Category Archives: Languages and Linguistics

All language and linguistics related matters, including the Huliganov Russian Course and the Gold List Methodology can be found in here.

RL 102-20 Basic Russian Grammar lesson 20 – Prepositions governing the Dative


Original YT playout date: 10 August 2009
Duration: 27:29

The 20th lesson in this series, the 30th Huliganov lesson in the Russian course, and we’re not even half way to what I have in mind. Sorry that this one is a bit disjointed, but there were interruptions and I had very little preparation time. Just wanted to go a step forward as there has been nothing for 3 months. Thanks for your patience.
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Huliganov’s non-pretty, non-intense Japanese lesson


Original YT playout date: 5 July 2009
Duration: 6:13

Just because I don’t know anything about a subject doesn’t mean I can’t teach a lesson in it. After all, it never bothers quite a few people on YouTube!
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Some scenes from time back in Poland


Original YT playout date: 28 June 2009
Duration: 17:02

In between the Prague vlogs, obviously I am back home in Poland. Here are a few scenes from Poland in May. They are mixed content, and include a further discussion of the goldlist methodology, of weather, and my usual trick of filming what I see, not all of it particularly pleasant, but we are, after all, sharing this planet with the girl who was sitting crying on the kerb next to her own vomit, and with the gentleman who was slapping his bitch near my house, who also got caught on camera. These people we share the planet with, and the scenes are real and not staged, as you can find on many channels on youtube, unfortunately! There is also joy and family pleasure among the grim reality, such as seeing a Portuguese student band in traditional garb in the tram as they were visiting Warsaw, Sophie’s birthday, and treating my wife to a fine meal of sushi. In short this is a mixed bag of everything.
<!–more–>
A demo of the GoldList Method is included.
Includes Sophie’s 9th birthday party.

***Statistics and Credits***
Views at the time added to HTV: 790
Likes at the time added to HTV: 16
Dislikes at time added to HTV: 1
Popularity % ” ” ” =L/(L+D): 94.1%
Comments at time added: 3
Total interactions at time added: 20
Total interactions to views 2.5%
Location: Home in Ochota
Other people featured: Family
Genre: Family, miscellaneous
Music used: Various
Languages used: English
Animals/plants featured: None
Other remarks:

Musings from the road at sunset


Original YT playout date: 1 May 2009
Duration: 8:06

Featuring thoughts on applying the GoldList Method to the learning of poety, a presentation of Wordsworth’s “”Daffodils”” and whether man’s release of chemicals into the sky has affected the natural world much or not.

You might say “”why get sidetracked onto daffodils when there aren’t any there?””. Ah, but that’s precisely the *point* of the poem, isn’t it?
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RL 102-19 Russian Basic Grammar #19 3/3


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Original YT playout date: 20 April 2009
Duration: 13:46

This is the third part of the nineteenth basic grammar lesson in the RL 102 course by Viktor Huliganov. Here we are looking at Genitive Prepositions other than the four covered two lessons back.

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RL 102-19 Russian Basic Grammar #19 2/3


Original YT playout date: 20 April 2009
Duration: 15:26

This is the first part of the nineteenth basic grammar lesson in the RL 102 course by Viktor Huliganov. Here we are looking at Genitive Prepositions other than the four covered two lessons back.

http://groups.google.com/group/huliganov is the group on Google Groups.

On Facebook there is also a group called ‘Huliganov’s Lessons Really Work”” by Lafeen Maggio, which I will leave you to find your way to if you are on Facebook. Both of these places are good places for help.

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RL 102-19 Russian Basic Grammar #19 1/3


Original YT playout date: 19 April 2009
Duration: 20:03

“This is the first part of the nineteenth basic grammar lesson in the RL 102 course by Viktor Huliganov. Here we are looking at Genitive Prepositions other than the four covered two lessons back.

http://groups.google.com/group/huliganov is the group on Google Groups.

On Facebook there is also a group called ‘Huliganov’s Lessons Really Work”” by Lafeen Maggio, which I will leave you to find your way to if you are on Facebook. Both of these places are good places for help.

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Finally Convinced the GoldList Method works!


Original YT playout date: 6 April 2009
Duration: 1:22

Lord Moggy has always been one of the hardest people to convince about the GoldList Method, but finally, after giving it a go, he is surprised at the retention level he could achieve when he finally let go of the standard short-termist methods. Look up the other gold list videos on my channel to find out more about this system, which is my invention and a free gift to mankind. It does not cost anything to learn using the GoldList Method. It only saves you money and wasted time.
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Japanese Calligraphy


Original YT playout date: 11 March 2009
Duration: 50:40

Takahiro-san not only gave me a wonderful present of a fantastic set of classical writing implements from Japan, but also gave me the chance to learn and share with you the way to do Japanese calligraphy the traditional way.

I hope you enjoy this unique film in which this ancient and subtle art form is fully demonstrated.
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Goldylists and the Three Learners


Original YT playout date: 1 March 2009
Duration: 4:20

We take a sneak peek at three goldlists in progress, just to show that this is a living system, in use to learn languages for a variety of learners.
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Cheryl from Manitoba asks about the GoldList Method


Original YT playout date: 28 February 2009
Duration: 1:14:13

Cheryl from Manitoba in Canada gives 5 great questions about the Gold List method which will certainly help people who are using the method and still have uncertainties about its application.

Some of these ideas are of course superseded and the best thing that you can do is look at the GoldList Method section in the navigation at the top of this site, and soon anyway the Guidebook is coming out.
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I was asked how good at a language you need to be to say you “know” it.


“Knowing” a language is too vague a term and even if we agreed here what we mean by it, that wouldn’t have any meaning in the wider world, where it would remain vague.

On the one hand you have people like me who can say you don’t really know a language until you are really intimate with the way it handles all manner of nuance and situation, in the way you can be said not to fully know your wife or husband after forty years of marriage. There used to be a show in which married couples would be quizzed about each other and some surprises would come out about things they didn’t know about each other, this was the whole premise of the show and I believe that similar content has been on the TV or radio channels of most countries.

Then you have the 80:20 approach, where you get 80% of what a native of similar intelligence and education to you would have of his language, but Vilfredo Pareto, that famous Esperantist, discovered by throwing his pocket money onto a table that this only takes 20% of the time it would take to actually get as good as that equivalent native speaker, in the language.

I tend to aim for this kind of thing, if I get to be 80% as good in the language as my equivalent native speaker, then I can already communicate as sophisticatedly as I like and that ENS will take up the slack. That way, I get 5 languages for the price (the ‘time-price’) of one, which is a good bargain and also highly usable.

A lot of people using English comfortably in international business are at something like the 80% level. Whether they used the time saved to learn four other languages to the same good but incomplete level, learn some other thing, do more business or just spend more time with their guinea pigs is up to them.

Thanks to Cirone Musi for giving a CC license on Wikicommons for this photo of Professor D. at the Festival della Scienza, complete with fetching lanyard.

Further down the scale you have people who claim to know 20 or 30 or 80 languages. These are the polyglot equivalents of social networkers who have contact lists well in excess of the Dunbar number. For those who feel “dunbar” than they did before when I say that, I am referring to the lovely gentleman in the featured image, Professor Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar, the head of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University.  Some people say he is the one Diana Gabaldon had in mind when creating the character Roger Mac in the Outlander series. He represents the theory (more than an opinion, as he has got lots of data and it’s all been per reviewed and that) that humans can have meaningful and stable social relationships with somewhere between 100 and 250 people. Most typically this number seems to peak at about 150 people. I have to say I personally have little resonance when it comes to this theory, as I have a social media network which extends to (at the last count and I count it once a quarter) a little over 12,000. Allowing for the overlap between Facebook and LinkedIn that would still likely be over 9,000 being conservative.

Now continuing this analogy between knowing languages and knowing people, the 9,000 maybe symbolises the languages which there are in the world. How many there really are is probably fewer than that by now, as languages have a tendency of going extinct before they even achieve literacy and an archive. Manx and Cornish are among the lucky ones. I reckon there are probably something more like 1,500 which could be learned without recourse to field linguistics and a lot of malaria shots. There are currently 1,353 languages in the Gideons Bible App (my hearty and ongoing recommendation to all interested in the Bible and in languages, and it is free of course, and contains plenty of audio – available on all good App stores) and I am kind of going on that and things also I read in SIL resources. A lot depends on how you place the cut-off between what is another language and what is a dialect. There are more difference between forms of English and Arabic than there are between some clusters of two, three, four or more languages recognised as being separate. There are various tests for this, but in practice no overall consensus seems to have been reached, and of course politics rears its Gorgon’s head and turns objective thought to stone at regular intervals.

Then let’s consider analysing this into the people who asked to connect with me and I agreed, but probably if I cleared them out it wouldn’t make a great deal of difference – well I did at one point produce a cut down database of my contacts (pre GDPR, you understand) and the people I considered valuable contacts that I means to be able to email and phone with ease came to around 800 and now it may be more like 1000, so really maybe only 10%. This, in my languages/people analogy, is a good equivalence to the long lists of “Languages I would like to learn” which some of the less powerful intellects in the Polyglot universe seem to feel compelled to posting from time to time. Yes, we probably all would like to have the time to look at to a greater or lesser extent 10% of the languages that there are, listen to 10% of the songs there have even been, watch 10% of the movies, read 10% of the books, but because there are so many in reality we are going to cover a much smaller sample than that, whether we be persons of leisure or fanatically careerist sarariiman who take inemuri rather than reading breaks because they are too tired, and take zero leisure, apparently.

Of the 800, I would say that I know to greet on the street from the LinkedIn list 500 and another 500 from the facebook or YT side, and as far as really writing on a regular basis is concerned, sending memes privately, playing Quiz Planet or ItsYourTurn and chatting in a way that gets to know even a faceless person, maybe 300. But this is because I make an effort. This may represent the languages that an ambitious polyglot learns a few words of, learns maybe the Korean hangul, learns a bit of Koine to read some passages of New Testament, knows a few words or sentences of for touristic purposes, or looked at for philological research.

When it comes to actually knowing people very well, as it knowing how they will react in a certain situation, it is just a handful of people. And the same goes for languages.

And then you have to wonder whether you really know any person, or language, at all.

So in summary, the whole use of the term “knowing” a language is unhelpful, and I would simply refer the gentle reader to the sentence of Socrates via Plato: “ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα“, or “All I know is, I don’t know Jack”.

And for sure, we all do know a lot less than we think we do.

 

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