Lilly's log - French, Russian, Spanish and Italian

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Systematiker
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Re: Lilly's log - French and Russian

Postby Systematiker » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:02 pm

blaurebell wrote:
Systematiker wrote:It'll come back. I englished very poorly when I was in the final revisions of my dissertation (and would routinely say "I cannot English today", so it has become a verb in our house) and I still had a great deal of clutter when I first moved back.


Haha. In our house "braining" is a verb too, commonly used when too much braining has happened and all further content needs to be dumbed down for the rest of the day. It also appears in sentences excusing particularly poor language skills late at night.


We do this too! I'm often told that I need to brain more. In other fun things, we've also discovered that my wife calling our son "Bub" gets us strange looks (especially because then he'll walk around saying it for a while). (For anyone else, given that she's Swabian, it sounds remarkably like "boob").

blaurebell wrote:
Systematiker wrote:These days I hardly ever start sentences in English that I can't finish in English, at least when speaking with monolingual English speakers. But, then, I also moved back to anglophone surroundings, so... :lol:


Ah, there we have the problem! There are no plans for a move back to Germany. In fact the most common plan is to get as far away from Germany as possible ;) Such feelings tend to increase whenever I have to deal with German taxes or any other kind of tedious bureaucracy like university paperwork. On some days I longingly think back to my university days in England when I was just starving and cold rather than having my sanity challenged by this veritable "place that sends you mad" :roll:



Ah German taxes. The Finanzamt sent me stuff for taxes this year...I haven't lived there for several years now...
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:43 pm

@Systematiker: Bub :D Indeed that must make people laugh! Reminds me of the robot girl in Chobits walking around town saying "panties" over and over. Ah, when your life is just as absurd as Japanese anime you're doing something right :lol:

---

Spanish

I've finally admitted defeat and will now do some active Continental Spanish maintenance. I generally have no problem with most Argentinian I hear, but boy do people in Spain say weird things. I definitely embark on this reluctantly as I don't particularly like the accent, but oh well, I live here and therefore feel like I should make some effort not to be all :?: and :roll: about it. I talked my husband into watching the first two episodes El Ministerio del tiempo with me, which involved lots more :roll: :roll: :roll: on his part. I don't think I'll manage to make him watch more. Frankly the acting is just as awful as with all the other continental Spanish series I have watched so far. At least there are no kids in this one though, they tend to be unbearably bad. I don't know, I think I'll manage to struggle through it. If I can watch stuff with singing demons dubbed in French it's only a little worse to watch badly acted non-sense about time travel in Spanish.

Half the problem of language learning is that most native language TV is just so ridiculously bad. If there was half as much good native content out there as for English it wouldn't be quite so painful to get enough massive exposure. Anyone know any high brow continental Spanish podcasts perhaps? I'm really enjoying the France Culture stuff I'm listening to these days, but haven't found anything half as good in continental Spanish. Argentinian, yes, but I don't quite know where to look for Spanish from Spain apart from politics (and listening to that would be depressing politically speaking). You see, I'm super motivated ... not! I've been avoiding continental Spanish for a couple of years though and I feel my comprehension slipping away. I just need to do something! :?

There is one good thing about this semi-torture though: Since I'm doing something other than just passive random listening to Spanish on the street I've allowed myself to listen to France culture podcasts on the bus. Finally I don't have to listen to painful idiotic small talk anymore! I guess badly written dialogues + bad acting is still better than old ladies chatting about their health problems!

Speaking of weird TL exposure: I'm actually thinking about watching the Americans dubbed in Russian. Even the idea made me chuckle, should be good fun :lol: Not quite there yet with audio, but just give me a few months and I'll get there. Putting things like this on the list is definitely motivating!
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby tastyonions » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:57 pm

Heh, once I got to a decent level in French and started on my third language, I naively expected that I would easily be able to find equivalents in Spanish, Italian, and so on for the quality radio programs you can hear on France Culture and France Inter. Fat chance! So much of what I run into is either simply boring or has major audio issues, like having guests or experts on the program who call in remotely and sound like they're talking through an old walkie-talkie. Oh well.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby Systematiker » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:34 am

I didn't find the acting for El Ministerio all that bad, and tbh the production values are a lot better than many other things (for example the Portuguese version, or Gran Nord for Catalan which is about like Bergdoktor, if you know what I mean). It also gets better, and there's more character depth. The guy that plays the paramedic also does mar de plastico, which I haven't watched much of, but seems ok (though he's more one-dimensional there, at least so far, though there's an undertone in the rest that's new to me but very present). As the series progresses especially the guy that plays the 15th century guy, Nacho whatever-his-name-is, really does well with the role. The second season is also better than the first - enough that my wife and I are going to watch them together. I mean, it's not the height of what the medium can be, to be sure, but it ends up far from bad, especially in comparison to many many other things.

I listen to libros de arena (radio 5) and LD Libros in Castellano and am not too disappointed in their quality. At the very least I expand my to-read list.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:43 am

tastyonions wrote:Heh, once I got to a decent level in French and started on my third language, I naively expected that I would easily be able to find equivalents in Spanish, Italian, and so on for the quality radio programs you can hear on France Culture and France Inter. Fat chance!


Well, I guess there is a reason why France and more specifically Paris used to be the intellectual centre of Europe. For philosophy it is still the most important source of new ideas. My brother also told me stories about meeting farmers somewhere in the sticks in France who were more well-read than some of his university educated friends in Germany. I actually grew up with Arte, which is French-German and in my opinion it's the pinnacle of educational TV, there is nothing quite like it in any other language. Arte was actually the only reason I had a TV for the longest time and I remember some great evening programs. There was that one evening when one TV channel was showing Teen Wolf and right afterwards Arte was showing a documentary about the history of the werewolf myth and then An American Werewolf in London. That was an exceptionally fun evening that is carved into my memory. And who on earth remembers what they watched on TV 10 years ago?! I was very sad when I couldn't watch it anymore after moving to England. I don't know whether they still screen IPs since their content has been finally available in Spanish and English too for a few years. Here in Spain I occasionally binge watch a whole lot of documentaries on their website. It's like France Culture with video. Might not be available in the US though, don't know.

As for Spanish content: There used to be some very good Argentinian programs under the old government, most of which are defunded now I believe. So, since the last Argentinian elections I can't really recommend anything from there anymore either. It's a shame, there was some really interesting stuff on over there. One or two things about politics might still be on since they were independent, but of course they are super depressing right now. Those last elections not only ruined our plans for moving to Argentina but also totally derailed my Spanish engagement thanks to this major defunding of all the educational TV initiatives of the old government. Yep, we shouldn't talk about politics, but government funding and good educational TL content go hand in hand. And agreed also on Italian sources. This is the reason why I haven't kept up with my Italian at all, I just couldn't find any TV or radio worth my time. I will probably reactivate it at some point when I finally find the time and money for my Italian art history road trip, but until then I literally have no reason to engage with the language.

Systematiker wrote:I mean, it's not the height of what the medium can be, to be sure, but it ends up far from bad, especially in comparison to many many other things.


Not as bad as the worst of the worst still isn't really good though! Phew, good to hear that it gets better at least! And yes, the guy who is playing Nacho might be the only real actor in the series. The rest are just so stiff and "I'm supposed to be worried, so I better make a stereotypical worried face". My husband calls this the Arnold Schwarzenegger school of acting :lol: Of course there are also American series with acting that is this bad - Sarah Connor Chronicles for example where only the girl playing the Terminator displays any kind of good acting, Caprica, some truly unbearable actors in there that we still mock months after watching it, + many of the generic cop shows -, but in general local TV is often as bad or worse than the worst American TV. I remember German daytime cop shows were truly the worst of the worst, even worse than Bergdoktor. But then there is stuff like Deutschland 1983 and Tatort too, so I don't know. There must be something better to watch in Spanish too! Or maybe not ... :? I immediately think of En Tratamiento, an Argentinian version of In Treatment which is actually very good and worth watching. But again, not continental ...!
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby garyb » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:13 am

Glad to know I'm not the only one who disliked El ministerio del tiempo! Many people seem to love it but I tried it and didn't see the appeal. I just put it down to me not being a big fan of sci-fi or historical drama, but I can't say I enjoyed the plots or acting much either.

Spanish TV is a step up from Italian at least! Aside from a few decent crime series there's not much worthwhile TV in Italian. I know that everyone here swears by TV but I've gotten much more out of cinema. My experience with the radio is similar, I've not found much other than news and inane chat.

For Spanish series I quite liked Desaparecida and the first series of Vis a vis; they're rather over-dramatic but they were captivating enough to keep me watching. Aquí no hay quien viva is a decent comedy. Overall though, as language learners we usually just have to accept a lower standard of TV and radio than what we're used to; French seems to be an exception.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:56 pm

garyb wrote:Overall though, as language learners we usually just have to accept a lower standard of TV and radio than what we're used to; French seems to be an exception.


Thank you for the recommendations, I will definitely look at the series you recommended! Maybe another reason why I'm not really enjoying El ministerio del tiempo is that we just finished watching Timeless and it's pretty much the same concept with not exactly stellar acting either. It was kinda ok and watchable since we ran out of everything else to watch, but generally just dumb entertainment. So now being confronted with a Spanish version of the same thing where the time travel aspect makes simply no sense and there are mobile phones and internet in the past with even worse acting ... I don't know. I'm actually a SciFi fan, but this is not Science Fiction ... it's just utter non-sense science wise.

You're totally right about cinema being a better source of native content with Spanish, but looking for a new film every couple days is just so much effort, especially since usually one can't find a really good version. When I find a series I'm usually set for a month or two, otherwise looking for new movies becomes such a time sink.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby tastyonions » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:00 pm

One exception I have found in Spanish is Radio Ambulante. The stories are often interesting and the production quality is top notch.
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby Systematiker » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:50 pm

Well, if your standard is Arte, that explains a lot...

I did actually appreciate the self-awareness of the show in regard to the absurdities, like mobiles through time. They don't quite break the fourth wall, but by avoiding a purely hard-sf approach, there's the occasional "did that really just satirize the genre" moment.

Let's be honest, though, a series that really does all that the medium is capable of isn't going to get the viewership it needs to be continued, generally speaking. Most tv is a wasteland, and it's just different levels. And some of that bad acting is "the target audience won't know the characters are worried without the stereotypical face".

Oh, and because I'm obligated as an analytic: what do you mean important philosophical ideas from Paris??? :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lilly's log - French, Russian and reluctant Spanish

Postby blaurebell » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:40 pm

Systematiker wrote:Well, if your standard is Arte, that explains a lot...


I was never much of a TV snob though. I have watched pretty much everything from horrifically bad German soap operas to high brow I-don't-even-know-whether-there-is-a-plot experimental shorts at 2am on Arte. And frankly, my husband regularly shakes his head about the "crap" I watch dubbed for language learning. Stargate and Buffy I find pretty unwatchable in the original, but dubbed it's just hilarious. I guess when the dialogue is bad in the original they can't ruin much in dubbing. I just find it unbearable when original dialogue is bad. Can't quite put my finger on it, maybe it's the uncanny valley - people almost speak like that but not quite? Dubbed series are usually far enough away from actual spoken language that I don't grit my teeth quite as much. And then of course I have also been enrolled in Film Studies courses at uni which definitely ruined me for some movies and series.

Systematiker wrote:Let's be honest, though, a series that really does all that the medium is capable of isn't going to get the viewership it needs to be continued, generally speaking. Most tv is a wasteland, and it's just different levels. And some of that bad acting is "the target audience won't know the characters are worried without the stereotypical face".


So true :( There has been some exceptional TV lately though. True Detective Season 1 was simply amazing! And even for more "entertainment" TV the Battlestar Galactica remake had me sitting on the edge of the seat for the first coupe of seasons. Damn good TV. Some damn good acting in there too. It has some story weak points later on, but damn, the first 2 seasons are TV gold. Same goes for some British TV. Endeavour? Or Sherlock? Maybe the comparison isn't quite fair, but El Ministerio del Tiempo is ridiculously bad in comparison.

Systematiker wrote:Oh, and because I'm obligated as an analytic: what do you mean important philosophical ideas from Paris??? :lol: :lol:


Uh oh, completely and utterly continental here (which of course cost me my funding, d'oh, I hate university politics :roll: ).
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