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TAC 2014 - dEhiN - UniLang

TAC 2014 - dEhiN

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dEhiN
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TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-03-07, 19:00

Hi all so I'm fairly new to the site, the forums, and TAC. Well I joined the site last year but didn't use it much. Anyway, this year, fairly recently, I've become a lot more focused on my lang learning, so I'm going to take part in the TAC.

Currently I'm learning six languages. I'm pretty much at a beginner level in all of them, except for French, which I'm at an elementary level. The six are:

French
Portuguese (Brazilian)*
Spanish
German
Tamil (Sri Lankan)**
Japanese

*I started learning Brazilian Portuguese when I visited São Paulo for a month in December 2013. I'm now getting used to the Portugal accent. I'll also probably learn Portugal Portuguese words and phrases along my learning journey. But my preference and focus is Brazilian Portuguese.

**I come from SL so I'm more accustomed to and prefer SL Tamil, but that said since I never learned Tamil as a child and am now learning it as an adult, I realize that I'll probably learn a fair amount of Indian Tamil too. I might even pick up an Indian Tamil accent. But my preference is the Tamil generally spoken in Sri Lanka.

As for resources, I'm mainly using Duolingo for the first four langs (the ones that use the Latin script). I'm using Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese, which is an online grammar guide, to learn Japanese. And I'm using a few resources for Tamil. Currently it's a site called Thamizh Paadanool (Tamil School).
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-03-07, 19:04

I've been trying, and succeeding for the most part, to study a little bit of each lang every day. After almost 20 days of this, I find my brain is wanting to study more for each lang - to do more intensive study. But I'm not sure if I'm ready for this. I'm afraid of doing too much one day and then having to recuperate the next day, thereby not being able to keep up the little bit each day. I also think I'm not sure if I want to dedicate more time to lang learning. I don't know why - it's not like I don't have the time. But my goal is to become a polyglot, and though I'm a bit late in the game - that is, I'm starting at 30 to seriously study other languages, as oppose to many I've met who started in their teens or twenties - I want to take this seriously and make it my goal for the rest of my life.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-03-07, 20:04

Hi DEhin! Vannakkam. I'm so happy you joined and I will definitely be following your TAC. :mrgreen:
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-03-07, 20:50

Thanks/Merci/Danke/நன்றி Meera!
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-04, 16:55

I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy with life I suppose. But in terms of the TAC, I'm still going. I stopped doing a little of each lang each day. Actually for a while I stopped all langs completely. Now I've started up with French and Portuguese again. I also do a little bit of Spanish, Japanese and German when I can.

I was using Duolingo as my only resource for FR, ES, PT, and DE. But when I stopped all langs, I reset all my progress. So now I'm only doing FR, ES, and PT on Duo. I've also started using PortuguesePod101.com for PT. And I borrowed from my library 2 eBooks by Innovative Language Learning (the same company that maintains the Pod101 sites) - Learn Portuguese: Level 1, and Learn German: Level 1. Though I've been going through the lessons for Portuguese. I only did lesson 1 for German.

For Japanese I've been going to language exchanges - either through Meetup or one-on-one with Japanese friends. I finally learned all the Hiragana characters. Now I find I'm getting better at reading and writing them. Well, actually at writing them, especially without looking them up. But reading them is still hard for me.

The same is true of Tamil; writing the letters is not a problem for me. But when I have to read a new word, it takes me a while. I'm not sure how to progress in learning Tamil. I think part of the difficulty is the same problem I've faced ever since I started learning Tamil: I want to learn Sri Lankan Tamil, but practically all resources online are for Indian Tamil. And all language exchange partners I have on Skype who speak Tamil speak Indian Tamil. I have nothing against Indian Tamil. But my background is Sri Lankan Tamil.

Overall I do find I'm progressing in all the langs. I also find that my brain is starting to think directly in whichever target language I'm studying, at least when it comes to the vocabulary I already know. I find this especially true with French, which is good. My second best language, after English, is French. So starting to think directly in French is a really good sign of progress.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-05-04, 20:00

Nice update, I'm glad your continuing your languages! :mrgreen:
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-04, 22:41

Thanks Meera!
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-05-07, 2:05

No problem!
अहिंसा
TAC 2015:  (hi) (ja) (ar) (fr)
Loves: (bn) (ta) (id) (tr) (ur)

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-08, 4:30

I posted a new entry on my language blog - http://langislife.wordpress.com/ with a blurb about each language I'm learning. Since all 6 languages are part of my TAC, I figured that post is relevant here. So for any following my TAC, rather than my copy the content, go here and read it. Also, the bit I wrote about Tamil is still a quandry for me. So if you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-08, 5:33

A few days ago I decided to write down some words or phrases I know in all 7 languages - English + the 6 I'm learning. I'm now writing them here. The order I'm writing them in is EN-FR-PT (BR)-ES-TA (SL)-DE-JA.

Hello / Hi - Bonjour / Salut - Bom dia / Oi - Buenos dias / Hola - வணக்கம் - Hallo - おはようございます/おはよう

Thank you / Thanks - Merci - Obrigado (obrigada) - Gracias - நன்றி - Danke - ありがと

Thank you very much - Merci beaucoup - Muito obrigado (muita obrigada) - Muchas gracias - ரொம்ப* நன்றி / மிகவும்* நன்றி - Danke schön - ありがとございます

Yes - Oui - Sim - Sí - ஒம்* - Ja - はい

No - Non - Não - No - இல்லை - Nein - いいえ

*Some notes:
1) I know that in Indian Tamil, ரொம்ப நன்றி is the way to say "thank you very much", or in other words, the polite way to say "thanks". But I'm not really sure what the SL Tamil equivalent is. While ரொம்ப‌ means "very", I think in SL Tamil the word used is மிகவும். At least, that's according to Google Translate, which I know uses Indian Tamil usually. The word I know from my childhood is மெத்த as in மெத்த நல்லம் / மெத்த நல்ல = very good. But then again, I know it from hearing it and speaking it. So while I know how to write the word for good (நல்ல), I've never actually written the SL Tamil word for "very" before, for any phrase.

2) The same is true of the word for "yes". According to Google Translate, the written word for "yes" is ஆம். However, from childhood, I know the SLT word is ஒம் and the IT word is ஆமா. Again, though, this is all from hearing and speaking it. Well, I'm used to saying the SLT word, and so I spelled it according to how I say it. But even with the IT word, I've heard it as ஆமா, not as ஆம்.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-08, 6:12

I also wrote down the nominative pronouns, which I think I know them all for each of the 6 languages.

FR - Les Pronoms Nominatif:
je
tu
il / elle / on
nous
vous
ils / elles

PT - Os Pronomes Nominativos (?):
eu
tu
ele / ela / você
nós
vos
eles / elas / vocês

ES - Los Pronombres:
yo

él / ella / usted
nosotros / nosotras
vosotros / vosotras (?)
ellos / ellas / ustedes

TA - அறிவியலில் பிரதிபெயர்களை (?):
நான்
நீ (நீர் ?)
அவன் / அவள் / அவர் / அது
நாம் / நாங்கள்
நீங்கள்
அவர்கள்*

DE - Nominativ Pronomen:
ich
du
er / sie / es
wir
sie
ihr
SIe

JA - しゅかくだいめいし:
わたし
あなた
かれ / かのじょ / それ
わたしたち
あなたたち
かれら / かのじょら / それら

Some notes:
1) Word/phrases with question marks beside them indicate that I'm not sure if the word or phrase is correct.

1a) I used Google Translate to translate the phrase "nominative pronoun" into each language. While most of the languages I'm sure are correct, I'm not sure about Portuguese or Tamil. For Tamil, I don't know if the whole phrase is correct since my Tamil vocabulary is quite bad. Although I do know that பெயர் = name and கள் = plural suffix. As for Portuguese, Google Translate gave me "os pronomes nominativas", but since "pronome" is masculine, I figured the phrase should actually be "os pronomes nominativos".

1b) I've learned that in Spanish there are two forms of the pronoun for "we" - nosotros and nosotras. I assume the same is true of the pronoun for plural "you" - vosotros. I don't know for sure since I'm learning Latin American Spanish, and vosotros is rarely, if ever, used. And in Tamil, I know the pronoun for casual "you" is நீ, but at least that's in SLT. I've seen the form நீர் in writing before, and have even asked about it here at UniLang. I can only assume that in IT நீர் is used for casual "you", and in SLT, நீ is used instead.

2) The only 3rd person plural pronoun I know of in Tamil is அவர்கள். But this is literally taking the pronoun அவர், which is the 3rd person singular formal form, and attaching the plural suffix to it. So logically I think that the same should be possible with the 3rd person singular casual forms - அவன் (he) and அவள் (she). This would give அவன்கள் and அவள்கள், but I'm not sure if these forms exist nor are used. I also don't remember the pronoun for the plural of அது (it). Then again, I don't know if English has a pronoun for the plural of it! I suppose it would be these/those.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-08, 8:44

I've noticed that there's a lot of words in Portuguese and Spanish that are very similar in spelling and pronunciation. Three that I'm going to work on differentiating are:

ES - disculpe
PT - desculpe

ES - chau
PT - tchau

ES - adiós
PT - adeus
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Saim » 2014-05-08, 9:46

As for continental and insular Tamil, maybe you could use Indian learning resources and then just consume Sri Lankan media (songs, TV, etc.) and try and adapt your knowledge to that. It'd definitely be more difficult, but if you can't find many formal learning resources for Sri Lankan Tamil then that may be the only way about it. Try speaking Indian Tamil to your family, and when they respond in their variety try to adapt those features.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-08, 10:12

Saim wrote:As for continental and insular Tamil, maybe you could use Indian learning resources and then just consume Sri Lankan media (songs, TV, etc.) and try and adapt your knowledge to that. It'd definitely be more difficult, but if you can't find many formal learning resources for Sri Lankan Tamil then that may be the only way about it. Try speaking Indian Tamil to your family, and when they respond in their variety try to adapt those features.


I like those ideas; thanks! I do know that the written Tamil variety is the same for both. That is, there is only one type of formal, written Tamil. It's the colloquial speech patterns that vary in continental and insular.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby Meera » 2014-05-09, 0:13

I agree with Saim, learning Indian Tamil or using Indian Tamil resources would make learning Tamil a lot easier because most resources are for Indian Tamil. Also you should Indian Tamil tv and films too, I know it isn't the dialect your learning but it will still help you I think :P
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-09, 4:13

I decided to drop Spanish from my TAC list. I'm finding it extremely difficult to try and simultaneously study both Portuguese and Spanish. I borrowed some materials from my local library for four languages. The ones relevant to my TAC are:

1) Start Japanese by Michel Thomas Method - an audio cd

2) A Reference Grammar of Spoken Tamil by Harold F. Schiffman

3) Basic Portuguese by Sue Tyson-Ward

I have been using Duolingo to learn French, Portuguese, Spanish, and German. I'm going to continue using Duo to learn French and German. But for now I'm not going to continue Portuguese or Spanish. I'll probably keep up what I've learned in each once a week or so, just so that my level in Duo doesn't fall behind.

So this means I now have at least one resource I am using for each language. Or rather, I have one main resource - Duo for French and German, Start Japanese for Japanese, A Reference Grammar of Spoken Tamil for Tamil, and Basic Portuguese for Portuguese. Of course I will still use other resources intermittently as needed.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby eskandar » 2014-05-09, 5:20

dEhiN wrote:2) The same is true of the word for "yes". According to Google Translate, the written word for "yes" is ஆம். However, from childhood, I know the SLT word is ஒம் and the IT word is ஆமா. Again, though, this is all from hearing and speaking it. Well, I'm used to saying the SLT word, and so I spelled it according to how I say it. But even with the IT word, I've heard it as ஆமா, not as ஆம்.
I've never studied Tamil, but isn't the issue here just one of செந்தமிழ் (centamiḻ or formal literary Tamil) vs. கொடுந்தமிழ் (koṭuntamiḻ or colloquial spoken Tamil)? As you probably know, the two can be quite different. You would have heard ஆமா because that's what's spoken (at least among Indian Tamils) whereas ஆம் would be the form used in literature. This also points to the perils of using Google Translate, generally not a good source for learners of any language.
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-09, 12:31

eskandar wrote:I've never studied Tamil, but isn't the issue here just one of செந்தமிழ் (centamiḻ or formal literary Tamil) vs. கொடுந்தமிழ் (koṭuntamiḻ or colloquial spoken Tamil)? As you probably know, the two can be quite different.


You're right - the two are quite different. And therein lies the rub - I really want to learn colloquial spoken Sri Lankan Tamil but resources I can generally find for colloquial or spoken Tamil are for Indian Tamil. And while I can start using my family again, and speak with them whenever I get the chance, I probably won't progress much if I rely solely upon opportunities to converse with my family.

But as suggested twice over by Saim and Meera, I'm going to bite the bullet and use the online/offline resources to learn Indian Tamil. Once I learn a word, I can always change my pronunciation to reflect SLT based on how my family uses that word.

eskandar wrote:You would have heard ஆமா because that's what's spoken (at least among Indian Tamils) whereas ஆம் would be the form used in literature. This also points to the perils of using Google Translate, generally not a good source for learners of any language.


For me this points to the fact that learning on my own I'm can't always tell why there's a difference, or that the difference is a literary versus spoken one. Having it explained (by a person or an online/offline resource) illuminates the differences for me.

As for Google Translate, yes it's dangerous to use it. Especially since Tamil is still in alpha stage at GT. But since I don't have a pocket dictionary of any sort, it's the only thing I can use. Maybe it's time I buy a pocket dictionary!
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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-09, 22:01

I think I always thought ஆமா was basically just the reduplicated form of ஆம், kind of like "yeah, yeah." So basically, my guess is that it's just ஆமாம் (and I think I've even seen that word written that way), but I think there's a rule at least in Indian Tamil that vowel + nasal is pronounced as a nasalized vowel word-finally (or at least utterance-finally), so /a:ma:m/ would end up being pronounced [ˈãːmãː].

No idea how it works in Sri Lanka. (I'm pretty curious about dialect variation in Tamil, BTW. I really don't get where the boundary between Malayalam and Tamil is supposed to lie. I keep feeling like those two languages are remarkably similar yet...different).

BTW, I just thought of this, but you're in Toronto. Aren't there like tons of Sri Lankan Tamils there or something? Maybe you could try finding some near you and talking to them, too.

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Re: TAC 2014 - dEhiN

Postby dEhiN » 2014-05-16, 2:20

vijayjohn wrote:I think I always thought ஆமா was basically just the reduplicated form of ஆம், kind of like "yeah, yeah." So basically, my guess is that it's just ஆமாம் (and I think I've even seen that word written that way), but I think there's a rule at least in Indian Tamil that vowel + nasal is pronounced as a nasalized vowel word-finally (or at least utterance-finally), so /a:ma:m/ would end up being pronounced [ˈãːmãː].


You're right about the rule. I borrowed a book from the library called "A Reference Grammar of Spoken Tamil" and it talks about that rule:

"Words of more than one syllable ending in a vowel plus the nasal consonants ம் m and ன் n change to nasalized vowels, and the nasal segment is deleted."

I'm not sure though if ஆமா is of this case or not. I'm actually not even sure what the written Tamil word for "yes" is. I know that in spoken SLT, the word is ஒம் /om/, which is different from ஓம் /o:m/ the Hindu mantra repeated when meditating. I think this word "yes" is a case where even the literary equivalents differ from region to region. I'm pretty sure in written SLT, ஒம் is used and not ஆம், ஆமா, or ஆமாம்.


vijayjohn wrote:BTW, I just thought of this, but you're in Toronto. Aren't there like tons of Sri Lankan Tamils there or something? Maybe you could try finding some near you and talking to them, too.


You're right; there's a larger diaspora of SL Tamils here in Toronto than Indian Tamils. I've had difficulties finding lang partners in the past. There seems to not be many, or any, resources for adult learners of Tamil. There are plenty of schools for kids who want to learn, but I think most of these are for Tamil children whose parents want them to learn Tamil. It's funny how even the public school board - Toronto District School Board - has Saturday extra-curricular classes for learning Tamil. But alas, these classes are for usually elementary level children.
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