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TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic) - UniLang

TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

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TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-06, 22:29

I'll use the first post of this TAC for an accumulating list of my short term goals. I'll cross the items out as I progress.

Jan 5 - Jan 11
Michel Thomas Arabic - Vocabulary Builder
Last edited by voron on 2015-02-26, 12:21, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-06, 22:36

I decided that I won't set any long-term goals for this TAC. Essentially I keep pursuing the same goal: to improve my Turkish and Arabic.

It's very unlikely that I'll take up any new languages this year (even though I keep wanderlusting for Kurdish and Persian and I adore listening to these languages).

I can't decide whether I should continue with the Egyptian or the Syrian dialect of Arabic.
Pros for Egyptian: Widespread, many resources.
Pros for Syrian: There are many more Syrians here in Istanbul than Egyptians, and I even have a Syrian colleague.

They don't seem too different though. I find MSA to be more distant from both of them than they are from each other.

Is there anything to read in a dialect at all? (I know the question is wrong to start with since dialects are spoken, not written, but for Egyptian there is Wikipedia at least... is there anything for Syrian or more generally Levantine? Otherwise I'd have to resort to popular media such as songs and films. I hope I'll be able to find lyrics and transcripts).

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-06, 23:14

voron wrote:Is there anything to read in a dialect at all? (I know the question is wrong to start with since dialects are spoken, not written, but for Egyptian there is Wikipedia at least... is there anything for Syrian or more generally Levantine? Otherwise I'd have to resort to popular media such as songs and films. I hope I'll be able to find lyrics and transcripts).

This is a good website with transcripts and translations of monologues and interviews. This is the page I'm thinking of for Levantine Arabic (within that website).

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-06, 23:38

Thanks vijay!
Wait, are you doing Arabic too? I don't remember seeing it on your list!

I consider using this textbook for Syrian (warning: PDF inside)
http://www.levantinelanguageschool.com/ ... Arabic.pdf

On a side note the website belongs to a language school in Damascus, and the pages are still inviting students for courses and describing the sightseeings of Damascus, even though most likely the school is not functional anymore. :(

I also took a look at DLI materials and they look good but sadly the Arabic script is small and illegible.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-07, 20:20

voron wrote:Thanks vijay!
Wait, are you doing Arabic too?

No, but at one point, when I was in grad school, I had three classmates (in a historical linguistics class) who were Arabic students and spoke excellent Syrian Arabic. Apparently, Arabic classes at that university require all Arabic students to talk to each other exclusively in Arabic everywhere, not just in class (because apparently, that's the only way they can practice without going to the Middle East). They all talked to each other in it every day before class started, and I was always curious as to what they were talking about. They helped me get started trying to seriously learn it (one of them taught me how to make pharyngeals), and that's when I found some resources including this one. I was kind of sad when that class ended because I knew I'd never see them again even though they said I would, so I no longer had any particular reason to study Arabic. Both before and after I took that class, I had no idea what language to study, which really bothered me.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-11, 23:59

Random notes on the Arabic forms.

Form IV - adds the causative meaning.
Verb pattern: أفْعَلَ
Masdar pattern: إفْعال

Examples found in Turkish:
ihraç (export): kharaja - akhraja - ikhraaj (çıkmak - çıkarmak)
ithal (import): dakhala - adkhala - idkhaal (girmek - getirmek)
israf (waste): sarafa - asrafa - israaf (gözden kaçmak - gözden kaçırmak/harcamak)
imkan (possibility): makana* - amkana - imkaan (be possible - give possibility)
iptal (cancellation): baTala - abTala - ibTaal (be idle/valid - make idle/valid)
imdat (help): madada* - amdada ( ... - to prolong/extend (a helping hand))

Form III - adds the conative (=attempt) meaning
Verb pattern: فاعَلَ
Masdar pattern: مُفاعَلَة or فِعال

Examples found in Turkish:
mütareke (armistice): taraka - to renounce, taaraka - to negotiate peace
muhasebe (accounting): 7asaba - to count, 7aasaba - to account
muamele (treatment): 3amala - to work, 3aamala - to treat
mücadele (fight): jadala - to weave, jaadala - to argue

*These forms do not exist, restored.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-14, 17:26

My Syrian colleague showed me some Turkish series dubbed into the Syrian Arabic today:
http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihlamurlar_Alt%C4%B1nda
http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asi_(dizi)
(they are named سنوات الضياع and عاصي in Arabic, respectively, and can be searched on youtube)

and omg they sound so awesome! I'm looking forward to being able to understand them one day.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby dEhiN » 2015-01-15, 22:23

What have you used to learn Turkish? And what are you using now? Also, what would you say is your level? Eventually I'd like to focus a bit more on Turkish, and I have no actual resources (apart from Mango Languages Turkish, which I haven't gone through past the first few slides).
Je veux parler toutes les langues dans le monde!

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-15, 22:39

voron wrote:My Syrian colleague showed me some Turkish series dubbed into the Syrian Arabic today:
http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihlamurlar_Alt%C4%B1nda
http://tr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asi_(dizi)
(they are named سنوات الضياع and عاصي in Arabic, respectively, and can be searched on youtube)

and omg they sound so awesome! I'm looking forward to being able to understand them one day.

There's also Zoraki Koca, which apparently is similar to Asi and is dubbed into Syrian Arabic as الحب المستحيل (which means 'Impossible Love'). You should be able to find that on YouTube, too (both in Turkish and in Arabic). See here for a sample of an excerpt of the first episode with everything transcribed, transliterated, and translated into English with a vocabulary list at the bottom.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-15, 23:10

dEhiN wrote:What have you used to learn Turkish? And what are you using now? Also, what would you say is your level? Eventually I'd like to focus a bit more on Turkish, and I have no actual resources (apart from Mango Languages Turkish, which I haven't gone through past the first few slides).

I started with the textbook and the grammar book by Russian author Щека but I wouldn't recommend it. Its explanations are vague and its vocabulary is slanted towards economics and international relations.

Then I proceeded with various other Russian books (I used the Russian ones just because I could easily buy them in paper) but none was particularly good and I never finished any of them. Many Russian language books have this deficiency that they are too academic. They're somewhat useless if what you want is to have smalls talks and chit-chats with people, rather than plunge into geopolitical discussions.

The book I really liked was Assimil Turkish (it's available in French only, so you may give a go to practise your French as well). I did it from cover to cover and learnt a lot of useful vocab from it.

As for the grammar books, these two are indispensible:
Geoffrey Lewis Turkish Grammar (good for morphology)
Routledge's Turkish: A Comprehensive Grammar (excellent for syntax)

I am especially in love with the second book. It teaches you details you won't find in other books, such as proper use of the discourse markers.

And I "used" my Turkish friends extensively, too! Special thanks go to Önder and Utku, you guys are awesome if you happen to read this.

My current level allows me to live and work in Turkey by using only the Turkish language. I didn't use English even once until very recently when I got a Syrian colleague who doesn't speak Turkish. On the other hand I hesitate quite often when searching for a word and my vocabulary has some wide gaps. The only way I see to improve it efficiently is reading (news and fiction). I don't think talking to my friends would help much, neither would watching the TV (the latter two would definitely help picking up some slang and improving my listening comprehension, though).

Dehin, you could use many (not too legal) resources available online. If you prefer to be 100% legal, you can use this website:
http://www.turkishlanguage.co.uk/
Also look up on the Turkish subforum, it should have a collection of links somewhere. And good luck with Turkish! It's an amazingly interesting language.
Last edited by voron on 2015-01-15, 23:29, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-15, 23:26

vijayjohn wrote:There's also Zoraki Koca

Thanks vijay, this seems both useful and fun!

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-16, 0:17

voron wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:There's also Zoraki Koca

Thanks vijay, this seems both useful and fun!

Birşey değil.
ما في شيء.

;)

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2015-01-16, 2:49

voron wrote:Is there anything to read in a dialect at all? (I know the question is wrong to start with since dialects are spoken, not written, but for Egyptian there is Wikipedia at least... is there anything for Syrian or more generally Levantine?
There are some books, especially children's books, but probably not many. I know there is at least one novel in Egyptian Arabic, maybe more. See this blog post (and especially the comments, as well as the comments here) for some suggestions on books in Levantine Arabic.

vijayjohn wrote:ما في شيء
Is this actually used for "you're welcome" in some dialect? Or were you just making a calque of the Turkish? As far as Levantine goes I've only heard this as a response to شو أخبارك؟ but my knowledge of Levantine dialect(s) is meager at best.
Tracking my progress here. Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-16, 4:42

eskandar wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:ما في شيء
Is this actually used for "you're welcome" in some dialect? Or were you just making a calque of the Turkish? As far as Levantine goes I've only heard this as a response to شو أخبارك؟ but my knowledge of Levantine dialect(s) is meager at best.

Oh, crap, I should've known that there was a problem with using that! At first, I thought maybe the problem was that it was MSA instead of the Syrian Arabic I was looking for, but then I was like "no, that couldn't be right..." :lol:

EDIT: OK, I think "تكرم" would have made more sense in Levantine. :P :lol:

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby TheStrayCat » 2015-01-16, 5:05

to dEhiN:

I used Hugo's Turkish in Three Months, and it seems pretty good at covering both grammar and colloquial vocabulary. It's been practically the only book I have used so far, so I have nothing to compare it to, but when reading short texts in Turkish I feel that it gave me a solid background.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-16, 17:41

vijayjohn wrote:EDIT: OK, I think "تكرم" would have made more sense in Levantine. :P :lol:

The only expression I know for "you're welcome" is from MSA: عفوا
(I think I learnt it from the "3arabiyya bayna yadayk" book).

Oh and also the one Eskandar taught us from Egyptian Arabic: العفو علی ايه

Today I asked my colleague to say random phrases in Syrian Arabic, and I was surprised with one thing.
From the MT course I learnt that:
1) MSA's imperfect and subjunctive merged into subjunctive in Egyptian, such as naro7 - let's go, ana 3awez aro7 - I want to go.
2) Egyptian developed a new analytic present tense which is formed by appending "b(e)" to the subjunctive: baro7 - I go (regularly).

Now Ahmad told me that to say "I work (regularly)" you say smth like:
3ashghal (???)
I got it that you take the root شغل , put it in the 1st person اشغل and then append not ب but ع to it to produce the present tense? I may have misunderstood it.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2015-01-16, 21:13

voron wrote:The only expression I know for "you're welcome" is from MSA: عفوا
(I think I learnt it from the "3arabiyya bayna yadayk" book).

Oh and also the one Eskandar taught us from Egyptian Arabic: العفو علی ايه
I think عفواً is used not just in MSA, but in many colloquial dialects as well. Another expression for "you're welcome" that I really like (which is the default response in Morocco, but can be used anywhere) is لا شكرَ علی واجب .

Now Ahmad told me that to say "I work (regularly)" you say smth like:
3ashghal (???)
I got it that you take the root شغل , put it in the 1st person اشغل and then append not ب but ع to it to produce the present tense? I may have misunderstood it.
I think most likely he was just saying a3mal (from the verb عمل which if I'm not mistaken is more common for 'to work' in 3ammiyya than شغل). Syrian (and other Levantine dialects) also use the prefix بــ to mark the habitual, just like Egyptian.
Tracking my progress here. Please correct my mistakes in any language.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby voron » 2015-01-17, 12:10

eskandar wrote:I think most likely he was just saying a3mal

Actually, no. I checked it with Mark Cowell A Reference Grammar of Syrian Arabic and apparently there is this particle of actuality 3am- which is prepended to either the subjunctive or to the indicative form with b- and has the meaning of an ongoing activity (similar to the progressive aspect in English):
3am-byakol or 3am-yakol - he is eating.

Quoting from the book (p. 320):
In Damascus, 3am- + -b- is most common in the first person singular (3am-bakol - I'm eating, more common than 3am-'akol); otherwise the forms without -b- are predominant.

So what my friend actually said was most likely 3am-baš3al (or less likely 3am-'aš3al) - I'm working.

UPD This guy here also explains the same thing:
http://www.thearabicstudent.com/2009/09 ... rabic.html
3.The word عم adds -ing to the verb after it.

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-17, 18:55

Yep, I remember him (thearabicstudent) covering that. :D

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Re: TAC 2015 - voron (Turkish, Arabic)

Postby eskandar » 2015-01-17, 23:26

Sorry! I didn't know about the عم prefix at all, I just guessed you had misheard. Very interesting, I learned something new :) I guess it's etymologically similar to the Egyptian عمّال (though the connotation seems to be different).
Tracking my progress here. Please correct my mistakes in any language.


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