Translation:my sister and my mother
KatieC993112: I wasn't given the option to reply to your latest message so I'm replying here instead:
It's really fun learning a bunch of languages--albeit casually and slowly, lol! Yes, I absolutely believe it's possible with patience and perseverance, bit by bit, and with the understanding that it doesn't happen overnight. I try to remind myself that the goal is simply to be able to understand and be understood by others, to communicate and not to be perfect, though I still can't help but try my best to sound like a native. I'm finding that the more languages I explore, the easier it becomes in the sense that I can start to see the similarities between them. So, instead of being confronted with a completely new language system each time, I'm able to gain familiarity more quickly because I can recognize that maybe their sentence structure is the same as another language I've explored, or they have the same type of formal vs. informal system, or certain letters are pronounced the same, or certain words might have the same meaning and similar pronunciation. All in all languages are my jam.
Damn. I'd started replying, but it's disappeared. Ah well. I'm full of admiration at your assiduity. I know Russian and French. How long have you been studying Arabic? And how long Russian and French? I may be able to help with those. One thing - I was struck by the similarity of Arabic and Russian ways of expressing possession. And at their copula omission. But in one way Arabic is easier than Russian: so far, at least, there don't seem to be any declensions. Long may it last. How do you find the pronunciation? In particular Ayn, and the emphatic consonants. I find them a devil to pronounce. But how do you find the time? I suppose you don't have to work on all the 16 languages every day. Hahaha.
KatieC993112: Huh. I also lost about half of my previous message and had to rewrite it. Not sure what that's about...
Anyway, I really appreciate your offer and kind words! I wouldn't claim to have "studied" per se, but I did have an immersion experience back when I attended a few years of elementary school in Egypt, though that was a long time ago (let's just say it's been decades) and now I'm trying to maintain and build upon what I had learned. So I’m very fortunate in that I have the pronunciation of a native (so no problem with any letters/sounds) and a decent grasp of proper sentence structure, but my vocabulary is quite limited and I struggle talking about everyday/household items. Thus, I could already speak Arabic and I'm mostly doing the Arabic course to refresh/improve my vocabulary as well as to evaluate it before I recommend it to others. For now, I try to give helpful feedback whenever I notice the lesson audio or answers are wonky. Perhaps I can help you with Arabic, at least with the basics and pronunciation?
I was actually first introduced to French at that same elementary school as a required foreign language, but I didn't retain any of what I had learned with the exception of the alphabet (because there was an upbeat song to help me remember, lol) and a few basic greeting phrases and words, unfortunately. So I recently decided to revisit it and try to actually keep it this time about a few days ago (added the course years ago but it's been sitting dormant for the most part). Russian is completely new to me, but I added the course about two years ago because I find languages with alphabets that are different from English to be more interesting and more of a challenge, but it's also been neglected until about a month or so ago when a family member started learning it and rekindled my motivation and competitive spirit.
I'll be honest, I had to Google some of the terms you mentioned, like “copula omission” and “declensions” (have you studied linguistics, by any chance?) and fully agree that Arabic is easier the Russian given my obvious bias, lol. As far as time, I just do a few lessons every day of my main one (or 3) that I’m focusing on and dabble in whichever language(s) tickle(s) my fancy if I find myself no longer enjoying those (I have to have fun) and it eventually adds up. No, lol, definitely, not all of them in one day (except for that one day when I first added a bunch of them at the same time and was so excited to explore and compare then that I really did do a lesson or two from all of them in one day). How long have you been learning Russian and French and how did you learn, if you don’t mind me asking? I'm impressed that you actually ‘know’ three languages, counting English! As more of a casual dabbler, I can really only claim to know English and “some Arabic”.
For now. ;)
Ha! I had a similar experience with Russian to yours with Arabic – spoke it as a child, forgot it in the intervening years, but when I relearnt it – and it felt as new to me as Latin and Greek were at school – I had a native pronunciation. It’s a great gift, isn’t it? As a result of which, I tend to pronounce words in new languages well, but not, I fear, with Arabic. I find the emphatic consonants difficult, and Ayn of course, and if you really could help me with pronunciation, I would greatly appreciate it. I might also need help with the grammar, later. So far, so good. Remembering the vocabulary is more problematic. And I meant it, about helping with Russian or French. I have taught them, and worked as an interpreter. And yes, I have studied linguistics. How come you had a few years of elementary school in Egypt? And what’s your name? Mine really is Katie.
Hah, what are the odds? :)
Yes, it's really a beautiful gift and same here; pronunciation in general is usually easier for me, even if I don't necessarily understand what it is I'm pronouncing. Yes, I am completely serious about helping with Arabic and thank you again. I may take you up on your offer later, but for now I'm only just getting my feet wet with Russian and French so I wouldn't even know what to ask you yet.
Ah, the linguistics background explains a lot. And, wow, interpreting! You must be at quite an advanced level to do that. How have you found studying linguistics and doing interpreting work? I've been seriously considering going back to school to study linguistics because I enjoy languages so much, though I know it's not about learning individual languages, but studying language as a whole, which also intrests me. I've been considering translation for Arabic once I'm at a high enough level since interpreting seems comparatively more demanding and high-stress, but would love to hear about your experience.
Respectfully, Katie, I ask that you please call me Fee like in my username (I added "the" because just "Fee" was already taken). While it is not my real name as I am uncomfortable sharing personal information online (nor do I recommend anyone do so), it IS my real "online" name which I prefer to be called. ;)
What can I say about Egypt? My parents had caught a travel bug and ended up sticking around for a bit, lol.
As far as Arabic help, if you're still interested, do you have any preferred or suggested platforms? I've heard of a few with a language partnering system like italki and HelloTalk where we could do send text/voice messages (I'm camera shy so no video), but I haven't actually tried them so can't speak to their effectiveness.
I hadn't heard of Italki or HelloTalk, but I've just had a look, and I see they are two of a number of such platforms. The idea is very appealing, but I know nothing about these things. I have got Skype (which at least Italki uses), but haven't used it for a very long time. I hope you don't mind guiding me a bit, because I'd love to discuss things with you on another platform.
Like you, I'm not really familiar with these platforms and have recently learned about something called Discord which looks promising, but I will definitely check them out and let you know if I find one better than the rest. I also have a Skype from a long, long time ago that I may have used once or twice ever (I think I still have it?)... In any case, yes, I will be happy to guide you through whichever platform once I've figured it out myself. :)
Hi, Katie! Yup, still here and all is well. I hope the same goes for you and yours. Just been a bit busy so I wasn't able to get back to you as quickly as I had wanted, sorry. I've just made an account on Discord and would like to try using it's direct messaging feature to work on languages with you if you're on board to make an account. It seems simple enough so far and I think it could be great for our purposes. Once we both have an account I can add you as a "friend" and that gives us access to direct messaging via text/voice/video. I would just need your username and tag.
Oh, it looks a bit complicated for my little brain. Would I choose the Arabic-English one? And it says, "Deleted user xxxxxxxx (not actually xxxx... but some long code name) invited you to join". Is that normal? And the first thing I have to input is "What should everyone call you?" Is that how you joined? I'm a bit nervous in case I'm not dealing with the right thing. Is that the only way to join, by committing to a particular language pair?
KatieC993112: I'm happy to help and, lol, fair enough. I also definitely do not want life to be hard, per se, and perhaps that was a poor voice of words on my part...I suppose what I meant is more along the lines of the idea that sometimes having "some" level of challenge, however minor or painless, can add a little spice to our lives.
I did as you said, and clicked on the three dots, but it didn't give a list - it gave a "dictionary", and you have to type in the English or Arabic word yourself, and I'm afraid when I typed in a nonsense Arabic word, it transliterated it into the Roman alphabet, just like Google Translate does. Did I do something wrong? Is there a way to actually get a list?
So glad it worked for you! Yes, it is a rewarding feeling and it's good (not in the least bit pathetic) to celebrate the small victories. I know doing so keeps ME going, at least. :)
Yeah, their algorithms need work so I don't take it to heart. Instead, I just review whichever lessons I feel I struggle most with as needed and use the word list as a reference.
No problem! It is indeed, but it'd be boring otherwise, no? ;)
I did notice, though, that it seems the gibberish words do not appear in the official word list for the course. You can find the list by clicking the circle with 3 dots in it located at the top of the page to open a menu then select "words". The list can only be accessed from the desktop version of Duolingo as far as I can tell.
Yes, after downloading the app, I chose to "Register" and the first thing it asked was "What would everyone call you?" as well as an email and password, all of which I entered. You don't need to join any servers or anything complicated at this point. I did not have to choose a language pair at all, nor should you. I have no clue who the deleted user who invited you was, but please feel free to ignore them for now as I can guarantee it wasn't me since I don't even know your username and tag number yet.
Huh. No worries. I was using my phone app so it looks a little different. In any case, I've just tried it on my browser and it seems you can choose to open it on your browser then ignore the prompt for a username and instead click the "Login" button at the top right. Then once again ignore the prompt for login info and instead click the easy-to-miss "Register" link right under the "Login" button where it says, "Need an account? Register".
No sure why they made it so unintuitive, but there you go.
Alternatively, you can download the app and register there as I did. The browser version asks for a birthday which I don't ever having to enter on the app.
Oh. When I clicked "Run", I eventually got a message saying, "there was an error while installing the application. Check the Set Up log..." The set up log was a whole log of incomprehensible stuff. Oh god. Perhaps I should try downloading it on my phone? But then will I be able to use it on my computer, like I do with WhatsApp, on both...
Great! Now we just need to add each other as friends then we can private/direct message without having to join servers and whatnot. What is your username and tag number, please? In the phone app, you can see it by selecting the profile button on the bottom right, then look to the top left right under where your profile picture would be. It should be something like Katie#1234, for example.