Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

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Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby Demonic_Duck » Mon 14 Feb 2011 4:38 pm

Hi everyone! Having lurked this place for a bit it seems like most people here know a a hell of a lot more about linguistics than me, so I feel like a bit of a novice. I only recently became interested in languages, and I honestly don't know why it took me so long!

Native: English
Intermediate: Russian*
Beginner: German, Burmese*
Only a few words: French*, Greek

* = currently learning.
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Re: Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby linguoboy » Mon 14 Feb 2011 5:08 pm

Demonic_Duck wrote:Native: English
Intermediate: Russian*
Beginner: German, Burmese*
Only a few words: French*, Greek

Bonjour, 'n Tag!

How did you get interested in Burmese? And how are you going about learning it?
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Re: Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby Demonic_Duck » Mon 14 Feb 2011 9:42 pm

I got interested in it because my housemates were Burmese. Unfortunately most of those housemates have since moved to London (one of them is still here but only for 2 more weeks), but I might just stick with it for a while as I'm enjoying learning it (and maybe I can go visit them sometime and surprise them with what I've learnt).

The course I'm using is an introductory course called "Burmese By Ear" that's available free of charge from here:
http://www.soas.ac.uk/bbe/
It's by John Okell, and personally I think it's a really good resource. My only real gripe with it is that it doesn't teach the script, which is very attractive and I'd love to learn more of (I'm using various websites as well as the short appendix in the BBE companion booklet to teach me it, but none of them are particularly good so the process is slow).
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Re: Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby linguoboy » Mon 14 Feb 2011 10:05 pm

Demonic_Duck wrote:My only real gripe with it is that it doesn't teach the script, which is very attractive and I'd love to learn more of (I'm using various websites as well as the short appendix in the BBE companion booklet to teach me it, but none of them are particularly good so the process is slow).

It attractive, but it's also rather difficult. Like most Southeast Asian languages, Burmese has a "deep" orthography. That is, spellings have hardly changed in the thousand years since the script was first adopted. The language, of course, has continued to evolve, so the mismatch between spelling and pronunciation can be significant (i.e. worse even than that of English, which is is only a half millennium out of date).
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Re: Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby Demonic_Duck » Mon 14 Feb 2011 10:34 pm

I don't think it's probably as bad as English though, as you can normally work out how a word is pronounced from its spelling, even if you can't work out its spelling from the way it's pronounced.
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Re: Bonjour, Guten Tag, Здравствуйте, Γεια σας, Min-găla-ba

Postby linguoboy » Mon 14 Feb 2011 10:53 pm

Demonic_Duck wrote:I don't think it's probably as bad as English though, as you can normally work out how a word is pronounced from its spelling[.]

But that's also true of English. See: http://zompist.com/spell.html.
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