Friday, August 21, 2020

Adults are not children

"The fundamental objection, then, to the natural method is that it puts the adult into the position of an infant, which he is no longer capable of utilizing, and, at the same time, does not allow him to make use of his own special advantages. These advantages are, as we have seen, the power of analysis and generalization - in short, the power of using a grammar and a dictionary."
Henry Sweet
- The Loom of Language

Monday, August 17, 2020

realizable proficiency

"We have not yet got away from education designed for the sons of gentlemen. Educational Platonism sacrifices realizable proficiency by encouraging the pursuit of unattainable perfection."
- The Loom of Language

So, you see, all this anger and hatred towards people who say one can learn a language in a week, 10 days, 3 months or any other shortish time period, is mostly misplaced.
Maybe people are jealous for a "charlatan" getting the attention, fame and even money and opportunities they think should go for "real" people, who have spend hours, days, weeks, months, years studying a language and have reached an almost native proficiency in it.
Maybe people feel cheated thinking they have been spending a lot of time doing things while others just whiz by doing nothing much.
Maybe we have the Lutheran attitude of "only a thing one has to work hard for is worth something".
All this is, of course, total BS. 

I'm still doing Duolingo for Polish. Other than that... nah. I fear my language time has passed for this year. :-( Did not learn enough Polish to read the Witcher in original language. But I am learning Polish. :-)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Zuzanna, Zuzanka, Zuza, Zuzia, Zula, Zuzka...

Yesterday, 11th of August, was my name day. My name is Sanna.

I was kind of overwhelmed by the multipotentialism thing yesterday, so I only talked about that in my blog, but I promised to tell you what I did - so here it comes.

I worked with

* lexemes - I worked with my flashcards together with Reverso Context - it makes it easier to understand the word when one sees it used in context, so the cue word on the back of the flashcard becomes just that. It's not the literal translation, but a cue. Also, more writing ;-)

* się and swój

"The reflexive pronoun "się" is of protoindoeuropean origin much like spanish "se", English "self", German "sich" or Swedish "sig"."

"swój" is the Scandinavia "sin" - so, easy peasy :-D

Also, it comes as a suprise to many learning Scandinavian languages to learn that they do have gender - but not masculine and feminine. They used to exist, but "melted" into one, "en", which is "common", while "et" is "neuter"

* some verb work, training present tense

- to be
- to have
- to eat
- to drink
- to want
- to need
- to "can"
- to "must
- to like
- to hate
- to go
- to come
- to read
- to write
- to say
- to know


Got my attention, because of this:

* interrogative pronouns

co what
gdy when
kto who
gdzie where
czemu why
jak how

* some polite phrases

Most phrasebooks will teach you how to say certain things, like please, thank you, how are you, I'm fine, thank you, excuse me, I'm sorry, pardon, etc. etc.
and all of that is based on the politeness in the author's culture.
In Finnish it is possible to say these things, but... are they being said?

There really isn't a word "please" in Finnish. We have "ole hyvä" (be good, if you could be so kind), which isn't really the same thing, and isn't used the same way either. It's more "here you are", than "please". So, don't learn that. We use quite a lot of "kiitos" (thank you).
Like "kuppi kahvia, ole hyvä" (babelfish translation of a cup of coffee please) gets "er... excuse me, what?" reaction, because that is what the waiter says when he gives you the cup. It's "kuppi kahvia, kiitos".

How about Polish?

"Jak się masz? sounds very stilted, which is why hardly any Pole uses it in everyday speech.
While it’s true that the phrase is one of the most literal translations of “how are you?” into Polish, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it sounds good to the Polish ear. People who say jak się masz? are mostly foreigners… or Poles who just want to sound quirky."

When I started studying Basque, the first thing I learned was "don't use the politeness phrases. The use of those is very prominent part of both French and Spanish, which are the languages of the oppressors, and is like a red rag to a bull to the basque people, kind of saying "I'm with them" and "look at me how polite and better than you I am!".

Today, 12th of August, I'm taking it easy. I have done a little bit of Duolingo and a little bit of LingQ and a little bit of Clozemaster.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

It's really hard to limit oneself...

Now I have been working with Polish for a week. But... I have been looking at my blog, and finding things, and one thing leads to another, and I am losing focus... I'm going to fail. Again. I will not learn Polish. :-(

So... how will I limit myself and keep focus and keep working on Polish?

I went to look for some help, suggestions, tips, advice, anything, and found "multipotentialites"...

I didn't know this is "a thing" before today...
Of course I have heard about multitalented people, polymaths, renaissance people - and I know I am one - but I didn't know about "multipotentialites".

I still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up…

I can’t seem to stick with anything for the long haul…

I’m a Jack of all Trades, master of none…

I often don’t finish the things I start…

I lose interest in things I thought I would be passionate about forever…

People say I have Shiny Object Syndrome, always chasing the next sparkly thing…

I’m worried I’ll be on entry level wages my whole life because I change jobs and careers so often…

The Magic of Everything - Are You a Multipotentialite?
 "Both Sher and Wapnick explain that it looks like multipotentialites don’t finish what they start but the truth is, our finishing point is just not the same as other people’s. We feel called to stop doing something once we got what we came for, when we’ve learnt everything we feel we need to know. We rarely quit because something is too hard. We “quit” because our intellectual curiosity is satisfied and we’re drawn to move onto exploring our next challenge.

Because that’s what we do best."
Just a week ago I was crying about this:
"I was reminded of the fact that talent, intelligence, aptitude, even love of languages mean absolutely nothing when it comes to learning languages."
And the thing is, THAT WAS NEVER A FACT!

I am not into this to become a polyglot! I am not into this to learn all these languages I want to learn, there is no end goal. This is a never-ending journey, just enjoying the beauty of the languages and human mind, thinking... I mean... I NAMED THIS BLOG LANGUAGE MUSE!
This is supposed to be a source of INSPIRATION. I am here to INSPIRE people. Not to teach anyone, not even me, anything.

I feel so... cheated.
And so... happy, liberated, vindicated even.


I'll tell you what I learned about Polish tomorrow :-D
Today I'll just enjoy the ride :-)

Monday, August 10, 2020

And I'm back in 2020 :-D

In 2015 I posted the grandiose project "52 in 52". I intended to study a language for a week and post my discoveries and material here.
Well... it didn't go so well.
Polish was one of those languages, and I had posted some information about the Polish language, and that was it. So, now, when I am serious about learning Polish, I decided to blog there, and not here. But now I have caught Bulgarian (the language of the week after Polish), and I don't want to spoil it, so I am back in my own time, posting now.

So - I was rereading my blog posts, and noticed that I had posted the Finnish names for months, but not the Polish ones, so I corrected my lapse. And I realized a couple of things.

1) tłuczeń  crushed stone
- tłuc  to break; to shatter

pieczeń roasted meat
piec to bake, to roast

uczeń student, schoolboy, pupil, apprentice (someone who learns)
uczyć się to learn, to study

So... Sierpień... Sierp is the sickle, so... is there a verb "to sickle"? There is sierpać, but I don't have the slightest idea what that means. To cut? To sickle? Perhaps. So... sierpień would mean "sickling", "sickler", "sickled"?
Someone said sierpać is an archaic form of szarpać - to jerk, tug, yank.

Let's look at wrzesień, then. They say it comes from wrzos or wrzosiec, meaning heather... now... is there a verb "to heather"? I found this: "notes on heather use in basket making" and "I have been told that heather was traditionally gathered in September when the sap has risen and it is at its most flexible."
But I also found "wrzesić". To resurrect, to raise... Hmm... What is the connection?


"freeze the surface of the earth, cause clods to form on the surface of the earth"

grudzień ziemię grudzi i izby studzi
December freezes the soil and cools down the rooms

Day 7 of the 10 day challenge, and I have FINALLY managed to write the flashcards I was supposed to have written on day 0 :-D
I think there's a serious flaw in my 10 day challenge ;-) (But not going to change a thing anyway :-D I'll just say it starts WHEN the flashcards are written. So, today is day 1.)

Monday, August 3, 2020

I am not happy today :-(

I was reminded of the fact that talent, intelligence, aptitude, even love of languages mean absolutely nothing when it comes to learning languages. I have all those things. What I don't have is what matters most. Tenacity.

I'm basically a bunny rabbit. I'm really fast and smart and clever and all that, but I still don't know French. I never finish the race.

I'm 51 and I have been "studying" French since I was... 15, maybe? A teenager. Because I'm like 100% in for three weeks, and then nothing for the rest of the year.

I mean, I have WON the 6WC. Most hours put in, to actively studying a language for six weeks' time.

And I just became "legendary" at Duolingo :-D

And do you remember that "100 words a day" challenge I took upon myself a couple of years ago? I still know the words. :-D 100 words a day 5 years ago, I think I managed to keep it up for three weeks or so?

So, obviously there are skills, talent, aptitude, intelligence.
But - what ever.

Here's Lindie Botes' Memorizing Words