Guyome's log

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

Postby guyome » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:59 am

cjareck wrote:My teacher was teaching a Classical one and advocated strongly for that saying that it is the "purest and the best".
It seems to me that this kind of jugement can be approached from several angles:
1) Classical Latin, whether narrowly (1st c. BC) or broadly defined (1st c. BC-2nd c. AD), was written by native speakers. As such, it is indeed a more legitimate model than what Medieval authors have produced
2) at the same time, this raises the question, why are Classicists so unwilling to deal with authors like Minucius Felix or Lactantius, who were native speakers and wrote in very good Classical Latin?
3) As long as we're comparing native speakers, what does "purest and best" even really mean? Is Shakespeare's English purer and better than Wordsworth's? Where do we draw the line between an author being objectively better than another and simple personal preference?

So, in the end, it seems to me that the "purest Latin" argument doesn't really explain the disdain Classicists have for anything written after 150 AD. I would be inclined to explain this by the fact that Classicists' main interest lies in Pagan Rome, so Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Lactantius, Jerome or Augustine are of no interest to them, regardless of their Latin style. This is of course perfectly fine, nobody can or has to be interested in everything. But then, you don't get to play the "best Latin" card if your criteria for what constitutes the "best Latin" are mostly cultural/historical rather than linguistic.
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Iversen
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby Iversen » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:20 am

When I followed courses in Latin long ago I was taught 'Modified Classical Latin' - which means that we used texts with v's and other late modifications of the Roman orthography (albeit not j's, and we normally didn't mark long and short vowels as in modern editions of the classical authors). Nevertheless all out texts were classical ones. And of course we weren't encouraged to learn to write or speak actively in Latin, apart from short strictly regulated translation exercises. We should only fold our hands and read the venerable old guys. Gosh..

I then forgot all about Latin for many years, and when I returned to the language around 2010 I still used the modified orthography, but I do pronounce hard c's and diphtong ae and oe's inside my head. I have however tried to add medieval texts to my repertoire, and - oh, horror - I have also used Neolatin sources like the Ephemeridae. The problem was that the updates of this otherwise promising internet newspaper came more and more slovenly,so today I rarely use it, nor other Neolatin sources - but I have retained the irreverent attitude towards the Latin of former times. If I want to write about astronomy I can't accept to use a word like astrologus about astronomers, and I have to find simple words for modern things like computering - long circumlocutions using only attested vocabulary aren't practical. And I definitely write shorter and simpler sentences than those produced by medieval chroniclers. So you could call me a stubborn eclecticist with no desire to be pure.
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Ezra
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby Ezra » Thu Dec 31, 2020 10:37 am

guyome wrote:I would be inclined to explain this by the fact that Classicists' main interest lies in Pagan Rome, so Tertullian, Minucius Felix, Lactantius, Jerome or Augustine are of no interest to them, regardless of their Latin style.
Augustine's Latin is fabulous, and if I were to choose someone to imitate I would pick him any day instead of Cicero.
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1000 pages in Latin: 759 / 1000
1000 pages in Hebrew: 891 / 1000
5000 pages in Italian: 509 / 5000

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

Postby guyome » Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:36 am

2020 in review
I joined this forum exactly a year ago, so now's a good time for some looking back and some planning ahead.

This year has been a rather crappy one on a personal level but it has fared much better language-wise. While I don't feel I've done as much as I could have and don't have a lot to show for it, I nevertheless feel I was more active than in previous years. I attribute most of this renewed activity to the forum. I always find it inspiring to see other people moving towards their goals and discussing their ups and downs. It definitely feels like this place manages to create a healthy spirit of emulation, without any competitive mindset rearing its ugly head. For that, many thanks to everybody here!

The Good
I brought Occitan (Languedocian) from half-understanding wjhat I read, relying mostly on the similarity with French, to being able to read whole books confortably. Vocab is still an issue of course, but not to the point that it would prevent me from reading with pleasure.

I restarted learning Persian, after at least two unsuccessfull attempts around 2006 and 2014. These two attempts were in no way useless though, since some basic knowledge sticked with me through the years. After a couple of months of dedicated study (2-3h/day), I'm now further along the line that I've ever been before. That's still a long way from enjoying native material with ease though.

Ladino wasn't scheduled for 2020 but I restarted/solidified it, after having worked through Varol's textbook in 2018. The situation now is more or less the same as Languedocian: I can read (in Rashi too) and listen to the various podcasts floating around (mainly Eliezer Papo on the Meam Loez) with a high degree of comprehension, but there's still a lot of room for improvement.


The Bad(?)
Maybe I could have put Latin in The Good category. I feel like I've read slightly more than in the previous years and that my reading speed and ease have improved a bit. I worked through a few beginners'/intermediate resources though, with the explicit goal of developing active skills, and I've failed. That's probably due to some motivation problem, more than to a lack of resources: I'd like to write in Latin, it's such a beautiful language, but, in the end, cui bono?

Gascon has fallen victim of Persian. My goal of studying it further and trying to develop active skills is still there but it will have to wait until I feel more confident with Persian.

Manchu has had its moments: I managed to read some consistently during our first lockdown, around April, and during summer. Overall though, I wasn't consistent enough and I can feel it now that I go back to it: I keep checking words I know I've encountered many times before and I feel rusty.

I couldn't refrain from some wandering around but I don't think it was that bad. Sure, it detracted me from working on my main languages but it's also something I need. I just enjoy spending a few days,a couple of weeks, working on a new language and reading about the history and the area it is spoken in.

The Ugly
It feels like I've done very little with Yiddish this year. And, to be honest, I'm not sure this is going to change in the foreseeable future. At the moment, I just don't feel like spending time on it. There's a very rich literature, no doubt, but it's not what I want to read now. The lack of interesting audio material is also a problem.

I'll post about some goals (or rather some tentative ideas for 2021) later!
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby Valerius » Fri Jan 01, 2021 10:34 am

Salve Guyome!

Si vales, bene est. Mihi anno proximo perplacuit litteras tuas legere, et anno praesente quoque laete praestolor de linguas tuas rursus legiturum esse.

Gratias tibi ago, quod tam iucunde interrogationes meas respondisti, ac exopto et incolumis et hilaris sis.
Precor, ut hic annus tibi laetis auguriis ineat, laetoribus procedat, laetissimis exeat, acsaepius recurat semper felicior.
Cura, ut valeas!
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Fri Jan 01, 2021 6:28 pm

guyome wrote:And even if we hold Medieval Latin to the standards of Classical Latin, there are plenty of good works and very competent authors. Probably more than there have been in the last decades of our philologically enlightened ages.

I know it's generally just a joke but sometimes this "Medieval Latin is just bad Latin" thing gets on my nerves, so pardon my soapboxing :oops:
Forgive me if you have covered this before or if you already know this site, but here are links to a chunk of medieval Latin texts. Some are just unadorned chronicles (Gesta Romanorum or Gesta Francorum), for example, but Dante's Latin is said to be excellent.
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Tu sabes cuando sales pero no sabes cuando regresas.

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

Postby guyome » Sat Jan 02, 2021 8:28 am

Valerius wrote:Salve Guyome! (...)
Salve Valeri!

Magnum mihi attulisti gaudium, dicens meas humillimas epistolas legere tibi placuisse. Spero anno bis millesimo vicesimo uno et me novas epistolas scripsurum et te eas satis jucundas existimaturum esse.
Ego quoque felicem annum novum tibi exopto. Sit hic annus tibi gaudio! Ferat tibi omnia quae vis omniaque quibus egeas!
MorkTheFiddle wrote:Forgive me if you have covered this before or if you already know this site, but here are links to a chunk of medieval Latin texts. Some are just unadorned chronicles (Gesta Romanorum or Gesta Francorum), for example, but Dante's Latin is said to be excellent.
Hi MorkTheFiddle!

Yes, I already know about the website but thank you for bringing it up. Some of the texts have a few typos but it is overall a great resource and I have used it quite often in the past.
The Gesta Romanorum is great. Definitely unadorned, but a good read and a fine introduction to the Medieval mind. Which reminds me of something Iversen touches upon (if I read him well!) in his post above and something I wanted to answer him about but it got lost in the New Year's Eve business: style is only part of the equation, content is important too. Classicists insist in Classical Latin being the best and purest but, even if we may agree on that, this alone would still not justify spending time studying Classical texts only. I don't read for style only and I guess not many are.
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sat Jan 02, 2021 5:03 pm

2021(?)
Long-term goals are not really my thing, so let's say the following are more short- or maybe mid-term declarations of intent :D

The main thing will be to keep studying Persian, at least to the point where I can shift from textbook study and reading-with-a-dictionary to enjoying material in a more natural way.
In concrete terms, this means going back to actively studying DLI as soon as my Chaghatai interlude is over (probably next week).

I also want to push Manchu further. I can read quite well already but I'm slightly dissatisfied with my vocab (or rather, lack thereof), especially when reading certain authors/genres. Consequently, the goal is to read more and more regularly, maybe even doing some dedicated word study, in order to expand my vocab and finally nail these annoying words I keep looking up and forgetting after a few days.
Concretely, I think I will start reading a work that can easily be divided into daily sections of an appropriate size (around 5/10 pages), the goal being to tackle one section a day for, let's say, two weeks or a month, and then move on to another text. I hope this will prove more efficient than my reading 500 pages over a few days every 4 months.

Other than that, the idea is to keep a decent level of Latin reading and Occitan reading+listening.

Wanderlust is bound to happen. Whether I can resist its call remains to be seen. Reading a lot of Manchu generally makes me want to take up Classical Chinese again...
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guyome
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby guyome » Sun Jan 03, 2021 5:30 pm

Chaghatay
Lessons 7-8.

Maybe it's only self-fulfilling prophecy but I found these lessons much less pleasant to work through. Only ten lines to read and fifty unknown words is no recipe for enjoyement.

That's compounded by the fact that there is a number of small hiccups in the material (especially in lesson 8). Nothing that some thinking or spending time with Ctrl+F cannot solve but these are annoying nevertheless. For instance:
- typos/errors in the main text p. 55 (yakšanba waqi'asi appears at the end of l.1 but should be at the beginning of the text; l.2 bir should be birlä). The transliteration on p. 63 is correct though
- sentences using the -ki suffix without it having been introduced (käntdäki, ṭarafdaki)
- words not given in the vocab list (bašla-; imārat). They appear in the glossary though (and, for imārat, in the examples)
- words used with a new meaning but no explanation (čiq- introduced in lesson 5 with the meaning "to enter/climb", apparently also means "to leave/go out")
- words used slightly differently than the glossary would have you expect (-gha qadar "up to" appears once as just qadar in the text; X-din ziyāda "more than X" is used with the possessive X-din ziyādasi)
- examples using words that have not yet been seen and are not introduced in the lesson at hand (yan- "to return", ket- "to go").

Manchu

I have begun my new daily reading schedule with something rather un-Manchu: a commented edition of the Confucian classic Mencius. I have been wanting to read some of it for some time now and the text plus commentary comes in convenient short sections of around 10 Manchu pages (that's around 3 of our pages, I'd say). As its title indicates, this 1677 edition was done for the express purpose of daily study, how convenient!

The first section is about Mencius berating King Hui of Liang for mentioning profit instead of focusing on gosin (humaneness/Ch. ren and jurgan (righteousness/Ch. yi). If the king seeks profit, everybody will follow suit and the kingdom will collapse.
I'm rather fond of this section, if only because it opens Dawson's A New Introduction to Classical Chinese and is thus the first Classical Chinese text I ever read (studied) in the original.

I find Confucian texts soothing in a way, with their description of what an ideal kingdom could and should be, benevolent rulers, dutiful officials, and happy commoners, all of them striving joyously towards the common good. After some time though, this gets a bit tedious. We'll see if reading in Manchu makes me stick to it longer.

Link to a scan of the book: Inenggidari giyangnaha sy šu i jurgan be suhe bithe (Ch. 日講四書解義).

Persian
I have reviewed some DLI lessons and read another tale extensively (around 50 new words jotted down).
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vonPeterhof
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Re: Guyome's log [LAD, LAT, MAN, OCC, PER, YID]

Postby vonPeterhof » Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:38 am

guyome wrote:- sentences using the -ki suffix without it having been introduced (käntdäki, ṭarafdaki)
- words not given in the vocab list (bašla-; imārat). They appear in the glossary though (and, for imārat, in the examples)
- words used with a new meaning but no explanation (čiq- introduced in lesson 5 with the meaning "to enter/climb", apparently also means "to leave/go out")
- words used slightly differently than the glossary would have you expect (-gha qadar "up to" appears once as just qadar in the text; X-din ziyāda "more than X" is used with the possessive X-din ziyādasi)
- examples using words that have not yet been seen and are not introduced in the lesson at hand (yan- "to return", ket- "to go").[b]

This is what I meant when I was talking about how I can't judge the book from the perspective of someone new to Turkic languages, as most of these things are so common across the family tree I didn't even realize that they hadn't been properly introduced in the book itself. And yeah I forgot about the typos and mismatches between the texts and their transcriptions, those were a bit annoying.
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