Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Languages - progress: February 2013

February was without a doubt European languages month. I focused on Portuguese, Italian and French. These are the languages I might use in the nearest future in my job or in private contacts. That’s why it’s been a high time to review some grammatical issues and of course vocabulary. I didn’t put aside neither Arabic nor Turkish but I did nothing connected with Hindi and Swahili.
Because of the medical treatment to the eyes I wasn't able to use the computer for a month. That's why this update appears just now. It was also the time when I had to use mostly audio materials or watch TV now and then.

Time spent
  • Total: 87h10
  • Italiano: 29h00
  • Português: 25h40
  • Français: 17h20
  • Türkçe: 11h05
  • عربي (Egyptian Arabic) 4h05
Most of the time I dedicated to Italian was spent on listening comprehension. I managed to get an audiobook of Ken Follett’s “The fall of the giants” in Italian translation - “La caduta dei giganti”. Generally, it tells the story of several families and individuals before and during the first world war and Bolshevik revolution in Russia. It describes the events that lead to the fall of former governors and emperors giving way to appearance of a new world order.
I finished reading „Processo” by Franz Kafka in Italian translation.
I also watched news broadcasts on Rai News. I admit it was not much but this is because I had a great exposure to Italian thanks to “La caduta dei giganti” as audiobook.
I didn’t note down many things from the books I read/listened to but a few things as a reminder, e.g.:
  • Spero che tu abbia ragione. / Subjunctive construction is needed in this kind of sentence
I learned some vocabulary connected with military actions, e.g.
  • trincea – trench; trinceramento – entrenchment; trincerare (io trincero) – to entrench
I reviewed chapters 43-56 of the Assimil book. The most important grammatical issues covered: futuro, futuro do conjuntivo, presente do conjuntivo, imperfeito do conjuntivo, infinitivo pessoal, pretérito mais-que-perfeito do indicativo, pretérito mais-que-perfeito do conjuntivo.
I watched Portuguese TV, mostly news programs: Bom dia Portugal, Grande Jornal, Jornal da Tarde and Telejornal. I also watched morning program “Praça da alegria” but I didn’t like it much.
I read some articles from “Notícias Magazine” (which I bought some time ago in Portugal) and “Regresso de Sherlock Holmes III” containing three little stories about a famous detective.
What’s most important I participated for the first time in Portuguese Practice Hangout on Google+. Although it was hosted by a Brazilian, Andre - and I learn European version of the language - it was still a great opportunity to practice.

Some interesting vocabulary and phrases encountered:
  • prejuízo – damage, loss
  • Vamos tentar fazer. – We are going to try to do it / It’s not rare that even three verbs are put in a sequence like this.
  • carne de cavalo / de vaca
  • rutura – break, rupture / According to the new Acordo Ortográfico this word is no longer spelled as ‘ruptura’.
  • Ele nega que esteja em curso qualquer processo de investigação.
  • Assédio sexual.
  • Divulgado na internet.
  • Ele dá razão ao clube.
  • Não há motivo para (alguma coisa).
  • desafiar – to challenge
  • afastar – to remove, keep off, keep away; afastar-se – to move away, to go away, to turn; afastar-se do assunto – to stray from the subject
  • Novo escândalo na Igreja.
  • Pediu a demissão do cargo.
  • Conclave para eleger o novo Papa.
  • Mais uma vez. / Word “mais” stands generally before the things we want “more”
I did units 16 and 17 of the FSI Course. The most important grammatical issues covered: conditionnel, pronoms interrogatifs (que, qui, qui est-ce qui + verb), pronoms relatifs (dont, lequel, laquelle), verbs like «prendre», verbes pronominaux (reflexive and non-reflexive), rien, personne ; pronoms démonstratifs (celle, celles, celui, ceux), subjonctif.
I watched several times France 24 news channel to practice listening comprehension.

Some interesting vocabulary encountered:
  • 7 français enlevés au Cameroun
  • lorsque – quand, au moment oú
    Nous en parlerons lorsque vous viendrez.
  • convaincre – amener par des arguments à reconnaître l’exactitude ou la nécessité de; persuader
I did unit 41-47 of the FSI Course. With every new unit I am coming nearer to the end of the course and it’s time to find another source to learn. And I also need to practice, practice, practice…

The most important issues covered:
  • ya… ya da (either… or), ne… ne de (neither… nor), hem… hem de (both… and)
    Ya lokantaya gideriz ya da sinemaya.
    Ne lokantaya gideriz ne de sinemaya.
    Hem lokantaya gideriz hem de sinemaya.
  • suffix ‘(ı)ş – giving generally the meaning of mutuality to do the action of the verb, sometimes it gives a specialized meaning to the resultant
    görmek - to see/ görüşmek - to see each other, to meet
    bakmak – to look at / bakışmak – to look at one another
    ödemek – to pay / ödeşmek – to settle accounts
  • -(y)ış – forms verbal noun indicating “the act of doing…”, “the manner of doing”
    Gidişgeliş üç saat sürdü – Round trip lasted for three hours
    Sinemanın açılış kapanış saatlerini soralım. – Let’s ask about opening and closing hours of the cinema.
    Konuşuşu çok güzel. – The way he/she speaks is very nice.
  • suffix –sana, -saniza – meaning approximately “why don’t you…, would you like to…”
    Yarin yemeğe bize gelsene / gelsenize.
  • Causatives: -dır-, example: bilmek - to know / bildirmek - to cause to know, to inform, to announce
  • Transitive and intransitive verbs.
  • Measures, numbers, percentages, colors, dates
And much more – which I haven’t in fact studied but just listened to the recordings to get the glimpse of the new structures and to drill new vocabulary.
I watched a bit TRT Türk but with no big success in understanding. Yet I think I need to get more exposure to the language.

Some interesting vocabulary encountered:
  • alafranga – in European style; alafranga yemek – European food
  • aşağı – (direction) down,  down under; aşağı inmek – to go down, to descend
  • boya – paint, shoe polish; boyamak – to paint, to polish shoes, to dry; akrilik boya – acrylic paint; yağlıboya – oil paint
  • yılamak – to wash, to bathe; ellerini yılamak – to wash one’s hands
  • yılanmak – to take a bath, to wash oneself
I didn’t do any new things. I focused on drilling what I’ve already learned. I reviewed Modules 1 and 2 of DLI Egyptian Arabic Course.

This text is also available in Polish

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