Thursday, December 8, 2011

And now it's over...

The language fever is over for now. I haven't been studying one minute of any language the last week or so... well, I read one hour of a book in French.
I got my Maltese books and will start reading them tomorrow, through LWT, but that's it.

I'll probably come to this mood or phase again in about a year, next September or October sounds probable, but for now...


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Week 8: Maltese

I received the first book of the three in the series Il-Fiddien... unfortunately it's not the first in the series, but #2, it's just the first to arrive. The rest should arrive this week.

Nevertheless, the timing couldn't be better, because this is week 8 of the 52, and I had planned on studying Maltese today. And I got stuck... 5 hours. :-D

But - it's also week 5 of 6 weeks' challenge. I will be going to Finland in the end of this week, so I don't think there will be much languages studied. I plan on taking a book in French with me, and clock the reading time... but... Uh. What ever. It's just a friendly competition for everyone's own behalf. I'm nevertheless at top 3, and would like to stay there :-D

So more about Maltese later. Now I'll go and study a couple of hours French.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some support for watching Aşk-ı Memnu

Who are these people?
To me the Turkish names are difficult. I can't remember them and I can't even remember which is male and which is female. I know who Adnan is, and that's about it.

I just noticed there's a Turkish description under the video at YouTube :-D That helps. :-)

burada - here
Teşekkür ederim - Thank you
teşekkürler - thanks
anne - mother
also, they call Adnan Bey all the time...
Aşk is love in Aşk-ı Memnu - forbidden love
Pardon - excuse me

"In Turkey, many Turkish use this statement and hug each other; more secular and non-religious people say "Selam" as an equivalent to "Hello" or "Hi". This use has extended to the Internet with the abbreviated "slm" being commonly used amongst Turks on social networking websites."

The thing is that I don't understand much of Turkish, but I understand quite a lot about the series... And it's making Turkish interesting to me :-)


Now is the half-point of 6 weeks challenge, and I'm feeling like I'm desperately trying to swim, but there's no water... or something. It feels like I don't make any progress, I know nothing, all the hours I've been putting in studying have been wasted etc. etc. I haven't done even half of the things I should have done... and then I took the language level test, and received this:
I know it's not correct, but when I took the test 3-4 weeks ago, I got A1 :-D
I guessed practically every question wrong. I mean... how can one guess every question on a multiple choice questionnaire wrong? There must be SOMETHING one guesses right, n'est-ce pas?
I'm still not sure, it's not like with the English test, but - there it is, purple on white. C2. 
Je ne sais pas qu'est-il qui a crée cette site, mais il pense je ne suis pas un idiot complet :-) And it feels quite nice :-)
What it is saying is that my sense for French is not bad, not bad at all... I chose the option that FELT best. Not the one I KNEW to be right, but the one that FELT best...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Learn Finnish I


You can also say:

Kaksi opiskelijaa tapaavat toisensa yliopistolla

Petri: Hei! Minun nimeni on Petri. Mikä sinun nimesi on?
Anna: Hei, Petri. Minä olen Anna.
Petri: Anteeksi, mitä? Hanna?
Anna: Ei, kun Anna. A-N-N-A
Petri: Ai, Anna! Hauska tutustua.
Anna: Hauska tutustua.

Kaksi päivää myöhemmin he tapaavat yliopiston kahvilassa.

Petri: Huomenta, Anna, mites menee?
Anna: Hyvin, entäs itselläsi?
Petri: Hyvin, kiitos. Anna, tässä on ystäväni Jussi; Jussi, tässä on Anna.
Jussi: Hei, hauska tavata.
Anna: Hauska tavata.
Jussi: Kuinka vanha olet?
Anna: Minä olen kaksikymmentäkolme vuotta, entäs sinä?
Jussi: Minä olen myös kahdenkymmenenkolmen, Petri on kaksikymmentäneljä.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Week 7: Hebrew

Now, here's a language I think I'm going to study a lot more than Syriac.

The question is, why? Am I so pro-Israel? No.

1) I have always been interested in witchcraft, magic, occult things, and somewhere in the history the Europeans decided Hebrew looks decidedly mystical, very interesting, must be really magical too, and then they found out about Kabbalah, and then they started talking about all these books and writings about magic in Hebrew. (or that was what I thought... in reality, most of these "Hebrew" scriptures were written in French or some other such language, because the idiots didn't really know Hebrew, and all these "Hebrew scriptures" they are referring to exist only in their imagination. So there so. Nevertheless, as I was growing up in Finland back at the 70's and 80's, we didn't have the access to translated books the way we have today. So - I thought I NEEDED to learn Hebrew to be able to ever read these books.)

2) Hebrew was part of the classical high-school education when all the "latin school" students were supposed to be priests... If all those guys knew Latin, Greek and Hebrew, so would I.

3) My husband is Jewish. I want to learn Hebrew and Yiddisch for him. :-)


There's about 5 million of native Hebrew (Ivrit) speakers, and about the same amount speak Hebrew as their second language. It is one of the official languages of Israel.

Ivrit was re-created, revived, using the historical Hebrew, Hebrew pidgins and creoles (especially Yiddish), and the living Semitic languages (and some Turkish and Latin) as base in the end of 19th century.

There isn't really a word order; one can omit the verb from the sentence, and other stuff like that, which makes it nice. They say the conjugation of verbs is the most difficult thing in Hebrew.

So - I learned the Aleph-Beit through this song. Even though I hate the preppy style and explanatory stuff in between is... er... stupid? what ever. Nevertheless, I learned the Aleph-Beit.
(I also like this Aleph Beis song, even though... well... Yeah, it's for kids and it's also somewhat stupid, but it does the work. I also hate the "one of a kind". I don't think it means what he thinks it does...)

Then I suggest you take a piece of paper and write, like you did when you learned to write your mothertongue. A row after row alephs, bets, gimels, dalets and so on.
Then you should write the names of the letters in Hebrew.
Then you should find words that start with each letter and write those, line after line...
And then you should start copying sentences.
If you do this every day, write your two pages, you will know the letters, you will be reading fluently, and the biggest obstacle is gone.
It should take only a couple of hours to learn the aleph-beit, and then two pages of practice will keep them in your head.

And I know there is a handwriting form of these letters, but I think that differs so very much of the printed form, I would try to emulate the printed form to my best ability, perhaps take a couple of pointers from the handwriting, like the difference of waw and nun, to learn the printed form properly, and then learn the handwriting (cursive) later - just like we did.

Here's a video I like about how to write the Hebrew letters nicely, calligraphy style. (It also shows the Arabic letters, so you might learn them too at the same time :-D)

Here's how to write "cursive" Hebrew 

Here's about the numbers, and here something about using numbers with words. (It has some importance when learning the numbers, because "teens" are "one ten, two tens, three tens..." and ten is feminine... so achat'esreh, shteim'esreh, shlosh'esreh, arba'esreh, chamesh'esreh, shesh'esreh, shva'esreh, shmone'esreh, tsha'esreh.
20+ is twenty and ... esrim v' and the number in feminine
30, 40, 50 etc. are number+im (threes, fours, fives?)
And hundred... well, there's a book called "May-Ah Teach You 100 Hebrew Words?!". 100 is mea.

Useful Hebrew phrases

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Of course I couldn't...

52 languages, 52 weeks...
Week six is over, and I haven't studied much Syriac at all. I can't find any motivation.
I have been practicing my Hebrew letters though. Ha.

I am also getting more and more interested in the Scandinavian languages. As far as I know I have the access to the Norwegian guy for three more months and that's it... so, I kind of think it would be better if I can use him now. :-D
So I have been learning how to count in Norwegian and Danish today.

Okay... Norwegian. Sounds pretty easy, huh?
But what... what are they doing with N? "enjnn"? R? Ärjr? My husband says that I shouldn't bother about such matters, the correct pronunciation comes with time, so I think I'll believe him.
Danish alphabet... I can say F, L, M, N, S, X and Æ :-D My Danish husband says my pronunciation is good for a foreigner :-D It's very good of him :-)

6 weeks challenge:
So... I was talking with a guy, and said that I am giving French only about 60%, not 100%. I have been wasting this day too, listening to funny videos at YouTube, listening to French songs, learning Danish and Norwegian, and 1 P.M. I decided to stop wasting my time and put in some serious language learning... now it's 5 P.M. Guess if I have studied French? No.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Subject pronouns in textbooks: written vs spoken French

In Finland we use the passive (which I have learned "on" is in French) in spoken language more often as "we" than the grammatically correct "we".

I have always thought of "on" as the Swedish "man" - "one" (a man, a person)...

but it seems the French do use it more like the Finnish passive...

But to change the language teaching to reflect the changes in spoken language... no. It might be important to mention, so that it doesn't come as a shock, but I believe it is not good to try to put ALL the information in the head at once, from the very beginning,

I believe it would be confusing to try to understand this in stead of the "obsolete" je, tu, il, on, nous, vous, ils -list. Especially because I assume the different forms of these pronouns (je-me-mon-moi-mienne) still follow the written, classical, or what you wish to call it, form. It might be easier to learn them using "nous" as "we" and not "on".

I'm sure people will very quickly adjust their spoken language to what is being spoken around them, and will understand the different uses of person pronouns as they are being used.

French passive voice

Uh. My weekend, and I'm wasting it looking at stupid videos on YouTube.

I don't know about this girl... I would like to know what has happened to her... and I hope she would have said in her profile that this is her make-believe personality or something like that. It could have been great. I think I'd liked her if she had just been a little bit nicer. But I have been wasting hours I could have used studying languages... I can't even put this as Japanese studies, because she speaks so badly :-D

Well, well... what ever :-D

I haven't studied much Syriac, but I have studied Maltese and Ivrit. :-D I don't think I want to learn Syriac... Perhaps Arabic one day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A little update

Turkish is really interesting, because there doesn't seem to be anything I recognize so that I could build upon it... nothing to fasten it to.
Sure, the numbers with beer-drinking jedis in dirt with Secky's doc-ooze... but it really doesn't make much sense.

After having watched an episode of Aşk-ı Memnu  it is making more sense... sometimes it sounds like Russian, sometimes like Japanese and sometimes like nothing else :-D

Now, there's Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ's character... He's supposed to be some sort of a playboy, really attractive, everyone just falls for him... and I don't understand why anyone would find that a-hole in any way attractive... sure, he's handsome, but... he seems to be a total jerk. Tactless, mocking bully. Everything is a damn joke to him... he seems to be saying something nice and kind, and then one can see on the reaction that he was saying something really mean and hurtful, and then he just laughs...

And the girl's mother is like him, except that she's just stupid and glueless and mostly embarrassing.

1. episode I learned
Good morning: günaydın
good night: İyi geceler
big - büyük / small - küçük
yes - evet / no - hayır

2. episode
bana bak - look
Hello - Merhaba
Excuse me - Pardon
thank you - merci
hepsi - all
lütfen - please

I love you - Seni seviyorum

From speak Turkish: essentials


I am having troubles in English, because my mind is getting "Frenchized" :-D I'm not at all certain of if I'm using an English syntax or not... ROTFLMAO!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011


Assyria is our mother.
Mesopotamia is our country.
we have one language
these are our letters.      



AALAA-HAA [1], AA-TA [2].
God [1], flag[2].

BAA-BAA [3], BROO-NAA [4], BRAA-TAA [5].
father [3], son [4], daughter [5].

gardener [6] , garden [7].

world [8], wealth [9].

HEE-WEE [10], HE-MEN-TA [11].
hope [10], belief [11].

WUL-YAA [12], WUL-YOO-TAA [13].
fit/state of being proper[12], fitness [13].

weed [14], plant (the verb) [15].

love [16], freedom[17].


birds [18], mountains [19].

student / learned one[20], one with a better future [21].

pears (the fruit) [22], orchards [23].

dialect / languages [24].

school [25], teachers / tutors [26].

daffodil [27], spring (the season)[28].

Simele (a town),  martyr [29].

clouds [30], clouds [31] (two synonymous words)


PIQ-KH [32], PAA-WAA-NEH [33]
blossom/bloom[32], branches [33].

SO-MAA [34], SAAL-YAA-NEH [35]. 
fasting [34], prayers[35].

QAA-ROO-YAA [34], QU-NAA-NEH [37].
rooster [36], horns [37].

hill [38], possessed with odor [39].

SHE-REH [40], SHA-MAA-NEH [41].
poems [40], listeners [41].

history[42], speakers [43].

let us be like the vowels[44].
in[45] -our letters-[46] beautiful [47] (in our beautiful letters)

Aramaic lessons (seems to be using Hebrew script)
Some info about Aramaic
Lexicity's resources about Aramaic

Uhlemann's Syriac grammar from 1855. (And I'm sure nothing has changed about the language since then.)
Nestles's Syriac grammar from 1889
Michaelis' Grammatica Syriaca from 1829 (in Latin)
And other books about Assyrian/Syriac on Internet Archive (you can choose from several languages; there are grammars, wordlists, texts and the excellent "Aramaic method", which is a coursebook in Biblical Aramaic.)
Some books about Syriac/Assyrian in Russian

I live in Södertälje, where more than 50% of the population are immigrants or refugees, and the majority of those are Assyrian/Syriacs. (The Finns are about as big a group, though, so Assyrians/Syriacs aren't a majority here. The Swedes are.) In Sweden, all the children have the right to get an education about their native language - "home language/mother tongue". In Södertälje they have huge problems finding teachers to teach kids Assyrian/Syriac/Neo-Aramaic. The only people they have don't have even a high school education, they are definitely not qualified teachers, and the parents complain about this fact. Södertälje says that they don't HAVE qualified teachers to offer. One can only speculate about the reasons for this.
Is it so that Assyrians/Syriacs don't want to become teachers? Or they don't want to be native language teachers? It would be only a couple of hours extra every week, and they don't need much extra education to become qualified native language teachers, and as Assyrians/Syriacs are a pretty big part of refugees in Sweden, they would have a good job for as long as they want to do it. I simply cannot understand this. I mean... I love Finnish a lot. There is no lack of Finnish native language teachers, and they are all well educated and qualified. And here we have these people running around the internet telling everyone how wonderful and amazing their language is, and at the same time most of them can't read or write, and their children and grandchildren refuge to use the language, and rather use the language of the country they live in or Arabic. Now, if not even the kids are interested in this language, why would anyone be? Most people just want to learn it because of the Bible, Jesus, and Talmud. And that is a dead language. As dead as Latin.
So... I'm sure there is a handful of language lovers, but a handful of people can't rescue a language.
I mean... I am seriously considering becoming a Syriac home language teacher, just to beat some sense into the heads of these kids. But, I don't speak the language, I'm old (49 at the moment, not old-old, but too old to become a home language teacher in a language I don't know), and I'm sick. I don't have the energy.
Besides, I don't like the language, nor the script, nor the people. I don't want to save their language. On the contrary, I wouldn't weep if the language died for real. As far as I can see, it is dead already.

French Subjunctive

I like subjunctives :-) Yes, I know, I'm mad :-D
In French, despite the deep phonetic changes that the language has undergone from the original Latin, which include the loss of many inflections in the spoken language, the subjunctive (le subjonctif) remains prominent, largely because the subjunctive forms of many common verbs are strongly marked phonetically;
compare the indicative je sais (I know)
and its subjunctive counterpart que je sache.
(However, the present indicatives and present subjunctives of most verbs are homonyms when they have singular subjects: je parle [I speak] is both the present indicative and the present subjunctive.)

Use of the subjunctive is in many respects similar to English:

Jussive: Il faut qu'il comprenne ça.: "It is necessary that he understand this."
Desiderative: Vive la reine !: "Long live the queen!"

But sometimes it is not:

Desiderative: Que la lumière soit !: "Let there be light!"

In certain, subordinate clauses:
Bien que ce soit mon anniversaire... "Even though it is my birthday..."
Avant que je ne m'en aille... "Before I go away..."

French also has an imperfect subjunctive, which in older, formal, or literary writing replaces the present subjunctive in a subordinate clause when the main clause is in a past tense:

English: It was necessary that he speak (present subjunctive).
Everyday modern French: Il était nécessaire qu'il parle (present subjunctive).
Older, formal, or literary French: Il était nécessaire qu'il parlât (imperfect subjunctive).

Also in older, formal, or literary writing, the imperfect and pluperfect subjunctives double as a "second form" of the conditional and conditional perfect, in which case they are used in both the protasis and the apodosis. It should be noted, however, that many modern-day grammarians reject the use of the term "second form of the conditional perfect" (which they believe leads only to confusion), preferring instead that the subjunctive mood be called simply the subjunctive mood:

English: Had we known (pluperfect subjunctive), we could have prevented (conditional perfect) it.
Everyday modern French: Si on l'avait su (pluperfect indicative), on aurait pu (conditional perfect) l'empêcher.
Older, formal, or literary French: L'eussions-nous su (pluperfect subjunctive / conditional perfect, second form), nous l'eussions pu (pluperfect subjunctive / conditional perfect, second form) empêcher.

- Wikipedia; subjunctive
Here's the article about French subjunctive. Then you can go to Tatoeba and search some sample sentences, learn them and learn subjunctive :-)
Agniezka about French subjunctive

Celine Dion: Pour que tu m'aïmes encore

J'ai compris tous les mots, j'ai bien compris, merci
Raisonnable et nouveau, c'est ainsi par ici
Que les choses ont changé, que les fleurs ont fané
Que le temps d'avant, c'était le temps d'avant
Que si tout zappe et lasse, les amours aussi passent

Il faut que tu saches

J'irai chercher ton coeur si tu l'emportes ailleurs
Même si dans tes danses d'autres dansent tes heures
J'irai chercher ton âme dans les froids dans les flammes
Je te jetterai des sorts pour que tu m'aimes encore

Fallait pas commencer m'attirer me toucher
Fallait pas tant donner moi je sais pas jouer
On me dit qu'aujourd'hui, on me dit que les autres font ainsi
Je ne suis pas les autres
Avant que l'on s'attache, avant que l'on se gâche

Je veux que tu saches

J'irai chercher ton coeur si tu l'emportes ailleurs
Même si dans tes danses d'autres dansent tes heures
J'irai chercher ton âme dans les froids dans les flammes
Je te jetterai des sorts pour que tu m'aimes encore
Je trouverai des langages pour chanter tes louanges
Je ferai nos bagages pour d'infinies vendanges
Les formules magiques des marabouts d'Afrique
J'les dirai sans remords pour que tu m'aimes encore
Je m'inventerai reine pour que tu me retiennes
Je me ferai nouvelle pour que le feu reprenne
Je deviendrai ces autres qui te donnent du plaisir
Vos jeux seront les nôtres si tel est ton désir
Plus brillante plus belle pour une autre étincelle
Je me changerai en or pour que tu m'aïmes encore

Monday, November 14, 2011

week 6: Syriac / Aramaic

I live in Sweden's "Little Assyria" or what you might call it. It is because of this I find it hard to motivate me to study this see, my experience of the people speaking this language has not been very positive. In fact, it has been very negative. It is hard to remember that you can't judge a whole people by what some of its members do, not even a person by some of his opinions... might be that these people would be nice if I knew them, but by what I have experienced, I don't want to...


I tried to find the numbers in Syriac... If I have decided to study this language, if not for any other reason, then to understand what the people around me are saying, I need to start somewhere, and alphabet and numbers is what I have decided to start with... It was really hard to find any information about Syriac... I found this. "Welcome to the Assyrian Aramaic language website". The first two levels are about reading the language. Then there's some grammar. And more grammar. Lesson 120 gives you some dialogue... good.

Ashur: May your morning be blessed
Sargon: Blessed and blessed
Ashur:     May God strengthen you
Sargon:  May God protect you
Ashur: Peace to you
Sargon: 'Welcome' In tranquility and in peace
Ashur: I rejoiced a lot by seeing you. How are you?
Sargon: Thank to the Lord, I am healthy and well. Please come and eat with us.
Ashur:  Thanks a lot for your intimacy. I ate before coming to your visit. If you please, give me only a cup of cold water or a cup of juice if possible
Sargon: Enjoy it my friend. Should I fill another cup for you?
Ashur:  No, one cup is enough for me. Thank you, and remain in peace 'farewell'
Sargon: Go in peace and greet your parents
Huh? Do they really speak like that? Really?

After a heavy dose of more grammar comes some reading exercises. Fairytales, legends, proverbs, Bible passages...

The numbers are taught with examples like "one goat, two cows, three sparrows... " I don't know about you, but goats and cows are few in our urban area... Is this even a living language?

In the "Syriac dictionary in four languages", there is no computer, television, trousers, skirt, shirt, coffee, tea, cow, fox, jump, football/soccer... (that's really, really, really important here where I live)

The thing is that a language won't survive unless you speak it and use it and let it live, evolve, change, and adapt to the surroundings. You can't teach Syriac as a viable language by quoting the Bible and talking about goats and olives. There are not that many of either in Sweden today...  just as little as you can teach Sámi as a viable language by speaking about Sameting and reindeers. (There is some 100.000 Syriac speakers in Sweden... more than Sámi speakers... in the world.)

"World's many languages are dying out - can we stop it?"

Native speaker = the carrier of language. The people who learned the language as second language are not carriers of language.

Here's a discussion in a language learners' forum about "most overrated language".
English, definitely. Any language with more than 100 million speakers. (all users included, native and not - which then includes both German, French and Malay)
Most underrated - any language with less than million speakers. All endangered, dying and dead languages.

Makes me think that perhaps I shouldn't be focusing on European languages so much... at least not the thriving ones. There are 108 endangered or extinct languages in Europe... enough material for two years :-D I might be doing this long time.

But then there is the reason I study languages... they don't write fantasy books for kids in Gothic. There are very few blogs in Lombardian, and not much information about things I'm interested in in Illyrian... Sure, I could learn Cuman to chat about weather in the internet, but... I don't chat. I don't do smalltalk. I don't even know what to write in Lang8!

On the other hand... what would I gain if I decided to live a year like Meshcheras and bring their language to the modern day following the Icelanding and Ivrit example? What would be written in that language? What inventions and discoveries died with it? We'll never know... at least not as long as they haven't invented time travel.

So - I will give Syriac a change and try to get over my fear and prejudices... after all, what do I know? Nothing.

P.S. To find more information, you might want to look also at Assyrian and Suryoyo. There's quite a lot at YouTube.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Strategies for Visual-Spatial Learners

 5 Strategies for Visual-Spatial Learners

I'm not too happy about his suggestions, so here are mine:

1) This is one thing a lot of teachers forget: a written word is also a picture. You don't need to go to Egyptian hieroglyps or Chinese signs, you just have to look at A to see a picture of a sound. It would help visual learners if they realized that letters are shapes and words are these shapes in a certain order. I have always thought -ing-verbs are very comfortable verbs, and not before now I realized it's because of the soft, round ending all these words have.

2) Yes, it does work to illustrate the flashcards, or use images in stead of words to express the meaning of a word, but there are limits, and the limits come up VERY quickly.
So - I say again - use colors when you write your flashcards. Assign a color for verbs, adjectives, nouns (one for feminines, one for masculines, or which other classes of nouns the language has), conjunctions, adverbs, prepositions, and all the other classes of words.

 As you can see of these different cards, you can use different colored papers; add different color edges or areas to the cards. Heck, make "artist trading cards" of your flashcards. THAT would work!

Write the different parts of the word in different colors - for example

maalata - to paint
maalaama- painting phase (third infinitive)
maalaamaton - unpainted (negative participle)
maalaamattomalla - "with the unpainted" "using the unpainted" "on the unpainted"
maalaamattomallakaan - "not even with the unpainted" "not even on the unpainted"

3) Go through texts and mark all the verbs with underliner of one color, all the adjectives with another color... if you color co-ordinate with your flashcards, you add just another visual clue to your mind.
Now, I know this is very close to parsing, and if you hate grammar, you'll hate parsing too, but - it happens to be so that all the verbs act alike, all the adjectives work the same way... it does help to do this little bit that smells grammar, even if you hate grammar ;-) - if your mind works in visual-spatial way.

4) movies, tv, cartoons, comics, even illustrated fairy tale books will work. In old-fashioned fairytale books there was a short sentence under each picture, describing which part of the fairytale the picture illustrated... "Prince sees the beautiful princess sleeping" and so on. Take screencaps of your favorite movies and tv shows and add a sentence, quote, a couple of lines, or something similar. Associate a certain phrase, a certain order of words, to a picture, and you'll remember it much better.

Of course you can use the "inspirational" fridge magnets and posters and gifs all around the internet to learn phrases and idioms too, or make something like that yourself.

5) YouTube and other language teaching videos. It's easier for you to understand a dialogue as accompanying a visual meeting of two people. Especially if the dialogue is also published under the images as text...

6) "Harry Lorayne's Magic Memory Aid"
"The Italian word for “chicken” is  pollo, pronounced exactly like the English “polo”(PO-lo). Imagine your Italian host urging you to join him for an unbelievable spectacle. An Italian impresario with a gift for animal training has staged the world’s first polo match between teams of chickens! You’re thrilled that you’re going to be able to go back home, and tell your friends you saw chickens playing polo!

The Italian word for “wife” is moglie, pronounced MOLE-yay. Imagine you’re a man about to get married and you get a friendly tip from an indiscreet clergyman that your bride to be is known to have a strange animal as a pet and fully intends to bring that animal into your home after the nuptials.
You’re torn! It’s too late to call off the marriage. All the relatives have been invited and the paperwork is all in. Besides, you love her.
You decide to barrel forward and hope for the best. As the organ plays and the preacher intones the vows, all you can think of is, “What kind of animal is it? Is it a lion? Is it a tiger? Is it a slick and sneaky snake? A giraffe?” When the two of you arrive at your threshold after the honeymoon, the suspense ends. She brings forth a pleasant little cage containing a cute, furry little creature.
“This is my pet mole,” she says. “He’s going to live with us.”
You cry forth your relief. “Hooray!” you shout. “It’s only a mole. It’s only a mole! Yay!"
It’s only a mole-yay. Your wife’s secret animal is nothing more than a mole, therefore, “Yay!
“Wife” equals MOLE-yay

The more vivid, in fact, the more vulgar, your associations are, the more readily they will probably come to mind. Feel free, in your mental imagery, to take clothes off. Get people naked. Get everybody into bed, in the tub, swinging from vines, or making nominating speeches immersed in bubbling Romanian mud. Get them wherever you need them so that the association you want is readily retrievable.
X-rated images come readily to mind, even to the minds of nice people. (So, train - masculine, train station - feminine...)
Make your associative images lurid and unforgettable."

- Barry Farber: How to learn any language

7) mind mapping
I haven't tried this much myself, but those who believe in it, believe in it very strongly... if one knows how to use it, I can think it would help visual-spatial learners.

Michael on mind mapping - for languages
using mind maps in language learning
claritas lux - mind mapping
using mind mapping to learn languages

P.S: About the other styles of learning.

- "repeat after me"
- read the flashcards out loud
- read stories, assignments, directions out loud
- storytelling
- record yourself speaking
- experiment with voice, tones, accents, volume,
- music
- speeches, talk
- rhythms, chants
- background music when doing silent exercises, BUT WORDLESS AND QUIET
- ask questions
- participate in discussions
- practice discussions
- use a dictaphone
- watch videos
- word associations
- mnemonic poems and rhymes and lists
- learn jokes, anecdotes etc.
- put your notes onto tapes and listen to them

- learn new words by seeing the word written
- visualize things
- write down key words, ideas, instructions
- draw pictures
- color code things
- use pictures, shapes, sculptures and painting
- diagrams, charts, pictures, and films
- written directions and notes, to-do lists, assignment logs; bullet journaling with colors and symbols
- absolutely avoid "visual squirrels" - no visual stimulation other than what is supposed to be learned
- highlighters
- associate symbols with concepts

- touch, build, move, draw - object manipulation
- study while walking
- copy the facial expressions and gestures
- paper flashcards; arrange them in groups, shuffle them, have a pack in your pocket
- write, draw
- use fidget toys while you study
- letter blocks, letter cookies, letter plushies...
- drama presentation
- props
- scrabble, word puzzles where you need to write or circle things on paper
- needs practical information, examples, stories, needs to connect the facts with physical reality
- collections

Mor ve Ötesi - Deli (insane)

Aranıyor sahibi ruhumun, tam yerine mi düştüm?
direniyor faili tutkunun, kızmış ve küçülmüş
aranıyor sahibi ruhumun, tam yerine mi düştüm?
direniyor, direniyor, direniyor…

beni büyütün, ağlatmayın,
sevginiz nerde, övündüğünüz?
beni büyütün, aldatmayın,
sahte düşlerle oyalamayın.

bir yarım akıllı,
bir yarım deli dört yanım akıllı,
bir yanım deli
herkes akıllı, bir ben deli
bir ben deli,
bir ben deli…

Searching for my soul's owner, did I fall in the right place?
The perpetrator of passion is resisting, angry and deminished.
Searching for my soul's owner, did I fall in the right place?
He's resisting, resisting, resisting...

Bring me up, don't make me cry
Where’s the love you’re proud of?
Bring me up, don't make me cry
don't detain me with fake dreams

Half of me is sane,
half of me insane, four parts are sane,
part of me is insane
everyone is sane, I'm alone insane,
only me insane,
only me insane

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"They won't speak with me!"

I have encountered several people suggesting different things and reasons for why foreign people won't talk their language with you, but insist on using English.

"However, some people (especially my close friends whom I normally speak English with) basically refused to speak to me in Hebrew. Even when I spoke it to them, they answered in English, as if they didn't even notice that I was trying to practice."
Amy (PinkPumpkin)

I'm trilingual. Our home language is Swedish, my internet language - obviously - is English, and my native language is Finnish. I find it extremely hard to remember that I can't just use any language as it pleases me, in Sweden with Swedish people I should use Swedish; with my parents and Finnish relatives I should use Finnish. I forget. I have been explaining things in Swedish to my Finnish SIL, who looks at me like "what the heck is she saying?" and I have been wondering why, until my sister pokes me to the side and says "Psst, Ket, you're talking Swedish..."
My husband tries to learn Finnish and having a Finnish wife would be an excellent opportunity - you'd think. It's not that I don't WANT to talk to him in Finnish, it's that I forget. In my head the language of communication with him is Swedish (sometimes English), not Finnish. Even when he tries saying something in Finnish, I respond in Swedish - and this is not because I don't understand he's trying to practice, it's because I'm used to understand what he says, AND used to using Swedish, so if he says anything I understand, he must be using Swedish. :-D

So, Amy, I believe this is what happened with you and your friends. They weren't trying to practice their English and they weren't trying to honor you by using your language, or make you feel at home, or anything like that. They just understood perfectly well what you said and just automatically understood you were speaking English... that's how good your Hebrew is :-D
When you happen in a situation like that, just keep using Hebrew - or what ever language it is you are trying to practice - and if you want to make it really funny, make a really stupid beginner mistake and see how their brains goes a couple of rounds without clicking... "hey... wait a minute... there's something weird about this situation... what's happening? OMG, SHE'S SPEAKING HEBREW!!!" :-D


I have a slight dyslexia, or something of the sort. I believe I read things that aren't there, and I often forget letters or switch places of letters... It's not that I have difficulties knowing exactly what letters we are talking about, or that I didn't know exactly how to write things or read, but - it happens.
My husband bought a loaf of bread yesterday, a white "fluff" toast. It's called "storform" in Swedish "big shape (bread tin)" and I kept reading it "stormfront" :-D
Yeah... "aryans" are like white fluff-toast; bland, white, fluffy, adopts the flavor of anything you spread on it and gives you indigestion :-D


5 Strategies for Visual-Spatial Learners
- illustrated flashcards, language memory games, draw pictures, use models... sure, nice, when it comes to nouns, but what about all the other parts of language? How do you illustrate "tel" or "sûr"?
Nah. Sounds like Ryan hasn't really understood how the visual-spatial mind works. Well... of course the ideas he gives work too, but need to be expanded and adjusted, some quite a lot, for adult language learners who have advanced past "beginner" stage could use them.

OK, so my suggestions for strategies for adult language learners with visual-spatial mind
(I decided to post them as their own post)

He doesn't seem to have much understanding of intrapersonal people either.
Intrapersonal people would probably NOT learn a language so that he/she was able to COMMUNICATE AND INTERACT WITH OTHER PEOPLE. So - discussing with people - traveling, finding the natives in your hometown, skyping or even chatting -  is totally uninteresting, doesn't lead to much anything worth knowing for the intrapersonal person.

Luckily for people their mind doesn't work in only one way. Most people are a mix of several different "minds", so even intrapersonally intelligent people can learn to discuss with people ;-)
(His other suggestions sound better to me, but what would I know; being intrapersonally, visual-spatially and musically intelligent and having a musical/mathemathical mind etc. ;-))

Friday, November 11, 2011


Is this day magical? Not more or less than any other. After all, those numbers are just... numbers.

I haven't been "studying" languages today. I have been translating some English (My NaNoWriMo project this year is to translate a kids' book to Finnish, and I am translating a chapter every day.) But that doesn't count. It's work, not studying ;-)

I'm still horribly frustrated with the slow advancement in French. I've been putting some extra effort on it for the last 11 days, and... uh. Frankly, that's about 3-4 hours every day, and as there are two days with practically nothing done (don't know about you, but I don't study languages with migraine) so, it makes about 5 hours a day so far... I should be able to put in a couple of hours more, so I suppose I need to take myself on my neck (Swedish idiom?) and structure my work better and actually work.


Anyway, I've been reading the Polyglot Project, and I was thinking about fluency. No amount of studying and passive usage of language (reading/listening) has made me fluent. It has given me a strong base, but the only way to get fluent is by actively using the language. (writing/speaking).
Now, I can understand why people don't go out and speak with people, even though that would be the best way of building a functional language, because I suffer from bad agoraphobia, and I won't go out. I won't even chat with people, even though that might be the answer to some people, for example those who are bedbound. I have Asperger's as well, and I never know what to say.

Of course it would be better to argue using the language, because then your motivation to speak is the highest, and you'd be surprised to find out how much you actually know, when you MUST find the words... we have a huge passive vocabulary, which is just waiting, like Sleeping Beauty, to be kissed (or kicked) awake and taken into use.


I found the book, "Languages of Asia and the Pacific - A Travellers' Phrasebook" by Charles Hamblin. He mentions Archibald Lyall's "Languages of Europe" as one of the predecessors and "role models" of his 25 languages quick overlook...

I wanted to write a book like this about the European languages (all 200-300 of them) and then I thought that I might separate them into four groups:
Northern Europe and British Isles
Central and Eastern Europe
South-Western Europe
and Southern Europe and Mediterranea

I wonder if I can find 25 languages for the first book, or limit the languages in South-Western Europe part. :-D

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Christer Björkman - Demain il y a un autre jour

Demain il y a un autre jour
Il y a un amour qui me prend par moments
Avec une femme que je vois de temps en temps
Dans son silence il y a des choses que j'aimerais connaître
Et pour ça je reste la nuit, avant que le rêve s'enfuie

(Viens,) donne-moi une nuit d'amour
(Viens,) donne-moi une nuit qui ne finisse plus
Demain il y a un autre jour
(Viens,) donne-moi des souvenirs
(Viens,) donne-moi l'envie de ne pas partir
Nous garderons le rêve
Demain il y a un autre jour

Elle peint des images qu'elle ne montre jamais
Elle chante des chansons sans personne à côté
Et dans ses yeux il y a un manque de confiance
Et pour ça je reste la nuit, avant que le rêve s'enfuie


La vie glisse comme du sable entre tes doigts
Et tu sens le temps qui te dépasse doucement
Tu veux tout et moi encore

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Almost the whole Wednesday gone...

and I've done nothing... :-(

Oh, or I have done plenty. I've been working. But not with languages. And that p's me off.
("druckfehler" has passed me by 3 1/2 hours in the 6WC and I doubt I'll catch him today. I'm really tired.)

I tried to read Steve's "learning words, word frequency, graded teachers etc."
Oui, je vais. Words, words, words... I can't work with anything until I get more words.

Lexical approach to language learning
"Lexis is misunderstood in language teaching because of the assumption that grammar is the basis of language and that mastery of the grammatical system is a prerequisite for effective communication."

 Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling - hmm... doesn't sound interesting/useful to me.

Well, I studied two hours French, but now I'm fini.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tarkan - Şımarık

Takmış koluna elin adamını beni orta yerimden çatlatıyor
Ağzında sakızı şişirip şişirip arsız arsız patlatıyor

Biz böyle mi gördük babamızdan ele güne rezil olduk
Yeni adet gelmiş eski köye vah dostlar mahvolduk

Seni gidi fındıkkıran
Yılanı deliğinden çıkaran
Kaderim püsküllü belam

Ocağına düştüm yavru
Kucağına düştüm yavru
Sıcağına düştüm yavru
El aman

Taking some other man by the arm
She's tearing me in two
Blowing bubbles with her gum
She bursts them impudently

We weren't raised that way
She's making us look like a fool
New customs have come to town
Boys, we're lost

You vamp you
You lure the snake from its place
My fate's crazy adventure
If I get a hold of you (kiss kiss)

I've fallen in your furnace, baby
I've fallen in your lap, baby
I've fallen for your warmth, baby
Oh my!

Week 5: Turkish

I don't want to give up the 52/52 challenge... I want to have "a pie of all colors" at 6WC :-D

The thing is that I managed to study three foreign languages at the same time when I was 14. Why not now? Considering that I don't need to study other things, just do my work, and I don't have homework from my job :-D

So - I could assign 15 minutes to German, 15 minutes to the 52/52 a day, 15 minutes to other things and then some 4-5 hours to French. That should be enough.

So Turkish.

Turkish is spoken by over 83 million people worldwide.
As Turkish was the language of the Ottoman empire, there's quite a lot of Turkish influences in all the culture that were part of the Ottoman empire or in close contact with it, like Hungarian.

The Ottoman script was replaced with a phonetic variant of the Latin alphabet 1928 as one of Atatürk's reforms. There's undergoing work done to reform and standardize the language.
As far as I can see, there's 24 consonant phonemes and 8 vowel phonemes in Turkish. There's 29 letters in the alphabet.

 Here's a video on how to pronounce them, and when you can repeat it fluently after her, try this song :-D

The distinctive characteristics of Turkish are vowel harmony and extensive agglutination.
The basic word order is SOV.
There are no noun classes or grammatical gender.
The "politeness" rules are very strong and important.

Useful phrases in Turkish.
Numbers in Turkish
(I suppose, depending on accent, they sound slightly different, but when I heard them the first time, it was like "beer, icky, ew-sh, dirt, besh, alter, jed-y, secky's doc-ooze on" - so if thinking about jedis drinking icky beer, that's close enough :-D)

I found this fun "learn Turkish with Tarkan" playlist :-D Someone really likes Tarkan :-D

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hungarian? Not much...

I fell for the 6 weeks' challenge... I have always been easily excited about things like that. I want to end up among the 10 first, and right now I'm well up there. 

So what's happening with my 52 in 52 languages? Not much... because I got excited about the 6 weeks challenge. So I have been studying French instead of Hungarian. Now, Hungarian doesn't deserve to be treated that way, so I suppose I'll push a 6 weeks' opening in my 52/52 plan. I don't want to do that, because... well... I had a plan. But if I am ever going to manage a good week in 52/52 I need to give it at least 50%, and I can't if I give French 90%.

So - no more 52/52 before December. We'll get back on track on December 13th, the Lucia day here in Sweden.

So - 6 weeks' challenge and French.

I am listening to France Bleu. There was this song I liked a lot. I tried to find it, because I wasn't sure I would be able to catch the name when the commentator says it. I catch words, type them in computer, search - nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing... but then, I get something that sounds like it might be it. I go and check the lyrics, rush to the end of the lyrics, and, sure, that's it! And at that moment the song ends and the commnetator says "c'était Christophe Maé et Un Peu De Blues..."

YAY! I managed to hear enough words to be able to find the song and verify it!

Anyway, back to studying. I found "What makes reading fun" by Judith.

I took myself by the ear and started studying French verbs for real this time. *sigh*
I suppose I have no other choice but learn "the lists" and then learn phrases with the verbs in them. *sigh**sigh*
I really don't want to... you see I had this dream where I was studying all these word lists, and the word for hunter was among the words, and I also knew the verb for 'hunt' and how it was conjugated, had this table with all the forms in front of me... so somewhere in me I KNOW...
(It's chasseur, and I know it because it's the "official" fashion name of the Robin Hood hat, and to hunt is chasser and it conjugates like any -er verb, so that's easy. But I couldn't remember it when I woke up. I remember just wondering about how the heck do I know what the hunter is in French, and that I must have some sort of photographic memory, and I wish I could develop it so that I could actually use it...)

P.S. Funny thing, they were playing "My heart will go on" at France Bleu, and the commentator said "my 'ert will go ong".
Here in Sweden they cannot say 'air' but in the French way, you know with ä like a in cat - con äär, fäär play...
In Finland we say everything as it's written, as if it was Finnish. :-D My aunt corrected me when I said "maisons et jardins" [my-so-ns et yard-eens] :-D Well, that's how it is pronounced in Finnish. I KNOW how it's pronounced in French, but we were speaking Finnish. Besides I like the sound of words as they are written, especially when they are not Finnish.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I started to transcribe the Comte... and gave up. I got the first line right. I heard things in the second line that weren't there, and missed part of the third line... I took a word as several, and even though the sentence made sense, it was not what was said. Then I took several words as one, and the sentence didn't make any sense.
Anyway, I now know what my biggest problems with transcribing French is :-D

I can see the benefits of this method, and won't throw the idea into garbage, because there's nothing wrong with it. I just don't know enough French to do that.

I have lazily studied Hungarian, but considering that I had already "met" the language, I count this week as a failure in the 52 in 52 challenge. I really should know more Hungarian by now.

BTW, Hungarian food is amazing too. Here's a couple of food blogs in Hungarian.
- nemisbéka
- lila füge
- chili es vanilia
and here a recipe site

I wish people stopped saying "I was in this and this country, and they thought I was native speaker of the language!"
No-one has ever told me I sound like a native Finnish speaker, and I bet no native speaker of ANY language has heard anyone ever told them that. If they have, it's not many, and it's not a compliment... especially if South Americans say you sound like Spanish... I might be wrong about this, but I have got the impression that South Americans think Spanish Spanish sounds awful.
Nevertheless, the goal with studying languages should be understanding, not perfecting your accent.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

6 weeks challenge

It's day 3 and I'm already frustrated because I don't learn French quickly enough. :-D

No I shouldn't. Really.

This is the truth about my French:

I have studied French off and on for 25 years. I have studied French "seriously" for one semester. With "serious" I mean I stuck to it for longer period than a week, and actually worked with it. I did that in School - for three months.

So, if you count everything together, I might have... 100 hours of French under my belt. My pronunciation is okay, I have a couple of thousand words' vocabulary and I understand perhaps 30% of written French (and 5% of spoken :-D).

And it's not even close "enough". I try to have discussions in my head in French, I try to think in French, and there just isn't enough concepts, words, knowledge of the language for me to be able to do that, and IT'S DAMN FRUSTRATING!!!

Anyway, I'm trying to learn by watching French movies.
I love Gerard Depardieu and French Baroque, Alexandre Dumas etc, so so far I've seen Le Roi Danse and I'm watching Le Comte de Monte Cristo. Both had English subtitles, and now I'm wondering if that is a good idea... "because I'm not learning anything!!!"

I try to tell myself that I would learn even less if I tried to understand what happens based on understanding every 20th word, a couple of phrases here and there, and having a basic understanding of what the story is all about... I'm trying to tell myself to be patient, let it have its time, take it easy...

BTW, I had fun yesterday with parsing Celine Dion's "pour que tu m'aime encore", and I did learn something... There's a word étincelle in the song, and yesterday le comte used the same word - he was talking about making the étincelle into all-burning fire or something to that sense. I caught it :-D

Now, just watching the movie would probably work, but here's what Thomas says about learning language with the help of movies: Project Mayhem – Learning a Foreign Language Through Movies

Now, I'm not doing THAT.

I wonder if I should find the Count of Monte Cristo in Librivox in French, and read that alongside with watching the movie (or tv mini series, that is. It's done in four parts.)

Le Comte de Monté-Cristo - French book
Le Comte de Monté-Cristo - French audiobook 
The Count of Monte-Cristo - English book 

Back to the movie.

Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite stories and the French version with Gerard Depardieu is one of my favorite versions of it. It has been uploaded on YouTube in several bits, about 5-10 minutes each, so I suppose I could do it the Thomas way...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hungarian cases

Ok, Hungarian cases

Here's a video about remembering the Czech case endings

Here's what Benny has to say about Czech cases:

"When I was told that there were 7 cases for each word with a different option for singular and plural, I was worried that I would have to learn 14 “words” for each individual word. This is not the case. All we need to do is change the end of the word. It does take a bit of getting used to that you have to remember if you are changing that last o to an a and which case to use etc. but if you do enough exercises... This is something that you can get used to! In fact, it soon becomes quite natural!"

and this is what he has to say about Hungarian cases:

"One of the first things you will hear when someone is describing Hungarian to you is that it has “over twenty cases” (exact number depends on the source). This is pure hogwash. [Noun case] is just a fancy name for “the preposition gets attached to the end of the word”. So while in Czech, any case requires you to know (or at least extrapolate) up to fourteen possible combinations per word (which luckily follow patterns) for each case, Hungarian just has two or three, which are almost always totally obvious.

You could call it the “dative”, but it’s actually the “to/for”... Hungarian you just add “-nek” or “-nak” to the end. Which one you use only depends on the vowels in the word.

So Csillának adtam egy könyvet is I gave a book to Csilla. “In” Budapest is written as Budapesten. These “cases” don’t influence articles or adjectives and are a short list to learn, which you’d have to learn anyway in other languages as prepositions.

It takes some getting used to when you attach them to the end of the word rather than the beginning, and the only other trick is that if you use a demonstrative (“this” or “that”) it also gets attached to the word this/that. But that’s about it!"

"There is a terminology problem with Western approaches to Hungarian grammar. There are actually only three cases in Hungarian--nominative, accusative, and possessive. All the other things which some old-fashioned grammarians call "cases" are not cases at all but suffixed postpositions. For example, let's look at the noun kutya 'dog'. The nominative is kutya, the accusative is kutyát, and the first person singular possessive is kutyám. These are the three cases.

There are quite a few suffixed postpositions. For example, kutyában 'in the dog', kutyából 'out of the dog', kutyába 'into the dog', kutyán 'on the dog', kutyára 'onto the dog', kutyáról 'off of the dog', kutyának 'to the dog', kutyánál 'at the dog', kutyához 'toward the dog', kutyától 'away from the dog', etc. These are the things that old-fashioned grammars called "cases"."


Hungarian reference gives this list of cases/postpositions
-t - accusative - direct object of verbs
-nak/nek- dative - indirect object of verbs (for, to)
-ba/be- illative - into, to
-ban/ben - inessive - in, inside
-ból/ből - elative - out of, from
-hoz/hez/höz - allative - towards, to
-nál/nél - adessive - at, by
-tól/től - ablative - away from
-ra/re- sublative - onto, to
-n- superessive - on, in
-ról/ről - delative - from, from off; about
-val/vel - instrumental - with
-ért - causal-final - for, because of
-ig - terminative - until
-kor - temporal - age, -time, -hood, era
-vá/vé - translative - turning into
-féle - kinds of

I find it easier to understand the meaning of prepositions and cases when I go through another language I know, like Finnish, my mother tongue, or English.

I have also noticed that my husband finds it easier to learn the cases if he understand the Latin grammar names, because that explains when the case is being used, and gives him some help in translating the case to concepts he understands.
So -

* Nominative is "nominating" - naming. It's the "name" of the word, the basic form, the one mentioned in every dictionary.

* Accusative
is "accusing" - pointing to the origin or cause.
Accusative is the case of object.

"I pick an apple"

The apple is the object and would therefore be in accusative case in languages that has accusative case.

* Dative is "dating" - a little like accusative, as it indicates the indirect object of a verb.
I think it's easy to remember from German "für mich" - or in English "to me". When ever you would use "me" if I was the person, "indirect object" of the action - "He gave the apple to me" - you use dative.

* Genitive comes from the Latin word for "to beget" - like genes, genetic and gender. It "marks a noun as modifying another noun". Usually it is used to mark possession, but there are other uses for it too, expressed with the preposition "of" in English.
(doomsday (doom's day) - day of doom)

* Possessive is not really a noun case, but as English doesn't use genitive in any other way than to express possession, it is named possessive when speaking of English.  It's one of the few postpositions in English that are written together with the word. The ' here is not replacing part of another word like in it is -> it's but it's a case ending that has morphed. It used to be -es. , but a possessive suffix: apple's - John's

but again it shows very clearly in personal pronouns:
adjective possessive - noun possessive
my - mine
thy - thine
his/her - his/hers
our - ours
your - yours
their - theirs
this remains in words like it -> its and who/whom, which -> whose

* Vocative is a funny case. It expresses that you are talking to someone :-D
Compare "I don't know, John" and "I don't know John".
In first sentence, John would be in vocative in languages that uses vocative, in the second sentence it would be in Accusative.

* Locative

- Lative is a case which indicated motion to a location. It doesn't have anything to do with latent, but with la, which in Latin is to carry, to lift, to bring.
- Separative is a case which indicates motion from a location. In most languages the name ablative is used.

- Ablative - out of, from (ab-lative)
- Allative is the generally used term for lative case. - onto (ad-lative) indicating the target place of movement onto something
- Illative - into (in-lative) indicating the target place of movement into something
- Elative - out of (ex-lative, indicated the origin place of being carried or brought out of something)
- Sublative - under, below, onto, to (sub-lative) indicating the target place under surface, in Hungarian "under surface" is more freely interpreted
- Delative - from, from off; about (de-lative, indicating the origin place of something being removed

- Adessive - on (ad-essive, indicates the state of being on or at something or someone.)
- Inessive - in (in-essive, indicates the state of existing, being inside something)
- Superessive (super-essive) indicates location on top of, or on the surface of something (super - over, above, on top)

* Essive indicates the state of being, existing - "when being an X", "as an X". In Finnish you can use this as locative as well, for example 'kotona' is the essive of koti, home, and when I say "minä olen kotona" I don't mean I am being a home, but that I am at home.

* Translative (trans-lative) indicates a change in state of a noun (becoming X, changing to X, turning into X)

The ending is -vá / -vé after a vowel; assimilating to the final consonsant otherwise:
Lót felesége sóvá változott - "Lot's wife turned into salt"
fiává fogad "adopt to be one's son"
bolonddá tett engem "He made a fool out of me."

* Instrumental or instructive
indicates the noun being the instrument of doing, by which means, with what

* Commitative - comes from the Latin word comitātus "to escort, to accompany" (com-), but I have always thought of German "komm mitt" come with :-D
- when someone does something with someone - with his wife, with a hammer

* causal-final case expresses the meaning "for the purpose of, for the reason that"
It is formed by adding the ending suffix -ért to the end of the noun:
kenyér "bread" >kenyérért
elküldtem a boltba kenyérért - "I sent him to the store for bread"

* Terminative case is a case specifying limits of time and space - until, for, as long as, within...

The Hungarian language uses the '-ig' suffix.

a házig: "as far as the house"
hat óráig / hatig: "until six o'clock" or "for six hours" / "six hours long"
száz évig: "for a hundred years"

It is not always clear whether the thing in terminative case belongs to the interval in question or not.

A koncertig maradtam.: "I stayed until the concert (ended or started?)"
Mondj egy számot 1-től 10-ig!: "Say a number from 1 to 10."

* temporal case expresses time, age, era

In Hungarian language its suffix is -kor.

hétkor "at seven"
hét órakor "at seven o'clock"
éjfélkor "at midnight"
karácsonykor "at Christmas"

This is one of the few suffixes in Hungarian to which rules of vowel harmony do not apply - it's always -kor.

* Partitive case (from partitivus, the same root as party, part,
denotes "partialness", "without result", or "without specific identity". It is also used in contexts where a subgroup is selected from a larger group, or with numbers.

More about Hungarian noun cases and postpositions

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I think I have taken too much on me again...

It's November. November is the NaNo month. I can do my 750 words with NaNo, no problems.

It's the 6 week challenge, that also began today. I have whole 10 minutes of studying language behind me today. Language: Hungarian. I am supposed to improve my French.

Je pense que j'ai besoin de regarder Le Roi Dance.


p - like p in English word pack [pʰæk]
p̪ - like π in Greek word σάπφειρος [ˈsap̪firo̞s̠] (saphiros - sapphire)
p is good enough.
b - like b in English word aback [əˈbæk]
ɓ - like b in Jamaican word beat [ɓiːt]

β - doesn't exist in English... it's sort of very weak b/v sound
ʙ - like br in bring, 
when you try to make it sound French or Scottish and roll the r :-D     
ɸ - doesn't exist in English... 
I was wondering if you could say "like pf in upfront", but that has too much p and f in it :-D 
ɸ is very weak f-ish sound with a hint of p...
f - like f in English word fill [fɪl]
v - like v in English word valve [væɫv]
ʋ - like v in Finnish word vauva [ˈʋɑuʋːɑ]    
(it's slightly w-ish, but ordinary v is good enough.)   

VASTAG CSABA - Visz az út

Volt néhány hosszú tél, de talán túl vagyunk a nehezén
Vágatlan furcsa film, tele harccal a szerepekért
Ma már tudom, van úgy, hogy folyton zuhog, csak dörög az ég
De jól tudom, minden percben ott a remény
Az életünk egy nagy utazás, van, hogy tévedünk, ha éget a láz
De ha ébredünk, ugyanúgy fáj a magány

Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond ki az, aki vár, ha a csónak partot ér
Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond, vársz e rám, a szívem hazatér

Bolyongtam céltalan, tudom volt pár keserű éj
De a hűvös pirkadat hozzád mindig hazakísért
Ma már tudom, van úgy, hogy folyton zuhog, csak dörög az ég
De jól tudom, minden percben ott a remény
Az életünk egy nagy utazás, van, hogy tévedünk, ha éget a láz
De ha ébredünk, ugyanúgy fáj a magány

Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond ki az, aki vár, ha a csónak partot ér
Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond, vársz e rám, a szívem hazatér

Mindenem csak a szenvedély
Gyere, nyújtsd kezed, ne menj, ne még
Veled százszor újra kezdeném
Jöjj már
Tudom nem csak emlék mi benned él
Én is küzdök, én meg a messzeség
Tudom szebb holnap vár ránk

x2: Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond ki az, aki vár, ha a csónak partot ér
Mond hova visz az út, hova sodor el a szél vágyaim tengerén
Mond, vársz e rám, a szívem hazatér

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wolf Kati – Szerelem, Miért Múlsz

This should have won the Eurovision song contest 2011.

Én nem tudtam, hogy az ember mindent túl él.
Én nem sírtam pedig engem eltörtél.
Vártam, hogy a nap többé nem kel majd fel.
De hajnal lett újra és indulnom kell.

Szerelem miért múlsz, szerelem miért fájsz?
Szerelem hol gyúlsz, szerelem hol jársz?
Hol vagy, hol nem, a szívemben miért nincsen csend?
Szerelem miért múlsz, szerelem miért vársz?

Most bánat ráz, átjár egy régvolt láz.
Hát lépnem kell, itt rám dől minden ház.
Az érintés emlékét így tépem szét.
Társam már nincs más csak a száguldó szél.

Szerelem miért múlsz, szerelem miért fájsz?
Szerelem hol gyúlsz, szerelem hol jársz?
Hol vagy, hol nem, a szívemben miért nincsen csend?
Szerelem miért múlsz? Szerelem miért vársz?

(Még húz) Húz
(Még vonz) Vonz
(Még fáj)
(Még húz) Még húz
(Még vonz) Még vonz
(Még fáj)

10 lépés, 100 lépés távolság kell.
Nem számít merre csak el, tőled el.
Mit mondhatnál, mit mondhatnék?
Elkoptunk rég, szemeinkből nézd, hova tűnt a fény?

Szerelem miért múlsz, szerelem miért fájsz?
Szerelem hol gyúlsz, szerelem hol jársz?
Hol vagy, hol nem, a szívemben miért nincsen csend?
Szerelem miért múlsz, szerelem miért vársz?

(Válj szabaddá! Szállj világgá!) Szerelem hol jársz?
(Válj szabaddá! Szállj világgá!) Szerelem hol vársz?
(Válj szabaddá! Szállj világgá!) Élnem kell! Kell egy új remény!
(Vágy repíts fel! Új remény kell!)
Szerelem miért múlsz?


didn’t know man can survive anything
I didn’t even cry though you shattered me
I was waiting for the sun never to rise again
But the dawn came anew and I must go on

Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you hurt?
Love, where do you collect? Love, where do you go?
Where are you, where not, in my heart why there’s no clam?
Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you wait?

I’m torn by grief now, a past fever is haunting me
I must take a step, here every house on me falls
This is how I rip apart the memory of your touch
I no longer have a companion other than the blowing wind

Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you hurt?
Love, where do you collect? Love, where do you go?
Where are you, where not, in my heart why there’s no clam?
Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you wait?

(Still pulls) Pulls
(Still draws) Draws
(Still hurts)
(Still pulls) Still pulls
(Still draws) Still draws
(Still hurts)

Ten steps, a hundred steps, a distance needed
No matter where, just away, away from you
What could you say, what could I say?
We wore out a long time ago, see in our eyes, where did the light go?

Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you hurt?
Love, where do you collect? Love, where do you walk?
Where are you, where not, in my heart why there’s no calm?
Love, why do you pass? Love, why do you wait?

(Break free, fly into the world) Love, where do you go?
(Break free, fly into the world) Love, where do you wait?
(Break free, fly into the world) I must live, I need a new hope
(Longing, give me wings, I need a new hope)
Love, why do you pass?

Week 4: Hungarian

Hungarian is one of the languages I have studied earlier, and it's related to Finnish, so with it I plan on getting better.

There are some 14 million Hungarian speakers in the world, of whom about 10 million live in Hungary.

The Hungarian name for Hungarian is magyar (said about the same as mud-yar or [ˈmɒɟɒr] phonetically.

Hungarian is an Uralic or Finno-Ugric language, related to Finnish, as mentioned, but not as close as Estonian and Sámi. More like a distant cousin. There are similarities, but a Finnish speaker doesn't understand much if any Finnish. I have a feeling Finnish is easier for Hungarians to understand.

There is a Hungarian script or runes called Rovás Script

Now-a-days Hungarian uses Latin aphabets with some additions... so they have 44 letters in their alphabet.

The "missing" letters are what is called "foreign", that is, only used in borrowed words.

Here's a video on how to pronounce them, and here's another that gives examples of items beginning with the letter, and how they are read.

It looks much more complicated than it really is. But - just as comparison, Finnish has 27 letters, of which 8 are foreign (B,C,F,Q,W,X, Z and Å) - so in practice, we have 19 letters, Hungarian 40. :-D

About the six golden sentences... Apple is alma, to give is ad, John in Janos and it is a/az or e/ez... the rest...


The apple is red.    Az alma piros
I'm about 90% certain of that.

It is John’s apple.  Az a alma Jánosé?
The confidence dropped immediately. Hungarian doesn't have genetiv case. It has 18 cases, but not one of the most usual ones :-D

I give John the apple.
én adok... adom... János... nak... er... alma... almat? Én adom az almat Jánosnak? It should be dative... but Jánosnak doesn't sound right. It's probably because Jánosek is a last name. But is any part of the sentence correct to begin with? Except that alma is an apple and János John.

We give him the apple. - Mi adjuk neki azt ???
he/she gives it to him - ő adja neki azt... azt neki ??? Oh, why is Lang8 down?

I don't give John the apple. - Nem adom azt Jánosnak - or?

I must give it to him.   én kellem adni azt neki?
I want to give it to her. én akarom adni azt neki?

Let's see if I do any better in the end of this week :-D

Anyway, Hungarian is an agglutinative language, it uses postpositions, it has 18 cases, give and take, two types of articles (definite and indefinite), adjectives has three cases and do NOT agree with the noun, the verbs too have two conjugations (definite and indefinite), two tenses (only, thankfully) and three moods, two numbers and three persons. The biggest problem is the conjugations... there appears to be a lot of rules and exceptions on when and how to use them, so - just to learn by heart.

Hungarian word order is free, as the cases indicate what is being talked about. (John has an apple and an apple has John are two different sentences, but when you say Jánosnak az alma van or az alma van Jánosnak - because the word without ending is the one doing things. (Naturally depending if I guessed it right.) And in Hungarian you say "an apple is with/by/at John", like in Finnish and Russian etc.
The most used is SVO.

Hungarian has a "a four-tiered system for expressing levels of politeness"
I don't know what it means, yet, because that's not something most people learn as the first thing about a foreign language. Well... we did it in German, but there it's really easy. The Hungarian system is difficult even for Hungarians. I suppose a foreigner can use the "non-native" card aka "idiot" card. ;-)

Now, Hungarian is a bit different as Ugric language, and that's why there are a lot of different theories of the Hungarian origins. Some say it's not Ugric/Uralic language at all, but Turkic/Altaic.
There is the legend of the stag that supports the Sumerian Origin theory, and also the Hunn - Hungarian connection (In the legend, there were two brothers; Hunor (forefather of Hunns) and Magor (forefather of all Magyars). But - the origins of Hungarians is so far back in the history it's hard to say anything definite.

Here's Wikitravel's Hungarian phrasebook with a lot of good and useful phrases.


- Formal, when addressing a stranger: "Good day!": Jó napot (kívánok)! [joːnɒpot kivaːnok].
- Informal, when addressing someone you know very well: Szia! [siɒ] (it sounds almost exactly like American colloquialism "See ya!" with a shorter "ee".)

- Viszontlátásra! (formal) 
- Viszlát! [vislaːt] (semi-informal),
- Szia! (informal: same stylistic remark as for "Hello!" )

Excuse me: Elnézést! [ɛlneːzeːʃt]

- Kérem (szépen) [keːrɛm seːpɛn] (This literally means "I'm asking (it/you) nicely", as in German Danke schön, "I thank (you) nicely")
- Legyen szíves! [lɛɟɛn sivɛʃ] (literally: "Be (so) kind!" - This is the more common form)

Sorry!: Bocsánat! [botʃaːnɒt]

Thank you: Köszönöm [køsønøm]

Yes: Igen [iɡɛn]
No: Nem [nɛm]

I do not understand: Nem értem [nɛm eːrtɛm]

I do not know: Nem tudom [nɛm tudom]

generic toast: Egészségünkre! [ɛɡeːʃːeːɡynkrɛ] (literally: "To our health!")

I love you: Szeretlek [sɛrɛtlɛk]

Help!: Segítség! [ʃɛɡiːtʃeːɡ]

1 - egy
2 - kettő
3 - három
4 - négy
5 - öt
6 - hat 
7 - hét
8 - nyolc
9 - kilenc
10 - tíz
11 - tizenegy
12 - tizenkettő
13 - tizenhárom
14 - tizennégy 
15 - tizenöt
16 - tizenhat
17 - tizenhét
18 - tizennyolc 
19 - tizenkilenc
20 - húsz
21 - huszonegy
22 - huszonkettő 
23 - huszonhárom
30 - harminc
40 - negyven
50 - ötven
60 - hatvan
70 - hetven 
80 - nyolcvan
90 - kilencven
100 - száz 
200 - kétszáz
300 - háromszáz 
1000 - ezer
1,000,000 - millió

very straightforward here too. I would say "tizen" is the same root as "toisen" and "toista"

Here's Verbix, the verb conjugator, for Hungarian verbs


black - fekete
white - fehér
gray - szürke
red - piros , vörös  (piros is more orange red, the one learned first, vörös means "blood red", scarlet. They are considered in Hungarian to be two different colors.)
blue - kék
yellow - sárga
green - zöld 
orange - narancssárga
purple - lila 
brown - barna

Here's a good guide to Hungarian and grammar, written by an Englishman for English speaking audience.