liv: Detail of quirky animals including a sheep, from an illuminated border (marriage)
[personal profile] liv
I was really quite stressed on Monday. A major project I lead on at work is in crisis, with the other two key people abruptly about to retire. We had a discussion in which everybody carefully didn't blame me for the project not going well, but between the lines it's clear that my inexperience at leading projects of this scale meant that I didn't bail sooner and I probably should have. Instead I've been trying to throw a lot of effort into avoiding a crisis which in fact wasn't really avoidable because of external circumstances. On top of that I have two fairly big deadlines this week, and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed in general. Hence my excessively grumpy post about Purim; I basically love working with the community, but I was just right in the middle of feeling like everybody wants stuff from me that I can't provide.

I had lots of good chats with friends, [livejournal.com profile] rysmiel and [personal profile] angelofthenorth and [personal profile] hatam_soferet and my ever wonderful husband. I drank tea and caught up on sleep a bit (well, maybe not as much as I would have liked, but I stayed up late because I was enjoying talking to people who make me happier). I wrote a grumpy post here on DW and everybody made helpful and sympathetic comments, you are all wonderful, thank you so much. Contact with my friends goes a long way to making me feel better when I'm stressed.

And being the kind of procrastinator / last minute producer that I am, having the hard deadlines actually made me settle down and do some of the stuff I've been dithering about for a while. Of course actually getting creative jobs done makes me feel a whole lot better, particularly in the direction of being more confident that I can in fact get organized enough to do all the rather large heap of work, community and personal tasks on my to-do list.

I had a really great meeting with a student whom I'm supervising for his first year mini-dissertation. He has some really cool ideas for what he wants to write about, I'm actually genuinely interested in his project, which is going to make working with him a lot of fun.

Yesterday I had a really great day: I got useful things done, then I went to the first of my Arabic conversation taster course. I am not at all surprised to be reminded that learning new languages is really fun! I mean, it was really basic, tourist stuff like hi how-are-you I'm-fine-thanks-and-you, but still pleasing, just the little quirks that even basic bits of languages have. If you translate the Arabic phrases literally you get things like: I'm fine => I'm with goodness, and how are you => how's the condition? And we got to one of those minimal pairs of totally different words that are only distinguished by diacritics; in Swedish it's duck versus spirit, in Arabic house and girl. Actually my secret goal from this class is to learn to pronounce the difference between ح and خ

Also my little sister texted me saying she wanted to send me and [personal profile] jack an anniversary present. I said it's not our anniversary until 2016, but she said "it's still an anniversary when the year turns" and she is going to send us a present anyway. And it is true that it has been 365 days since [personal profile] jack and I got married, which is a pleasing thought.

And today I realized that one of my deadlines isn't actually today, it's 28th March. And I thought I'd lost something irreplaceable I'd borrowed from a friend but it turns out I in fact returned it and had forgotten doing so, so that also made me feel a whole lot better.

Arabic geekery

Date: 2013-02-28 11:58 am (UTC)
lethargic_man: (linguistics geekery)
From: [personal profile] lethargic_man
If you translate the Arabic phrases literally you get things like: I'm fine => I'm with goodness, and how are you => how's the condition?

The latter is the same as Hebrew "?מה המצב".

And we got to one of those minimal pairs of totally different words that are only distinguished by diacritics; in Swedish it's duck versus spirit, in Arabic house and girl.

I know the latter, as "bint" has entered English colloquially (and it's a classic case of a נ dropping before a consonant in Hebrew), but I'd not have expected a ن in the former, and Google Translate doesn't show one either. What words are you dealing with here?

Actually my secret goal from this class is to learn to pronounce the difference between ح and خ

AIUI, خ is the same as ח in Hebrew as you pronounce it; my teach-yourself-to-read-Arabic book tells me ح is the noise you make when you breathe steam onto a window. (This is not the same as the impression I had got for Sephardi ח, but maybe my impression's wrong, or maybe there's variation within the Arabic world.)

Re: Arabic geekery

Date: 2013-02-28 12:52 pm (UTC)
lethargic_man: (linguistics geekery)
From: [personal profile] lethargic_man
But what is surprising now I'm following up is that the teacher drew ي as the same shape as ba, ta and nun, only with two underdots, which isn't what Wikipedia says at all. Curious!

Each letter in Arabic has up to five forms: initial, medial, terminal, general and isolate. (For most, most of them are the same.) They're all listed on the Wikipedia page for the alphabet; also have a play with the Arabic entry form I wrote: try typing in Y three times for ي, or E three times (for ه) and see how the shape changes.

(no subject)

Date: 2013-02-28 01:18 pm (UTC)
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] kaberett
I am so glad to hear about the good - it is always such a relief to find I've forgotten things in the helpful direction rather than the disastrous one!

(no subject)

Date: 2013-02-28 01:27 pm (UTC)
randomling: A man floats over a lift shaft. Image from Inception. (flying)
From: [personal profile] randomling
Happy not-your-anniversary!

I too am really glad to hear about the good things. Learning languages is awesome - I read this and immediately wanted to try picking up French again (it's been a long time).

(no subject)

Date: 2013-03-03 03:34 pm (UTC)
randomling: Toshiko Sato (Torchwood) rests her face on her hand. (sad tosh)
From: [personal profile] randomling
I don't think that's strange at all. :D I too turn to "learn new things!" as one of my pick-me-up activities when I'm not feeling too good. Though at the moment it's more likely to be maths or programming stuff rather than languages.

(I miss the languages, actually. I have forgotten nearly all my French, maybe I should pick it up again.)

(no subject)

Date: 2013-02-28 02:11 pm (UTC)
rysmiel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rysmiel
Very glad I was able to help, love. *hug* It's been very mutual.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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