Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Una neuva comunità piemontèisa su Google +

vorìa mensioné che a-i è na nueva comunità piemontèisa su Google +, La comunità a l'è ancora cita, ma anteressant (almanch për mè).


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time for some writing practice...

** Preface **

I know that there are mistakes in this writing sample. Any Piedmontese speakers that are reading this (I know there are a couple :-)), please feel free to make or suggest any corrections. They would be greatly appreciated and help me improve! 


Com i l'hai dit la sman-a passà, ancomensrai a scrive an piemontèis costa sman-a.

Postoche i l'hai finì 'l cors 'd Nòste Rèis, l'ùnica sernia che i l'hai a l'é a lese, e miraco a studié la gramàtica. Ëdcò i l'hai 'n elench curt 'd espressione idiomàtiche che i stagh studiand.

I l'hai lesù motoben. Còs i l'hai lesù? Anlora, an un post anterior i l'hai arcordù che a-i é bastansa 'd lese ant ël Wikipedia an piemontèis. I l'hai lesù motoben ant ël sit. Mi i son sèmper ëstàit anteressà an lenghìstica, da sòn ch'a l'era un bel sit dont ancomensé. A-i é 'na cita session dla lenghìstica piemontèisa, tant che i l'hai podù lese un pòch dij divers dialèt piemontèis, e dl'ortografìa moderna.

E dzor pi am pias l'architetura, an particolar l'architetura vëddù daspërtut ant ël Turin. I l'hai lesù dla Mole, dla Superga, e 'd tant àutri palass. Anteressant che l'ùnich palass dont i sai nul - 'l Stupinigi - a-i era gnente.

Dabon, i spero 'd trové pì audio për scoté. Për tut ël test che a-i é online, ch'a l'é un pecà che i peus nen trové gnanca una sola stassion an piemontèis. Chiel a deuv esservi almanch una stassion ant quàich part che trasmëtt an piemontèis.

Ora che i l'hai finì tre sman-e dla "sfida 'd ses sman-e", i vorìa savèj com i scrivo. Se a-i é quàich piemontèis che a l'ha les cost post, fame savèj. Quàich coression a sarà motobin agradì!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Piedmontese, two weeks in.

I pushed through the rest of the Nòste Rèis course this weekend. The last couple lessons mainly dealt with grouped pronouns - something I needed to work on, anyway. And I continue to work on them. Things like Mi i-j lo pòrto still aren't anywhere near as comfortable as Glielo porto at this point. There's also a fair amount of vocabulary that I'm taking in, but really, vocabulary is the easiest thing to work on.

I've also continued to do a fair bit of reading, most of it out loud to continue with pronunciation practice. The last two "lessons" of the Nòste Rèis course are literature, so I've been using them, as well as Wikipedia articles.

From here on out, I'll probably be doing a lot more reading. It is, after all, one of the few things I can easily do every day, and there is ample material out on the web to take advantage of this.

I'm also starting to concentrate a bit more on the details of the grammar differences, whether it's from the Libero site or the Casoni grammar course . I'll continue with that - it's helping a lot. By the end of this 6 Week Challenge, I may sit down and write a short comparative grammar of my own. We'll see.

In the back of my mind I had thought to start writing in Piedmontese at the half-way mark of this challenge, and that's not changed, so starting next week I'll begin writing something in Piedmontese. It may not be much, but it will be consistent.

I'm still looking for more audio. The audio I've found so far hasn't been all that challenging to understand, but I really wish I could find more. All I'd need to be happy is a basic, talk-radio style stream that I could listen to every other day or so. I'm really kind of surprised I've not been able to find something like that yet.

Hopefully by the time I finish the challenge, I'll have found some decent radio sources to be able to maintain everything I've learned. Reading's great, but I need to hear (and even more ideally, speak) the language to keep it alive.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Piedmontese, one week in.

After one week, I'm finally starting to feel a bit more confident and comfortable with speaking piemontèis. It's taken a lot of repetition, using the dialogs from the Nòste Rèis course, as well as reading some Wikipedia articles out loud. I've just done it over and over, until I've gotten an acceptable pronunciation, at least in my mind. I've also done spot checks here and there using Vivaldi. Sure, they're not the same phrases and sentences I'm repeating, but I can find close enough approximations of the sound combinations I'm trying to make. I've been using the standard Turin morphology examples wherever possible.

I only have about 5 more lessons to complete from the Nòste Rèis course. The last few lessons I've gone through have dealt with subjunctive and some more pronoun examples, particularly with regard to a peculiarity in Piedmontese interrogatives. The course briefly introduced the construction earlier with "Sas-to?" (Do you know?), but it's given me some more concrete examples, such as: "is la fom-ne?" (shall we do it?) and "fomëss-la" (let's do it).

I've also been going  through the Diego Casoni grammar course I found online as a PDF file. It's a pretty compact grammar, but it's got everything I need for reference, including easily readable tables for conjugations and other morphology. It's laid out much more differently than the Libero grammar, which has its own strengths in that each section has clear links to the different grammar points.

Outside of those resources, I've been trying to learn about 10 new idiomatic expressions every couple days, which - by the way, vary WILDLY from many of the Italian idioms I've come to learn over the years.

And I've started listening to what little audio I can find online, at least outside of songs. I've been using a couple of the audio files I found on La còca dij bogianen ch'a bogio. I like the guy's way of speaking. It comes across as quite clear, yet natural. I only wish there were more audio on the site.

I'm still being really strict with my time with Piedmontesee - no more than one hour a day, but even with just that, I've managed to cram in a load of the language. And this 6WC is a nice distraction from Turkish and the much more demanding Georgian. It helps me clear my head when Georgian starts to make me feel incapable of learning anything. Just an hour with Piedmontese allows me to get back to both Turkish and Georgian with a fresh attitude.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Piedmontese, Days Two and Three

I'm being really strict with myself at keeping the one hour limit per day. Yesterday and today I went through a total of five more lessons from the Nòste Rèis course, but I could have spent a lot more time on it. It's turning out to be incredibly interesting to me. Each lesson has been taking me about 10 minutes to get through. Most of it is simple dialogs, but they've also introduced some simple reading, too.

Today, I spent another twenty minutes going through some grammar notes from the site. I've also found another grammar PDF file that I've downloaded titled "Grammatica Piemontese Fornita da Diego Casoni". It's laid out a bit more concisely, although it doesn't really cover anything that the Libero site doesn't already cover. One thing I did concentrate on from this document was numbers. It has a nice table that breaks down numbers by cardinal, ordinal, collective and multiplicative. Collective numbers, for example, are: for the number "two", couple and/or pair (cobia, pàira), for the number "six", half a dozen (mesa dosen-a, sesen-a), etc. Multiplicative examples would be: for the number "two", double (dobi) and for the number "three", triple (triplo), etc. Most interesting to me were the ordinal numbers. For the most part, they don't exist after "ninth", although that's not a hard-and-fast rule. Some Italianisms have crept in to fill the ordinal holes,  but the general construction for ordinal numbers is "that which makes number", so for example, if I wanted to say "Twenty-eighth" it would be col ch'a fà vinteut, or "that which makes twenty-eight. I don't know why, but I find that construction really interesting for a romance language.

Finally, I spent the final 20 minutes of today's allotment starting to learn some idiomatic expressions, again from the site. The site has a pretty healthy selection of phrases, so I started off with just ten for today.

And I'm still drilling myself with pronunciation. That's turning out to be a tough wall to knock down.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Piedmontese, First day impressions

Today is the first day of the 6 Week Challenge, and I've already used up my 1-hour allotment for the day.

I spent about a half an hour going through the first three lessons of the Nòste Rèis course. If these first three lessons are any indication, I'll get through the course very quickly. There are only 19 lessons and a couple of reading exercises at the end.

I then spent another half an hour going through some grammar notes, found on Libero's site.

Learning to read piemontèis will not be a problem. Speaking, however, is already proving to be a bit more challenging than I had expected. Since I'm coming at this from an Italian and Catalan frame of reference, some of the constructions are the opposite of what I'm used to. Take prepositions and how they are contracted, for example. The word for "di" (of) in piemontèis is ëd. When ëd follows a word ending in a vowel, it's contracted to 'd. So, for example, if I wanted to say "Do you also sing?", the colloquial way of saying it in piemontèis is It cante 'dcò ti?  It means I need to get used to eliding the words cante and 'dcò. My brain's not used to it. So I'll have to work on that. Even more unsettling is the same rule being applied to definite articles. For example, if I want to say "I'm going to get milk from the dairy vendor", it's I vado a pijé 'l làit dal marghé. These rules are simple enough to understand, to be sure. I just have to adjust my brain to accommodate them.

Other pronunciation problems I'm running into are the differences in the sounds for u and ù, and their different pronunciations (French influenced) depending on whether they follow an a, as well as o, which is pronounced like a u, unless it's an accented ò, when it's pronounced as an Italian "o". None of these sounds are difficult to produce in isolation, but if I string a sentence together that contains a combination of any or all of them, I get tripped up. For example: Un pò ‘d salada, doi chilo ‘d tomàtiche e dontrè limon (A little salad, two kilos of tomatoes and some lemons). I'm sure that with time, it'll become more natural, but right now I need to make a concerted effort to get good pronunciation.

I've been able to check my pronunciation by comparing it with what's on the Vivaldi site.

Overall, I'm having fun with this language, and I think I'll be able to get to a decent level of speaking within six weeks.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Piemontèis 6 Week Challenge

I've created this blog to track my progress learning Piedmontese.

Over on the How To Learn Any Language Forum they have what's called a 6 weeks challenge that happens four times a year, and I've decided to join in the challenge that starts May 1.

My challenge is going to be learning Piedmontese. Why Piedmontese? Well, I love that particular region of Italy, and, truthfully, the language has some interesting grammatical aspects that place it outside the Italo-Dalmatian branch in which Italian falls. Piedmontese is part of the Gallo-Italic branch, and, as such, differs somewhat grammatically.

I'm coming at this challenge with a few romance languages already under my belt, so I expect to go fairly far with the language. I also have to take into consideration that my main language focus continues to be Turkish, so I can't take too much time away from that.

So I'm placing a couple limitations on myself for the challenge.
  1. I can only spend the equivalent of one hour per day on Piedmontese. That'll add up to a total of 42 hours spent learning the language. I can skip a day and double up with two hours the following day or however I choose to divide my time, but I can't go past a total of 42 hours spent on the language.
  2. I can only use resources I've found on the internet, and that cost nothing.

I've found one decent text-based course online that'll be my main learning resource, at least initially. It's from the Nòste Rèis website. I've also found a fairly comprehensive grammar and syntax site over on There are actually quite a few reading-only resources out there on the web. Wikipedia pages in Piedmontese alone count over 50,000 articles. For any holes I have in reading comprehension, I've also found a good dictionary at

If I'm missing anything as far as resources go, it's audio. Vivaldi | Piemonte is a great site for spot-checking my pronunciation. They have all sorts of word and phrase examples and you can hear variations from various locations within the areas where Piedmontese is spoken.  I've also found La còca dij bogianen ch'a bogio, which has some original audio content. What I would really like to find is a streaming site with a talk-radio style format.

For anyone interested, I've recreated the text course and the grammar and syntax documentation in PDF format and made it available here. I did this because I don't want to be stuck in front of my PC just reading web pages. My tablet handles PDF files fine, so that's probably going to be the principal way I read these texts.

So that's about it. I officially start with this challenge on May 1st. I don't know that I'll post progress daily (I know I won't), but I'll certainly try to post a weekly summary of what I've learned.

Stay tuned...