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TAC 2014 - voron - Turkish, Arabic - UniLang

TAC 2014 - voron - Turkish, Arabic

This forum is for the Total Annihilation Challenge. See the sticky thread for more information.

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voron
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TAC 2014 - voron - Turkish, Arabic

Postby voron » 2013-09-30, 11:34

I have personal threads in the language subforums, but since I'm now going to be doing 3 languages I thought I would open a TAC thread to keep it all in the same place. Besides, a bunch of people interested in "Arabic-influenced" languages have been posting in the TAC section lately (Meera, Set, Limagne, Saim), so I though I would join the crowd and keep the community interest to these languages growing.

So here are my goals.

 (tr)
I've been learning Turkish for 3 years now and I'm around B2. I can speak and understand what's being said quite comfortably but I lack advanced vocabulary and have to pause and think to use certain grammar structures. I want to reach C1 in 2014, and perhaps take a TOMER exam if it turns out to be not too hard to organize.

I don't have a particular learning plan, I'll just watch, read and listen to what I enjoy and I'll try to talk more to native speakers.

Goal: C1

 (ar)
I've been learning it on and off for about a year. I did half of the first book of the series "Al-arabiyya bayna yadayk" with an online teacher on italki. I forgot a lot of it after the last break which lasted a few months though, so I'm still around A1-ish.

I have a lot of excellent learning materials in Russian: Ibragimov's 'Arabic Grammar', 2 textbooks and several progressive readers with audio recordings. The problem is, I already tried all of them and they lost their novelty to me, so whenever I want to sit down and study I have to overcome the feeling that it's going to be boring. I think I'm going to try and sign up for an Arabic class to hang out with native speakers and other learners.

Goal: B1

 (fa)
I'm starting from zero. I've been wonderlusting for Farsi for quite a while and I'm finally letting my wonderlust consume me.

I haven't picked a book yet. I have 'Teach Yourself Modern Persian' but other Unilangers gave it a bad review (I think it was Meera who said it was essentially a phrasebook). Assimil Persian looks like a great book, sadly it is available in French only. I will try and sign up for a class too, perhaps the teacher can advise a good textbook in Russian.

Goal: A2
Taken off the list.

An extra bonus that I'm getting from learning Turkish and Persian is that I'll understand Azerbaijani and Tadjik too. The speakers of these languages are more likely to come across at where I live. I have textbooks in Russian for both Azerbaijani and Tadjik.
Last edited by voron on 2013-12-29, 4:26, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Meera » 2013-09-30, 14:54

You are doing Persian now? Awesome! The Teach Yourself is bad, but if it's all you have you can learn some of the basics from it. It also depends on what version you hace, the old TY by John Mace I heard was a lot better than the new one. The Colloquial Persian isn't so bad but it only teaches Spoken Persian but it is a good book. You could maybe try to find a book in Turkish that teaches Persian also :mrgreen: If you like podcasts, I recomend listening to this one:
http://www.chaiandconversation.com/

It is really good and it helped me a lot in Persian.
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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Zireael » 2013-09-30, 18:58

"Arabic-influenced" languages have been posting in the TAC section lately (Meera, Set, Limagne, Saim),


What am I? Fried chicken?

So here are my goals.


Reminds me that I have to set new goals for myself, as I've reached the goal of being able to converse about everyday topics in Arabic.

My wished-for birthday present is an Arabic-Polish dictionary, so there is still hope - or not? depends on your point of view ;)
Native:  (pl) Very advanced/near native:  (en-US)
Intermediate:  (es)
Beginner  (de),  (sgn),  (tpi),  (en_old),  (ar)
Artificial languages:  (art-qya),  (art-sjn),
My interest has been drawn by:  (fa),  (zh),  (ja)

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-01, 10:39

Zireael wrote:
"Arabic-influenced" languages have been posting in the TAC section lately (Meera, Set, Limagne, Saim),


What am I? Fried chicken?

You're the most dedicated and inspiring learner, how could I forget you! اسف :oops:

If you like podcasts, I recomend listening to this one: http://www.chaiandconversation.com/

It's great, thank you Meera!

I downloaded the Russian book "Teach yourself Persian" (Samouchitel persidskogo yazika) from <we-all-know-it> website. It looks good, I'm going to give a try. By the way I was surprised with the amount of books they have for Kurdish, there are many more so than for Persian.

UPD: I just called a few language schools which have Arabic and Persian on their websites, and although their descriptions looked very promising (supposedly they have all levels as well as morning and evening classes), the actual replies I got were "You know we currently don't have enough students to form a group (and that's for a beginner level group!), so we'll call you back later provided if the group is formed". Looks like if I want company I should go ahead with italki.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Limagne » 2013-10-01, 12:42

voron wrote:
[flag]fa[/flag]
I'm starting from zero. I've been wonderlusting for Farsi for quite a while and I'm finally letting my wonderlust consume me.

I haven't picked a book yet. I have 'Teach Yourself Modern Persian' but other Unilangers gave it a bad review (I think it was Meera who said it was essentially a phrasebook). Assimil Persian looks like a great book, sadly it is available in French only. I will try and sign up for a class too, perhaps the teacher can advise a good textbook in Russian.

Goal: A2

An extra bonus that I'm getting from learning Turkish and Persian is that I'll understand Azerbaijani and Tadjik too. The speakers of these languages are more likely to come across at where I live. I have textbooks in Russian for both Azerbaijani and Tadjik.


The Assimil course is quite good. It focuses on the modern literary version of the language, though. You will need another book to familiarise yourself with spoken Tehrani.

The best introduction to spoken Persian I've ever seen is Christophe Balay's Manuel de Persan. There's simply no match for it in the English speaking world :)

But since learning Persian from French seems to be a no-no for you, I guess you could study the grammar with Mace's book and follow a more conversation oriented method at the same time. Colloquial Persian, which Meera mentioned, could be a good starting point. Wheeler Thackston also wrote an introductory Persian course but it might be a bit of a heavy read for a beginner.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-02, 12:48

Thank you for advice, Limagne!

I assume all educated Iranians can read the literary language; can they generally also speak it effortlessly? It is the language of mass media like MSA for the Arab world?

[flag]fa[/flag]
I made some progress in Farsi yesterday by reading the introductory phonetic and spelling section of the Russian 'Teach yourself' book. A few notes that I found interesting:

1) ق and غ are pronounced the same as uvular voiced stop (voiced Arabic ق); the pronunciation might change to fricative between two vowels.
2) Persian vowels no longer distinguish length phonemically. A distinctive feature between the historically long (a, u, i) and the historically short (æ, o, e) is that the latter change their quality affected by adjacent consonants and in unstressed positions. The book calls the two groups 'stable' and 'unstable'.
3) The sounds s and z are represented by four letters each!
4) I loved how the book said that the back rounded 'a' gives Persian its special sound. It is so true; whenever I say 'Irooon' or 'Fooorsi' with this rounded 'a' I feel myself Persian. :)

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby eskandar » 2013-10-02, 13:32

voron wrote:I assume all educated Iranians can read the literary language; can they generally also speak it effortlessly? It is the language of mass media like MSA for the Arab world?
The differences between literary and colloquial Persian can be great, but they're still less than the differences between MSA and colloquial Arabic. All educated Iranians can speak formal/literary Persian with little effort.

3) The sounds s and z are represented by four letters each!
Only three letters for 's' (س ص ث ). Knowing Arabic and Turkish, this shouldn't be too much of an issue for you. Generally, words that come from Arabic retain their original spelling, but the letters ص and ث are pronounced the same as س and the letters ض ظ ذ are pronounced the same as ز . In Turkish, the Arabic loanword ظاهر ẓāhir is pronounced zahir (emphatic ẓ becomes a simple z). Similarly, in Persian the word ظاهر is pronounced zāher (simple z). Persian words having an 's' or 'z' sound, excluding Arabic loans, are almost always written with س or ز respectively (ie. سال sāl 'year' or زن zan 'woman'). You'll get used to it all quite quickly, I'm sure.
Tracking my progress here. Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-04, 13:30

eskandar wrote:Only three letters for 's' (س ص ث ).

Right, that's what my book says too, I got it wrong in my post.

[flag]tr[/flag]
I watched 2 more episodes of the show "Güneşi beklerken" which is currently on air on Kanal D. It's a typical soap, featuring a woman who conceals from her daughter who her real father is, while her real father is her sports teacher at school etc etc. Somehow it is addictive. :) And I'm learning colloquial expressions, such as:

seni eve bırakayım mı - let me give you a ride home
üstüme gelme! - give me a break
çıkışta bir şeyler yapalım mı - let's go out and do something together
hayatta olmaz - no way! (not in this life)

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-09, 10:12

[flag]fa[/flag]
I did 13 lessons of the Assimil Persian book. After Arabic, it is so refreshingly easy.
من زبان فارسى را خيلى دوست دارم

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Meera » 2013-10-09, 18:12

voron wrote:[flag]fa[/flag]
I did 13 lessons of the Assimil Persian book. After Arabic, it is so refreshingly easy.
من زبان فارسى را خيلى دوست دارم


Haha that's how I felt with Turkish and Indonesian. I remeber going to my Arabic classes and then coming home and I useully studied Turkish or Indonesian and I remember giving a sigh of relief :P
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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby modus.irrealis » 2013-10-10, 7:31

Good luck, voron! I've always been tempted to go that route after Turkish, although it hasn't ever progressed very far. Any interest in doing some Ottoman Turkish?

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-11, 11:17

Sağol, modus.irrealis!

modus.irrealis wrote:Any interest in doing some Ottoman Turkish?

Nah... I enjoy too much to use my languages in real life (and I definitely want to learn colloquial registers of Arabic and Persian, and visit the respective countries).

 (fa)
Another update for Persian. Ektoras and I did lessons 14-20 of "Assimil le Persan" on Skype together. When doing translation exercises we translated them also to Russian (him) and Turkish (me), so it was lots of fun.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Set » 2013-10-16, 21:16

Hey Voron, nice to see you taking up Persian, it's a really pleasing language to learn. You'll probably be able to recognise a lot of the vocabulary already from Turkish. Learning Arabic-borrowing languages really opens you up to a whole new world of language learning. It's great. Actually for that reason I've been wanderlusting Turkish like crazy. There are loads of signs and products here with Turkish. It's really difficult making myself stick to Sorani.
Anyway good luck with Persian, dustam!
Native: (en) Good: (de) (ca) Focusing on: (fa) (ku) (ps) Interested in: (zza) (tr) (sw)

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-17, 10:55

Thank you Set!

You'll probably be able to recognise a lot of the vocabulary already from Turkish.

Yes, there are quite a few examples from that little Persian vocabulary I already know:
Persian - Turkish
شهر - şehir
دوست - dost
خیلی - hayli
تنها - tenha (desolate)
آب - found in abı-hayat, abdest
مرکز - merkez
اسم - isim
حال - hâl
لطفا - lütfen
هنوز - henüz
حالا - hâlâ (yet)
خانه - hane
ساعت - saat
لازم - lâzım
... and one found in Azerbaijani, بله - bəli.

Obviously some of these words are originally Arabic. Also it was nice to recognize a few Indo-European cognates in Persian:
مادر, پدر
کجا (ru. где), چه (ru. что), است (ru. есть), بود (ru. был), تو (ru. ты)

And the numerals, some of which are strikingly similar to the Russian ones:
دو (два), چهار (четыре), پنج (пять, pronounced almost like Polish pięć), شش (шесть)

 (ar)
My Turkish friend and I did lessons 1-17 of Assimil l'Arabe.

Apparently, Assimil has two different books for Arabic: one is "Arabic With Ease" by J.J. Schmidt which I disliked and criticized in Saim's TAC thread, and another one is more recent "Assimil l'Arabe". I quite like the second one. The new vocabulary and grammar are introduced in little portions, at the same time the explanations are thorough and non-condescending and with the right pace you learn fast.

Two new words with somewhat surprising counterparts in Turkish:
دخل (he entered) - tr. dahil (included)
خرج (he exited) - tr. hariç (excluded)

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Limagne » 2013-10-18, 8:30

voron wrote:
Obviously some of these words are originally Arabic. Also it was nice to recognize a few Indo-European cognates in Persian:
مادر, پدر
کجا (ru. где), چه (ru. что), است (ru. есть), بود (ru. был), تو (ru. ты)

And the numerals, some of which are strikingly similar to the Russian ones:
دو (два), چهار (четыре), پنج (пять, pronounced almost like Polish pięć), شش (шесть)


Don't forget زن /zan/, which has a striking resemblance with the Russian word жена. The similarity is even more evident in the case of the Kurdish word jin /ʒɪ̈n/ :wink:

There's also a bunch of Russian loan-words in colloquial Tehrani Persian. فکستنی /fakastani/ and زپرتی /zeperti/ come to mind... well at least I've been told they are Russian words, I'm not sure myself :mrgreen:

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-18, 12:16

Limagne wrote:There's also a bunch of Russian loan-words in colloquial Tehrani Persian. فکستنی /fakastani/ and زپرتی /zeperti/ come to mind... well at least I've been told they are Russian words, I'm not sure myself :mrgreen:

What do they mean? I can't think of any similar sounding Russian words.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby Psi-Lord » 2013-10-18, 12:27

voron wrote:
Set wrote:You'll probably be able to recognise a lot of the vocabulary already from Turkish.

Yes, there are quite a few examples from that little Persian vocabulary I already know:

The first such borrowings I ever learnt was ‘post office’: Turkish (tr) postane / Persian (fa) پست‌خانه ⟨post-xâne⟩. Back then, I had no idea about all the relations involving Turkish, Arabic and Persian, so it was quite a surprise! :)
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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-22, 2:51

 (tr)
Talked to my online teacher about Kurban bayramı and about my planned trip to St.Petersburg.

 (ar)
Lessons 18-22 of Assimil l'Arabe.

 (fa)
Lessons 21-24 of Assimil le Persan.

Both Assimil books introduce more or less the same vocabulary so I can translate Persian sentences to Arabic and the other way round:
پدر با پسر به بازار رفت
ذهب الوالد مع الولد إلى السوق

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-27, 14:23

 (fa)
I did lessons 25-26 of Assimil le Persan. Also read the portion of Mace's Grammar regarding the colloquial pronunciation.

So far my biggest problem with Persian is that I can't remember vowels well. I tend to confuse 'e' with 'æ', and sometimes 'æ' with 'ɒ'. It's not helping that in my native Russian, they can all be allophones of the same sound. Arabic is easier in this respect with its 3 vowels.

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Re: TAC 13/14 - voron - Turkish, Arabic, Persian

Postby voron » 2013-10-31, 0:23

 (ar)
Lessons 23-30 of Assimil l'Arabe.

I am already familiar with most of the grammar but it doesn't make things much easier. When I try to produce sentences on my own I have to think about tons of details. Even for a sentence as simple as "the students were happy" I have to think

1) if "students" are masculine or feminine
2) then remember to put the verb "were" in singular
3) and recall the plurals of "student" and "happy"
4) and make "students" definite and "happy" indefinite
5) and put "happy" in the accusative (the ending is not pronounced anyway but I'm trying to be pedantic)

Conceptually, it's not hard, there are just too many rules...

Also I received a call back from the language school and the lady said the group wasn't created so there won't be any classes. Out of curiosity I asked if they give any private classes and she said they do, and asked me a few questions about my level. It turns out that she's the tutor (and she's a Russian native speaker), so I arranged a free trial class with her next Saturday. I'm curious as to where and why she learnt Arabic and what her level is. I might want to continue with her if the quality&price combination is acceptable but I am a bit skeptic about that.


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