Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages


Animadversions

Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages

(Work In Progress: output at 29/11/2022 08:59:29)

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Introduction


Priority 1

Language →Total LanguagesTotal AnimadversionsFrench1German2Greek3Italian4Portuguese5Spanish6Thai7Ukrainian8
Counts →81011111131

Priority 2

Language →Total LanguagesTotal AnimadversionsArabic9Chinese10Hebrew11Hindi12Japanese13Turkish14Urdu15
Counts →7201212716

Priority 3

Language →Total LanguagesTotal AnimadversionsAmharic16Armenian17Danish18Dutch19Korean20Persian21Russian22Swahili23Swedish24
Counts →917141132131

Others

Language →Total LanguagesTotal AnimadversionsAnglo-Saxon25Aramaic26Coptic27Egyptian28Greek (Classical)29Hebrew (Classical)30Latin31Maltese32Sanskrit33Syriac34Yiddish35
Counts →111111111111111

LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
General1527/10/2020For ease of reference, I note the following pages giving a fuller view of my linguistic activities:- Note: While the “Date Raised” for this Animadversion remains as 27th October 2020, I update the text occasionally to reflect current strategy and the priority-lists get updated automatically on a daily basis.


The next languages in the queue are:-
  • Ling: Priority 1:
    1. Ukrainian. Last studied on 22 July 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 20.5; Last Ling Revision = 4.5
    2. Thai. Last studied on 19 August 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 24.1; Last Ling Revision = 11.2
    3. Spanish. Last studied on 22 September 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 27.5
    4. Portuguese. Last studied on 23 September 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 27.5
    5. Greek. Last studied on 24 September 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 27.5
    6. French. Last studied on 25 September 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 27.5
    7. German. Last studied on 26 September 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 27.5
    8. Italian. Last studied on 21 October 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 28.2
  • Ling: Priority 2:
    1. Arabic. Last studied on 25 September 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 1
    2. Turkish. Last studied on 22 October 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 6.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    3. Chinese. Last studied on 13 November 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    4. Japanese. Last studied on 18 November 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 6.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    5. Urdu. Last studied on 01 December 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    6. Hindi. Last studied on 10 December 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    7. Hebrew. Last studied on 18 February 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 10.5
  • Ling: Priority 3:
    1. Amharic (Ethiopic). Last studied on 20 April 2021
    2. Russian. Last studied on 23 October 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    3. Dutch. Last studied on 24 October 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 1
    4. Danish. Last studied on 28 October 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    5. Swedish. Last studied on 31 October 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    6. Persian. Last studied on 05 November 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 2
    7. Korean. Last studied on 09 November 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 1
    8. Armenian. Last studied on 22 December 2021; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 1
    9. Swahili. Last studied on 18 January 2022; Last Ling Lesson = 5.5; Last Ling Revision = 3
  • Ling: Priority 4:
    1. Anglo-Saxon. Not yet studied
    2. Aramaic. Not yet studied
    3. Coptic. Not yet studied
    4. Egyptian. Not yet studied
    5. Greek (Classical). Not yet studied
    6. Hebrew (Classical). Not yet studied
    7. Latin. Not yet studied
    8. Maltese. Not yet studied
    9. Sanskrit. Not yet studied
    10. Syriac. Not yet studied
    11. Yiddish. Not yet studied
  • Non-Ling: Priority 1:
    1. German. Last studied on 20 November 2020
    2. Italian. Last studied on 23 November 2020
    3. Spanish. Last studied on 27 November 2020
    4. Portuguese. Last studied on 06 January 2021
    5. French. Last studied on 16 April 2021
    6. Greek. Last studied on 05 May 2021
    7. Ukrainian. Last studied on 28 June 2022
    8. Thai. Last studied on 20 October 2022
  • Non-Ling: Priority 2:
    1. Chinese. Last studied on 26 January 2021
    2. Turkish. Last studied on 11 May 2021
    3. Hebrew. Last studied on 10 August 2021
    4. Hindi. Last studied on 15 October 2021
    5. Urdu. Last studied on 28 January 2022
    6. Japanese. Last studied on 09 September 2022
    7. Arabic. Last studied on 23 November 2022
  • Non-Ling: Priority 3:
    1. Dutch. Last studied on 24 November 2020
    2. Swedish. Last studied on 25 November 2020
    3. Russian. Last studied on 26 December 2020
    4. Amharic (Ethiopic). Last studied on 05 March 2021
    5. Danish. Last studied on 20 May 2021
    6. Korean. Last studied on 23 August 2021
    7. Persian. Last studied on 05 November 2021
    8. Armenian. Last studied on 24 December 2021
    9. Swahili. Last studied on 19 January 2022
  • Non-Ling: Priority 4:
    1. Aramaic. Not yet studied
    2. Maltese. Not yet studied
    3. Yiddish. Not yet studied
    4. Sanskrit. Last studied on 07 November 2020
    5. Latin. Last studied on 28 December 2020
    6. Coptic. Last studied on 03 August 2021
    7. Syriac. Last studied on 16 November 2021
    8. Egyptian. Last studied on 26 November 2021
    9. Hebrew (Classical). Last studied on 13 February 2022
    10. Anglo-Saxon. Last studied on 23 October 2022
    11. Greek (Classical). Last studied on 29 October 2022
Notes:-
  1. In the above list, "Ling" applies to study on Ling (or in one case - Amharic41, when it appears - on 50Languages).
  2. "Non-Ling" applies to other study for that Language.


Progress on Ling (in progress order):-
  • Priority 1:-
    1. Ukrainian: 20.5 (Revision: 4.5)
    2. Thai: 24.1 (Revision: 11.2)
    3. French: 27.5
    4. German: 27.5
    5. Greek: 27.5
    6. Portuguese: 27.5
    7. Spanish: 27.5
    8. Italian: 28.2
  • Priority 2:-
    1. Arabic: 5.5 (Revision: 1)
    2. Chinese: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    3. Hindi: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    4. Urdu: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    5. Japanese: 6.5 (Revision: 2)
    6. Turkish: 6.5 (Revision: 2)
    7. Hebrew: 10.5
  • Priority 3:-
    1. Armenian: 5.5 (Revision: 1)
    2. Dutch: 5.5 (Revision: 1)
    3. Korean: 5.5 (Revision: 1)
    4. Danish: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    5. Persian: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    6. Russian: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    7. Swedish: 5.5 (Revision: 2)
    8. Swahili: 5.5 (Revision: 3)
Notes:-
  1. The decimals above show the latest "Lesson.Unit" completed (of the 50 x 4 on Ling, per Language).
  2. Unit 5 is the end-of-Lesson Test.
  3. For Revision, a decimal indicates I'm repeating the lessons. If there's no decimal, I'm using the Review process.
  4. The purpose of the above is to try to keep the various languages in step, within the three priorities at least. So, the sequence is within increasing "Lesson.Unit".
  5. My initial aim was to complete the first 5 Lessons for each Language. As this is now complete, I need to do a lot of revision before advancing further. See later "General Animadversions"!
↑↑↑1228/10/2020Ling Language Learning
  • I decided to invest in a premium membership of Ling in order to study Armenian42. Subsequently, I decided to set up this Note so that any thoughts I have on the subject of language don't get lost (not that anyone other than myself would care).
  • Ling seems to have a standard format for each language. The speakers sound like natives, and not computer-generated, but I wonder whether some of the putting together of the lesson has been done by an AI.
  • For all languages I’ve looked at there are 50 Units in all, broken down into four sections of 10: Beginner, Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. Each Unit has 4 lessons and a set of tests to do at the end: Speaking, Writing and an Exam. In general, I’ve not bothered with the speaking or writing as they don’t fit well while walking the dog!
  • In principle there are three elements to a Unit – Vocabulary, dialogue and grammar; but, most languages I’ve seen don’t have a grammar section which is a shame – particularly for inflected languages (ie. most non-Oriental) which can seem mystifying without a general understanding of how such languages work.
  • Each lesson follows the same general path: Vocabulary is introduced using flash cards and sample sentences (which introduce all sorts of vocabulary and constructions not explained, so the learning is somewhat immersive), there are multiple-choice questions, and spelling tests using the – sometimes idiosyncratic – transliteration scheme. Each lesson ends with a dialogue and a test thereof in which you have to fill in the gaps from a jumble of words. Where the expression is a single word, it can be a bit awkward as you can’t replay the phrase as in other cases!
  • It is worth remarking that you can “game the system” in most test situations in that you can deduce the answer in most multiple-choice situations by ruling out the absurdities and other obviously incorrect alternatives. But continuing to do this leaves you in the end not really knowing what’s going on, so the temptation should be resisted.
  • The (English) vocabulary and narratives seem to be the same for each Language, as are the names of the participants in the dialogue – Mary and Tom. These are rather anomalous in some languages, but the participants are sometimes foreigners in the context of the dialogue. Sometimes – eg. in Chinese43 the sounds of these names don’t fit, so something appropriate is substituted.
  • The flash-cards for the vocabulary seem to be the same across languages, so that the images for people are always white and western, which is a bit odd for – say – Swahili44.
  • For most languages, translation and transliteration continue throughout the course. Though you can optionally suppress translation. For Thai45, the transliteration disappears after the first 10 units (and doesn’t re-appear when reviewing even these).
  • As just noted, you can review the Units, which allows you to remind yourself of the vocabulary and dialogues. You can also review your progress to date overall.
  • To get through a lesson, you need to answer the questions presented, and there’s no going back to look things up within a lesson. Sometimes words appear before you’ve been given them, so you have to guess. Hence, it’s usually best to do the Unit-level “Review” first, which introduces all you need to know without testing you and stopping you progressing.
↑↑↑3303/01/2021Sequence of Language-learning
  • I think it’s advisable not to cycle through the various languages in random order, but to study them in groups where the similarities and differences of related – or mutually influential – languages can be noted.
  • The first obvious grouping is the Germanic languages:-
    German46 versus Dutch47
    Swedish48 versus Danish49
  • Next,
    Hindi50 versus Urdu51
  • There are also the influences of Arabic52 on Swahili53, Turkish54 and Urdu55, sometimes mediated by Persian56 in the latter two cases even though there are four linguistic groups involved here.
  • Then,
    Hebrew57 versus Arabic58
    We could add Amharic59 to this group, but it doesn't seem very similar to either despite being a Semitic language
  • Russian60 and Ukrainian61 are similar, though not quite as similar as I'd hoped.
  • Otherwise,
    Spanish62 versus Portuguese63 versus Italian64
  • While the languages are very different, it might be useful to treat
    Chinese65 and Japanese66
    together so as to compare the Japanese67 Kanji with the Chinese68 pictograms for the same words.
  • That seems to leave Armenian69, Greek70, Korean71 and Thai72 as outliers.
↑↑↑3712/01/2021BBC: UK leading the way in use of language-learning apps
  • An interesting article, motivated by increased interest in on-line language-learning during the Covid-19 lock-downs. It doesn’t mention people using the apps while out walking the dog.
  • Ling isn’t mentioned. The Apps reviewed are Duolingo – which I know well – Busuu and Babbel.
  • Duolingo allegedly has 3M users in the UK. Presumably the definition of “user” is fairly lax.
  • Spanish73 is the most popular language for UK-based learners. Presumably because it’s the easiest, and Spain is the most popular holiday destination.
  • Duolingo and Basuu offer free Apps, but Babbel is only free for a week. I find the intervention of Ads and repeated requests to upgrade rather irritating. Ling is very cheap – half the Duolingo cut-price offer.
  • As to whether any of them are any good, there’s a scathing comment from “Renowned linguist Stephen Krashen, professor emeritus of the University of Southern California”: “My analyses of their results show that they achieve the same mediocre results as traditional methods do in regular classrooms, and produce the same lack of enthusiasm from students. We don't acquire language by speaking or writing, even when we get our errors corrected. Rather, the ability to speak and write fluently and accurately is the result of language acquisition via comprehensible input, such as good books, movies and interesting stories”.
  • I’m not sure I agree with the “improved method” suggested, but do agree that immersion in the language and culture is probably essential for fluency. That’s why I’m only aiming at “familiarisation”.
  • I googled a few comparison articles on the alternatives, but haven’t followed them up as I’m happy with Ling for my limited aims at the moment.
  • I noted another helpful BBC site along these lines in mid-February 2021, but haven't really followed it up yet: BBC: How to learn a language: tips from a polyglot. A further animadversion will hopefully follow in due course!
↑↑↑4124/01/202150languages.com
↑↑↑4625/02/2021Multi-Lingualism in Ling
  • Ling have now expanded their database so that - as with 50languages.com - it is possible the learn any supported language as a speaker of any other supported language.
  • So, I have tried learning Spanish108 as an Italian109 speaker. It is interesting (as noted above) to compare two similar languages, but even with two "easy" languages, it does make your head ache a bit as you have to remember which language you're supposed to be using, and you have to know your supposed "native" language sufficiently well to know what you're supposed to be translating. I did make one mistake in Italian110 word order when translating from Spanish111. I don't suppose Ling expects people not to have a command of their native language, but it marked it wrong anyway. You don't have an English guide to tell you what the sentences mean in English, which is the advantage of 50languages.com with a hard-copy book, though you do get used to the lessons on Ling as they are the same for each language, and you could write them out if you wanted to.
  • It might be best just to do the 'Review All' exercises in a non-native language, having done the Lessons in your native language.
  • I imagine this gets much more difficult where the scripts are other than Latin112. While the language you're supposed to be learning is transliterated into English, the translation is in your supposed native language. I tried this briefly pretending to learn Hindi113 as an Urdu114 speaker. I could get some questions right, but it was hard work, and easiest where the Hindi115 and Urdu116 were similar (in their respective scripts).
↑↑↑5021/03/2021Aeon: Gallagher - How to learn a language117 (and stick at it)
↑↑↑5113/04/2021Comparative Ling Database
  • Today I started to create the display pages for my comparative Ling database.
  • The purpose of this is both to help with my revision of individual languages, to sort out confusions in my mind and to see the connections between them. I've wanted to do this for decades, so it's quite a step forward for me.
  • I keep wanting to add more languages to the list, but need to keep things in check. So, I can't add Khmer or Lao for comparison with Thai118. But it would be churlish not to add French119, for comparison with other Romance languages, so I've remedied this deficiency.
  • To see more, Start Here120.
↑↑↑5327/06/2021Where to from here?
  • Having – around early June 2021 – completed the first 5 lessons for all 22 languages I’m studying on Ling, I’m in a quandary as to how to proceed from here. For some languages I could just plough on, but for most this wouldn’t make any sense, and would get increasingly difficult.
  • When I say “completed” above, I mean that I’ve taken all the units and passed the tests with the maximum 3 stars. But this doesn’t equate to knowing much, as the tests are multiple-choice so you can usually – with minimal knowledge – work out the correct answers.
  • You can do Review tests – or repeat the end-of-lesson Exams – but these are also fairly easy to “game” for the same reasons.
  • Rather than repeating everything, I think the best approach is to make use of my Comparative Ling Database121, and improve it as I proceed. It’ll also enable me to make comparisons between languages of the same family, and to spot influences across language groups.
  • I ought also to add footnotes to this Database as I note anything of interest, though this is time-consuming, and can’t be done while walking Henry the dog.
  • Update (07/07/2021): I've decided to plough on with the following languages, at least until the end of lesson 10, when I'll review progress. I may add others in due course:-
    French122
    Spanish123
    Portuguese124
    Italian125
    German126
  • Update (14/07/2021): I decided to add Japanese127 as a foil to what I'm doing on "WaniKani - Learn Japanese Kanji". But I need to revise the first 5 lessons first.
  • Update (02/08/2021): I've completed the first 10 lessons for the five 'easy' languages above, which means I've completed the 'Beginner' stage for these languages and can now move on to 'Intermediate' level. I see no reason not to plough on with them, though I now need to import lessons 6-10 for these languages into my Ling database. As for the other languages, I think it may be best to start them all again and repeat the first five lessons for each.
  • Update (14/08/2021): Of course, I should be continuing with Thai128. Effectively this means starting again and trying to get as far as I did last time, completing the first 23 lessons.
  • Update (02/03/2022): This update is a bit late! I've completed the first 20 lessons for the five 'easy' languages, and am proceeding on with the next 10. In addition, I’ve added modern Greek129 and Hebrew130 to the 'easy' category, have completed the first 10 lessons and am proceeding with the next 10.
  • Update (28/07/22): I've removed Hebrew131 from the 'easy list'. I got all 6 remaining 'easy' items up to Unit 27.2. Unfortunately, both Units 27.3 and 27.4 fail on the iPhone, so I can't make further progress at the moment, pending a fix from Ling (I've raised the problem with them). I've decided to focus on Thai132 for now, given that Fon is supposed to be coming over for Christmas.
  • Update (18/08/22): It's getting awkward on Ling - revision of Thai133 is going OK, but Ling has numerous problems. Some multiple-choice questions have no correct answers to select! The end-of-unit tests often either won't run or fail mid-way. Finally, Henry is very ill, and can't walk far. We'll have to decide what to do when he is no more.
↑↑↑5822/10/2022I've decided to add all the other languages that I've occasionally shown an interest in, but which I've not been able to pursue on Ling. These are:-
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Amharic00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 20-Apr-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 05-Mar-21
  • References (3): General145, (2146), (3147)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 10.25. 2020: 3. 2009: 7.25
↑↑↑4702/03/2021Started studying Amharic on 50Languages.
  • It's not yet available on Ling, but I'm treating 50Languages as though it were Ling for the purposes of this report.
  • I've not really got to grips with 50Languages yet, so am not yet fully conversant with what it can do.
  • As for Amharic, I'm interested to see how it compares with Hebrew148 and Arabic149. From what little I've seen so far, it doesn't seem in the least similar - at least as far as vocabulary is concerned.
  • 50Languages has a clear script, of which I've ignorant at the moment; I can't yet comment on the transliteration.
  • The script is rather impenetrable, in that it's a syllabary with 231 letters. Consequently, I’ve purchased "Halcomb (T. Michael W.) - Introducing Amharic: An Interactive Workbook" which – while somewhat plodding – has very large print!
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Anglo-Saxon00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 1
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 23-Oct-22
  • References (1): General150
↑↑↑5722/10/2022I can’t see myself spending much time on Anglo-Saxon.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Arabic00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 6
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 25-Sep-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 23-Nov-22
  • References (17): Amharic151, Armenian152, Chinese153, General154, (2155), Hebrew156, Hindi157, Korean158, Persian159, (2160), Swahili161, (2162), Urdu163, (2164), (3165), (4166), (5167)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 96.75. 2021: 5.75. 2020: 14.75. 2018: 2. 2012: 0.5. 2011: 2.75. 2010: 10.5. 2009: 5.5. 2008: 15.25. 2007: 39.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary168
    2. Dialogues169
↑↑↑809/10/2020Started studying Arabic on Ling: "Ling - Learn Arabic".
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Arabic script is used, but it is unpointed – that is, the short vowels aren’t indicated by the usual diacritical marks above or below the letters, though the other diacritics are used and are also legible. I presume this is standard practice in newspapers. Given that the words are spoken, this isn’t too much of a handicap. Having said that, occasionally a word or phrase will be pointed, for no obvious reason.
  • There’s no explanation of the script, or even of its direction, which must all be rather mysterious to those who can’t already read it.
  • The transliteration seems rather eccentric, which is awkward as the “spelling” questions are in this encoding. A particularly egregious example is that for the number 25, which is pronounced something like “hamza we eshroon” but is transliterated as “khmst w eshrwn”. The 'waw' is transliterated as 'w' thether it is to be pronounced 'w' or is the sign for the long 'u'.
  • There is no grammar given. I have a bunch of books on Arabic grammar, but will probably just use "Wightwick (Jane) & Gaafar (Mahmoud) - Mastering Arabic", though "Abdul-Rauf (Muhammad) - Arabic for English-Speaking Students" is more detailed.
  • Arabic has had an influence on Hindi170, Urdu171, Turkish172 & Persian173, amongst the languages I’m studying, so is worth learning as background as well as in its own right. The script is also used – in slightly expanded form – by Urdu174 and Persian175.
  • Of course, Hebrew176 is a related language, and it’s interesting to compare the two. The Ling “standard template” approach is useful in this regard.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Aramaic00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): None
  • References (1): General177
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 2.75. 2010: 1.5. 2009: 1.25
↑↑↑5922/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Armenian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 22-Dec-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 24-Dec-21
  • References (4): General178, (2179), Hindi180, Urdu181
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 54.25. 2021: 3.25. 2020: 20.25. 2019: 20.75. 2013: 2.25. 2010: 7.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary182
    2. Dialogues183
↑↑↑620/08/2020Started studying Armenian on Ling: "Ling - Learn Armenian".
  • The course seems to be of Eastern Armenian, as spoken in Armenia itself, rather than the dialect spoken in the diaspora.
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Armenian script is used. A minor irritation in this regard is that a large proportion of the letters look like Latin184 script, but with different sounds. But, you get used to it.
  • There’s no explanation of the script, so outside help is probably required, though the script is fairly straightforward and phonetic, so might be deduced. Transliteration is fine.
  • There is no grammar given, which is awkward as Armenian is highly inflected. I only have one book on Armenian - "Andonian (Hagop) - Beginner's Armenian" - which suffers from the huge drawback of insisting you use the script from day one. I agree with this approach, as it saves learning a transliteration schema. But, the traditional italicised Armenian font is horribly scratchy, and the print in the book is tiny and blobby, so that it’s almost impossible to read until you’re very familiar with the language and script so you can correct for the poor print.
  • But Ling is fine for providing some familiarisation.
↑↑↑1127/09/2020Jack pointed out that Armenian has sundry duplicate letters for the same sound, namely for ch, ts, k, p, r, t and v,
… as in the list below, showing Armenian Upper case → Lower case → Roman alphabet
Չ → չ → 'ch' as in 'ch'air
Ջ → ջ → 'ch' as in 'ch'air
Ձ → ձ → 'ts' as in boo'ts'
Ց → ց → 'ts' as in boo'ts'
Գ → գ → K
Ք → ք → K
Փ → փ → P
Բ → բ → P
Ռ → ռ → R
Ր → ր → R
Դ → դ → T
Թ → թ → T
Վ → վ → V
Ւ → ւ → V
There’s a movement in Armenia itself to tidy up the orthography, though not in the diaspora. This is all very well, but it cuts a culture off from its past, and the situation is either very much worse in other languages (including English) or there are unpleasant consequences of reform. For instance:-
  1. Turkish185: Ataturk reformed both the language (getting rid of Ottoman Turkish186) and the orthography (changing from Perso-Arabic script to slightly augmented Latin187). This means that anything written in Turkish188 before the 20th century is unintelligible to modern Turks, who may not even know what the old script was.
  2. Thai189: Thai190 is in a much worse state than Armenian. There are three sets of consonants with the same sounds and you need to know the consonant class of each consonant so you can work out the default tone rules.
  3. Portuguese191: Various attempts to make the language more phonetic – including the replacement of “ph” by “f”, as in “filosofia” for philosophy.
  4. Chinese192: Mao simplified the character set somewhat – basically making some pictograms less complicated, but the script is still prodigiously complicated and it’d open China up to the rest of the world if Pinyin were adopted by the Chinese193 media and the old script scrapped. But it’d be an act of barbarism.
  5. Japanese194: As for Chinese195 a reform would make the written language more open to the outside world by using the Kana if not Romaji. Japanese196 pictograms are the archaic Chinese197 ones.
↑↑↑3915/01/2021Jack on Armenian
  • Mesrop Mashtots: role – or alleged role – in the creation of the alphabets of Georgian and Caucasian Albanian scripts (as well as Armenian): See:-
    Wikipedia: Mesrop Mashtots,
    Wikipedia: Georgian Scripts, and
    Wikipedia: Caucasian Albanian Script.
  • Classical Armenian (Grabar): See Wikipedia: Classical Armenian. Also, from Wikipedia on Mesrop Mashtots:
      The first sentence in Armenian written down by St. Mesrop after he invented the letters is said to be the opening line of Solomon’s Book of Proverbs: Ճանաչել զիմաստութիւն եւ զխրատ, իմանալ զբանս հանճարոյ: (Čanačʿel zimastutʿiwn ew zxrat, imanal zbans hančaroy) “To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding.” — Book of Proverbs, 1:2.
    Jack notes the frequent presence of the initial զ (z).
  • Armenian has no grammatical gender.
  • To listen to Eastern Armenian, follow Radio Garden - Public radio of Armenia, news on the hour, else music!
↑↑↑4024/01/2021"Schumann (Johannes) - Armenian for beginners"
  • This is a very well printed book, but it is just the print-out from the on-line course (50languages: Armenian for English Speakers).
  • I bought the book because I wanted an Armenian Grammar which had the Armenian script printed clearly. Well, this is half-way there, in that the script is very clear. Unfortunately, as the website admits, this is just a phrase-book, and the grammar is left completely unexplained.
  • So, it hasn’t really fulfilled its purpose. And while the script is clear, it’s not much help in deciphering the tiny, italic, blotchy script full of serifs that seems to be the standard. Maybe once you’re thoroughly familiar with the tidy on-line script, which is what is reproduced in the book, the traditional fonts won’t be so forbidding.
  • There is no explanation of the script in the book, but it’s available on the 50Languages site at 50languages: Armenian Alphabet, on Wikipedia and on other Armenian teaching sites.
  • Finally, though it’s not explained, the text appears to be Eastern Armenian, as spoken in Yerevan, rather than Western Armenian, as spoken in the Armenian diaspora.
  • One thing that’s really useful is that the transliteration is preserved throughout, as well as the script of the language being learnt.
  • However, the book was useful to me, as I’d not heard of this site before. See 50languages.com.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Chinese00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 13-Nov-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 26-Jan-21
  • References (10): Armenian198, General199, (2200), (3201), Japanese202, (2203), Korean204, (2205), Thai206, (2207)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 187.75. 2021: 2.25. 2020: 16. 2019: 0.25. 2014: 2.25. 2011: 1.25. 2010: 5.25. 2009: 88.5. 2008: 67. 2007: 5
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary208
    2. Dialogues209
↑↑↑409/10/2020Started studying Mandarin Chinese on Ling: "Ling - Learn Chinese".
  • The Course is just advertised as “Chinese”, but it’s clearly Mandarin – if only because there’s a separate course on Cantonese.
  • The transliteration appears to be Pinyin, including the tone marks used therein, which is really helpful, though it is to be noted that Pinyin – despite using the Latin210 alphabet, has certain consonants (x, q, r) and certain vowels and vowel combinations that aren’t pronounced as one might expect. But you can work things out by listening to the pronunciation.
  • The Chinese pictographs are also given in a clear font, but the exercises are in Pinyin, so I doubt you need to learn them – nor is it likely to be easy. There are no “writing” tests.
  • Just checking out the Cantonese – the transliteration there looks really odd in that the tones are indicated by numbers in line, so it all reads pretty oddly. It’d be nice to compare Mandarin with Cantonese, but they don’t look mutually intelligible when spoken, and I expect life’s far too short.
  • There is no Mandarin grammar given, which isn’t too much of a handicap as there is little grammar in Oriental languages, unlike in inflected languages. I have a host of books on Mandarin, but don’t intend to consult them as part of this exercise in basic familiarisation.
  • I’ve not yet tried any “speaking” tests. I imagine this is difficult, given the tones and the pronunciation of the “r” and some of the sibilants, which I can’t tell apart.
↑↑↑3224/12/2020Chinese: Background Reading
  • Despite the denial above, I've decided a gentle background read on the topic of Chinese would be interesting, and have chosen "Newman (Richard) - About Chinese", which I’ve had – largely unread – for decades. It’s an interesting read, and a lot could be said.
  • An advantage of the Chinese pictographic script is given – namely, that a large number of Chinese dialects exist, but – given the script isn’t phonetic – can all be written the same, so are largely mutually intelligible in writing – readers just “hear” different words as they read (as when Arabic-numerals are read in different languages).
  • I’m not quite sure at this point what the Chinese do with new vocabulary for which there are no historic characters, given that – unlike Japanese211 – there is no syllabary to spell them out in. There’s an interesting article on Wikipedia that explains it all (Wikipedia: Translation of neologisms into Chinese). It looks to me to be similar to the approach with Egyptian212 hieroglyphs where the sounds of words are used as a bridge. A glyph for a monosyllabic word that sounds so-and-so is used to represent that sound in writing other words that use that sound.
  • Another remark is on the origin of the tones. Chinese – it is claimed – is greatly impoverished as far as the number of sounds that can be made (about 400 basic monosyllables) so – given that Chinese words consist of very few monosyllables combined – the spoken language is massively semantically overloaded: identically-sounding words can have many different meanings. The tones multiply up the number of monosyllables to something under 1600 (not all basic sounds carry each of the four tones), which is still not enough: context is essential for determining the meaning of spoken Chinese. This might suggest that getting the tones right would be essential, but the book’s author says comfortingly that outright unintelligibility on that account is rare.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Coptic00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 03-Aug-21
  • References (1): General213
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 12.25. 2020: 3.75. 2010: 3.25. 2009: 1. 2008: 4.25
↑↑↑6022/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Danish00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 28-Oct-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 20-May-21
  • References (4): General214, (2215), Swedish216, Urdu217
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 12. 2021: 1. 2020: 11
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary218
    2. Dialogues219
↑↑↑2017/11/2020Started studying Danish on Ling: "Ling - Learn Danish".
  • I’ve no good reason for studying Danish, other than that it’s the language of a number of Scandi-noir series on TV, and it’d be nice to get an overview of how the language works, though I can’t see myself skipping the sub-titles any time soon. It’ll be interesting to see the similarities with German220, and Swedish221 when I get round to it.
  • Danish – of course – uses a slightly augmented Latin222 script, though the pronunciation is very far from being as one might expect. As usual, Ling provides no explanation, but I dare say it’s easy enough to pick up the rules.
  • Ling has speaking tests. I’d not thought of availing myself of them, but the pronunciation is so odd that it might be worth a go.
  • There are no grammar sections for Danish on Ling, so I’ll need to rely on the rather antiquated "Koefoed (H.A.) - Teach Yourself Danish" for enlightenment. Help with pronunciation requires a detailed knowledge of the phonetic alphabet and how that sounds, which is a nuisance. However, Wikipedia: Help: IPA looks really helpful (unlike Wikipedia: International Phonetic Alphabet which, while very interesting, doesn't give the actual sounds, except by description and explanation).
  • As with all languages, you can get some sort of idea from immersion, though I don’t think Ling quite qualifies as that.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Dutch00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 24-Oct-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 24-Nov-20
  • References (4): General223, (2224), Japanese225, Urdu226
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 12.25. 2021: 1. 2020: 8.5. 2009: 0.75. 2008: 2
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary227
    2. Dialogues228
↑↑↑2324/11/2020Started studying Dutch on Ling: "Ling - Learn Dutch".
  • I thought I’d just check it out on Ling – a very tenuous reason is that my (Turkish) sister-in-law has relatives in Holland. Also, I’d like to see how Dutch compares with German229. I’ve only had a very brief look at Dutch before.
  • Ling has speaking exercises, but I probably won’t do any of them. The spelling of Dutch is crazy (why spell “Frau” as “wrouw”?) but spoken – the previous example apart – it’s rather closer to English than is German230, at least on a first listen.
  • Sadly, there are no grammar sections during the lessons, or for review, on Ling. I have only a couple of books on Dutch, but "Shetter (William) - Introduction to Dutch - A Practical Grammar", while somewhat dated, should be sufficient.
  • I’m reminded of a tale whereby – when a judge asked for a German231 translator – a volunteer was heavily fined for Contempt of Court by asking the accused – “in stage Kraut” – “VOT IS YOUR NAME?” (rather than “Wie heissen Sie?”). Had the defendant been Dutch, the stage Kraut would have done, as “Wat is jouw naam?” sounds pretty much like that.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Egyptian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 26-Nov-21
  • References (2): Chinese232, General233
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 11. 2021: 2. 2019: 0.75. 2010: 0.75. 2009: 3.25. 2008: 4.25
↑↑↑6122/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
French00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 25-Sep-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 16-Apr-21
  • References (2): General234, (2235)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 34. 2021: 12.25. 2020: 10.5. 2013: 3.75. 2009: 4. 2008: 3.5
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 27.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary236
    2. Dialogues237
↑↑↑5216/04/2021Started studying French on Ling: "Ling - Learn French".
  • I'd not intended to study French on Ling, having endured 5 years of it at school, ending with a middling O'Level grade.
  • However, I've decided to fit it in as an 'easy option' when I'm not up to anything more difficult, and it'd be churlish not to have French in the Romance section for comparison with Italian238, Spanish239 and Portuguese240.
  • Also, it'll be useful to calibrate the accuracy of Ling by seeing what it has to say on a language I know reasonably well.
  • From the first couple of lessons, things look a little dodgy. It's as though the audio has been recorded by an Italian241, as there's a tendency to pronounce terminal e's. Also, some of the idioms aren't what I remember from my school days. Maybe there's a French Canadian at work?
  • Ling has speaking exercises for French, but no grammar, which is no great loss to someone who's studied the language.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
German00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 26-Sep-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 20-Nov-20
  • References (9): Danish242, Dutch243, General244, (2245), (3246), Hindi247, Japanese248, Swedish249, Urdu250
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 84.25. 2021: 15.25. 2020: 20.75. 2013: 5. 2011: 3.75. 2009: 2.5. 2008: 16.5. 2007: 20.5
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 27.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary251
    2. Dialogues252
↑↑↑2120/11/2020Started studying German on Ling: "Ling - Learn German".
  • I really need a reading knowledge of German as some of the current philosophical work I’m interested in is in German (especially work by Anne Sophie Meincke). Whether Ling is of any use in this regard remains to be seen.
  • Ling has speaking exercises, but I’m familiar enough with German not to need this; however useful it might be for sorting out my accent.
  • There are also useful grammar sections during the lessons, and for review. Additionally, I have a number of introductory books on German, but will probably use "Tenberg (Reinhard) & Ainslie (Susan) - Deutsch Plus".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Greek00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 24-Sep-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 05-May-21
  • References (4): General253, (2254), (3255), Swahili256
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 150.75. 2021: 30.75. 2020: 14.75. 2012: 3.25. 2011: 22.5. 2009: 1.75. 2008: 75. 2007: 2.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 27.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary257
    2. Dialogues258
↑↑↑1810/11/2020Started studying Greek on Ling: "Ling - Learn Greek".
  • The Greek script is given, and there are writing tests – though the script isn’t complex enough for this to be worthwhile, especially with a fingernail on an iPhone. The script is accented, which must be the standard in Greek newspapers, as for other languages on Ling sundry much more useful diacritics are omitted for that reason.
  • The transliteration schema – which is needed for the exercises and progressing the course – are basically phonetic, though a bit muddled. In modern Greek, the ancient Greek delta has softened to “th” (as in English “the”), so to get a hard “d”, the equivalent of “nt” has to be written (which also doubles as “nd”). So, “andras”, for “man” has to be written “antras” if a hard “d” is required – to be pronounced “andras”. But on Ling it is transliterated “antras”. All this notwithstanding, my books on modern Greek spell the word “andras” (in Greek characters)!
  • There are speaking exercises which I’ve not tried yet.
  • There are no grammar sections, which is a shame for so highly inflected a language. I have number of aids, but will probably just use "Matsukas (Aristarhos) - Complete Greek Course" for assistance.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Greek (Classical)00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 1.5
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 29-Oct-22
  • References (1): General259
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 16.25. 2021: 0.25. 2020: 1.25. 2019: 0.75. 2013: 2.25. 2011: 2.5. 2009: 6.5. 2008: 2.75
↑↑↑6222/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Hebrew00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 18-Feb-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 10-Aug-21
  • References (6): Amharic260, Arabic261, General262, (2263), (3264), (4265)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 42. 2021: 13.25. 2020: 10.75. 2011: 1.25. 2010: 8.75. 2009: 1. 2008: 4.75. 2007: 2.25
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 10.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary266
    2. Dialogues267
↑↑↑909/10/2020Started studying Modern Hebrew on Ling: "Ling - Learn Hebrew".
  • An perfectly legible Hebrew script is used, but it is unpointed – that is, the short vowels aren’t indicated by the usual diacritical marks above or below the letters, nor are there any other diacritics, including those distinguishing “sin” from “shin”. I presume this is standard practice in newspapers. Given that the words are spoken, this isn’t too much of a handicap.
  • There’s no explanation of the script, or even of its direction, which must all be somewhat mysterious to those who can’t already read it, though must less so that the (Perso-)Arabic scripts. I have to say that the Modern Hebrew script is rather barbarous when compared to the Classical Hebrew square script. The hand-written script is even worse, but not needed for Ling.
  • There is no grammar given, and no introduction to the “triliteral root” idea that is essential for understanding Semitic languages. I have a bunch of books on Hebrew grammar, both Classical and Modern, but will probably just use "Glinert (Lewis) - Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar".
  • However, "Raizen (Esther) - Modern Hebrew for Beginners: A Multimedia Program for Students at the Beginning and Intermediate Levels" looks much more exciting, especially as its website (University of Texas: Hebrew Language) is still extant.
  • As noted, it’s interesting comparing Hebrew with Arabic268. Also, comparing Classical with Modern Hebrew. All I’ve noticed so far is the use of “shel” for the genitive, rather than using the “construct”. It looks like the verb is still rather complex.
  • I have my suspicions that there are errors in the Ling text – eg. use of “yeled” (boy) when “yaldah” (girl) is required, despite the two words having been introduced. I understand from the above grammar that Modern Hebrew treats some of the gender distinctions in pronouns as a bit formal, and uses the masculine, though don’t know whether this informality reaches as far as nouns.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Hebrew (Classical)00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 13-Feb-22
  • References (1): General269
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 46.5. 2021: 0.25. 2020: 1.25. 2013: 2. 2012: 1. 2010: 32.75. 2009: 6.75. 2008: 2.5
↑↑↑6322/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Hindi00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 10-Dec-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 15-Oct-21
  • References (9): Arabic270, General271, (2272), (3273), Urdu274, (2275), (3276), (4277), (5278)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 60.25. 2021: 2. 2020: 11.75. 2019: 3.75. 2012: 6.5. 2010: 1.25. 2009: 7. 2008: 15. 2007: 13
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary279
    2. Dialogues280
↑↑↑321/09/2020Started studying Hindi on Ling: "Ling - Learn Hindi".
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Hindi script is used, though no explanation is given, so outside help is probably required, though the script is fairly straightforward and phonetic, and might be deduced.
  • Transliteration is on occasion a bit odd, though perfection is impossible. For example: “boy” एक लड़का, pronounced something like “ek larka”, is transliterated “ek ladka” – ie. the retroflex “r” (ड़) is given as a “d”.
  • A particular peeve of mine is the adding barbarous n’s to indicate nasal vowels. An egregious example is नहीं, मैं जर्मनी से हूँ| transliterated “nahin, main jarmanee se hoon” (No, I'm from Germany). The three dots indicate nasal vowels.
  • But you can understand what it’s on about – though this makes some of the exercises more difficult than they need be.
  • I’ve been using "Snell (Rupert) - Beginner's Hindi Script" to assist, which is also useful as a brief introduction to the language.
  • Ling has writing and speaking exercises, which I’ve not tried yet.
  • Hindi prides itself on the purity of its Sanskrit-inspired script, with no redundancy of consonants or vowels (contrast Armenian281 and Thai282). The Ling course doesn’t point out the different sets of consonants – especially aspirated and retroflex – which are clearly articulated in Hindi and are difficult for Europeans to pronounce.
  • There is no grammar given, which is awkward as Hindi inflected. I have a bunch of Teach Yourself books by Rupert Snell, including the one mentioned above.
↑↑↑226/10/2020Hindi: Borrowings
  • From Ling, I deduce that - like English - Hindi imports vocabulary – and entire phrases like “good morning” – from other languages, particularly English. I'd understood that it preferred to use Sanskrit283 for neologisms, but see that several imports are from English unchanged. The spelling appears in Devanagari script but the pronunciation is English – sort of cut-glass with a slight Indian accent. This explains why – when I was in Pune – the local HSBC employees would suddenly introduce English words when talking amongst themselves in what I took to be Hindi (though the local language is Marathi).
  • Anyway, today’s examples are “bread” and “soup” but also “kitab” (book, from Arabic284 “kitab(un)”).
  • I’d earlier noted that “soup” appears in Thai285. Hindi “bread” looks like it might be for European-style loaves rather than roti. However, in Urdu286 (according to Ling), "soup" is "soop" (سوپ) and "bread" is indeed "roti" (روٹی); book is "kitaab" (کتاب). I see from Wikipedia that “kitabu” is also the Swahili287 for book, and from Ling that “kitap” is the Turkish288 (and subsequently that "kitab" is Persian289 for book).
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Italian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0.75
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 21-Oct-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 23-Nov-20
  • References (7): French290, General291, (2292), (3293), (4294), Portuguese295, Spanish296
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 155. 2021: 14.75. 2020: 15.5. 2019: 0.5. 2017: 13.75. 2013: 14.75. 2011: 1.25. 2009: 49.5. 2008: 31.5. 2007: 13.5
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 28.2
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary297
    2. Dialogues298
↑↑↑2223/11/2020Started studying Italian on Ling: "Ling - Learn Italian".
  • I thought I’d just check it out on Ling – useful for holidays, and Inspector Montalbano, but that’s about it.
  • Ling has speaking exercises, but I’m familiar enough with Italian not to need them, however useful they might be for sorting out my accent.
  • Sadly, there are no grammar sections during the lessons, or for review, on Ling. I have a number of introductory books on Italian, but all are based on immersion rather than formal grammar. I will probably use "Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) - Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Japanese00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 18-Nov-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 09-Sep-22
  • References (7): Armenian299, Chinese300, General301, (2302), (3303), Korean304, (2305)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 159.75. 2021: 17. 2020: 76.5. 2019: 2. 2010: 3.75. 2009: 8.5. 2008: 27.25. 2007: 24.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 6.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary306
    2. Dialogues307
↑↑↑509/10/2020Started studying Japanese on Ling: "Ling - Learn Japanese".
  • The Japanese script is given, and there are writing exercises – I’ve not looked at them beyond the first character, but they may just be Kana as the first character presented is the Hiragana for “a”.
  • Like for Chinese308 on Ling, the script is introduced far too quickly to be assimilated, especially in the dialogues. It is to be read from left to right, which is the opposite of the Japanese convention.
  • The transliteration is sensible, and is used for the exercises, so the script is not necessary for the course.
  • There are speaking exercises, which I’ve not tried. Japanese is not a tonal language, so presumably these exercises won’t be as difficult as those for Chinese309 are likely to be.
  • There are grammar sections – both in the individual units and for review.
  • I have a host of books on Japanese, but will probably just use "Lammers (W.P.) - Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure" as it’s more enjoyable than the others.
  • However, it would also be worth quickly reading through "Seward (Jack) - Easy Japanese: A Guide to Spoken and Written Japanese", to get an idea of how the language works, though …
  • It might also be worth getting a quick overview from Wikipedia: Japanese Grammar first.
↑↑↑2908/12/2020Ling’s use of Japanese script:-
  • I’m wondering whether it might be possible to use Ling to get some familiarity with the Japanese script.
  • Quite a lot of use is made of Kana (Hiragana). So, ‘you are a man’ (anata wa dansei da) appears as あなた は 男性 だ, where ‘anata’ (you) is あなた (three Kana syllables) and ‘da’ (are) is だ (also Kana), while the subject-particle ‘wa’ is also Kana, though for reasons I don’t yet understand, uses the Hiragana symbol for ‘ha’ (は). ‘Man’ (dansei) is Kanji (男性).
  • Over time, I suspect it’ll be fairly easy to become familiar with the oft-repeated words and particles, though writing them is another thing entirely.
  • It might be interesting to compare the Japanese Kanji with the Chinese310 pictograms for words of the same meaning. The numbers seem to be the same.
↑↑↑3505/01/2021Japanese Script
↑↑↑4204/02/2021Japanese: On European Orthography
↑↑↑4819/02/2021Japanese Hiragana
  • Not finding my existing resources any use in learning Hiragana, I looked around on-line, and found "ToFuGu - Learn Hiragana: The Ultimate Guide".
  • This has an excellent couple of Apps - one for learning and one for testing - that can be used when out walking the dog.
  • They use a visualisation technique that I'd always thought rather ludicrous, but which really works. I seem to have learnt Hiragana without too much difficulty, by taking it slowly - studying a bit every day; my records tell me it took 9.5 hours over 18 days, including Dakuten and Combination Hiragana.
  • I don't currently feel any mental stress as a result of using this technique. It'll be interesting to see whether the mental associations are retained over time. I imagine that ultimately the associations aren't required as you "just know" the characters. But if you don't use what you've learnt, no doubt it'll fade.
  • In accord with the course advice, I've made no attempt to learn to write the script as yet.
  • Now on to Katakana!
↑↑↑4908/03/2021Japanese Katakana
  • Started Katakana - using "ToFuGu - Learn Katakana: The Ultimate Guide".
  • I have now (4 days later) nearly finished after 3.5 hours effort walking the dog. I mostly paused other language-learning while I got this out of the way.
  • I'd expected this to get more difficult, the more items that have to be memorised, but actually foundt it easier. So far I've not found any conflict between Katakana and Hiragana.
  • We'll see when I start trying the tests for the combined Kana - all 214 of them.
  • Update: 21 March 2021. There was a slight stutter, but I did manage to get all but one of the items correct in the last test I took. So, effectively, they are learnt!
  • An issue is that the font used on Ling and that in printed books isn't the same, so distinguishing the sometimes very similar characters may be difficult in practise.
  • I now intend to go through "Lammers (W.P.) - Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure" which is now much more accessible now I've learnt Kana, and will provide the reading practice I need.
↑↑↑5405/06/2021Discovered – and started investigating – "WaniKani - Learn Japanese Kanji".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Korean00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 09-Nov-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 23-Aug-21
  • References (1): General312
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 25.75. 2021: 1.75. 2020: 24
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary313
    2. Dialogues314
↑↑↑3814/01/2021Started studying Korean on Ling: "Ling - Learn Korean".
  • A slightly vertically-squashed but perfectly legible Hangul script is used. Indeed, my main aim in adding Korean to my list is to learn the script, which - being alphabetic - should be fairly easy to learn, and easier than Thai315, which has a lot more letters.
  • This is all very new to me at the moment, so I can't really comment yet on the quality of the transliteration.
  • Ling has both writing and speaking exercises for Korean.
  • I've purchased "Go (Billy) - Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language: 1" to provide assistance. This book insists you learn Hangul first, which is probably sensible as the sounds of the consonants appear to be intermediate between European norms, so assigning a Latin316 letter is misleading. The book implied that Korean has Chinese-influenced vocabulary, because the elite used to write in Chinese317 before the Hangul script was invented, and that its grammar is influenced by Japanese318. But "Wikipedia - Korean language" doesn't seem to support this, claiming the language to be an isolate falling into the "most difficult" category for Europeans to learn (along with Chinese319, Japanese320 and Arabic321). It says it's agglutinating (like Turkish322).
↑↑↑4511/02/2021Korean on Ling
  • Having got a bit further with Korean, I see that there are Grammar sections on Ling, which will be useful.
  • The transliteration on Ling is a little bit odd, but that's par for the course with Korean, where the consonants don't have an exact match with those in Indo-European languages. "Go (Billy) - Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language: 1" stops using transliteration as soon as it can (which is too soon, in my view).
  • While the script isn't too difficult to understand, the language seems (even) more difficult than Japanese323, Chinese324 or Thai325, though it doesn't seem to be tonal.
↑↑↑5512/08/2021
  • I started revising Korean today, re-doing the very first lesson, and found that I remembered absolutely nothing of the vocabulary from 3 months ago;
  • This is all very disappointing, but maybe a second run-though will get something to stick. I imagine it's the same with some other languages. We'll see.
  • The Hangul script wasn't totally forgotten, however; but, I need to go through it again in the book.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Latin00Administration
↑↑↑6422/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Maltese00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): None
  • References (1): General337
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 4.5. 2018: 4.5
↑↑↑6522/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Persian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 05-Nov-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 05-Nov-21
  • References (8): Arabic338, General339, Hindi340, Urdu341, (2342), (3343), (4344), (5345)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 23.5. 2021: 1.5. 2020: 14.25. 2010: 1.75. 2009: 1.75. 2008: 4.25
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary346
    2. Dialogues347
↑↑↑1304/11/2020Started studying Persian on Ling: "Ling - Learn Persian".
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Perso-Arabic script is used. I’ve not yet checked whether the script – with its minor variations from the Arabic348 – is the same as that used for Urdu349. As usual, there’s no explanation of the script.
  • The script isn’t pointed – in that it doesn’t show the three short vowels, which is a shame. It seems that these vowels are only used for beginners, so it would have been nice to have them in. However, I note that the Persian short vowels are a, e and o and that – where used – the signs are those used for the Arabic350 short vowels a, i and u. So, the pointing might be confusing if used!
  • Transliteration is probably a bit odd, as is probably bound to be the case as the Arabic351 script wasn’t really designed for an Indo-European language so won’t be phonetic.
  • Ling has no writing or speaking exercises for Persian.
  • There’s no grammar given or explained, and the only assistance I have is "Farzad (Narguess) - Complete Modern Persian", but this seems a useful volume and I have the CDs somewhere!
↑↑↑2729/11/2020Persian Script
  • I thought I'd double-check the differences between the Persian and Arabic352 scripts.
  • Basically, Persian adds letters for the consonants not found in Arabic353, modifying existing consonants. So, using triple-dots in the appropriate place in the nearest-sounding Arabic354 consonant for p (پ, using b, ب), s (ث, using t, ت), ch (as in 'cheese', چ, using j, ج) and zh (ژ, using z, ز). There's a double-line in 'k' to indicate 'g' (گ, based on ک). I'm not sure why an extra 's' is required, as Arabic355 already has two s's and a 'sh'.
  • For Urdu356, there are a further three letters which used to have four dots, but are now marked with a amall Arabic357 / Persian / Urdu358 palatal 't' (which looks like a small 'b' - ط). They are: t (ٹ, following t, ت), d (ڈ, following dal, د) and r (ڑ, following r, ر).
  • The above was fun to check out, but would have been simpler just reading: DiscoverDiscomfort.com: Farsi (Persian) vs Arabic — Similarities and Differences.
  • Wikipedia: Persian Alphabet is also useful.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Portuguese00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 23-Sep-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 06-Jan-21
  • References (6): Armenian359, French360, General361, (2362), (3363), Spanish364
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 328.25. 2021: 15. 2020: 14.25. 2019: 0.25. 2013: 21.5. 2012: 12. 2011: 41.25. 2010: 153. 2009: 6.25. 2008: 4. 2007: 60.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 27.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary365
    2. Dialogues366
↑↑↑2627/11/2020Started studying Portuguese on Ling: "Ling - Learn Portuguese".
  • I thought I’d just check it out on Ling. I’ve spent some time on Brazilian Portuguese, including private coaching for some years, as my son-in-law Leandro is from Brazil. Not that I can remember much now, so it’ll be good to have a refresher. Additionally, it’s interesting to compare with Spanish367 (and Italian368).
  • Ling provides European Portuguese only. The grammar and vocabulary differ only slightly between the two dialects, but the pronunciation is quite different. The pronunciation of final ‘s’ as ‘sh’ makes the language sound Eastern European. My tutor – herself from Brazil – said she’d once been sitting behind some Portuguese on the train for half an hour before realising they were chattering away in European Portuguese!
  • Ling has speaking exercises, but given the above caveat, it’ll be best to give them a miss.
  • Sadly, there are no grammar sections during the lessons, or for review, on Ling. I have lot of books on Portuguese. I will probably use "Whitlam (John) - Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Russian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 23-Oct-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 26-Dec-20
  • References (3): General369, (2370), Ukrainian371
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 21.25. 2021: 1. 2020: 9.75. 2009: 1.5. 2008: 9
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary372
    2. Dialogues373
↑↑↑1709/11/2020Started studying Russian on Ling: "Ling - Learn Russian".
  • The Russian script is given, and there are writing tests – though the script isn’t complex enough for this to be worthwhile, especially with a fingernail on an iPhone. I’ve not checked whether these exercises are of printed or hand-written Russian – which differ somewhat.
  • The transliteration schema – which is needed for the exercises and progressing the course – are slightly idiosyncratic, in that the Russian “o” is transliterated as “a” when thus pronounced, while “ye” is always transliterated as “e” even when pronounced as “ye”.
  • There are speaking exercises which I’ve not tried yet.
  • There are no grammar sections, which is a shame for so highly inflected a language. I will use "West (Daphne) - Russian" for assistance.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Sanskrit00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 07-Nov-20
  • References (3): General374, Hindi375, (2376)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 1.25. 2020: 1.25
↑↑↑6622/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Spanish00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 22-Sep-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 27-Nov-20
  • References (8): French377, General378, (2379), (3380), (4381), (5382), Portuguese383, Swahili384
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 147.5. 2021: 11.75. 2020: 16.25. 2016: 2. 2015: 9. 2014: 24.75. 2013: 9.5. 2010: 16. 2009: 4.75. 2008: 9.25. 2007: 44.25
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 27.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary385
    2. Dialogues386
↑↑↑2527/11/2020Started studying Spanish on Ling: "Ling - Learn Spanish".
  • I thought I’d just check it out on Ling – useful for holidays, but that’s about it, though it’s interesting to compare with Portuguese387 (and Italian388).
  • Ling has speaking exercises, but I’m familiar enough with Spanish not to need them, however useful they might be for sorting out my accent.
  • Sadly, there are no grammar sections during the lessons, or for review, on Ling. I have a number of introductory books on Spanish, but all are based on immersion rather than formal grammar. I will probably use "Gordon (Ronni L.) & Stillman (David M.) - The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Swahili00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 18-Jan-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 19-Jan-22
  • References (3): General389, (2390), Hindi391
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 20.75. 2021: 4. 2020: 16.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary392
    2. Dialogues393
↑↑↑126/10/2020Started on Ling today: "Ling - Learn Swahili".
  • Printed off "Wikipedia - Swahili language" and "Wikipedia - Bantu languages" for a leisurely read.
  • Thankfully, no issues with the script as – though ‘originally’ written in the Arabic394 script (ie. when first written down) – it now uses the Latin395 alphabet.
  • Ling has – therefore – no writing exercises for Swahili, but also no grammar and no speaking exercises.
  • Thankfully, Swahili isn't a tonal language - unlike many other Bantu languages - so the lack of speaking exercises won't be too much of a deprivation.
  • The omission of grammar is more of a disappointment, because Swahili grammar is substantially different from the languages of Europe or Asia. I’ve purchased "Wood (Laurence) & Shadrack (Jaba Tumaini) - Learn Swahili Quickly and Easily: The theory made simple" to fill that gap, and it looks a really good read!
  • I’ve chosen Swahili as a “taster” of sub-Saharan African languages. From a quick check it’s only really the national language of Tanzania, but is widely spoken as a second or official language in much of Eastern-Central Africa.
↑↑↑1915/11/2020Palenquero
  • I found an interesting linguistic connection in an Aeon Video on Palenque396.
  • Palenque is a village in Columbia founded in the 16th century by escaped slaves - follow the link for more information - but in this context is interesting for the language, a creole called Palenquero (see Wikipedia: Palenquero), based on Spanish397 but with much vocabulary and a simplified grammar based on Kongo, a Bantu language like Swahili (see Wikipedia: Kongo language).
  • Following the links, it is interesting to see the similarities with Swahili.
  • See Wikipedia for the differences between Creoles (Wikipedia: Creole Language) and Pidgins (Wikipedia: Pidgin). Basically, the former are mergers of two or more "contact languages" with a worked out grammar, while the latter are more informal unions.
↑↑↑3613/01/2021Arabic398 influence on Swahili
  • I’ve previously noted that Swahili was originally written in the Arabic399 script. Today I came across evidence of Arabic400 influence on vocabulary. “Kitabu” for book had been previously noted from Wikipedia, but today turned up the Arabic401 influence on numbers.
  • Interestingly, the authors of "Wood (Laurence) & Shadrack (Jaba Tumaini) - Learn Swahili Quickly and Easily: The theory made simple" seem unaware of this influence, or they wouldn’t have remarked that “for some reason, four of the numbers from one to ten never change when applied to the things they are numbering”. Three of these numbers are Arabic402:-
    • Six: “Sita”
    • Seven: “Saba”
    • Nine: “Tisa”
  • The fourth (Ten: “Kumi”) isn’t Arabic403 (which is “Aashara”), but then the words for 20 to 90 are Arabic-based. Eg: 20: “Ishirini”; 30: “Thelathini”; etc. The suffix added to indicate the multiple of 10 is “ini” rather than “in”; so 60 is “Sitini”, rather than “Sitin”.
  • As for higher numbers, 100 (“Mia”) and 1,000 (“Elfu”) are also Arabic-derived.
  • 1,000,000 is “Milioni” which could be Arabic-derived (“Milyon”), though this is Latin404 (and is also Turkish405). I think the use of “Milyon” in Arabic406 is accounted for by modern generic European influence. It’s not modern Greek407 (which is “εκατομμύριο”: ie. 100 x 10,000), so won’t be Byzantine Greek408 either, and it seems that Latin409 is “decies centena milia” (ie. 10 x 100 x 1,000).
  • No number above 9 is inflected in Swahili, by the look of things.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Swedish00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 31-Oct-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 25-Nov-20
  • References (4): Danish410, General411, (2412), Urdu413
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 9.5. 2021: 1. 2020: 8.5
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary414
    2. Dialogues415
↑↑↑2425/11/2020Started studying Swedish on Ling: "Ling - Learn Swedish".
  • I’ve no good reason for studying Swedish – like Danish416 – other than that it’s the language of a number of Scandi-noir series on TV, and it’d be nice to get an overview of how the language works, though I can’t see myself skipping the sub-titles any time soon. It’ll be interesting to see the similarities with German417 and Danish418.
  • Swedish – of course – uses a slightly augmented Latin419 script, though the pronunciation is not quite what one might expect, though better than Danish420. As usual, Ling provides no explanation, but I dare say it’s easy enough to pick up the rules.
  • Ling has speaking tests, but I’ve not thought of availing myself of them.
  • There are no grammar sections for Swedish on Ling, so I’ll need to rely on the rather antiquated "McClean (R.J.) - Swedish: A Grammar of the Modern Language" for enlightenment.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Syriac00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 16-Nov-21
  • References (1): General421
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 4.25. 2021: 0.5. 2010: 0.5. 2009: 1.5. 2008: 1.75
↑↑↑6722/10/2022Test Animadversion
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Thai00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 1.5
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 19-Aug-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 20-Oct-22
  • References (9): Armenian422, General423, (2424), (3425), (4426), Hindi427, (2428), Korean429, (2430)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 215.75. 2021: 34.75. 2020: 15.25. 2019: 105.25. 2018: 3.75. 2017: 28.5. 2016: 7.25. 2015: 19.75. 2014: 1.25
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 24.1
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary431
    2. Dialogues432
↑↑↑714/04/2020Started studying Thai on Ling: "Ling - Learn Thai".
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Thai script is used. There’s no explanation of the script, which must all be rather mysterious to those who can’t already read it given the complexity of the vowels.
  • The transliteration was fine, but unfortunately disappeared never to be seen again after the ten Introductory lessons had been completed – even when reviewing these very lessons. This meant you really did need to learn the rather complex script, and caused difficulties in the rain when it's difficult to read the script. Thankfully - some time in March 2021 probably - a button appeared to allow you to toggle transliteration on and off. This makes reviewing much easier while out walking, though I accept the need to fully internalise the script.
  • There are “speaking tests”, but I didn’t get on with these. Thai is a tonal language, and the transliteration did – I think – indicate the tones, which would have been fine if you understood the meaning of the marks, but now the transliteration has disappeared, the point is moot. Thai script only indicates the tones if they differ from what would be normal using the tone rules, which depend on the consonant class as well as much else. So, I was never sure whether I was marked down because of the tones, or some other incompetence. In any case, I’ve never been able to hear the tones in Thai as clearly as in Mandarin Chinese433.
  • There are Grammar sections in each lesson and in the Reviews, which is very helpful, though Thai grammar is very simple in comparison with that of most non-oriental languages.
  • I have a number of books and articles on Thai, but the most useful is probably "Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners".
↑↑↑3024/12/2020Thai: Stalled progress
  • I got about half-way through the Thai course on Ling before I unleashed the floodgates and started using Ling to study a host of other languages.
  • As is obvious, the more languages are studied simultaneously, the less time is available for each: indeed, there's likely to be a gap of a month or so between sessions of attending to any particular language.
  • This can be a minor advantage in that when subsequently reviewing a lesson after a month - though maybe not for much longer - the material has had some time to assimilate in the background, without being completely forgotten, but is not so fresh as to make review boring and repetative.
  • An issue is - for me - with languages like Thai, where there's been a significant gap between initial learning and follow-up. I'd felt that I'd pushed on too far too fast and now need to review the 100 units I'd got through. But that'll take a long time. I don't have an answer. At the moment I've just started back at the beginning.
↑↑↑3124/12/2020Thai: Tones
  • On Ling, the Thai grammar sections do include transliteration, so I see that the tones are marked therein (as well as in the Thai script).
  • An example is a footnote: "In casual speech, chăn is pronounced ชั้น (chán), kăo is pronounced เค้า (káo)". 'Chan' is the feminine (or neutral) form of 'I'; 'Kao' means 'he'. Goodness knows what this advice means to the casual user of Ling, as neither the Thai script, nor the tone-transliteration has been explained. What it actually means is that a high tone, rather than a rising tone is used in casual speech.
  • As in Mandarin Chinese434, there are four tones in Thai, in addition to the neutral tone.
  • Starting with Mandarin Chinese435 (see, for instance, MIT: Mandarin Chinese Tones), the tones are - in the traditional order:-
    1. High tone: a bar over the Pinyin letter.
    2. Rising tone: an accute accent ...
    3. Falling then rising: a slightly rounded 'v' ...
    4. Falling: a grave accent ...
  • In Mandarin Chinese436 Pinyin, the tone marks are quite descriptive. However, in Thai, the tones are described differently, and variants of the Pinyin tone marks are used:-
    1. High tone: an accute accent over the letter.
    2. Falling: a circumflex ...
    3. Rising tone: a slightly rounded 'v' ...
    4. Low: a grave accent
  • As I've suggested earlier, I don't fully understand the Thai tones, in that I can't hear them in speech, but I think the diacritics in the transliteration are a bit more of a guide than the names of the tones suggest (at least going by Wikipedia: Thai Tones). So:-
    1. High tone: Does rise, so an accute accent is descriptive
    2. Falling: Rises before falling, so a circumflex is appropriate
    3. Rising tone: falls before rising, so a slightly rounded 'v' (as for the Mandarin Chinese437 3rd tone) is appropriate
    4. Low: Falls first, so a grave accent suits
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Turkish00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 22-Oct-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 11-May-21
  • References (7): Arabic438, Armenian439, Dutch440, General441, Hindi442, Korean443, Swahili444
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 52.5. 2021: 0.75. 2020: 9. 2019: 7.25. 2017: 1. 2016: 0.5. 2013: 0.25. 2012: 1.25. 2011: 1.25. 2010: 5.25. 2009: 3.25. 2008: 15.5. 2007: 7.25
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 6.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary445
    2. Dialogues446
↑↑↑1022/08/2020Started studying Turkish on Ling: "Ling - Learn Turkish".
  • Thankfully, modern Turkish uses a slightly modified Latin447 alphabet, so no transliteration or writing practice is required. The additional letter / modifications are not explained, but their sounds will become apparent from the App’s pronunciation.
  • There are speaking exercises, but I’ve not tried them yet.
  • There’s no grammar, which is disappointing as Turkish grammar – with agglutination and vowel harmony – is somewhat different from that of European languages. I intend to use "Celen-Pollard (Asuman) & Pollard (David) - Turkish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses)".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Ukrainian00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 22-Jul-22
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 28-Jun-22
  • References (2): General448, (2449)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 53.75. 2021: 53.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 20.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary450
    2. Dialogues451
↑↑↑5613/03/2022Started studying Ukrainian on Ling: "Ling - Learn Ukrainian".
  • The motivation for learning Ukrainian is that we've signed up for the refugee sponsorship scheme - though so many others have, and we have no specific contacts, that I doubt it'll come to anything.
  • It'll also be interesting to see how it compares to Russian452.
  • To get a quick overview, I've taken a look at:-
    "Wikipedia - Ukrainian Language".
    "Wikipedia - Ukrainian Alphabet".
  • Ling has speaking tests; I’ve not thought of availing myself of them.
  • There are no grammar sections for Ukrainian on Ling, which is a nuisance for so inflected a langage.
  • However, fortuitously, "Bekh (Olena) & Dingley (James) - Complete Ukrainian Beginner to Intermediate Course" was available for 99p on Amazon, and this gives me the opportunity to use my Kindle, recently bought for me by the children.
  • As with all languages, you can get some sort of idea from immersion, though I don’t think Ling quite qualifies as that.
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Urdu00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers; 50languages.com
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Ling): 01-Dec-21
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): 28-Jan-22
  • References (7): Arabic453, General454, (2455), (3456), Hindi457, Persian458, (2459)
  • Hours by prior academic year: Total: 23. 2021: 3.25. 2020: 19.75
  • Latest Ling Lesson Studied: 5.5
  • Links to Aeon Comparative Database:
    1. Vocabulary460
    2. Dialogues461
↑↑↑1404/11/2020Started studying Urdu on Ling: "Ling - Learn Urdu".
  • An elegant and perfectly legible Perso-Arabic script is used. I’ve not yet checked whether the script – with its minor variations from the Arabic462 – is the same as that used for Persian463. As usual, there’s no explanation of the script.
  • There’s no pointing to show the short vowels. My Grammar suggests that the standard Arabic464 pointing is used, with the standard Arabic465 sounds (a, i, u), in contrast to the Persian466.
  • Transliteration is a bit odd, and inconsistent with that for Hindi467, but – at least sometimes – the “barbarous n’s” to indicate nasal vowels are actually in the script. Anyway, you can usually understand what it’s on about – though this makes some of the exercises more difficult than they need be.
  • Ling has writing exercises, which I’ve not tried yet, but – rather oddly – no speaking exercises.
  • There’s no grammar, and the only assistance I have is "Platts (John T.) - A Grammar of the Hindustani or Urdu Language", which is over 100 years old!
↑↑↑1608/11/2020Urdu versus Hindi468
  • From the first Urdu unit on Ling, it’s interesting to see the differences – and similarities – between Urdu and Hindi469 that I was expecting, fleshed out in a bit of detail.
  • Urdu has “perfect” borrowings from English, as does Hindi470. It has horribly mangled borrowings from Arabic471, though it’s possible that these are via Persian472 which may have mangled them less.
  • There are also – presumably – borrowings from Persian473 that are not dependent on Arabic474. A case in point is “mard” – meaning “man”. In Persian475 it is also “mard”, which is unrelated to Arabic476 (“rajul”) but is the same as Armenian477 (“mard” or “tghamard”, “tgha” being the Armenian478 for “boy”), which might be directly dependent on Persian479, or descent from a common Indo-European ancestor. Hindi480 is “purush”.
  • I got slightly confused by the use of “ek” – as in “ek mard”. It’s the numeral “one”, presumably used as the indefinite article by Ling. It’s also “ek” in Hindi481; but “yek” in Persian482.
  • All this will become clearer as I get further with this trio of languages.
↑↑↑2830/11/2020Urdu Script
  • Following on from Persian483, I thought I'd double-check the differences between the Urdu and Perso-Arabic scripts.
  • Basically, Urdu follows Persian484 by adding letters for consonants not found in Arabic485, modifying existing consonants. As with Persian486, it uses triple-dots in the appropriate place in the nearest-sounding Arabic487 consonant for p (پ, using b, ب), s (ث, using t, ت), ch (as in 'cheese', چ, using j, ج) and zh (ژ, using z, ز). There's a double-line in 'k' to indicate 'g' (گ, based on ک).
  • Urdu has to accommodate the aspirated and retroflex consonants found in Hindi488. Aspiration is accommodated by using digraphs with an 'h' (eg. بھ for 'bh'), so the extra consonants are retroflex. These were indicated by four dots in the appropriate place, ٿ ڐ ڙ, but "Platts (John T.) - A Grammar of the Hindustani or Urdu Language" suggests that the 'four dot' approach is replaced by another sign (like a small 'b': really a Arabic489 / Persian490 / Urdu palatal 't' - ط) in books printed in India. This is confirmed by Wikipedia: Urdu Alphabet. They are: t (ٹ, following t, ت), d (ڈ, following dal, د) and r (ڑ, following r, ر). I've seen the 'ط' orthography on Ling for 'larka' / 'larki' (لڑکی / لڑکا, boy / girl).
  • I've been confused by the orthography of an initial 'h' in Urdu ('Gol he', ہـ), as in tiny fonts it looks like an initial Arabic491 'b', ب.
  • UrduPoint: Dictionary looks useful.
↑↑↑3403/01/2021Urdu Script
↑↑↑4304/02/2021Urdu: Orthography of "kh" sounds
  • In Hindi496, to watch a movie is "film dekhna" (फिल्म देखना) while in Urdu it is the same, but is written فلم دیکھنا. Here the Hindi497 "kh" ख appears in "Ling Urdu" as two letters (kaf followed by he). I think this may be an attempt to add a "do cashmi he" to indicate aspiration, but this can't be done in the font Ling uses.
  • The same is true for "food" ("khana") - खाना versus کھانا. Also "to learn" (seekhna) - सीखना versus سيکھنا.
  • But some words in Urdu use the Arabic498 "kh" - so, خریدنا (kharidna, to buy). In this case the Hindi499 is the same word, but written ख़रीदना. That is, the ख़ is dotted, indicating that the word has been imported from Arabic500. So, it's a slightly different sound, a gutteral "k" rather than a very breathy "k", though usually the two sounds are pronounced the same in both Hindi501 and Urdu (and often the Hindi502 dot is ignored in print).
  • Sometimes, where this letter appears in Urdu, Hindi503 uses a different word altogether, preferring to avoid Arabic504 influence where possible.
↑↑↑4413/02/2021Urdu: Hot
  • I was struck by the thought that "garam" (گرم, hot, as in , گرم کافی, "hot coffee") sounds like "warm", which (in diverse spellings) means "hot" in a number of Indo-European languages.
  • In Hindi505 "hot" is "garm" (गर्म ), in Danish506 it is "Varm" and in Swedish507 it is "Varmt". In German508, "warm" means "warm", and in Dutch509 it means warm, or hot!
  • Indeed, Wiktionary - گرم confirms this, saying that it derives from the Persian510 گرم‎ (garm), though Ling has ghahvehye dâgh (قهوهٔ داغ) for "hot coffee".
    
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion
Yiddish00Administration
  • Resources: Books; Papers
  • Hours spent this academic year: 0
  • Date last Studied (Non-Ling): None
  • References (1): General511
↑↑↑6822/10/2022Test Animadversion
LanguageIDDate RaisedAnimadversion



Table of the Previous 7 Versions of this Note:

Date Length Title
11/04/2022 00:01:26 117748 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
03/01/2022 23:58:34 113519 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
01/10/2021 13:17:46 112615 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
02/07/2021 20:32:38 109743 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
02/04/2021 18:43:12 95295 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
02/01/2021 14:29:46 63513 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages
15/11/2020 18:17:17 39258 Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages



Note last updated Reading List for this Topic Parent Topic
29/11/2022 08:59:35 None available None


Summary of Notes Referenced by This Note

Aeon Papers Brief Thoughts on Language & Languages Languages - Materials for Use Languages on Ling: Comparative Database Summary Page Languages on Ling: Dialogue (Latin Scripts)
Languages on Ling: Dialogue (Non-Latin Scripts) Languages on Ling: Vocabulary (Latin Scripts) Languages on Ling: Vocabulary (Non-Latin Scripts) Status: Languages (2022 - September) Status: Priority Task List (2022 - November)
Status: Summary Task List (2022: October - November)        

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Summary of Notes Citing This Note

Aeon Papers Status: Languages (2022 - September), 2, 3 Status: Priority Task List (2022 - November) Status: Summary (2022 - September) Status: Summary Task List (2022: October - November)
Status: Summary Task List (YTD: 22Q4) Website - Progress to Date (2022 - November), 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Website Generator Documentation - Functors, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6    

To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.




Authors, Books & Papers Citing this Note

Author Title Medium Extra Links Read?
Aeon Video - Palenque Paper Medium Quality Abstract   Yes
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: 2019+ Paper High Quality Abstract   Yes



References & Reading List

Author Title Medium Source Read?
Abdul-Rauf (Muhammad) Arabic for English-Speaking Students Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Abdul-Rauf (Muhammad) - Arabic for English-Speaking Students 3%
Aeon Video - Palenque Paper - Referencing Medium Quality Abstract Aeon, 04 November 2020 Yes
Andonian (Hagop) Beginner's Armenian Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Andonian (Hagop) - Beginner's Armenian 14%
Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) Thai for Beginners Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Becker (Benjawan Poomsan) - Thai for Beginners 50%
Bekh (Olena) & Dingley (James) Complete Ukrainian Beginner to Intermediate Course Book - Cited Bekh (Olena) & Dingley (James) - Complete Ukrainian Beginner to Intermediate Course 11%
Celen-Pollard (Asuman) & Pollard (David) Turkish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Celen-Pollard (Asuman) & Pollard (David) - Turkish (Teach Yourself Complete Courses) 36%
Delacy (Richard) Read and Write Urdu Script Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Delacy (Richard) - Read and Write Urdu Script 10%
Farzad (Narguess) Complete Modern Persian Book - Cited High Quality Abstract Farzad (Narguess) - Complete Modern Persian 11%
Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Freeth (Mariolina) & Checketts (Giuliana) - Contatti 1: A First Course in Italian 41%
Fukuzawa (Yukichi) The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Fukuzawa (Yukichi) - The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa Yes
Gilhooly (Helen) Beginner's Japanese Script Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Gilhooly (Helen) - Beginner's Japanese Script 17%
Glinert (Lewis) Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Glinert (Lewis) - Modern Hebrew: An Essential Grammar 2%
Go (Billy) Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language: 1 Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Go (Billy) - Korean Made Simple: A beginner's guide to learning the Korean language: 1 10%
Gordon (Ronni L.) & Stillman (David M.) The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Gordon (Ronni L.) & Stillman (David M.) - The Ultimate Spanish Review and Practice 0%
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: 2019+ Paper - Referencing Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) - Aeon Yes
Hains (Brigid) & Hains (Paul) Aeon: A-B (& General) Book - Referencing (via Paper Referencing) Low Quality Abstract Bibliographical details to be supplied 100%
Halcomb (T. Michael W.) Introducing Amharic: An Interactive Workbook Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Halcomb (T. Michael W.) - Introducing Amharic: An Interactive Workbook 2%
Kardy (Glenn) Kana De Manga: Fun, Easy Way to Learn the ABCs of Japanese Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Kardy (Glenn) - Kana De Manga: Fun, Easy Way to Learn the ABCs of Japanese 24%
Karkov (Catherine) Post 'Anglo-Saxon' Melancholia Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Medium.com, 10 December 2019 17%
Koefoed (H.A.) Teach Yourself Danish Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Koefoed (H.A.) - Teach Yourself Danish 3%
Lammers (W.P.) Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Lammers (W.P.) - Japanese the Manga Way: An Illustrated Guide to Grammar and Structure 15%
Ling Learn Arabic Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 7%
Ling Learn Armenian Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 12%
Ling Learn Chinese Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 6%
Ling Learn Danish Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 5%
Ling Learn Dutch Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 4%
Ling Learn French Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 11%
Ling Learn German Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 16%
Ling Learn Greek Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 19%
Ling Learn Hebrew Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 11%
Ling Learn Hindi Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 7%
Ling Learn Italian Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 15%
Ling Learn Japanese Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 8%
Ling Learn Korean Paper - Cited Low Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 6%
Ling Learn Persian Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 6%
Ling Learn Portuguese Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 14%
Ling Learn Russian Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 5%
Ling Learn Spanish Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 13%
Ling Learn Swahili Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 7%
Ling Learn Swedish Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 4%
Ling Learn Thai Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 62%
Ling Learn Turkish Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 7%
Ling Learn Ukrainian Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 20%
Ling Learn Urdu Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Ling Website & App 6%
Matsukas (Aristarhos) Complete Greek Course Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Matsukas (Aristarhos) - Complete Greek Course 97%
McClean (R.J.) Swedish: A Grammar of the Modern Language Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract McClean (R.J.) - Swedish: A Grammar of the Modern Language 1%
Newman (Richard) About Chinese Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Newman (Richard) - About Chinese 12%
Platts (John T.) A Grammar of the Hindustani or Urdu Language Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Platts (John T.) - A Grammar of the Hindustani or Urdu Language 1%
Raizen (Esther) Modern Hebrew for Beginners: A Multimedia Program for Students at the Beginning and Intermediate Levels Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Raizen (Esther) - Modern Hebrew for Beginners: A Multimedia Program for Students at the Beginning and Intermediate Levels 5%
Rambaran-Olm (Mary) Misnaming the Medieval: Rejecting 'Anglo-Saxon' Studies Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract The History Workshop, November 4, 2019 in Histories of the Present 8%
Schumann (Johannes) Armenian for beginners Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Schumann (Johannes) - Armenian for beginners 4%
Seward (Jack) Easy Japanese: A Guide to Spoken and Written Japanese Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Seward (Jack) - Easy Japanese: A Guide to Spoken and Written Japanese 6%
Shetter (William) Introduction to Dutch - A Practical Grammar Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Shetter (William) - Introduction to Dutch - A Practical Grammar 5%
Snell (Rupert) Beginner's Hindi Script Book - Cited Low Quality Abstract Snell (Rupert) - Beginner's Hindi Script 38%
Tenberg (Reinhard) & Ainslie (Susan) Deutsch Plus Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Tenberg (Reinhard) & Ainslie (Susan) - Deutsch Plus 98%
ToFuGu Learn Hiragana: The Ultimate Guide Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract TuFuGu Website 95%
ToFuGu Learn Katakana: The Ultimate Guide Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract TuFuGu Website 70%
WaniKani Learn Japanese Kanji Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract WaniKani Website 12%
West (Daphne) Russian Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract West (Daphne) - Russian 18%
Whitlam (John) Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Whitlam (John) - Modern Brazilian Portuguese Grammar: A Practical Guide 6%
Wightwick (Jane) & Gaafar (Mahmoud) Mastering Arabic Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wightwick (Jane) & Gaafar (Mahmoud) - Mastering Arabic 16%
Wikipedia Bantu languages Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wikipedia; Extract taken 26 October 2020 Yes
Wikipedia Korean language Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wikipedia, January 2021 56%
Wikipedia Swahili language Paper - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wikipedia; Extract taken 26 October 2020 27%
Wikipedia Ukrainian Alphabet Paper - Cited Wikipedia, 15 March 2022 11%
Wikipedia Ukrainian Language Paper - Cited Wikipedia, 15 March 2022 4%
Wood (Laurence) & Shadrack (Jaba Tumaini) Learn Swahili Quickly and Easily: The theory made simple Book - Cited Medium Quality Abstract Wood (Laurence) & Shadrack (Jaba Tumaini) - Learn Swahili Quickly and Easily: The theory made simple 20%



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