Friday, February 25, 2011

Languages – update

I was so busy with my professional work and other things in my private life that I wasn't able to spend as much time on my language studies as I should have. Yet, I returned to my workout in the gym, which takes much time too. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t learn at all. Here's a brief report on what I did lately.

Swahili

This year I am focusing on Swahili – my first African language (not counting Arabic, of course). I stopped at lesson 6 from “Colloquial Swahili” and I took to FSI course to drill-drill-drill pronouns and adjectives and their prefixes. In Swahili e
ach noun class and pronoun has its own prefix which has to be added to create adjective and pronoun. 

Here’s (more of less) how it works:
-angu is a stem for “my”

*chungwa (orange), machunga (oranges)
requires l- and y- to create pronouns, giving: chunga langu – my orange, machunga yangu – my oranges
*kitu (thing), vitu (things)
requires ch- and vi- to create pronouns, giving: kitu changu – my thing, vitu vyangu – my things
To make things worse, each class (there is over a dozen of them) has its own set of prefixes.
Prefixes are used to create verbs, adjectives, pronouns and to express some other structures. It's the more difficult that sometimes prefixes are the same for some structures and different for others. It sounds logical but it’s not that easy to use it in practice, especially when you have to add several prefixes in one sentence, which obviously is the commonest situation.

I am now at lesson 30 of FSI course.

Russian

While on my road to work yesterday morning I did lesson 25 of Pimsleur Russian II, and on my way back
lesson 26. I must admit I quite like my Russian lessons (otherwise than when at school).

Turkish

I studied a few more lessons from “Colloquial Turkish”. Now I am at lesson no. 12. I struggle through “while” and “as soon as; when” structures which, as nearly everything in Turkish works as suffixes.
Here’s how it works:
Okuldayken Rusça öĝrendim. (While I was at school, I learned Russian.)
okul – school, -da – in, -ken – while (here with an inserted “y”)
Eve gelince, yemeĝi yedim. (As soon as I came home, I ate [the food].)
Ev – home, -e – mean direction to somewhere; -ince – when, as soon as
Suffix –ince chanes according to the vowel harmony in Turkish and may have one of the four forms: -ınca, -unca, -ince, -ünce
Apart from that I watched some news on TRT-Türk (Turkish national TV station).


Arabic

I reviewed third and forth lessons from “Teach Yourself Arabic”.

Italian

I watched some Italian TV programs.

Portugues

I watched some news on TV. I did two more chapters from “Aprende y mejora tu portugues” (written in Spanish).

Hindi

The book I’m going to study is still waiting for better times.

And now something new! I added
French to my list. I decided to slow a bit with Arabic, having two difficult languages, namely Swahili and Turkish. French is easier because of my knowledge of other Romance languages.
I studied 10 lessons from “Francuski dla początkujących” (French for beginners - in Polish). I also did 6 lessons of FSI French Revised. I like it because it has soooooooo many exercises.
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