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sctroyenne
Diglot
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: English*, French
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 Message 873 of 1317
09 January 2014 at 7:41pm | IP Logged 
Jennie of IE Languages updated her post on using MOOCs. Looks like Coursera is the way to
go. And she mentions one on Egyptology for our budding Egyptologists!:

http://ielanguages.com/blog/using-mooc-videos-and-subtitles- to-learn-languages/


edit: Found the Egyptology one! It's in Spanish:
https://www.coursera.org/course/egypt

Edited by sctroyenne on 09 January 2014 at 8:13pm

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tommus
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 Message 874 of 1317
09 January 2014 at 8:39pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
do you know of any online courses in French for things like chemistry,
biochemistry or chemical engineering?

You probably have checked and noted that Coursera has no courses listed related to
chemistry. But they do have quite a few in French on other topics.

Coursera
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Anya
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France
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Speaks: Russian*, FrenchC1, English, Italian, Spanish
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Studies: Ancient Greek, Hindi

 
 Message 875 of 1317
09 January 2014 at 8:59pm | IP Logged 
Here are the links to some biochemistry courses in French online:

http://www.cours-de-biochimie.fr/index.php
http://www.chups.jussieu.fr/polys/biochimie/
http://www-lemm.univ-lille1.fr/biologie/biochim/co/Module_bi ochim.html
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patrickwilken
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Germany
radiant-flux.net
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 Message 876 of 1317
09 January 2014 at 8:59pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

Basically, there's no way I'm going to be able to translate this right now. All I can do is remember it and get more input, and hope I find the missing clue some day. :-) This is, in fact, pretty much how I read French. I notice the occasional weird bit, and I vaguely hope that I'll see it again in a more helpful context. And I accept that some stuff won't make sense.


Thanks trying it out; I am amazed at how far you went.

You almost make me want to learn Ancient Egyptian.

I was reminded of seeing a boy with his father in the Alt Museum in Berlin (where the bust of Nefertiti is kept amongst other things) - he was perhaps 15 years-old - and he was able to read hieroglyphs at perhaps B2 level. The guard there was blown away as he realized that he could read and translate at more or less as he read the inscription out loud. He was quite shy about it. It was very cool to see.

You should definitely visit Luxor if you get a chance. You could actually miss Cairo, not that you would want to, but you could spend some weeks in Luxor quite happily.

Edited by patrickwilken on 09 January 2014 at 9:01pm

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tarvos
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Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 877 of 1317
09 January 2014 at 9:06pm | IP Logged 
tommus wrote:
tarvos wrote:
do you know of any online courses in French for things
like chemistry,
biochemistry or chemical engineering?

You probably have checked and noted that Coursera has no courses listed related to
chemistry. But they do have quite a few in French on other topics.

Coursera


I checked, but nothing that would further me.
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emk
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Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 878 of 1317
12 January 2014 at 2:59am | IP Logged 
Yeah, I don't know of any French MOOCs besides what's on Coursera, but I have to say, the Coursera system is excellent—high-quality subs, variable-speed playback, downloadable srt and MP4 files, etc. Of course, I'm increasingly leaving the subs off and setting playback to 1.25x normal speed, because I've figured out what parts of the lectures can be safely skipped—any long proofs which drag in non-trivial measure theory are just "background" so far. And if this changes, I'm doomed in any case. And in a month, I've gone from struggling to juggle the French and the math to handling the French at 1.25x speed with a much smaller fraction of my brain.

Middle Egyptian

Egyptian grammar is so cool. So much depends on sentence "templates"—each template fixes a word order and parts of speech, and I just need to know how to interpret that template.

Let's look at some examples. I'll use the Leipzig glossing rules, where "-" separates morphemes, "FPL" means "feminine plural", "3PL" means "3rd-person plural", and so on. "STAT" means "stative".

If we start with a bare adjective (with no agreement), and follow it by a noun, we get a complete sentence:

1.
wAD / gAb-wt
green.ADJ / leaves-FPL
The leaves are green.

If we reverse the order, and we make the adjective agree with the noun, then we get a noun phrase (and not a complete sentence):

2.
gAb-wt / wAD-wt
leaves-FPL / green.ADJ-FPL
Green leaves

But now let's take "green", and conjugate it like a verb:

3.
gAb-wt / wAD-w
leaves-FPL / green.STAT-3PL
The leaves have become green.

Now, it's not even clear that sentence (3) contains an actual verb, because Egyptian is technically a VSO language. This is more like an adjective, conjugated as something that used to be a perfect participle, promoted to some completely different part of speech and slotted into an appropriate template. Egyptologists all agree what this sentence means, but they tend to fight a lot over the grammar.

And we're just getting warmed up: I haven't talked about particles, or adverbial sentences, or the 7 nearly-identical sDm=f forms, or (heaven forbid) relative clauses, the latter of which I don't understand at all yet, but which clearly promise to be at least as funky as main clause verbs.

So this is one of the many charms of Egyptian: For a language with very simple conjugation tables, it somehow manages to have surprisingly weird grammar. Everything happens with word order, and particles, and clitic pronouns, and patterns. There are verbs, but not always, and when they're present, they tend to moonlight as other parts of speech.

Oh, and did I mention that we have written samples of this language from around 3250 BC until the 17th century CE? That's almost 5000 years of recorded language evolution. And depending on what the archaeologists dug up in the last year or so, it's either the oldest or second-oldest recorded language. Plus, the writing system looks as impressive as can be, but it only has about 200 core characters, including a large phonetic component.

Anyway, I like this language. It's not especially useful, but it's a lot of fun.

Edited by emk on 12 January 2014 at 3:00am

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emk
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 879 of 1317
12 January 2014 at 1:07pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
I was reminded of seeing a boy with his father in the Alt Museum in Berlin (where the bust of Nefertiti is kept amongst other things) - he was perhaps 15 years-old - and he was able to read hieroglyphs at perhaps B2 level. The guard there was blown away as he realized that he could read and translate at more or less as he read the inscription out loud. He was quite shy about it. It was very cool to see.

Cool story!

It's tricky to apply CEFR levels to reading Egyptian. There are a few problems:

1. The grammar is pretty well understood, and the general meanings of most words are known. But even some of the most gifted translators of Egyptian have been known to complain that we don't the precise connotations of nearly as many words as we'd like. So it sounds like nobody alive can really read Egyptian at a C2 level, with precise understanding of register and the finer shades of meaning. This is made worse by the fact that there's no centralized database of Egyptian texts, and no publicly-available concordances, so it's hard pull up many uses of a word in context.

2. Many Egyptian texts are fairly formulaic or well-known. That means that if you walk into a museum, it's often possible to find a few things you can read well, because they're about familiar subjects.

3. Egyptian isn't really one language—it's more like a family of closely related languages. It's sort of like reading classical Latin, and medieval Latin, and having a bunch of vulgar Latin and Romance languages which leak through from time to time. You can be reading along and say, "Hey, this language isn't supposed to have any articles! But it does here." Plus, a large fraction of Egyptian texts were written by scribes working in their L2 (again, like Medieval Latin). So if something doesn't make sense, it may just have been a scribe who hadn't mastered the language.

So while sight-reading Egyptian in a museum is insanely impressive at any age, it's hard to adapt the CEFR levels.

In any case, if you're interested by Egyptian, you already know two of the three traditional Egyptological languages! Most PhD programs seem to want English, French and German, and will take either ancient Greek or Arabic as a bonus. Even though you can find lots of linguists who say, "Well, adults can't really learn languages, critical period, blah blah blah," there are other departments in the university which say, "Hey, if you can't pick up solid reading knowledge of another two or three languages, don't bother to apply." Clearly there are two different definitions of "learn a language" at work here.

Assimil & Listening

I'm still wrestling with whether to continue using the Assimil recordings. MCD cards give me a huge leg up on the vocabulary and grammar (compared to my old sentence cards), and I've lost much of my listening comprehension in the last year.

On the other hand, there's something really nice about putting the recordings on loop play and waiting for pieces of them to become comprehensible. With MCDs, I know the text pretty well, and Assimil's diction is even more precise than usual. And merely having lots of snippets in raw Egyptian sound in my audio memory makes it easier to pick up vocabulary and expressions, because the sound pattern is already buried in my brain; I just need to assign a meaning.

This is very much in keeping with Paul Sulzberger's theories (which don't seem to be published in any journals Google Scholar can find): Extensive listening to incomprehensible audio may not help you understand directly. But it may build up lots of low-level neural structures that make later learning much easier.

I'm really interested in whether background looping of Assimil will make it easier to fill in the blanks on my MCD cards. As usual, this is very much an experiment.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
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1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 880 of 1317
12 January 2014 at 3:23pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

This is very much in keeping with Paul Sulzberger's theories (which don't seem to be published in any journals Google Scholar can find): Extensive listening to incomprehensible audio may not help you understand directly. But it may build up lots of low-level neural structures that make later learning much easier.


Any idea thoughts on how helpful this research is when you are in >B1 territory?


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