Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Languages – progress: April 2013

April was a very good month when it comes to my language studies, especially in terms of practicing. In March I started to participate in Language Practice Hangouts on Google+. This community created by several enthusiasts is in my opinion an excellent idea. I wrote about it here. Some languages are very popular, like e.g. French and Spanish, some – not, like Turkish and Polish. I also had an opportunity to immerse in French during my short trip to France.

I spent in April a bit less time on languages than in March but it’s still a very big number. I guess it will be less in the coming months as the weather encourages to spend more time in the open doing other activities than studying… Here’s my monthly report for April.

Time spent

  • Total: 101h45
  • Français: 33h40
  • Türkçe: 23h50
  • عربي (Arabic MSA): 18h15
  • عربي (Egyptian Arabic): 5h00
  • Português: 13h00
  • Italiano: 8h00


 عربي (Arabic MSA & Egyptian) 
I studied the whole Volume 1 (units 1-8) from the Defense Language Institute Modern Standard Arabic Course. The pace is not fast but I guess it’s needed in the beginning to get a sound base.
In these first units the drills focus around the so-called “nunation” and cases, namely Genitive. They are very extensive indeed. Genitive is used mainly for possessive constructions, e.g. “the teacher of the school” as well as with the pronouns, as in “the teacher is in the school”.

Not much done as regards Egyptian dialect – I reviewed units 1-4 of the DLI Basic Course.

I studied units 18-20 of the FSI French Course – which deal mainly with subjontif and the constructions that require its use, as well as plus-que-parfait and conditionnel.
I dedicated much time to practice. I participated regularly in the French Practice Hangouts on Google+. I also had an opportunity to talk with my French friends during my business trip to Saint Jean de la Ruelle (near Orléans). It lasted only three days but it was a real pleasure to be able to discuss many topics in French with them!
Apart from that I translated some texts for my work from French into Polish, enriching this way my vocabulary.

Some useful vocabulary:
  • prêter  to lend
  • soigner – to look after sb; se-soigner – to cure oneself
  • aussitôt – as soon as
  • entre-temps – in the meantime
  • Je n’aurais jamais dû y aller. / I should never have gone there.
  • bavard – talkative ; talker, talkative person
  • Rusé comme une renard. / Sly as a fox.
  • réciproque – reciprocal
  • Il y en a tellement... – There are so many of them…
  • a condition que – provided that
  • à moins que – unless
  • bien que – although, even though
  • vainquer – winner

I wish I had done more with my Italian. But I think I have no reason to regret. I spent several hours talking during Italian Practice Hangouts on Google+. I also studied next chapter from “Better Reading Italian” book. Apart from that I read a text entitled “La citta smarrita nella neve” by Italo Calvino noting down all the vocabulary I didn’t know or wasn’t sure I remembered.

Some useful vocabulary:
  • aguzzare – to sharpen
    aguzzare gli occhi; lo sguardo; le orecchie; la mente
  • varcare – to cross, to pass
    varcare una strada – to cross the street
    varcare i confini; i limiti – to cross the borders; to push the limits
  • porgere – to hand (sth)
    porgere la mano – to lend a hand
  • mandare un accidente a qualcuno – to curse someone
  • correre come un accidente – to run like crazy
  • non capire un accidente – not to understans a thing
  • fruscio – rustle, hum
    frusciare – to rustle, to hum
  • Ogni rumore quell mattino erasolo un fruscio.
  • capitare – happen, occur (sth to sb)
    capitare tra capo e collo – to come out of the blue
  • essere assorto in pensieri (meditazioni) – to be absorbed in thoughts
    Assorto nelle sue meditazioni, non s’accorse che dal tetto due uomini gridavano.
  • rivolo – stream
    rivoli di sudore – streams of sweat

Surprisingly too little time spent on this one in April. So May has to be a Portuguese month!
I finished the review of the Assimil course (“El portugués sin esfuerzo”). I watched a few times Portuguese TV channels – RTP Internacional and RTP Informação. I read some articles from “Notícias Sábado” magazine I bought several years ago in Portugal. Some were really interesting, e.g. the one entitled “De que cor são os golos?” ("What color are the goals?") about football players from abroad playing in clubs in various countries.
I participated in the Portuguese Practice Hangouts – as I wrote several times now it’s my favorite part of the learning process helping me to practice what I learn from textbooks and study from the grammars.
Apart from that I started to review “Gramática activa” which in my opinion is one of the best books dealing with Portuguese grammar with plenty of exercises. I want to do all of them in written form.

Some useful vocabulary:
  • Isso deixa todos de boca aberta (por…)
  • As possibilidades são imensas. Não as deixa passar ao lado.
  • Não percas a oportunidade de...
  • Mal começamos a... / As soon as we started…
  • Isso éinesquecivél!
  • Não é de estranhar…
  • Foi um programa muito minucioso.
  • a certa altura... / at one point...
  • a troca de correspondência
  • Foi um pontapé simbólico. / It was a simbolic step (kick)
  • trabalhar em parceira com... / to work in co-operation with...
  • Parece haver de tudo um pouco. / It seems to have a bit of everything.
  • Ele partilha da mesma opinião. / He shares the same opinion.
  • escolhido a dedo / hand-picked, picked carefully, picked personally

It was a very good month when it comes to Turkish. I studied vocabulary from “Turkish Familiarization Course” – a book which doesn’t teach you much grammar but which has a well organized vocabulary grouped under several topics. It was kind of a review of what I already know.
I decided to review the FSI Turkish Course to drill, drill, drill the grammatical issues. I did lessons 1-20 as audio drills. Then, starting with unit 15 I want to make all the exercises in the written form. It requires much patience and it’s going to take plenty of time but I think I need it to get a real sound knowledge of the language. So far I did unit 15.

Like with the other languages I learn I participated in Turkish Practice Hangouts. I am very grateful to Sercan who hosts them for his patience as my Turkish is obviously not so good as my other languages.
Apart from that I made another attempt to translate some material into Turkish. I translated the information about the languages I learn written on my blog – from Polish to Turkish. I hope there are not many mistakes in it. Another one was translating the article „İran'da 7,8 büyüklüğünde deprem oldu” from TRT site from Turkish into English.

Some useful vocabulary:
  • yine – again, still
    prova – try, effort, rehearsal
    yine prova – another try, another rehearsal
  • denemek, çalışmak – to try
  • Bugün zor bir gün olacak. / It’s going to be a hard day today.
  • inanılmaz – incredible, amazing
    Burası inanılmaz bir şehir.
  • Her zaman olduğu gibi. / As usual
  • Bunu koçurmayın!/ Don’t miss that!
  • Senin yerinde olsam… / If I were you..
  • Bitirmeğe çalışırım. / I’ll try to finish.
  • Birşey lâzım olursa bana seslenirsin. / If you need something just call me.
  • Umarım tekrar görüşürüz. / I hope we’ll see other (meet) again.
  • Sabrın için teşekkür ederim. / Thank you for your patience.

This text is also available in Polish

1 comment:

  1. SHOW!!! Muito masssa conhecer um pouco de sua história.