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 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
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Serpent
Octoglot
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 Message 105 of 170
12 November 2014 at 4:01am | IP Logged 
Maybe your old laptop can handle the VLC player better?
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garyb
Triglot
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ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 106 of 170
12 November 2014 at 11:29am | IP Logged 
Serpent wrote:
Maybe your old laptop can handle the VLC player better?


Yep, it handles VLC just fine :). Hence the idea of combining the subtitles, so they can be used with a "normal" media player like VLC.
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 107 of 170
12 November 2014 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
garyb wrote:
I did try "Lingual media player", which can display two subtitle files at once, but it was unusably slow on my ageing laptop. Combining the files hadn't crossed my mind.

Since there seems to be interest in this, I've added a "Dueling Subtitles" tutorial to the wiki. You'll probably also want to see the Subtitle Edit tutorial, which talks about finding and preparing subtitles.

The results are pretty cool:



You can change the position and color of the subtitles, if you want to make one subtitle easier to read, and another more challenging.

victorhart, would something like this be an allowable addition to your experiment? It would provide a nice half-way step between plain video, and video with English subtitles. You might be able to process the Chinese subtitles with a pinyin insertion/conversion tool, too.

If you're looking for a theoretical justification for something like this, you could always think of the pinyin as a replacement for a parent who speaks slowly and clearly, and who uses pantomime. :-)
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garyb
Triglot
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 Message 108 of 170
12 November 2014 at 3:27pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Since there seems to be interest in this, I've added a "Dueling Subtitles" tutorial to the wiki. You'll probably also want to see the Subtitle Edit tutorial,
which talks about finding and preparing subtitles.


Great, thanks, exactly the sort of thing I was looking for! When I have some time I'll devour a few double-subtitled Spanish films.

Edited by garyb on 12 November 2014 at 3:32pm

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victorhart
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 Message 109 of 170
13 November 2014 at 3:03am | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
The importance of L1 subtitles is not really enjoyment and
motivation. Those are secondary effects. The real importance is meaning and therefore
clues as to what is being said in the language.


s_allard, I fundamentally disagree with you.

The only reason that I’m watching movies with subtitles is because of enjoyment. I am
able to decipher many words without any subtitles, simply from context. I could
already give you dozens of examples in Mandarin of terms I have learned purely from
visual/audio cues. You are simply wrong in thinking that is not possible. The
“links between sounds and meaning” are already there.

Yes, subtitles provide more links and thus facilitate deciphering words. That is an
advantage. On the other hand, it is equally true that the brain cannot concentrate
nearly as well on the audio while it is simultaneously trying to read in L1. That is
an obvious disadvantage to the use of L1 subtitles.

The question is which you give more importance or which weighs more heavily in terms
of effective language acquisition. In the short term, extracting more vocabulary may
give you an apparent advantage in terms of efficiency. In the long term, from my
experience, fully immersing in L2, without reference to L1, is more important.

I am absolutely open to debate on that balance. I can definitely understand the
argument that with such a radically foreign language, and at a beginning level, using
translations would be a good thing. From my own experience thus far, I’m not sure.
Again, I pick up words more easily with the L1 subtitles, but I do a lot more careful
listening without L1 subtitles, and the terms I pick up that way seem to stick better.
And even at my ridiculously low level of Mandarin, I often find that the
translation provided by the subtitles is misleading, and that I can understand a new
term better by simply paying attention to its context.


Simply ignoring the advantages of pure listening seems rather silly for an experienced
language learner. And while I respect people using subtitles and other types of
translation at higher levels, I would never do it. At higher levels, in my experience,
the drawbacks far outweigh the benefits. I don’t want to memorize hundreds or
thousands of translations in a language. I want to speak fluently and elegantly. I
want to be able to negotiate and debate on par with a native and, in certain settings,
I want to be mistaken for one.

emk wrote:
victorhart, would something like this be an allowable addition to your
experiment? It would provide a nice half-way step between plain video, and video with
English subtitles. You might be able to process the Chinese subtitles with
transcription-subtitles-converter.php?site_language=english" >a pinyin
insertion/conversion tool
, too.

If you're looking for a theoretical justification for something like this, you could
always think of the pinyin as a replacement for a parent who speaks slowly and
clearly, and who uses pantomime. :-)


Emk, thanks very much for the suggestion. I agree with you that one can consider
subtitles a type of proxy for mediation.

However, I want to stick as much as possible to pure video, both to isolate variables
better and because I believe pure listening is very effective in the long term.

I have acknowledged that using English language subtitles is a compromise and does
change the nature of the experiment somewhat (even if much less than someone like
s_allard would argue). However, my preference is to gradually move away from that, not
add more extraneous elements such as pinyin subtitles.


Edited by victorhart on 13 November 2014 at 3:04am

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rdearman
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 Message 110 of 170
13 November 2014 at 10:29pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

Since there seems to be interest in this, I've added a "Dueling Subtitles" tutorial to the wiki. You'll probably also want to see the Subtitle Edit tutorial, which talks about finding and preparing subtitles.


This appears to have been removed in the latest version 3.4.3 I'd like to do this, so can you tell me what version you are using and I'll downgrade my version?
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emk
Diglot
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 Message 111 of 170
14 November 2014 at 12:10am | IP Logged 
rdearman wrote:
This appears to have been removed in the latest version 3.4.3 I'd like to do this, so can you tell me what version you are using and I'll downgrade my version?

Version 26.3 (09-16-2012), apparently. Note that "Dueling Subtitles" produces subtitles that work well in VLC, and poorly in several other players I've tried. It wouldn't be very hard to build a better version of this feature—the only tricky part is dealing with different numbers and timing of subtitles in the two languages.

I think generating *.ass subtitles that way "Dueling Subtitles" does is a mistake. It relies on several features of the format that aren't widely supported. A better solution would be to use *.srt subtitles and insert font and styling information.

Of course, with *.srt subtitles, both languages will be stacked at the bottom of the screen. But I've decided that's actually better.

If I figure out a good workflow, I'll let folks know.
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Serpent
Octoglot
Senior Member
Russian Federation
serpent-849.livejour
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 Message 112 of 170
14 November 2014 at 1:38am | IP Logged 
There seem to be ways to use double subtitles in VLC too though.


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