Le Baron's casual reading log

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BeaP
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby BeaP » Wed Apr 27, 2022 4:20 pm

Spanish films are very different from French films. I don't really enjoy French films, but during the years I've really got used to Spanish humour and culture. So I see your problem. My favourite Spanish film is Ocho apellidos vascos. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2955316/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
It's a trashy comedy but I love it. I've seen it 8 times at least, and have translated the subtitles for my husband as a birthday present. It presents the basque community and the stereotypes connected to them in a light-hearted way.

This is a good 'guide' with explanations about the films: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9NTwP0-OkY

And there are 2 series I can recommend:
Are Madrid (about the Franco-era) is better quality then most movies: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7684260/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
Foodie Love is very French if you want a break: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9894488/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Wed Apr 27, 2022 6:03 pm

I just located Ocho apellidos vascos, so I'll give it a watch at the weekend and see what happens!
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Mon May 02, 2022 12:57 pm

I did actually watch that film above. It was not easy, I stopped it five times. I also went and found a subtitle file to help me. It was quite an effort. I'm going to have to wait and watch it again at a point when I've made extra progress. It doesn't bother me greatly because it's a normal trajectory. In 2045 I'll be having the last laugh when I can finally understand it!

I read L'Etranger, but in Spanish. It felt like it would be a cop-out because I've read it in French and keep having the idea that I should read 'original literature'. I should banish this thought however, as I used to do, because it isn't valid. Translations are good...they are okay, they work and are valid. And with that said I am going to read Camus's play Caligula in Spanish.

I'm also strongly considering going on a weekend discussion 'course' (or maybe a 'discussion weekend'?) organised by Instituto Cervantes. One of the tutors there is the wife of a friend (both Spanish) and she pretty much knows at what level I am and what I probably need. I'd like the opportunity to be able to speak with other learners and Spanish people under conditions where everyone is aware that it's for learning purposes. I remember that this was a great help when learning Dutch. The 4 months I did at Dutch school where people from many language backgrounds all converged on the point of using Dutch as the 'lingua franca' was invaluable.

I watched a Pippi Långstrump film yesterday on YT. Dubbed into Dutch. Since they don't do much dubbing here, apart from children's programming and even that is less, the voice acting tends to be over-acting. Though I suppose this also makes it very easy to follow. From memory I don't remember these Pippi films/TV ever being popular or shown on TV in the UK. Not like Heidi or Silas. Here it is though, it's quite an amusing film and I had a few laughs. The cinematography is splendid for a lightweight film.

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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Thu May 12, 2022 9:26 pm

I said I would read Camus's Caligula in Spanish and I did. 10 days all-in is not bad at all, even though it's not that long. So I rewarded myself with a 'fondant fancy' (a small cake, nothing illegal). The question in the aftermath was: 'how much did you understand it?' Difficult to say, I know the plot because I've read it in French previously and I know who Caligula was. It's a bit like asking 'how does Titanic end?'

However I didn't struggle whilst reading or anything. For certain I consulted the dictionary for words and even checked grammar. It always helps as the structures and words get repeated as you read on, so the barriers disappear or get easier to surmount at any rate. Last night when I was reading in bed I didn't even touch the dictionary and it was flowing well. This morning when I finished it off there were some minor sticking points.

I found a couple of Spanish theatre productions of the play on YouTube, so I'm going to watch one of these whilst the play is still fresh in my mind. See how that goes. To be honest I don't have all that much stress listening to Spanish now. I imagine it's a notch lower than for those learning to listen to French; at least you're listening to something more closely resembling the written form. I've consumed so many podcasts with informal language that by now the more formal language of something like this play is much less of a challenge. I won't follow the script. Just listen (and watch).
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Thu May 19, 2022 6:09 pm

I chanced upon a bookshop today when I was sheltering from the rain. Around 13:30 there was a tropical rainstorm and it was absolutely caning it down. I cycled down a road I've not been down for a while and noticed the lights were on at a Red Cross building and a lot of books in the window. So I whizzed into the driveway and gave my puny umbrella a rest from the rain.

It's really a charity-style 2nd-hand bookshop, but the woman said they put the 'the cream' of all the donations in this location. She really said 'the cream' in English, though in the middle of Dutch sentences. Several times. It was also very ordered and neat and tidy like a standard independent bookshop. I asked her if they had foreign language fiction and she said 'oh yes, quite a lot'. I was scoffing under my breath because I've done this before and get taken to a single shelf which has English books, a handful of German and something random like a proper Sanskrit copy of the Bhagavad Gita turned yellow and brittle. But no...there was a little room with all foreign languages. Of the FIGS languages the best represented was Italian, which I've never seen before here. Two full shelves of quality fiction and some non-fiction. About equal for Spanish/German and single shelf for poor old French, though good books. I bought one, Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée (de Beauvoir), because it was only a euro and in good condition.

I didn't want to drop cash on pot-luck Spanish books, so I took a photo of the titles and I'll look them up to see if any of them are worth acquiring. I'm still not well-up on Spanish fiction.

I was surprised to find books in Japanese and Korean. Also a large textbook called 'Japanese for busy people', Seems strange that 'busy people' would have time to go through a large book. I'd think that if I was going through a book that large, e.g. War & Peace, I could be fairly described as decidedly un-busy. Books for 'busy' people should be slim volumes, right? I didn't get the chance for a good look around so I'll have to go back there on my day off next week. Yippee.
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Nogon » Thu May 19, 2022 7:05 pm

She said "the cream" in English? That's funny! In both Swedish and German, I'd use French cream: "la crème de la crème", although it would sound more like "la krämm de la krämm" in Swedish and "la krääm de la krääm" in German. :lol:
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Fri May 20, 2022 5:04 am

Sometimes we use the Swedish word "gräddan" in this abstract "the cream of the crop" sense (as opposed to "grädden", the concrete noun).

From SAOB:
"2) i mer l. mindre bildl. l. i överförd anv., företrädesvis för att beteckna det bästa l. finaste o. d. av ngt."
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Nogon » Fri May 20, 2022 8:04 am

"Gräddan" - yes, of course!
Now that I come to think about it - there's German "cream" as well. Colloquially one might say that something superb is "erste Sahne", first cream.
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Fri May 20, 2022 8:07 am

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Sometimes we use the Swedish word "gräddan" in this abstract "the cream of the crop" sense (as opposed to "grädden", the concrete noun).

From SAOB:
"2) i mer l. mindre bildl. l. i överförd anv., företrädesvis för att beteckna det bästa l. finaste o. d. av ngt."


It must be universal. Though the Dutch version is 'neusje van de zalm'. Which I would have thought is not the best bit of a salmon at all. Strange that.
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Re: Le Baron's casual reading log

Postby Le Baron » Fri May 20, 2022 8:27 am

Nogon wrote:"Gräddan" - yes, of course!
Now that I come to think about it - there's German "cream" as well. Colloquially one might say that something superb is "erste Sahne", first cream.

In the translations box it offered the Swedish 'förstklassig', which is easily recognisable as 'first class'. I remember a similar word from Norwegian.
Erste Sahne must be even better than just the cream, it's the first and best bit of the cream - therefore la crème de la crème! Full circle.
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