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Spanish: A little subs2srs experiment

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sabotai
Senior Member
United States
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391 posts - 489 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Japanese, Korean, French

 
 Message 49 of 147
11 November 2014 at 5:01am | IP Logged 
Hey emk, a big thank you for starting this thread. I've been staring at the first page of this log for the last two days as I figure out subs2srs, Handbrake and Subtitle Edit.

After what feels like two full days of tinkering, exporting and importing, I've got a 1400 card deck for the German movie "Die Welle", a deck for the first 4 episodes of Japanese anime Rurouni Kenshin (~1000 cards) and a 650 card deck for the first episode of the Japanese drama Dragon Zakura. The Kenshin deck was a bit of a pain as I had the video and English subtitles as one long video, but the Japanese subtitles were split (and poorly timed) into the 4 episodes. Took a good long time in Subtitle Edit to get them combined and lined up, but I feel like an expert at that program now.

So again thanks to you for this thread.

Also, if enjoy the movie Pan's Labyrinth, I'd also recommend The Devil's Backbone and The Orphanage. The Devil's Backbone is a movie that Guillermo del Toro directed several years before Pan's Labyrinth. The Orphanage is a movie he was an executive producer on, not directer, but it has the same feel as The Devil's Backbone. They are more straight horror/scary movies without the fantasy elements. All very good movies IMO.
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smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
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537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 50 of 147
11 November 2014 at 7:45am | IP Logged 
Hi emk,

For this Spanish project,
how much time have you spent in total on preparing cards, on editting, on subs2srs & Handbrake, etc, (all time, including time spent in vain),
and
how much time have you spent on Anki reviews (the figure according to Anki)?

I'd like to get an idea of the ratio. Thanks!
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emk
Diglot
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United States
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 51 of 147
11 November 2014 at 1:30pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
Have you seen his book The Telenovela Method?

He seems to have lots of excellent Spanish-learning advice on his site, and I highly recommend taking a look.

But his whole "I taught myself to speak Spanish like a native in just SIX MONTHS" (and you can too!) shtick feels like what lawyers call "puffery". I've spoken French every day for years, and I don't speak it like a native. Sure, I can discuss car repairs, the Ebola epidemic in Africa, and finding appropriate adademic resources for our kids (to give an example of a conversation from yesterday). But it's just not the same as the language I've used for nearly four decades, including 17 years of school, countless hours of socialization, and hundreds of millions of words of reading. But of course you know this as well as I do.

tommus wrote:
emk, your techniques of using these tools and your impressive tutorials are marvelous. I have been experimenting with them and have even been able to get all the hard-subbed (embedded in video) subtitles off a 45 minute Dutch video. But it was not for the faint hearted and it required a lot of manual intervention and a whole lot of frustration.

Thank you for your kind words! Just a word of advice for people following along: The first time you use subs2srs, it's really worth the effort to search out good subtitles that are accurate, and which can be easily converted to *.srt format. Sure, you could work with burned-in hard subs and try to OCR them directly off the video, but it's going to be far more painful than necessary.

And yes, if all you have is an audio file and a transcript, you can just copy and paste stuff directly into Anki, and that might be faster than subs2srs.

sabotai wrote:
After what feels like two full days of tinkering, exporting and importing, I've got a 1400 card deck for the German movie "Die Welle", a deck for the first 4 episodes of Japanese anime Rurouni Kenshin (~1000 cards) and a 650 card deck for the first episode of the Japanese drama Dragon Zakura.

This is so cool! Not the part about taking 2 days to figure everything out, but the part where you have close to 3,000 Anki cards with sound and text, made from cool native materials. :-) And thank you for the movie recommendation!

smallwhite wrote:
For this Spanish project, how much time have you spent in total on preparing cards, on editting, on subs2srs & Handbrake, etc, (all time, including time spent in vain), and how much time have you spent on Anki reviews (the figure according to Anki)?

I've spent a couple of full days messing around with Subtitle Edit and subs2srs. A big chunk of this time was spent learning the new tools, and vastly simplifying my old techniques. But to give you some more concrete examples, once I knew what I was doing:

Pan's Labyrinth: Maybe 40 minutes, since I just needed to rip the subs from the DVD and OCR them.
Avatar, episode 2: A bit over 4 hours to manually realign everything, but that basically counts as study time.

As for the Anki review time:



Anki claims 734 reps and 323 minutes, but the time is probably an underestimate. Add in another 40 minutes for making my "green sheet" with regular Spanish verb endings, and an hour for looking up Mexican Spanish phonetics and playing around with the IPA tool. So my total Spanish "study" time is under 15 hours. But the ratio will continue to improve: I now have more than enough cards to last me a long time.

A note on interlaced video

You may occasionally see cards with weird video artifacts, caused by interlaced video on your DVDs:



The trick to avoiding this when ripping DVDs in Handbrake is to choose Picture Settings, and select Decomb and Decomb: Default:



Today's reviews

On the left, a card which I understood before seeing the subtitles! Yay!



On the right, Déjame decirte "Let me tell you". These compound verbs (with attached clitic pronouns -me "me" and -te "you") are definitely one of my major foci at the moment. They're starting to "click", but it's going to take a while to fully internalize them.

Why Avatar is one of the best children's shows ever made (very mild spoilers)

Consider this scene here:



On the right, we have Prince Zuko. Those burn scars on his face are courtesy of his father, Fire Lord Ozai, who is busily conquering the world through slaughter and occasionally genocide. When his first-born son Zuko proved insufficiently bloodthirsty, Ozai burned and exiled him. Now Zuko is determined to prove to his father that he is a good son, and a sufficiently bloodthirsty monster.

On the left, we have Zuko's uncle Iroh, the brother of Ozai. Iroh was a general in the Fire Nation (and an incredibly dangerous master of fire), but he resigned in disgust. He's found some measure of peace, and he's trying to act as a father figure for his exiled nephew.

The interaction between these two characters is amazing (and frequently hilarious). Yes, among other things, Avatar is about what it's like to grow up as the dutiful son of an abusive monster. And the writers somehow manage to do handle these topics in a way that's appropriate for 9–12 year olds.

Thoughts so far

- Using subs2srs seems to be both more effective and more fun than Assimil (and I like Assimil). I'm also making much faster progress towards my goal of watching native TV.

- Looping episodes of Avatar in the background while working around the house is paying off quite nicely—my cards are suddenly a lot easier, and I'm understanding more of each episode.

Edited by emk on 11 November 2014 at 6:18pm

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YnEoS
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2799 days ago

472 posts - 893 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: German, Russian, Cantonese, Japanese, French, Hungarian, Czech, Swedish, Mandarin, Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 52 of 147
11 November 2014 at 3:57pm | IP Logged 
Really great choices of media emk, Avatar is one of my favorite shows.

That's just another of the super awesome secret benefits of Subs2SRS, you not only get tons of target language sentences floating around your head, but if you select the right content you can memorize tons of life lessons as well (or perhaps useful ways of explaining life lessons to kids).

Edited by YnEoS on 11 November 2014 at 5:30pm

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smallwhite
Pentaglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 3853 days ago

537 posts - 1045 votes 
Speaks: Cantonese*, English, Mandarin, French, Spanish

 
 Message 53 of 147
11 November 2014 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
I've spent a couple of full days... As for the Anki review time...


Thank you for your detailled reply :) That's not bad at all if a deck can be made in as little as 40 minutes.
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juman
Diglot
Senior Member
Sweden
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101 posts - 129 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: French

 
 Message 54 of 147
11 November 2014 at 9:44pm | IP Logged 
Intersting experiment... I have done a similair thing for a while but focusing on
listening for one word at a time. So my cards looks like this :






The front card shows the word, the scene and plays the audio. The back shows the
translation of the word + the subs. I look at the front and try to hear the word and
then I relisten again on the back and follow along with the subs.

This is based from this article / clip : http://www.learnlangs.com/step-by-
step/understand_tv_in_30_days

One interesting part is that event though I created cards from the first 4 episodes of
Buffy with one word per card and five cards with different subs per word I only got
4531 cards from the 1977 lines of subs I parsed. So there seems to be a lot of
repetiton of words which I like.

Good luck with your experiment!
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emk
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 55 of 147
12 November 2014 at 12:20pm | IP Logged 
YnEoS wrote:
Really great choices of media emk, Avatar is one of my favorite shows.

It really is a good choice for this: It has lots of humor and emotion, the dialog is illustrated by actions, and it's good enough to withstand repeated watching.

smallwhite wrote:
That's not bad at all if a deck can be made in as little as 40 minutes.

Yeah, the secret is to look for media that won't require too much fighting. I was willing to invest a bit more for Avatar, because it was just perfect for this. But I started with the first decent movie I could find.

juman wrote:
Intersting experiment... I have done a similair thing for a while but focusing on listening for one word at a time.

That's a really interesting approach. I'm a huge supporter of easy cards, and those look pretty easy.



Nice! So that's how ustedes works:

Quote:
Y ustedes... ¿viven por aquí?
So, do you guys live around here?

Here, viven would normally be "they live." So ustedes uses a third-person singular verb.

Also worth noting: My older cards from Y Tu Mamá También are maturing very nicely, and I'm choose "Easy" more often than not. This has been encouraging enough that I'm now learning 15 new cards per day (plus 5 MCDs for Egyptian). That's a lot, but subs2srs cards generally review very quickly.
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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 4077 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
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Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 56 of 147
13 November 2014 at 3:31pm | IP Logged 
More ustedes



The tienen and los are both third-person plural ("they"), but they're being used as if they were second person plural ("y'all", as people in the south of the U.S. say). After seeing several similar cards, I'm finding that several old Y Tu Mamá También cards make a lot more sense.

Bad translations, and gradual refinement of knowledge

On the left, a card with a totally inaccurate translation. It actually reads something along the lines of "I believe that's enough for today." I looked up hoy "today" just to be sure. But even at my level, this kind of mistranslation is no problem—I already have enough context to sort out most problems.



On the right, an older card that suddenly makes a lot more sense. Lo hacía is starting to feel like "made him." And the first time through, I guessed that donde trabajaba meant something involving "work", but now that I've seen many more examples of donde and -aba, I'm pretty certain this means something like "where he worked."

The learning process is robust. A badly translated subtitle or poorly-chosen cognate won't throw me off indefinitely, because I'll eventually see more evidence.

Things I'm keeping an eye on

I haven't looked up the whole business with por/para or ser/estar yet. But I'm keeping an eye on these pairs.

Watching & listening

When I leave the the TV running during the day, my reviews the next morning often feel a lot easier. And I seem to be making real progress:

- I listened to the Spanish dub of Korra yesterday, and even with the new voices and topics of discussion, I was able to pull out bits of pieces of dialog, and things got noticeably better as I watched the episode.

- I listened to some Spanish-language news radio last night while cleaning the house, and I was actually able to pull out expressions and details that corresponded to things on my Anki cards.

I feel like my listening is moving along quite quickly—and this isn't entirely thanks to the Romance discount. All those little snippets of native speech from my cards are getting burned into my audio memory, and when I hear them elsewhere, I can often recognize them. This makes me feel relatively optimistic.


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