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Iversen’s Multiconfused Log (see p.1!)

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vermillon
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 Message 2889 of 3959
01 April 2012 at 3:01pm | IP Logged 
Iversen wrote:
* I wonder how they got Queen Elisabeth to speak her parts!


You should wonder how they got the authorization to publish it.
In fact, it's not that difficult to build voices of famous politicians: they make a lot of speeches all the time, and the transcripts for these speeches are easily available. That's all you need to build a synthesized voice (if you have the rest of the pipeline, of course), and I guess every research centre working on speech synthesis has its stock of politicians that they built for fun.

I know of George W Bush and Queen Elizabeth II, but they will probably never get out of these labs...
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Iversen
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 Message 2890 of 3959
01 April 2012 at 3:15pm | IP Logged 
Well, the queen did...
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vermillon
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 Message 2891 of 3959
01 April 2012 at 3:45pm | IP Logged 
Oh, I thought you might have talked about some other Queen Elizabeth I wouldn't know of... (was a bit lazy checking, I admit).

I remember having asked my teachers about it, i.e. "does a voice belong to a person?" and he suggested it did indeed, and that you couldn't release the voice of someone without their prior consent. But I doubt there's been any court case to decide this, nor any law written for that purpose...
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Iversen
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 Message 2892 of 3959
02 April 2012 at 12:59am | IP Logged 
This evening I have been working with my travelogues and other things on my computer, but much of the time I have had something running in the background. I didn't write down what it was, so I won't make a complete list. However I used the wvi portal, and I had the Russian AMTV channel running for at least one hour - it is a news channel, and there was a long proram about homepages and IT, but news apparently also includes cartoons. Later I decided to switch to Dutch, where I first found out that a cultural channel and a few others where blocked outside the Netherlands, but a number of local channels functioned well, and I finished off with a Belgian channel. Not much for a whole evening, and the value of listening to something in the backgrund can of course be discussed, but that's of course something I do all the time with the TV - this time I just used internet TV instead.

Edited by Iversen on 02 April 2012 at 1:01am

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Iversen
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 Message 2893 of 3959
02 April 2012 at 1:42pm | IP Logged 
I have listened to some Spanish podcasts from Diaro de Sevilla today, and for once as an intensive occupation. It seems that without the self-imposed obligation to write things down I simply get bored after hearing something once and twice, but with a pencil in my hand my patience index shoots up - probably because I can see the accumulated observations grow on the paper in front of me. And of course this is the listening counterpart to the kind of concentrated vocabulary learning I have practiced for a long time.

I have commented on a funny detail in one of the podcasts in the "small challenges thread" so that's enough about that. But I also put a couple of sentences from an article about psychopaths into my trusty new friend A Capela Box, including this one:

"Un montón de los psicópatas de cuello blanco no cometen crímenes, sino que llegan a ser tremendamente exitosos", explica.

As usual I have listened closely to the versions produced by the speech synthesizer, and I'm still surprised that you can make something almost natural-sounding out of sampled voices. In Spanish they 'only' have four voices, one of which represents Spanish as spoken in the USA - the others are probably from Spain, but don't speak any of the hardcore dialects. Nevertheless it would be nice to have a 'classification' of each voice by a dialectologist - just notice the long /u/ of Irish which Марк was able to pinpoint on a map a few days ago. Of course four voices can't cover all variants of Spanish, and the few tests I have done don't even cover all the traits of each of these four, but so far the most important thing is to notice the range of sounds - and also those things which the voices do in one and only one way.

The most conspicious differences between the Latinamerican lady and the others were 1) her extremely constant flow of syllables - almost like a metronome, 2) some funny inflections of the voice. In two places her voice shot up like a rocket, namely at the last syllable of /krimæNÆS/ and /æksitåSÅS/ (crímenes, exitosos), which almost had the effect of puttting the stress on that syllable. Now I'll have to listen attentively to some specimens of Latinamerican speech to ascertain whether this is typical. The problem is of course that that I have listened to hundreds of hours of Latinamerican Spanish and still I'm in doubt whether a certain trait like that final rise is something that characterize them all or not. Btw. I have heard it lots of times in Norwegian, but that must be a parallel development.

The one male voice had two curious almost-palatizations: /krimæjnæs/ and /tremæjndɔs/, and his -os endings were fairly closed. The two other European voices (both female) didn't have that rudimentary /j/, and their -os'es were more open: /æksitåsɔs/ against his /æksitåsås/. They also had a tendency to prolong the second e and/or the following n/ in "tremendamente": "tremæ·ndamænt(æ)" resp. "trämæn·damænd(æ)". The last /æ/ is put between parentheses because it glides imperceptibly into the /æ/ of "exitosos".

Enough about Spanish ..
     

Edited by Iversen on 02 April 2012 at 1:47pm

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Iversen
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 Message 2894 of 3959
09 April 2012 at 11:40pm | IP Logged 
I have been away from HTLAL for a few days due to a trip to Germany in the company of my sister. This in itself is a rare occasion, as we have never been travelling outside Denmark without the mediating company of our mother. And by and large it went well, except that we had made one double hotel booking and had a minor disagreement about when we were supposed to meet in Burgers' Zoo in Arnhem.

I brought along some language materials and supplemented these with a couple of German science magazines. The most 'weighty' of these was "Spektrum der Wissenschaft", which contained articles about things like Quantum gravity, the heritage of Evariste Gallois (who finished a epoch-making mathematical treatise right before he died in a duel at the tender age of twenty years), storage of energy and the effects of getting stone age grandparents who lived long enough to help rearing their offspring. But also an article which shows how different languages shape the world view of their speakers, i.e. the old Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, but now backed by empirical research on concrete behaviour. For instance people using Roman alphabets normally order things from left to right, Arabs from right to left... and some Australian aborigines always from East to West, which means that they order things from right to left when they are looking North, but left to right when they are looking South. And consequently even small children always know where all four points of the compass are.   

GE: Wir fuhren mit dem Zug nach Münster und besuchten dort den Alwetter Zoo und das Naturkunde-Museum, wo die Tiere der Vergangenheit zurzeit auf unfreiwillige Ferien sind, aber stattdessen gibt's Ausstellungen über Bionik und Indianer. Von dort ging es weiter nach Vreden, wo meine Schwester einige Freunde hat, die sie seit mehr als 30 Jahren kennt, aber mindestens die letzten 20 Jahre nicht besucht hat - sie reist nicht gerne.

DU: Van Vreden naar Arnhem, waar we hadden gepland het Burgers 'Zoo en het Openluchtmuseum te bezoeken. Maar ze kon niet omgaan met de vochtige warmte van de tropenhuis ('Bush') en we hadden een misverstand met betrekking tot de vergadertijd, en het trok tot hagel toen we eindelijk reeds waren naar het openlucht-museum te gaan, waar zij hadden het onbeschoftheid 4½ € te verlangen voor het parkeren... en bovendien de mensen spraken Nederlands wat ze niet kon begrijpen. Dus we daalde het museum en reed snel terug naar Duitsland, waar ze kon praten met alle mensen - en dat is precies wat ze doet, omdat zij gelooft dat de mensen van deze wereld er zijn om aangesproken te zijn ... van haar. Maar vanwege haar ongelukkige ervaringen op deze reis zal mijn zus nooit meer Nederland bezoeken - dit land is van nu af aan geveegd uit de kaart en bestaat niet meer. Gelukkig haar beslissingen gelden niet ook voor mij.

LAT: In Germania in deversorio apud Rhenam in Buderico mansimus et postea Coloniam Ulpicam Traianam ('Xanten' in lingua teudisce) visitavimus. Hic centrum archeologicum factum est ubi quondam oppidum romanum fuit, restaurationes habent et museum. In separatum aedificium vitreum erat facsimilis tabulae geographicae nominatae "Tabula Peuteringiana" quae orbem mundi de Hispania ad Indiam exhibet. Tabula in saeculum V - fontes priores utens - facta esse estimaetur quia oppida in tabula sunt quae eo tempore destructa sunt, sed modo in copia ex saeculo XII nunc exstat quae in Biblioteca in Vindobona custoditur. In museo soror mea proposuit ad venditoribus libris chartularumque etiam copias tabulae Peutingianae vendere. Ego proposuit omnes explicationes in linguis teudisce latinaque praebere - nunc modo duo milites sermonem suam latine proferrent (sine translatione).

In Xanten (pronounced /sangten/) we visited not only the attractive town centre, but first and foremost the Archeological Centre, which is put right where the Roman emperor Traian placed Colonia Ulpica Traiana (one of a whole series of such townships all over the empire). There is a well-stocked museum with things from Germanic through Roman until Frankish times plus ruins of the local termes. Besides there are a number of reconstructed buildings including an amphitheatre and a town wall, but the item we found most intriguing was the facsimile of an old Roman map, which has been preserved in one single copy from the 13th century. This map shows roads from Spain to the Bengal, and on the internet you can even see a map which shows all the towns on the original map as they appear on a modern map. Impressive!


Edited by Iversen on 10 April 2012 at 11:27am

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Iversen
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 Message 2895 of 3959
11 April 2012 at 5:10am | IP Logged 
Tuesday wasn't a very fruitful day language-wise - I have spent a lot of time on putting order in my photos from the trip to Germany, and I listened to music while doing it. And in the bus back home from my job I read some of the newspapers which have been accumulating since last week. But I did one relevant thing: I read Suetonii biography of Guius Iulius alias Caligula, one of the most notorious Roman emperors because he also plundered and murdered Roman noblemen and not just ordinary Romans and foreigners. Murdering and plundering the populations of the conquered areas was just normal business, and conquerors like Iulius Caesar certainly didn't have moral scruples of any kind.
GER: Mein Blatt "Kompakt - Welt der Wunder" stellt zum Beispiel die Frage: "War Cäsar ein Kriegsverbrecher?" und beantwortet sie bejahend: Ja, er ließ zum beispiel 400.000 flüchtende und total wehrlose Usipeter und Tenkterer töten, und dieses Verbrechen war auch fur einige Römer fast zu viel - der Cato wollte ihm dafür anklagen, aber nichts kam daraus. Nie von der Usipeter und Tenkterer gehört? Neh, tote Menschen können ja nicht protestieren.
IT: Perciò è totalmente idiotico che Dante Alighieri al più basso nivello dell'Inferno metta i due assassini del Cesare più Giuda Iscariota - come se fosse un crimine di uccidere un assassino talmente sporco di sangue come Giulio Cesare.
LAT: Vale observare quod post mortem Caligulae senatus congregavit ut restitutionem rei publicae discutere -sed praetoriani intercesserunt et patruum Caligulae Claudium imperatorem declaraverunt - qui infirmus doctusque erat et forsitan ultimus romanus qui linguam etruscam bene cognoscebat (sed nihil de eam scribebat). Regnum Caligulae regni bene coepit, praecipue post tempore paranoici imperatris Tiberii, sed mox res fecit insolites - propemodum pontem navibus construxit e Baiam ad Puteolanas moles ut biduo dies ultro cito equitavit, sic refutans prophetiam astrologi Trasylli ut "non magis imperaturum quam per Baianum sinum equis discursurum". Ita consumpsisset Tiberii pecules et ut expectatur coepit struere pecuniam extorsonione homicidioque et furto. Etiam lupanarium in palatio suom cum senatorium uxoribus quam meretricibus ut pecuniam tollere. Incestum contendebat cum suis sororibus suis, et cum sorore dilecta Drusilla habuit filiam, quae mox post mortem Caligulae cum uxore Caesonia occisa est (parieta inlisa*).

* anglice "smashed against a wall"

Edited by Iversen on 11 April 2012 at 10:50am

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Fasulye
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 Message 2896 of 3959
11 April 2012 at 8:48am | IP Logged 
NL: Wat jouw zus betreft, veel Nederlanders in de grenssteden spreken ook Duits, maar Engels spreken de Nederlanders eigenlijk allemaal. Maar goed, als ze in dat land niet wil zijn, dan moet je zonder haar daarheen reizen.

In de het Openluchtmuseum in Arnhem ben ik een keer geweest. Het is heel groot en er is veel te bekijken, maar je moet wel mooi weer erbij hebben, want alles is buiten. Burgers Zoo ken ik niet, maar ik heb er in de Zoo Krefeld wat over gehoord.

Naar Xanten heb ik een excursie gemaakt met een paar mensen, maar we zijn alleen in de binnenstad geweest en hebben daar de kerk van binnen bekeken, maar niet naar het Archeologisch Park. Ik vind Xanten op zich een mooie kleine stad.

Fasulye

Edited by Fasulye on 11 April 2012 at 8:50am



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