Coldrainwater's German Log

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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:07 am

In keeping with promises, I would like to share a small amount of data that I collected and analyzed. My goal was to look at books that I judged to be at differing reading levels and determine non-lemmatized distinct word counts and also to examine sentence length, since I have found that to be a significant factor in driving reading difficulty. The data below should be relatively reliable. If I find inaccuracies, I will update.

Method: Starting with the full text from Calibre for each book, I split the text by distinct word and sentence. I inserted the sentences into a local SQL Server database and that made it really easy for me to run a few quick and practical queries. If this is helpful and there is interest, I may look at additional texts going forward as well as modify metrics should these prove inadequate to the explain the data.

In order of increasing difficulty:

Die Schwingen der Dunkelheit (Erikson)
About 20% of the sentences have 16 words or more.
Average sentence length: 10 words
20364 sentences analyzed.
0 sentences have over 100 words per sentence.
4% of sentences have 30 or more words.
17745 distinct words (not lemmatized)

Das Parfum (Süskind)
About 20% of the sentences have 30 words or more.
Average sentence length: 20 words
3708 sentences analyzed.
15 sentences have over 100 words per sentence.
21% of the sentences have 30 or more words.
12948 distinct words (not lemmatized)

Der Zauberberg (Mann)
About 20% of the sentences have 38 or more words.
Average sentence length includes 25 words.
12255 sentences analyzed.
177 sentences have over 100 words per sentence.
31% of sentences have 30 or more words.
33669 distinct words (not lemmatized)
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Nov 23, 2020 2:10 am

Today turned out to be pretty cool and quite out of the ordinary, linguistically and otherwise. I had a rare opportunity to speak Spanish in Colorado, which went quite well actually as I stopped over for a quick off-road hike to Crystal Lake. I also met a couple of furry friends, most notably the fox you see below that greeted me right as I entered town (obligatory shout out to Reineke!). The fox had a pretty good game/strategy that culminated in a rather sly move with careful positioning under my car, right near a bag of sundry viands that I had left precariously under-protected. The notes always say to lock your doors at night. People-related theft is never mentioned or considered as a risk factor, but bears (which can open doors) and foxes are. I can now verify the truth of that situation!

Der schlaue Fuchs
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Crystal Lake, CO (featuring many adventurous souls skidding down slopes on rafts, boards and the backs of what appeared to be homemade sleds or perhaps more generously, garbage can lids - sadly not pictured)
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Furry friend #2, I hiked back to my car with a guy from Denver who had his dog with him, easily the happiest creature about with boundless energy.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Nov 24, 2020 4:52 am

My German listening today was sourced from a recording of Sherlock Holmes narrated by Christoph Hackenberg. If memory serves, it was a youtube find and proffered roughly forty hours of content, plenty for my passive attentive needs. The voice sounds quite good to me and I feel comfortable in taking full blame for my lack of comprehension, as is virtually always the case.

I listened to it while embarking on the Quandary Peak Summit Hike. I completed this hike once a few years ago in September (and saw goats) but had never done it in snow. I listened to the audio on the easy lower portion of the trail and instinctively turned it off when the going got tough (above treeline). The weather was on my side and I made the summit, fashionably late and bundled in multiple layers to fend off the inimical and surprisingly fickle winds.

Here are a few photos I took while on the hike. What impressed me this time around were the variety of range views as well as a rather fortuitous situation with respect to the daytime skies. This hike is often recommended for experienced hikers that want to tackle a first 14er. It is near Breckenridge, a city that offers very good four-season hiking for all skill levels.
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The only proper way to end the day, after finally imbibing my evening coffee and restoring enough body temperature to cogitate, is to read some more of Magic Mountain. That book has sparked now two new potential interests for me (and counting). It is often that I read a book expecting one thing, but getting a return on investment of something very different but equally impactful and rewarding. In this case, it is Thomas Mann's skill in describing what it feels like to take up a given hobby/interest, a skill that I do believe he possesses in extraordinary abundance. I know his descriptions of being outdoors in the snowy Alps were spot on, for example. Real as real could get.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Sat Nov 28, 2020 2:38 am

Apparently, my variant of wanderlust takes a physical-arctic form. Near all of my amateur photography, originally powered by old-school Kodak then later by Android, has been confined to adventure holidays at elevation. Today, I managed to capture a few sun-capped peaks along with an interesting Tagmond (pictured below). One hop from the Tagmond wiki-link brought me to the term Albedo (das Rückstrahlvermögen), from the Latin albus, which is used to measure the power of diffusely reflective surfaces. Glancing at their chart, I saw that fresh snow gets a ratio of .8-.9 (incident to reflected), the highest shown and undoubtedly the reason I need to wear my Enchroma colourblind glasses. The glasses may do little to rectify Daltonism (Farbenfehlsichtigkeit), but they work quite decently as desert and mountain shades.

Lower McCullough Gulch, near Breckenridge, CO
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On a separate note, a friend and coworker of mine has a daughter named Lorelei and she told me a bit about the folklorish German origins of the name (Loreley - wiki). Turns out there is a recent German audible audiobook, Loreley as well as the related Taschenbuch von Kai Meyer, both of which get good ratings. One or both might make a fun read/listen later on.

Loreley on the banks of the Rhine (the name roughly translates to murmuring rock).
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Caromarlyse
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby Caromarlyse » Sat Nov 28, 2020 12:15 pm

Heinrich Heine's poem Die Lorelei is one I know off by heart. My mum (who did German at school and remembered random bits and pieces) would recite the first line ("Ich weiss nicht, was soll es bedeuten, dass ich so traurig bin") when cleaning.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Thu Dec 03, 2020 5:40 pm

Caromarlyse, thanks for the mention of Heim's poetry. It is always great to hear about making those real-life connections.

As a general note, I would have certainly liked to respond with updates and comments sooner, but it took me several days to start feeling normal after driving back to Houston from Colorado. I noticed that I don't become physically ill per se, but that I do have more malaise and brain fog when coming from high to low altitude. Apparently, there is some data to back this up, Analysis of High-Altitude De-Acclimatization Syndrome even though I never thought to seriously examine it until this week. There are plenty of confounding factors, so I am not reading too far into it, but it is personally relevant in my case.

Visual Trip Report

I shared the following albums with my coworkers (they liked them quite a bit) and would like to share them with you all as well. They have select hiking photos from all the locations I visited on my two-week adventure.
Literature-wise, I finished Der Zauberberg (cool ending to the dialectic, I must say) in a flurry of rapid eye movements right at the end of November and am gearing up for a next read. I saved tons of quotes but picked only a couple that I thought were a good match my current state of mind post-travel.
Zeit, sagt man, ist Lethe; aber auch Fernluft ist so ein Trank, und sollte sie weniger gründlich wirken, so tut sie es dafür desto rascher.
Time, we say, is Lethe; but change of air is a similar draught, and, if it works less thoroughly, does so more quickly.
Während er den versilberten Hobel über seine mit parfümiertem Schaum bedeckten Wangen führte, erinnerte er sich seiner verworrenen Träume und schüttelte nachsichtig lächelnd, mit dem Überlegenheitsgefühl des im Tageslicht der Vernunft sich rasierenden Menschen den Kopf über so viel Unsinn.

As he covered his cheeks with scented lather and drew over them the blade of his silver-plated “safety,” he recalled his confused dreams and shook his head indulgently over so much nonsense, with the superior feeling a man has when shaving himself in the clear light of reason.

With an accompanying note on Lethe from Wikipedia, Lethe (Mythologie)
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu Dec 03, 2020 6:02 pm

coldrainwater wrote:
Visual Trip Report

I shared the following albums with my coworkers (they liked them quite a bit) and would like to share them with you all as well. They have select hiking photos from all the locations I visited on my two-week adventure.
Thanks for sharing the pictures. I will revisit them next summer, Covid-19 willing, when it will be hotter than blazes here and looking at them will be refreshing.
2 x
Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:26 am

I am back on adventure holiday even if it doesn't officially start until Wednesday and am using my accommodation for a true WFH, dipping into flexibility that rental owners have been carefully promoting for some months now.

Today, I am writing to you from Colorado Springs, CO, one of my favourite of the larger metropolitan areas in the state. I definitely feel like I earned the destination this time as the drive itself was more eventful than usual. I had a German podcast playing almost the entire way (more on it in a separate post) and managed a few Anki breaks here and there. The trip panned out as follows:

Well-packed with four-season gear, I left Houston Saturday afternoon and ran into my first challenge, a rather dogged winter storm, as I drove into the cold of the Texas panhandle past Amarillo. My customary route via Raton Pass, skirting the mountain forests of New Mexico was pre-emptively closed. I would not have attempted those curves anyhow given the conditions, so I decided to take a parallel, flat path to the east which meant I traversed three states in one-day passing also through the Oklahoma panhandle, formerly called No Man's Land, something I understood intuitively (I do have some relatives in the area) but did not know until today. The going through the Texas panhandle was challenging pouring forth several different varieties of frozen precipitation, a challenge that levelled up somewhat as I crossed briefly into the Oklahoma panhandle. Plows were not operating on that stretch, though conditions were generally passable, so I struck on the idea to drive in the wake of a semi-trailer, which I surmised had enough front plate and mental grit to forge onward. That silent partnership, to which I owe my on-time arrival, went on for more than 50 miles, with the toughest sections being in Boise City, OK.

I had chains for my front tires if needed, so my main concern preventing me from leading or going solo was that I would bottom out in the snow and get stuck with a 2WD. The storm was [far] more persistent than I expected and continued for at least 100 miles, if not more. It took some nerve, but I never felt unsafe and the ice driving experience I had on the far eastern plains of Colorado farther north offered invaluable experience. We all drove very cautiously though there were some safe and fun areas for someone (exactly like me) who doesn't drive on ice every day and I will admit to executing once or two movie-clip 180's in my Mazda (no hand-brake use sadly as the manoeuvre more closely resembled the automotive/equestrian equivalent of a mule-flailing about than a cavalry charge). The flatness of the route overall might be best described as an alternation between snowpack and ice rink and the care they take of those rural country roads reflects what was needed for safe travel (they salt the heck out of curves and bridges, but leave the rest pretty wide open and icy, sometimes plowing, sometimes not). As a side note, I certainly understand and like the female German GPS voice, but am starting to have doubts about its sense of direction and snow-routing!

After I made it into Lamar, CO I had a minor flat tire in town, so piddled there for a few hours getting it repaired. I actually enjoyed changing out my spare since the morning weather was so nice. It is the first time that I found out what a locking wheel lugnut is and that my little Mazda 3 had one. Fortunately, the prior owner placed the key in the glovebox. I should send them a postcard and thank you note! When I took a physics major long ago, I didn't quite figure on putting Newton's laws to the use I did yesterday, but I can assure you I held them near and dear. Life is full of surprises and occasional adventure it seems.

Right as I parked on the grounds of my accommodation, I found myself about 20 yards from a very healthy neighbourhood deer. They camouflage well, as you perhaps can see from the photo!
Edit: added better close-up of deer.
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Thu Dec 24, 2020 5:33 am

Time for a reading update!

I am currently enjoying and have made good headway into Simplicius Simplicissimus von Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen

Der Abentheuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch, heute auch Simplicius Simplicissimus, ist ein Schelmenroman und das Hauptwerk von Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, erschienen 1668, datiert auf 1669. Er gilt als der erste Abenteuerroman und als das wichtigste Prosawerk des Barocks in deutscher Sprache.

The original cover is very meaningful with respect to the text within. If you are of a mind, you can also check out the script here: Gutenberg Link
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The text falls in the same genre as La vida de Lazarillo de Tormes and from what I can tell of modern mischief, people are still reading both and putting lessons learned into daily practice. Since I have likewise partaken from both worlds, I can identify with having "gleaned from it more vices than verbs." Each text offers very distinct and memorable cultural variety. Mischief aside, Simplicius is stylistically unique with long sentences and short chapters, each bridged by plot and protagonist, featuring throughout as many twists and jolts as you might expect from a novel set in the midst of the Dreißigjähriger Krieg. It lacks neither violence nor event and is riddled with ample satire befitting its picaresque origins.

"Schwert, Galgen, Feuer und Rad...Die Erde, deren Gewohnheit ist, die Toten zu bedecken, war damals an selbigem Ort selbst mit Toten überstreut." Christoph punctuated with commas at every juncture, extending a single thought to encompass a full paragraph and often the better portion of a chapter. As a result, I read with assistance from Google Translate since my aligners filed formal complaint at every turn of phrase. I definitely lost one degree of freedom and another of flexibility in the exchange, making the reading less tidy but more intensive. Along the way, I developed a greater appreciation for reference works, especially Grimm's DWB which can be accessed directly here: http://dwb.uni-trier.de/de. The German edition of Simplicius that I read modernized the script but aimed to stick to the original wording, which made reading it that much more interesting.

I also came across two reference portals that appear quite impressive and offer the type of reference content that I am after. Namely:

http://www.woerterbuch-portal.de/
http://woerterbuchnetz.de

... je weiter ich in diesem Studium fortgehe, desto klärer wird mir der Grundsatz: daß kein einziges Wort oder Wörtchen bloß eine Ableitung haben, im Gegenteil jedes hat eine unendliche und unerschöpfliche. Alle Wörter scheinen mir gespaltene und sich spaltende Strahlen eines wunderbaren Ursprungs, daher die Etymologie nichts tun kann, als einzelne Leitungen, Richtungen und Ketten aufzufinden und nachzuweisen, soviel sie vermag. Fertig wird das Wort nicht damit.

Jacob Grimm an Savigny. 20. Apr. 1815

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From the woerterbuch-portal, look to the right to see the main dictionary list. For woerterbuchnetz, I converted the text below to list format for perusability.
  • AWB - Althochdeutsches Wörterbuch
  • Adelung - Grammatisch-Kritisches Wörterbuch der Hochdeutschen Mundart
  • BMZ - Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch von Benecke, Müller, Zarncke
  • DFD - Digitales Familiennamenwörterbuch Deutschlands
  • DRW - Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch
  • DWB - Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm und Wilhelm Grimm
  • ElsWB - Wörterbuch der elsässischen Mundarten
  • FWB - Frühneuhochdeutsches Wörterbuch
  • FindeB - Findebuch zum mittelhochdeutschen Wortschatz
  • GWB - Goethe-Wörterbuch
  • Hederich - Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon von Benjamin Hederich
  • Idiotikon - Schweizerisches Idiotikon / Wörterbuch der schweizerdeutschen Sprache
  • LLU - Lexikon der Luxemburger Umgangssprache
  • LWB - Luxemburger Wörterbuch
  • Lexer - Mittelhochdeutsches Handwörterbuch von Matthias Lexer
  • LmL - Lexicon musicum Latinum medii aevi
  • LothWB - Wörterbuch der deutsch-lothringischen Mundarten
  • MHDBDB - Mittelhochdeutsche Begriffsdatenbank
  • MLW - Mittellateinisches Wörterbuch
  • MWB - Mittelhochdeutsches Wörterbuch
  • Meyers - Meyers Großes Konversationslexikon
  • NLexer - Nachträge zum Mittelhochdeutschen Handwörterbuch von Matthias Lexer
  • NRhWB - Nachträge zum Rheinischen Wörterbuch
  • PfWB - Pfälzisches Wörterbuch
  • REDE - Regionalsprache.de
  • RhWB - Rheinisches Wörterbuch
  • SHW - Südhessisches Wörterbuch
  • WLM - Wörterbuch der Luxemburgischen Mundart
  • Wander - Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexicon von Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Wander
  • WdW - Wörterbuch der deutschen Winzersprache
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coldrainwater
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Re: Coldrainwater's German Log

Postby coldrainwater » Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:21 am

Seek and ye shall find.

Of late, I have been marching to the tune of the Geschichten aus der Geschichte podcast. Today, I decided to take a closer look at their website and noticed that a listener quite literally took the time to map the episodes geschichte.fm/karte. In addition, the hosts fortunately understand networking and in like manner, I am keen to click around. Doing so yielded more fruit via the link they included to a much more extensive podcast listing found at wissenschaftspodcasts.de. That is exactly the kind of network of regularly updated podcasts that I was hoping to stumble upon.

The first one I eyed, Geschichte der Deutschen confused me for a minute until I realized this histocast is structured as parallel audio and is offered in English and German. English episode links populate the left side of the webpage and German the right. I expect there are others like podcasts given the high English fluency rate in Germany. Their offering mirrors the way I use parallel text for reading and harkens to a few of the parallel audiobooks I listened to at the very beginning of my journey with German.

Behind much of this sits acast.com, a network founded in Sweden. Searching the site does offer German content and I suspect several other languages as well. Listeners from France, Germany, Spain and Sweden are mentioned directly. I know some podcasts have directionally started out German and moved via translation to English, which I suspect was done to reach a broader audience.
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