Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Maltese verbs: Rajt ma rajtx...smajt ma smajtx

root: s-m-għ 

to hear, to listen
I hear, I listen
you hear, you listen
he hears, listens
she hears, listens
we hear, listen
you hear, listen
they hear, listen

I heard, listened
you heard, listened
he heard, listened
she heard, listened
we heard, listened
you heard, listened
they heard, listened

You, hear! Listen!
you (pl) hear, listen!

Root: r-'-j
to see, to understand
also to see as in to pay a visit
I see
you see
he sees
she sees
we see
you see
they see

I saw
you saw
he saw
she saw
we saw
you saw
they saw

You, see!
you (pl), see!

Fuq it-triq ta Birkirkara Int u sejjer San Giljan
Hemm salib fuq il-Kolonna Musbieh jixghel lejl u nhar
Das-Salib jekk darba thares lejh Ihallilek kurzita
Ghandu Storja jrid jirrakkontaha Izda jghidha ma jistax
Ghax sieket
Ghat-twissija tant ghaqlija L’hemm miktuba fuq il-hajt
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Din hija t-twissija l’hemm miktuba fuq il-hajt
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Tara x’ tara, tisma x’tisma, XXXXXXX!
Titkellem xejn ma hadd.

Mela darba kien hemm ragel Qed jistrieh taht das-salib
Ragel iehor dahal jigri Go l-isqaq li hemm fil-qrib
Dan tat-tieni mar fl-isqaq mifxul Ghax warajh kien gej qattiel
U hekk kif wasal l-iehor dlonk ried hjiel Minghand dak li kien jistrieh
u hiemed.
Qallu Ija minghalija rajtu diehel f’dan l-isqaq,
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Din hija t-twissija l’hemm miktuba fuq il-hajt
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Tara x’ tara, tisma x’tisma, XXXXXXX!
Titkellem xejn ma hadd.

Bhal afrid fl-isqaq mar jigri Jfittx lil dak li stahba hemm
Bi stallett nifidlu qalbu U hallih f’ghadira demm
Dak ir-ragel li kien tah il-hjiel Qal b’idejja x’mort ghamilt
Kwazi jien dal-povru ragel qtilt Ghax ilsieni twil u ma
bqajtx sieket.
Nghix fil-piena, hajti jiena, Ghax ilsieni ma razzantx.
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Din hija t-twissija l’hemm miktuba fuq il-hajt
Rajt ma rajtx, smajt ma smajtx
Tara x’ tara, tisma x’tisma, XXXXXXX!
Titkellem xejn ma hadd.
Titkellem xejn ma hadd.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Just not my style...

I just realized something. Yes, I know, really stupid of me, not to get it earlier, but better late than never, huh?

I will never be a polyglot in the normal meaning of the word, because I don't have the tenacity. One just needs to look at this blog to get that.  Last year I made two posts. TWO. I WAS SUPPOSED to take the 6 weeks' challenge in Russian, but... that was about it. I think I managed one week this time around. :-D
(One thing that did me in was the Russian keyboard. I went to and got it all set up nicely, but then the program had me typing the same 4-5 letters day after day, never gave me any new letters, and I gave up. Not fun.)
2016 I got into Korean. That lasted a couple of months, I think...
2015 I posted my 52 in 52 plan at the beginning of the year, but if you look at the entries, most of them are empty. 
2014 was also a slow year.
One thing to notice about statistics is that I post mostly during January (New Year's promises... every year I wish I will do better and actually stick to something.) and April (Because of my birthday. Every year I am reminded of my "50 languages by 50" goal.)

It would be wonderful if I just had the determination and perseverance. I mean, one can learn anything in 15 minutes a day, if one just does it for a longer time, like a year or so. The longer one persists, the more one learns. And I have been studying languages for some 40 years now. Had I only stuck to it, it would be more probable than possible that I indeed spoke 50 languages by now.
I do love languages and I learn them easily enough...
I'm OK with my bad pronunciation (good enough to be understood, but is never going to be good enough to pass as a native.)
I am kind of proud of the Finnish influence in my language. I use languages as I use Finnish, and Finnish is very elastic. I know it's a bad habit, but... as long as I am not working with the language, like being an interpreter, translator or teacher, I don't see the problem with that.

But, anyway, I have decided to allow me to be just as "airy" as I am and not be serious with my languages. So I will be studying 20 languages side by side 2-3 times a year for 1-3 weeks, and what stucks, stucks, and that's good enough.

So, today's "20 languages" were:
Láadan (conlang)
High Valyrian (conlang)
Tegirenai or Tigerian (conlang)
Vulcan (conlang)
Toki Pona (conlang)

I got irritated by the way someone pronounces Láadan, it sounds so... unnatural, forced, fake. So I studied about how to pronounce it.

Russian didn't get much love, I read the "word of the day", and that's it.

Maltese got more love. Still the same problem as every day. *sigh* I managed to find a forum, but it's a disgusting ultra-nationalist, racist forum, and I don't want to learn what they say. I want to learn nice things. I have also decided that I really need to learn the verb basics. This is too difficult, trying to figure out the verb forms without the support of grammar. :-D

Spanish got some proper studies, though if the studies at Duolingo count as that, I don't know.
I started reviewing my 5000 French words. I still remember pretty much, and last time I looked at it was 2016! I had an experiment going on there, learning the 5000 most common words 100 words a day, and I got to 2900 words.

High Valyrian... it's mostly a joke. It is offensive that there is a course on High Valyrian on Duolingo, BUT NOT ON ARABIC.

I got some German brushed up. I know surprisingly much of German. On the other hand, I should. German is one of the languages I can actually read. It's still like B-level, but still.

Started brushing up my Welsh as well. Though I like the Goedelic branch more.

Continued with my Chinese. Right now that's about the most serious I am with languages. I decided to just jump in and so far it's going great. I am holding the reigns tight and not letting me to go gathering information, it's really hard as it is, but I really want to learn the language and not just wish I knew.

I was reminded of how much I like Korean dramas, and decided to brush up my Korean as well. Relearned the letters.

Min mand er dansk, og jeg vil kunne tale dansk med ham. So I started the Danish course at Duolingo as well. I have given up with trying to pronounce it well, and just try to repeat it as it sounds in my Finnish ears. My husband has told me my Finnish accent is great for Danish. :-D The fact that Danish has like more vowel sounds than Finnish has ANY sounds - bah. What ever. :-D

Now, that video with the woman speaking Korean, Chinese and Japanese was inspiring, so I have added Japanese to my list as well. I am going to use Heisig's Remembering the Kanji, so I would like to learn the basics of Chinese and Japanese transcribed... At least until I know the letters. There's quite a lot of them. :-D It's not like with Korean or Hebrew.

Turkish I noticed was on Duolingo as well, and I like the Turkish tv dramas as well, so - let's brush that up a bit, too.

Now, the inventor of Tigerian was expressing himself on Láadan, and as tigers are my spirit animals, I went to see what this Tigerian is. I don't think it's going to get much attention from me in the future though.

They had Vulcan on Memrise, and because I identify myself with the Vulcans, I thought I could just as well learn the language :-D

They had Walloon as well, and I suspect our family might have some Walloon roots, though... maybe not. I think I look a bit South European... could be possible.

Mari I was just looking into. It is a Finno-Uralic language, and it would be interesting to learn some of that, just for the nationalist streak in me - and to save the endangered languages

Karelian is on the list because I am writing in Swadesh lists of the Finnic languages on Memrise.

Toki Pona is still waiting. I don't think it will take much time to learn enough of this language to be able to use it. It fascinates me a lot.

I was rereading this blog again, and I just love Kati Wolf. So Hungarian.

I have such difficulties with Maltese, so I decided to learn Arabic to be able to learn Maltese. (Now, Arabic is one of the "brush up" languages, so it's not like I'm beginning from zero here either.)

And my Jewish husband is into his Jewish studies right now, so Hebrew got up on the list.


Monday, April 23, 2018



I just can't produce the sounds. Learning 4000 characters. Not a problem. Tones. Not a problem. Learning words, grammar, sentences, not a problem. Phonemes? A huge problem.

I am Finnish. Finnish consonants are pretty hard. I find Chinese incredibly soft and... sort of melting... It's the same thing with Norwegian. Some consonants are very soft. I feel like I should make my tongue a snail trying to fill my mouth to be able to produce these letters... The Norwegian N... I just can't.

Now, apparently, this is a problem not only for me.

And R is a problem both in Norwegian and Chinese :-D For different reasons. The Norwegian R is a bit like rj (consonant y, not English j)

But, but...

I decided to use Duolingo, and learn the characters at the same time, and also learn the radicals. Sounds like a lot, huh? I'm not moving to the next lesson on Duolingo until I have learned the characters, however long time that will take.

Anyway, the first lesson has two... er... what ever to call that. Sentences? Words?

你好 nĭ hăo (hello)
再见 zàijiàn (goodbye)

The characters are 你 nĭ (you)  好 hăo (good) 再 zài (again) and 见 jiàn (to meet)
The radicals are  亻 rén (man) 小 xiǎo (small) 女 nǚ (woman) 子 zǐ (child) 一 yī (one) 冉 rǎn (slowly) 目 mù (eyes) 儿 ér (feet)

And I find it extremely humiliating that I cannot copy the Chinese characters. My copy looks awful. And I do calligraphy... (blush)

So, what I have done today is
study Spanish
Read the Russian word of the day and the sample sentences
Write the Maltese word of the day for this blog, and then I searched some Maltese recipes - that is, recipes written in Maltese, and that was pretty hard, and then I stumbled over an interesting blog entry about Christmas, moved that to LWT and now I'm going through it, so I have studies Maltese
Then the Chinese. I went to Duolingo, and found that they have a lot of interesting stuff there, so I have studied Spanish, French, German, Valyrian,  Korean and Welsh :-D
I wonder how the heck they have Valyrian but not Maltese or Finnish.

I like this :-D I don't have the slightest idea if anything sticks, but this is fun. 

Yeah, that too

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Constructed languages I find interesting

"Solresol, the creation of a French musician named Jean-François Sudre, was among the first of these universal languages to gain popular attention. It had only seven syllables: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, and Si. Words could be sung, or performed on a violin. Or, since the language could also be translated into the seven colors of the rainbow, sentences could be woven into a textile as a stream of colors."

I was thinking about the non-verbal Autists. We need to create a non-verbal language they can communicate with, and this might be of some use.

"A professor of linguistics, Dr. Suzette Haden, created Láadan to test the idea that human languages are not adequate for female expression and Western natural languages may be better suited for expressing the views of men than women. One goal was to determine if development of a language aimed at expressing the views of women would shape a culture.
Laadan is designed to allow people to express things in words which in English can only be conveyed by body language or tone. So, for example, a sentence might contain a special word that indicates that the whole sentence is meant to be a warning. Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. there are separate names for an emotion that means ‘happiness for a good reason’ and one that means ‘happiness for no reason’, and a single word for expressing the feeling of ‘I’m angry for a reason but nothing can be done about it.’"

More than words; Láadan

Toki Pona
Extremely minimalist but cute little language - totally possible to learn in a couple of days, but has some difficulties in using :-D


I was watching Pushing Daisies and in the episode 2 Chuck speaks Japanese and tells Ned she had very little other things to do, so she studied languages. :-D
Well, it was inspiring. I want to be able to say "The Jarlsberg is on the table" in all possible languages, too :-D I wonder how they chose the languages to showcase. Someone who spoke Norwegian? Swedish? something in the cast?

Anyway, my 49th (7x7) birthday was a couple of days ago, and I was reminded of the "I want to know 50 languages by my 50th birthday" "goal" I have. And "52 languages in 52 weeks". I had a list of things to learn... now I can't find it anywhere. I have been going through this blog, and find that a lot of links and videos are unavailable. I should go through it all and fix it, but. Uh.

Also, I have a couple of guys in my circles, one speaks Spanish, another Arabic and the third Wolof. And I'm thinking about the Norwegian guy and how I missed the opportunity to learn Norwegian. :-(
So I'm going to take up my French and German and learn Spanish, Arabic and Wolof properly.
Let's say I'll give this... er... to the end of May. And then I should be able to be comfortable with reading books in French and German, preferably also in Spanish, and be able to have rudimentary discussions in Arabic and Wolof, to have something to build on.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Maltese Word of the Day 4

out, off, away

 L-atleta waqa' mal-art barra minn sensih.
The athlete fell to the ground unconscious. (out from consciousness)

Togħrokx ġewwa u barra bil-melħ u bżar.
Rub inside and out with salt and pepper.

xi waħda mis-settijiet tkun barra misservizzi.
Any one set is out of service
(some one, anyone, one)

Min hu ġewwa u min hu barra!
Who's in and who's out!

(It's really hard to find sample sentences! Where are all Maltese blogs and forums? Where are all the normal Maltese people having discussions about normal, ordinary things on-line? All I can find is news, politics and law. :-( )

P.S. There's this list of 1000 most common Maltese words... there are some problems there, so I don't know how correct it is. But, it exists, and all information on it isn't bad.

These words are given in English, not in Maltese, which makes me think they have just taken a list and translated it on Babelfish or something. 
2 - I - I is not I in Maltese, but jien/jiena
33 - a - doesn't exist
37 - out - barra
41 - do - għamel
50 - tell - qal