Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Fri May 22, 2020 3:27 pm

Thanks for your kind words! I did/do plenty of sniffing on your blog so I'm glad if I can give back a bit :D
nooj wrote:Out of interest did you jump straight into Yiddish or did you know a Germanic language before (other than English)?
Yes, I had some basic German (think half-forgotten high-school German), which served me better, I think, than if I had had a good level. I was helped by the fact that I still knew basic vocab and the main overall features of the language but I wasn't hampered by too exact a knowledge of German grammar, which would have made me compare the two languages constantly and maybe have trouble keeping the two apart.
A few years later I tried to relearn German but it didn't work out. Mainly because I didn't have any real motivation but also because it interfered too much with Yiddish. Maybe if I used Yiddish more actively, it would be possible for me to have German and Yiddish cohabit.
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ilmari
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby ilmari » Sat May 23, 2020 4:06 am

I also love reading your posts, guyome! Your combination of languages is so special, and the depth you are studying them so unique. You are reading incredibly rare material very few people have access to, and you allow us to be part of your experience. Have you ever thought of sharing all this more widely, through a blog or a book? There is an audience for that.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sat May 23, 2020 1:02 pm

Hi Ilmari,
Thanks for your post! Before starting a log, I wasn't sure there would be any interest for this blend of dead/classical/minority languages so it makes me happy to read this.
ilmari wrote:Have you ever thought of sharing all this more widely, through a blog or a book? There is an audience for that.
I have tried the blog thing but it didn't really work out. Partly, I think, because it was focused on one language and that means a small audience but also because for a blog to be visible you have to sort of "advertise" it, at least to get the ball rolling (I'm thinking things like having a facebook/twitter account where you post about the blog for instance). I'm not very good at that and what I did was more "build it and they will come", which didn't reall happen :lol: Also a blog is a rather lonely endeavour, while posting here for instance feels more like being part of something. There is a nice feeling of emulation (in a non-competitive way).

As far as books are concerned, I have thought about it and have some projects I have started working on over the last couple of years: a textbook for Manchu, a translation of the Sidi Kur tales I posted about above, things like this. But I am better at starting things than at finishing them :D There's also the fact that I doubt there would be enough interest for a Manchu textbook to be published in French and, while my English is servicable, writing something worthy of being published in it is more difficult.
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ilmari
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby ilmari » Sun May 24, 2020 3:52 am

Thanks for your answer, guyome.
Also a blog is a rather lonely endeavour, while posting here for instance feels more like being part of something. There is a nice feeling of emulation (in a non-competitive way).

I agree with you, this is really what is nice about this place.
I doubt there would be enough interest for a Manchu textbook to be published in French and, while my English is servicable, writing something worthy of being published in it is more difficult.

Here I agree less. Of course, you will not get the Goncourt Prize with a Manchu textbook (besides, the Goncourt is for literature...), but publishers like L'Harmattan or l'Asiathèque may certainly be interested. And once published, an English version may follow. This is what happened with the Varol's Ladino textbook you are using.
I am better at starting things than at finishing them

I'm afraid this is a widespread human characteristic, but in light of what you have already accomplished, I suspect you are somehow underestimating yourself...

Bon courage!
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sun May 24, 2020 6:21 pm

Thanks ilmari! Your answer certainly makes me more willing to spend time again on those projects.

Ladino
- Found my favorite Ladino saying, one that, alone, is enough to justify studying this language. It is to be used when someone you wouldn't expect to is talking back to you:
Se alevantan los pipinos i aharvan al bahchevan.
The cucumbers are rising up and beating the gardener.
- the saying appeared in the book I'm reading now, El Ipohondriozo, an adaptation of Molière's Le Malade imaginaire, published in Istanbul in 1998. I've read about 80 pages so far (out of 120) and it is a pleasant read. Being a play, it is a good source for everyday speech and will certainly be worth a few rereads.
The book can be read here. It is part of the Fondo Molho, a large collection of Ladino books that has been digitized.

- I have started listening to Eliezer Papo's on-going series on the Meam Loez, a multifaceted Biblical commentary. It takes place on Zoom each Sunday and is made available afterwards on his Youtube channel. Each lecture(?) is around 90/120 minutes long and there are 8 of them so far, so plenty to listen to. Today I listened to the first one while walking through the city. It is an introduction to the Meam Loez and Sephardic culture, some of which I was already familiar with thanks to another lecture of Eliezer Papo. The topic interests me and I find Dr. Papo (who is also rabbi of the Sarajevo community) is pleasant to listen to. Overall, I'm rather happy with how much I understood but there are things I didn't quite catch and I'll probably listen to it again soon.

Manchu
Started reading the fourth story of the Ba dung tiyan collection. No love story between talented young people this time but only a few pages in three members of the same family are already dead and I can see a conflict between cousins coming up. We'll see how it turns out!
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby BigZmoak » Sun May 24, 2020 7:15 pm

Hey guyome,

I just wanted to say what a cool collection of languages you have there! I think Occitan is probably one of the most beautiful languages I've ever heard, kudos to you for studying it. Ladino also looks very interesting.

I'll have a read back through your log.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Mon May 25, 2020 1:41 am

Do you do listening with any of your languages? I’ve been on a mini-Yiddish streak on Netflix, and was wondering if you have done anything similar.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Mon May 25, 2020 8:56 am

BigZmoak wrote:Hey guyome,
Hi BigZmoak,
Welcome to the forum and thanks for stopping by!
Lawyer&Mom wrote:Do you do listening with any of your languages?
Sure, although it's true that doesn't always show up in my log because I tend to mention only new resources or things I find especially interesting.

All my languages though are on the "limited audio resources" end of the scale (and not in the way some people think there's not a lot for, say, Catalan or Armenian :D). Still, I generally manage to clock in 1 or 2 hours of listening each day, with the exact breakdown between each language being unknown to me: maybe around 2 hours per week for each language I am not actively studying (and have audio for); many more if I'm actively studying (at the moment that would be Ladino).

Here is a non-comprehensive list of some important resources I use(d).

Manchu/Sibe
I put it here but mainly to say that there is very, very little audio available. You might find a few hours worth of material by haunting youtube or various Chinese websites, there is also a few dialogue books with audio, but all in all, not much. That's the one language I don't/can't listen to.

Special mention though for one of my favorite pieces: a sung(?) recitation of the Song of the Three Kingdoms by a Sibe speaker:

Latin
Much better than Manchu but still very limited. I sometimes listen to the Quomodo dicitur podcast but I can't say I find it very compelling. Bedwere has produced some very fine recordings at Librivox and I have listened to many hours of them. There are also a few news podcasts (the now defunct Finnish Nuntii Latini, the Vatican one, etc.).

Ladino
Lots to listen to but the total amount of what's available online would probably seem ridiculously low to anyone learning a big (or even not so big) language.
There is a weekly 1-hour radio show broadcasted by an Israeli radio, Kan Ladino. The actual amount of spoken Ladino varies each week.

Other than that, some youtube channels have a decent amount of content: Eliezer Papo, Itsik Levi, Ladino21.

There is also a growing corpus of interviews with native speakers from Istanbul at VLACH.

Some time ago, the Turkish weekly Shalom has started adding audio for some of their articles (I posted about it here).

Yiddish
There's a lot to listen to but do not expect regular podcasts on a wide variety of topics!

Archive of the Forverts radio hour.
The Argentinian branch of the YIVO has (had?) a regular Yiddish segment: new site, old site.
Australian radio 3ZZZ broadcasts in Yiddish every Sunday.
SBS, another Australian radio has a weekly 10-minutes Yiddish segment.
Yiddish Voice.
There is also Vaybertaytsh, a feminist podcast (caveats: non-native speakers and use of a neutral gender "zey").

The Yiddish Book Center has three massive audio collections: audiobooks, lectures recorded by the Montreal Jewish Library in the 1950s-1980s, interviews (not all of them in Yiddish).

There are also collections of interviews with native speakers like AHEYM or the ones conducted by Max Kohn.

I also occasionally listen to Hasidic shiurim or droshes. The ones delivered by Yoel Roth usually have clear audio and can be found easily on his Youtube channel.

Occitan
There are quite a few radio shows but I have to admit that I don't listen to many of them. Very often the speakers have a heavy French accent and I find that rather unpleasing (I know, beggars can't be choosers but still...). But there are many radios broadcasting at least partly in Occitan and I have no doubt that by looking deeper I'd find more quality content.
Still, here are a couple I listen to: Un cop parleron (Languedocian), Meitat chen, meitat porc (Limousin).

OC tele (a web based tv channel) regularly adds new content.

I also make extensive use of "collectages" (material collected from native speakers of an endangered language):
- Occitan Aveyron is great
- CORDAE-La Talvera

The Archives départementales du Cantal have put online many hours of recordings, mainly readings by Jean Vézole. I have posted about here.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby nooj » Mon May 25, 2020 12:12 pm

Very often the speakers have a heavy French accent and I find that rather unpleasing (I know, beggars can't be choosers but still...).


Out of interest, is this something you feel for other languages? If you hear French speakers speaking big languages like English, German, Spanish etc with a heavy French accent, is that cringy for you?
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زندگی را با عشق
نوش جان باید کرد

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guyome
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Mon May 25, 2020 1:35 pm

Interesting question, I've never really thought about that.

I have more "data" about French people speaking English than speaking German or Spanish but I'd say that I'm less bothered by heavy French accents in English (there's a limit of course, at some point it can become painful to hear). I guess part of the reason would be that in these situations English was spoken for utilitarian reasons: we needed to speak English because that was the only language everyone in the room had in common.
On the other hand, when I'm listening to French speakers speaking in Occitan I do it because I love the language. They could communicate better in French and I would understand them better also. In this case, the whole speaking/listening Occitan thing is an entirely gratuitous act. There is technically no need for Occitan there and I listen to them in no small part because they are speaking in Occitan. I guess that, subconsciously at least, this makes the language and its quality much more central and important to me than in other situations.

But I may be drawing too clear a line between the two cases here. I wouldn't say that language quality doesn't count when I listen to French speakers of English and that it is, on the other hand, vital in the case of French speakers of Occitan. I've listened to plenty of Occitan speakers with a clear French accent without being particularly annoyed by that. Only in some cases do I really find it grating.
Maybe a finer criterion than just "accent" is needed here. Maybe my reaction is triggered by some specific phonems, some prosodical phenomenon? I don't know (but I've noticed for instance that in the case of Yiddish spoken by English speakers the presence of the common English /r/ is something that really jumps at me while other things I don't mind as much).
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