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The Cheating & Consolidating Method

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s_allard
Triglot
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Canada
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2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 73 of 136
04 August 2014 at 11:59pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
montmorency wrote:
Now, although I of course completely forgive emk for satirizing me (and
himself) :-) , I am slightly disappointed that he didn't come up with some elegant-sounding French or French-
origin word, instead of "cheating" :-)

This is drifting off topic, but I can't resist. :-) "Hacking" is one of those culturally-loaded words that means about
five different things. But the central meaning is something like, "Solving problems in a way that is simultaneously
brilliant and also disturbingly wrong." For a classic example of the attitude, see
The Story of Mel, a Real Programmer. Or for a
pop-culture version, well, try McGyver.

I've never found a good equivalent in French. Here are some candidates:

tricher, "to cheat." This can sometimes be used in the sense of "taking an unfair shortcut to achieve a goal."
For example, French students who are trying to get very drunk will occasionally say things like Manger, c'est
tricher
"Eating is cheating." You can also see an interesting parallel with antisèche "cheat sheet", which
can either refer to (a) something that will get you expelled from school or (b) a handy list of essential
information, as used by this online programming
course
(TID=31338&PN=1&TPN=136#508409">thank you, Jeffers).

dompter, "to train [gen. animals], to control." This is used in Domptez les langues étrangères, the
French title of Benny's old "Language Hacking Guide." But it carries more of a connotation of domination and
mastery, and I've never seen French programmers use it as a synonym for "hack."

bricoler, "to do DIY home improvements, to cobble together." French programmers rarely use this as a
translation of "to hack", but it carries a few of the same connotations. You can see an example here:
votre-ordinateur.html">Les 99 hacks et bricolages DIY pour votre maison, votre voiture, votre ordinateur.

There are some other alternatives, including bâcler "to rush, to botch" and bidouiller "to fiddle with."
But neither of these seem to carry the same central connotation of "brilliant but disturbing" that "hack" does.

I only mention all this because, hey, montmorency suggested it. :-) Well, and also because it illustrates what
happened when I started reading heavily in French. Somewhere along the way, I picked up all sorts of strange
little nuances from context without ever really trying. Now, I'm sure that some of the nuances I mention above
are incorrect, and as always, I really appreciate corrections.
...


Of the list above, only "bidouiller" is remotely used in the sense of to hack. It's a slang word used more in the
sense of "to make a quick fix" or to patch.

The most commonly used equivalent of to hack in French is surprisingly missing from the list above. That is the
verb "pirater". It should be pointed out of course that many French authors use the English word hack, but in any
sort of official document or a newspaper like Le monde, one would use pirater and forms such as pirate, piratage
and piraterie. Here is a sentence from a magazine where piratage and hackers both are used:

Depuis près de 40 ans, le piratage informatique permet aux hackers du monde entier de fouiner, de détruire,
voire de s’enrichir.

As for our friend "to cheat" in French, there are lots of equivalents including tricher, frauder, escroquer, tromper,
magouiller. I dare anybody to use these terms in describing how Jean-François Champollion deciphered the
Rosetta Stone.

A cheatsheet used by students in exams is, as pointed out, une antisèche derived from the informal verb sécher
"to fail an exam." However un aide-mémore is much more common when referring to a short reference document
that summarizes useful information.

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s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3538 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 74 of 136
05 August 2014 at 12:42am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
...
bricoler, "to do DIY home improvements, to cobble together." French programmers rarely use this as a translation of "to hack", but it carries a few of the
same connotations. You can see an example here: voiture-votre-ordinateur.html">Les 99 hacks et bricolages DIY pour votre maison, votre voiture, votre ordinateur.

....


The site quoted here is the French translation of an English-language site with the following rather intriguing title:

99 Life Hacks That Could Make Your Life Easier

In the French version, just underneath the title, the translator felt it was necessary to clarify what was meant by hack and wrote the following:

Voici une compilation de 99 détournements d’objets basiques et de bricolages simples qui vont vous simplifier votre vie quotidienne.

This French "détournements d'objets basiques" by the way is much clearer than the English "life hack".
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vermillon
Triglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2786 days ago

602 posts - 1042 votes 
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, Mandarin
Studies: Japanese, German

 
 Message 75 of 136
05 August 2014 at 12:49am | IP Logged 
Pirater would be to crack (as the black hats do). That's not what "to hack" means, and its use as such is only due to the confusion poor journalists maintain between the two words.
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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 2997 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 76 of 136
05 August 2014 at 1:03am | IP Logged 
From a US educational perspective, this is definitely "cheating." We started on French
literature our third semester at the University (The Little Prince, Candide, and
Inspector Maigret). It was stressed over and over that we should work though the text
without ever looking at an English translation, and that doing so would probably harm
our studies.

I was a good boy and never did ... and third semester French was the only course I have
ever failed.

I'm currently cheating hard core with Ancient Greek. There are a couple excellent
guides to the Iliad, and I'm using them to slowly work through Book 1. And by slow I
mean 10 lines a week on average. I'm sure it would be more efficient if I spent more
time memorizing basic vocabulary and grammar tables, but I just can't anymore. I'm
impatient and want the fun stuff. Maybe I'll go back to the grind at some point.
1 person has voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3538 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 77 of 136
05 August 2014 at 1:14am | IP Logged 
vermillon wrote:
Pirater would be to crack (as the black hats do). That's not what "to hack" means, and its use
as such is only due to the confusion poor journalists maintain between the two words.


Yes, there are nuances between various kinds of hackers, crackers and other shady characters. Here is a great
site that sorts this all out in French:

Le piratage informatique

Note that the site is called Le piratage informatique. For those who read French, here is a quote from the site that
explains a bit of the confusion:

Mais ce brusque changement a vu naître aussi la peur du « pirate », comme le nomme les médias et les
industriels du disque. Si Internet n’est pas exempt de menaces, la médiatisation de ces dernières a fait naître un
amalgame, confondant même l’internaute adepte des échanges par le « peer to peer » au cracker, ou au hacker «
black hat ». Tous qualifiés de pirates.

As imprecise as pirater may be in French, it is certainly the closest we have to hack. Are they any other
suggestions?
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s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3538 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 78 of 136
05 August 2014 at 1:42am | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
...

I'm currently cheating hard core with Ancient Greek. There are a couple excellent
guides to the Iliad, and I'm using them to slowly work through Book 1. And by slow I
mean 10 lines a week on average. I'm sure it would be more efficient if I spent more
time memorizing basic vocabulary and grammar tables, but I just can't anymore. I'm
impatient and want the fun stuff. Maybe I'll go back to the grind at some point.


From what I understand here, hard core cheating is the use of a good guide to reading the Iliad in Ancient Greek.
What would be the non-cheating alternative?

It seems that the poster is reading the original Greek. Although they must certainly exist, study guides to the
Greek text seem rather rare. The majority of the guides are to the English translation.

The non-cheating alternative would be to read only the Ancient Greek original without translation or notes.
Maybe without a dictionary, I don't know. Do people actually attempt to do this?
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Elenia
Diglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
lilyonlife.blog
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239 posts - 327 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Swedish, Esperanto

 
 Message 79 of 136
05 August 2014 at 2:07am | IP Logged 
to s_allard - I once read a review of a book where the reviewer said they read the book
in the original language through sheer brute force because they did not believe in
dictionaries. I don't know how true this is, or how well the reviewer understood the
book, but they also said they did not speak the language before. So some people will
try!

--

For myself, I used to think of reading translations as cheating, for some strange
reason. This included things I would not be able to understand if I hadn't read them in
translation - for example, reading something by Murakami in French would be 'cheating'.
I've changed my views on that count.

I also used to stop myself from actually cheating when learning vocabulary for school
tests. I'd test myself on the vocabulary and then if I accidentally caught sight of a
word, I felt like I was cheating because I hadn't learnt it properly. This is
inherently stupid. Yes, I was cheating (with no quibbles on what that might actually
mean) but I wasn't being graded or even controlled by anyone other than myself. Maybe
that kind of cheating would help me in an exam situation, but it would do me a lot more
good in the long run.

Edited by Elenia on 05 August 2014 at 2:11am

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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 2997 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 80 of 136
05 August 2014 at 3:18am | IP Logged 
warning: long post ahead! This one got out of hand ...

s_allard wrote:
From what I understand here, hard core cheating is the use of a good
guide to reading the Iliad in Ancient Greek. What would be the non-cheating
alternative?


I'm using the word cheating semi-ironically (as I assume EMK is), but I'll use Clyde
Pharr's book to illustrate what I see are the differences between the 'proper' way and
the 'cheating' way.

-------------------------------------------

The proper way (according to Pharr):

1. Translate the following sentences Greek > English

θεὰ ἀείδει μῆνιν οὐλομένην Ἀχιλῆος, ἣ ἔθηκεν μυρί' ἄλγε' Ἀχαιοῖσιν.
(The goddess sings the deadly rage of Achilles, that caused countless troubles for the
Achaeans)

θεοὶ ὀλέκουσι τὸν στρατόν, καὶ προϊάπτουσι πολλὰς ψυχὰς ἡρώων Ἄιδι.
(The gods kill this army, and they send forth many souls of heroes to Hades.)   

τεύξομεν μυρίους Ἀχαιοὺς ἑλώρια κύνεσσιν καὶ δαῖτα τοῖσιν οἰωνοῖσιν, οὕνεκα ἠτίμασαν
Χρύσην.
(We shall make countless Achaeans the preys of the dogs and a banquet for those birds,
because they insulted Chryses.)

καλὴ ἦν ἡ βουλὴ Διός.   
(This plan of Zeus was noble.)    

2. Translate the following from English > Greek

The valiant Achaeans are singing the accursed wrath of Achilles.   
(Ἴφθιμοι Ἀχαιοὶ ἀείδουσι μῆνιν οὐλομένην Ἀχιλῆος)

The wrath of Achilles caused many woes to the Achaeans and sent many valiant souls of
heroes to the god Hades.
(Μῆνις Ἀχιλῆος ἔθηκε μυρία ἄλγεα Ἀχαιοῖς, πολλὰς δὲ ψυχὰς ἰφθίμους ἡρώων Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν)

We shall make the army of the Achaeans a booty for the dogs and a banquet for the
birds.   
(Τεύξομεν στρατὸν Ἀχαιῶν ἑλώριον κύνεσσιν οἰωνοῖσι τε δαῖτα)    

We are accomplishing the will of the goddess.   
(Τελείομεν βουλὴν θεᾶς)

3. Note that the above are relatively simple sentences. Homer's language is far more
complicated. Doing these exercises helps when you then move on to the actual Iliad:

μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ, Πηληιάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκεν,
πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε δαῖτα, Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή,

Sing the rage, goddess, of Achilles, son of Peleus,
(the) deadly (rage), that caused countless troubles for the Achaeans,
and sent forth many valiant souls to Hades
of heroes, and made them preys for the dogs
and a banquet for the birds, and the plan of Zeus was fulfilled (Pharr)

-------------------------------------------

Cheating:

I started doing the actual exercises, but after a few months it got overwhelming. Now I
just read through the exercises and answers until I understand them without actually
doing the work of translating, then move on to untangling the actual poem. I miss a
lot of the nuances this way; for some sections I'll spend the time to understand the
shifts in tense and mood. Usually not.

Then I'll use Pamela Draper's annotated guide to Book 1 & read the next 10-line
section.

Occasionally I'll compare the good parts to other classic translations that I can find
online. :

George Chapman (1598-1611)
Achilles’ bane full wrath resound, O Goddesse, that imposd
Infinite sorrowes on the Greekes, and many brave soules losd
From breasts Heroique—sent them farre, to that invisible cave
That no light comforts; and their lims to dogs and vultures gave.
To all which Jove’s will gave effect;

Alexander Pope (1715)
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;
Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore.
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove,
Such was the sovereign doom, and such the will of Jove!

Samuel Butler (1898)
Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon
the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a hero did
it yield a prey to dogs and vultures, for so were the counsels of Jove fulfilled from
the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles, first fell out
with one another.

Richard Lattimore (1951):
Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus
and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished

Robert Fitzgerald (1974)
Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus’ anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men — carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.

Robert Fagles (1990)
Rage — Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.

Stanley Lombardo (1997)
Sing, Goddess, Achilles’ rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades’ dark,
And left their bodies to rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done.

-------------------------------------------

I'm letting everyone else do the heavy work and I'm just following along. I'm "reading"
the Iliad in the same way that my younger nephew's "read" along with me to Ferdinand
the Bull.

It's still a cool way to approach the book. But also, any college professor would fail
me without mercy if I tried this in a class.


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