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Polyliteracy - Ten Year Reading Plan

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 1 of 77
01 August 2007 at 11:42pm | IP Logged 
Edit: Logging of Ten Year Reading Plan starts on page 9 of this thread.

Learning French Fast. That's certainly my goal. 25 years ago, I had a pretty good handle on the language. A month ago, I was somewhat embarrassed and disappointed as I noticed how little seemed to remain.

One thing that's nice about the Assimil New French with Ease course is that it has a rhythm. One lesson a day. Thanks to that, I'm pretty sure I've been re-learning French for about 3 weeks.

What's happened in that time?

Of course I started out slow. My Spanish isn't as good as I want it to be. I didn't want to take too much time from that focus, nor did I want to confuse the two languages. So, I decided I won't say anything for a while. There's a bit of theory there. The "silent period" had a thread, and I'm not really trying to adhere to that. To be honest, that particular school I thought didn't want you to say anything for several hundred hours so they could scoop up your tuition before you realized whether you were learning or not.

For me, the more salient reason for a silent period is what Miss Hopper said. Don't start talking or writing until you have natural-listening down. Natural-listening is understanding what you hear without support from a book, etc.

The whole listening-reading system has me turned on. It rings a bell of truth for me about language learning that I haven't heard in 25 years.

I was re-reading her original post today, and several of her followups. Some things are coming into focus. They were there all along, but I was doing my own thing. You know how we are - experimental.

Well, with my couple of weeks of experimentation with variations of listening-reading, which perhaps we can say aren't listening-reading at all, have been fruitful. Not as fruitful as they could have been, had I been willing to follow directions from the start, but fruitful enough to recognize that language learning can be exciting and fun.

Doh! you say? Why have you been studying Spanish for 2-3 years for if it wasn't fun? It's not for your job, right? Well, fun has degrees. They last couple weeks have been more fun. Didn't Linus write a book with that title? "Just for Fun".

So, to bring you up to date, in case you haven't been plowing through my Spanish diary, or "dairy" as my late best friend called it...

So, other than the 1 Assimil lesson a day, I did a few trips through both Assimil courses, just listening and reading the translations. The idea was to get an idea of what's in the courses, content wise. There is some humorous stuff, but it's not literature.

I edited the mp3s of both courses so that there is no opening saying, "Lesson N" or exercises. That saves about 45 seconds per lesson. For a course with 113 or 70 lessons, it adds up. Basically each course has about 2 hours of dialogs. The exercises, etc are still around, and may come in handy later. I haven't been listening to those recordings for about week though. Like I said, they're not literature.

What else? Being a fat old man, not really, but having a few pounds to drop, I've been watching French in Actions videos on some mornings while doing some aerobic exercise. That's not the same as concentrating on them, but for the moment, I don't think this is a problem. Again, here, I'd like to become familiar with the content of the course. I'm not thinking of it as study yet. If I get impatient, I'm thinking I can watch the first part of the videos (8 minutes or so), which is "the story". It's not exactly a soap opera, but it isn't bad, except for the music, which is quite campy.

I watched a DVD about learning French for an hour or two one week. That was fairly dull.

I did a bit of experimentation with simultaneous-listening using Le Petit Prince and El Principito recordings along with The Little Prince book. This is a neat story, and I'll come back to it in the next few weeks. I may try the simultaneous-listening thing again with this story, as it can be fun.

I've been walking around the room while I do a lot of this listening-reading and simultaneous-listening. That's probably decent exercise, but seems to impede concentration at times.

I did some simultaneous-listening with Around the World in 80 days / Le Tour du Monde in 80 Jours. Again, with the walking and not following directions (skipping step 1 ( and 2)), this didn't make the light bulb come on too bright, but it was pleasant.

In the car, I've been listening to Around the World in 80 Days. I also did some "step 4" with some Spanish literature. Don Quixote got some airplay too. The idea of listening to the story in English in the car, or at the office, is to learn the story better. That's step 1, or at least my current understanding of it.

Tonight, I finally did the bilingual/parallel text thingie. I didn't create a text, but I had a copy of 80 days and 80 jours open side by side and sat on my ass for a change and read, jumping back and forth between the two , and listened. What a difference! Lots more fun.

I'm thinking that walking around, which isn't part of the system at all, should perhaps be used sparingly, and perhaps not at all when one has jumped steps 1 and 2 and doesn't know the story in the first place.

I need to go to bed. Have to get up early. Not tired. Lots green tea today.

Besides, the dog wants to eat.

Edited by luke on 25 June 2015 at 11:48pm

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 2 of 77
02 August 2007 at 6:42pm | IP Logged 
I just finished a second trip around the world.

In the car, I'm listening to "From the Earth to the Moon", which is another Jules Verne novel that's available as a Spanish audiobook.

This weekend, the plan is to do the tour du monde again. Maybe though, a journey to the center of the Earth is in store.

I'm feeling like a nap.
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 3 of 77
03 August 2007 at 1:16am | IP Logged 
I've started the Journey to the Center of the Earth. 8 chapters this evening. The translation seems a bit better than Around the World in 80 Days.

Journey has more humor as well. This is a bit more evident with the first English speaker in the Librivox recordings. The narrator, Vinnie, could be a professional speaker, and better than average at that. If there is anyone looking for a wonderful English manner of speaking, check him out. Vinnie does the audio on a few chapters of Journey to the Center of the Earth.

The English audiobook of Around the World in 80 days at Librivox on the otherhand, has an extremely poor speaker. That recording should be avoided by English students who may not be advanced enough to realize his pronunciation is terrible. I'm not talking about his accent either. Speaking with an accent is one thing, but bad pronunciation is entirely different. The guy is a native speaker, but it sounds like he's a stoner and was doing the recording as extra credit for skipping his English class all the time. It seems like the narrator himself doesn't understand what he's reading most of the time.

Just to be clear, I was listening in French tonight. In the off hours I listen in English to pick up more of the story.

I have some questions about the learning-reading parallel texts. I figured out that p7zip can open the 7z archives, which I hadn't seen before. Now I can finally look at some of Miss Hopper's examples.

It is interesting how one can do a couple hours of listening-reading without tiring. That's a very different experience from doing FSI drills.

Edited by luke on 03 August 2007 at 7:58am

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workerbee
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6627 days ago

173 posts - 178 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish
Studies: Russian, German

 
 Message 4 of 77
03 August 2007 at 8:35am | IP Logged 
Are you feeling an impact on your Spanish? I see from your profile that you aren't studying it any more and are at a very advanced level. Are you actively maintaining this other romance language--and feeling any competition between the two?

Thanks so much for all of your posts. I find them very helpful to read over for my own studies.
2 persons have voted this message useful



luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 5 of 77
03 August 2007 at 4:22pm | IP Logged 
workerbee wrote:
Are you feeling an impact on your Spanish? I see from your profile that you aren't studying it any more and are at a very advanced level. Are you actively maintaining this other romance language--and feeling any competition between the two?

I've gradually started moving Spanish to the back burner. I watch some TV in Spanish each day. I'm really trying to put some legs under my French now though. I have listened to English audiobooks during my commute for at least a week, maybe more. That was one slot that had been filled with Spanish previously. Is it hurting my Spanish? I don't know. We'll see when I come back to it with more gusto.

I'm not abandoning Spanish. I still want to attain advanced fluency there, but for now I'm thinking I will go for basic fluency in French first. I'll probably crank Esperanto up to basic fluency before I perfect Spanish. This seems in line with my "global learning" personality.

workerbee wrote:
Thanks so much for all of your posts. I find them very helpful to read over for my own studies.


I'm glad you've found them helpful. I try to be honest and tell the good and the bad. I find it useful to reflect a little on what I'm doing. I don't know if it helps, but it is fun.

Edited by luke on 03 August 2007 at 4:45pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 6 of 77
03 August 2007 at 4:33pm | IP Logged 
I wrote a little program today to turn a couple of Guttenberg texts into a parallel html text. The program isn't optimized or anything like that. A lot of manual grunt work is required to align the columns. The manual effort necessary will depend to some degree on how faithful the translation is to the original, and how close the languages are to each other. I've only used it on Journey to the Center of the Earth. In principle, it should work with similarly layed out texts.

Manual intervention included chopping the boilerplate off the top and bottom of the text, removing extra newline characters from the text, and adding in newlines when I wanted to skip a line in one of the texts. I did some small edits to the English translation. One can occasionally detect creativity on the part of the translator, and of course, that makes automated processing less than perfect. None of the translator's creativity seemed like an improvement to the original story. I didn't edit the French, which was the original language of Journey.

The program operates in paragraph mode. It simply creates a two column table with one paragraph on the right, and the other on the left. When it finds two lines in a row, it thinks, "here's a new paragraph".

I spent a good five or six hours writing the program and editing the text. The html I have now is pretty good, better than having two seperate files and trying to page down with each of them as the audio progresses. I haven't used the resulting html with the audio yet, but I'm looking forward to doing so this weekend.

Edited by luke on 03 August 2007 at 4:39pm

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patuco
Diglot
Moderator
Gibraltar
Joined 6791 days ago

3795 posts - 4268 votes 
Speaks: Spanish, English*
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 Message 7 of 77
04 August 2007 at 2:41am | IP Logged 
Couldn't you just have printed the texts or were there too many pages?

Edited by patuco on 04 August 2007 at 2:42am

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6981 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 8 of 77
04 August 2007 at 6:31am | IP Logged 
You can always print an html file.

Having two seperate books is better than nothing, but not as useful as being able to switch back and forth between the two languages with just an eye movement.


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