pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The other day, while practising my Esperanto flashcards on Anki, I got a new word: bankalsono.

I didn’t recognise it, so I tried to parse it: bank'al'sono? Something about making a call to a bank? bankal'sono? A “Bankal sound”, whatever that might be?

Then I asked it to show me the answer: “Badehose” (swimming trunks).

Oh! It’s ban'kalsono!

Perhaps one should start using the apostrophes more often to separate the morphemes :)

Famous mis-segregations in German include Wach'stube vs. Wachs'tube; Blumento'pferde vs. Blumen'topf'erde; and be'in'halt'en vs. bein'halt'en. (Though in most cases, the alternate parse is merely humorous, or the entire pair might be a bit constructed.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

The other day, I finally got around to taking all the words I had jotted into the margin of my notebook during the week-long Esperanto course in March and look them up the dictionary and make Anki flashcards out of them.

Two of the words I got that way were ebeno and ebenaĵo.

They were defined in my eo–de dictionary as something like “(Geometrie, Physik) Ebene” and “Ebene (konkret; besonders in der Geografie)”, respectively.

And yesterday morning, I had the insight that while, in English, both of those words are 𐑐𐑤𐑱𐑯 in the Shaw alphabet, 𐐹𐑊𐐩𐑌 in the Deseret alphabet, /plɛɪn/* in IPA, and presumably Gregg shorthand outline p-l-a-n in Gregg shorthand, the first sense is spelled plane while the second is spelled plain.

Funny how both of those English words correspond to the same German one; I don’t think I’ve ever connected them. Presumably they both come from Latin but one of them took the scenic route through France.


* (or however you choose to notate English phonemes; perhaps you would prefer /pleɪn/.)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So I’m using Anki to practise Klingon vocabulary (among other decks): I entered my Klingon word database into it, tagged with (among others) the source of the words.

That let me practise the words necessary for level 1 of the proficiency test first; I had seen all of them at least once by the time I went to the qepHom in November.

Then I started on the remaining words from The Klingon Dictionary, and I saw the last of those for the first time this morning.

So now I’ve seen all TKD words at least once in Anki—both ways, even (en–tlh and tlh–en)! From now on, it’s just review, review, review so that they’ll stick in my memory.

I still have a bunch of words hiding, though, and now I’m considering when to add them to my workload and in what order. I think I’ll pause on adding new words right now to consolidate the TKD ones a bit, but then the question is whether to enable all of the remaining ones at once (20 new words per day, in random order) or whether to continue sorting by priority (which would put words from Klingon for the Galactic Traveler first, then other words).

…though looking at my data, I guess I made that decision months ago :) I’ve been learning words in the order added, and did the randomising when I added them. So I guess I’ll keep that order, which will give KGT words in random order followed by newer words in random order. So the only remaining question is how long to pause before I’ll let them in.

Still, an accomplishment!

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

While practising Klingon vocabulary with Anki just now, I got nIb and pIm one right after the other!

(The first is "be identical" and the second one is "be different".)

This amused me :)


(Incidentally, the first word is half of yet another pair of synonyms: nIb "be identical" and rap "be the same". What's the difference?)

pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)

So a while ago, I found some decks for the Georgian and Armenian alphabets on Anki.

Georgian is coming along OK, but Armenian is kicking my butt: I keep forgetting things and can't seem to remember the letters (plus they all seem to look the same!).

I wonder why the difference.

And looking back at the other writing systems I learned, it seems to me today that learning Cyrillic, Greek, and Hangeul were easy; I don't recall having had those problems with them. Even Arabic wasn't that bad. And I dimly recall having had to look up kana a lot when I was first learning them, but I don't think it was anything like Armenian is right now.

Heck, I'm also going through a Deseret Alphabet Anki deck and it's tough, but not as bad as Armenian.

Devanagari is also not that bad - I keep forgetting a third to a half, but the other ones are easy.

Perhaps I should put Armenian aside for a while. Or just practice the ones I knew reasonably well and then introduce others one by one? IDK.

Perhaps the fact that they're letters out of context makes it particularly hard? That I can't practice reading words written in those letters since I know no Armenian.

I'm also practising Zhuyin Fuhao (bopomofo) on Anki... I found one deck that just teaches the signs, and another that has all the possible syllables and asks you to transcribe them to Pinyin. I'm sure that the second one helps a lot because it means I see each sign much more often.

At first, I only recognised a few (from when I had learned bopomofo at school from a Chinese dictionary a friend had lent me), but now I can crank out those syllables like nobody's business. (FWIW, the hardest character to learn again was "ch". I kept forgetting that one the most. Next was "z".)

As for ASL fingerspelling, that also came back fairly well, except for D and F: I always get those two mixed up.

(I'm also practising English Braille with Anki. And Inuktitut syllabics. And Teeline basics. I guess I'm a masochist for having over a dozen simultaneous decks.)

pne: Dots representing "pne" in Braille. (brl)

Two of my Anki decks are "Braille: English Grades 1 & 2" and "Teeline Shorthand Basics".

I know hardly any Teeline, especially abbreviations, but it's interesting that many of the single-letter abbreviations of Teeline are the same as in Braille (e.g. f = from, v = very).

No wonder, I suppose, since both want to represent the most common words that way.

Still, interesting how they differ (e.g. e = every in Braille but e = electric(ity) in Teeline, or k = knowledge in Braille but k = kind in Teeline). Or how Teeline sometimes betrays its origin in journalism, as with l = letter and p = page (l = like and p = person in Braille IIRC).

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pne: A picture of a plush toy, halfway between a duck and a platypus, with a green body and a yellow bill and feet. (Default)
Philip Newton

June 2015

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