Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

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HPD
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by HPD » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:18 pm

It's a bastardisation of 'des nachts'.
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Dragonite » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:26 am

HPD wrote:It's a bastardisation of 'des nachts'.
Oh right, now I remember. Damn, it's been a while since I've been taught that. I just don't like that letter floating though. On a keyboard it doesn't even save that much time anymore.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Thu May 07, 2015 12:55 pm

FF4: Pronouns, gender, plurals! I've been learning a bit more!

Even though German grammar is slightly different than English/Romance grammar, it's not that much of a change. I've been slowly getting used to it and I'm starting to be able to fit the words into the same boxes I do for my other native tongues. You have your subject, verb, predicate, as usual, and all the other nifty things to help you out: adjectives, adverbs, pronouns, and prepositions.

When learning a new language, I find the toughest part, or rather, the bit I always seem to lack to speak properly, is verb conjugation. You quickly learn the useful verbs (go, stay, speak/talk, do, be, have, etc), but you're gimped for a good while until you can learn the intricacies of future and past tenses. It obviously gets worse the more versions of these a language has: which is one of the reasons English is such a cool language for foreign learners. Verb conjugation is *incredibly* easy, and you only need to learn the past and past participle conjugations, as futures/conditionals are done using auxiliaries (will/would), and continuous forms are also done using auxiliaries (is [verb]-ing, was [verb]-ing, will be [verb]-ing, etc...)

But back to the "boxes": one of the first of the set you learn are pronouns and articles. German is a bit of a bitch here.

English, and I once again will sing its praises, is a Godsend. There is one article: "the". It's masculine, feminine, plural. It's perfect. It's fantastic. Most languages will make a difference between masc/fem and plural. While I used to think this made communication easier, I have come to appreciate the simplicity in English. Truly, why exactly must the article indicate any sort of gender? fudge the gender binary!

German articles, as you may have heard at some point, are der (masculine), die (feminine), das (neutral), and die (plural).

Not so difficult, right? Four articles, nothing unusual. You even get a repeat in the plural... which is the feminine. That's actually very unusual! In Latin languages, the plural usually defaults to the male. Maybe German is more feminist than I thought?

The big roadblock here is figuring out the gender of the noun. I have a set of these hardwired in my brain, of course. In Spanish/Portuguese, chairs are female. Houses are female. Dogs, by default, are male.

In English, as I said, they're genderless. The chair. The table. The dog. See how elegant that is? The article simply does not mess with the gender. It leaves such responsibility to the noun, and let's face it, the noun is the element with the broader shoulders. If gender specification is truly necessary, then the noun should tell you so. For example: the waitress. The king.

In German, it is a complete crapshoot! Or maybe not, but it doesn't fit with any of the languages I currently know. So it's a guessing game.

Fathers, are male, of course. Der Vater. And mothers, they're female: Die Mutter.

How about dogs, though? Dogs are male! Der Hund. What about birds? Male! Der Vogel. Maybe all animals are male? Let's say, eh, giraffes? Oh. Die Giraffe. So giraffes are girls.

Houses? They're neutral. Das Haus. I mean, who would assign gender to a house? (Romance languages would. La maison. A casa.) Cars? Neutral. Das Auto! So maybe all objects are neutral? Nah. Die Tür (the door). Der Wagen (also a car, except now it grew a penis.)

So? How do you know a noun's gender? You don't! Nobody does!

In defense of Latin languages, you can accurately guess a noun's gender by the letter it ends in. In Spanish/Portuguese, pretty much anything ending in "a" is female. Same with French and "e". Corbeille, tante, fenêtre, etc... In German: good luck!
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Fri May 08, 2015 12:14 am

Satel wrote:
Linkman wrote:French does this too, but for reasons that are beyond me, it still insists on having the subject.
That's cuz we're jerks and grammar nazis. Though sometimes mid-school boys omit the subject just to sound cool. But it just sounds confusing.
I was thinking about this yesterday. A friend of mine is taking French now, and as we went through the motions I realized why: you really can't omit the subject when the verbal conjugations sound the same for different persons.

I mean, je parle / tu parles are written differently, but they sound the same. So if you just said "parle" out loud, it's not clear who is speaking :).
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Narts » Fri May 08, 2015 12:51 am

Having to memorise which inanimate objects are male and which abstract ideas have vaginas. One of the reasons I gave up trying to learn German.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Xenesis » Fri May 08, 2015 9:35 am

Yeah, my understanding is that gendered nouns in languages that have them are more or less completely random. And they vary from language to language.
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Dragonite » Fri May 08, 2015 7:02 pm

Dutch is weird with it's definitive articles(I confess I had to look the English term up). English only has the, we have het and de. For odd reasons we have ''de jongen'' (the boy), and ''het meisje''. And ''Het paard''(horse) and ''de hond''(dog)... yeah, it's just about random, and I only know which is which because I'm used to it.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by HPD » Fri May 08, 2015 8:06 pm

Ehh, Dragonite, that is because Dutch doesn't distinguish between masculine and feminine articles. Everything that has a gender is 'de' (also used for plurals), everything that is genderless is 'het'.

As for which nouns have a gender and which don't, it's mostly identical to German, since they are very similar languages. "The Girl, "het meisje", one of your examples, comes from German "das Mädchen", which also confusingly has no gender there. Also "das Pferd" -> "het paard" is taken from German.

That said, when a noun gets the diminutive suffix '-(t)je' in Dutch, the article used is also 'het' ("de proef" -> "het proefje"). Except when it's a plural, of course. Then it's again 'de'.

Yeah.
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Dragonite » Fri May 08, 2015 8:34 pm

Grammar always was my speciality.

I remembered some of HPD's specifics when I looked it up before, but yeah, I stand by my opinion it's rather random to have different articles for a boy and a girl, since those terms are very much gender-related. Languages probably all have their historical reasons for being as they are, but logic is often lacking. Maybe that's why I found grammar difficult, I haven't got great ''instict'' on it. I don't have much difficulty studying something specific for a test and then applying it, but it doesn't really stick with me.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:51 am

Today is the last week of my three-month course! Das ist sehr nett!

I will continue next trimester of course, but I will definitely write one big megapost on what I've learned in these 40 academic hours :3
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:02 pm

So the institute where I study German just got a 3D printer, and they had a contest. The idea was to design a 10x10cm 3D model to celebrate Germany's 25 years of reunification.

I got third place, and with it a free German course :D. Check out my model (will take some pics when I see it live in glorious plastic):

Image
Image
Image
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:27 am

Oh man this has been a while! But nonetheless, we are back to the chronicles!

Fun fact number five: Plurals!

Say, do you speak a normal language? Something not totally screwed up? Chances are you pluralize things by adding "s". The dog. The dogs. At the worst, there's a few special phonetic rules where it changes (Ox -> Oxen because Oxes is weird), or because of some other reason (child -> children but guild -> guilds).

German is totally bonkers with this. There are six, count them, six different rules for pluralizing, and even then there's a number of exceptions. Ouch.

The way I learned these was through family members, which I thought was actually a very nice way to killing two birds with one stone. So you get:

der Vater --> die Väter (Fathers, just add an umlaut!)
der Neffe --> die Neffen (Nephews, just add an n!)
die Enkelin --> die Enkelinnen (Granddaughters, just add an n! Wait it ends in n? add another n and one -en for that extra Ennnn sound)
der Onkel --> die Onkel (Uncle, wait, why aren't we adding an umlaut? It's just the same? Why?)
der Cousin --> die Cousins (Oh look! Something familiar! It never happens anywhere else ever.)
die Frau --> die Frauer (The lady/wife, add an -er so it sounds manlier!)

How do you know when to use each plural?

You don't :). When you look up a word in a German dictionary, it will have its article and its plural form. Because no, there's no rule.

I actually like this language. It's grown on me.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by kiwi » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:11 am

Linkman! are you still learning at a place of scholarly merit? I tried it on my own and it ended badly!

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:41 am

Yes kiwi, totally so! I knew I'd try to slack on this (and I have), so being in this place of scholarly merit has forced me to keep at it. I learned my lesson a few years back with my failed guitar chronicles: even though I am an accomplished autodidact, some things are simply done better with a teacher.

My method of maintaining my study is guilt. I pay for the course upfront, and then basically feel awful every time I don't go because I am wasting money. And when I do go, the teacher has moved on from the topics I've missed so I'm forced to catch up! When you have cool and possibly hot classmates that's a plus too.

While we're at it, fun fact number... six: Declension!

Oh man this one is totally nuts. Articles, adjective, prepositions and other things change in German depending on their sentence role. So far we've only learned two roles: nominative, and accusative. The nominative case is when the noun in case is the subject; the accusative is when the noun is the direct complement (it is being *acted upon* by a different subject!)

Take the definite article "der" (masculine, singular) for instance.

In nominative: Der Hund ist nett. (The dog is nice.)
In accusative: Ich sehe den Hund. (I see the dog.)

(please, once again, compare this to the clean, beautiful, simple English article "the". I appreciate it more every day.)

Declension is weird! And it changes for two more cases, dativ and genitive. And there's some weird stuff in negatives. Just have a look at the declensions for the definite articles:

Image

Notice how in the genitive and dativ declensions, the feminine article becomes "der", which is also the masculine undeclensed (is that even a word?) article. German is built to confuse you.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Wed Oct 21, 2015 12:58 am

I have missed two weeks of German due to work and life (adult problems!)

But I went back yesterday, faced a test, and emerged victorious! I am slowly beginning to wire my brain to german thinking. Which is very good.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by DieselPheonix » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:12 pm

Do you find yourself thinking differently the more you learn another language? Obviously it would be brash to pinpoint language as the sole influence on changes in congition; I merely read that the structures of different languages has resulted in rather prominent learned behavior distinctions. English speakers, for example, are apparently ill equipped, in terms of language, with identifying colour variation compared to those whose vocabularly has numerous discrete words for colour differentials.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jan 09, 2016 1:27 am

i've spent the past six months or so learning japanese on my own.

it's basically everything it's cracked up to be for foreign learners. adding a vocabulary word involves:

learning how to recognize a character or combination of characters
learning the pronunciation of the characters in that particular situation (it changes)
remembering what the word means

nevermind that finding a character in a dictionary, even online, is 3x longer than other languages.

i can write about 500 characters from memory and recognize maybe 1200 as being in some word or another. i recognize 2000-3000 words total, depends how strict you are about what specifically makes a word.

this basically leaves me able to follow day to day conversations.

with computerized dictionary assistance things get a lot better. pushes my reading level up to maybe that of like a 10 year old.

gonna post some more later

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Sat Jan 09, 2016 4:17 am

very impressive sven
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Wed Jan 13, 2016 11:08 pm

One of the biggest bad habits I fall into when learning things is that I'll restart using a different method a lot instead of just continuing with a method that's already working. Right now, I'm trying to avoid that habit with Japanese.

I can't really avoid the fact that I've already jumped around a bunch for grammar and vocabulary. I don't really have a systemic way in place to learn either anymore, not since I found out that I now know enough grammar to struggle my way through most texts and have a computerized dictionary take care of vocabulary for me. But I do have one plan going on right now:

I've committed myself to a program that will have me able to write 2200 kanji (Japanese characters) once I'm finished. I'm 450 kanji into the program. And the program works. Hell, I can even tell you how long I've spent learning those 450 kanji with flashcards. 14 hours, spread out over the last three months.

...wait what, only 14?

For all the cool mnemonic tricks possible, learning how to write the kanji is brute memory work in the end. It's really mentally draining compared to reading. Like really really really draining. But it's probably the biggest bottleneck right now for my learning.

Anyway, I guess I'd like to commit to spending 30 minutes a day to learning them here. I don't realistically think I could spend much more than that everyday. We'll see how it goes.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:12 am

gonna do the same thing i did with the fitness topic and turn this into a miniblog thing.

did today's flashcard stuff. added some kanji into the flashcard rotation for the first time in a while. 452/2200 done.

i'm not sure if i want to do half an hour a day of vocabulary flashcards or not. i'm always love/hate with them. i love them when i'm reading and a word pops up that i've just recently gone over from the cards. on the other hand, sometimes a word list will have words that just don't make any fudge sense without proper context. going to lean towards a very tentative yes for now.

other than that i'll probably end up reading an hour a day. being able to read stuff makes me super happy so i'm not really worried about 'making' myself do this one.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:14 am

keep up the great work, friend
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:37 am

467/2200

started on the vocab cards. readin' some stuff too.

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Treedweller

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Treedweller » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:41 am

Interesting to read up on your progress. Can I ask why you chose Japanese? Any special reason?

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jan 16, 2016 11:58 am

i read a visual novel, found it interesting, originally started learning so that i can maybe enjoy the sequels which are untranslated. i figured i could do a couple hours a day for a couple years and i'd be good to read it in the original language.

the more japanese i read the more i realized i just liked the crumpets translation because i found it quirky. the translation used the passive voice and a lot of very specific adverbial phrases that made it stick out in my mind. turns out the rest of the series is also gonna end up translated by the same dude. so at this point i guess i'm learning just to finish what i started?

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by scraggypunk » Sat Jan 16, 2016 4:15 pm

that's an even dorkier reason then i was thinking
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:06 pm

yeah i do random things for really dorky reasons

spent more time on vocab than normal.

did my kanji reviews. not adding any new ones today.

noticed i'm reading less than i used to. maybe i'll pick a manga series to readthrough or something.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Kanzer » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:20 am

I've been toying with the idea of learning a new language for a while. Will keep you posted if I even get started.
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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:18 am

i forgot to post:

last week i read 2-3 hours a day instead of doing the flashcards.

i hate flashcards ahhhh,

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Pkdragon » Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:59 am

sven im sorry i have not fully translated "hachi no hanashi" yet i have been busy

i shall work on it tonight
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Bonesy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:59 am

boku no svenno

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:08 am

Image

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Bonesy
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Bonesy » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:39 am

lewd

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DieselPheonix

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by DieselPheonix » Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:35 pm

Was that dog fling just a phase?

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Bonesy » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:08 pm

oh if only you went on irc

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:42 pm

Bonesy loves dogs lmao.

Concerning Japanese, good stuff:

[*]I spent a bit of time getting familiar with a Japanese only dictionary online. It turns out I understand most of the definitions even when they're in Japanese, though I sometimes have to lookup a couple words in the definition too. :P. Looks like there will be no English involved in learning the language from now on.
[*]Reading is less mentally draining now than it was a couple of months ago.

Bad stuff:

[*]Still can't stand Anki(the flashcard program). I recognize it's something responsible for parts huge portions of my progress. It's just very frustrating sometimes.
[*]Giving up English is obviously going to make learning slower for a little while. Oh well.

Okay stuff:

[*]I downloaded a Kanji app on my phone to make up for the fact that Anki makes me go crazy. It's basically the same thing dressed up in a different UI but that's really all I need to trick myself to keep going.
[*]Gonna watch Pokemon and see how much I get. :).

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Sven

Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Sven » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:07 pm

Looks like there will be no English involved in learning the language from now on.

hahahaha dream on past sven. five minutes to lookup a word slows you down too much and makes reading unfun. let's aim for japanese only one month from now. i'd like to keep the security blanket of english for a little while longer.

I spent a lot of time this week with the kanji app. Learning in bits and pieces during times I'd otherwise be doing nothing on my phone is way better easier on me mentally than devoting an hour long block to doing flashcards.

I also decided that learning to speak might be a good idea. Maybe. The idea is growing on me compared to just learning to read. skype tutors are like $15 an hour which is totally reasonable. i'll decide one way or the other next sunday.

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Narts
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Narts » Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:22 pm

Using japanese only to look up words sounds like a kind of pointless restriction anyway. What would be the benefit exactly?

As long as you learn the meaning of the word it wouldn't matter much which language dictionary you used to learn it from right?

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Tue Feb 16, 2016 1:16 am

There is something to be gained by reading a definition from a proper dictionary than from a translator, though I'm not sure if that is what Sven means.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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Narts
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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Narts » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:20 am

Yeah I gathered that much. I asked what the exact something is he thinks there is to be gained.

I would think efficiency would trump here if it cannot be proven there is more value in a slower approach.

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Re: Alors! Dann!! WWN learns a new language!

Post by Linkman » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:44 am

I agree that such an approach would be more useful in a later stage.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
"I can't believe I'm the only person who voted Stallone. His appeal lies in watching is movies again and again just to hear what the hell he's talking about." - Kilteh

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