This week is Chapter 5.1. Most of the students are now graduated to being Intermediate students (you can see if you’re on the list here)!
This lesson, most people had a pretty easy time with the plural forms.
The ones that caused some confusion was the Archaic versus later Sindarin words. I need to work into the lesson that there used to be syllabic consonants (consonants able to support a syllable without a vowel) and that W was one of them.
Another thing that caused some confusion was the predicate adjective. It isn’t mutated, but does match its subject in number.
Other than that, there haven’t been very many errors, and it seems that people found this lesson easier than I had thought they would.
Only a handful of people have attempted chapter 4.2, but most have opted out. That’s my fault, as I fell behind in homework correcting and that meant people were rushed this week.
Very, very few errors. The errors that I’ve found were more like simple spelling errors or typos.
A question that I’ve gotten a few times is “what do I do about the adjective-numbers?”. The question is answered in the lesson, but I think I may need to make it more obvious.
On a side note: I am really going to do it! I’m turning this website into a book that you can hold in your hands. The website will remain up, but for those who want it – you will be able to buy it in book form. This project will take about a month and a half to finish the editing, then we’ll start on the type setting, and then it’s off to be printed! I’m self publishing so I can keep the price down, since I’ll be publishing a new edition every time something earth-shattering happens in the Neo-Sindarin world.
No one else dropped out this week! Chapter 4.1 is quite simple, and a good chance for people to review old material.
This assignment took people longer than other assignments, but there were a lot fewer errors in it, even though the translations were quite complex. I think it’s because the translations were in context. I think that makes a huge difference, and people had a much easier time with it.
Most of the errors were related to writing dates, reading the Eldarin calendar (Early Spring is the last month/season of the Eldarin Calendar – really counter intuitive) and forgetting to mutate the number-adjectives. I think this could be solved by having a quiz in there, but that would require writing another quiz.
Chapter 3.4 was much, much easier for people. Many people got 100% on their first tries, and those who didn’t usually got 100% on their second try.
The things that people struggled with were usually the fact that the imperative can means something other than a command, and where to put pronouns when it wasn’t an imperative phrase – basically a hang-over from the previous lesson.
These last two lessons didn’t have completed quizzes, which is probably another reason that people struggled with them. I need to get on the ball and make more of those.
3 students dropped out at this point. Chapter 3.3 was quite difficult for a lot of people!
It’s to be expected though, and I’m not sure there is a way around it. A lot of technical vocabulary is introduced at this point, and the differences between the syntax for pronouns versus for regular nouns confused a lot of people.
The biggest thing that confused a lot of people was “Esta-“. Well, it confuses me too. It’s got strange syntax that is reminiscent of earlier languages, and the only samples of its use are only vaguely or not at all translated. It’s possible that it’s a relic from Noldorin and that I have no business bringing it into Sindarin, but it represents and interesting puzzle. Any ideas on how I could teach the mysteries of this word (like moving it to chapter 7.7 – Irregular Verbs)?
Any ideas on how to make this easier? Perhaps splitting this lesson into two parts – without pronouns and with pronouns. What do you think?
Chapter 3.2 is much more difficult, much more technical.
Most people took 2 to 3 tries to get a 100%.
Conflating “of” and “to be” were the most common problems. To tell the difference, you have to pay careful attention to which words are mutated.
I’m thinking of breaking this lesson into 2 pieces, have “of” and be in the first half, and “to be” be in the second half. But, I’m not sure if I should do that. Would that make it more difficult to notice the mutation differences?
One comment that seemed to help a lot of people was “turn the possessive phrases into ‘of’ phrases.” I’ll have to find a way to highlight that in the lesson.
This week, the Sindarin 101 students graduated to being Beginners!
This lesson went very smoothly. There were only a handful of people who didn’t get a 100% on their first try, and those who didn’t usually got 100% on their second try.
I am thinking of moving the article “The” section to this lesson, because it might just be too easy.
The few errors that did occur usually involved forgetting to use the mutated forms of the words, which is something that just takes practice. There was a problem with the quiz – it wasn’t showing the correct answer when people got a question wrong. It’ll be fixed soon!
Judging on difficulties students have in later lessons, I think I need to start introducing the “possessive pronouns and demonstrative adjectives are adjectives in Sindarin” points more aggressively. In English, these things are determiners, but in Sindarin they are adjectives, so you can have “the” and a possessive pronoun on the same word without it being awkward in Sindarin.
No one dropped out this week! Again, a few people opted out of the Classical Mode Tengwar lesson.
By then, most people had a grip on the punctuation systems, so there were few errors in the punctuation. Instead, there was some confusion over how to do the vowels. Several people used the vowel-carriers all of the time, not just when there was no consonant to put them on. Several others didn’t know to put the vowel on the following consonant, and would put the vowel on whichever consonant they felt like. This is something I will definitely have to make a lot clearer!
Again, several people got 100% on their first try!
No one dropped out this week! Though, several people opted out of taking the Angerthas lesson. I’m guessing because it isn’t the iconic Elven script like the tengwar-based systems are.
There weren’t any problems with the PDFs this time around, since people were used to them.
Punctuation in Angerthas is radically different from English and Tengwar, so some people struggled with that. Not as many as I thought would, however. There were a lot of people who got a 100% on their first try! Some people had trouble with the double-consonant letters in Angerthas, but they were in the minority, and usually it was a fluke mistake from misreading a chart.
No one dropped out this week! Not everyone was able to take this lesson, but that was expected.
I’ve found that it’s much easier to correct the Elvish-Script lessons when I turn them into PDFs, so that’s what I did. Only one person had a problem viewing the comments on the PDFs, but that was solved quickly.
The thing that people had the most difficulty with was the punctuation marks. I will need to expand on that, I think. Punctuation goes at the beginnings and ends of the sentences, and that throws a lot of people for a loop.
Other than that, most of the errors were minor, and a lot of people finished with a 100% on their first try!