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Linguistic Struggles Thread
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Author:  gestaltist [ Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

ol bofosh wrote:
sirdanilot wrote:
If you can't do consonant clusters don't try to learn Dutch.

For example a bus stop in my town is named 'Oegstgeest-Abtspoelweg' [uχstˈχeɪst ˈɑptspulwɛχ]


That doesn't seem so hard, if you can separate it wth a syllable. [pts.p] would be the easiest for me.

The Polish phrase I was told began with around four consonants in a combination that my English mouth just couldn't quite do with breaking it up into syllables.

As sirdanilot said, it’s „Wszystkiego najlepszego“ (lit. „best wishes“) which is pronounced something like: [fʂɨˈstkʲɛgɔ najlɛˈpʂɛgɔ].

I suspect you didn’t hear the /ɨ/ and misheard the beginning of the phrase as something like [fʃtk].

Author:  ol bofosh [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 1:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I suspect so too, I don't remember that extra vowel. I was convinced the word was one syllable.

Author:  gestaltist [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

ol bofosh wrote:
I suspect so too, I don't remember that extra vowel. I was convinced the word was one syllable.

I don’t know why but this happens to most foreigners when they listen to Polish. (They don’t hear this vowel.) When learning from written text, they usually pronounce it as /i/ which isn’t very accurate, either.

Author:  Shm Jay [ Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I'm trying out the Michel Thomas Polish course, and I can tell you that having studied Russian and a long time ago a little Ukrainian really helps.

Author:  Arzena [ Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

At the host family in Morocco today, host father asks me if /stãws/ was a good time to go to the pool tomorrow. I thought he had slipped into French (not an uncommon occurrence here!) and so I got confused. Host dad sees that I'm not understanding and repeats himself in Modern Standard Arabic: sitta wa nifṣ or six thirty. That Moroccan Arabic contraction tho!

Author:  Bristel [ Sun Aug 02, 2015 4:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

That contraction is sexy. I would love to learn Arabic, but I need a fluent speaker to learn from.

Author:  Магхіалеі [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

RE:Arabic
I still struggle pronouncing the emphatic consonants, mostly word-finally. I think I have the voiced and voiceless pharyngeal fricatives almost down.

Author:  sirdanilot [ Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I am in Lisbon right now but oh Lord I can hardly understand people here with my Brazilian ear and often just speak English

Author:  ol bofosh [ Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Had a few years of speaking Spanish now, but it's still a language I have to think about: vocab, grammar, pronounciation. If only I could drop one, then it would make life easier, like pronounciation:
[ɒ.lɜ ǀ kʰɛ.ˈtʰæɫ]?
[sɔɪ̯ ʏn æŋ.ˈglɒ.fə.nɜʉ̯ tʰɛʉ.ˈtʰæɫ]

It's [tʰɛʉ̯.tˡɫ̩.ˈmɛn.tʰɛɪ̯] wrong, but it feels so right! Especially when I'm tired and my neurons aren't firing up properly.

[æ.dɪi̯.ˈɒs] :wink:

Author:  Torco [ Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

That's what I do whenever I have to actually speak english <as opposed to write it>. I just pronounce it as if it were regular old spanish.

so ai saund mor or les laik dis, clír vauels en evrizing. enits ríli a lot mor riláxing dan having to pur in de cógnitiv rísorses to du de jol pronunsiéichon zing.

Author:  Pole, the [ Fri Aug 07, 2015 12:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

[it tsɔʔuld xavɛ bɛʔɛn mutsx vɔrsɛ]

Author:  ol bofosh [ Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Torco wrote:
That's what I do whenever I have to actually speak english <as opposed to write it>. I just pronounce it as if it were regular old spanish.

so ai saund mor or les laik dis, clír vauels en evrizing. enits ríli a lot mor riláxing dan having to pur in de cógnitiv rísorses to du de jol pronunsiéichon zing.


Laqui iu. Ai zink if ai did de seim ai'd guet sam verri estreinch lucs.

What's worse is that I'm phonemically closer to Spanish than my own accent (I believe most of the time) and yet my gf stills tells me I have an "acentazo". It doesn't seem worth the effort. :roll:

Author:  Yng [ Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I mean, pronouncing Spanish more like Spanish than like your native language is a pretty low bar for not having an accent.

Author:  Dewrad [ Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

ol bofosh wrote:
Torco wrote:
That's what I do whenever I have to actually speak english <as opposed to write it>. I just pronounce it as if it were regular old spanish.

so ai saund mor or les laik dis, clír vauels en evrizing. enits ríli a lot mor riláxing dan having to pur in de cógnitiv rísorses to du de jol pronunsiéichon zing.


Laqui iu. Ai zink if ai did de seim ai'd guet sam verri estreinch lucs.

What's worse is that I'm phonemically closer to Spanish than my own accent (I believe most of the time) and yet my gf stills tells me I have an "acentazo". It doesn't seem worth the effort. :roll:

Spanish people, in my experience, if they have the even faintest suspicion that their interlocutor might be foreign, claim that they hear un acento. I have a friend who speaks Spanish natively, but also looks very pale and normally speaks to me in impeccable English having gone to uni here. On introducting him to my Spanish friend, she refused to believe that he was born and raised in Toledo, because she swore blind she could detect an accent.

Author:  Salmoneus [ Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

ol bofosh wrote:
Had a few years of speaking Spanish now, but it's still a language I have to think about: vocab, grammar, pronounciation. If only I could drop one, then it would make life easier, like pronounciation:
[ɒ.lɜ ǀ kʰɛ.ˈtʰæɫ]?
[sɔɪ̯ ʏn æŋ.ˈglɒ.fə.nɜʉ̯ tʰɛʉ.ˈtʰæɫ]

It's [tʰɛʉ̯.tˡɫ̩.ˈmɛn.tʰɛɪ̯] wrong, but it feels so right! Especially when I'm tired and my neurons aren't firing up properly.

[æ.dɪi̯.ˈɒs] :wink:


To get that accent right, you need to glottalise those /t/s...

Author:  Torco [ Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Yng wrote:
I mean, pronouncing Spanish more like Spanish than like your native language is a pretty low bar for not having an accent.

Yeah, I'm sure my mandarin is closer to mandarin than to spanish, but it's still, I'm sure, laowai as fuck.

Author:  sirdanilot [ Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I can *imitate* an actual englishman relatively well, but I can absolutely not speak like an actual englishman during random English conversation. I take out my Dunglish there automatically.

Author:  Vijay [ Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I am typing out my grandfather's World War II diary s l o w l y . It's mostly in Malayalam. I've been sitting on one page like all week instead of just banging it out.

EDIT: Oh, and my parents taught me three words for something like 'contagious disease' in Malayalam just hours ago, and I've already forgotten all three of them! Urgh!

Author:  Viktor77 [ Sun Mar 27, 2016 8:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Vijay wrote:
I am typing out my grandfather's World War II diary s l o w l y . It's mostly in Malayalam. I've been sitting on one page like all week instead of just banging it out.

EDIT: Oh, and my parents taught me three words for something like 'contagious disease' in Malayalam just hours ago, and I've already forgotten all three of them! Urgh!


You should publish it in Malayalam. I don't know what literature in Malayalam looks like but maybe there's a demand? :)

My linguistic struggle is very odd. I've been living in Liège since August so by now you'd think that if I went out with a group of Liégeois friends speaking in their dialect which I've heard since August I'd be able to understand most of it, right? Well, then you'd be wrong. Apparently I haven't got as used to the dialect as I thought. Meanwhile I spent the day in Antwerp yesterday with a friend from a suburb of Paris and I could basically understand 100% of what she said. She admitted that she has something of an elevated accent, refined vocabulary and diction (like RP English I suppose), but I was still surprised at how, not having been exposed to Parisian French since before my arrival here, I still somehow understand it far better than the dialect I've heard since August.

Author:  Vijay [ Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Well, you've also been studying French formally, right? Maybe that has something to do with it.
Viktor77 wrote:
You should publish it in Malayalam. I don't know what literature in Malayalam looks like but maybe there's a demand? :)

Well, maybe. There is not that much of a demand for Malayalam literature in general; in bookstores in most towns in Kerala, I'm pretty sure all you could find in Malayalam is evangelical literature because everything else is in English. But of course, there are also lots of Malayalees who can't read English, so at least they are relatively likely to read stuff in their own language. There may be other war memoirs in Malayalam out there, too, but I can't think of any right now at least, so maybe it's worth a shot. I also intend to send the (typed-out version of the) original off to his children since they could read it.

But I've started translating it to English, too. The original was in English anyway, and if I don't do that, none of his other grandchildren will be able to read it. The only other grandchild he has who can even barely read Malayalam is my brother. And I definitely think it would be interesting for the English-language market, too; AFAICT literature related to World War II tends to focus on Europe and especially the Jewish Holocaust, and since this is talking about the experiences of an ordinary Indian villager at the time, I think this would offer an interesting perspective on that.

Author:  Aya [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

I'm trying to memorize the Cherokee word for cook (v.), and it's just not working. How can you have such a common word be six syllables long?! The combination of the syllables, the vowel length, and the tone (Oklahoma Cherokee has six of them) is what gets me. I'm starting to wonder if there was a shorter word for "to cook" that just didn't get written down in the dictionary I have.Japanese feels friendly by comparison.

Still determined to get fluent, but it's going slowly.

Author:  Pole, the [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Aya wrote:
I'm trying to memorize the Cherokee word for cook (v.), and it's just not working. How can you have such a common word be six syllables long?!

Isn't it that most languages don't have a separate word for that and instead use something like “to boil” or “to prepare food”? (Or just “to make X” instead of ”to cook X”?)

Author:  Aya [ Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Linguistic Struggles Thread

Pole, the wrote:
Isn't it that most languages don't have a separate word for that and instead use something like “to boil” or “to prepare food”? (Or just “to make X” instead of ”to cook X”?)


Aha! Sure enough, my dictionary has "to make" (3s) as only three syllables long: goohlvvsga. That makes a lot more sense. Thank you.

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