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Meryat 
Posted: 05-Nov-2004, 08:57 PM
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I'm interested in learning several different languages, but it seems like I never get beyond the dictionary-in-hand stage. I was just wondering if any of you out there had any good ideas for becoming more fluent.

Of course, the number of people I could find to converse with in Latin, ancient Greek, or ancient Egyptian probably isn't sizable, but oh well. tongue.gif

~Meryat
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Aaediwen 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 05:41 AM
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Danann is our resident linguist. I generally find that starting with phonetics, then simple common phrases such as 'how are you' and 'what's your name' tend to be enough to get things rolling. Gaelic and Elven are the only languages though that I have tried to learn outside of a classroom, I have found that this is, indeed, not an easy task. Slow and study wink.gif


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maisky 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 06:41 AM
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Getting lost in the capital city of a country where it is spoken helps, too. You will be surprised how fast you learn. tongue.gif


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Meryat 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 12:53 PM
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Poor maisky!! That would be a good way to learn, but I can't imagine it'd be particularly pleasant. tongue.gif

I've tried learning common phrases that I use in Latin, and that worked really well for those phrases. ... It also had the interesting side effect of causing me to respond to my friends in Latin instead of English at times.

I'd like to try the same thing with the other languages I'm learning, but it's really difficult when the main resources tend to be dictionaries that translate into English (and not the other way around) or books that prepare you for reading literature, neither of which is particularly helpful.

I'd be happy at this point with some way to retain all the words I come across. Right now, I read 200 lines of ancient Greek literature for class each week, with probably about 400 words that I have to look up.

At least with the Medea, I have a luxury I didn't with the Alcestis: I'm never going to be tested on my ability to translate it, so I can concentrate on learning the more common words (so I can stop looking them up all the time book.gif) instead of having to try to learn everything, even if it's only used once.

~Meryat
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Meryat 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 12:56 PM
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I took 2 and 2/3 of a year of Latin in high school. (I moved.) I'm currently in my 7th semester of ancient Greek in college, my 5th of reading literature. Ancient Egyptian, along with Irish, Japanese, and anything else I can pick up are solely pursued in my free time.

~Meryat
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cori 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 02:26 PM
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Ancient Egyptian? Nope, I'm afraid I canna help ye there. I do know several people who speak Ancient Greek, but it would be hard to converse over the net with them. Good luck in your studies! You seem a determined person to be undertaking such languages. smile.gif


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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 04:23 PM
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QUOTE (Meryat @ 05-Nov-2004, 08:57 PM)
I'm interested in learning several different languages, but it seems like I never get beyond the dictionary-in-hand stage. I was just wondering if any of you out there had any good ideas for becoming more fluent.

Of course, the number of people I could find to converse with in Latin, ancient Greek, or ancient Egyptian probably isn't sizable, but oh well. tongue.gif

~Meryat

My sister knows ancient egyption. She's an egyptologist and knows like 7 or 8 langauges. I get them confused myself. LOL.

She's an Egyptologist/Anthropologist for mummies and the like. I forget the scientific name..it's too long to think of right now!


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Annham 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 05:46 PM
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I found that making flashcards for words and going through them during any spare time I had helped me when I was learning German. I used 3x5 index cards, alphabetized dividers and a shoebox... By the end, I had a whole shoebox full.
After a while, the "pictures" of the words on the cards become imprinted in your mind's eye and you can "see" them when you need them...

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Annham 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 05:54 PM
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QUOTE
(Dragonboy)
She's an Egyptologist/Anthropologist for mummies and the like. I forget the scientific name..it's too long to think of right now!



*Sigh*, Wow, that's my dream job smile.gif
Really, I'd love to be an archaeologist, anywhere in the world... I can't stand hot weather, but give me little patch of history and I could get out there and dig all day no matter what the temps. wink.gif

Anne
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greenldydragon 
Posted: 06-Nov-2004, 06:51 PM
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Notecards are really helpful! I'd love to learn Latin, Ancient Greek, and Ancient Egyptian, my hats off to you for trying to actually learn them Meryat! Good luck!


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Meryat 
Posted: 07-Nov-2004, 02:23 AM
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I've tried flashcards, and they're usually how I learn best. I always get really frustrated, though, because at the point I'm at now, words are no longer in vocabulary lists, and I never know whether I've already got a card for a word or not. I really hate having duplicate cards because it takes so much time to make them in the first place, and I'm generally running a bit short on time.

I keep trying to do flashcards on the computer, but I can't find any freeware flashcard applications that use unicode (which I need for the Greek characters) for Windows. I know a way to represent the Greek characters in ASCII, but it's so much better to see it in Greek characters; it makes it easier when I see it in texts.

~Meryat
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Meryat 
Posted: 07-Nov-2004, 02:28 AM
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QUOTE (dragonboy3611 @ 06-Nov-2004, 03:23 PM)
My sister knows ancient egyption. She's an egyptologist and knows like 7 or 8 langauges.


I'm so jealous of your sister, dragonboy. I wish I knew that many languages.

~Meryat
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Annham 
Posted: 07-Nov-2004, 06:12 AM
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QUOTE (Meryat @ 07-Nov-2004, 03:23 AM)
I've tried flashcards, and they're usually how I learn best. I always get really frustrated, though, because at the point I'm at now, words are no longer in vocabulary lists, and I never know whether I've already got a card for a word or not. I really hate having duplicate cards because it takes so much time to make them in the first place, and I'm generally running a bit short on time.

I keep trying to do flashcards on the computer, but I can't find any freeware flashcard applications that use unicode (which I need for the Greek characters) for Windows. I know a way to represent the Greek characters in ASCII, but it's so much better to see it in Greek characters; it makes it easier when I see it in texts.

~Meryat

Meryat,
It may not help, but
If you alphabetize your cards, there isn't as much trouble with duplicates, I found that if I had a duplicate card, just another chance to remember it.
And,
If you can read by context now, just take the first ten or so words per reading session or something like that to write down & keep...

Good Luck,
What do you use all of those languages for?
angel_not.gif

Anne
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Meryat 
Posted: 07-Nov-2004, 12:55 PM
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Good idea on just taking a few of the words to learn! I think part of my problem is just having so many words that I don't know where to start.

And as far as what I use them for, all sorts of things.

I love reading literature in its original tongue. Many of the ancient writers are hilarious and have a wonderful sense of humor.

With Latin, I'll sometimes write poetry. Because of the ability to alter word order even more drastically in Latin poetry than in English, it's possible to express all sorts of little nuances, showing what things are important and what ideas are connected to which other ideas.

I hope to know enough Greek to write poetry at some point, but most of what I know is from either epic poems, tragedies, or law speeches, which are generally not words I would be using in poetry.

I also hope someday to be know Latin or Greek sufficiently to write proper Latin/Greek poetry, that is, poetry that actually scans according to the patterns used by ancient poets.

I like thinking that by learning ancient languages, I'm helping keep them alive so that their knowledge isn't lost in future generations.

I hope to someday be able to create computer tools specifically for learning ancient languages, in the hopes of sparking more interest in people learning them at younger ages, when they can more easily pick up words (like I wish I'd had the opportunity to do tongue.gif)

~Meryat
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Annham 
Posted: 07-Nov-2004, 06:36 PM
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That's interesting, Good luck with your learning.
Anne smile.gif
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