Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Colorful Language (SFW)


Just a quick post to let you all know that I haven't forgotten about my blog! Here's an update of what's going on right now:

Summer B is well underway at UF, and I'm taking classes! I've got a great schedule, with Biology (online) and French (lecture). Biology has been seriously neglected, but I'm starting to catch up.

On the other hand, French has been wonderful! I'm learning a whole lot, and very quickly. I've got at least three factors working for me. First, I have some experience with linguistics and language-learning. Second, the grammar is very similar to Spanish. Third, and perhaps most importantly, about 70% of the vocab is cognate to me, from English, Spanish, and Esperanto. Here's a simple example:

I have provided Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English, Esperanto, Spanish, and French. Words that are cognate with French will be highlighted in special colors. Blue for English, yellow for Esperanto, and red for Spanish. At the end, the colors will mix together for the French, showing which words are cognate to me, and from which language(s).

EN: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

EO: Ĉiuj homoj estas denaske liberaj kaj egalaj laŭ digno kaj rajtoj. Ili posedas racion kaj konsciencon, kaj devus konduti unu al alia en spirito de frateco.

ES: Todos los seres humanos nacen libres e iguales en dignidad y derechos y, dotados como están de razón y conciencia, deben comportarse fraternalmente los unos con los otros.

FR: Tous les êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. Ils sont doués de raison et de conscience et doivent agir les uns envers les autres dans un esprit de fraternité.

Well, that was fun! This is my first time ever delving into the wonderful world of HTML. I tried to do most of it on my own, but I do have to credit Jordon with pointing me in the right direction for the color mixing. Apparently, I missed that day of kindergarten. Thanks, Jordon!

To wrap up this post, I'll give some basic statistics about my little demonstration.

In the original passage...

Total Words: 34
Total Unique Words (not counting repeats): 26
Total Unique Non-Cognate Words: 7

So, from this VERY small sample size, it would seem that I was able to identify 19/26 = 73% of the words. Pretty close to my estimate of 70%.

Well, I have truly enjoyed writing this blog post. Nevertheless, a French exam awaits me in the morning. Wish me "bonne chance" on my exam!


P.S. For those of you who don't know, SFW = Safe For Work. :-P

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At the 58th National Convention of Esperanto-USA (Part 1)

I've returned from the National Convention, and I really want to blog about it. So, here we go!

On Saturday, May 29th, Jordon and I arrived at the airport in Baltimore, MD. My dad lives in New York (state), but has friends in Washington, D.C.. He drove down to visit them, and at the same time to help us get to the convention. Also, he generously offered to give me the car that he drove there. Thanks, dad!

When we arrived, we spoke with the people in the lobby, and paid for the Convention. That day, almost all of the attendees were on an excursion, so Jordon and I decided to eat dinner with my dad and his friends.

We ate at a Lebanese restaurant. When we arrived, all the regular tables were taken, so the hostess offered us a sofa next to a short, small table. We didn't mind, so we sat down.

We ordered a lot of food. When the waiter brought everything to the table, a plate fell from his tray, and broke on the floor. Although this scared us, no one was hurt. The hostess offered us another sofa, but my dad asked if there was an open table. Indeed there was, and she sat us there instead. By the way, my dad is a lawyer.

The food was very tasty, and after the meal, I felt very full. We returned to the Convention, and the other attendees returned after a bit.

We were very happy that a lot of young people attended (around twelve in all). The biggest group came from the Esperanto club at the University of Illinois, whose president is the one and only mythical Darcy Ross (yes, she can fly!) Jordon and I had only decided to go to the Convention two weeks previously, and I guess Darcy didn't know that we would be coming. She was very happy to see us, and of course, the feeling was mutual.

After we got to know each other, someone suggested that we go to a dance club. I'm not much of a dancer, so I felt a little hesitant. But in the end, I decided to go with them.

While we were dancing, I felt a little self-conscious and nervous, so I went to the other room to chat with two other guys from Darcy's group. They weren't really in a dancing mood either, so we decided to go to the restaurant next door, which had some nice vegetarian options. I enjoyed that a lot more than dancing.

Around 2AM, we left the dance-club/restaurant, and took the metro back to the hotel where the Convention was being held. Although the others went to bed, I decided not to sleep that night. (For future reference: this is nearly always a bad idea.) Instead, I prepared a lecture on phonetics, which I would be giving the next day.
Jordon also blogged about this event.
Vidu tiun ĉi blogaĵon en Esperanto.
[Update (10/13/11): I never finished writing the rest of this story. I'll get to that at some point…]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Destination: National Esperanto Congress

Lately, it seems that I've been flying a lot, and I like to blog while traveling. Today, Jordon and I are heading to the 2010 National Congress of Esperanto-USA, in Washington, D.C.

I first heard about Esperanto back in high school, from the Nickelodeon cartoon Danny Phantom. In the episode "Public Enemies," Danny meets Wulf, an Esperanto-speaking wolf ghost. Here's a clip of the entire episode. If you want to skip to the Esperanto parts, they're at 00:50, 08:25, 11:10, 15:05, and 20:15. (Be forewarned: the grammar is atrocious.)

Anyway, I liked the idea, so I began the popular 10-lesson course, and joined Lernu. I didn't know any other speakers, and none of my friends wanted to learn, so I lost interest.

Esperanto found me again in Fall 2007, during my first semester in college. The language came up in conversation with my dorm roommate, and it turned out there was another speaker literally three doors down. Jordon approached me about starting a club, and we began meeting in Fall 2008.

As our Vice-President, I figured I should actually learn the language. So, I bought a copy of Teach Yourself Esperanto, and worked through it in about two months. Then, I created a Skype account, and began chatting with Esperantists from around the world. Little by little, my Esperanto improved, and I decided to attend the 2009 National Congress in St. Louis, Missouri.

On the way there, I was filled with nervous excitement about the idea of communicating in a foreign language. I didn't need to feel nervous, though; everyone was really friendly and helpful, and I had a great time. I spent the next two months backpacking through Europe with Jordon, where we had lots of exciting Esperanto adventures. (Jordon blogged extensively during our trip - definitely "Czech" it out.)

Now, one year later, we're going to the National Congress together. I'm lot more confident with the language, and I hope to experience this year's Congress on a deeper level.
Vidu tiun ĉi blogaĵon en Esperanto.

Monday, March 8, 2010

New Blog!

Hi everyone,

So, I've decided to start a blog! I'm not sure what I'll end up writing, but with a title like "Seek The Sooth," there's bound to be some awesome stuff here. I'll probably make an "About Me" section soon, but here's some background info for now.

I'm in my third year at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, USA, studying Mathematics and Linguistics. I really like learning languages. English is my first language, I learned Spanish in school, and I've studied Esperanto for a few years. I hope to learn French soon, and then hopefully something a bit more distant from English.

This summer, I'm hoping to spend some time in Madrid, Spain, taking a few classes in Spanish. I'm thinking this blog might be a good place to document my trip.

Well, thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoy reading it.

P.S. Thanks to Jordon Kalilich for helping me set this up!
Vidu tiun ĉi blogaĵon en Esepranto.