments... By the way, I just edited my above post, apparently at the same time as you were writing your reply!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-26, 6:35

And I just replied to the part you just added! :D

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby Saim » 2018-04-26, 9:43

eskandar wrote:Vijay, Voron, Saim -- and any other Levantine Arabic learners -- anyone interested in collectively working our way through the Syrian comedy film Vijay introduced us to, الحدود? It could be fun to do just a minute (or even less) at a time, and I bet we could do pretty well with it if we put in a group effort. Just a thought!


Count me in too! :D

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby dEhiN » 2018-04-26, 14:46

*raises hands* Pick me, pick me...I want to be part of the group too! :D
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby voron » 2018-04-26, 22:32

I'm in too, definitely!

May I suggest something though? I will be on vacation with no computer until May 10 so you guys can start without me... and then I really want to do MSA (because we'll be in Ramadan), so can we perhaps transcribe something in MSA?

I suggest the series Omar:
https://vimeo.com/183801467

It has English subtitles so it should be easy to transcribe. Is it perhaps too easy for you, Eskandar?

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-26, 23:53

dEhiN wrote:*raises hands* Pick me, pick me...I want to be part of the group too! :D

You speak Levantine Arabic? :P

EDIT: Can we do more than a minute at a time if we feel like it? :whistle:

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby dEhiN » 2018-04-27, 2:05

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:*raises hands* Pick me, pick me...I want to be part of the group too! :D

You speak Levantine Arabic? :P

Do dreams or wishes count? Sadly, no I don't, but I just want to be part of the in-crowd! :D

I do still have a book that teaches MSA alongside Egyptian. It's part of my long list of language resources to go through. So many resources, so little time motivation...
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-04-27, 4:13

dEhiN wrote:I just want to be part of the in-crowd! :D

The In-Crowd of Three? :lol:

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-27, 4:56

Awesome that there's so much interest! I got us started with الحدود here.

voron wrote:May I suggest something though? I will be on vacation with no computer until May 10 so you guys can start without me... and then I really want to do MSA (because we'll be in Ramadan), so can we perhaps transcribe something in MSA?

I suggest the series Omar:
https://vimeo.com/183801467

It has English subtitles so it should be easy to transcribe. Is it perhaps too easy for you, Eskandar?

I'd be happy to do MSA, whether a video or a text. Fus7a is my real interest, moreso than 3ammiyya. I'm not super interested in the Omar series per se but I wouldn't mind doing it.

vijayjohn wrote:EDIT: Can we do more than a minute at a time if we feel like it? :whistle:

ليه لأ؟
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby eskandar » 2018-04-27, 6:53

Arabic
-Transcribed 30 seconds of الحدود

Hebrew
-Pimsleur II: 14
-Transcribed and translated another minute of spoken Hebrew
-Anki: reviewed 130, added 14

eskandar wrote:The one Hebrew word I could find sharing the N-D-L root was nadal (centipede), which is probably unrelated to the Arabic root. Not sure what its etymology is.

Turns out they're related after all! The Hebrew word comes from the Syriac word naddala. (It's present in the Gemara which is in Aramaic, which must be how the word entered Hebrew). In turn the Syriac word is from a root nadala "he moved", related to the Arabic ندل "he carried over, transported, transferred" - whence نادل, the carrier-over or transporter [of food], viz. "waiter" :!:

The other Hebrew word for centipede is marbe raglayim "many legs" which comes from the Bible. The word many here, marbe (lit. "it increases") is cognate to the Arabic root ربا/ربو which means the same. The word raglayim (sing. regel) is, of course, cognate to Arabic رِجل .

HELP I'M FALLING IN LOVE WITH SEMITIC PHILOLOGY
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, others)

Postby księżycowy » 2018-04-28, 0:36

Given my interest in Palestinian Arabic, I'd love to join you guys myself, but I'm afraid that I'm not going to be working on any Arabic for a little while.


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