Mork's Log 2017

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MorkTheFiddle
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Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:50 pm

Maybe I should enter the Super Challenge, even though it is very very late. This year I have already watched the first 30 episodes of the French Maigret series that began in 1991. Each episode is at least 90 minutes long. I read a couple of the novels, too. Simenon is far better novelist than I thought. Also rewatched the first 3 episodes of Un Village Français, but I doubt I will watch many more. Just too grim. The series did prompt me to buy a CD of 7 Maupassant stories, which are read by Robin Renucci, one of the leads of Un Village Français. Renucci also showed up in an early episode of Maigret as a bit of a nerd originally suspected of the murder. Also I am reading, sporadically, Le comte de Monte Cristo. I wish I had an abridged version because the pace of the full-length novel is torturously slow. I left the good count when he found his treasure. Don't know if I can ever go back. Best of all, I found the best French poet nobody has ever heard of, Henri de Regnier.

In Spanish I am reading Mario Vargas Llosa's Cinco Esquinas, a kind of political thriller with sex and drugs. Starting off with a steamy sex scene between two young and wealthy Peruvian wives. How, I wondered, would a first-class, world-renowned novelist like Vargas Llosa, go from there? He once ran for President of Peru, and the man he lost to appears tangentially in the novel. I'm on page 258 of the 314 page novel.

For Ancient Greek, here are some excerpts from email I have sent (removing the name, email address and remarks of the recipient). I also softened some criticism, which I felt unfair without a proper context:

FIRST:

"Especially missing for everything [in Ancient Greek or Latin] is audio. LOTS of audio. I have found a bit of it on Youtube. I am not a purist in matters of vocal interpretation and accent. Lombardo's reading of Iliad 1 is more than adequate. There is as well a good reading of Chapter 1 of Book 1 of Anabasis by Ioannis Stratakis in reconstructed Ancient Greek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEcQxQRVa-A (Stratakis has a web site: Podium-Arts.com). Because there is a reading of Book 23 of The Iliad, I wonder whether Lombardo recorded the whole epic. There are a few more bits by Stratakis and others. Various plays done at Cambridge and in Greece have been video recorded, but the quality of the sound makes them unfit for teaching. . . . .

"As for Kamp. I am developing a variation (some might say, a bastardization) of the Kamp method of GigaFrench. I use 3 to 6 minutes snippets of whatever I could find, listen to it until as Kamps-GigaFrench suggests I can hear and understand every word clearly, and of course understand the meaning. So far I worked thought the first 20 lines or so of Lombardo's reading of The Iliad. I tried to use the first long monologue of Electra in Sophocles' version. The sound was not impossible, but it is difficult to understand. Coughing is a real distraction. I tried a later passage between Electra, the Pedagogue and Orestes, but gave up. Now I have moved on to Stratakis's Xenophon. There's some Thucydides and Plato (I'm going to try the Crito) for later.

"Latin is the other story. First I read and listened through the first chapter of the first book of Sallust. Now I'm doing a couple of odes of Horace. Virgil and Tacitus (there is a fine reading of The Annals by a fellow from Textkit (name forgotten for now)) are on my list, too. And I'm preparing to do my own reading of a couple of Seneca's letters to Lucilius (pronouncing Ancient Greek intimidates me too much).

"Thank you for the reference for Lombardo's reading from Book 23. Criticism of folks who try reading Ancient Greek remind me of the fellow stranded several days in the desert. Nearly dead of thirst when found, he was offered water by the rescue party, but he refused, saying he wanted a Coca Cola. "

SECOND:

"Bringing French and Spanish up to speed showed me the value of aural input and what way worked best for me to use aural input. So I’ve done loads of reading+listening, and I thought loads of reading and listening were necessary for Latin and Greek. When I saw Kamp seemed to bank on making shorter clips work, but listened to very intensely, I thought maybe it’s worth a try. Luckily, since shorter clips are all we’ve got, for the most part.

"Plus I remembered that Lombardo reading of Iliad I. I just wondered what would happen if I put that together with the odds and ends of Ancient Greek I could find on Youtube. There are also some Daitz audios from Bolchazy. For Latin there are Evan de Millner’s recordings and, again from Bolchazy, Robert Sonkowsky readings. Not to forget the Sallus[t]. That reader did a couple things from Seneca, too, but the audio quality is iffy. ...

"I won’t pretend that all the available recordings thrill me. Audacity can spruce up some of them and can make portentious audio ... sprightlier, but maybe only a professional sound engineer can soften the hammer blows of [some of the] Latin. What little I have listened to Daitz (Birds) let me know it’s [acceptable] ...

"For lots of listening to work for me, the matter has to really, really interest me. ... But if listening to less has some benefit, I don’t have to like the matter so much. Even so, nearly an hour of the Iliad and 4 hours of Sallust should be plenty. Besides, I can always create my own."

Today I prettied up a rendition of the first 4 chapters of Book 1 of Herodotus. Nothing wrong with it except the original recording had some flaws.
3 x
Ah ! Le bon billet qu'a La Châtre !

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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:27 pm

I plotted a course, and I'm on course. I hope.
Using Kamps' ideas
as expressed in The Word Brain (for the Spanish edition and links to other language editions: The Word Brain in Spanish)
and as implemented (so far) in GigaFrench : CAUTION: POLITICS!)
I created a "learning plan," which is probably better called a "preliminary rough sketch."
I am lining up short bits of audio for Latin and Ancient Greek.

For Latin, I "finished" the first bit, chapter 1 of Book 1 of Sallust's De bello Iugurthinium. The second bit is comprised of the first 7 chapters of De bello gallico by what's his name. I left out a bit of the first chapter.

My leader for Caesar is Hans-Friedrich Mueller. If you follow the classics at all, you know that Google Books and Archive.org house dozens if not hundreds of Latin and Ancient Greek texts from the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Hans-Friedrich Mueller sounds like an editor of one of those texts. He is an editor of Caesar: Selections from his Commentarii De Bello Gallico published by Bolchazy-Carducci, Mundelein, Ill, 2013. And he is very much alive, I think. When I am learning an author, a book of selections helps me find the most important parts, and it usually offers lots of helpful explanations, comments and definitions. Mueller's book does all those things. The down side to this book is that the grammar references are to a book that was written in the 19th (though the latest editions was published in the 20th) century. Available at archive.org. The reader for Caesar is ThePrinceSterling.

The first listen for Ancient Greek was the first 20 lines of The Iliad read by Stanley Lombardo. The second listen is the first four chapters of Book 1 of Herodotus's Histories, read by Johannes Stratakis. Stratakis is a native Greek who reads the selection in the presumed classical pronunciation. He, like Vallejo*, who reads the Sallust, and Lombardy, who reads The Iliad, and ThePrinceSterling.

Can snippets of audio be as effective as hundreds of hours of audio? I certainly don't think so. Can they help at all with familiarizing the listener with the text and with learning some of the vocabulary? I definitely DO think so.

* I am indebted to David Carter of the UK, perhaps a member of this forum?, for the bona fides of Vallejo: Felix Sanchez Vallejo (1918-2004), professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University. David's assessment of Vallejo's Latin hits the mark squarely: "His style of Latin is fluid, engaging, and thoroughly real." The Latin is Church Latin, and I know that classical Latin texts read in Church Latin give some people the fantods, as Mr. Finn put it, but I say, so what? I'm even warming to the idea that Ancient Greek poetry can sound just fine in a Modern Greek accent.

French: I am reading / listening to Camus's La Peste. The reader is Christian Gonon for Gallimard. A 2CD mp3 recordingy.

Spanish: I am listening to Los Salvajes Detectives by Roberto Bolaño. Another mp3 CD I think, probably from Audioteca.
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Ah ! Le bon billet qu'a La Châtre !

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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:35 pm

Today I learned Jonathan Slocum Bailey keeps a number of Latin audio files on his website. Of particular interest to me at this time are Bailey's readings of some of Seneca's letters to Lucilius. Seneca is one of those rare Roman writers who has interesting things to say rather than an interesting way of saying things that are not worth reading. Now I can incorporate Seneca into my plan of reading and listening to short snippets at a time.

I've now wrapped up the Sallust bit and the Caesar bit, and can move right to Seneca. For the Greek, I finished the bit of Iliad and the bit of Herodotus I was working on. The opening of The Crito is next.

For Spanish, which is not on the Snippet Plan, I switched temporarily from Bolaño to poems by Neruda because I found audio for some Neruda at Audioteka (20 poemas de amor y una conción desesperada). The recording was 9.99 Euros I think, but it might have been more. Neruda is a 20th century poet who writes real poetry but it doesn't require the reader to know every piece of literature ever written in every language to understand. These love poems are not my favorite Neruda poems, but they'll do, especially since now I have some audio.

French, also not on the Snippet Plan, wasted a lot of my time yesterday because I was looking for something legal to watch with French subtitles, or, failing that, English subtitles. Crime dramas featuring blood and guts, drugs or prostitutes bore me. What more can be said about those topics? What a nice respite Maigret was, though even there prostitution and drugs came up from time to time. And there is funny Kaamelott, too, which I am watching, but I was looking for something rather heavier. Long story short, I got nowhere. I ended up with the first episode of the first season of Boulevard du palais. No subtitles. I listened but understood very little. Luckily, slowing it down a click makes it relatively easy to understand. Unluckily, it seems to be another CSI kind of thing, and I'm not into that kind of fantasy. Oh, well, La Peste works for now. I'm about 20% through it.
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Ah ! Le bon billet qu'a La Châtre !

DaveBee
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby DaveBee » Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:34 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:French, also not on the Snippet Plan, wasted a lot of my time yesterday because I was looking for something legal to watch with French subtitles, or, failing that, English subtitles. Crime dramas featuring blood and guts, drugs or prostitutes bore me. What more can be said about those topics? What a nice respite Maigret was, though even there prostitution and drugs came up from time to time. And there is funny Kaamelott, too, which I am watching, but I was looking for something rather heavier. Long story short, I got nowhere. I ended up with the first episode of the first season of Boulevard du palais. No subtitles. I listened but understood very little. Luckily, slowing it down a click makes it relatively easy to understand. Unluckily, it seems to be another CSI kind of thing, and I'm not into that kind of fantasy. Oh, well, La Peste works for now. I'm about 20% through it.
I've never found much online with french subtitles. Arte TV has some programmes, but they tend to control what you can watch by country IP. From the UK one programme with french sub-titles and french audio that I can watch is Le Retour du Printemps.

One programme without sub-titles that I like is a film length series called Louis la Brocante. It's sort of a french version of Lovejoy. The episodes are all on YouTube if you search by episode title. Another that looks promising, but that I have not watched is Le Sang de la Vigne which again appears to be on YouTube.

France Culture had some Senecca themed programmes recently, Lettres à Lucilius
1 x
FR films: 58 / 100, FR books: 35 / 35

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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue Apr 18, 2017 5:43 pm

DaveBee wrote:I've never found much online with french subtitles. Arte TV has some programmes, but they tend to control what you can watch by country IP. From the UK one programme with french sub-titles and french audio that I can watch is Le Retour du Printemps.

One programme without sub-titles that I like is a film length series called Louis la Brocante. It's sort of a french version of Lovejoy. The episodes are all on YouTube if you search by episode title. Another that looks promising, but that I have not watched is Le Sang de la Vigne which again appears to be on YouTube.

France Culture had some Senecca themed programmes recently, Lettres à Lucilius

Thanks very much for these specific titles. I do speak Youtube, so I'll check it out. Murder by wine, as it were, sounds fresh and nutty.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Thu Apr 27, 2017 12:56 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I plotted a course, and I'm on course. I hope.
Using Kamps' ideas
as expressed in The Word Brain (for the Spanish edition and links to other language editions: The Word Brain in Spanish)
and as implemented (so far) in GigaFrench : CAUTION: POLITICS!)
I created a "learning plan," which is probably better called a "preliminary rough sketch."
I am lining up short bits of audio for Latin and Ancient Greek.
...

Can snippets of audio be as effective as hundreds of hours of audio? I certainly don't think so. Can they help at all with familiarizing the listener with the text and with learning some of the vocabulary? I definitely DO think so.

French: I am reading / listening to Camus's La Peste. The reader is Christian Gonon for Gallimard. A 2CD mp3 recordingy.

Spanish: I am listening to Los Salvajes Detectives by Roberto Bolaño. Another mp3 CD I think, probably from Audioteca.

The "learning plan" is not panning out. Intensive listening to an audio of Ancient Greek consumes a great deal of time. It takes away from reading time, and because so little audio exists for Ancient Greek, listening seems pointless. There are some librivox recordings of Plato read in Modern Greek, and I hoped to move on to that. But the modern pronunciation just confuses me, so I stopped listening to that. Also, there is a Cambridge (Oxford?) stage production of Sophocles' Electra. The audio is audible, but listening intensively to it is too much of a strain to me. In a few places, too, coughing in the audience obliterates a bit of dialogue.

Listening to Latin is a lot easier, and there is a lot more audio available. Even so, listening intently is a time burner. But because I am going to focus on Seneca and Tacitus and no one else, I don't feel like I am losing valuable time. The French voice of the reader of La Peste is pleasant enough, but the novel does not engage me. I'm going to look for something else. I have an audio of Le Comte de Monte Cristo, so maybe I'll go back to that. Finally, there is the Spanish audio of Roberto Bolaño's Los Salvajes Detectives. I've been neglecting it and must get back to it.

This morning instead of listening I turned to Ancient Greek on LWT. A couple of years ago I worked with some works of Lucian and the interlinear translations that Hamilton did in the 1800s. Hamilton chose a few works of Lucian to begin his own "course" in Ancient Greek. The first step, he felt, was getting some vocabulary under the learner's belt and not, at first, concerning the student with accidence. Lucian's sketches are comedies, not too unlike modern TV sitcoms, and although he lived in the 2nd century AD, his style and vocabulary deliberately imitated the works of those who wrote in what is called "Attic Greek."

I hope to review the reading I did two and three years ago and get my vocabulary back up to snuff. It's certainly easy enough to go through LWT with Hamilton's interlinear in hand and plug in the definitions.

This morning I also took a gander at the Anacreonta, which is Hamilton's second set of readings. Originally thought to be the work of the poet Anacreon, later scholars determined that they were not. The upshot of this is that the Anacreonta per se can be hard to locate online. It is certainly not at Perseus. But I found at Google Books or Archive.org a couple of copies of the Greek. There Pdfs, but they can be copy-pasted into LWT without difficulty. Though the diacritical markings either don't exist or don't copy well, so there is that little editing shore to do. But I'll finish with Lucian, then go to the Anacreonta. The dialogues of Lucian that Hamilton uses are "Somnium," "Deorum concilium," and, awkward title, "Alexander, Hannibal, Minos and Scipio."
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat May 06, 2017 12:56 am

Last night I watched Of Mice and Men dubbed into French and with French subtitles. The version was directed by Gary Sinise and starred Sinise, John Malkovich and Ray Walston. It came out in 1992. For starters, the movie is quite good. The sturdy script by Horton Foote is helped by Sinise's yeoman-like direction and by a stalwart cast, only a couple of actors not really doing an effective job, but immaterial to the overall effect.

I bought the film for language-learning purposes, but in that regard it is not so good. Though the French dubbing clearly carries the sense of the dialogue and the French subtitles do as well, the dubbing the the subtitles do not match much, say maybe 50% of the time. So you would need some understanding of the French dubbing to make any good use of the subtitles. I watched the English subtitles for about 10 minutes just to see, and they seemed 100% accurate. Spanish subtitles also are included, but I have not watched them yet. There is no Spanish dub. The movie has DRM protection, so Handbrake could not copy it.

In other news, I ended my Clozemaster streak at 167 days for French and 166 days for Spanish. Missed by oversight, but I was going to stop after 180 days, anyway. Reading one disassociated line after another begins to seem schizophrenic after awhile. Besides, in the audible "cloze" test, I was missing at most only one in twenty words (not counting spelling mistakes!). Time, I thought, to move on.

Hence the movie Of Mice and Men. I want to listen to audiobooks as much as possible, if only for the sake of coherence (as opposed to Clozemaster), but for "street speed" I hope to listen to the dialogues of movies and TV shows, one sentence at a time. Finding French movies with French subtitles is difficult, as others have noted, but I found it a little easier to find English-language movies dubbed into French with French subtitles. We'll see. On order for this purpose and expected soon are Body of Proof, Crucible (with Daniel Day-Lewis), Great Gatsby (the DiCaprio 5-DVD version), Allied (will Allied even be bearable?).

Finally, I continue to listen to La Peste and Los Salvajes Detectives. I can understand both, or maybe at least i-1( :?: ), but only if I give them 100% of my attention. Sipping coffee at Starbuck's and listening while driving don't quite work. :roll:
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby DaveBee » Sat May 06, 2017 1:10 am

MorkTheFiddle wrote:I hope to listen to the dialogues of movies and TV shows, one sentence at a time. Finding French movies with French subtitles is difficult, as others have noted, but I found it a little easier to find English-language movies dubbed into French with French subtitles. We'll see. On order for this purpose and expected soon are Body of Proof, Crucible (with Daniel Day-Lewis), Great Gatsby (the DiCaprio 5-DVD version), Allied (will Allied even be bearable?).
I've been meaning to try this with stage plays. For english learners, getting screenplays would be possible, but it just doesn't seem to be an option with french.

I've made a start with La Malade Imaginaire (video/french text/english text). I downloaded the video, and bookmarked the first few scene breaks in VLC. Now I just have to do the work! :-)
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FR films: 58 / 100, FR books: 35 / 35

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MorkTheFiddle
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5680&p=70021#p70021
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat May 06, 2017 7:16 pm

DaveBee wrote:I've been meaning to try this with stage plays. For english learners, getting screenplays would be possible, but it just doesn't seem to be an option with french.

I've made a start with La Malade Imaginaire (video/french text/english text). I downloaded the video, and bookmarked the first few scene breaks in VLC. Now I just have to do the work! :-)

Stage plays have an advantage because they hold mostly dialogue and little of the "dead" space of movies and television (except for talk shows), when action rather than talk prevails. Good luck with your project, and let us know how it goes.
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MorkTheFiddle
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:59 pm
Location: Texas, USA
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Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5680&p=70021#p70021
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Re: Mork's Log 2017

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Tue May 09, 2017 9:05 pm

The difficulty finding films in French with French subtitles drove me to search for English-language films with French dubs and French subtitles. I wanted the same combos for Spanish, as well. Here are the movies and the one TV series I came up with and bought from or through Amazon.

Allies (2016): dubbed in French and Spanish, subtitles in English French, Spanish, and Portuguese
Of Mice and Men (1992): dubbed in French; subtitles in English, French and Spanish
The Great Gatsby (2013): dubbed in French and Spanish; subtitles in French and Spanish
The Crucible (2011): dubbed in Spanish and French, subtitles in English SDH and Spanish

All the French and Spanish subtitles for these films are quite serviceable but not exact. As a B1/B2 user, I find them very helpful. At A1 or A2, I might feel lost.

The Great Gatsby was too lame (and disappointing) for my taste, so I will not be using it. Of Mice and Men is quite good. I have not yet watched all of The Crucible.

Body of Proof, 3 seasons (2012, 2013): all seasons dubbed in French and German; first 2 season subs in English, English for Hearing Impaired, French, German, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish and Swedish (!); 3rd season dubs same as seasons 1 and 2 except no Polish or Portuguese.

I have not looked at any episodes of Body of Proof at all.

All these DVDs are copy protected, so Handbrake will not copy them.
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