On videos you understand without comprehending the lyrics

I love it when you watch a foreign language video and when you finally get to see the English translation you realise you already understand what the song was about through the acting. That to me is the sign of a good song. I love Sergei Lazarov for this reason. I don’t understand Russian but I respect that he is not afraid to bend gender boundaries for a good performance. It’s all her

I also used to like Greek videos for this reason but they are becoming very generic which is so sad. I have previously talked about Greek videos that have spoken to me though so check them out although it’s not letting me recommend them to you right now.

On listening, enjoying but not understanding (Hyperlexia or just Autism?)

Grammar is essential to interpretation in foreign languages

When you try to control everything, it ends up controlling you

How to adjust your language learning strategy to make sure your always learning

www.youtube.com/watch

This is a very informative video that I came across on YouTube about how to progress through the different learning levels. Turn the subtitles on because he is Russian but he speaks using the words that are closest to English. He makes more sense than most Russians but that might also be because he is talking about something I’m very interested in.

Best wishes

Angela

Greek Grammar – parts of speech

Since grammar is not my strong suit but it is crucial to be able to communicate correctly I have decided to share some videos from a lady who is very good at demonstrating her ability to teach others.

The conversation series

50 verbs in Greek

100 common phrases in Athenian Greek

How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases

My previous work

Series links

My published books

Best wishes

Angela

50 verbs in Greek

I like the fact that Lina explains in great detail the fact that lots of words in Greek have several meanings. I’m not a great talker so she does the job amply for me.

Part of my conversation series

100 common phrases in Athenian Greek

How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases

For my other work see here

Series links

My published books

Best wishes

Angela

Krashen’s Hypothesis (on language acquisition) and what I think is it’s relationship to the difficulties present in Autism

This is in fact a group of 5 hypothesis (sorry about that), that were formulated by Stephen Krashen in the 1970’s and 80’s. These are to do with Second Language Acquisition and Educational Psychology. This is rather in depth and technical at times so your going to have to bear with me on this one. It’s an important theory that I have just come across due to it being promoted by Luca Lampariello. He is a Italian polyglot and teaches languages for a living.

The 5 hypothesis are as follows,

  • The Input hypothesis
  • The Acquisition Learning hypothesis
  • The Monitor hypothesis
  • The Natural Order hypothesis
  • The Affective Filter hypothesis
  • Input hypothesis

  • This says that you learn best when the language you are exposed to is slightly above your current level so you can understand it but it requires growth to properly comprehend it. You therefore need what is termed Comprehensible Input.
  • There are some corollaries or additions to this which I will now explain.
    1. Only practising talking, means that while you will be able to communicate, you will not necessarily be able to write as it is writing that encodes language into our brains far stronger than any other message. Hence when we need to remember something we write it down.
      When you have enough reading material of an appropriate level or Comprehensible Input you will learn grammar far better than through direct grammar teaching. This has been proven by the famous Hungarian polyglot Kato Lund but also by the Canadian Ling Q founder (language app) and noted polyglot Steve Kaufman.
      The way you are taught in a classroom is quite often different to how you learn naturally so a gap becomes apparent which results in lopsided learning that isn’t particularly useful. Any one who remembers there high school french classes can probably attest to learning innumerable things to pass tests but nothing useful that you could actually use in a real life situation.
  • Acquisition Learning hypothesis

  • It says that in the Acquisition Phase you acquire language simply by being around others that are practising a language. This is a subconscious process so you are not aware you are actually learning anything. If the language you are absorbing is above what you are currently able to comprehend ie it’s not Comprehensible Input; it will sit there until you have sufficient knowledge to be able to use it. Also see the explanation of Natural Order Hypothesis 2 headings below.
  • The Learning Phase is conscious awareness of learning and it’s when you are taught in a formal manner. It is the learning of rules and the framework that enables you to construct language in an appropriate way. It can seem quite abstract initially with just an outline. This is essential however as we will see in the next paragraph.
  • The difference between the 2 is important because the Acquisition Phase is much easier and more natural as it’s how you learned your first language. However when we get older we tend to use the Learning Phase for Second Language Acquisition. So this means, we struggle to gain adequate knowledge in order to make our wants and needs known. This discourages us from learning; as we feel we have regressed to an early stage of childhood. When we had to cry to get attention since we didn’t have the linguistic means to say anything.
  • It also showcases the fact that if you learn through Acquisition you will speak like those around you which may not be grammatically correct and could include a lot of slang. This will make it harder for you to learn other languages as you are unaware of the underpinnings of your own language. If you Learn it’s more likely to be grammatically correct and without slang but you will most likely sound very unnatural and robotic. This grounding however will make it easier to learn other languages as you already have a linguistic structure in place.
  • Monitor hypothesis

  • This says we use our existing language base to correct ourselves hence we say something incorrectly “….” and then realise what we were supposed to say and say this “….” is what we actually meant. This means that in theory adults are better than children as they have built up more of a base but it also explains why children are happy making mistakes. They are generally unaware they are doing so.
  • The difficulties inherent in using the Monitor will now be explained.
    • As the Monitor (think of a computer scanning your speech before you say it), requires you to analyse form (grammar and syntax) and meaning (semantics) at the same time; this can result in conversation slowing to a crawl or even completely stopping while the conversation is digested. I’m certainly one of these people. I think a lot of autistics are also prone to it. This is perhaps why autistics talk in such a strange way. We understand the grammatical rules but not the meaning because that often morphs to fit the situation. This affects not only our first language but any others we may learn. This is how you can come across people who while having been born and bred in the UK; prefer and sometimes even move to where they can speak French (Daniel Tamnet autistic polyglot with Savant syndrome), Greek (occasionally myself), or any other language including made up ones like Klingon or Elvish (many introverted geeky people).
      When Writing you often have all of the time in the world, so you can utilise your vocabulary to its full extent. This ability is enabled as you have no outside influences competing for your attention. This shows itself frequently in that autistics often prefer to communicate in written form as opposed to verbally like the rest of the world. This can be electronically in the form of instant messaging, email, blogging see an example here – How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases or in older times writing letters, poetry, or even a book! See examples here My author page.
      As a result of this, while we (Autistics) may Know the Rules; we don’t don’t have sufficient processing time in conversations. We will therefore resort to talking about topics we know about without us requiring to consciously think about them. We don’t want to slow you down but we simply cannot listen and reply at the rate you do.Language variation.
  • From what I’ve seen of Neurotypical (anyone who doesn’t have Autism) conversations; it involves lots of talking, not a lot of listening and a lot of forgetting so you can say the same things repeatedly and nobody minds as they were never paying attention on any of the previous occasions anyway. So inefficient and illogical as it wastes so much time and effort.

    • We are more than linguistically capable of holding a conversation. Maybe even more so than yourselves, as you’ve never needed to prove yourself. As we struggle for the correct words to respond appropriately, we appear immature and tend to get treated as children with patronising and condescending comments. We (I) have very good hearing as these are usually whispered or muttered under the breath in an attempt to discreetly “badmouth” us. These are also delivered in tones that while are acceptable when you are still a chronological child, become infuriating when you get older both chronologically and mentally. The problem is the more you stay with people your comfortable with (because they induce less panic and anxiety), the more they want you to stay the same so you don’t grow. This is why we leave our parents. Otherwise we probably never would.
      Since so much of communication can’t be learned from a book, Autistics struggle greatly with this. Which is why you will frequently see us talking with our hands when we can’t get the words out quick enough. If Italians, Greeks etc can get away with it, why not other cultures like English too?
  • Natural Order hypothesis

  • This says that while we all learn at more or less the same speed; the time it takes for us to be able show this knowledge in an adequate scenario varies greatly so it seems that others learn much quicker.
  • Affective Filter hypothesis

  • This says that the learner receives too much negative impact from their environment and this impedes their ability to communicate. Their emotions and mood interfere with their processing capabilities. This is brought on by anxiety, low self esteem or boredom due to lack of interest. Carrying on from the Monitor hypothesis this sounds like Autism 101 or a basic introduction to Autism in case your unfamiliar with that terminology. Our affective filters or “emotional states” are always up if we are distressed and nothing gets through them as there like the most impenetrable firewalls you have ever come across. For an example of this in action see here Brain, Mouth and Me.
  • According to Krashen the filter/(force field etc) struggles to come down
    1. If your expected to speak too soon therefore not allowing enough silence for information gathering and processing (all the time in pretty much every conversation ever) and
      Your corrected too soon (yes this is me totally with so much baggage from my childhood it’s unreal).
  • Reading about all of these hypothesis makes total sense to me as I have been struggling a lot with my language skills recently. I have also been wondering why I cannot perform when I have the necessary prerequisites to do so. Hopefully the blocks have now been removed since they have been discovered.

  • Additions and Critique

    Additions

    According to Wolfgang Butzkamm (linguistics professor) and John A Caldwell (2009), while you need comprehensible input to understand the language around you, you also require dual comprehension. This means that you need to understand what something literally translates to as well as what they are actually asking you. This happens so often to me in English, Greek etc and I’m pretty sure this is another facet of Autism. We get the words but not the meaning hence our literal sense of humour. It’s witty and intelligent as it involves wordplay but deviate from the established standards and were lost.

    Critique

    The above hypothesis are critiqued by some (but Wikipedia is unable to say who Grrr) for saying that there is a gap between acquisition and learning – the acquisition learning hypothesis but as this not an area that can be proven it is left in the air so to speak. I know there is this gap because I can acquire language but it does not necessarily mean I have learnt it. It’s like saying memorisation and learning are the same thing. Just because you can repeat something does not mean you can use or make use of it.

    Conclusion

    I like the idea that language learning is heavily dependent on the mood of the learner and other factors like intelligence, memory etc are nowhere near as important. If a learner is under some kind of stress than the learning will be impaired just like if they are unwilling to learn in the first place. This shows that the environment that a learner is placed in, subject to and how it affects them is more important than any other factor when it comes to language learning.

    How to talk to Autistics

    How to educate Autistics

    How to learn Greek

    How to improve your Greek

    How to learn any language

    Greek life

    A Life of Halcyon Days

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Maria Callas soprano opera singer 1923-1977

    She was a very famous Greek from America who fell in love with a fellow Greek who was charming, charismatic, ambitious and basically your stereotypical self made man. He got what he wanted and dictated the terms of the relationship as you would expect for a man in his position and of the time and culture he came from. She was a delicate flower who just wanted to sing but she didn’t have the means by herself so she needed a patron. Step forward Aristotle Onassis who provided the means for her to do so. They also had a very famous relationship while she was married to her husband Giovanni Batista, Onassis being married to his first Tina, together Maria and Onassis had a child Homer who subsequently died and the pairing continued until he got married to Jackie Kennedy.

    She turned up for the Festivals held in Lefkás in 1964 so there are pictures of her in the Gramophone museum Lefkás town. There are also details of her life here Skorpios.

    Wikipedia articleMaria Callas

    Do you have any notable opera singers from your country?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Philharmonic orchestra 1850 and museum

    This is the 2nd oldest in Greece with only the one in Corfu being older. It took part in the 1864 union of Greece, the 1896 Olympics, the 1906 intercalculated games and in 1983 was awarded by the Academy of Athens.

    There has been a famous conductor in the past called Nikos “Morinas” Thanos. He was born on Lefkás in 1930 and he was the leader of the Orfeas Music and Literature Club of Lefkáda, the Philharmonic Society of Lefkás, the Philharmonic Society of Amfilohia which is nearby and the mandolin orchestra of “Apollon” in Karya on the island.

    He also has a maritime museum in the basement of the Faneromeni monastery. It contains his handmade ships and tools. There is 60 in total and there is a variety of styles from British, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Chinese.Other museums in Lefkás

    There is also a youth band festival here in the summer but when I went past I couldn’t find any opening hours. When I looked online it said it’s open 5-10pm which is very unusual.

    It does however have the street it’s on named after itself so that’s handy.

    Maria Callas has sung opera on the island as has Agni Baltsa. If your into music check this out Heptanese School of music.

    For my other work see here Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Agni Baltsa Lefkádian Opera mezzo – soprano singer 1944-

    She was born on Lefkás and started playing piano at 6 years old. By the time she was 14 she moved to Athens to further her singing career.

    She studied in Athens on a Maria Callas scholarship.

    Upstairs in the music room at the top of the folklore museum in Lefkás town there is a picture of her along with Aristotle Valaoritis who was involved with many Lefkás town newspapers that previously existed and Angelos Sikelianos.

    There is a Wikipedia article on her to fill in the details of her life. Agni Baltsa.

  • For my work see here Series links
  • Do you have any special styles of singing in your country?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    How to have a basic conversation in Greek with common phrases

    Υα! Hi

    Φίλε μου male friend

    Φίλοι μου friends mixed

    Φίλη female friend

    Τι κανείς? How are you? literally what are you doing?

    Τι κανείς μωρε? What are you doing mate?(jokily)

    Εισας καλά? Are you alright?(jokily)

    Που πάμε? Where have you been/what have you been doing? (Depends on context)

    Πάμε! Let’s go!

    Τι νέο? What’s new?

    Έλα ρε! Come on now mate!

    Έλα τωρα! Come on now!

    Τι κριμα! What a pity!

    Να ´στε καλά Be well!

    Υιασυς Bye

    Shop talk

    Μπορεί να βοηθεια σας? Can I help you?

    Ορίσετε Welcome (to our shop etc), here you are (give money for item etc)

    Τι θελις? What do you want?(an alternative to how can I help you or in addition)

    Ποσό κάνει How much?

    Έχετε …. Do you have ….

    Δεν έχει We don’t have (whatever you asked for)

    Θέλω ένα …. I want ….

    Ναι yes (can be polite in acknowledging you said something but still carry on with job and otherwise ignore you)

    Ναι, ναι, ναι, Yes, Yes, Yes (Much more likely for them to do whatever you just asked)

    Μάλιστα formal yes like employee to boss or meaning indeed

    Restaurant talk

    Έτοιμες Ready? (Asking If you have decided on what you want to drink/eat)

    Πολύ νόστιμο Very tasty!

    Κάλι ορίζει! Good appetite!

    Άμεσος! Immediately (never happens and is more of a joke with English people)

    Γριγορο Quickly (another joke)

    Βειβαιους! of course (can be a joke)

    Σίγουρα. Sure (not a certainty again)

    Ακριβώς! exactly!

    Κάτσε κάτω sit down

    Φεύγω! Leave! (What you say when your bothered by animals, sellers slightly rude)

    Being direct is not rude in Greece like it is in the UK. Hence you wouldn’t normally say I would like in Greece. They don’t stand on ceremony as the saying goes meaning they are quite informal when shopping. They do however like to chat which is why the tasks are completed with as few words as possible leaving space, time and energy for conversation in order to revitalise them throughout the working day. It’s very hot right now so conservation is key.

    These posts are very useful to remind me how much I have learnt, improve my confidence and spelling. It’s also to try to anchor this into my brain so I use it in conversation in daily life. Also it’s because I can’t sleep and prep work for my next conversation which failed last time.

  • My books to help you speak Greek
  • My posts to assist you in speaking Greek

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Manos Hajidakis composer 1925-1994

    Here is a native’s perspective of Manos Hajidakis.

    He is part of my Music and musicians series

    Other series include Greek Poets, Painters, Art, Authors, Musicians, Museums, Specialist fields of Interest, Conversation, Foreigners with an interest in Greece, Famous Greeks, Greek Islands and Rural Villages in Lefkás. All the links can be found here, Series links.

    Best wishes

    Angela

    The Durells

    This is good Sunday night television as it’s relaxing and idyllic. It’s set on Corfu in the 1930s. It features Greek conversation between the natives but also Lesley Durrell.

    Sometimes you just need something that isn’t intellectual to practice on. The speech isn’t very distinct but there are subtitles to help. Normal speech tends to be quick and you only catch the most accented words. This can be problematic so going with the gist can be useful since this is only for enjoyment. However, the problem comes when you need to put this into real life. I will hopefully get better this year but as I’ve learnt this isn’t something you can rush. It happens at its own pace.

    Do you have any tips that you use to increase your foreign language learning abilities?

    Αντιο

    Αγγελικα

    Verbal triggers

    I can speak Greek but I need certain triggers to be able to say what I know and actually communicate with people. If the right situation doesn’t occur then that program doesn’t get loaded and we get nowhere. I also have to like/care about you or want to impress/show off to you. If your not interesting to me in some way then forget about it. I’m gonna make my excuses and leave where possible.

    This is true of me in English too. I’m entirely capable of having a conversation about anything here but I just have to be motivated sufficiently to do so. Otherwise I’m probably not going to say a word and if forced well you better like bad jokes.

    Have you ever come across these types of scenarios before?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    The music of Ancient Greece

    https://aeon.co/videos/music-was-ubiquitous-in-ancient-greece-now-we-can-hear-how-it-actually-sounded

    Since today is Greek Independence Day I thought I would share a post about the importance of music in Greek history.

    For a taste of more modern Greek music see here Rebetika.

    Have you any stories to share about what is important in your culture?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    How to enable a more inclusive world

    Here inside this video are thoughts on the impression that language makes on your thoughts. It can get quite technical at times drawing from psychology but this does explain how our thoughts come to be in the shapes that they are presented to us in. Language colours our perception as beautifully explained with the key talk as you will see when you watch the clip.

    How have your linguistic experiences been shaped by the languages you have come into contact with?

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Word origins

    Now the origins of words is a subject that I love dearly so I’m very grateful when a native Greek not only teaches me many but also provides the translations for me in my native language. So very useful and helpful to have these around.

    I didn’t realize until watching the videos a second time just how many words had entered from French, Italian and Turkish. French as I’m learning was such a popular language in Europe and in Russia in the 18th. It was the lingua Franca or universal language of its day.

    I do have an affinity for certain words and I did wonder when going into a bakers why a particular type of bread was mia fragiola parakalo (one loaf of fragiola bread please). Now I know it’s a word of Turkish origin as it does stick out from the rest of the language. As does karpousia or watermelons. One of the very first words I learnt and it’s not really even Greek!!!!

    Here is the first video in the series

    Basic Greek

    This the second video in the series

    The effect Greek has had on English

    Wishing you all luck in your language adventures

    Angela

    The influence Greek has had on the English language etc

    Now I have previously commented lots on the many things contained within this video so I thought for a change you would like to see a Greek talk about his own language and history. He goes into much greater depth about everything than I ever could. Pronunciation is the biggest factor here. Its useful for those learning Romance languages and Russian too as there all connected.

    Here is the link to the first video in this series if you missed it.

    Basic Greek

    This is the third in the series in case you wish to jump ahead.

    More complex Greek

    Enjoy the bounty contained within.

    Angela

    Basic Greek for those that are unfamiliar

    I remember doing posts like this on YouTube in my early days but they were so bad that I deleted them after a couple of years. They are still in Facebook ‘s memory bank though so when that the day turns up in memories I get reminded of the progress I have made.

    Dimitri, the presenter does these videos so much better than I could ever do and with more subtitles as they are very difficult to synchronise.

    In case you are wondering why I am promoting these videos it’s to show the Greek language in the best possible way since who better than a native speaker in his home country. I most certainly couldn’t do a better job. It shows the different levels of understanding that are present as you progress in your language learning journey. I hope you all find them informative like I have.

    As this is the first video in the series there are 2 to follow and if you wish to just watch them without my commentary here they are :-

    The effect of English on Greek

    More complex Greek

    Best wishes

    Angela

    Some real Greek to practice on

    www.youtube.com/watch

    A video demonstrating that you can learn Greek whatever your circumstances. It’s very difficult to listen to the Greek as it’s spoken at normal pace, to read the Greek as it’s exactly as it’s said so therefore different grammatical arrangement to English and to read the English translation all at once. I suggest you concentrate on one aspect each time you watch it otherwise all you will get is a feeling about what is being discussed but not really any understanding.