Rosetta Stone Language Software

First Conversation in Sanskrit - Part II (f)

Ashok makes an inquiry as to how you are doing:

Bhavatyaah kushalam asti va? – Your welfare is (taken care of)?

There’s bhavatyaah – your for a woman – again. You answer:

Mama kushalam asti – my welfare is, to indicate you are fine.

You ask Ashok, in turn, using bhavatah because he is a man:

Bhavatah kushalam asti – your welfare is? He answers:

Mama kushalam asti – my welfare is.

You realize that Ashok might have other obligations, and that you might as well. So, though you do not rush, but are calm, still you take leave with a standard closing:

Punar milaamah. – Until we see each other again.

Punar milaamah, he answers.

Ashok smiles, turns, and disappears down the path. You sense that it is time for you to return as well, and head back along your path.

As you go, you replay the conversation in your mind, first translating the ideas, if not the words, to keep it straight in your mind:

Namo namah – Greetings

Namo namah – Greetings

Bhavatah naama kim? – What is your name? (to a man).

Mama naama Ashok. – My name is Ashok.

Bhavatyaah naama kim? – What is your name? (to a woman).

Mama naama… your name. – My name is…

Bhavatyaah kushalam asti va? – How are you? (to a woman).

Mama kushalam ast. – I’m fine.

Bhavatah kushalam asti va? – How are you? (to a man).

Mama kushalam asti. – I’m fine.

Punar milaamah. – Goodbye.

Punar milaamah. – Goodbye.

And as you keep walking, you replay it one more time, just in Sanskrit:

Namo namah.

Namo namah.

Bhavayaah naama kim?

Mama naama Ashok. Bhavatyaah naama kim?

Mama naama… your name.

Bhavatyaah kushalam asti va?

Mama kushalam asti. Bhavatah kushalam asti va?

Mama kushalam asti.

Punar milaamah.

Punar milaamah.

And just now, you are getting back to where you started, and your lesson is just about over. So smile. You have just had your first conversation in Sanskrit. And now you are ready to resume your day on the count of 1… and 2… and 3.

First Conversation in Sanskrit - Part I (f)

You want to greet Ashok, and without thinking, you greet him by saying:

Namo namah – Greetings.

Namo namah – Greetings – he answers in kind.

You want to know his name for certain, so you inquire:

Bhavatah naama kim? – Your name (is) what?

Because he is a man, the question starts with bhavatah.

He takes in the question, Bhavatah naama kim? and answers,

Mama naama Ashok – My name (is) Ashok.

You are processing this, and realize that to give your name, you would say,

Mama naama, followed by your name.

You wonder if you should say it, when he warmly asks,

Bhavatyaah naama kim? = Your name (is) what?

Because you are a woman, the question started bhavatyaah. You make a mental note…

To ask a man’s name, you say:

Bhavatah naama kim?

To ask a woman’s name, you say:

Bhavatyaah naama kim?

As you’re taking this in, you realize you should answer the question, so you say:

Mama naama… and finish with your name.

Ashok waits patiently for you to process what you have learned, and you take advantage, by replaying the conversation so far in your mind:

Namo namah.

Namo namah.

Bhavatah naama kim?

Mama Ashok. Bhavatyaah naama kim?

Mama naama… end with your name…

Ashok waits patiently for you to process what you have learned, and you take advantage, by replaying the conversation so far in your mind:

Namo namah.

Namo namah.

Bhavatah naama kim?

Mama naama Ashok. Bhavatyaah naama kim?

Mama naama… end with your name…

Click here to keep talking

First Conversation in Sanskrit -f

To be read aloud, or sounded out in your mind:

Learning Sanskrit is both a challenge and an adventure. Its structure is different from English, which means you can’t just translate word by word. But when you’re exposed to it, if you just let the words come, you will see intuitively how the phrases you are learning come together.

Learning languages is an exciting thing to do. It’s also something you’re good at. Because language is merely making sounds and putting them in the right order. In this short program, you are going to get your toes wet, like dipping them into a vast pool of language. But when you are done, you will have had an imaginary conversation in perfectly good Sanskrit, one that you will be able to have again in real life should you choose, and should you find a Sanskrit speaker, of course. So now let’s count to three, then have our conversation.

And 1) sit back, relax, and let the words go by and before you know it they’ll be sinking in. Just keep reading, but as you are reading, you can take a little stroll along a garden path. And maybe you should perk your ears to hear fountains trickling in the background. And let your mind open to an expanse of green in front of you. You can learn wherever you want, of course, but learning in a nice, lush, lovely garden would be a nice place to learn, wouldn’t it.

And 2) Let the words go by, and enjoy the nice lovely garden, and take a nice walk along the path that goes through that garden. As you are walking amongst the bushes, and the flowers, walking along the path, you will come to a place where the path forks. If you follow the path to the left, you will meet a nice young lady.

And 3) Once you have turned left, and have walked about twenty feet, you meet Ashok. His face is kind, and welcoming, and you are glad to be meeting him. And now, something magical will happen. When you meet Ashok, you will speak Sanskrit with him. And because you are ready, the time to talk to him is now.

Click here to start talking

First Conversation in Sanskrit - Part II

Devi makes an inquiry as to how you are doing:

Bhavatah kushalam asti va? – Your welfare is (taken care of)?

There’s bhavatah – your for a man – again. You answer:

Mama kushalam asti – my welfare is, to indicate you are fine.

You ask Devi, in turn, using bhavatyaah because she is a woman:

Bhavatyaah kushalam asti – your welfare is? She answers:

Mama kushalam asti – my welfare is.

You realize that Devi might have other obligations, and that you might as well. So, though you do not rush, but are calm, still you take leave with a standard closing:

Punar milaamah. – Until we see each other again.

Punar milaamah, she answers.

Devi smiles, turns, and disappears down the path. You sense that it is time for you to return as well, and head back along your path.

As you go, you replay the conversation in your mind, first translating the ideas, if not the words, to keep it straight in your mind:

Namo namah – Greetings

Namo namah – Greetings

Bhavatyaah naama kim? – What is your name? (to a woman).

Mama naama Devi. – My name is Devi.

Bhavatah naama kim? – What is your name? (to a man).

Mama naama… your name. – My name is…

Bhavatah kushalam asti va? – How are you? (to a man).

Mama kushalam ast. – I’m fine.

Bhavatyaah kushalam asti va? – How are you? (to a woman).

Mama kushalam asti. – I’m fine.

Punar milaamah. – Goodbye.

Punar milaamah. – Goodbye.

And as you keep walking, you replay it one more time, just in Sanskrit:

Namo namah.

Namo namah.

Bhavayaah naama kim?

Mama naama Devi. Bhavatah naama kim?

Mama naama… your name.

Bhavatah kushalam asti va?

Mama kushalam asti. Bhavatyaah kushalam asti va?

Mama kushalam asti.

Punar milaamah.

Punar milaamah.

And just now, you are getting back to where you started, and your lesson is just about over. So smile. You have just had your first conversation in Sanskrit. And now you are ready to resume your day on the count of 1… and 2… and 3.

First Conversation in Sanskrit - Part I

You want to greet Devi, and without thinking, you greet her by saying:

Namo namah – Greetings.

Namo namah – Greetings – she answers in kind.

You want to know her name, so you inquire:

Bhavatyaah naama kim? – Your name (is) what?

Because she is a woman, the question starts with bhavatyaah.

She takes in the questions, Bhavatyaah naama kim? and answers,

Mama naama Devi – My name (is) Devi.

You are processing this, and realize that to give your name, you would say,

Mama naama, followed by your name.

You wonder if you should say it, when she warmly asks,

Bhavatah naama kim? = Your name (is) what?

Because you are a man, the question started bhavatah. You make a mental note…

To ask a woman’s name, you say:

Bhavatyaah naama kim?

To ask a man’s name, you say:

Bhavatah naama kim?

As you’re taking this in, you realize you should answer the question, so you say:

Mama naama… and finish with your name.

Devi waits patiently for you to process what you have learned, and you take advantage, by replaying the conversation so far in your mind:

Namo namah.

Namo namah.

Bhavatyaah naama kim?

Mama naama Devi. Bhavatah naama kim?

Mama naama… end with your name…

Click to keep talking

Sanskrit Conversation - Preparation

To be read aloud, or sounded out in your mind:

Learning Sanskrit is both a challenge and an adventure. Its structure is different from English, which means you can’t just translate word by word. But when you’re exposed to it, if you just let the words come, you will see intuitively how the phrases you are learning come together.

Learning languages is an exciting thing to do. It’s also something you’re good at. Because language is merely making sounds and putting them in the right order. In this short program, you are going to get your toes wet, like dipping them into a vast pool of language. But when you are done, you will have had an imaginary conversation in perfectly good Sanskrit, one that you will be able to have again in real life should you choose, and should you find a Sanskrit speaker, of course. So now let’s count to three, then have our conversation.

And 1) sit back, relax, and let the words go by and before you know it they’ll be sinking in. Just keep reading, but as you are reading, you can take a little stroll along a garden path. And maybe you should perk your ears to hear fountains trickling in the background. And let your mind open to an expanse of green in front of you. You can learn wherever you want, of course, but learning in a nice, lush, lovely garden would be a nice place to learn, wouldn’t it.

And 2) Let the words go by, and enjoy the nice lovely garden, and take a nice walk along the path that goes through that garden. As you are walking amongst the bushes, and the flowers, walking along the path, you will come to a place where the path forks. If you follow the path to the left, you will meet a nice young lady.

And 3) Once you have turned left, and have walked about twenty feet, you meet Devi. Her face is kind, and welcoming, and you are glad to be meeting her. And now, something magical will happen. When you meet Devi, you will speak Sanskrit with her. And because you are ready, the time to talk to her is now.

Click to start talking

First Conversation in Sanskrit

This program will teach you to have a very short conversation in Sanskrit. When you are done, you will be able to exchange greetings, ask how someone is doing, exchange names and take your leave of someone.

The program may seem somewhat unusual in its language and structure. It is intended to put you in a frame of mind where you can sort of pick up the language, as opposed to making a conscientious effort to learn. The key is not to study, but to read the passage, out loud, two or three times over the course of one or two days.

The program is not hypnotic language learning, per se, but it does make use of elements of self-hypnotic induction, so that you can treat the language as something to live, rather than as an object to study.

Because Sanskrit makes extensive use of vocabulary that varies according to the gender of the speaker or the person being spoken to, there are two versions:

In one version, the subject of the lesson (you) is a male, and the other character, Devi, is a female.

In the other version, the subject of the lesson (you) is a female, and the other character, Ashok, is a male.

Both versions will expose you to the masculine and feminine forms, but with the emphasis slightly shifted so that male and female visitors will know what to listen for when being spoken to.

Click to begin (males) - Click to begin (females)

Sources for Learning Azerbaijani

This Itty Bitty Azerbaijani Course is, of course, light years from a complete program. But it should have given you a few words to drop should you find yourself in that neighborhood. The pronunciation guide, it should be clear, is intended to help an English speaker get the words out, not to become native fluent.

We hope this course has been helpful and that the opening notes connecting Azerbaijani and other languages broadened your horizons a little bit more still. Nonetheless, this course is barely a beginning.

To learn more, and hear the language spoken, click immediately to byki.com, where there is free flashcard program with 17 lessons, including audio. And if you decide to go further, by all means purchase the whole course – which includes a free audio for your MP3 player.

The information in this course was drawn from byki.com’s Azerbaijani, resources.net.az/phrase.htm, Lonely Planet Central Asian Phrasebook, Lonely Planet Turkish Phrasebook, the Turkmen Dictionary and Phrasebook (Awde et al), Language/30 Turkish and our own previously published resources for Turkish, Uzbek, Dari, Arabic and about the languages of Islam. In order to keep resources like these available, we ask that those with a serious interest in Azerbaijani patronize the enterprises that produce them, using our courses as a starting point.

Azerbaijani Menu

Understanding in Azerbaijani

Finding some understanding

Do you understand? Siz başa düşürsunuz? (seas bah-shah doo-shoor-su-nuz)

I understand: Mən başa düşürəm (men bah-shah doo-shoo-rem)

I don’t understand: Mən başa düşmürəm (men bah-shah doosh-moo-rem)

Please write it: Zəhmət olmasa, yazın (zeh-meht ol-mah-sah yah-zihn)

Good: yaxşi (yahk-shee)

Finally, a look at sources for further study…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Beverages

Restaurant and Beverages

Restaurant: restoran (reh-stoh-rahn)

I would like… Mən isterdim… (men easter-deem)

A cup of coffee: bir fincan qəhve (beer fin jan keh vey)

A cup of tea: bir fincan çay (beer fin jan cheye)

A glass of water – bir stəken su (beer steak an sue)

A glass of beer – bir stəken pivə (beer steak an pee-veh)

A bottle of wine – bir butilka çaxir (beer boo-till-ka chah-hear)

In the homestretch… do you understand?

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Hotel Words

At the hotel

Hotel: mehmanxana (mehh-mahn-hah-nah)

Bath: vanna otaği (vahn-na oh-tah-ee)

Shower: duş (doosh)

Room: nömrə (nerm-reh)

What’s the rate? Sizin haqqınız? (see-zeen hahk-kih-nihz)

Next, time for tea… or something more interesting…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Where is?

Where is…?

Where is…? …haradadir? (hah-rah-dah-deer)

Telephone: telefon

Toilet: tualet (tu-ah-let)

Luggage: yük (yook)

Bus: avtobus (ahv-toe-booss)

Next, at the hotel…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Please and Thank you

Mind your pints and quarts… or at least be polite.

Please: Zəhmət olmasa (zeh-meht ol-mah-sah)

Thank you (informal): Sağ olun (sah oh-lun)

Thank you (formal): Təşəkkur eləyirəm (teh shake kur ey-leh-yee-rehm)

Your welcome: Sağ olun (sah oh-lun)

Next, finding your way around…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Introductions

Now that you can say “Hi, how are you?” it’s time to learn to say “Who are you?” and give an answer.

What’s your name? Senin adın nədir? (seh-neen ah-din neh-deer)

My name is… Mənim adım… (meh-neem ah-dim)

Pleased to meet you: Çox güzel (chalk goo-zehl)

Goodbye: Xuda hafiz (who da ha-fizz)

Next, being polite…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Greetings

The next seven pages offer around thirty-five words and phrases for the most basic communication in Azerbaijani. Those who wish to go further should check out the resources mentioned on the previous page. This course is intended to give those who are curious a little insight into how things are said in Azerbaijani while making the language seem a little more familiar and a little less imposing to the student about to undertake more serious study. By memorizing a list every one to three days, you will pick up a useful stock of phrases for survival and conversation within a couple weeks. Please note that our pronunciation guide is very loose. Here is the first list, opening the way for conversation whether it be morning, noon or night:

Good morning: Sabahınız xeyir (sah bah huh nuhs hey er)

Good day: Yaxşi gün (yahk shi goon)

Good night: Axşamınız xeyir (ahk shah muh nuhs hey er)

How are you? Necəsiz? (ney juh siz)

Thanks, fine: Sağ olun, yaxşıyam. (sah oh lun, yahk shi yahm)

Next page, introductions…

Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Vocabulary

Right from the start of our course, the Arabic influence pops out. “Sabahınız xeyir” (“Good morning”) is almost identical to the Arabic “sabah il-xeyr.” The phrase for “Good night” is in the middle – Turkish “akşamlar” (night) and Arabic “xeyr” – “Axşamınız xeyir.” Notice that so far, we’re using the Arabic word for “good” or “fine.” Our next phrase uses the more standard Central Asian word, yaxshi. “Yaxşi gün” means “Good day.” Turkish itself goes with another word for good – the phrase is “İyi günler,” which means “Good days,” like Spanish “Buenos diás.”

There is only one straight Persian phrase in this little guide, “Xuda hafiz” – identical to one Farsi goodbye, but other Persian terms (like “xanim” for “Mrs.”) are scattered through the language.

International vocabulary comes up as well: “duş” = French “douche” (“shower”). “Tualet” and “avtobus” should be clear enough. And “pivə” corresponds to the word for beer in the Slavic languages. Finally, “qahvə” (“coffee”) and “çay” (“tea”) are about as international as it gets.

Azerbaijani is, in the end, a Turkic language, however, and while Arabic, Persian and international elements are present, the Turkic base is quite evident. Those who know another Turkic language will recognize a lot. Those who wish to learn one likewise won’t be making a bad start in picking up a few words in Azerbaijani. A few highlights, then the course:

Adın (Az) = Adın (Tk) = Your name

Adım (Az) = Adım (Tk) = My name

Çox güzel (Az) = Çok güzel (Tk) = Very beautiful (used for “Pleased to meet you.”)

Sağ olun (Az) = Sağ ol (Tk) = an informal “Thank you”

Təşəkkur eləyirəm (Az) = Teşekkur ederim (Tk) = formal “Thank you”)

…harada? (Az) = …nerede? (Tk) = Where is…?

Bir (Az) = Bir (Tk) = one

And now, having encountered a little Arabic, a little Persian, somewhat more Turkish and just under twenty Azerbaijani words, it’s time to begin. As with all the Itty Bitty Courses, this course offers Azerbaijani in small bites. By memorizing a few phrases a day, you will learn just enough to get yourself in trouble – or maybe get yourself out of trouble! Serious students should investigate the free demo Before You Know It Azerbaijani program (at byki.com) and probably purchase the full program. For those content to add a few phrases to what is here, check out resources.net.az/phrase.htm.

Ready? Next comes the course, with greetings...

Azerbaijani menu

Introduction

From Turkey to Western China, there exists not so much a family of languages as a continuum of languages. Bits of Turkic, plus Arabic and Persian – from the Muslim expansion – crop up all the way along the Old Silk Route. On the western side, one stop along the continuum is Azerbaijani.

Azerbaijani is spoken in Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic, and much of Iran. Azerbaijanis, in fact, are the leading minority in Iran. Lately, it’s the Azeris of Iran that are in the news (this in being written in June of 2006) as ethnic unrest has led to violence in some parts and some Turkmen have grabbed the chance to advocate for greater respect for all Turkic peoples – not just Azeris.

On this site, Persian/Farsi is represented by the variant spoken in Afghanistan, Dari. On the Turkic side, we have Uzbek and Turkish. Now we’re going to connect a few dots between Turkish and Uzbek with this Itty Bitty Course on Azerbaijani. The main course, as with all the courses, consists of little chunks of the language to be learned and played with. However, we’re going to start with an introduction to about half the items in the course in terms of what other languages you can use them with.

Click to find out more about Azerbaijani vocabulary...


Azerbaijani Menu

Azerbaijani Main Menu

This is the Itty Bitty Course for Azerbaijani. Below is the table of contents.

1. Introduction
2. Sources of Vocabulary
3. Greetings
4. Introductions
5. Please and Thank You
6. Where is...?
7. Hotel vocabulary
8. Beverages
9. Do you understand?
10. Sources for further learning

Making a Start in Mandarin

Chinese can be an incredibly difficult language to make a solid start in. To start with, there's the question of characters: Are you going to learn them or not? If you just want to speak the language, reading pinyin - although tricky - is probably good enough. At the same time, knowing a little bit about the characters can open up "word families" of an unlikely sort that may offer enough interest to make the learning go more quickly.

My own efforts at Mandarin Chinese include Pimsleur Level 1 and one on one instruction. Below are a few of the resources I've used and why they were or weren't helpful. While this list won't actually get you started learning Chinese, it's a place to start.

ChineseHorizon.com
The headline says, "Speak Chinese Rapidly..." Maybe not. But there is a fairly good introduction to what you're in for and the lessons expose a lot of information. For around $30/month, it's not a bad deal if you make consistent use of it. And you can take demonstration lessons at several levels to see what it's about.

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone teaches only in the target language, using pictures, sound and text - in the language you're learning - to help you associate first short and simple, then longer and more complex thoughts with images. The probelm is that Chinese doesn't necessarily relate human experience precisely the same way English, for example, does. Thus picture sequences ideal for illustrating structures in English don't always work so well in Mandarin.

Were Rosetta Stone to use a different sequencing depending on the language, it could be great for Mandarin, highlighting deeper into the lessons the subtler distinctions Mandarin makes here and there. Instead, they start popping up early on. If you're learning with something else, Rosetta Stone isn't bad for drilling. But it falls short as a primary resource.

When you finish Pimsleur Mandarin Level 1, you are amazed at all the things you can say as you work through the lessons. Then you start trying to think of how to say the things that are on your mind in Mandarin and are flabbergasted by how much you have to learn. Bottom line, this will not make you fluent in a month. But it will give you confidence and familiarity with using Mandarin, and a hint as to what's going on with tones. Better learn (a whole lot) less with the conversation set, in order to get your stride, then move on to another resource with the pennies you've saved.

After you've done a little Pimsleur Mandarin, you might look for some more vocabulary to plug into the structures you've learned. The Talk Now game show vocabulary learning format isn't bad for learning isolated vocabulary, though you need to play early and often if you want to retain what you've learned. High scores in the game indicate that you have learned enough to quickly catch on to material you've seen before. Continued high scores are needed if you want assurance that the words will be there when you want them though.

This is one of the most thorough grammar and workbooks out there. But serious work is involved. And while you can learn alot about Chinese grammar from it, it won't teach you to speak. What it will do is give you many ahas about things you've learned elsewhere but couldn't get your head around. A good reference once you've been at it awhile.

This is actually a pretty good guide to basic phrases and basic grammar. Many other works tell you way more than you want to know - or realistically will have the patience to learn - and are thus useless, despite their deceptive thoroughness. With a language like Mandarin, the fundamentals are simple. It's the details that get you. This is light on detail and thus worthwhile for learning enough to speak understandably, as opposed to having the perfect phrases for three occasions and little to contribute otherwise because you gave up before finishing the book.

My memories of Teach Yourself Chinese are of confusion, boredom and irritation. What was easy was obvious. What wasn't was lost. Other experiences may vary, but I found it the opposite of the Chinese for Dummies phrasebook - there was too much to learn. By contrast, the Teach Yourself Mandarin Conversation CD set isn't half bad. You learn to work through elementary conversations, then on disc three learn a little about what to listen for. After Pimsleur Conversation, it's worth a listen to firm up what you've learned and put some meat on the worthy but skeletal understanding of Chinese conversation that the preliminary Pimsleur lessons provide.

Ordinarily, I'm appalled by the Learn in Your Car listen and repeat cycle. For the Romance and Germanic languages, I've found it painfully tedious and often boring, such that when I put on a CD, rather than learning I go to sleep. But that's me. With Chinese, however, I'm sufficiently out of my element that the set has kept me listening. However, I like to follow along with the transcript, not listen in the car. In the transcript, words are put in different colors if you're learning a new structure or unusual word, and this makes it easy to see what's going on in the Chinese. It's not the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it works pretty well. Again, it helps to have a little Chinese before making use of this set.

For figuring out, well, what character you're looking up, this is a darn good book. The organization by English named radicals makes it easy to start deciphering short bits of Chinese to get an idea what characters and concepts are involved. Not much help with the many two-syllable words in Chinese, though.

This is my favorite Chinese-English dictionary. The entries are thorough, offering good coverage of two and three syllable words. And you can look up words by pinyin, radical, stroke number and Zhuyin fuhao (what Chinese schoolkids use to look up words phonetically). If you're serious about putting together written and spoken Chinese in your studies, this is highly recommended.

The list above doesn't, alas, feature any silver bullets for learning Chinese in four hours with no work. If you know of such a series or have any recommendations for getting started, please e-mail. And if you're just getting started yourself, I hope these suggestions will get you off to a better start.

Geoffrey Barto
multilingua.info Creator

On Tolerance for others' beliefs

multilingua.info has - and for some time has had - a page on the languages of the Islamic world. That page includes links to numerous editions of the Koran, including a free online edition. We encourage checking these out, as we should be aware of, and respectful of, the beliefs of others.

This belief in tolerance and understanding is a luxury those of the West enjoy. It is also, ultimately, an essential for the fullest realization of the human spirit. At multilingua.info, we believe it is good and worthwhile, even necessary, to have access to as many cultures as possible, and that one be free to make one's own decisions about what to believe.

In many parts of the world, this luxury, ultimately a necessity, is absent. During the Cold War, there was a joke that went like this:
An American tells a Russian, "In the United States, we are free. If we want, we can stand outside the White House and say, 'The President of the United States is an idiot.'"

The Russian smiles back and says, "This is no great thing. In Russia we could just as well stand outside the Kremlin and say, 'The President of the United States is an idiot.'"
This is the state of things today with the West and the Islamic world. And the Islamic world is the poorer for it.

In late 2005, a Danish newspaper printed some cartoons - most of which were neither terribly cutting nor terribly funny - which tested whether the West still enjoyed free speech and inquiry once engaged with the Islamic world. The results have not been promising. Western governments and news organizations alike have made assertions about the cartoons without allowing free individuals to draw their own conclusions. This is like making assertions about the Koran while banning its reading - something that a less advanced West did here and there as little as a century ago. We're beyond that. We should certainly be beyond suppressing cartoons.

On a sister site, we have a somewhat more fiery editorial about freedom of the press and ideas and what the West should do to protect them. On that site, two of the cartoons are reprinted, and a link is provided for the others. Please click here to see them.

At multilingua.info, we believe that Islam and its texts and traditions are worthy of study and understanding, with much to offer even non-believers. We abhorr the notion that one could pronounce upon it without even a cursory glance and its founding text and its traditions. But understanding must go in all directions. Part of understanding Islam as practiced today is looking at where the culture of its adherents intersects with other cultures. So please look at the Koran. And please look at the cartoons. From there, you can draw your own conclusions - and your own understanding. Which, from our perspective, is what multilingua.info is all about.

Really Itty Bitty Finnish Lessons

IB Finnish Nouns 6-10

Here is the sequence for reviewing nouns, now that you’ve encountered all the vocabulary:

Lesson 6: NC 2,6,7,8
Lesson 7: NC 3,4,5
Lesson 8: PC 6,7 NC 9
Lesson 9: PC 7, NC 3,4,5
Lesson 10: PC 1-10, NC 1-10

Run through the cycle from time to time to remember what you’ve learned.

IB Finnish Nouns Five

PC 3
Ole hyvä (o-lay hew-va) - Please
Kiitos (key-toss) - Thanks

PC 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

NC 1,2,9
Card 1
Huoneen (hwoh-nayn) - Room
Kylpyhuone (kewl-pew-hwoh-neh) - Bathroom

Card 2
Valintamyymälä (va-lin-tah-moo-ma-la) - Supermarket
Kahvila (kah-vee-lah) – Café

Card 9
Lääkäri (lack-airy) – Doctor
Lack a reason for feeling ill? See the doctor.
Poliisi (po-lee-see) – Police

IB Finnish Nouns Four

Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

NC 6,7,8
Card 6
Apteekkiin (ap-tay-keen) – Pharmacy (Apothecary)
Kirjakauppaan (kir-ya-kowp-pahn) – bookstore

Card 7
Uimaranalle (wee-mah-rah-nal-leh) – Beach
We may run along the beach.
Ravintola (rah-vin-toe-lah) – Restaurant
Go to the ravintola for ravioli.

Card 8
Rautatiesasema (routa-tee-eh-sa-say-mah) - Train station
Lentoasema (len-toe-ah-say-mah) – Airport
Think of –asema as meaning “station” and this will be easier.

IB Finnish Nouns Three

PC 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

NC 3,4,5
Card 3
(Sooda)vettä - (Soda) water
Kahvia (kah-vee-ah) - Coffee

Card 4
Teetä (tay-ta) - Tea
Jääteetä (yeah-tay-ta) - Iced tea

Card 5
Maidon kanssa (my-don kahn-sah) - With milk
Sokerin kansaa (so-car-in kahn-sah) - With sugar
kansaa = with

IB Finnish Nouns Two

PC 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

NC 3,4
Card 3
(Sooda)vettä - (Soda) water
Kahvia (kah-vee-ah) – Coffee
Both of these are pretty easy.

Card 4
Teetä (tay-ta) – Tea
tea on the teeter-totter
Jääteetä (yeah-tay-ta) - Iced tea
yeah! Iced tea!

IB Finnish Nouns One

Because you have already been working through the Prase Course, you’re aware of how this works. For the noun course, we’ll abbreviate things a little bit – just the words and clues for new words.

PC (Phrase Card) 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

NC 1,2
Card 1
Huoneen (hwoh-nayn) – Room
When the sun is waning, you need a huoneen to sleep in.
Kylpyhuone (kewl-pew-hwoh-neh) – Bathroom
-huone, like huoneen, so kylpy-huone is bath-room

Card 2
Valintamymälä (va-lin-tah-moo-ma-la) – Supermarket
There’s value in the valintamymälä.
Kahvila (kah-vee-lah) – Café
Go to the kahvila to get some kahvia.

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson 7-10

You’ve now encountered all the drill cards for the Phrase Lessons. In the next few lessons, you’re just going to cycle through them in a different arrangement, just too make sure you remember.

Lesson 7: PC 1,8,9,10
Lesson 8: PC 3,4,5
Lesson 9: PC 3,6,7
Lesson 10: 1-10

Cycle through this sequence or the whole course again as many times as necessary until you recognize all the items easily. Then move on to the Noun Lessons if you didn’t start after Lesson 5 of this course.

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson Six

Today, we review PC 8,9 and learn PC 10

Card 8
Minun nimeni on... (mee-noon nee-may-nee ohn) - My name is...
Mikä sinun nimesi on? (mee-ka see-noon nee-may-see ohn) - What's your name?

Card 9
Hauska tavata (house-kah tah-vah-tah) - Pleased to meet you.
Puhutko englantia? (poo-hoot-koh eng-lahn-tya) - Do you know English?

Card 10
Mitä kuuluu? (mee-ta coo-loo) - How are you?
Are you cool, mistah? – Mitä kuuluu?
Kiitos hyvää (key-toss hew-vaa) - Thank you, fine.
Key-toss, Hoover = Thanks, good

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson Five

Today, you need to PC 1 and learn PC 8,9:

Card 1
Hei (hey) - Hi
Näkemiin (nack-ay-mean) - Bye

Card 8
Minun nimeni on... (mee-noon nee-may-nee ohn) - My name is...
Mikä sinun nimesi on? (mee-ka see-noon nee-may-see ohn) - What's your name?

Remember that “on” means “is.” Now compare:
minun nimeni on… - My name is…
sinun nimesi on… - Your name is…
Mikä (what) sinun nimesi on? What your name is?


Card 9
Hauska tavata (house-kah tah-vah-tah) - Pleased to meet you.
Hi, I’m Oscar de Water – Pleased to meet you!
Puhutko englantia? (poo-hoot-koh eng-lahn-tya) - Do you know English?
This is a tricky one. If you see something in the word, use it. Suggestion: boo-hoo…

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson Four

Card 4
Katso! (cot-so) - Look!
Kuule! (cool-eh) - Listen!

Card 5
Tule! (too-leh) - Come!
Varovasti! (vahr-oh-vah-stee) -
Careful!

Card 6
Mikä tämä on? (mee-ka ta-ma ohn) - What is this?
mikä = what; tämä = this; on = is: What this is? Mikä tämä on?
Paljonko se maksaa? (pal-yonko say mahk-saah) - How much does it cost?
Hey, pal – you – what’s i’ make, sir? (paljonko = “how much”)

Card 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Your favorite postmodern playwright is giving a command performance for you. You tell him: “I would like the hallway scene – haluaisin.”
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?
The theater is missing! Missä the theater on?

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson Three

Itty Bitty Finnish – Lesson Three

Today, you’re reviewing PC 2,4 and learning PC 5:

Card 2
Kylla (kewl-uh) - Yes
Ei (eye) – No

Card 4
Katso! (cot-so) - Look!
Kuule! (cool-eh) - Listen!

Card 5
Tule! (too-leh) - Come!
We’ve come to lay your carpet.
Varovasti! (vahr-oh-vah-stee) -
Careful!
Careful crossing! It’s far too vast, see? Varovasti!

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson Two

Today you’ll be reviewing Phrase Cards 1,3 and learning PC 4:

Card 1
Hei (hey) - Hi
Näkemiin (nack-ay-mean) – Bye

Card 3
Ole hyvä (o-lay hew-va) - Please
Kiitos (key-toss) - Thanks

Card 4
Katso! (cot-so) - Look!
That cat so fat! Look!
Kuule! (cool-eh) - Listen!
Did you listen to what I said? Cool, eh? (Don’t confuse with kylla – yes.)

Itty Bitty Finnish Lesson One

Today you’ll be learning the words on Phrase Cards 1,2,3. Take the cards (make them now, if you haven’t), go through them now and be sure to look at them whenever you get a spare moment. To help you remember, here they are, each with a memory prompt:

Card 1
Hei (hey) – Hi
“Hey” for “Hi” should be easy to remember.
Näkemiin (nack-ay-mean) – Bye
Imagine a man who’s got a mean knack for saying “bye.” His knack i’ mean for saying “bye.”

Card 2
Kylla (kewl-uh) – Yes
Said the Valley Girl, “The boss said “Yes” to my raise. Kewl, uh?”
Ei (ay) – No
There’s no way, ei?

Card 3
Ole hyvä (o-lay hew-va) – Please
Facing down the charging vacuum cleaner, the matador said, “Ole, Hoover, please be gentle.” (I didn’t promise good memory prompts, just memory prompts.)
Kiitos (key-toss) – Thanks
“Need a key? I’ll toss it to you.” Thanks for the key-toss.

Really Itty Bitty Finnish - Noun Cards

Card 1
Huoneen (hwoh-nayn) - Room
Kylpyhuone (kewl-pew-hwoh-neh) - Bathroom

Card 2
Valintamyymälä (va-lin-tah-moo-ma-la) - Supermarket
Kahvila (kah-vee-lah) - Café

Card 3
(Sooda)vettä - (Soda) water
Kahvia (kah-vee-ah) - Coffee

Card 4
Teetä (tay-ta) - Tea
Jääteetä (yeah-tay-ta) - Iced tea

Card 5
Maidon kanssa (my-don kahn-sah) - With milk
Sokerin kansaa (so-car-in kahn-sah) - With sugar

Card 6
Apteekkiin (ap-tay-keen) - Pharmacy
Kirjakauppaan (kir-ya-kowp-pahn) - bookstore

Card 7
Uimaranalle (wee-mah-rah-nal-leh) - Beach
Ravintola (rah-vin-toe-lah) - Restaurant

Card 8
Rautatiesasema (routa-tee-eh-sa-say-mah) - Train station
Lentoasema (len-toe-ah-say-mah) - Airport

Card 9
Lääkäri (lack-airy) - Doctor
Poliisi (po-lee-see) – Police

Really Itty Bitty Finnish - Phrase Cards

Itty Bitty Finnish Vocabulary - Phrases

Card 1
Hei (hey) - Hi
Näkemiin (nack-ay-mean) - Bye

Card 2
Kylla (kewl-uh) - Yes
Ei (eye) - No

Card 3
Ole hyvä (o-lay hew-va) - Please
Kiitos (key-toss) - Thanks

Card 4
Katso! (cot-so) - Look!
Kuule! (cool-eh) - Listen!

Card 5
Tule! (too-leh) - Come!
Varovasti! (vahr-oh-vah-stee) -
Careful!

Card 6
Mikä tämä on? (mee-ka ta-ma ohn) - What is this?
Paljonko se maksaa? (pal-yonko say mahk-saah) - How much does it cost?

Card 7
Haluaisin... (hol-why-sin) - I would like...
Missä... on? (mees-sa... ohn) - Where is...?

Card 8
Minun nimeni on... (mee-noon nee-may-nee ohn) - My name is...
Mikä sinun nimesi on? (mee-ka see-noon nee-may-see ohn) - What's your name?

Card 9
Hauska tavata (house-kah tah-vah-tah) - Pleased to meet you.
Puhutko englantia? (poo-hoot-koh eng-lahn-tya) - Do you know English?

Card 10
Mitä kuuluu? (mee-ta coo-loo) - How are you?
Kiitos hyvää (key-toss hew-vaa) - Thank you, fine.

Really Itty Bitty Finnish Course Introduction

Finnish is a language very different from English. For this reason, I have put decided to do a Really Itty Bitty Course for it to make your memorizing work minimal.

An alternative name for this course might be "Broken Finnish" in ten to twenty days. If you're going to become fluent in Finnish, you need a course like the Routledge program - and a lot of patience.

At the end of this very Itty Bitty Course, you'll be far from fluent, but you'll have a few words carefully chosen to help you meet your most basic communications needs in Finland or feel a little less intimidated before undertaking a more rigorous program of study.

Really Itty Bitty Course - Noun Lesson Intro

Before you start the noun section, you should be on at least lesson four (lesson three for Swahili) of the phrase lessons. This is because you'll be making use of card 7 (card 5 for Swahili) from the phrase lessons in order to make coherent questions with the nouns.

Learning nouns on their own can be useful. You can point. Or you can specify them in a questioning tone of voice. But it's better to be able to pair them with a phrase like "I'd like" or "Where is". This will make the language feel more natural to you, so you'll learn better.

Note that in many languages, the precise forms of a noun vary depending on how it's used in the sentence. I've tried to select the forms most likely to be used with the sentences you'll be forming. But it won't always work out this way. If somebody looks momentarily confused, then corrects your phrasing, don't worry about it. For the moment, you'll have gotten your point across, and later on you'll start to figure out patterns on your own. In this case, incorrect language is the stepping stone to correct language, whereas not opening your mouth till you're sure of eloquence will guarantee that you never open your mouth.

In the Phrase lessons, you were largely given complete sentences or thoughts. In the noun section, it's up to you. Use your questions from card 7 to make up your own complete phrases and you'll be on your way from parroting to actually speaking the language.

Really Itty Bitty Course - Phrase Lesson Intro

This section of the Really Itty Bitty Course will teach you a few basic phrases for indicating your most basic needs and for showing that you're making a good faith effort to communicate. Remember to be gracious in using them if you hope for your hosts to be gracious in trying to understand. In so doing, they will help you learn more and build on the small foundation this course offers.

There are, of course, very good - but also, very expensive - courses that will do a lot of the work for you. But in my experience, the more work you do for yourself and the more you figure out on your own, the more your learning sticks with you. Among the best ways to learn is in making flashcards. Even if you never look at them again, the act of making them establishes connections in terms of sight and touch. If you take the trouble to pronounce what you're writing, you will have experienced each word or phrase in three different sensory modes. In a word, make the flashcards. Better still, carry them around with you according to the directions once you have done so.

Using your flashcards
Over the course of five days, you will encounter all twenty words and phrases in this section. After doing each day's lessons, select the appropriate flashcards. Then, each time you encounter an appropriate situation (greeting someone, asking directions, etc), think about the appropriate phrase in your new language. If you can't remember, consult your flashcards.

After the first five days, you will not have any new material, but there is a sequence for working through the flashcards again. Following this sequence should maximize your retention of the items you have learned.

Itty Bitty Hebrew Course

Hebrew Lesson Five - Nouns

Water – ma’im
Meat – basar
Bread – lekhem

Coffee – kafe
Tea – te
(With) milk – (be)khalav

Room – kheder
Bed – mita
(With a) bathroom – (im) ambatya

(Public) toilet – ha sherutim (tsiburi’im)
Table – shulkhan
Chair – kise

Person – adam
Place – makom
This thing – ha ze

House – ba’it
Car – mekhonit
City – ir

Cat – khatul
Dog – kelev
Friend – khaver(a)

Hebrew Lesson Four - A Few More Basics

Hello – shalom
Goodbye – lehitra’ot
Excuse me – slikha

I am American – ani me-artsot habrit
I am British – ani me-anglia
How much is it? – kama ze ‘ole?

Please write it – kotev(i), bevakasha
Thank you – toda
Credit card – kartis ashra’i

Too expensive – yakar miday
I like it – ani ohev(et) et ze
I don’t like it – ani lo ohev(et) et ze

I’m just looking – ani rak mistakel(et)
Can I look? – ani yakhol (yekhola) lehistakel?
You can look – ata yakhol/at yekhola lehistakel

I don’t understand – ani lo mevin(a)
I’m sorry – slikha
Where is the hotel? – eifo malon?

I want… – ani rots-e/-a…
Just a moment – rak rega
Check, please – tavi bevakasha et hakheshbon

Hebrew Lesson Three - Still More Basics

Hello – shalom
How are you – ma shlom-kha/-ekh*
(I am) fine – metsuyan

Are you…? – ata/at…?*
I am… – ani…
I am not… – ani lo…

Are you happy? – ata same-akh/at smekha?*
Are you sad? – ata atsuv/at atsuva?*
Are you tired? – ata ayef/at ayefa?*

I am not happy. – ani lo same-akh/smekha
I am not sad – ani lo atsuv(a)
I am not tired – ani lo ayef(a)

One, two, three – akhat, shta’im, shalosh
Four, five, six – arba, khamesh, shesh
Seven, eight, nine – sheva, shmone, tesha

Zero – efes
Ten, eleven, twelve – eser, akhat-esre, shta’im-esre
(On the) left, right – smola, yamina

(Go) straight ahead – yashar
Here, there – kan/sham
Near, far – karov, rakhok

Hebrew Lesson Two - More Basics

Hello – shalom
Goodbye – lehitra’ot
Excuse me – slikha

Please – bevakasha
Thank you – toda
You’re welcome – al lo davar

Do you understand? – ata mevin/at mevina*
I understand – ani mevin(a)
I don’t understand – ani lo mevin(a)

What is this called? – eikh kor’im leze
What’s your name? – ma shim-kha/-ekh*
My name is… – shmee…

Are you…? – ata/at…?*
I am… – ani…
I am not… – ani lo…

Are you happy? – ata same-akh/at smekha?*
Are you sad? – ata atsuv/at atsuva?*
Are you tired? – ata ayef/at ayefa?*

I am happy. – ani same-akh/smekha
I am sad – ani atsuv(a)
I am tired – ani ayef(a)

Hebrew Lesson One - Basics

Hello – shalom
Goodbye – lehitra’ot
Excuse me – slikha

I’m sorry – slikha
How are you – ma shlom-kha/-ekh*
(I am) fine – metsuyan

Please – bevakasha
Thank you – toda
You’re welcome – al lo davar

Where is…? – eifo… ?
Bus station – takhanat ha-otobus
Where is the bus station? – eifo takhanat ha-otobus

Airport – sde te’ufa
Market – shuk
Train station – takhanat ha-rakevet

Restaurant – mis’ada
Hotel – malon
Where is the hotel? – eifo malon

Police – mishtara
Ambulance – ambulans
Doctor – rofe

Introduction to Hebrew Course

Before beginning the Itty Bitty Course for Hebrew, there are a few things you should know.

1. Hebrew is written using a special syllabary that is totally unlike the Roman alphabet. This little course follows the spelling conventions of the Lonely Planet Hebrew Phrasebook for the most part.

2. Hebrew, like Arabic, is a consonantal root language. That means the consonants within a word define its general meaning while the interspersed vowels determine the sense. This includes marking the gender of nouns, adjectives and verbs. For example: ShiM-Kha – his name vs. ShiM-eKh – her name, hu YaKhoL – he can vs. hi YeKhoLa – she can.

3. Verbs are distinguished by gender, not person. That is, the form you use for “I can” (for example) is determined by whether you are male or female, not whether it’s “I…” or “You…” etc.

4. In this course, where masculine/feminine makes a difference, the feminine is after the slash (/) or in parentheses. If an item is starred (*), the masculine/feminine distinction is made based on who you’re talking to. If not, it’s based on whether you are male or female.

Itty Bitty Thai Course

Introduction to Thai

Before you begin, there are a few things you should know.

1. Thai is actually written in a beautiful, intriguing and to Western eyes seemingly indecipherable syllabary. What you see here is a hodgepodge of the transliteration systems used in several guides.

2. Thai is a tonal language. The tones are as follows:

Low tone – à
High tone – á
Lilt up – â
Lilt down – ă

Absence of an accent means the tone is flat. Getting this right for a beginner is rough and you have to hear it for it to make sense. It’s good to come up with your own convention for keeping things straight in your own mind so you can adapt the system once you’ve actually heard Thai spoken.


Rosetta Stone Thai Level I



3. Thai has two consonants we lack in English. We’ve followed the easiest typographical convention for these two sounds:

bp is halfway between a “b” and a “p”
dt is halfway between a “d” and a “t”

Think of these two phrases: “Rob Peter to pay Paul.” “He spun the red top.” Say them fast and then try to approximate the sounds in bold. Again, you may have to hear it.

4. Thai grammar is so simple that it’s bizarrely complex. Some things will go together in a way that makes you say, “Hey, that was easy!” Others will have you going, “What was that all about?” Try to stick to the constructions in the stock phrases I’ve given. In lessons two and four in particular I’ve tried to show how things go together to help you along.

5. Thai is a language with multiple levels of politeness and nuance that cannot be taught here. What can be taught is the importance of kráp and . The first is used for talking to males, the second for females. Tack them liberally onto phrases like please, thank you, how are you, please write it and anything else that feels like a request or a chance to make a good impression.

6. Thai is a language of which I know a very few structures and phrases. The information here is patched together from various sources and should open some doors. Some of the phrases are not quite right but have been reworked to be easier to learn vis-à-vis the other material. In short, this is not a comprehensive guide, just a little primer to get you started. Constructive criticism for making the learning easier and helping avoid misunderstandings would be appreciated. kŏr, e-mail languages-at-gbarto.com if you've got something to add.

Thai Lesson Four - A Few More Basics

Hello – sàwàt dee
Goodbye – lah gòrn
Excuse me – kŏr tôht

Please – kŏr
Thank you – kórp kun
You’re welcome – mâi bpen rai

How are you? – sàbai dee măi?
Fine – sàbai dee
Sir/Ma’am – kráp/kâ

What is this? – nêe arai?
I like (it) – chôrp
I don’t like (it) – mâi chôrp

How much is it? – tâo rài?
Could you write it? – kĕe-an long hâi dâi măi?
Credit card – kraydìt

Restroom – hôrng nâhm
Left/right – sài/kwăh
Straight ahead – dtrong

I want… - ao…
A room – hôrng
I want a room – ao hôrng

Thai Lesson Three - More Basics

Hello – sàwàt dee
Goodbye – lah gòrn
Excuse me – kŏr tôht

Please – kŏr
Thank you – kórp kun
You’re welcome – mâi bpen rai

How are you? – sàbai dee măi?
Fine – sàbai dee
Sir/Ma’am – kráp/kâ

You/your – kun
Name – chêu
What’s your name? – kun chêu àrai?

I/my – pŏm for a man, dìchăn for a woman
My name is… - pŏm chêu… for a man, dìchăn chêu… for a woman
Pleased to meet you – yindee têe dâi róo jàk

Do you understand? – kun kôw jai măi?
I understand – (pŏm/dìchăn) kôw jai
I don’t understand – mâi kôw jai

Could you…? – … dâi măi?
Write – kĕe-an
Could you write it? - kĕe-an long hâi dâi măi?

Thai Lesson Two - Basics and Building Blocks

Hello – sàwàt dee
Goodbye – lah gorn
Excuse me – kŏr tôht

Please – kŏr
Thank you – kòrp kun
You’re welcome – mâi bpen rai

Car – rót
Bus – rót may
Train – rót fai

Station – sàtăhnee
Bus station – sàtăhnee rót may
Train station – sàtăhnee rót fai

Ambulance – rót páyahbahn
Hospital – rhong páyahbahn
Hotel – rhong ram

Night – keun
Overnight – ram keun
Hotel – rhong ram

How are you? – sàbai dee măi?
Fine – sàbai dee
Sir/Ma’am – kráp/kâ

Thai Lesson One - Basics

Hello – sàwatdee
Goodbye – lah gòrn
Excuse me – kŏr tôht

I’m sorry – kŏr tôht
How are you? – sàbai dee măi?
Fine – sàbai dee

Please – kŏr
Thank you – kòrp kun
You’re welcome – mâi bpen rai

Where is…? – … yòo têe-năi?
Bus staion – sàtăhnee rót may
Where is the bus station? – sàtănee rót may yòo têe-năi?

Train station – sàtăhnee rót fai
Airport – sànăhm bin
Market – dtàlàht

Restaurant – ráhn ah-hăhn
Hotel – rhong ram
Where’s the hotel? – rhong ram yòo têe-năi?

Police – dtum ròo-ut
Ambulance – rót páyahbahn
Doctor – mŏr