What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Talib » Sat 23 Jan 2010 10:40 pm

If anything it should sound like overpronounced Russian, since Polish doesn't have the vowel reduction Russian has.

Sort of like how Portuguese sounds to me like someone speaking Spanish through their nose.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Delodephius » Sat 23 Jan 2010 10:57 pm

Talib wrote:If anything it should sound like overpronounced Russian, since Polish doesn't have the vowel reduction Russian has.

We say Russians "swallow" their vowels.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Declan » Sun 24 Jan 2010 1:45 am

formiko wrote:I've been studying German for almost 20 years, and I STILL can't get the gender right. I know there are quasi-rules, but in reality, if I had to say
"He's sleeping in the red bed", or "He's sleeping in a red bed", my mind had to do too much work.

Seriously? While I am nowhere near perfect in my German grammar or syntax, I don't think German is that bad. I mean, all plurals are the same (unlike French which distinguishes m/f far more than German), with strong endings there are only two possible, you have a 50% chance at least of getting it right. That sentence for example, "Er schlaeft im roten Bett" or "Er schlaeft in der roten Bett", the adjective is the same regardless, and you only have two possibilities for article.
Personally I find the verbs hard, not conjugating them, but there seems to be so many of them, with so many subtle distinctions.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby formiko » Sun 24 Jan 2010 6:00 am

Declan wrote:
formiko wrote:I've been studying German for almost 20 years, and I STILL can't get the gender right. I know there are quasi-rules, but in reality, if I had to say
"He's sleeping in the red bed", or "He's sleeping in a red bed", my mind had to do too much work.

Seriously? While I am nowhere near perfect in my German grammar or syntax, I don't think German is that bad. I mean, all plurals are the same (unlike French which distinguishes m/f far more than German), with strong endings there are only two possible, you have a 50% chance at least of getting it right. That sentence for example, "Er schlaeft im roten Bett" or "Er schlaeft in der roten Bett", the adjective is the same regardless, and you only have two possibilities for article.
Personally I find the verbs hard, not conjugating them, but there seems to be so many of them, with so many subtle distinctions.

I sort of see your point. You're right about verbs though. I have trouble with the prefixed vowels.
Like for ich abpfeife. Is it Ich pfeife ab, or how about ich habe die Pfeife abgepfeifen.
I can understand almost anything i read, but it's the creation of these forms that has me humbled ;)
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby linguoboy » Mon 25 Jan 2010 4:36 pm

formiko wrote:I sort of see your point. You're right about verbs though. I have trouble with the prefixed vowels. Like for ich abpfeife. Is it Ich pfeife ab, or how about ich habe die Pfeife abgepfeifen.

Abgepfiffen. (Not that that sentence makes much sense in any case.)

There are several clues to getting these right. First of all, not all prefixes can go either way. Some, like be-, zer-, and ver-, are always inseparable. I hesitate to say that there are also ones which are always separable, but if there's a verb with, e.g., inseparable prefixed ab-, then I don't think I've ever come across it. (Note, however, cases like verabschieden, where an inseparable prefix is added to a verbal noun, i.e. Abschied, derived from a verb with a separable prefix, i.e. abscheiden. They look an awful lot like verbs with compound separable prefixes, e.g. herabsetzen, but behave completely differently.)

Second, where there's a contrast, the inseparable prefix generally has a meaning that is less literal and more abstract. For instance, übersetzt (insep.) means "translated" where as übergesetzt means "ferried across a river" (that is, literally "set over").

Third, the stress is different. Uebersetzen has primary stress on the stem when inseparable; when separable, both the prefix and the stem get equal stress.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Declan » Mon 25 Jan 2010 6:40 pm

Well what I was referring to was not getting the forms right, but rather what verb. I can't think of a good example with a subtle difference that I don't understand, but hoeren and zuhoeren kind of explains it. Ich habe gedacht dass man hoert Musik zu, aber das geht nicht. Man hoert Musik. That's the one vocabulary problem I have with German, waehlen der Verben.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby linguoboy » Mon 25 Jan 2010 7:19 pm

Declan wrote:Well what I was referring to was not getting the forms right, but rather what verb. I can't think of a good example with a subtle difference that I don't understand, but hoeren and zuhoeren kind of explains it. Ich habe gedacht dass man hoert Musik zu, aber das geht nicht. Man hoert Musik. That's the one vocabulary problem I have with German, waehlen der Verben.

Many of my fellow learners complained about the specificity of German verbs. To them it seemed that often there would be only one widely-used German equivalent where English would have a number of alternatives, many quite polysemic. For example, übernachten means "to spend the night [somewhere]". I can think of any number of colloquial English synonyms--"spend/stay the night", "stay", "stay over(night)", "sleep over", "crash", etc.--but only one for German, über Nacht bleiben.

Of course, this impression owes something to a lack of acquaintance with the full extant of the German lexicon, particularly its more colloquial reaches. But, still, it's hard to think of any German verb which is used for such a huge range of meanings as, for instance, English get or stay.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Anders » Tue 26 Jan 2010 1:33 pm

I'm lucky my native Swedish is very similar to German when it comes to the semantic side of verb prefixes.
All verb prefixes in Swedish are borrowings from German ;)
Old Norse had no verb prefixes.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby linguoboy » Tue 26 Jan 2010 4:47 pm

Anders wrote:Old Norse had no verb prefixes.

That's not true: atganga "attack", forvitnask "find out", míslika "dislike", útleggja "outlaw", etc. Not as common as in the modern languages, to be sure, but just crack a dictionary and you'll find examples.
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Re: What languages are you learning and plan to learn?

Postby Anders » Tue 26 Jan 2010 6:09 pm

linguoboy wrote:
Anders wrote:Old Norse had no verb prefixes.

That's not true: atganga "attack", forvitnask "find out", míslika "dislike", útleggja "outlaw", etc. Not as common as in the modern languages, to be sure, but just crack a dictionary and you'll find examples.

Hmm...well, I read that somewhere...
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