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Interactive L-R with Parallel Texts

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16 messages over 2 pages: 1
An
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3067 days ago

10 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 9 of 16
22 August 2015 at 7:07am | IP Logged 
French learners in forum, please feel free to check it out:

1) free-signup with your forum name
http://www.languagelovers.net/signup/

2) drop me a message here or PM me to get full access to this book

I think all friends in this forum will appreciate your feedback of the learning
experience using this tool. Please share with all of us how your French learning
progress is affected... I would really like to know. Thanks
2 persons have voted this message useful





Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
Joined 4889 days ago

9078 posts - 16470 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 10 of 16
23 August 2015 at 10:26pm | IP Logged 
I have tried it now (on Alice in Wonderland), and I really like the format - you can look at the French text or at the English translation, or you can switch between them as you please. The voice who reads Alice aloud was very clear and pleasing and not too fast for skipping between the versions (which definitely wasn't Sio's idea, but it feels natural to me after studying many years with bilingual texts).

I see the availability of texts with both a fairly literal translation and a pleasing and loyal voice as the main stumpling block for this project - especially when you venture outside the 'big' languages. Even the translation used here has sentences where the translator has had to change the order of the elements to produce 'pretty' English phrases, and this will inevitably make the coupling between the French voice and the English translation less smooth.

More often that not I use machine made transaltionas when I make bilingual texts for my own intensive studies, not only because this liberates me from searching for suitable translations, but also because they generally are more literal than human-made translations - and I can better deal with large numbers of grotesque errors than with translations that change the order so much that I have to search for the correspondances (if they still are there, that is). The translation here is fine, I'm not complaining about it, but I just want to stress how important it is that the translations are as literal as possible.

In this test I didn't miss the dictionary because I know French and English quite well and I even had time to cross check the versions, but it would definitely be useful to have access to the dictionary even when you are listening - evidently you have to stop the voice while you study a dictionary article, but it would be even more cumbersome to stop the recitation and go back to reading (or use an external dictionary).

As far as I remember Sio didn't recommend any kind of stops during the reading-listening, but I guess people would use the facility sparingly.

As for the division into bible-like 'verses' it is very helpful, but in a couple of cases the divisions don't follow the natural pauses in the recitation. The ideal must be as far as possible to let the prosody decide where the divisions should happen. Btw. it must be a labour intensive process for you to chop up the texts into natural units, if you do it by hand, but it makes it much easier to check how far you have come in the text.

Good luck with your project!
2 persons have voted this message useful



An
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3067 days ago

10 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 11 of 16
24 August 2015 at 7:40pm | IP Logged 
...."I see the availability of texts with both a fairly literal translation and a
pleasing and loyal voice as the main stumpling block for this project - especially
when you venture outside the 'big' languages."

You are right about limitations of materials. That will be a major constraint for time
to come.

...."Even the translation used here has sentences where the translator has had to
change the order of the elements to produce 'pretty' English phrases, and this will
inevitably make the coupling between the French voice and the English translation less
smooth."

Agreed, that is why selecting/making the right translation is key. In a more
mechanical sense, when aligning in shorter parallel phrases as in example of German,
the phrases are often not matched due to construct, so I have to resort to larger
blocks of texts to have corresponding contexts. On the other hand, the larger the
parallel blocks are more difficult for the learners to grasp the phrase structures.

...."More often that not I use machine made translation as when I make bilingual texts
for my own intensive studies, not only because this liberates me from searching for
suitable translations, but also because they generally are more literal than human-
made translations -"

I appreciate your emphasis. I will definitely put more thoughts about using more
literal translations although good natural translation is still ideal. Using machine
machine made translation could seriously speed up the parallel texts books creation.

...."In this test I didn't miss the dictionary because I know French and English quite
well and I even had time to cross check the versions, but it would definitely be
useful to have access to the dictionary even when you are listening - evidently you
have to stop the voice while you study a dictionary article, but it would be even more
cumbersome to stop the recitation and go back to reading (or use an external
dictionary). "

Currently we had to resort to external dictionary until we can build up a larger
internal vocab library for instant hover dictionary. With the good parallel texts I
think learners would use less dictionary in general because it is very natural in L-R
to flow with the story while glancing to the L1 column for comprehension.

...."As for the division into bible-like 'verses' it is very helpful, but in a couple
of cases the divisions don't follow the natural pauses in the recitation. "

I personally like the "bible-like 'verses'" since it allows me to glance quickly for
context without stopping the highlighted reading. There are still flaws in the aligned
texts. But if we can achieve say 97%+ of matching phrases/texts :) I think we may
sucessfully created the exposure experience the learners needed.

...."Btw. it must be a labour intensive process for you to chop up the texts into
natural units, if you do it by hand, but it makes it much easier to check how far you
have come in the text."

:) Yeah and a bit crazy I say. Each highlighted divisions are created by hand and
therefore are not always follow the natural pauses in the reading. So in a book like
this there are thousands of manual division. This is the only way for now to achieve
re-click-playable/highlight along reading texts. Our learner will never lose place of
the reading. Lots of love went in these parallel books.
2 persons have voted this message useful



reineke
Senior Member
United States
https://learnalangua
Joined 4633 days ago

851 posts - 1007 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 12 of 16
09 January 2016 at 7:08pm | IP Logged 
I like this tool very much. I note that regrettably not much has been added since
August.
I have a couple of comments. First, I note that the reader of Alice is "Pomme" from
the
litteratureaudio.com site. For another book the source is likely librivox. I hope
you've
asked for permission. I would link to the sources so people can enjoy Pomme's other
readings, explore librivox etc. If you develop a relationship with another site, you
can provide more content or even get help.

Regarding the tool's "karaoke" feature, I like it very much but I think that both the
source and the translation should light up at the same time. That way one can follow
either the original text or the translation while listening to the audio. Nothing
prevents the reader from trying to glance at both.

The app could work great/sell as standalone software where users can insert their own
audio and text. That would solve your content problem.

Edited by reineke on 09 January 2016 at 7:28pm

1 person has voted this message useful



andras_farkas
Tetraglot
Groupie
Hungary
Joined 3086 days ago

56 posts - 165 votes 
Speaks: Hungarian*, Spanish, English, Italian

 
 Message 13 of 16
22 January 2016 at 2:19pm | IP Logged 
An wrote:

:) Yeah and a bit crazy I say. Each highlighted divisions are created by hand and
therefore are not always follow the natural pauses in the reading. So in a book like
this there are thousands of manual division. This is the only way for now to achieve
re-click-playable/highlight along reading texts. Our learner will never lose place of
the reading. Lots of love went in these parallel books.


That is indeed a lot of work - and that is precisely the reason why this project will probably
die the same way many other similar projects died before. (The most hare-brained project was the
one where the mastermind said "well, we need new texts, but if we can't find a novel in a given
language we'll just translate it". Yeah, that only takes a competent translator a month or two,
no big deal.) You need a large amont of material to make it attractive to language learners, and
especially so if you intend to cover many languages, and manually processing that much material
is pretty much a full-time job. I would recommend ditching the sub-sentence units and focusing on
getting more texts.
Do you just align each language with English or do you plan to offer other combinations too?
German-French, Finnish-Polish etc.
Why does the site require registration? Will this be a paid service? I presume yes. Will you
release the aligned texts under a free license? I presume not.
2 persons have voted this message useful



An
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3067 days ago

10 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 14 of 16
23 January 2016 at 10:16pm | IP Logged 
Hi Andras, thank you for your feedback. I had read your posts in the past and you were a
big advocate in the parallel texts development. Great work and commitment!

All of the points/challenges you made here are valid. Considerable efforts will be
needed for new materials. I do have some other language combinations as well though it
is not published yet at the moment. Certainly other language pairs are essential for
language learners. This site only requires a free registration and it will be free in
the foreseeable future.

As for this project's progress, we'll see how it evolves. It will be an on-going long
term project for sure.
1 person has voted this message useful



andras_farkas
Tetraglot
Groupie
Hungary
Joined 3086 days ago

56 posts - 165 votes 
Speaks: Hungarian*, Spanish, English, Italian

 
 Message 15 of 16
24 January 2016 at 1:46pm | IP Logged 
Hmmm. If you plan to keep it free, you could use "my texts" to boost the size of the
collection you offer, assuming you give back to my project, i.e. allow "your" texts to be
distributed on my site (which will always remain free). The two projects have a very similar
purpose and I link to audiobooks too for L-R, but there are small differences and it can't
hurt to share resources.
Some of my texts are sentence segmented, others are paragraph segmented, and not all are fully
reviewed. So you'd still have to work with most of the texts you get from me, but at the very
least they all provide a good basis to work with. All I ask is: if your project becomes a paid
service, remove the texts you got from me.
You can contact me at the email at the bottom of the page:
http://www.farkastranslations.com/bilingual_books.php
1 person has voted this message useful



An
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3067 days ago

10 posts - 20 votes
Speaks: English

 
 Message 16 of 16
24 January 2016 at 9:13pm | IP Logged 
Thank you Andras for your offer. You have a great collection of materials which are
valuable for language learners. I will stay in touch with you regarding further parallel
text developments or any questions on the Hungarian language :).


1 person has voted this message useful



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