How do You Use Native Material?

Ask specific questions about your target languages. Beginner questions welcome!
User avatar
sjintje
Orange Belt
Posts: 120
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:33 am
Languages: Native English
Fading knowledge of French
Speaks German with builders
Reads Dutch newspaper headlines
Learning Spanish
Dabbling with Japanese
x 120

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby sjintje » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:24 pm

Many thanks. Many many thanks. It took a couple of readings, but now I've got it. I had been thinking of weather. In fact, I vaguely begin to think I have probably seen this usage before. Now however, I'm disturbed by "tire", although it presumably means much the same thing as "prise" in this context, but I'm going to be feeling anxious until I go and look it up in the dictionary.

Incidently, there used to be a japanese girl on lang-8, who wrote the most beautiful, delicate, almost perfect, poetry in English and French, even though her actual language skills were quite limited. I think she spent quite a lot of time searching for accurate phrases on the internet, and reassemling them into poems. So an appreciation of the beauty of a sentence, even without full understnding, may be possible.
0 x

User avatar
rdearman
Site Admin
Posts: 2152
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 4:18 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Languages: English (N)
French (studies), Italian (studies), Mandarin (studies),
Esperanto TAC (Only god knows why), Finnish (only in it for the cookies)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1836
x 4178
Contact:

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby rdearman » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:26 pm

sjintje wrote:
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.


Sure I'll tell you how I do it. It is a little pedantic, but systematic. It is diffiuclt to figure out some nouns, but other words types are easier. Lets take some examples in Italian where the underlined word is unknown. But you know the rest of the sentence.
il mio cane è marrone e bianco

So you can already translate this much.
my dog is XXXXX and white

You can work out this is an adjective and is describing the dog. You know lots of other Italian adjectives and you know marrone isn't big, small, old, young, etc.. You also figure that since the colour white is used that marrone is probably a colour. You might not know which colour, but through process of elimination you can eliminate, grey, white, orange, and a couple of others and you figure this is either brown or green because you don't know those colours, but there aren't any green dogs, so you figure it must be brown.

Ma la cisterna e la serra, quel giorno, non apparivano danneggiate.

You can translate this much.
But the XXXX and the XXXX, that day, did not appear XXXX.

In this example you'll struggle to figure things out from context. But if you look at the paragagh around this, you might get more clues. This example is taken from a book, and in the next paragah they talk about taking water from the cisterna, and it is similar to the English word cistern (waterproof receptacle for holding liquids), so you can guess this is probably correct. There isn't any other clues to the other words, so you just have to look them up or wait to see it again in another sentence.
4 x

User avatar
Bao
Green Belt
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:55 pm
Location: パリ
Languages: German, English
Spanish, French, Japanese
x 406
Contact:

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Bao » Fri Jan 08, 2016 2:47 pm

I'd venture a guess that serra (it) roughly means the same as serre (fr) =D

sjintje, while I could do that - and when I have to write a report in my weaker languages I use that strategy - I really dislike doing it. Now, I can copy styles. It sometimes happens automatically to me - you wouldn't want to talk to me after I've been reading Kant - but when I do it in my weaker languages it feels like drawing a map when you're down in the deepest valley, copying from a map somebody else did before you, instead of climbing as high up as possible in order to get a good view of the area so that you can choose which topological features are actually important and will aid others when they use your map. (And maybe you don't understand that the Here Be Dragons sign was meant as a joke.)
(Interestingly a lot of the teaching here in France seems to be the first type. Ugh.)
1 x
Megalomanoglot. Bof!

User avatar
Serpent
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2211
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:54 am
Location: Moskova
Languages: heritage
Russian (native); Belarusian, Polish

fluent or close: Finnish+ (certified C1), English; Portuguese, Spanish, German+, Italian+
learning: Croatian+, Ukrainian, Czech; Romanian+, Galician; Danish, Swedish
exploring: Latin, Karelian, Catalan, Dutch, Chaucer's English
+ means exploring the dialects/variants
x 2736
Contact:

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Serpent » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:26 pm

As a linguist I also see that marrone is similar to maroon and danneggiare is similar to damage. While we don't describe animals as maroon, it's pretty clear that this means brown :)
With cognates/transparent words, it's very much a spectrum to me. The two extremes are words you have to decipher actively, and words you can use effortlessly. With more exposure the words become easy to understand and eventually I learn to use them (this requires both listening and reading). In addition to what Prof Argüelles describes, I consider "unknown knowns" important. These are the words I've not seen yet, but would understand if I did. Some are so obvious that they immediately land in the middle of the scale and quickly become usable. Others take more exposure, and ironically these tend to be the common, "simple" ones. I can see many things far off, but many things that are close at hand I cannot see. ;)
And when you can understand the transparent words, the rest also start to make more sense, if the language is close enough to what you already speak.
2 x
: 2 / 40 Budva na pjenu od mora: 3rd season (Croatian/Montenegrin)
LyricsTraining now offers Catalan, Turkish and Japanese romaji

User avatar
Bao
Green Belt
Posts: 257
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:55 pm
Location: パリ
Languages: German, English
Spanish, French, Japanese
x 406
Contact:

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby Bao » Fri Jan 08, 2016 4:41 pm

Serpent wrote:As a linguist I also see that marrone is similar to maroon and danneggiare is similar to damage. While we don't describe animals as maroon, it's pretty clear that this means brown :)

Interestingly it also follows the same logic as chestnut and kastanienfarben in English and German. We even have the word Marone in German for the edible sweet chestnut.
In a way, it feels like I'm on the way to learning some kind of supralanguage one might call Western European.
3 x
Megalomanoglot. Bof!

User avatar
reineke
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:34 pm
Languages: English
x 2384

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby reineke » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:15 pm

Maroon http://www.colorhexa.com/800000 is a shade of red and will likely be identified as brown-red, dark red. Different shades of maroon may even be seen as burgundy.The OED describes maroon as "a brownish crimson or claret color". It is also described as halfway between red and rose. Encycolorpedia, a specialized website, describes the color maroon with hexadecimal color code #800000 as a medium dark shade of red.

Maroon hex color code on English-language specialized websites is hex#800000
800000.png
800000.png (98 Bytes) Viewed 483 times


http://encycolorpedia.com/800000

In italian that color code is described as "Bordeaux (maroon)", "burgundy" (as in "il burgundy").
http://encycolorpedia.it/800000

Italian "borgogna" has a color code 800020

Italians may therefore distinguish, or pretend to distinguish, between burgundy, bordeaux, and borgogna.
"Ora è la volta del “burgundy”, un colore simile al bordeaux, ma più energico, quasi un porpora..."
http://www.ilmessaggero.it/moda/tendenze/burgundy_colore_tendenze_estate_2015-1148405.html

"BORDEAUX/BORGOGNA/BURGUNDY...tutti e tre i termini si riferiscono al buon vecchio color vinaccia: un rosso scuro con molto blu all’interno, al punto da essere quasi viola.

http://blog.cliomakeup.com/2015/11/si-fa-presto-a-dire-bordeaux-la-verita-sui-colori-dei-prodotti-make-up/

On italian websites "marrone" is linked to the color code (#964B00) (RGB: 150, 75, 0) which is an easily distinguishable color from #800000:

964b00.png
964b00.png (98 Bytes) Viewed 483 times


http://encycolorpedia.it/964b00

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marrone

That color code is described in English mostly as as Brown, Brown (traditional) and even Dark orange [Brown tone].
http://www.colorhexa.com/964b00
http://www.99colors.net/name/brown

In French "marron" has been linked to the color described under color code #582900
582900.png
582900.png (98 Bytes) Viewed 483 times


http://encycolorpedia.fr/582900

In English that color code is described as "Very dark orange [Brown tone]", and unknown color approximating the look of baker's chocolate #5c3317 color. In Italian, the color code is described descriptively as well.
3 x

User avatar
reineke
Black Belt - 1st Dan
Posts: 1650
Joined: Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:34 pm
Languages: English
x 2384

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby reineke » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:00 pm

sjintje wrote:
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.


sjintje wrote: I'm going to be feeling anxious until I go and look it up in the dictionary.

...even without full understanding


If you are seeking full understanding all the time you will feel very anxious while reading or watching native material and a dictionary can only partially cure this anxiety. Depending on context, a beginner or intermediate learner may not be able to figure out the meaning of some words even with the aid of a good dictionary. I believe the ability to figure out new meanings from written and spoken context to be an essential skill. I cannot imagine functioning in a foreign language environment without it.

I have been experimenting with an open notebook kind of format in my log. Here are some edited bits:

"learned puente (computer jumper) and huella from two different cartoons. "Huella"was hard to miss with all the characters standing around a giant footprint. I "heard"a lot of the slang I picked up while reading a comic book. I scanned a lot of book and DVD titles - El clan del oso cavernario was easy (if you're familiar with Auel's novels). I learned "cueva" from cartoons. I am not sure I consciously connected it with "cava" or cave. The characters simply pointed towards a cave and used the word cueva several times. I have no time to contemplate language similarities while listening (if I care about what comes next). It's very hard to miss a big gaping hole as is the very word for "hole", which is "agujero." I probably learned this word as "agujero negro". "Entregas a domicilio" was easy thanks to Kiki's Delivery Service. I heard the word several times since. "Garras" or "claws" were easy to figure out, as this is a common word in animated shows, Inuyasha's battle cry is garras de acero! In another cartoon I learned that neumáticos agarran... I forget the word for the racetrack tarmac. I heard agarrar many times.

One of the first expressions I heard watching Nación Z an eternity or so ago was "rueda pinchada". I didn't have to look it up. A picture is sometimes really worth a thousand words. After some 220 hours of listening I heard it again. RAE'S CREA lists "pinchar" at 31,329th place and "pinchada" is much lower than that.

In an episode of a lengthy animated series we learn that the the main character, a girl, is sick. Her grandfather calls her in sick at school, the teacher mentions it to pupils, her schoolmates discuss her illness, they go to visit her, they say hi, offer remedies... During approximately the first 3 minutes different versions of the word "resfriada" were repeated 10 times. I actually counted. In the latter half of the episode the word occurs 3-4 times. I believe the main character had a runny nose. But wait! Did she catch a cold or the flu? Chill it. You will hear "frio" soon enough and possibly sooner than resfriado/resfriada. "Cadeira" is hard to miss if the entire episode is about chairs. Esquecer required several encounters.

It's easier to figure out words from simple context.This applies to all types of context. As your skills grow, more advanced material will become approachable.The more you use extensive activities for vocabulary building, the easier it gets to build new vocabulary in this manner. The more you have in the bank, the more interest you earn. If you move on to more exotic investments you will need to temper your expectations. Many times understanding a word is a culmination of many encounters. None of this should be read that "looking up words is bad".
2 x

User avatar
KelseyTheLinguist
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 7:25 am
Location: Memphis
Languages: English (N), German (B2.2), Hindi (A2), Russian (A2.2), Greek (A1), Arabic (A1) Marathi (0), Bengali (0)
Language Log: http://www.kelseythelinguist.tumblr.com
x 4
Contact:

Re: How do You Use Native Material?

Postby KelseyTheLinguist » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:19 am

I use movies, TV shows, fiction, non-fiction and online quizzes for native material. When I'm in a rush, I watch film trailers or read sentences on http://www.wordbrewery.com, because then I can watch/read short snippets but the material authentic.

In fact, the biggest challenge in using native materials is not that you can't understand everything, but rather how to use the materials effectively. Plain materials are so flexible, that it takes time to create a solid schedule and get the most out of them. At least that's the problem I have.
1 x


Return to “Practical Questions and Advice”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests