I want to develop a list of the basic structural patterns of different languages as basic lessons that people can refer to when they start a language, and revisit often to refresh their grasp of these structures. These lessons will consist of audio and text, as well as very basic explanations and a video for each lesson. The videos will also be published on my Youtube channel.
I am looking for collaborators and will pay by the hour. I will attach a start I have made for English in a separate post. I want this English list completed. Ideally this will become 20 or 25 lessons, both for LingQ and as something I could use in instructional videos. I welcome suggestions and questions.
Eventually I want the same for French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Russian, in fact all of our languages here at LingQ.
Normally I would post this on Odesk, an outsourcing website, but thought that I would first see if there was any interest amongst our members.
I have always found grammar explanations, grammar rules and grammar tables difficult to digest and difficult to remember. My own preferences in language learning, as many of you know, is to concentrate on listening and reading, and to refer from time to time to examples of the basic structures of the language with a minimum of explanation. I need to visit these examples often, at the beginning and at various stages of my learning. That is the purpose of these examples.
Please let me know if you are willing to participate, for English or for other languages. Obviously we want native speakers, and we want the patterns to be relevant for each language. That means that the focus of these examples will vary according to the language. However, to some extent the concepts covered will be similar.
I would like to start with the major languages but am curious to hear from members as to for which language they could do this.
Yes, Vera, you are right. I am not looking for translations. I want each set of patterns to be natural and relevant for that language. Furthermore, there are issues in some languages that don't exist in others. The English patterns may be a guide, but they should not just just be translated in to other languages
This idea reminds me my draft version of tables which could help to learn languages comparing them one to another. http://ress.at.tut.by/poluglot/preposit.htm It is a very draft version, it has a lot to do, and it works incorrectly in IE.
I am not necessarily looking for translations. We need natural sentences that illustrate issues in each language. This means, for example, that verbs of motion, or aspects of verbs, or different cases are important in Slavic languages, whereas tenses may be a bigger part of the English version, or for Romance languages. The use of pronouns is also an issue in many languages. i don't want this limited to the issues that are raised in my list. My English list needs to be expanded and improved.
At some point, however, I would like to look for some relationship between the different lists, common sections, so that a person can easily find those aspects in a language that are of particular interest at various stages of learning that language.
Bautov, thanks. Now the problem is how to coordinate everyone's help.
Once we are satisfied that a we know what we want, should we then let people develop their own lists for the different sections, or should we all edit one common list per language in google drive or something? I think it may be best to let people prepare their own lists, editing, and changing as they go. We can occasionally share what we are doing to make sure we are all going in the same direction. These can all be added together later. Or will that be a mess?
In a way, the more pattern sentences, and the more voices, (assuming all have good sound quality), the better for the learner.
To make sure we are all on the same page, it might be best for people to post a few examples of pattern sentences in various languages, here on this thread. We won't be recording anything until we are satisfied with the pattern sentences. We can always allocate the recording later. First lets see how good a collection of pattern sentences we can create, well adapted to the needs of each language, and yet with some overall unity of form, so that people can easily refer to it when they need to.
I have also tried to make the phrases flow from easier to more difficult so that they are more accessible for beginners, although I see this list as a review resource for learners at various stages on their journey of discovering a language.
This is very much , in my view, a support resource for the main activity of discovering the language through meaningful and interesting content.
Sergey, I presume you mean that those participating should identify themselves and the language they are going to work on. We can begin by having people identify themselves here on the thread. From time to time I will update with a list. Perhaps I will keep a list in a google spreadsheet or something.
Each language is different and we need to address the problems that learners face in each language. That is sometimes difficult for native speakers to know. Once we have some preliminary lists in each language, we may want learners to comment on where they need help.
BTW the original idea for this comes from a book I bought in Moscow two years ago, Учебная грамматика русского языка. Базовый курс. 53 модели
Hi Steve You didn't mention European Portuguese, but I can help with it, if you want. If I remember well, there are already some lessons in the library about language patterns. How different is this new project?
Yes we would want a section for European Portuguese. Thank you.
This is an extension of this idea. We can use those patterns, and we want to add more. We want to make sure all sentences are really natural and for each language. I know there were some inconsistencies in what I did previously which you pointed out.
The patterns need not be the same for all language, and there can be more in some languages than in others. I am hoping that the overall headings or names of sections can be common in most cases.
I think that the project is very interesting, but I also like figuring out the patterns of my own and, for example, when I read French texts with unique patterns I'm amazed by their uniqueness and structure because they are very interesting to me, because I really like to find out new thing, I'm highly curious and accepting person. :)
(Le_Jr) , Chase has brought up the idea of having a separate section for each tense in English. I prefer to keep the sections as simple as possible, but that may not work for all learners so I am looking for input.
I prefer, in the case of tenses, to have just present, past and future, and then to show examples of how the tenses work with different trigger words. For example, ""now" usually triggers the continuous form of the present, whereas "every day" triggers the simple present. To me, the fewer grammatical terms we use, and the more the patterns can stand on their own the better. It is also true that often different tenses are equally valid in different situations. If we can illustrate the usage through patterns rather than rules and explanations, I feel that is more useful.
In any case, these patterns cannot hope to teach anything definitively, they are just a resource, a reference, for occasional or even frequent review. The learner has to look for similar examples elsewhere. It cannot be exhaustive. It cannot cover all possible examples. These are just hints of the structures, and at different stages in the learning journey, learners will notice different things, and remember different things.
My suggestion: 1) there is / are / was / were + nouns 2) in order to / in order not to: to do smth in order to get smth. 3) it's + adverb + infinitive: it's hard to do, it's easy to say ; it's + adverb + that: it's possible that... 4) would like to + verb 5) if : i don’t know if you know that or not 6) if you (+ verb) .... you can.... (+ verb): if you want you can help 7) this is no longer... or pronoun + no longer + verb
I think those should have analogies in all languages.
-perhaps keep the English as a master guide, and update/expand this with the best ideas - let people know of any updates - then have people (generally) keep to the headings and examples in the English, as a basic guide.
-I seem to recall Moses McCormick, and others, have a similar starting approach - without infringing on copyright, it would be worth comparing against similar lists for general completeness or usefulness
-it would be good to provide longer natural sentences, or links to dialogues - at some future stage
Some things that may be added: -I'd rather, I'd prefer, rather than -or else -either this or that -a little, a little bit, a lot, more, less -relatively, better, worse, much better, relatively speaking -for the "how much" section - how fast, how soon
No you don't have to follow the script but it has to fit the sections/ Do a few as samples.
I would ask anyone interested to email me some samples of what they are doing so we all stay on track. Eventually I will decide what to use and how to organize it. For now please do what you think is best but make sure I get to see it before yo spend too much time.
Certainly we can reward people with points rather than money, since this is easier for all concerned.
Steve wrote: "53 patterns is a lot. I am hoping we can keep it to 25 or 30."
25 patterns are nothing for a language like German, Russian etc. 25 lessons is very, very basic.
I cannot judge the situation in other languages, but for German and French a lot of lessons like this already exist. It is not that the patterns are a new idea. What really is needed is to give new learners a helping hand to get not lost by the number of lessons in the library. To help them where they should start.
Let me explain a little better. I would like 20 or maximum 25 lessons. Each one will feature a pattern. These 20 or 25 lessons will not cover the whole language. This would be impossible in any language. However, they should provide some of the basic structures, both for a beginner and for frequent review. It is just a matter of deciding what goes into them. I would also like some consistency across different languages. This should be possible. Please check out the list I created. It is not a definitive list, and I welcome suggested changes or additions.
Some such lessons already exist in our libraries such as the Patterns that I had done for English, Japanese and Romanian, and others added for Portuguese, Dutch and some other languages. I want to formalize this, standardize it, add a little bit of explanation and create some videos. These will then show up on my youtube channel.
I don't think we should spread ourselves too thinly on too many patterns. Regarding all the French conversations I have hosted over the last few years I kind of thought of being inspired by the patterns French students have often trouble with. For instance, the negation. I noticed that students have trouble using "ne... pas, ne... rien, ne... jamais etc.." Je ne mange pas vs. je ne mange rien. A lot of people say instead "je ne mange pas rien" (which is wrong) What do you think about this way of taking on the problem?
A few additional comments. I agree with Serge on the need not to spread ourselves too thin. I have decided to limit this to 20 patterns.
This series will be called "20 Basic Patterns in English (or whatever language). There will be only 20. Each pattern should have at least 10 examples, but we could expand the number of examples per pattern later if we want.
I will teach a video lesson for each pattern , and for each language. I may invite a native speaker to join me for this video lesson via skype.
This will not be an exhaustive list of all possible patterns in a language, just some basic patterns to get started, and to review from time to time. Nor will a person who reviews these patterns immediately start speaking correctly. These patterns are a different form of lesson from our normal lessons. Most of our learners' time will still be spent on interesting and captivating content. These patterns are just a form of grammar review.
As much as possible I would like the patterns to be consistent across different languages, see my examples. There will be exceptions for patterns that are basic in some languages, and don't cause problems in other languages.
Serge and Nina, yes, the negative and pronouns cause problems in many languages, not only French, and should be amongst the patterns.
Aren't we working on the question the wrong way? Wouldn't it be more judicious to ask students first what their problems are? Then it'll be up to us (tutors) to provide the good answers that will help them figure out the patterns they can't handle on.
@Serge If the patterns are for beginners, they have no idea which language patterns will cause them problems. When you start a language, you don't know if the patterns in that language are similar to the ones in your own language.
@mfr The problem would be the same for an intermediate or advanced learner. Let's suppose you teach French to a Polish, how can you know whether such pattern in Polish causes trouble in French to him as you don't know Polish. But if you have hosted conversations with him you will have probably noticed how often he makes mistakes using a specific pattern. Given his mistake you will assume that this pattern is really puzzling to him. You can do that with a beginner as long as you regularly host conversations with him.
I think we have to start with a basic assumption about the kinds of things that people want to express in a new language. There may be specific issues that cause trouble for learners of a certain language group learning another language, but we can't really account for this. I want this to be a universal list of the kinds of things that we want to express, and which are common to all languages conceptually, but handled differently. This is not where everything is learned and all problems are overcome, just a handy reference both for beginners and for refreshment. Here is the skeleton of what I have in mind. Please suggest changes and additions. There may be some additional sections for specific languages.
1) Yes and no
Positive and negative statements.
Questions People, names, pronouns
Questions Gender where applicable Subject and object this and that
@Steve I like that you have the 6 question words: How, when, what, where, who, whose, and why. Because at the beginning there will always be a lot of questions, when I was speaking/ semi-tutoring back then I used this sort of method/ pattern technique with the learner. It helped a little bit more and increased the learning progress, because he then started to memorize a bunch of questions from his phrasebook.
First of all this is a great idea because it is like what we could call by universal language structure, like everybody speaking the same thing but with different sounds haha, I am willing to share the best of me for this, for while I will improve it with Brazilian Portuguese "Brasilieiro". It's really a great idea because if someone is willing to learn a couple of languages then it will guide everyone to a better start and background for the most most used words in each target language remembering of the importance of frequency of words list and so on. Thanks a lot.
I've tried to make sense of a document (all in Korean) of the 7 basic sentence structures in the Korean language. Beyond my skill at this point. I tossed it into Google Translate, with predictably terrible results. If you do patterns for Korean, I would love to have you explain these.
7 Basic Korean Sentence Patterns
from the book “우리가 정말 알아야 할 ‘우리말 바로 쓰기’” by 이수열 “We really need to know” by Lee Su-yeol
(Truly terrible Google Translate English … to be replaced later when I understand Korean)
주어 + 완전 자동사 + Full intransitive subject (아이들이 논다. Children play.) 주어 + 보어 + 불완전 자동사 Incomplete intransitive subject + complement + (시골이 도시가 된다. The city is the country.) 주어 + 목적어 + 타동사 Transitive subject + object + (학생이 노래를 부른다. Students sing.) 주어 + 여(탈)격 조사 + 목적어 + 불완전 타동사 Given + F (de) incomplete transitive verb + object + case investigation (형이 아우에게 책을 준다. Brother gives brother a book.) 주어 + 완전 형용사 Given a complete adjective + (경치가 아름답다. The scenery is beautiful.) 주어 + 보어 + 불완전 형용사 + Bore + adjective given incomplete (갑이 을보다 낫다. Is better than the former.) 주어 + (체언 + 서술격 조사) Given + (substantives + seosulgyeok survey) (이것은 꽃이다. This is the flower.)
My first thought on this would be, instead of starting with lists removed from context, start by looking through existing library material and identifying pre-existing material as a pattern that is worth highlighting. As a guide to doing that there are published accounts of the usual order of acquisiton of grammatical features in Second Language Acquisition literature. THere is no definitive list and it is quite fuzzy so as I teacher I usually ignored them. But I will check on it.