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Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 7:25 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
This log will be for my comments about Ilini, a website for French videos with interactive subtitles and games.
The site is free to try, but it limits free users to three videos a month. There are two paid levels: one at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year and one at $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
The lower level provides (1) Unlimited access (2) an Interactive Player (bilingual subtitles, dictionary & slow motion), (3) Online Quizzes (4) My Vocabulary (collects all words clicked on the subtitles) (5) Flashcards.
The upper, more expensive level provides all of that plus (6) transcripts and translations In PDF format and (7) PDF exercises (gapfills, word scrambles and other vocabulary & listening games).
The videos come in beginner, intermediate and advanced sections covering the topics of news, culture, music, entertainment and ideas. There is a separate section for Teachers.
I paid for the cheaper level and don't know anything about the Teacher section. But though I paid, I get 10 days free for a trial run.

Yesterday I watched my first video, an intermediate video called "What Do the French Eat for Breakfast?" It is an excerpt of the show La Quotidienne aired Sept. 22, 2015. Here, without Ilini's subtitles, of course, is the url for the segment:

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Fri Feb 08, 2019 9:05 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
To continue my previous post.

The video "What Do the French Eat for Breakfast?" lasts 3.33 minutes and contains 698 total spoken words. I did not count them more than once, so the figure can't be regarded as exact. That works out to about 210 words per minute. I will be curious to see how that compares to beginner and to advanced videos. From the very few I saw, I detected no difference in the speed of the conversations. The three different levels may be based on conceptual content, not speed of conversation.

There did not seem to be any slang in the video, and the subtitles were almost if not quite 100% accurate.

More next time.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:30 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Taking a cue from Leosmith's fine post on HTLAL, "Listening from the beginning,", starting today I plan to listen to 30 minutes a day of French on Ilini. This morning I watched 13 videos. Eleven were at the Beginner Level and two at the Intermediate level and ranged in length from 21 seconds to 2:39 minutes. I intended to count the number of words in one of the Beginner videos to compare the words per minute of the Intermediate video I watched yesterday, but it became quickly obvious that in terms of speed the Beginner videos are no slower than the Intermediate videos (in spite of what I might have said earlier). The topics were News, Culture, Entertainment, and Ideas. I did not listen to any videos from the Music category because I prefer Lyrics Training for that.

Without the provided French subtitles, I would have been lost. I did not need the English subtitles. I didn't do any of the exercises nor mark any of the vocabulary for flash cards. None of the words today was as interesting to me as "dès potron-minet" was yesterday (at the crack of dawn), which I had never heard or seen before.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:59 am
by MorkTheFiddle
Today's listening to was derailed by a visit to a French tutor at the local Alliance Française. Taking a cue from Iguanamon, as I have said (he talks about it in a couple of places, one of which is here, I hired a tutor for one hour to help me go through the first episode of a French mini-series called Le Mystère du lac, which ran in 2016. Perhaps modeled on the Danish nail-biter of 2007, The Killing (Danish title Forbrydelsen: NB I don't know any Danish at all).

I hired the tutor a week ago, but on the night of that day I just happened onto some Internet blogs that were exactly what I was looking for: voices in often rapid-fire French with French subtitles. But having made the appointment, I decided to follow through with it.

What I was hoping for was someone who could go through the episode with me and repeat in French what I did not understand. There are, by the way, English subs for all five episodes. From what others have said on this forum, I know finding a good tutor is not easy, but I have no complaint about mine today. She was knowledgeable, very well prepared, and repeated dialogue exactly the way I wanted. It was money well spent. Oh, and we got through only 8 minutes :!: of the episode in 40 minutes before I mentally crapped out.

Using a tutor, however, is not the way for me to go. When I listen to the French in blogs, sometimes I can barely follow along even with a transcript. The first one I listened to the other night sounded like a different language from French, and listening to it was like a brand new experience for my brain, like reading Wittgenstein for the first time. This is a different realm from easy-to-understand documentaries on Youtube or even more difficult audio books like Balzac's Cousine Bette (

Soon I will run out of videos on Except for those I really, really like (only one of them so far, a lecture on parallel universes in a TEDx talk by Christophe Galfard), I don't intend to watch them again.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:02 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
The number of videos that I have watched on is now up to 62, not counting today's viewing still to come.
Yesterday I checked out a couple of the on-line quizzes that the site offers: four or five questions about the content of the video. Paying attention, you should get them all correct. The content of the videos continues to be if not earth-shaking at least interesting. Not getting the full package of transcripts and what-not limits me from making a full evaluation, but it certainly seems worth the money to me. The sound is good and clear, the French sub-titles are almost if not quite 100% accurate, and the site has always been available when I wanted to log on.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:49 am
by MorkTheFiddle
Today the 100th video was watched, and I cleaned out the offerings from Culture. Most interesting, as always.
Today I noted the url that is a source for many of the beginner videos
The site seems to be designed for kids, but the short videos at any rate are acceptable adult fare. Of course, no subtitles, but they are a source of more comprehensible language.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:27 am
by MorkTheFiddle
Changing direction from Ilini. Last night I watched the first two episodes of the TV series Eureka dubbed into French.
To my pleasant surprise, I understood about half of the dialogue. I did watch the show two or three years ago with subtitles, but I remembered very few details.
I plan to watch 3 or 4 more episodes tonight.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:39 am
by MorkTheFiddle
Last night I watched episodes 3, 4, and 5 of Eureka Season 1, comprehension of dialogue about 50%.
Tonight I watched episoces 6, 7 and 8, comprehension dropping to about 40%.

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:33 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Last night I watched season one episodes 9, 10 and 11 of Eureka, with varying comprehension. 30% episode 9, 70% episode 10, 50% episode 11. I think maybe I understand more the more lines the leading man speaks. Dunno. This afternoon I watched the last episode of season one and understood about 80%. Next up Season 2.

Yesterday I went to the bookstore and bought Ya nadie llora por mí by Sergio Ramírez, the Nicaraguan writer and politician. I also bought La Noche de las Medusas (jellyfishes) by Jacinto Rey. The back cover promises "un thriller con una trama apasionante, llena de acción, intrigu y giros inesperasos*." Saving Ramírez for later, I began Medusas last night, and so far, so good. The jacket blurb says Rey is from Vido (Spain) and is a polyglot. Doesn't say what languages he knows, but he has lived in Germany, Switzerland and France. Maybe he is a member here.

In Ancient Greek, I am rereading JACT's Reading Greek: Text and Vocabulary. This is the 2d edition. The first time I read it, I used the 1st edition, of which I remember, in essence, nothing. I am about half way through it. I am also reading Book 9 of Herodotus' Histories, with the help of the Cambridge green and yellow commentary by Flower and Marincola. And a dictionary, of course. This is the first significant Greek text that I have read without using a translation for help.

On my Kindle I gave up on the Mémoires of the duc de Simon, who kind of rambles, and switched back to the Mémoires of the Cardinal du Retz, who at least tells a story, or rather a series of stories.

* "a thriller with a passionate plot, full of action, intrigue and unexpected twists."

Re: Mork the Fiddle's 2019 Log

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:28 pm
by MorkTheFiddle
Last night I watched the last episode of Season One of Eureka and the first two episodes of Season Two. This afternoon I watched episodes 3 - 6. Last night comprehension went 80%, 65% and 70%, but this afternoon all four were at 50%.
Today's mail brought the first season of True Crime, a version dubbed into French which I will watch after finishing the second season of Eureka. I prefer continuing Eureka, but I can't find any more versions dubbed into French. There are two seasons of True Crime. I also ordered dubbed versions of the Danish thriller The Killing, so I should have plenty of hours to watch and listen to.
Also in the mail came The Intellectual Revolution and A Greek Anthology, both part of the Greek course by the JACT. The second is comprised of selections from 20 sources, running from Homer to the New Testament. The Intellectual Revolution contains longer selections from Euripides, Thucydides and Plato.