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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:17 pm

Day 5 of confinement, I haven't set foot outside of my flat since monday and things are still ok. I know I'm supposed to find this unbearable at some point but this point has yet to be reached. We'll see how it goes.

Latin
I started something new to try and activate my Latin. Normal composition textbooks don't really do it for me because they are rather tedious and, more importantly, I don't feel like they work for me. While looking for alternatives, I remembered two textbooks I had found some time ago:
- Elementary Latin. Published in the 1960s, it is a rather unusual Latin textbook and might be the closest thing I've seen to a FSI course for Latin. Each lesson contains pictures/texts and grammar is to be deduced from the observation of similar yet different sentences (one section has English translations, which helps, and there is a grammatical appendix at the end, although the authors warn that this is not to be used before or during the lesson but only after the material has been worked through). The lessons proceed mainly by questions and answers in Latin (around 100/150 per lesson), although there are other types of exercises. This Q&A aspect and the emphasis on manipulating the language and its structures is what makes it interesting to me, with a view on developing a more active mastery of Latin
- Minkova & Tunberg, Readings and Exercises in Latin Prose Composition. I found the book on my shelves yesterday (bought it years ago) and thought I could make good use of it this time. It is also somewhat unusual in that it assumes that you already know a lot of Latin, the goal being to give you material and exercises to practice composition. The content thus acts more as props and helping stones to become confortable with manipulating the language and writing it, rather than giving you one grammatical rule and 10 sentences for English to Latin translation before moving on to another rule, as other composition textbooks generally do.

There are 44 lessons in Elementary Latin and 25 in Readings and Exercises, which means I'll try and do two lessons a day in the former and one in the latter.

Elementary Latin, lessons 1-2
Of course, nothing new for me in terms of content, the lessons are mainly devoted to highlighting the subject/object distinction by using the question words qui/quem, quid (agit). As I said, nothing new for me as far as content is concerned but the way the material is presented is great even for experienced Latinists, I think. At the moment, I think the Q&A format and the constant repetition/drills could be exactly what I need to become able to produce things I passively know after years of reading Latin. Time will tell if this was true.

Readings and Exercises, chapter 1
Lesson 1 uses an extract of Livius as base text. Plenty of exercises follow (build sentences from jumbled words, turn active sentences into passive ones, personal into impersonal, etc.). Last are two free composition exercises where a theme and the first sentence(s) is given. Here are what I wrote for each. It is not that I deem them to be fine examples of Latin prose (far from it!) but I tried to write without too much thinking, in order to get past what I felt was some kind of writer's block (prompts given in the book are in italics):
Ultimo anni praeteriti die omnes amici montes petiveramus. Cum media nox iam appropinquaret, in tugurio sedentes, multa verba de omnibus rebus, quae eo die videramus, faciebamus et comiter disserebamus. Ad montes ieramus, ut bono caelo et aere ibi frueremur. Antequam omnes ab urbe profecti sumus, amicus meus mihi dixit: "O si res ita ut volumus nobis eveniat. Opus est mihi aere puro!" Quibus verbis auditis statim respondi, dicens: "Feliciter cedat nobis omnibus!"
Nunc, nobis omnibus tute in tugurio sedentibus, re vera dici potest omnia bene se vertisse et ex sententia processisse. Pulchros montes vidimus, non solum bono sed etiam optimo caelo fruimur. Spero sic semper futurum esse!
Arta amicitia cum homine mihi caro antea coniungebar, quam nuper amisi. Nam quodam die in rixam haud magni momenti sumus inducti. Cum in urbe magna essemus, amico dixi me rus ire velle. His auditis asseruit et mihi et ei perjucundum fore, si una iter faceremus. Quo facto, cum per agros viridissimos ambularemus, caprinas conspexi, quae aliquid insoliti super se gerere videbantur. Primum putavi esse lanam et comitem meum de hac re certiorem feci. Qui me irridens dixit: "Stulte, capris lana non est! Nunquam fuit et nunquam erit!" Haec et talia locutus risum tenere non potuit. Quod aegre tuli.
Postquam in urbem regressi sumus, me nulla dicentem videns intellexit se erga me haud humaniter praebuisse. Itaque conatus est finem rixae facere sed dixi me eum nunquam rursus visurum et discedi sine ullo verbo.
(the theme was the idiom de lana caprina)
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:56 pm

Day 6 of confinement!

Latin
I completed Elementary Latin lessons 3 and 4. It is of course too soon to tell if this book is the right tool to move towards a more active mastery of Latin but I really like it so far. The Q&A format and the short sentences with small variations feel like good drills, we'll see how efficient they are in the long run. I wish I had access to the recordings that were made but they aren't available online as far as I can see.

Readings and Exercises in Latin Prose Composition, chapter 2, done and dusted. Several of the exercises were about inserting supplementary words in sentences. Here is one of the free composition paragraph I wrote:
Senator ille vix quidquam nisi amicorum consiliis fretus proponere solebat. Sciebat, si suasisset ut agri plebi darentur, pluribus se hominibus gratum fore. Itaque ad unum e senatoribus prope sedentibus se vertit eique dixit: "Quid de mea lege sentis? Nonne bona est lex et ad rem idonea?" Tum amicus ejus: "Tecum sentio et volo omnia quae vis." Alius addidit: "Idem sentio quod tu. Tu hac lege novus pater patriae fies!" Senator ille magno gaudio erubescit, donec alium audivit aliter dicentem: "Multum a tua mea discrepat sententia. Haec lex, quam tu proposuisti, et rei publicae oberit et morem majorum nostrum, hominum peritissimorum, offendit. Quod non ab omnibus bonis tolerabitur!" His verbis auditis, cum vesper appropinquaret, senator ille domum, quae haud procul a foro stabat, magna cum amicorum copia tristis rediit.
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:29 pm

Day 7 of confinement. Not a bad day for language learning.

Occitan
- reviewed lessons 1-7 of Assimil
- read a few (very) short stories in the Armana Prouvençau

Yesterday evening I started reading a crime novel but contrary to the one I read previously there was just too much unknown vocab for it to be enjoyable. It will have to wait.

Latin
- done Elementary Latin lessons 5-6 and the review lesson inbetween
- done chapter 3 of Minkova & Tunberg's Readings and Exercises, all about expressions of place
- read book 2 of Tacitus' Histories (60 pages)
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Wed Mar 25, 2020 4:48 pm

Occitan
- review of Assimil 8-14
- I've been reading short things here and there. I have a few books to read, some in Provençal (both in Classical and Mistralian spelling) and Languedocian but they're probably be too hard for me right now. I dislike reading on a screen for long periods of time so physical books remain the best way for me to get a high volume of input.

Latin
- Elementary Latin 7-8 (yesterday) and 9a-9b today
- Minkova & Tunberg's, Readings and Exercises 4-5

With Occitan making a come back in my schedule (and Yiddish and Manchu being there even if I don't mention them), I think I'll have to cut back some of my Latin activities. Readings and Exercises is interesting but I don't feel it is as useful as Elementary Latin, so I'll probably postpone working though it for a while.

To give you an idea of how Elementary Latin works, here is a summary of a typical lesson (9a on adjectives).
1) the main theme of the lesson is introduced by around 10/15 sentences that show slight variations, an English translation is given:
Puer canem magnum spectat
Puer canem spectat magnum
In fluminibus magna sunt saxa
In fluminibus magnis sunt saxa
2) Five to ten sentences are given, with around 4 questions to be answered for each of them (answers in Latin are given in a separate column):
A fonte puro pura defluit aqua.
Quid defluit?
Qualis est aqua?
Unde defluit?
Quali a fonte defluit aqua?
Qualis est fons?
3) A few questions in English to make sure the student notices the important points:
What is the difference between the position of adjectives in Latin and in English?
How does the gender of a noun affect the form of the adjective?
4) Various exercises for further handling of the Latin (no answers are given):
Add the adjective indicated in the form which will modify the first noun in each sentence.
magnus
1. Canis ante aedificium sedet.
2. Manu rem portat servus.
3. In harenis consilia capiuntur.
etc.
5) Absent in 9a, but other lessons end on the "Pattern practice", that is around 25/30 sentences to make sure the main point of the lesson and the vocab have been understood. Sentences are given in two columns, English and Latin. Here too, the main principle is to use similar sentences, with small changes:
The youth remains in the city / Juvenis in urbe manet
The Roman youth remains in the city / Juvenis Romanus in urbe manet
The youth stays in the Roman city / Juvenis Romana in urbe manet
The Roman youths remain in the city / Juvenes Romani in urbe manent
The youths stay in the Roman cities / Juvenes Romanis in urbibus manent
6) Some etymological notes in English (to help memorisation I guess) and a vocab list of all the new words in the lesson (Latin only, no English translation of the words is given)

All in all, there is a lot I like in this textbook and a lot that makes sense from the point of view of language learning (especially when compared with other Latin textbooks): limited use of English, simple sentences, lots of material, lots of practice gained by implementing small changes in sentences, use of Q&A, limited number of new words introduced in each lesson.
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Thu Mar 26, 2020 12:54 pm

A nice little song by La Talvera:
refrain:
Montanha ma montanha
Que fa lo meu amic ?
(2x)
Moutain, my mountain,
What is my friend doing?

- Montanha que lo veses
Que fa lo meu amic ?
- Es aval dins la plana
Que sona la perdic...

- Mountain who can see him,
What is my friend doing?
- He is downhill in the plain
Calling the partridge...

(refrain)

- Montanha que la veses
O que fa la perdic ?
- La perdic vòla vòla
Vòla vers son amic...

- Mountain who can see it,
Oh, what is the partridge doing?
- The partridge is flying, is flying,
Is flying to its friend.

(refrain)

- Montanha que los veses
Que fan los dos amics ?
- Son dins los nivolasses
Amont naut a l’abric...

- Mountain who can see them,
What are the two friends doing?
- They are in the big clouds,
up there safe.

(refrain)

- Montanha ma montanha
Me voldriái far perdic...
- Vòla vòla pauròta
Vesi pus ton amic...

- Mountain, my mountain,
I'd like to turn myself into a partridge...
- Fly, fly, poor little thing,
I can't see your friend anymore...
Lyrics taken from there.
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:04 pm

Occitan
- review of Assimil 15-17
- gave another shot at the crime novel I found too hard the other day and this time it seems to be fine. Still more unknown words than in other things I read but that's ok.

Latin
- Elementary Latin, lessons 10 to 12 (plus one review lesson)
- halfway through Tacitus' Histories book 3, I didn't spend much time on it recently but might finish it tonight
- finished Nutting, First Latin Reader, a rather unusual book in that it is mainly made of anecdotes about American history. I like having a intermediate reader on the burner because I can read a few pages quickly every morning as a kind of warm-up.
1 x

Sahmilat
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby Sahmilat » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:47 pm

How are you liking the Minkova book? I get a good amount of practice for brief Latin writing from twitter and discord, but I don't have a lot of experience with long-form writing. I've had the book recommended to me before, and I was wondering if you felt like it was helping. I might even go to University of Kentucky for my master's so I'd get to study under Minkova and Tunberg.
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:19 pm

Sahmilat wrote:How are you liking the Minkova book? (...)
I've only worked through the first five chapters, so take my "review" with caution :)
I think it's good but no replacement for a more traditional composition textbook (or any other kind of composition work that would teach the basics, or even further). Each chapter has a Latin text and a few exercises, but it doesn't contain any theory. If you don't know the topic of the chapter well enough, you can't do the exercises and will have to check other books before coming back to the exercises (it helps that at the beginning of each chapter reference is made to the relevant sections in three different reference works).
So, I'd say it's good practice to get you into a more creative(?) mindset, to show you how to play with sentences, words, etc., but if I had only one composition book to pick up, I'd choose something like Bradley's Arnold or North & Hillard: quite boring but they teach you what you need (of course, since we don't have to pick one and only one, a combination of Minkova&Tunberg and B's A or N&H is always possible :)).

I can post pictures of one of the chapters if you want to get a better idea of the work.

I might even go to University of Kentucky for my master's so I'd get to study under Minkova and Tunberg.
That sounds great! I hope you'll have the opportunity to do it.
Pr. Tunberg's talk about Jacobus Pontanus was, if I remember correctly, the first piece of living Latin I listened to years ago.
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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:05 pm

Occitan
- review of Assimil 18-21
- reached chapter 7 of A planta cotelet, a crime novel by Jòrdi Peladan. I'm not enjoying it a lot (the characters are very...flat) but it is good reading practice.

Latin
- finished Tacitus' Histories book 3
- done lessons 12-15 (plus a review lesson) of Elementary Latin. Starting with lesson 10, short narratives have been introduced. I like it less than the Q&A/short-sentences-to-play-with format because you get less practice with new items. And since my passive skills are already rather good, I tend to read quickly and in the end I don't feel I develop the same active mastery of the material I get from the Q&A/short sentences. Still, there is plenty of the latter in the lessons, so I'll keep working on them.

Manchu
- read a couple of tales from the Sidi Kur (Tales of the Bewitched Corpse). The tales come from India and moved with Buddhism to Tibet, then to Mongolia and eventually reached the Manchu speaking world.
Hanung Kim wrote:the tales are told by a bewitched being whom the protagonist carries on his back. The protagonist promises to keep silent, but at the end of each tale-journey, the protagonist breaks his promise by opening his mouth and exclaiming the wonder of each story. The bewitched being then returns to the beginning, and the protagonist has to start the journey over again, with a new story.
The first one I read (number 17 I think) was about a three-headed demon killing the parents of two siblings. They manage to escape though, thanks to a talking horse and a mirror. Later on, the three-headed demon manages to trick the sister into betraying her brother...
2 x

guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Tue Mar 31, 2020 7:21 pm

Latin
Elementary Latin lessons 16-17

Manchu
Read another couple of tales from the Sidi Kur (Tales of a Bewitched Corpse). In the first one, a stepmother convinces her husband he has to get rid of his two children. Left to fend for themsleves, the children manage to dupe the king of demons thanks to four objects they found on their way: a cristal rosary, a conch, the tail of an animal, and a mirror (not sure about the tail but the other three are all important objects in Tibetan Buddhism, which, like the tales themselves, reached the Manchus through Mongolia).

How to get rid of your stepchildren in one step:
emu inenggi sargan hendume: si majige baha tubihe be juwe juse de labdu bumbi. minde komso bumbi: juwe jui be ujiki seci. mimbe bošo: mini emgi banjiki seci. juwe juse be bošo sere jakade: mafa mujilen ambula jobome dolori gūnime. ere sargan be hokoho de. jai sargan bahara ba akū seme gūnifi: juwe juse be tubihe baime unggifi. sargan i emgi tataha babe waliyafi genehe:

One day, the wife said: "Of the few fruits we gather, you give many to the two children and few to me. If you want to feed the two children, throw me out! If you want to live with me, throw the two children out!" When she said that, the old man was greatly troubled and thought: "If I divorce this woman, there is no way I'm finding another." He sent the two children away to gather fruits and, with his wife, left the place where they were living.
How to defeat the king of demons in four steps:
tere haha jui jabume. sini dung be sinci amba wesihun niyalma ejelehebi: hutu hendume. ubade minci etuhun niyalma akū bihekai: unenggi minci wesihun oci: mini jilgan i gese den jilgan i hūla serede: haha jui hūya buren fulgiyere jakade: hutui ejen gūnime. ere wesihun sain jilgan aibici jihe seme nadan okson bederehe:

The son answered: "Somebody bigger and higher than you has taken possession of your cave." The demon said: "Nobody here is stronger than me! If there truly is someone above me, let him shout as loud as me!" When the son blew the conch, the demon king thought: "Where did such a loud voice come from?", and he took seven steps back.
Repeat a similar trick with the three other objects and the demon king's cave is yours! Later on, the demon king tries to get his cave back with the help of a fox but that doesn't turn out too well for them...

If you want to know more about this 11th c. collection of Indian tales and its wandering through Tibet and Mongolia, check http://members.home.nl/marcmarti/yugur/ ... corpse.htm
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