The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Xenops » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:42 pm

Here's a challenge: I might be interested in learning Manchu to a low level--but are there many free resources? There's this site:

https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Manchu

and then there's the free-domain text of an old grammar at archive.org:

https://archive.org/details/cu31924023341112

Are there any free sources with audio? There's not that many sources with audio period, much less free and legal. I could do some researching on the related language Xibe. I'd have to see if there is a Manchurian Bible or not.

Edit:
A preliminary search proved that there are five words recorded on Forvo.com in Manchu, and exactly zero for Xibe. :lol: There are some basic Biblical recordings in Xibe, but I'll have to see if there are transcripts. http://globalrecordings.net/en/language/4943
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby rdearman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:37 pm

OK, I'm in with Setswana (Pure Hardcore FLC) and with Czech with the Library FLC. I'm going to start a single log for both of them and just put the resources and comments in one place. Don't have much choice with the Setswana other than the Hardcore challenge since there isn't anything in my Library. I'm probably not actually going to start the clock ticking until next week because I need to get down to the library to get the book for Czech and download the Peace Corps stuff for Setswana.

I have another question. (Sorry, iguanamon) I purchased a bunch of DVD's for French and Finnish over the last 2 years and they are collecting dust on a shelf. A quick review showed some of them have Czech on them. I'd like to do some subs2srs, can I use them? I'm already using the library exception for Czech. The DVD's are legal because I already own then. I'm OK if not, but the restrictions already mean that susb2srs is basically a no-no.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Xenops » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:40 pm

rdearman wrote:OK, I'm in with Setswana (Pure Hardcore FLC) and with Czech with the Library FLC. I'm going to start a single log for both of them and just put the resources and comments in one place. Don't have much choice with the Setswana other than the Hardcore challenge since there isn't anything in my Library. I'm probably not actually going to start the clock ticking until next week because I need to get down to the library to get the book for Czech and download the Peace Corps stuff for Setswana.

I have another question. (Sorry, iguanamon) I purchased a bunch of DVD's for French and Finnish over the last 2 years and they are collecting dust on a shelf. A quick review showed some of them have Czech on them. I'd like to do some subs2srs, can I use them? I'm already using the library exception for Czech. The DVD's are legal because I already own then. I'm OK if not, but the restrictions already mean that susb2srs is basically a no-no.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the spirit of the challenge is that someone on the other side of the world could replicate your success by only having access to the Internet and maybe a printer.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Systematiker » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:42 pm

OK, I'm in for the "Super what am I thinking pure FLC" with both Czech and Ukranian, because why not.

Full disclosure: Lots of work on Russian, and the fact that I honestly sometimes can't tell something I'm listening to on Spotify (which I pay for the subscription to) is in Ukrainian and not Russian, so there's a chance that I'll listen to Ukrainian music inadvertently (does having subscribed to a pay version of a freely available thing to get rid of adds make it the "pre-existing streaming" version? I'm going to try to avoid the music on there so I can do the pure version for both). I've so far, uh, started playing with Ukrainian on Duolingo and everything I've done in Czech (not much!) has been public-domain stuff for natives (Bible, Luther's Catechism, the Jesus movie). I probably know less than 100 words, if I'm not getting contextual clues. So I'm basically starting from scratch. And I almost break iguanamon's maxim anyway. Caveat in the other direction, though: I'll probably get busy and not make the time limit, but at least for the moment, I'm in.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby iguanamon » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:47 pm

Alright, Rick, go ahead. Since I've made an exception for pre-existing streaming service, that's equivalent to already owning a DVD... but this is it. No more exceptions. Disclose it in the log.

Systematiker- yeah, go ahead, just disclose it.

Also, I expect participants to discuss the quality of the free resources, what they like and don't like. When participants drop out, they should agree to give an exit post telling us if they've learned anything new about language-learning because of the challenge and if they feel they are better off because of it. If they finish the challenge successfully, same thing. I also hope to see some out of the box thinking. Courses and series aren't the only way to learn a language. Get creative, folks.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby rdearman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:07 pm

Xenops wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the spirit of the challenge is that someone on the other side of the world could replicate your success by only having access to the Internet and maybe a printer.

I'm doing one language hardcore such that I only use the Internet and a printer (although I'll probably skip the printer).

But the Czech is with the library exception and I'm doing this one in the spirit of FREE as in I will not spend any money on Czech, but I will use whatever ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking will allow. If the idea is that someone with limited resources needs to learn a language but has access to 1st or 2nd world facilities then they could replicate what I'm doing for Czech. Don't forget that often 1st world wantabe language learners stop before they start because they see the price tag on a Michel Thomas Foundation Course (£80 / $100) or Rosetta Stone (£329 / $460) course and give up before they start. So although I'm using DVD's I already bought or books from the library, for that amount of money a beginner could design a pretty kick-ass set of resources. What I'm hoping to show is still hopefully in the spirit of the challenge and that you don't need to spend big bucks language materials.

If a learner had access to charity shops, bargain stores, ebay, or even boot sales (yard sales) they could pick up tons of language learning materials for next to nothing. All legally and less than the cost of a big named course. I'm not trying to side-track iguanamon's challenge just (hopefully) show people who might read this later that they can use what they already own, whatever they swap, and otherwise think of to get stuff to reach their goals for free.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby Spoonary » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:17 pm

So I nearly failed before I started yesterday when I searched for Greek music on YouTube :lol: then I realised that it's a no-go. I guess I could use my subscription to Spotify as a pre-existing streaming service, but no, I want to stick to the pure FLC.

I figure internet radio is ok, right?
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby rdearman » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:28 pm

Spoonary wrote:So I nearly failed before I started yesterday when I searched for Greek music on YouTube :lol: then I realised that it's a no-go. I guess I could use my subscription to Spotify as a pre-existing streaming service, but no, I want to stick to the pure FLC.

I figure internet radio is ok, right?

YouTube music is probably OK.
Unlike mechanical royalties generated from physical sales and digital distribution, for the most part labels are not involved with you as a songwriter on YouTube. If you are affiliated with ASCAP or BMI, you are eligible to collect the performance royalties generated from your video.

YouTube matches music with videos and pays royalties to the songwriter or label where it identifies them, or the label or artists reports it, in which case YouTube pays for all previous and subsequent views. Not my challenge, but from a royalties POV, the songwriter (who is the copyright holder) is paid. I think they get paid for cover versions too if they identify it to YouTube. Which is why we don't really have a problem with most people linking back to YouTube on the forum. They are pretty heavily regulated and have take-down-orders for offending videos.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby iguanamon » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:15 pm

Spoonary wrote:So I nearly failed before I started yesterday when I searched for Greek music on YouTube :lol: then I realised that it's a no-go. I guess I could use my subscription to Spotify as a pre-existing streaming service, but no, I want to stick to the pure FLC.
I figure internet radio is ok, right?

The challenge is "Free and Legal". Youtube music is probably ok. Youtube series and films probably not. Yes, internet radio is fine.

Those who accept "The Pure FLC" will have a harder time making things happen, but their perseverance, creativity and ingenuity will more than make up for not having ideal materials. That's been my experience when I was learning Haitian Creole and Ladino.

S_allard almost never comments on these things and almost never reads logs, but part of my inspiration comes from him. I remember his comments about watching a series and how he said that you don't need 150 episodes, to learn. There's more than enough language in one or two episodes. His comments were met with derision, however; despite the fact that he is ignoring the snowball effect and the effect of visual clues on learning a language, I have found his observations to have merit. Sure, I read lots of books, listen to lots of podcasts and watch lots of series, but when I was limited to just a few resources in Haitian Creole and Ladino, I still did fine. I just concentrate on them more. While I paid for some things, most of my learning was free and legal- you can't pirate Ladino or Haitian Creole, there isn't anything to pirate. So really concentrating on a few resources does work.

For The Pure FLC participants, a lot of your success will depend on your attitude towards what you have. If you look at it as a hardship and deprivation that's not going to help. If you approach your limited, less than ideal, resources with "How can I best make this work for me?" you are onto a winner. When you don't have much to work with you have to make the best of what you have. If you can find a good source of parallel texts, even if you have to make them yourself- I'm allowing use of downloaded srt subtitle files- you are onto a winner.

GlobalVoices.org is one such place to go. The site has a Greek Version and a Czech Version with links to article translations in English and other languages. For instance, here's a Czech article Kolumbijský filozof, který se snaží přijít s alternativou k drancování planety and the English version: A Colombian Philosopher Explores the Alternatives to Overusing Mother Nature and a Greek article: O Paul Théa, σκηνοθέτης από τη Γουινέα, μιλάει για το εγχείρημά του “Ο Δρόμος της Σκλαβιάς” with a translation in Spanish, English, Italian and French. Ok, maybe in an ideal world you wouldn't care about "Guinean Filmmaker Paul Théa Speaks About His ‘Slave Route’ Project"... wouldn't even give it a second look... but... now your resources are limited. Here's something you can make a parallel text out of (and not just with English!). What can it teach you? What can you learn from it? A lot more than you think and a lot more if you keep replicating the process over time. Maybe enough to start making sense out of a language and moving it forward, believe it or not. Not all the way, but a good part of the way can be done with this type of outside of the box, language-learning.

Ok, it ain't "Harry Potter". It ain't even "The Picture of Dorian Gray"... but it's something and it's something you can use to help you learn a language when you can't choose what you would like to have in an ideal world. There are a bunch of articles on the GlobalVoices site and elsewhere available for you to use in your learning... but you have to make the effort, be happy with what you have and make the best out of it. This is just one example. Do this kind of thing, think outside the box, and you will succeed.

I've posted about this stuff before, but few people take advantage of it in their learning. This kind of thing can help. It's free and it's legal. It just takes a little bit of effort to put it to work for you. Using GlobalVoices.org to make simple parallel texts. What else can you find? I'm eager to see what you all come up with that I don't know about yet.
Last edited by iguanamon on Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:19 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Free and Legal Challenge- Discussion

Postby reineke » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:09 am

rdearman wrote:Ok. I have a load of DVD s which I bought before and can't use for subs2srs. Can't copy the library DVD and can't buy more so subs2srs is out of the picture. So this is more challenging for resources than I had initially thought. BTW people check "the master list of resources" there are open text books for many languages including a French 600+ pager from a university in California and many other treasures.

We have the stuff here on the forum you need already compiled by our resident fox.


Rdearman has taken over the torch. Hooray!

Finding free and legal resources is not a problem.
A1-A2 courses in 50 languages:
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Learn 48 Languages Online for Free:
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FSI/DLI
https://fsi-languages.yojik.eu
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