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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:25 pm 
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Xiexie! That's really helpful!

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:18 am 
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I thought I'd share some language-learning resources. Beginners' resources are nearer the top, more advanced ones are nearer the bottom!

Open Culture has a fairly massive list of free courses for 40 languages.

The Foreign Service Institute produced a load of public domain courses for about 30 languages.

LiveMocha has 38 beginner's language courses, taught through games. My main gripe is that it progresses quite quickly and doesn't revise old vocabulary enough.

The BBC have a selection of language courses of varying quality, mainly taught through storytelling (short web episodes that gradually get more difficult as you follow a story). Notable for having Welsh, Cornish and Irish lessons.

Duolingo is a "learn by translating" idea that I think is fantastic (thanks, torque!). The vocabulary at the beginning is a bit wacky (Why would I want to say "my wheat is black"?) but the idea is pretty solid.

Anki is a spaced-recognintion system software, aka "a program which makes remembering things easy". Repetition, sadly, is a key element in language learning, and this helps you repeat things in a sensible way. It's basically flashcards, but the order that you see them is based on how well you did previously. There's a suprisingly costly iDevice app and a free Android app, so you can revise on the bus, should the need take you.

Tatoeba is a sentence bank. Look up a word and it gives you example sentences of the word being used, and you can help by translating additional sentences as practice.

If you're feeling super-sexy, a volunteer has created a bank of Tatoeba sentences formatted for importation to Anki.

For reading practice, try Wikipedia in foreign languages (as you pick the article, you pick the context). Google has some pretty good search tools for language learners; under "search tools" you can filter by reading level (easy, intermediate, advanced) or search for translated foreign pages (which you can use to search for recipes to translate or forums in the target language, for example - the Google translate panel sits at the top and you can flip between the machine translated and original versions).

If you have a Kindle, you can buy books in the target language (or download web pages with Readability or use Project Gutenberg for free texts) and then use the dictionary facility to lookup the word in English using these free dictionaries.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:43 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Good job Gulliver! Awesome.

(duolingo is so funny, isn't it? i was testing it and we were cracking up. "the spider eats bread. the car eats bread. the bread eats bread." what the hell!)
I have a special place in my heart for the FSI courses. I first began Japanese with them and they were amazingly out of date and un-PC ("nobody will hurt you, where did you see the planes") but extremely effective.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:23 am 
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Had my first Korean lesson yesterday and found the pronunciation pretty difficult.


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:55 am 
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Pi_Face wrote:
Had my first Korean lesson yesterday and found the pronunciation pretty difficult.


Korean pronunciation was tough for me at first, too, but what helped more than anything was doing a lot of listening exercises. I use the website that accompanies our workbook for listening to and repeating words and phrases we're learning, and I also try to watch a Korean film every couple of weeks or so and listen really closely to pronunciation.


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Today I've learnt the first meaning of "to squat" (there) In french squatter only means "to live in an abandonned building" (or to stay on someone's couch for a little while)

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:50 pm 
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torque or anybody else who speaks Portuguese, how do you pronounce "Seabra"? And does it mean something?


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Duolingo is so funny sometimes. One of the sentences I had to translate was something like "this is the first sex toy for men on the market."

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:00 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Ariann wrote:
torque or anybody else who speaks Portuguese, how do you pronounce "Seabra"? And does it mean something?

Seabra, say-ah-bra. It's the name of a portugal-based supermarket chain that seems to be spreading into the US, and a not-so-uncommon Portuguese surname.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:48 am 
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I would never have guessed that pronunciation, thanks! This is our new local supermarket and it's pretty good! We've been calling it Sea Bra, which is made of shells, of course, like mermaids wear.


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:09 am 
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I've learnt something today.
If you travel or learn a language, you will soon know how to say "vegan". BUT... In some places, you're likely to meet natives that don't know that word... and think you're a pathetic beginner saying "vegetarian" wrong.
*sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Jigglypuff wrote:
Duolingo is so funny sometimes. One of the sentences I had to translate was something like "this is the first sex toy for men on the market."
I had "my sandwich is blond" yesterday.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 6:53 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Any recommendations for Young Adult books in French? I feel like I want to read some fiction in French, but I don't think I can handle actual "adult" more complicated books.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:07 am 
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fisticuffs wrote:
Any recommendations for Young Adult books in French? I feel like I want to read some fiction in French, but I don't think I can handle actual "adult" more complicated books.
Children's and young adult books don't necessarily have simpler language and children's books especially have fairly hard vocabulary, simply because you learnt the language as an adult and you're less likely to talk about snot and acrobats. Pick an author you like and read their work in translation! The French Harry Potter books are quite well translated.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:04 pm 
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I second French Harry Potter! I read a few chapters of 3 and all of 4 in French, plus I have a copy of 7 in French. It was helpful that I already what the context of a lot of words were so I wasn't looking up as many. For the ones I had to look up I tried to be on top of things and underline them to help cement the meaning in my brain. By the end of it I was definitely thinking in "j'ai envie de" phrases (even in English).

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:03 am 
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Aduh, aku akan terus menerjemahkan kalimat di Tatoeba sampai pagi.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:55 am 
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Gulliver wrote:
fisticuffs wrote:
Any recommendations for Young Adult books in French? I feel like I want to read some fiction in French, but I don't think I can handle actual "adult" more complicated books.
Children's and young adult books don't necessarily have simpler language and children's books especially have fairly hard vocabulary, simply because you learnt the language as an adult and you're less likely to talk about snot and acrobats. Pick an author you like and read their work in translation! The French Harry Potter books are quite well translated.


i d not recommand translations. rather short french novels like amelie nothomb or e.e. schmidt. (short, easy sentences)

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:37 pm 
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Thanks Emilie, I'll give those a go. I've read some translated things from Nothomb and liked them. They're usually pretty short too. I don't think I could do French Harry Potter! The Dutch subtitles for the movies already made me want to rip my hair out (same for Tolkien, all the names get changed). If possible, I want to read things in their original language.

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:03 pm 
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fisticuffs wrote:
Thanks Emilie, I'll give those a go. I've read some translated things from Nothomb and liked them. They're usually pretty short too. I don't think I could do French Harry Potter! The Dutch subtitles for the movies already made me want to rip my hair out (same for Tolkien, all the names get changed). If possible, I want to read things in their original language.


I try to collect awful subtitles. Some of them are hilarious! My two favorites were from Friends. In one episode, Joey has a stalker who thinks he's really his soap opera character. When she asks him how he got home so quickly since she just saw him on TV, he says "They choppered me over" (as in, with a helicopter). The Dutch subtitles were "Ze hebben mij in stukjes gehakt." ("They chopped me into pieces.")

In another episode, it was said that Chandler "came home with dry cleaning". It was translated as "bracht travestiet thuis", which means "came home with drag queen".

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:14 pm 
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lepelaar wrote:
Dutch subtitles were "Ze hebben mij in stukjes gehakt.".


ah ah ah! :D

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:24 pm 
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fisticuffs wrote:
Thanks Emilie, I'll give those a go. I've read some translated things from Nothomb and liked them. They're usually pretty short too. I don't think I could do French Harry Potter! The Dutch subtitles for the movies already made me want to rip my hair out (same for Tolkien, all the names get changed). If possible, I want to read things in their original language.


yes, i understand that - when i was learning german i tried to read harry potter but it was actually too hard and already knowing the story didnt help. same with "der kleine prinz" where i was stupefied to find a detail translated wrongly.( after that i avoided translations -but thats sad)

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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:22 am 
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Subtitling misses can be hilarious. And speaking of non-translated books to read for language practice... Any tips for easy to read German? I'm worried I'll lose my German entirely if I don't start to actively use it somehow. I'm down to understanding but not speaking and definitely not writing by now. I tend to read mostly SF (and non-fiction). Detective stories can be OK. Books about regular everyday life and love stories bore me. I'm guessing something relatively contemporary would be better than something like, say, Goethe... the evolution of language and all that.

Something like Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is ideal, really. Written with young people in mind, but a story that's fun enough for adults. He also takes care to introduce potentially new words to the vocabulary (if you've read them you might have noticed this: he uses a word, says what it means, and then uses it several more times throughout the book).


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:07 pm 
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I just realised that I haven't read any books in German since high school, so I'm useless as far as book suggestions go. My dominant language has switched from German to English, back to German, then back to English.

I'm interested in books in Swedish. Not translated and preferably contemporary, since I'm interested in how people actually speak now and might stand a better chance of getting the ebook from the library. Probably nothing with obscure, made up vocabulary either. I like crime stuff. I started off with books from the Lättläst section but got annoyed because I found them to be overly simplified and "flat". I just finished Lärjungen by Hjorth & Rosenfeldt, not having realised exactly how long it was initially. My vocabulary has a lot of gaps, but I can usually figure out what is going on from the context or by looking at some of the words more closely. TV series would be useful too, actually (digging around on SVT play isn't always so successful).


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:57 pm 
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I haven't had a tv in years so I'm not sure about that. However, there is no shortage of Swedish crime writers! I don't have much of it around the house but I can try to poke around at work later this week. I try to get better at judging language levels anyway. I agree that some of the Lättläst books are over simplified. Camilla Läckberg is popular right now, but I haven't read her so I can't say more than that. I remember enjoying Åsa Larsson partly because I've lived where her books are set, I read Mari Jungstedt for the same reason, but since I read those for fun I wasn't paying attention to how difficult the language was.


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 Post subject: Re: PPK Language Club
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:03 pm 
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I don't have a TV either, but watching Bron (The Bridge) a few times helped with the listening comprehension. No one speaks Swedish at work, so strangely enough I hear very little of it. I read the Lättläst versions of Isprinsessan and Den farliga leken a while ago. I didn't like the latter much, but that may well have been because it was too dumbed down. It's interesting how some words aren't necessarily "simple" but closely enough related to a word in another language to figure out anyway. I'll have to peruse my library's ebook collection and look up some of those authors.


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