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emk
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 Message 737 of 1317
14 October 2013 at 2:25pm | IP Logged 
For those of you who remember the "Seinfeld calendar" trick, which helped bootstrap my French studies, there's a really fascinating discussion of
how Beeminder can help you do things several days a week, for when 7 days a week is too many.

Bakunin wrote:
emk wrote:

What's this, emk? It looks monolingual and very interesting! Is it what I hope it is, a reading application that allows you to mark sentences, a word in it, which is then looked up automatically in a monolingual dictionary, and then a flashcard is created for export to Anki? Are you going to share this?

You're very close!

I'm not really trying to replace readlang, which looks like a really nice web-based reading tool. But I don't want to do all my reading in a web app. I like reading in my regular browser, or using Moon+ on my phone and tablet. And I really like reviewing in Anki.

So now I have this huge pile of cool, highlighted sentences. But entering them into Anki is a pain, because I have to flip between different windows, look stuff up on three separate dictionary sites, and so on.

I just want to streamline the process a whole bunch. Think of my experiment as "readlang, but for loose sentences and Anki", or "the missing link between all my reading tools and Anki." The details are still developing.

Bakunin wrote:
Are you going to share this?

This depends almost entirely on whether enough people want it badly enough, and let me know. :-) Please feel free to abuse the "VOTE" link below to say, "Yes, I would totally use that!", or to respond below.

Edited by emk on 14 October 2013 at 2:35pm

11 persons have voted this message useful



sctroyenne
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739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
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 Message 738 of 1317
15 October 2013 at 4:46am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Bakunin wrote:
Are you going to share this?

This depends almost entirely on whether enough people want it badly enough, and let me
know. :-) Please feel free to abuse the "VOTE" link below to say, "Yes, I would totally
use that!", or to respond below.


Uh, yes! Of course people would want it!

BTW, tried to PM you regarding your French tutor but it says your inbox is full.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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 Message 739 of 1317
15 October 2013 at 9:33pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
Uh, yes! Of course people would want it!

I'm glad to see that people are interested!

Before building a software project, though, I always try to ask. I've learned that unless people are practically knocking down my door, it's rarely worth the days required to build something. The initial interest looks promising, so I'll continue working on it for a bit and look for some beta volunteers. :-)

My Anki backlog is almost cleared. I have only a dozen-odd Egyptian cards remaining. As expected, my success rate has gone up dramatically since I started working through the backlog. It takes a while to reactivate Egyptian, but once I do, it's still more-or-less there, a full year after I stopped at Assimil lesson 30.

Here's my monthly Anki revisions for the last 20 months of Anki.



This will start going up again if I finish my SRS collection tool. :-)

Trying Beeminder

I've decided to try an experiment with Beeminder. This is described as "goal tracking with a sting!" The idea is that:

1. I enter a goal and deadline. In this case, my goal is "Finish 100% of Le Déchonologue by November 15th." Beeminder gives me a really nice graph showing my progress, and it gives me a week to get a head start.

2. If I don't make enough progress towards my goal, then Beeminder asks me if I'm still serious about it. If I am, then I need to make a $5 bet that I'll stay on track.

3. If I fail again, I lose my $5. But if I stay on track, it's free. To me, this isn't a huge threat—my current goal of "do something in French every single day" has been running unbroken for over 2,150 days.

4. Any time I want, I can cancel my goal, or I can adjust the details. But there's a catch: Any changes to the goal take place a week in the future. So I can let myself out of future commitments, but not out of current ones.

I find this idea amusing, and I'm interested in this sort of software. So I set up two goals: a private one related to my business (which is easily worth risking $5), and a public goal to finish reading my current French book on schedule. I could beat this goal easily; as usual, the only challenge is making time.

EDIT: Beeminder thoughtfully provides lists of their competitors and similar tools that don't require you to risk money. Nice!

Edited by emk on 15 October 2013 at 10:23pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



Bakunin
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Switzerland
outerkhmer.blogspot.
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 Message 740 of 1317
15 October 2013 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
sctroyenne wrote:
Uh, yes! Of course people would want it!

I'm glad to see that people are interested!


I would want it, too! I'm glad you're taking it forward :)
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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 Message 741 of 1317
16 October 2013 at 5:54am | IP Logged 
Sigh. This is what happens when I read books about time travel. Look very carefully at the chapter numbers and dates in Le Déchronologue:



I need to finish this book quickly, if only in self defense. Keeping the whole interwoven plot in my head is going to be tricky. Fortunately, the writing is excellent:

Quote:
Autour du Chronos, l’océan réordonnait sans cesse ses bataillons de pyramides d’eau sombre. Le vent était changeant, arrachant à leur pointe des éruptions d’écume amère.

I'm really glad that I can read first-rate French science fiction these days. There's actually a surprising amount of it, and I'm getting better at finding it.

I read from 17.6% to 30.8% today, or about 74 pages. I also finished off my last 74 Egyptian cards in Anki, bringing me to 0 across the board. I can't wait until I can dump all the sentences I'm harvesting from these books into Anki.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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 Message 742 of 1317
16 October 2013 at 3:45pm | IP Logged 
The world of the Le Déchronologue is certainly strange—the Caribbean of the mid-17th century, with merchants, privateers and pirates. But their world is somehow in contact with other times, and marvels from other eras are available at the right price.

This world is surprisingly believable because Stéphane Beauverger has taken a craftsman's pride in the details. For example, the great difficulty with technological marvels is keeping them charged. And thus, batteries become a currency as valuable as gold. Similarly, until the invention of the record player, good music was an expensive status symbol.

Here, the captain Henri Villon has been summoned in desperation and his exile reversed. As his ship halts just out of cannon range, watch how he announces his presence:

Quote:
Je fis mettre à la panne hors de portée des canons du fort de la Roche, puis donnai l’ordre de faire rugir notre hymne. La mélopée déchirante du Flow my tears de Dowland roula sur les vagues jusqu’au port, éclaboussant façades et auvents de ses notes jaillies de nos hauts-parleurs. L’air parut plus vibrant, plus fébrile, sous les accents puissants de notre musique. À peine les derniers accords avaient-ils cessé de résonner que deux barcasses prirent la mer pour porter jusqu’à moi une courte délégation de gens en armes. À l’instant de les laisser grimper à bord – sous la surveillance faussement nonchalante de mes matelots – je détaillai leur mine usée et leur pourpoint taché. Ces mignons-là n’avaient pas été à la fête. Je les accueillis aimablement :

— Bienvenue sur le Déchronologue, messieurs.

Ils étaient cinq, cinq délégués aux doigts tremblants, qui roulaient des yeux ou se grattaient une barbe en bataille, incapables de réprimer leur légitime curiosité en arpentant le fleuron de la mer caraïbe.

Of course infamous privateers should announce themselves via loudspeakers playing heartbreaking 16th century hymns. In a society where good music is rare, and technological marvels are a sign of power, it's a brutally effective bit of psychology.

Here's a review in French:

Quote:
Le Déchronologue est un roman exigeant, que je conseille de lire en peu de temps. Si vous vous lancez, prévoyez une vraie plage horaire consacrée à la lecture, car celle-ci demande de la concentration. Et puis une fois que vous serez dedans, vous verrez que vous ne pourrez plus lâcher le livre !



La première chose qui me vient à l'esprit à propos de ce livre, c'est l'exercice de style auquel s'est adonné l'auteur. Car celui-ci a écrit son histoire dans l'ordre chronologique (comme tout le monde quoi !), pour ensuite mélanger tous les chapitres et plonger le lecteur dans un véritable capharnaüm temporel, à l'instar du personnage principal, le capitaine Villon, qui se retrouve au coeur de perturbations temporelles qu'il ne comprend pas. On commence donc le livre par la fin (Les premiers mots sont ceux-ci : "Je suis le capitaine Henri Villon et je mourrai bientôt.", avouez que c'est intriguant !), pour ensuite revenir au début, puis au milieu, et après j'ai perdu le compte :)



Autre point positif : les personnages. Villon est à ce titre une vraie réussite : un pirate bien sympathique, avec ses qualités mais aussi ses défauts et ses failles, ce qui en fait un personnage vraiment intéressant, un être humain qu'on a presque l'impression d'avoir rencontré à force de lire son journal. C'est un homme qui est foncièrement bon (même si c'est un pirate), mais qui se consume petit à petit par sa soif de savoir et de vérité concernant les maravillas, ces objets étranges venus d'un autre temps... Et ce n'est pas le seul à y succomber par ces temps troublés...

If you're looking for good French science fiction, and you don't mind a challenge, take a look.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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 Message 743 of 1317
17 October 2013 at 3:49am | IP Logged 
After much overhauling and rewriting, I took some time to add more dictionaries:



Now I just need: (1) user accounts, (2) bulk import, (3) working through the imported cards, and (4) bulk export. Not necessarily in that order. If people like the rudimentary French version, we can talk about other languages. And other improvements. One step at a time…

But first, more reading about French pirates, because that's fun, too.
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Expugnator
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Brazil
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 Message 744 of 1317
17 October 2013 at 4:45pm | IP Logged 
emk, demain je vais commencer à lire "Extension du domaine de la lutte", je me souviens
pas si c'était une recommandation à toi, mais il me semble très intéressant et je
voudrais te remercier quand même !


1 person has voted this message useful



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