Cortina Method Audio

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n_j_f
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby n_j_f » Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:48 pm

Whilst I agree with Cainntear that mp3 is the "default" for better or for worse, in my case there were other factors involved such as the use of the audio editing software. It is doubtful that a flac file rather than mp3 file would make a significant difference with some of the older material. I will admit, however, that my ear couldn't really discern the difference and my entertainment set-up is fairly basic. Having said that, I wouldn't be adverse to doing so at a later stage if some forum members think this would be of benefit.

I tend to agree with Speakeasy that the time factor involved with digitising audio from records or cassettes is not insignificant. CDs are more efficient and the Cortina Material I have is in this format.
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Cainntear
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby Cainntear » Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:56 pm

n_j_f wrote:Whilst I agree with Cainntear that mp3 is the "default" for better or for worse, in my case there were other factors involved such as the use of the audio editing software. It is doubtful that a flac file rather than mp3 file would make a significant difference with some of the older material. I will admit, however, that my ear couldn't really discern the difference and my entertainment set-up is fairly basic. Having said that, I wouldn't be adverse to doing so at a later stage if some forum members think this would be of benefit.

It's not about the immediate listener -- yes, MP3 is good enough for that.

My point is that with FLAC you then have recording that others can digitally improve using specialist software designed for removing (for example) pops and crackles from record players, and someone who does not have access to the physical media but does have the skills and the software to clean up the audio files can do so at a later date, which is why it would make a very significant difference for older material.

MP3 is an "end-point" in the process in that once you've rendered to MP3, any further editing is a bad idea. Many of the recordings in the FSI/DLI archives are pretty horrible sounding due to noise in the original recordings, but because they're in MP3 only, they will never be able to be restored. There's constant talk of rerecording them instead, but that's a massive job that I doubt will ever happen.

Obviously I'm grateful for the work you guys put in to doing this, and I hope it doesn't seem otherwise.
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bgersh20
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby bgersh20 » Fri May 12, 2017 8:30 pm

Where can I find the audio to the Brazilian Portuguese Cortina Method book?

Thanks!
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Daristani
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby Daristani » Sat May 13, 2017 1:56 am

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polyglotponderings
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby polyglotponderings » Mon May 29, 2017 2:27 am

Can anyone confirm that the audio hosted at https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu/languages/cortina.html#Russian is the official Russian audio created by Cortina?

About 15-20 years ago, I sent in the card for the free demo cassette. I received a demo cassette and a letter stating that they did not offer the Master Linguist Course for Russian, but provided a discount for the Russian Linguaphone course. After starting to collect some of the older Russian beginner courses and hearing that there was a Cortina Master Russian Course, I began looking for the materials. I found out about the work done by Speakeasy, Jpazzz, daristani, n_f_l, to have the audio hosted. This excited me greatly.

However, I was very surprised when I heard the audio, because it did not sound anything like the audio from the demo cassette I received many years ago. I have posted the audio along with a picture of the cassette on youtube here: https://youtu.be/5hs_Dohb6-0.

Comparing the demo audio with the other audio, I’ve questioned what the original official audio was for a few reasons, if there ever was any original audio.

First, the Cortina staff indicated that no Russian recordings were made. (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=40797&PN=2)

Second, the structure of the recordings hosted on the FSI site is very different from the demo. The demo has pauses for repetition, but the recordings are just a straight read through of the Russian text in the book.

Also, The narrator for the 1952 version of the audio doesn’t seem to be a native Russian speaker. His pronunciation seems to have a fairly strong American accent. Does anyone else think this? It would seem strange that Cortina wouldn’t get a native Russian speaker for the audio.

The narrator for the 1971 audio does seem to be a native Russian speaker, but it was apparently recorded much later than the original book publication, so I wonder if it is the original audio.

I looked for many years for used LPs of the Cortina Russian Master Course, but have never seen any. Does anyone have any background on the recordings for the Russian course? Why are there three different versions: 1952, 1971, and demo? Were the recordings officially done by Cortina? Was there ever a Master Russian course with other materials?

Thanks in advance for any insight!
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Speakeasy
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Re: Cortina Method Audio

Postby Speakeasy » Mon May 29, 2017 11:42 am

Please allow me to express my admiration for your perseverance in tracking down these materials!

I provided a level of administrative support to the initiatives that ultimately led to the hosting of the Cortina Russian materials on the Indiana University's CeLT Recorded Materials Archive and on the FSI-Language-Courses websites. Cortina Russian (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... 40797&PN=2). Here is the story as best I can reconstruct it:

I became aware of the Cortina Russian audio recordings through Jpazzz' post Cortina French, German, and Russian (http://how-to-learn-any-language.com/fo ... 40245&PN=5). He reported that he had purchased his set of 78 rpm vinyl LP records on eBay, which he later identified as being labelled "Cortina Conversaphone Language System." As an aside, during the period that I was working on this small project, I came across a similar offer on eBay for which the accompanying photo clearly indicated that they had been "published" by Cortina. This is, perhaps, where the question of "origin" becomes unclear ...

During my subsequent communications with the President of Cortina International concerning the hosting of the Cortina Russian materials on the above-named websites, she provided information suggesting that the company had not prepared recordings for this course and that, as you indicated above, they had sold recordings that had been prepared by Linguaphone. When I offered the explanation that Jpazzz had provided, supported by a copy of the photo of the vinyl records that I had downloaded from eBay -- which, regrettably, I no longer have -- she expressed genuine surprise. For me, this suggests at least two possibilities: either (a) Linguaphone prepared the recordings on behalf of Cortina, hence the link to the former company, or (b) Cortina produced their own recordings and their archives do not reflect this fact. Nevertheless, irrespective of their "origin", the 78 rpm vinyl LP records on eBay, were labelled "Cortina Conversaphone Language System."

The origins of the second, more complete, set of audio recordings are unclear. During my communications with the President of Cortina International, she advised that she had been unaware of their existence but confirmed that Cortina had neither produced nor sold them. Jpazzz reported that he had received them from a fellow language-learning enthusiast who had downloaded them from one of the numerous websites where "free" materials are available.

I will send have sent Emails to both Jpazzz and Daristini drawing their attention to this post and inviting them to comment, if they so wish.

Addendum
The thought came to me that the following discussion of Cortina Russian might be of passing interest to you:
Cortina Russian and Japanese (FSI Languages database)
https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?t=1215

EDITED:
1. Typos ... unsurprisingly.
2. Emails sent.
3. Addendum: Link to a previous discussion of Cortina Russian.
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