How do You Use Native Material?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
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emk
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby emk » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:56 pm

Bao wrote:
LMAshton wrote:Although now I'm wondering if Terry Pratchett is available in any of my target languages...

German and Spanish for sure.

More or less all of the Discworld series has been translated to French. I'm currently working on Le Dernier Continent. In general, the French versions are well done, and some of the translations are quite clever. The "wee free men" (also known as the "pictsies") became Les Ch'tits Hommes libres, replacing the Scots-like dialogue with a dialect from the north of France. But these translations are not necessarily intermediate friendly, unless you choose carefully or you know the English versions very well.

My favorite way of using native materials is to kick back on the couch and just enjoy myself, maybe marking a few interesting sentences for later. Off to do just that. :-)
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Serpent » Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:52 am

Some important links here :) This article focuses on grammar, but most things also apply to learning via input in general.
There's also interesting stuff going on in this thread.

Also, impressive example by Vlad Skultety. Don't forget that he was learning Serbian with Slovak, Czech and Russian under his belt ;)
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Stefan » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:03 am

Serpent wrote:Also, impressive example by Vlad Skultety. Don't forget that he was learning Serbian with Slovak, Czech and Russian under his belt ;)


Truly inspiring. I recall taking a photo from the first German book I read and must say that it's so much easier when you use the technology to your advantage. No need to skim through a traditional dictionary, type words into a computer or look up the same word on every other page because you forgot it. Nowadays I do all of my reading in foreign languages on the computer.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby LMAshton » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:58 am

emk wrote:
Bao wrote:
LMAshton wrote:Although now I'm wondering if Terry Pratchett is available in any of my target languages...

German and Spanish for sure.

More or less all of the Discworld series has been translated to French. I'm currently working on Le Dernier Continent. In general, the French versions are well done, and some of the translations are quite clever. The "wee free men" (also known as the "pictsies") became Les Ch'tits Hommes libres, replacing the Scots-like dialogue with a dialect from the north of France. But these translations are not necessarily intermediate friendly, unless you choose carefully or you know the English versions very well.

Most excellent news! No, I'm not up for them yet, but it's something to look forward to. :)
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Serpent » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:04 am

Stefan wrote:
Serpent wrote:Also, impressive example by Vlad Skultety. Don't forget that he was learning Serbian with Slovak, Czech and Russian under his belt ;)


Truly inspiring. I recall taking a photo from the first German book I read and must say that it's so much easier when you use the technology to your advantage. No need to skim through a traditional dictionary, type words into a computer or look up the same word on every other page because you forgot it. Nowadays I do all of my reading in foreign languages on the computer.

Yeah. Though it's possible he also wrote some words he could figure out from the context, like Kató Lomb did.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby rdearman » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:24 am

Serpent wrote:Yeah. Though it's possible he also wrote some words he could figure out from the context, like Kató Lomb did.


I have to say that I always remember better the words I've figured out from context, rather than the words I just lookup. I suppose the effort of figuring it out pushes it down in.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby sjintje » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:18 am

rdearman wrote:
Serpent wrote:Yeah. Though it's possible he also wrote some words he could figure out from the context, like Kató Lomb did.


I have to say that I always remember better the words I've figured out from context, rather than the words I just lookup. I suppose the effort of figuring it out pushes it down in.


I have literally never figured out a word from context. I know it's probably asking a bit much, but can you think of any actual examples of words that you did figure out from context, and how you did it? Or anyone else? Thanks.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Bao » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:10 pm

sjintje wrote:I have literally never figured out a word from context. I know it's probably asking a bit much, but can you think of any actual examples of words that you did figure out from context, and how you did it? Or anyone else? Thanks.

Temps de prise! Gaz à effet de serre (and with that, serre, as it's a translation between English, German and French)!
Those are two words I am sure I figured out because I understood the rest of the sentence and knew what these expressions must mean, even though they contained the words "prise" and "serre" which I hadn't learnt before.

Most of the time it's not as direct though. Take the book I am currently reading. One chapter is about the history of one of the characters, who was beaten by her father when she was a child; the same happened to her brother. Both of them meet again after moving to Paris.
"Leur seul lien est un faisceau de souvenirs atroces - les tannées du père, ses injures, ses humiliations."
I read that sentence, think "wait, injure, that doesn't mean injury, it means insult, I looked that up." I don't know faisceau, nor tannée. I can deduce that tannée probably refers to the beatings they experienced as children, and that faisceau might be a word to refer to some kind of arrangement of concepts as a group with some kind of common factor or structure.
I can't remember reading these words before, and I probably didn't. Now, if I don't encounter them again in the next month or so, I'll probably just forget them. But the next time I encounter them in context, I will probably get more clues to what exactly they mean.

There are words that I encounter dozens of times without figuring out what they mean, and sooner or later I get annoyed and actually do look them up. Usually it turns out that they have several meanings that to me just don't make sense to be lumped together. :D
I stopped studying English vocabulary when I was at some kind of A2 or to weak B1 level, because I couldn't be bothered anymore. (That expression I also learnt from context. Lumped together too. Encounter and annoyed and to figure out probably as well.)
Last edited by Bao on Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby sjintje » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:35 pm

Thank you Bao, that is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping someone would write. Now I do know a meaning of "prise" but I have no idea what "temps de prise" could be. Can you give me a sentence, and I'll see if I can work it out.

Something like "faisceau", even though you might get the general meaning, it would just be killing me until I looked up the dictionary and got it properly pinned down, and then everything would just make so much sense.
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Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Bao » Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:55 pm

Lorsque la température diminue, le temps de prise augmente ; lorsque la température monte, il diminue (le béton tire plus vite lorsqu’il fait chaud).

Technical stuff. I know the terms in German, so I could make the connection, but it's hardly possible if you don't know what it's supposed to mean.

That feeling you just described for faisceau is exactly what I mean with tolerance to ambiguity. Now, what I put into words there sounds pretty awful, but I usually don't express these ideas as words in my mind, I 'see' them as concepts/images. For that word it would be something like "things that belong together" and I somehow connect it with my mental images of ordered and unordered groupings.

And it's not like that understanding that word makes much difference to understanding the entire paragraph. After all, it's just a way of describing why the two siblings don't really want to spend much time with each other - because the only thing they share are those memories. Of course, I do hope that one day my French has improved enough that I will be able to pay attention to the exact wording of such a sentence, get a feeling of whether it's done skillfully or not so much, and eventually even be able to produce such sentences when I myself want to express such a nuance.
But even if I looked up the word today I wouldn't be able to judge if the sentence is well-phrased.
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