Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

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Sahmilat
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Languages: English (native); German (high intermediate), Latin (high intermediate), Ancient Greek (intermediate); French (beginner)
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:20 am

Week of 7/22
German 3 hours 35 mins
French 3 hours
Latin 3 hours 15 mins
Greek 2 hours 50 mins
Total 12 hours 40 mins

One of my best weeks so far. Generally happy with where my studies are right now, though I wish I had the time/energy/resources for Sanskrit.

German: I have been reading short stories out of the anthology of Gruppe 47 authors. My favorite story I read so far was Walser's Der Umzug, which also had the most difficult language. It is about a couple who move into a new, wealthier neighborhood where everyone, eventually including the narrator's wife, are afflicted by an unnameable illness or condition that leaves them slow-moving and almost emotionless. It's not a story of disease so much as a commentary on snobbish society. I also started rereading Rilke's The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge in English while listening to the German audiobook. It's interesting, but I'm not sure I'm going to stick with it all the way through the book.

French: I've slowly stopped reading the increasingly boring Le français par la méthode nature, instead incorporating LR of Madame Bovary into my routine. I can't really tell if it's helping, but I have noticed that I've gotten better at discerning individual words and generally comprehending the audiobook, so I suppose it must be helpful. I still get lost occasionally and have to look for proper nouns or cognates to re-sync my reading with the audiobook. I've been continuing with Assimil and just finished lesson 49, which means it's time to decide if I want to do the active wave. I think I will, rather than doing the active wave exactly, go back from the beginning and copy out the French dialogues and pay more attention to the spelling and grammar than I did previously.

Latin: I'm reading a set of letters titled Epistulae ad Familiares by Bartolomeus Fontius (Fonzio), an Italian Renaissance humanist about whom I can find almost no information except what he gives in these letters. It's relatively easy reading, though having the parallel English is very helpful at times. Some of the letters talk about the politics of the time or are quarrels over money, which tend to be less interesting, but two letters particularly stood out to me so far (I'm almost done with the first book of three). The first was a recounting of Fonzio's trip to Rome, where he describes all the ancient monuments and how they have changed. I'm familiar with all these from my Latin classes in high school, so it's cool to see them through the eyes of someone during the Renaissance. The second was a letter of condolence to a friend whose wife had passed. Fonzio argues that we should not try, like the ancient Stoics, to entirely block out grief, but neither should we be overcome by it. It is natural to feel grief and other emotions, but it is the mark of a strong man to be able to master his feelings. I honestly might start reading more letters both in Latin and in other languages. There's interesting stuff out there.

Greek: I dabbled a bit in Katharevousa but decided it was ultimately not the most productive. It would be cool to learn some Modern Greek, although I don't have plans to go to Greece anytime soon. Instead I have gone back to reading Morice's Stories in Attic Greek in an edition prepared by Anne Mahoney. It's excellent lower-intermediate level reading to help you really internalize the grammar of Ancient Greek rather than just mechanically translating, although each 100-word story tends to have one or two words that really trip me up and I have to look up to understand the sentences. It's good that I'm still learning new words though.

Like I said, I'm pretty happy with how it's going right now. My life outside of my studies (if I have such a thing) is going well, and that allows me to really focus in on my passion of studying language.
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Ezra
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Ezra » Mon Jul 29, 2019 8:46 am

Sahmilat wrote:Latin: I'm reading a set of letters titled Epistulae ad Familiares by Bartolomeus Fontius (Fonzio), an Italian Renaissance humanist about whom I can find almost no information except what he gives in these letters. It's relatively easy reading, though having the parallel English is very helpful at times.

Is it possible to download it? I tried to search archive.org, but all I got was the book with the same title by Cicero...
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ロータス
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby ロータス » Mon Jul 29, 2019 11:21 am

Sahmilat wrote:Week of 7/22

French: I've slowly stopped reading the increasingly boring Le français par la méthode nature, instead incorporating LR of Madame Bovary into my routine. I can't really tell if it's helping, but I have noticed that I've gotten better at discerning individual words and generally comprehending the audiobook, so I suppose it must be helpful. I still get lost occasionally and have to look for proper nouns or cognates to re-sync my reading with the audiobook. I've been continuing with Assimil and just finished lesson 49, which means it's time to decide if I want to do the active wave. I think I will, rather than doing the active wave exactly, go back from the beginning and copy out the French dialogues and pay more attention to the spelling and grammar than I did previously.


For Le français par la méthode nature, what chapter did you stop at? Can you give a mini review of your time using it?
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:15 pm

Ezra wrote:Is it possible to download it? I tried to search archive.org, but all I got was the book with the same title by Cicero...


As far as I know, the only available edition is in the I Tatti library, so I don't think it's available online, sorry. It doesn't seem to have been a particularly popular work, based on how little information about it I can find on google.

ロータス wrote:
For Le français par la méthode nature, what chapter did you stop at? Can you give a mini review of your time using it?


The last chapter I've done is chapter 29. I might still return to it, because it's a very useful book for naturally building up reading competence. It teaches a TON of vocab, which is I think one of the important things that distinguishes a good textbook from a bad textbook, and the fact that the vocab appears in context really helps you to internalize it. I think it's probably one of the best books available for learning French, though French certainly has more options available than other languages. I am not using it right now for a couple of reasons. First of all, there is no audio, and I want to work on my listening. That's why I've moved to spending that time on LR instead. Second, the chapters have gotten quite long and I am personally having trouble committing to sitting down for 50 minutes to read each chapter. If that's not a problem for you, that's awesome. Third, the grammar comes pretty fast, and the for some reason the grammar isn't explained at the end of every chapter, just at some of them, unlike with Lingua Latina, another book in the series. For this last reason I decided to order an old edition of Colloquial French so that I can get some more explicit explanation of some of the grammar points that I've been confused on.

I would definitely recommend that you keep going with this book if you have the time/energy/interest, but I think it needs supplements for audio and grammar. I suspect that anyone would be well served by using the CLE Grammaire Progressive books alongside it.
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:55 pm

Week of 7/29
German 1 hour 15 mins
French 1 hour 40 mins
Latin 2 hours 50 mins
Greek 35 mins
Total 6 hours 20 mins

I was sick for several days this week so I didn't really get to do as much as I wanted.

German: All I did this week was watch an episode of Babylon Berlin without subtitles and read part of a short story by Milo Dor. Babylon Berlin seems interesting, and I was able to understand most of it even without subtitles. I'm not really in the habit of watching TV though, so if I want to make this a consistent part of my schedule it'll take some work.

French: One day I did a full lesson: review some grammar with an old Colloquial French, do a chapter and an active revision of Assimil, and LR'd a couple of chapters of Madame Bovary. Another day I did some more LR. Hard to say if it's working, but I think I'll probably go through the whole book before trying to make any judgments. It's a good book, and the LR method is making sure I actually sit down and read an entire chapter, so even if all I get out of it is having read the translation, that'll be ok.

Latin: The relative winner this week, I decided to switch it up from Fonzio and read some from another I Tatti volume titled The Greek Classics. It's a collection of prefaces from editions of Greek texts printed in Venice by the Aldine press starting in 1495. The prefaces are all written by the founder of the press, Aldo Manuzio, many dedicated to one or another leader or scholar. I've discovered a number of Greek texts and authors that I'd never even heard of, many from medieval and renaissance times. Manuzio printed not only classical texts like Aristotle and Theophrastus, but also some of his near contemporaries like the translator and all-around scholar Theodore Gaza. The prefaces sometimes talk about the content of the work, but often also talk about the work of the publisher and about the importance of the liberal arts. The book is, like Fonzio's letters, a very interesting look into the world of humanist scholars in the Renaissance, and leaves me wishing I could travel back in time and study under these incredible men.

Greek: lol 35 mins. All I did was read the first page of the aforementioned Theodore Gaza's Greek grammar and make a chart of grammatical terms I learned from it. It took as long as it did because the typeface uses weird abbreviations so it would take me a while to figure out the actual spelling of these words so that I could verify them on Wiktionary (a truly venerable resource). The first page really only dealt with the alphabet, but there were still interesting terms to be learned. I'll reproduce the table here.

τὸ φωνῆεν vowel
τὸ σύμφωνον consonant
μακρόν long
βραχύ short
ὁ δίφθογγος diphthong
τὸ ἡμίφωνον semivowel, ζ, ξ, ψ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, σ
διπλόον double, ζ, ξ, ψ
ὑγρόν "wet", λ, μ, ν, ρ
τὸ ἄφωνον stop
ψιλόν unaspirated
δασύ aspirated
μέσον "middle", β, δ, γ
ἡ προσῳδῐ́ᾱ diacritic, tone
ἡ ὀξεῖα acute accent
ἡ βαρεῖα grave accent
ἡ περισπωμἐνη circumflex accent
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Nogon
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Nogon » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:43 pm

Sahmilat wrote:Week of 7/29
German: All I did this week was watch an episode of Babylon Berlin without subtitles and read part of a short story by Milo Dor. Babylon Berlin seems interesting, and I was able to understand most of it even without subtitles. I'm not really in the habit of watching TV though, so if I want to make this a consistent part of my schedule it'll take some work.


Do you know that "Babylon Berlin" was made after a series of crime books by German author Volker Kutscher? The first part is called "Der nasse Fisch". I haven't read the book(s), but the members in my favourite German speaking literature forum liked it/them alot.
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:25 pm

Nogon wrote:
Do you know that "Babylon Berlin" was made after a series of crime books by German author Volker Kutscher? The first part is called "Der nasse Fisch". I haven't read the book(s), but the members in my favourite German speaking literature forum liked it/them alot.


Vielen Dank, nicht nur für die Buchempfehlung, sondern auch für das Forum. Ich glaube, ich werde es sehr interessant finden!
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:28 pm

Nogon wrote:Do you know that "Babylon Berlin" was made after a series of crime books by German author Volker Kutscher? The first part is called "Der nasse Fisch". I haven't read the book(s), but the members in my favourite German speaking literature forum liked it/them alot.


I have one episode left, and intend to read the book in German (checked out the first one from the library a while ago).
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Sahmilat
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby Sahmilat » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:09 pm

It's been a while since I posted in here but I'm avoiding an essay so now seems like the perfect time. School is going.... whatever.. but at least I still have the opportunity to work on my languages.

German: I was in a German film class at the beginning of the semester but I dropped it because turns out I hate watching movies for class. Sometimes I like watching movies/tv, but the pressure of having to do it on a deadline did not agree with me. So I'm not really doing any German right now. I'm currently looking for time in my schedule to do some leisure reading, and that's probably going to be in German. I want to tackle some large book, but I think that's misguided, so I might look for some short stories or something. I read the news or academic articles every once in a while just to remind myself that I can read German, which is very encouraging.

French: Don't really have a ton of time for this either, because I'm not in a French class. I found that with my couple of months of studying over the summer I can understand written news articles. I suspect that higher level writing and speaking of almost any kind is still out of my reach though. I might grab some of those Dover/Penguin dual-language readers for my birthday next month, so hopefully I'll be able to work on reading literature at some point in my life ever.

Latin: In a standard translation class where we are "reading" book 10 of Ovid's Metamorphoses. I love the poem from what we've read, but I wish that we did something more productive than translating it, like working on Latin paraphrases or discussing the poem as literature more or something. Translating just feels like a waste of time. So right now I'm reading about 100 lines of Latin a week. If I can find time in my schedule, I'd like to read something on my own time. Might return to Beeson.

Greek: Translating Plato's Protagoras but we won't even get through the single dialogue this semester because the going is so slow. I'm not ready to read this level of literature in Greek but I don't really have a choice, unfortunately. It's still kind of fun though. I read about 1.5-2 pages a week, which is humiliatingly little to be honest. Greek just isn't a super high priority for me right now.

Still spend my free time looking at Sanskrit textbooks, and basically textbooks in any language I can find. Currently considering overcommitting myself to either:
Sanskrit (Maybe returning to Devavanipravesika, maybe going full 1800s Western scholar mode and using, like, Perry)
Middle High German (My library has Walshe, it looks pretty accessible. Theoretically should be easier than another language because I already have good knowledge of modern German)
or maybe even Pali (I'm not even that interested in Buddhism, the language just looks cool and Warder seems like an unusually good primer for a classical language).
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MorkTheFiddle
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Re: Sahmilat's Languages Log (German, French, Latin, Ancient Greek)

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:22 pm

I don't know what your level of Latin is, but if you are thinking about Beeson, and assuming you mean the Latinist Charles Beeson, I will mention Bibliotheca Augustana Medieval Works under latinitas mediaevalis for several works from several centuries.

For Protagoras, I found Nicholas Denyer's entry on Protagoras for the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics to be helpful: Plato: Protagoras. Denyer offers help with tricky grammar and unclear meanings.

Cheers,
Mork
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