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Parallel texts in non native language

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 Language Learning Forum : General discussion Post Reply
16 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
rmel
Senior Member
United KingdomRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2411 days ago

20 posts - 24 votes
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 1 of 16
25 September 2015 at 3:33pm | IP Logged 
At the moment I am learning Russian and French (I am about pre-intermediate in both). I wanted to spend more time practicing both languages so I thought finding parallel texts in French and Russian would be the best way to go about this. I managed to find a French-Russian parallel text in France. I have a few questions about this:

Does anyone on here read parallel text not in their native language?
Does anyone think it is a bad idea? (I am wondering whether its a bad idea as my sister pointed out that the translation might not be a good one and thus would actually hinder language learning. On this occasion however my sister who is virtually fluent in French checked the translation).
Suggestions of parallel texts in French and Russian (preferably a text where either French or Russian is in the original).

I am also looking at learning Spanish and German. So any suggestions for combinations of Russian, French, Spanish or German are welcome.
2 persons have voted this message useful



akkadboy
Triglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 3578 days ago

264 posts - 497 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Yiddish
Studies: Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Welsh

 
 Message 2 of 16
25 September 2015 at 4:11pm | IP Logged 
Yes, I use bilingual resources which do not make use of my native language, but generally I know one of the two languages much better than the second one. I read the text in my stronger language so that the whole thing remains enjoyable and occasionally check the version in my weaker language.

I do not think it is a bad idea. My main goal when doing that is mainly to reinforce vocabulary in my weaker language, so the overall quality of the translation does not really matter (as long as the translation is not faulty, of course).

Folio has published a great amount of bilingual pocket books in major european languages. Here is a link to the collection.

Edited by akkadboy on 25 September 2015 at 4:19pm

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AlexTG
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 2808 days ago

178 posts - 354 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 3 of 16
25 September 2015 at 4:40pm | IP Logged 
rmel wrote:
Does anyone on here read parallel text not in their native language?

Yep. I don't find it super beneficial though, because I don't really get much reading practice with the translated language
(I'm using the parallel translation as a support rather than reading through both versions separately).

Quote:
Does anyone think it is a bad idea? (I am wondering whether its a bad idea as my sister pointed out that the
translation might not be a good one and thus would actually hinder language
learning. On this occasion however my sister who is virtually fluent in French checked the translation).

Don't worry about this. As long as the publisher of the translation is reputable the translator will know what they're
doing. Note that translations are written by native speakers, so you won't be reading unnatural/broken language. In a good
parallel text the translator will make fairly straight translations rather than being free like in non-parallel
translations. But even free translations won't damage your learning. If the translator thought the free translation of a
phrase was superior to the literal, there must be a reason for it. It's a learning experience for you to understand the
differences between the languages.

Quote:
Suggestions of parallel texts in French and Russian (preferably a text where either French or Russian is in the
original).

Parallel texts are very common on the French market and are generally labelled as "bilingue". Two big series of parallel
texts are "Langues Pour Tous: Bilingue" and "Folio Bilingue".There's also an Assimil Perfectionnement Russe, it sounds like
you're at exactly the level to be using it. It's an advanced course book with bilingual French/Russian texts.

Edited by AlexTG on 25 September 2015 at 4:42pm

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AlexTG
Diglot
Senior Member
Australia
Joined 2808 days ago

178 posts - 354 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Latin, German, Spanish, Japanese

 
 Message 4 of 16
25 September 2015 at 4:46pm | IP Logged 
akkadboy wrote:
I read the text in my stronger language so that the whole thing remains
enjoyable and occasionally check the version in my weaker language.

Heh never thought of doing this. I do the opposite, primarily reading in my weaker
language, and looking to the superior language when I need support.

Mostly the translation works as a very fast dictionary, I see a word in the weak language
which I don't know and quickly flick my eyes to the other page to find out what it means.
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akkadboy
Triglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 3578 days ago

264 posts - 497 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Yiddish
Studies: Latin, Ancient Egyptian, Welsh

 
 Message 5 of 16
25 September 2015 at 4:53pm | IP Logged 
AlexTG wrote:
akkadboy wrote:
I read the text in my stronger language so that the whole thing remains
enjoyable and occasionally check the version in my weaker language.

Heh never thought of doing this. I do the opposite, primarily reading in my weaker
language, and looking to the superior language when I need support.

Mostly the translation works as a very fast dictionary, I see a word in the weak language
which I don't know and quickly flick my eyes to the other page to find out what it means.

:-) Well, like you I did not really find reading bilingual texts that useful for improvement so when I do it, I want it to be enjoyable, hence reading mostly in my stronger language.
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Arnaud25
Diglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2012 days ago

129 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 6 of 16
25 September 2015 at 7:39pm | IP Logged 
Personaly I find the russian-french bilingual books published by "Langues Pour Tous: Bilingue" too difficult. If you're pre-intermediate in both languages, I'd think twice before loosing money for nothing: classical russian is horribly difficult.

You can also find russian books and their french translations fallen in the public domain on http://bibliotheque-russe-et-slave.com/index1.html#russe
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Mork the Fiddle
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2139 days ago

86 posts - 158 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Norwegian, Latin, Ancient Greek

 
 Message 7 of 16
25 September 2015 at 7:45pm | IP Logged 
When I study Latin or Ancient Greek, sometimes I use French translations if I can find them and there are no English translations or the English translation is not convenient to use.

akkadboy wrote:

Mostly the translation works as a very fast dictionary, I see a word in the weak language
which I don't know and quickly flick my eyes to the other page to find out what it means.


This virtue of parallel texts is really useful for Latin and Ancient Greek, because some of their words have many different and even contradictory meanings requiring lengthy sifting through definitions.

Edit: to correct spelling.

Edited by Mork the Fiddle on 27 September 2015 at 6:42pm

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chaotic_thought
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 1712 days ago

129 posts - 274 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, French

 
 Message 8 of 16
25 September 2015 at 11:36pm | IP Logged 
rmel wrote:
Does anyone on here read parallel text not in their native language?
Does anyone think it is a bad idea? (I am wondering whether its a bad idea as my sister pointed out that the translation might not be a good one and thus would actually hinder language learning.


When I use parallel texts I do it for L-R (I listen to the language I'm learning and then read the translation). The translation does not need to be in your native language, but it must be understandable to you in real-time. This means your comprehension of that language must be excellent. And it also means that the written text must be good enough that you can read it and understand it without rereading it. For example, if the text is written in a strange way or it has many mistakes, I think this would be too distracting to be useful.



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