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Lorinth’s log - 劳伦的博客

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lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 401 of 408
07 July 2015 at 10:58am | IP Logged 
Thanks a lot for for dropping by, Expugnator and Cavesa.

@Cavesa: my level in Latin still leaves a lot to be desired but at least I'm at the point
where I can enjoy some real literature, albeit with some aid. I've often said on this log
that I owe everything to Oerberg. Were it not for Familia Romana, Roma Aeterna, Colloquia
Personarum, Fabellae Latinae, Sermones Romani, Oerberg's editions of Caesar, Ovid, etc.,
not counting Fabulae Syrae (by Miraglia, but using the same method) and the booklets made
by Iōannēs Paulus Ferdinandī Flūminis sīve Murgēnsis (again, using the same method), I
would still be looking for the verb in the first sentence of De Bello Gallico.

@Expugnator: the idea of reading a translated (but Chinese-related) book for a change is
excellent. I'll do that. There's a conjunction of negative trends right now: I'm feeling
more and more frustrated with my lack of progress in listening comprehension, despite the
efforts I put into it; the part of 《鬼吹灯》 I'm reading right now is particularly
complicated (lots of Buddhist/Feng Shui/Daoist stuff written in what looks like archaic
language, but I'm not even sure); I'm tired of SRS (it's a recurring theme of this
forum...) but forced to admit that it's in fact the only method that is practical for me (I
study on the go, so it wouldn't be easy to use paper lists); time available is always a
problem in my case; etc.

But, hey, enough complaining. I haven't said my last word just yet.

My plan:
- Slow down with vocab until my mood changes
- Read a book in French
- Continue with 《鬼吹灯》 but skip difficult or boring bits
- I really should continue transcription exercises to try and improve my listening
comprehension

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 402 of 408
13 July 2015 at 4:23pm | IP Logged 
ZH

SRS fatigue, burnout... These are common themes on language learning forums, and a sickness
I'm suffering from, right now. I'm trying a very simple, though radical, cure: I've stopped
learning vocab altogether (almost). Suspended everything in Anki. Deleted everything in
Pleco. The only vocab-related task I do is review my daily SRS queue in Skritter, without
adding any new item. The feeling of relief is immediate and enormous. I now have more time
to indulge into the activities I really like, i.e. reading 《鬼吹灯》, in which I was
finally able to break past a very difficult part and which I'm enjoying again, in part
because I don't worry about force-feeding vocab. Once I have finished 《鬼吹灯》, I will
follow Expugnator's advice and may start a book (in French) about Chinese philosophy, a
subject I like. I have chosen a book whose original Chinese version (《中国哲学简史》) is
floating around on the net, so I leave the door open to some work if I feel like it. I've
downloaded that Chinese version and prepared an ebook already.

Of course I should not follow such a treatment for a very extended period (next 6 weeks?),
but right now, as I've said, there's a very pleasant feeling of relief. And I absolutely
want to avoid total burnout before it happens.

LA

In Latin, I've read and translated most of Seneca's letter about people's taste for bloody
games. I've continued reading Oerberg's Roma Aeterna. Listened to a Latin audio book
presenting a compendium of Latin history before the Republic. It's the same story as told
by Livy, and then retold by Lhomond, Eutropius, Oerberg, and many others. Reinforcement of
knowledge in action.
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4043 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 403 of 408
14 July 2015 at 12:04am | IP Logged 
I can relate to the feeling of relief, Lorinth. Initially I thought of reading a western novel translated into Chinese, the way I'm reading Dan Brown's book. But if I'm not mistaken you said once you wouldn't go for that at any means. So I believe the solution of reading in French first might come in handy if you decide to eventually go for the original Chinese.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 404 of 408
14 July 2015 at 9:27am | IP Logged 
Well, if I said or wrote that, I'd like to qualify my statement :-)

In reality I did read the Chinese translations of some books after having read them in
their original language, e.g. Le petit prince, Harry Potter I and Harry Potter II. But I
believe it's *preferable* to switch to original Chinese literature as soon as possible, for
two or three reasons. First, the language in, say Yu Hua's novels or 《鬼吹灯》, which I'm
reading now, is not harder than that of Harry Potter as translated in Chinese (granted, I'd
read Harry Potter before, which changes almost everything). Second, the chief reason why
I'm learning Chinese is to learn stuff about China. The quantity of Chinese culture, as
retold by a Chinese character in 《鬼吹灯》, is enormous. In the Chinese version of Harry
Potter, it's zero (granted, the language you learn while reading Harry Potter is in itself
Chinese culture, and you could learn about Chinese culture while reading a book about China
in French or in English). And third, maybe because I've been a professional translator for
much too long, I often have the impression that translated novels smack of the original
language, or fear that there could be too many language forms copied from one language to
the other.

To ease the transition from translated books to original texts, you could read a Chinese
book translated in your primary language beforehand or together with the original. Funny
thing is that I have some Chinese books and their translation on my shelves but, as far as
I can remember, I've never done such an exercise until today…

Another option is to read an abridged version first. I've read abridged versions of Ba
Jin's novels, and also Qian Zhongsu and others. I should have tried to read the full
version after that but, silly me, I've never done that. Ah, it's not too late. I should
take the "opportunity" that I'm very tired to do such things.

2 persons have voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 4043 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 405 of 408
14 July 2015 at 7:19pm | IP Logged 
I like translations because they are often the only way I can indulge myself some top-selling novels out there, like Dan Brown, Divergent trilogy, but I think you have a point about Yu Hua being perhaps easier than Harry Potter (and thus Dan Brown). I am looking forward to starting one of Yu Hua's novels, I found 'To Live' but it's in traditional characters, so I have to keep searching, but the most important I've realized is that I should try some extensive listening - no looking up, no translation to check my level. Remember that essay about Ant tribes? I haven't given up on it, but I'm reading it extensively one page at a time, and I'm happy that, even though I can't figure out what's going on exactly, I know about 50% of the words in a page, which isn't much but quite an improvement from the starting point where I could barely recognize two characters at each line.
2 persons have voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 406 of 408
22 July 2015 at 10:03am | IP Logged 
[Cross-posted from how-to-learn-any-language.org - this is becoming silly]

For someone who was complaining about burning out, I've been fairly active. Reason #1: a
radical cut in the time I devote to "formal" vocab study has freed a significant amount of
valuable time to engage in other (more pleasant) activities. Reason #2: I will simply have
more free time in the coming two weeks, so I'd like to make the most of it. After that, in
August, it will be a very different story…

ZH

My only vocab-related activity has been to review characters in Skritter, without adding
new items.

In fact, no. This has not been my *only* vocab-related activity. As I badly want a change
from SRS, I've started a Golden Book. Working on a Golden Book requires that you sit down
at your desk to enjoy the process of writing words. I have such periods now, but I'm not
sure I'll be able to set aside half an hour every day to complete my books later on during
the year. But I can try.

I've continued reading 《鬼吹灯》 (now in chap. 29/36) and enjoying it a lot. Three heroes,
again, but different from those of the first part - a grave robber turned buddhist monk, an
American priest and the last survivor of a cursed tribe - are attacked by a black smoke
formed by microscopic flesh eating insects that can turn your body into pus (yuck!) - in
horrible pain of course.

I've also read a few pages of 《中国哲学简史》(A Short History of Chinese Philosophy) with
the help of the French translation. In fact, I almost did not need the translation: the
text was surprisingly easy, even more so than that of a typical novel. Of course, it was
just a general introduction. It could be another matter when/if I get further in the book.

For listening comprehension, I've also changed my routine a bit. As listening to Slow
Chinese podcasts tends to be slightly above my level, I read the transcript of a podcast
first and *then* listened to it for transcription. As it happens, I found this could be a
bit *too* easy: reading the transcript presented no problem whatsoever, I didn't have to
use a dictionary. After that, transcribing was easy too: there was only one place where I'd
misunderstood. However, I noticed a few tone mistakes in my transcript. So it could be a
good idea to continue like this for a time.

I've watched a few episodes of the anime 熊出没. I'll try to watch some every day - the kids
are away: I won't have to fight for the possession of the TV set in the coming days :-) .

LA

I've continued reading Oerberg's abridged version of Livy, as presented in Roma Aeterna,
chap. XLIV. It's about the complicated and interesting story of the last Roman king
Tarquinius: story twists, betrayal, deception, bad omens, ax attacks, miracles, battles…
How come this plot has never been turned into a movie (that I know of)?

The language has been noticeably more difficult, but I can't wait to reach the symbolic
threshold of chap. XLVI, where you start reading Eutropius, Gellius, Sallustius, Cicero,
etc.
1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 407 of 408
22 July 2015 at 4:06pm | IP Logged 
LA

Finished reading Oerberg's abridged version of Livy, chap. XLIV, about the Tarquin family.
It was hard but fascinating.

One of the fantastic things about Latin is that it *sounds* good: even in prose, to my
ears, it's full of music, alliterations and mesmerizing rhythms. Take the final part of
Livy's History of Rome, book I, chapter 48:

"Foedum inhumanumque inde traditur scelus monumentoque locus est—Sceleratum vicum vocant—
quo amens, agitantibus furiis sororis ac viri,…"

[It is said that a horrible and inhuman crime was committed, of which the place keeps the
memory - it is called the Crime Alley - as Tullia, driven to madness by the wrath of her
sister and her husband,…]

I can't believe Livy inadvertently accumulated so many alliterations (the "k" sounds), and
then:

"Tullia per patris corpus carpentum egisse fertur, partemque sanguinis ac caedis paternae
cruento vehiculo, contaminata ipsa respersaque tulisse ad penates suos virique sui …"

[… Tullia, they say, drove the cart right on the corpse of her own father, and, as the
vehicle and herself were splattered with blood and flesh, she brought some back home…]

Here you have the "p"'s added to the "k"'s. A sentence like "Tullia per patris corpus
carpentum…" cannot have been written by a historian who sticks to the facts. It was
carefully devised by a poet.

The scene, as vividly depicted by Livy is truly horrible. And Latin is the only foreign
languages that I just cannot read in silence: I often read it aloud, even prose when it's
that good.


Edited by lorinth on 22 July 2015 at 4:22pm

1 person has voted this message useful



lorinth
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Belgium
Joined 3151 days ago

443 posts - 581 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish, Latin
Studies: Mandarin, Finnish

 
 Message 408 of 408
10 December 2015 at 3:02pm | IP Logged 
Just for the record, my log continues here.


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