akira hikikomori

Greenlandic Learning Update

man, learning greenlandic's so frustrating for reasons entirely unrelated to how "difficult" the language is >.< none of the dictionaries or learning materials or anything really break down the words, and so ex. i thought "teach - ilinniar" was its own word, actually much later i find out it's a compound word of "ilip niar" and now i have to figure out what ilip and niar mean for example. wash, rinse and repeat for half the words in the dictionary. it's the exact same problem i had when trying to learn icelandic all those years ago.

the entire language is made up of the discriptive words used as suffixes ("outside, inside, early, big, unfinished" etc) but i keep getting tons of wrong, misleading or duplicate meanings taught to me. ex. 3 words all supposedly meaning "missing", 2 words meaning "thing you do something to", that can't be correct because this language is way too simple to have synonyms like that! there at least has to be a nuance, but no one's explaining anything!

now for example i've finally figured out, i think, that one of those "thing you do something to" suffixes actually just means "stuff" (aĵo in esperanto):
stuff you carry with you = baggage (kunportaĵo)
stuff you pack = package (pakaĵo)
stuff you read = reading material (legaĵo) = book

then this gets propelled further:
stuff that's like blood = the color red
"being sad stuff / doing the action of sad stuff" = feeling sad

anyway i'm constantly having this problem. apparently the only people learning greenlandic are super-linguists and not only are they teaching wrong meanings for words, not only are they showing almost no examples and certainly not examples with in paragraphs or pages (just single-sentence examples), they can't explain something to normal people. ex. "that's a nominal mood marker", "that's a valence changer", i'm sorry but i have no idea what that is. then they're using all kinds of made-up terminology just to make things even more complicated, ex. "postbase" instead of "suffix" or "tail-word" or whatever else you'd call a word you only use on the end of another word. i personally think, if you can't explain it to a 5-year-old it means you don't know it well yourself either, y'know? likewise if a 5-year-old knows how to use this word or piece of grammar it means it must actually be very logical and simple (there are plenty of things that take kids 10+ years to understand, ex. "dig, dug" and not "dig, digged", and if what you're looking at isn't one of them...!)

anyway, i think i'm slowly figuring out suffix meanings, i get maybe 1 every 3 days so it IS pretty slow (and there's like 500 of them...) but it's possible.
akira hikikomori


Hey "everyone". Despite that I'm really the only one on this comm and that I've left LJ for DW, I'm back for a bit I guess.

Because I've started learning Greenlandic (again)! It turns out, if you only have good learning materials it's actually super easy — there's really few unique words, ex. "town" is "place-where-houses-are", so once you know a word you see it everywhere. I read that there's only actually around 4,000 words in the language, you can learn all those in a month if you want to. The problem is the learning materials are all awful!

It turns out, Greenlandic is just a dialect of the indigenous Canadian languages and most of them are still super similar, but the amount / quality of learning materials differs for each. Greenlandic actually seems to have the worst learning materials, so I've been finding suffix meanings from Inupiaq, grammar lessons from Inuktitut and then reading practice from Greenlandic. Greenlandic is also more "corrupted", ex. it has sound-changes the other dialects don't have but those changes make it a lot harder to look things up in the dictionary.

Anyway, I was bored and frustrated at not being able to find someone to help me learn Greenlandic so I thought I'd post my hellos here.
akira hikikomori

hi guys

weeeeeeell i know this comm is dead.

but apparently LJ's changing the rules so if you don't have a post every 6 months your journal/comm gets deleted for inactivity. and i don't want that. no one ever posts here anymore so i think i'll move the comm over to dreamwidth, the only current hinder being that i'm currently too lazy to figure out if you can very easily do that or not. if it turns out that it's difficult, i might just ONLY copy the resource posts to DW.

the comm's going to be dead over on DW too i'm sure, but what can i do.

in unrelated news, i'm taking TISUS (the swedish proficiency exam) next month or something, i'm sure i can pass it easily as last time (2, 3 years ago) i only failed due to stupid reasons like not owning a watch, and even though i barely use swedish i've still been (somehow) improving slowly over these past few years. it costs 1600 SEK so i didn't have money to try taking it again until now when i started getting a student loan... if anyone wants info to do with it, just ask and i can make a post about it i guess.
  • ringlat

Learning Greenlandic

hey everyone, long time no see!

well i started learning greenlandic for real, so i can write a textbook and dictionary for it. (actually it's the other way around - in order to write a textbook, i started learning). turns out greenlandic is RIDICULOUSLY easy. extremely regular language, EXTREMELY few unique words (even a word like "town" is actually "house-having place" - so with 2,000 words you'll basically have the keys to literally the entire language), and the written matches the spoken extremely well.

the problem is, you guessed it, a lack of actual lessons and the horrific dictionaries. i've been searching desperately for even simple info like the entire picture for pronouns (not just "i, you eat" but also "my dog", "i eat you"), and i can't find half the affixes or suffixes in a word in the dictionary. for example, a ton of words might end in "-neq", it obviously means something different from  "-toq", but there's no pages telling me the meaning and you can't look up simply -neq in the dictionary. collecting ALL the danish resources, including some youtube videos, gives me a lot of material to work with but the best lessons are actually in german, which i can't read!

anyway. i'm actually making fast progress on writing the textbook, i'm almost done with the grammar section and am slowly filling in the dictionary. i already have people who want  to buy the book when i'm done so i'm pretty fired up about it, i just wish i knew some greenlanders or fluent speakers to help me out! i've been trying to contact people better than me and they're just like "lol good work keep trying lol".
akira hikikomori


by random chance, found this article on "gøtudansk" - the special danish in the faroe islands!


it's listed on this comm under dialects but i had never found anything about it before, and at the time the wikipedia page for it had nothing. i'll see if i can find more info about it later and then translate stuff about it!

they're calling it its own language and then saying it's like spanglish in the USA.

it's mostly danish, with faroese pronunciation and word order, and random faroese words inserted (code-switching). if there's a danish word that's like the faroese one, they'll use that regardless if it's the commonly-used danish one. the "gøtu" part in the name looks like it comes from gata (street; street danish) but possibly comes a town called the same thing, instead.

they have slightly different grammar than in standard danish; skimming the article, it seems like they've changed the past-tense a little and use faroese genders with danish words. they're also mixing words, one example here is "north-islands", with north being in faroese and islands being in danish.

akira hikikomori

When to use på/á?

Gotta make this comm more active!!

på means "location". temporal or physical, it doesn't matter:

on the table = physical
on monday; on second thought = temporal

in the box = physical
in an hour = temporal
in other words = non-physical

at the seashore; ashore = physical
at 4 o'clock; asleep = non-physical

walk to the store = physical
talk to him = non-physical

by the seashore = physical
by 6 o'clock = temporal
it was made by him = non-physical

på (á in icelandic and faroese) is the same, it shows a more general location, which usually translates to "on, at" (as we have other, separate ones for more specific locations, such as "in, by, under").

jag gick toan = i walked location the toilet
= i walked to the toilet.

jag skrattar honom = i laugh location him
= i laugh at him

det står bordet = it stands location the table
= it's sitting on the table

when it comes to faroese and icelandic, the dative case shows this base location and the preposition merely clarifies which type of location it is. we say "location dog", and then we add in "at / in / on / under / beside" as clarification when necessary.

textbooks always say that prepositions "steer" or "govern" cases, but that's not true. the meaning of the sentence controls which case is used; the preposition is just further clarifying what's already there. at times they will skip the prepositions entirely, because again, it's not the preposition that's actually controlling everything.

a dream

Faroese textbook

A while ago I posted about how I was writing a textbook for Faroese, I think...? Well, I ended up losing those files or something but I'm rewriting it all now and the book is about halfway done. After I finish it'll be really easy to convert it into a book about Icelandic too, and then I might work on a compilation one for how to learn both at once.

As it stands now, it's going to be a "series" of 2 or 3 books to get you from beginner to advanced (to the point where you can definitely read anything you want, especially with a dictionary). This is what's planned:

Book 1's end goal is to make it so you can read recipes and possibly knitting instructions. It'd include:

— The four noun cases
— The easiest verbforms + present and past tense
— The basic prepositions, adverbs, prefixes and suffixes; hints on how to tell what an unknown word means based on suffixes
— All the useful vocabulary for recipes + possibly knitting, + a few more words

As of right now, this first book is about halfway complete. The focus is on "understand and be understood", not on "be perfect".

Book 2's goal would be "can read simple short stories + blog posts", and would include:
— Adjectives, the other verbforms, a focus on sound-changes, vowel-changes and more of the irregular stuff

Book 3's goal would be to make you able to read basically everything, and would focus on even more of the tricky stuff, lesser-used phrases, perfecting yourself etc. It would also include really basic instructions for how to figure out how to read Icelandic since you'd be that advanced anyway.

a dream
  • ringlat

FO dictionary

for all ye who’re interested in faroese, they’ve updated sprotin.fo (FO to english, danish, german etc and vice versa dictionary). now it basically has more words, sometimes pictures, new layout, and of course as of an update from sometime over a year ago it’s become free to use for everyone (not just paying members).

and, important to know, FAROESE WORDS NOW INCLUDE AUDIO!! or at least i didn’t notice that being a feature before, anyway.