TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-08, 5:25

eskandar wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:Btw I think our Persian study group is helping me to the point where, like, you know those paintings with Persian manuscripts on them? I feel like I can read them now! :o I don't think I ever imagined those texts would strike me as being that easy to decipher.

That's awesome! If you ever want to work on trying to decipher Persian manuscripts (even just a bit at a time), I would be super into it - that remains the most challenging (and rewarding) task for me in Persian.

Okay! How would this work, though? Should we start a new thread for it in the Persian forum?

Maybe we can also start one for song chains in the culture forum. :) I happened to find this one today:

This is a song called "Ashaw Ashaw" by a Kuwaiti band called Miami Band (lol) but is also apparently really popular in Sri Lanka(!), possibly in part because it's similar in style to Sri Lankan baila songs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcvRhvPjT1c
I was surprised to find the Kuwaiti song because I've already posted the song below before in the Swahili songs thread. It's a Swahili song from Tanzania called "Kata Kata" and apparently comes from the Kuwaiti one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Yie6SJJ5n8
But apparently, so does this Bollywood song from Phantom (called "Afghan Jalebi" :lol:):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC3UbTf4qrM

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-05-09, 21:20

vijayjohn wrote:Okay! How would this work, though? Should we start a new thread for it in the Persian forum?

I'll PM you first.

Maybe we can also start one for song chains in the culture forum. :)

Cool find - go for it!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby vijayjohn » 2019-05-14, 0:47

Okay, I started that thread for the song chains! :)

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-09, 17:59

Decided to take stock of all my current and future languages:

Arabic: I'm giving up in colloquial Arabic for a while. Maybe I'll come back to it someday, but for now I really want to get decent at fuS7a. Still working on Kalila wa Dimna. Skimming this frequency dictionary of Arabic I feel like I know 80% or more of the words on any given page, though closer to 60% on the last pages (ie. least frequently-used words out of the 5000 listed). According to one study, a vocabulary of 8000-9000 "word families" (not sure how that would work in the context of Arabic roots :hmm: ) is needed to read a text with 98% comprehension. Testing myself on the top story on BBC Arabic at the moment, I was able to read the headline and first five sentences, but needed to look up the following:

ذخيرة ammunition (I knew the word only in its older sense 'supply, reserve')
متاريس barricades
لجنة committee
طعن piercing, stabbing (knowing the word طعنة defamation, vilification didn't help here)
جسور bridges (sing. جسر ; cf. Hebrew gésher)
المرافق الحيوية vital facilities
اعتقلوا they were arrested

Of course, a news article is much easier to read than something with a less straightforward style, like a literary text. So in addition to scaling the mountain of words, I need to read more. I plan to just keep plowing through Arabic readers to the best of my ability, and hope to gain at least 500 more words over the next year. (1000 would be a better goal, but feels too ambitious).

French: Mostly dormant, but my best friend is studying French actively now so we text in French sometimes. My output has gone to total shit. Might try to do some reading in French soon.

Hebrew: Pretty happy with my level. I've focused on communicative skills and feel like I've reached B1 in speaking/listening. My pronunciation, syntax, and grammar are usually correct, so I think all I need to hit B2 would be to learn a couple thousand more words and continue speaking a lot. I'm not setting a new goal for vocabulary for the time being; I'll get to B2 when I get there.

Italian: My main focus for the moment. I'm reading with a dictionary, trying to do a few pages a day and looking up words only when needed. Will also try to do some more Michel Thomas and Pimsleur when I get a chance, and I'll visit Italy next month. My only goal is to read and understand my book.

Persian: Really need to put more time into reading manuscripts. That's my only goal.

Spanish: I read an interesting article the other day. Otherwise it's mostly on hold for now, but I'm going back to Mexico in January so I'll probably watch a series or do something else to practice Spanish before I go.

Turkish: Dormant.

Urdu: Kind of dormant these days, but I'll probably need to read some stuff in Urdu later in the year.

Wanderlusts:
  • German - I will (re)learn to read it someday, just not anytime soon.
  • Somali - Probably never going to learn it, but wanderlusting after it terribly...
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby voron » 2019-06-09, 18:20

eskandar wrote:Turkish: Dormant.

I can't wait until you come to Turkey again and re-activate your Turkish. The country and culture of this language offer a lot, so it's worth studying.

And I am envious of your Arabic, as always! :mrgreen:

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-09, 23:54

voron wrote:I can't wait until you come to Turkey again and re-activate your Turkish. The country and culture of this language offer a lot, so it's worth studying.

I couldn't agree more!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-11, 4:07

I decided to give ReadLang another shot while reading an article in Spanish (Mi a no es como la tuya: así cambia la escritura a mano). It's totally useless. Some words it couldn't translate at all, while for other words it gave a definition different than the sense in which it was being used, or even misunderstood nouns as verbs. For none of the seven words I had to look up was it at all helpful. I'll stick with dictionaries!
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Car » 2019-06-11, 21:35

Or give LingQ another shot? Maybe you could help them translate their mini stories into a language you speak? Apparently, they either pay you for that or give you a lifelong premium membership.
But yes, that's why I quickly abandoned it and ended up becoming a subscriber to LingQ. I hate their many bugs and they way they (don't) deal with them, but I never managed to develop such a regular language learning schedule and keep it for such a long time and I like it that they have so many texts plus audio for a growing number of languages. Although some of those materials are seriously flawed (do they ever check them at all?).
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-11, 22:32

Car wrote:Or give LingQ another shot? Maybe you could help them translate their mini stories into a language you speak? Apparently, they either pay you for that or give you a lifelong premium membership.

I couldn't find where you can translate stories in exchange for a membership. In any case I read a mini-story in Italian on the site and I don't think it's for me. The interface was too busy, crowded with options, audio, games, etc. I just want something basic that simplifies the process of looking up unfamiliar words and don't need any of the additional bells and whistles. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby Car » 2019-06-12, 8:59

eskandar wrote:
Car wrote:Or give LingQ another shot? Maybe you could help them translate their mini stories into a language you speak? Apparently, they either pay you for that or give you a lifelong premium membership.

I couldn't find where you can translate stories in exchange for a membership. In any case I read a mini-story in Italian on the site and I don't think it's for me. The interface was too busy, crowded with options, audio, games, etc. I just want something basic that simplifies the process of looking up unfamiliar words and don't need any of the additional bells and whistles. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

It's mentioned in the forum somewhere, I'd have to look it up again (if I find it again), but IIRC, it was either $5 per lesson or a lifetime premium membership for free. Yes, unfortunately, this extreme gamification is all the rage these days, while they actually mostly got rid of the stat that showed you how many words you need to reach the next level. I actually found that one quite motivating. I think there are some nice browser plug-ins that do just that these days, but I can't think of any names right now and they might not support the languages you need.
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Re: TAC eskandar (Arabic, Hebrew, Italian)

Postby eskandar » 2019-06-13, 1:33

Car wrote:I think there are some nice browser plug-ins that do just that these days, but I can't think of any names right now and they might not support the languages you need.

Right now I'm just working on reading Italian, so I think most plugins would support it. I've been trying out a Chrome plugin called "Translate - Highlight - Remember" but this one requires too many steps to use it. You have to manually highlight a word, right-click, and choose "Highlight" - and then it shows a definition but requires additional clicks to save the word you looked up. So I'll keep trying plugins, I'm hopeful that one of them will hit the sweet spot between minimalism and useful features.
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