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sillygoose1
Tetraglot
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United States
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566 posts - 814 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, Spanish, French
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 Message 569 of 1317
14 May 2013 at 12:08am | IP Logged 
Have you read Sous les vents de Neptune by Vargas yet? This is the first novel I'm reading of hers. Which are your favorites?

I wanted to read her whole bibliography but there is so much more other stuff to get to.
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 570 of 1317
14 May 2013 at 2:15pm | IP Logged 
sillygoose1 wrote:
Have you read Sous les vents de Neptune by Vargas yet? This is the first novel I'm reading of hers. Which are your favorites?

I've only read the two short stories in Salut et liberté, the first of which was my favorite. My last Amazon order included Debout les morts and L'homme à l'envers, one of which I'll probably start today.

I just finished book 6 of the L'Incal series. Overall, I found the random and bizarre story line amusing, but I didn't feel like it added up to any kind of artistic unity. I'm glad I read it, but I don't think I'll try to track down any similar works.

I also watched some more Avatar last night. It's a really funny series, and the translation is sufficiently idiomatic that I often have no idea what the original English might have been. In the first episode, there's a great scene where Sokka (15 years old, and left caring for the young kids after the parents went off to war) is trying to encourage the young boys to be brave defenders of the tribe. But since the kids are all between the ages of 2 and 6, they're baffled by his speech and more concerned about potty breaks. So Sokka winds up insisting, "You're brave warriors! Pas de pause pipi !" And as any parent could tell you, this is completely futile. Overall, the series seems to deal with serious themes in a very kid-friendly way. And the animation is excellent, especially compared to all the horrible CGI cartoons out there these days.

Now that I no longer need subs or transcripts to start most new television series, I've grown very fond of kid's cartoons. Most of them are only 23 minutes long, which means it's really easy for me to fit an episode into a busy day. And there are definitely some good series out there, with excellent French translations. After all, nobody expects cartoons to be lip-synced, which gives the translators more freedom to get the dialogue right. And cartoons allow me to focus on getting core listening comprehension 100% solid without getting into too much esoteric vocabulary.
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 571 of 1317
15 May 2013 at 10:34pm | IP Logged 
Vargas's L'Homme à l'envers is proving to be an especially quick read—I've been doing a few pages here and there, and I've somehow read more than 100 since yesterday. I seem to have a school edition published by Classiques et Contemporains and aimed at 14-year-olds. It has actually has footnotes defining some of the more obscure vocabulary, which I find rather encouraging: not even native speakers know every French word! There's also an interview with the author in the back. If you're looking for interesting French books, do check out the publisher's website. They have lots of promising-looking books, complete with difficulty rankings and supplementary material.

I left the French TV on while working this morning and caught part of a Sooby Doo. Now I know that a Scooby Snack is a un croque Scooby. This is another series with a perfectly reasonable French translation, and the episodes always have exactly the same structure, which makes it easy. The voices are pretty easy to understand, except for Shaggy and Scooby, who spend most of their time screaming hysterically.

On an unrelated note, there's an interesting phenomenon that I've been thinking about recently: I will often read an unknown word without realizing that I don't know it. Instead of going "huh?", I just find the text a bit more opaque than usual. This seems to happen either when (1) the word "feels" correct or (2) the meaning can be easily inferred from context. I wonder what percentage of my vocabulary learning comes from these "stealth" words? And I also wonder how many such words I still encounter in English, words like remittance that I couldn't give an exact definition for, but which I recognize just fine in context.

Since I've learned between 1,000 and 2,000 Anki cards during this past year, and my vocabulary has probably increased by at least 5,000 words, I'm guessing that these stealth words make up a large majority of my vocabulary learning.

Edited by emk on 15 May 2013 at 10:54pm

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kujichagulia
Senior Member
Japan
Joined 2896 days ago

1031 posts - 1571 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Japanese, Portuguese

 
 Message 572 of 1317
16 May 2013 at 2:12am | IP Logged 
Scooby Doo! Jeez, I was beginning to think I was the only person left in the world that remembered that cartoon!

I think I came across a Portuguese version of Scooby Doo when scanning through some online live Brazilian television... and I would have watched it, too, if it weren't for those meddling kids!

You say that the French translation was reasonable. Do you find that, as far as learning French usage is concerned, it doesn't matter whether you watch shows dubbed in French or shows originally produced in French?
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emk
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 573 of 1317
16 May 2013 at 4:51am | IP Logged 
kujichagulia wrote:
You say that the French translation was reasonable. Do you find that, as far as learning French usage is concerned, it doesn't matter whether you watch shows dubbed in French or shows originally produced in French?

It doesn't seem to make a huge difference, in my experience, provided I find a high-quality dub. The French in Buffy, Angel or L'Avatar : le dernier maître de l'air is at least as idiomatic as the French in Ulysse 31, for example. In general, if a series is actually popular in France, the dubbing is probably pretty good.

Now, to be fair, Buffy is substantially easier than a native series like Engrenages. But then again, 90% of the native content I've seen on French TV is easier than Engrenages, because that series involves a huge cast, subtle plotting, and frequent scene changes. Much like The Wire in English, it demands a lot of the viewer. And that probably isn't want you want, at least not until you're solid on the easier stuff.

As a general rule of thumb, I make a lot of progress when:

1) The series is easy enough that I can watch it for fun, and even get a little lost in the story.
2) The series is hard enough that I actually need to pay attention to the TV.

A huge portion of my learning comes from converting input that's just barely comprehensible into input that's deeply familiar. I think many language learners ignore this part of the process, because it doesn't involve enough pain and suffering to seem virtuous.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 574 of 1317
16 May 2013 at 10:34am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

Now, to be fair, Buffy is substantially easier than a native series like Engrenages. But then again, 90% of the native content I've seen on French TV is easier than Engrenages, because that series involves a huge cast, subtle plotting, and frequent scene changes. Much like The Wire in English, it demands a lot of the viewer. And that probably isn't want you want, at least not until you're solid on the easier stuff.


Have you watched the Wire in French? I am curious, because I've realized that since I have started watching dubbed shows in German that a lot of the subtly of regional accents/patios is lost.

I have been told that in the German dubbed version of the Wire the differences in speech between the black and white protagonists is completely lost, which would rob the show of a lot of it's charm (though it's a boon for language learners!). This happens in more subtle ways with, say, working vs upper class accents in period dramas. Or, even I guess, in Buffy, where Giles presumably has a bulk standard German accent like the other characters.


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emk
Diglot
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 Message 575 of 1317
16 May 2013 at 3:26pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
Have you watched the Wire in French?

No, but when I watched it in English, I had to use subtitles for the first two episodes.

I just went and found some clips of The Wire in French on YouTube. It feels like they've made some attempt to differentiate the accents, but it's not really noticeable in the few clips I saw. If this is really true, it's an interesting artistic decision, because they could have chosen to use accents like Omar Sy's. Doing so would carry the subtext that the banlieues of Paris face many of the same structural disadvantages as urban Baltimore. That analogy would be welcomed by some in France, and rejected by others.

patrickwilken wrote:
Or, even I guess, in Buffy, where Giles presumably has a bulk standard German accent like the other characters.

In French, the voice acting for Giles and Cordelia is actually quite good. Giles speaks a very pedantic French, actually going so far as to use the passé simple in a couple of early episodes. Cordelia is as snooty as ever.

The character who loses the most in translation is probably Spike. He's got an English accent in the original, but unlike Giles, he's not a pedantic intellectual, so there's no real way to way to map his accent to a specific register in standard French.

On another subject, I finished Ulysse 31 last night. Good fun, but it ended on a fairly weak note. Of course, it's episodic 80's television with no episode-to-episode continuity, which means the authors had to wrap it up the entire series in a single, 23-minute episode. Overall, a very fun show, perfect for my inner 8-year-old, with undeniably awesome spaceships. But it's already clear that Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air is in a whole different league, artistically speaking. Of course, this is unsurprising: Avatar is supposedly one of the best animated kid's shows ever made.
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 576 of 1317
16 May 2013 at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

The character who loses the most in translation is probably Spike. He's got an English accent in the original, but unlike Giles, he's not a pedantic intellectual, so there's no real way to way to map his accent to a specific register in standard French.


Spike strikes me as English working class, so yes, the exact opposite to Giles. I guess neither come across as foreign in the same way as English Giles/Spike do in sunny CA.

I guess the French rarely (if ever) would consider adding a French-Canadian accent to the mix.

German seems to have a more limited range of accents for denoting class distinctions so it's hard pressed to find appropriate ways of dubbing. For the Wire I guess they could have gone with some sort of Turkish-German accent, but that would have sounded odd in context.


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