Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:30 pm


A few days ago, I finished reading Enric Mouly's En Tutant lo grelh (1965). The last part of the book was slightly less interesting but it was still a good read. He touches briefly upon the rivalry and disagreements between the Grelh and the then newly-created Institut d'Estudis Occitans (IEO).
The Grelh was part of the Félibrige movement and thus seen as too folklorist, passeist, bourgeois by some young Occitanists in the post-war years. The IEO was created in 1945 and later became a major player. People like R. Lafont, M. Rouquette, J. Bodon, Y. Rouquette, J. Larzac (to name only a few) were generally more socially, politically engaged and wanted Occitan literature to become more radical, more experimental. They were very active and really gave a new impulse to Occitan literature and activism.
The two movements, Félibrige and IEO, still exist today and although things may have changed a bit over the years (with the IEO becoming less radical and disdainful of folklore), it seems to me that the differences are still there.

Then, I read Joan Claudi Sèrras's Masquetas e mariotas, a collection of fantastic and anticipation(?) short stories published in 1985. I really enjoyed some of these.

Here is the beginning of the first story:
Dins mon païs se'n parleja totjorn entre las dents de la Felia, la filha des Estanhs...

Bèl temps a... Quant? O sabi pas dire, los autres tanpauc. Es la Loira – una menina qu'encara corrís, qu'es totjorn coma èra: un paqueton d'òsses enropat de negre – que la trobèt dins lo bòsc que ribeja l'Estanh Vièlh. Boscalhava coma cada jorn quand l'avisèt, aquela drolleta nusa que dormissiá nisada dins las falguièras. Es pas aisit d'aver mai de detalhs: la Loira es muda. E puèi tot lo mond n'a un pauc paur, e mai siá pas missanta, qu'es una armièra: lèva los sòrts e sap esfaçar jos las parpelhas los images que los cachavièlhas i an doblidat; n'i a tanben que van al seu ostal la nuèit de Totsants per far parlar los mòrts: pareis qu'aquela nuèit de la boca de la Loira sortís una votz rauca que te sanglaça. I soi pas jamai anat: ieu pensi que los mòrts, las trèvas, las paurs, los cal daissar en patz. Los vius tanben. Es per aquò que soi pas talament parlaire. Disi bonjorn, dubrissi los uèlhs e sosqui...

La drolleta, que portava dins son faudal, la Loira la prenguèt al seu ostal. La pichona ne sortiguèt pas d'un an. Degun anèt véser çò que li fasiá la Loira.

Un matin, la dròlla foguèt defòra: marchava en s'arrapant pels cotilhons de la vièlha. Èra polida, lo pèl rossèl, los uèlhs clars coma l'aiga, lo morre un bocinèl pigalhat, las cambas linjas jos un pelhòt blanc sens forma. D'aquel jorn se metèt a seguir la Loira de pertot, a l'òrt, dins lo bòsc, a la messa, sens daissar de tener los cotilhons de la vièlha.

Disiá pas res aquela nena: seriá muda coma la Loira? Pauruga de segur: quand qualqu'un s'aprochava, s'amagava la cara dins lo faudal de la Loira... (...)

In my village, people always whishper about Felia, the girl of the Ponds...

A long time ago... How long? I can't say, nor can the others. It's Loira – an old lady who still runs, who's still as she was: a small bundle of bones wrapped in black – who found her in the woods alongside the Old Pond. She was gathering old wood as she did every day, when she noticed her, this little girl, naked, sleeping among the ferns. It's not easy to learn more than that: Loira is mute. And also, everyone is a bit scared of her, even if she's not a bad person, because she's a witch: she removes curses and knows how to erase images nightmares leave under eyeslids; some also go at her place on All-Saints night to have dead people talk: it is said that on this night a hoarse voice comes out of Loira's mouth, a voice that makes your blood freeze. I never went there: me, I think that dead people, spectres, ghosts, they should be left in peace. Same for the living. That's why I not much of a talker. I say hello, I keep my eyes open and I ponder...

The little girl, carried in her apron, Loira took her into her house. The small girl didn't get out for a year. Nobody went to see what Loira was doing to her.

One morning, the girl was outside: she was walking, clutching to the old woman's dress. She was cute, redheaded, her eyes as clear as water, her face somewhat freckled, her legs slim under a small, shapeless white rag. From this day on, she started following Loira everywhere, into the garden, into the woods, to mass, without ever letting go of the old woman's dress.

She didn't say anything, this little girl: might she be mute like Loira? Fearful, that's for sure: when somebody would come close, she would hide her face in Loira's apron... (...)
Words jotted down for memorisation: a l'abroa, baldra/baudra, singlar, rebalar, galòi, ufanós, udolar, pivelar, trigossar, ponde.

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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:27 pm

Occitan or Gascon vs. Languedocian: The Great Reckoning

Read Jòc òrre, a translation of Joc brut, a crime novel by the Catalan author Manuel de Pedrolo (1918-1990). A really enjoyable crime novel.

I have completed lesson 49 of Assimil, which means I'll now leave Assimil behind and face a choice as to which dialect I should focus on for active practice. If you've read my posts above (and if you haven't, what were you doing?), you know I have settled upon two possibilities: going on with Languedocian (while focussing on Rouergat for active practice) or shifting to the Gascon dialect in its Bearnese variety (not that there is in fact a truly homogeneous Bearnese variety).

As I see it now, here are the pros and cons of each:
Rouergat Languedocian
+ it's not that different from the Literary Languedocian I studied so far, so it would more be about changing some things than sudying from scratch
- limited resources (especially audio, but also reference works, etc.), but the high proximity with Literary Languedocian kind of solves the problem in some way

Bearnese Gascon
+ more resources (audio, reference works,...), making it an easier target for deeper study and active use
+ I want to sudy it anyway
- quite different from Languedocian, which means 1) more work in the beginning (not really a problem, though) and 2) putting Languedocian on hold for some time since I don't see myself studying these two at the same time.

How different are they and why don't I want to study both at the same time?
Well, it is of course difficult to answer but I thought it might be nice to show some extracts taken from a primary school maths textbook, which exists in Gascon, Languedocian and Limousin versions. I'm not entirely sure the Gascon here is Bearnese but I'd say it's close enough to my untrained eyes. I think listing the differences between each versions shows quite well why, while they might be considered close, I still find them different enough. Too many "close but different" things and too many real differences in basic vocab, verbal forms and syntax. Trying to develop active competences in both dialects at the same time seems to me like a recipe for disaster.
GA Dessenha los punts suu dat roi tad aver 5 punts en tot. Qu'i pòt aver dats shens nat punt.
LG Dessenha los punts sul dat roge per aver 5 punts en tot. I pòt avet de dats sens punt.
- suu/sul: contraction for sus lo "on the", suu is pronounced /su/ and not /sy:/ as the spelling would make you think
- roi/roge "red": close enough but different, different but close enough
- tad/per "to/for": Bearnese entà/tà (tad before vowels) is unknown in Languedocian
- qu'i pòt/i pòt "it is possible": enunciative particle que is almost mandatory in Bearnese for affirmative sentences. Used less the further north you go in Gascony, and not really used at all in other Occitan dialects
- dats/de dats "dices": presence/absence of the indefinite plural article is variable in Languedocian so here it is probably just the translators' choice rather than a difference between the two dialects
- shens/sens "whitout": close enough but different, different but close enough
- nat (fém. nada): really common in Gascon, not so much in Languedocian
GA L'Artús e la Zoe que començan ua partida deu jòc "Dètz hens la boieta".
Entorneja lo nombre de getons que i avèra hens la boeita quan la Zoe aja hicat lo son geton.
LG Artús e Zoè començan una partida del jòc "dètz dins la boita".
Enròda lo nombre de getons que i aurà dins la boita quand Zoè aurà mes son geton.
- L'Artús/Artús: the definite article before a name is common too in Lg, translator's choice apparently
- que començan/començan "they begin": Ga enunciative particle
- ua/una "a": loss of intervocalic /n/ is a distinctive feature of Ga
- deu/del: also -u for -l in some Lg subdialects; in Ga the pronunciation here is /du/ not /deu/
- hens/dins "in": Ga also uses dens, but I'm not sure if dins is used
- boeita/boita: close enough but different, different but close enough
- entorneja/enròda "circle!": fwiw, a veeery quick look at the dictionary tells me that enrodar exists too in Ga but with a slightly different meaning ("to surround")
- avèra/aurà "will have": slightly different formation of the future tense
- quan/quand "when": here qu- is pronounced /kw/ in Ga and /k/ in Lg
- aja hicat/aurà mes "will have put": subjunctive used in subordinate clauses instead of future tense is a distinctive Bearnese feature
- hicar/metre "to put": Ga prefers to use hicar (as far as I can see) even if it also has méter (=metre)
GA L'Artús e la Zoe hèn a "Que'n cau ueit". L'Artús que plaça imatges sus ua linha e la Zoe qu'a de díser quant ne mancan tà n'aver exactament 8.
Escriu a cada còp lo nombre que la Zoe deu díser.
Qu'èi dejà hicat 3 getons.
LG Artús e Zoè jògan a "Ne cal 8". Artús plaça d'imatges sus una linha e Zoè deu dire quantes ne manca per n'aver exactament 8.
Escriu a cada còp lo nombre que Zoè deu dire.
Ai ja mes 3 getons.
- Gascon enunciative que: multiple examples
- hèn a/jògan: jogar also exists in Gascon. Translator's choice?
- ua/una
- díser/dire: close enough but different, different but close enough
- quant/quantes "how many": marking the plural can also be omitted in Lg
- tà/per: Bearnese entà/tà (tad before vowels) is unknown in Languedocian
- qu'èi/ai "I have": enunciative + slightly different form of the verb
- dejà/ja: close enough but different, different but close enough
GA Entorneja las cartas qui cau préner tad aver exactament 10 cerisas.
Qu'ei l'exercici medish. Tròba ua navèra solucion.
LG Enròda las cartas que cal prene per aver exactament 10 cerièras.
Es lo meteis exercici. Tròba una novèla solucion.
- qui/que: the relative pronoun in Bearnese is always qui, always que in Lg
- tad/per "to/for": Bearnese entà/tà (tad before vowels) is unknown in Languedocian
- cerisas/cerièras: close enough but different, different but close enough
- qu'ei/es: enunciative + slightly different form of the verb
- medish/meteis: close enough but different, different but close enough
- navèra/novèla: close enough but different, different but close enough
Ga-Lg.jpg (201.89 KiB) Viewed 507 times
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby PfifltriggPi » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:46 pm

Interesting. I added Joc brut to my list of books to get once I get around to reading extensively in Catalan again, so I thank you for that recommendation. That brief comparison of dialects was rather interesting to read. How different is Gascon from Aranese? Given the relatively high official status of the latter, there are, from what I aware, a surprisingly large amount of resources for it, at leased compared to its relatively small size, although I have not yet much looked into it. This could well make your decision somewhat easier, although I am quite sure you have already thought of that.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:45 am

Joc Brut is probably not going to rock your world but, yes, I found it to be a good page-turner!
How different is Gascon from Aranese?
Well, Aranese is a form of Gascon so it's more about how close Aranese is to other Gascon varieties. Of course, I don't have enough knowledge of Gascon subdialects to really answer but based on what I read here and there, I'd say Aranese is quite close to other Gascon varieties spoken in the Pyrénées.

For instance, the name "Bearnese" I used above is kind of a misnomer and exists for reasons that are more historical than linguistic. There is no unified Bearnese subdialect and various forms of Gascon are spoken in Bearn. The variety spoken in the south shares some traits with Aranese that do not exist further up north, like the use of eth/era instead of lo/la as the definite article and the use of the subjunctive instead of the future in subordinate clauses. Aranese also shares the pronunciation of inter vocalic -v- as /w/ with neighboring Mountain Gascon varietes in Comminges and Couserans, while in Bearn it's realised as /b/ (as in most of the Languedocian area).
So, yeah, I'd say that learning any Gascon variety used in the Pyrénées (be it in Bearn, Comminges or Couserans) is going to get you quite close to Aranese. A quick look into my Bearnese textbook and Aranese grammatical charts shows some difference in the verbal system though but the most obvious difference between Aranese and other Gascon varieties might be the influence of Castilian/Catalan on vocabulary and pronounciation.

All the above for what it's worth as I really am no expert on the matter!
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby Valerio » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:52 pm

guyome wrote:Manchu/Sibe
I was asked by Valerio if studying Sibe would help with Manchu and thought it'd be nice to write something about this topic even if I don't deem myself particularly knowledgeable when it comes to such matters.

Tam iucunde scripsisti! Baniha!
2) more important, there isn't really enough material in English to really learn Sibe to a high level. Because of that, and even if the two were close enough to warrant perfect understanding, studying the limited Sibe materials you can find online may not be enough to really bust your understanding of Manchu. As far as texts are concerned, there are far more books available online in Manchu than in Sibe. As far as audio is concerned, there is more Sibe stuff but we're talking about a ridiculous amount (maybe less than 10/20 hours) so it may not matter that much.

Edepol. Ergo quaererem, an, si linguam Sibam discerem, mihi auxilo esset linguam Mandschuicam discere.

As some sort of test, I chose a random Sibe text from the Cabcal Serkin, the only Sibe newspaper (July 17, 2015 issue). I think it shows quite well the kind of problem a reader of Manchu can encounter when reading Sibe and why knowing one may not always be of that much help when reading the other.
Jakūci niru gūsai amtangga bolimo urgunggei elgiyen bargiyaha
A large amount of tasty corn of the 8th Company Banner is joyously harvested

- bolimo "corn" would not be found in Classical Manchu dictionaries
- elgiyen, "plentiful/abundant" in Classical Manchu, seems to be used as an adverb here: "abundantly"
- urgunggei "joyously"(?), not in CM dictionaries but can be derived from urgungge "joyous".

Coming from Classical Manchu, the first part of the article was not too difficult to read but it still required extra knowledge and some educated guesses. Because of some vocab items, the end of the article is more difficult even if the general meaning seems to be that appropriate mesures were taken to ensure the income of workers and farmers. It is of course entirely possible that spending a little more time on the text would help. It is also possible that this result is mostly due to my lack of knowledge rather than to any real difference between Sibe and Manchu. Nevertheless, I think somebody used to reading Manchu texts from the Qing dynasty would run into similar problems.

Perplacet comparationem tuam legere. Credo apte te monstravisse quomodo linguas duas inter se differuntur.

Licetne pergere de lingua Mandschuica rogare?

Credis linguae Mandschuicae discipulus auxilio esse, si linguam audit, etiamsi non nativus exempli gratia librum Mandschuicum praelegit?

Scisne ubi accentus verbi est?
(Hic nil inveni.)

Estne exempli gratia 'bíthe' vel 'bithé' ?

At, scisne quomodo in Sina linguam Mandschuicam docetur? In vicipedia legi, et nunc scholae in Sina sunt, in quibus Mandschuicam docetur. Scisne, an magis ad linguae discendum in linguam Singam est? (Si nescis, fortasse rogabo, si aliquem, qui linguam Sinam novit, magis de hac res invenire potest.)

Hic breve de linguae Mandschuicae historia scripta est:
A Profile of The Manchu Language in Ch'ing History
Pamela Kyle Crossley and Evelyn S. Rawski ... b_contents

Nescio, an placeat, sed ego laete legi.

Cura, ut valeas mente corporeque.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:51 am

Gaudeo te aliquid utile in meis scriptis invenisse!
Credis linguae Mandschuicae discipulus auxilio esse, si linguam audit, etiamsi non nativus exempli gratia librum Mandschuicum praelegit?
Sic puto. Melius esset, si homines 'ab ovo' Mandschuice loquentes adhuc haberemus. Audire tamen homines Sibeice loquentes (et alios quoque, qui linguam Mandschuicam didicerunt) utile esse potest.

Scisne ubi accentus verbi est?
(Hic nil inveni.)
Estne exempli gratia 'bíthe' vel 'bithé' ?
Nescio. Sed, ut plus scias de his rebus, tibi legenda est Briani Tawney MA thesis, cui titulus Reading Jakdan's Poetry: An Exploration of Literary Manchu Phonology, specialiter paginas 67-76, in quibus tractatur de prosodia.

At, scisne quomodo in Sina linguam Mandschuicam docetur?
Vide pelliculam cinematographicam Manchu Studies Day, in qua discipula Universitatis Leidensis de lingua Mandschuica hodierna in Sinis discenda loquitur.

Plura scripturus sum hodie et de pronunciatu et de libris ad linguam discendam Sinice scriptis, sed Anglice faciam, ut omnes hic legere possint.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:46 pm


Following on an exchange with Valerio, here is a list of resources one could use to work on Manchu/Sibe pronounciation (also useful for more general purposes, of course). My comments are for what they're worth, it's not a subject I've really studied since I never had plans to actually use the language in speech.

Some resources seem to make use of a sort of oratio plena, i. e. the audio reflects the text as written rather than the natural Sibe pronunciation. As if an English speaker were careful about saying "going to" when reading a text aloud, instead of his/her normal "gonna".

- V. Zikmundová, Spoken Sibe (2013). A linguistic description of Sibe morphology. I have never used it but it should be a very useful resource
- Sibe Nikan gisun tacire bithe/锡汉会话 (1992). Thirty Sibe dialogues with Chinese translation. I have audio for the first seven of them (around 30 minutes)
- Jin Ning, Sibe-English Conversations (1993). Thirty dialogues in Sibe phonetic transcription and English. A reworked version of 锡汉会话, the dialogues being close but not identical. No audio that I know of
- シベ語の基礎 (2011). A Japanese textbook. Sibe in phonetic transcription
- has quite a few Sibe videos
- 锡伯朱伦-红楼梦 (part 1, part 2, part 3). Beginning of the Sibe translation of the Story of the Stone/Dream of the Red Chamber, around 70 minutes in all. Especially useful if you also have the text to follow (I can post it later if needed).

Two Sibe manuals in Chinese. I can't say much about them. Probably useful since they use phonetic transcriptions:
- 锡伯语口语研究 (1984)
- 锡伯语简志 (1983)

Modern Manchu
Manchu as spoken in the village of Sanjiazi (Ma. Ilan boo) has been studied at various points during the 20th and 21st c. because it is one of the last places in Manchuria where the languages was spoken.

- Kim Juwon et al., Materials of spoken Manchu (2008). Nice description of the language, with sections on phonology, morphology, wordlists, dialogues...Based on the speech of one(!) informant, a 73 year-old semi-native speaker
- 恩和巴图着满语口语研究. Based on material collected in Sanjiazi in 1961, so at a time when quite a few native speakers were still around, but published only in the 1990s because of the Cultural Revolution. Sections on the differences between written Manchu and Sanjiazi Manchu; collected material; glossary
- 现代满语八百句 (1989). 800 sentences in both Written Manchu and Sanjiazi Manchu. No audio that I know of
- 满语365句录音 (2009). 365 sentences grouped around 18 topics. Audio available but seems to be "read as written" rather than Sanjiazi Manchu?

Classical Manchu
I don't think anyone has come up with a fully functional scheme for the pronounciation of Classical (17-19th c.) Manchu. As far as I can see, our knowledge remains fragmentary. The fact that there probably was a lot of variation over time and space doesn't help.

- Roth-Li's Manchu: A Textbook for Reading Documents (2000 and 2010) has a section on pronounciation which can serve as a starting point
- Liliya M. Gorelova's Manchu Grammar (2002) has a more detailed section on phonology
- Brian Tawney's Reading Jakdan's poetry (2007) will point you to 17-19th c. sources (so I won't list them here), as well as offer his own study and conclusions
- Behe, Manju gisun be ja i gisurere bithe/清语易言 (1766). Not mentioned in the preceding work, which is why I put it here. Many examples of how Written Manchu words should actually be pronounced.

Not exactly related to the above but here are a few Chinese textbooks which don't look that useful to me but may help in some way:
- 满语语法爱新觉罗乌拉熙春 (1980s)
- 满语读本 (1985)
- 简明满文文法 (2002)
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:37 am


I have started studying Gascon more actively using Lo Gascon lèu e plan, a seemingly very decent course published in 1977. More on that later.

I read Pèire Gougaud's L'Uèlh de la font (1977, 215 p.). It's basically about village life and civilisation in the author's birthplace, Brenac. It doesn't feel like 'just' a book of souvenirs though. In some chapters, the author is speaking but in others he has villagers speak, as if gathered around the fire, some chapters are tales. All in all, it feels somewhat more like a prose poem, an ode to his village and its people, than just memoirs.

One chapter is about witchcraft and superstitions. It reminded me of the word armièra I read not long ago in Sèrras' Masquetas e mariotas (see above). I had some trouble to find the word in dictionaries and settled for "witch" in my translation but reading L'Uèlh de la font highlighted that this is not right. Basically, in some parts of Languedoc, three different types of people existed:
- the bruèis/bruèissa, the actual "witch" who does bad things to others
- the endevinaire/endevinaira, the "soothsayer/healer", basically the guy who can identify and solve problems caused by the bruèis
- the armièr/armièra (from arma "soul", I guess), the "soul-guy", i. e. the link between the dead and the living. Is born on All Saints' Day (Nov. 1) or on the Day of the Dead (Nov. 2) or during Midnight Mass.

Here are a couple of extracts from L'Uèlh de la font which shows the difference between the first two:
Que faguem o que diguem avèm cregut al bruèis e a la bruèissa. Cada còp que la paura mamà vesiá un cambitòrt, un garralong o un qu'avià la perpèlha rogenca, se disiá : "Aquel n'es un". E s'en tirava luènh. (p. 179)

No matter what, we've believed in witches. Each time my mother saw someone who was lame or had long legs, or someone who had a reddish eyelid, she thought: "This is one of them". And she got away from him.

Quand lo paure pepin veniá d'abeurar, vos parli d'un ramat d'ans, passava las cadenas al còl de las vacas per las estacar, coma se fa. Quand èra sul pas de la pòrta de l'estable, las cadenas se destacavan e se demoravan penjadas al rastelièr. Tornava estacar e las cadenas tornavan tombar. Aquò durèt una brava setmana. Lo pepin agafèt la fotra. A fórça de perpensar s'en anèt trobar un amic de la montanha que disían un pauc endevinaire e li contèt la causa. Aqueste amic li balhèt un secrèt e, que volgètz o non, d'aquel jorn, las vacas se demorèron estacadas. (p. 181)

When my grand-father finished watering [his cows] – I'm talking about many years ago – he put chains on the cows' neck to bind them, as is done. When he was on the threshold of the stable, the chains would get loose and remain hanging from the rack. He'd fasten them again, and again the chains would fall. This lasted for more than a week. My grand-father got angry. After much thinking, he went to a friend of his in the mountain, who was thought to be something of an soothsayer and he told him everything. This friend gave him a secret and, believe it or not, the cows remained fastened.

I a...benlèu un vintenat d' conegut una femna que se sentissiá pas plan. Començava de dintrar dins l'atge e aviá de calors. Sofrissiá pas de res e sofrissiá de tot. Se creguèt embrueissada e anèt trobar un endevinaire. Aqueste òme la faguèt parlar e, patin cofin, la femna li confessèt que qualqu'un èra vengut al siu ostal per li crompar un bocin de prat. La femna volguèt pas vendre e lo crompaire se'n anèt en romegant. Sul còp, i faguèt pas cas, mas l'endeman aquò la tafurèt. L'endevinaire parlèt amb ela un brave pauc, la rassegurèt e li diguèt de beure, cada matin, tisana de garolha. E la femna se sentiguèt melhor. Avià parlat, avià daissat aquí son pés de crenta, s'èra desconflada. E l'autre l'aviá escotada. E i fa d'èstre escotat. Quicòm passa totjorn de l'un a l'autre. Ara, sovent, los medecins fan pas autrament. (p. 183)

Some...maybe, 20 years ago...I knew a woman who wasn't feeling well. She was getting older and felt hot flushes. She didn't suffer from anything and she suffered from everything. She thought she had been bewitched and she went to see a soothsayer. This man had her talk and, one thing leading to another, the woman admitted that someone had come to her house to buy a piece of meadow. The woman didn't want to sell and the buyer went away, grumbling. At the time, she didn't make much of it, but the day after this worried her. The soothsayer talked with her for quite a long time, reassured her and told her to drink, every morning, an infusion of garolha(?). And the woman felt better. She had had been able to talk, had left here the burden of her fear, she had let it out. And the other had listened. And it is important to be listened to. Always, something passes from one person to the other. Nowadays, often, doctors don't do any different.

Apparently, the standard work on these is Piniès J.-P., Figures de la sorcellerie languedocienne : brèish, endevinaire, armièr (1983) but since it is only partially available online, I owe my meagre knowledge to an article by C. Achard in this journal.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:46 pm

For multiple reasons I had to slow down things a bit this week but I am still going on with Occitan and other languages.


As stated in my last post, I am studying Gascon now, with active mastery as a goal. In the end, I chose Gascon over Languedocian mainly because there seems to be many more audio resources available for the former.
My experiences with Latin, Yiddish and Manchu have shown me how important it is to constantly listen to the language if you want to produce it. I do think my relative lack of Latin active skills is in no small part due to not being able to listen to the language, while on the other hand I submitted myself to a barrage of Yiddish audio for an extended period of time and found I could later use it to a decent level.
This, together with my experience getting my English to a decent level simply by reading and listening a lot, makes me think that passive reading and listening are enough to become functional in a language (B2?). Reaching higher levels (C1/C2?) will probably require active use of the language but I think you can still get pretty far without too much of this.

There are, of course, some decent audio resources in Languedocian but these are either in rather limited supply and/or not something that I really saw myself perusing every day. Gascon, on the other hand, seems to have a lot more to offer (for an endangered minority language, that is). My main resource will be the podcasts hosted by Radio Pais. There's a daily news show (Jornau), a daily talk show (Lo Gran Descluc), shows dedicated to oral memory (Oralitat e umanitat, Per sagòrra e magòrra), as well as quite a few others. And that's without even factoring in Aranese material (Eth Maitin d'Aran for instance).

My main resource to actually learn (Bearnese) Gascon is a 1970's course: Lo Gascon lèu e plan. It is out-of-print but...let's just say that the internet is a wonderful place. The audio I have is not top notch quality but it is good enough and I think it's good practice to work with challenging audio material right from the start anyway.
Over the last few weeks, I have read through a lot of the grammar explanations, which made me passively aware of where the main differences between Languedocian and Gascon lie. That kind of gave me a roadmap of what to expect and also helped me read Gascon more easily. Now, the goal is to work through the course more thoroughly and immerse myself into Gascon audio resources. I can read Gascon tolerably well already thanks to Languedocian but I'll postpone reading extensively in Gascon until later. I feel the constant reinforcement brought by extensive reading will be more useful after I have actively studied Gascon features.
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Re: Occitan, Manchu, Yiddish and Latin

Postby guyome » Sun Oct 04, 2020 11:25 am

Slow days as far as language learning is concerned. I read and/or listen to Ladino, Latin, Manchu and Yiddish regularly. Mostly from resources I have mentioned here and there in previous posts so there's not much use in me listing them again.

I have started reading an English translation of the Volsunga Saga, which rekindled my interest in Old English and Old Icelandic. Too many languages, too little time...

Most of my learning time is spent on Occitan. I read (mainly in Languedocian), work through Lo Gascon lèu e plan, and listen to Gascon podcasts.

I have finished lesson 3 of Lo Gascon lèu e plan. If I were going for passive skills only, I could go through the book much faster based on my knowledge of Languedocian. However, since I'm going for a more active mastery of Gascon, I'm taking my time, repeating the audio many, many times over a couple of days, doing every exercise thoroughly, etc.

I downloaded a few Bearnese Gason podcasts from Radio País and listen to them regularly. Right now, I'm focusing on Bearnese because that's what the textbook I use is teaching (although it mentions other variants too). At some point in the future, I'll also make use of material in other Gascon subdialects but there is a lot of variation through the Gascon area, especially in verbal forms, so I don't want to strech myself too thin at the moment.
Understanding younger people speaking on current affairs is of course easier than understanding interviews with older native speakers. I can understand a lot but far from everything. More listening and learning common words/conjugations that differ from Languedocian should go a long way towards solving this.

I quite like Lo Gascon lèu e plan so far. There are 25 lessons, each of them with a rather long dialogue, around 50 words to learn, a couple main grammar points, and a few exercises. Otherwise said, it more or less has what I like in a textbook: not too much vocab/grammar at once and, most important, a lot of repetition through rather easy material.
If you want a closer look, you can get the audio and the vocab/dialogue/grammar parts for lessons 1-5 here.

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