Foreign Languages

Everything except LibriVox (yes, this is where knitting gets discussed. Now includes non-LV Volunteers Wanted projects)
purplecow
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Joined: April 18th, 2006, 10:20 pm

Post by purplecow » April 19th, 2006, 1:31 pm

kri wrote:
That's excellent :) Have you found that after learning one second language, it's fairly easy to learn others?
Yes, if it's related. Italian was not too hard to get to a basic level in. Japanese, on the other hand, has nothing in common with either Russian or English (or Italian), so I'm having a bit of a hard time with it.

Larisa

earthcalling
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Post by earthcalling » April 20th, 2006, 1:58 pm

I'm really impressed that LibriVox has foreign language recordings, though unfortunately I wouldn't be able to add to the number.

In school, I learnt French, German and Latin; I can still throw together the odd sentence of French, which is useful when I travel.

My degree is in Chinese Studies, and I spent a number of years living in China. I've been firmly based in London for several years, though, so my Mandarin is perhaps getting a little rusty. I can understand pretty much anything, and impress in a short conversation, but the deeply-buried vocabulary is beginning to wither.

I'm now into my second year of part-time study of Japanese. I get a real kick out of that, partly because it's so darn difficult, and partly because of the similarities and differences with Chinese. It still astonishes me that Chinese 'kanji' were grafted onto a language that functions so fundamentally differently.

Trouble is, now i'm enjoying LibriVox so much, I seem to have less time to study..... :(

David

ChipDoc
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Post by ChipDoc » April 21st, 2006, 2:41 am

earthcalling wrote:Trouble is, now i'm enjoying LibriVox so much, I seem to have less time to study..... :(
That's going to be a continuing problem too, David. LibriVox is pretty addictive. I've got to admit that I rarely do most of the things I used to before discovering this place...
-Chip
[url]http://ChipDoc.com/LibriVox/[/url]
[i]The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.[/i]
~Mark Twain

Tom Storer
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Post by Tom Storer » April 25th, 2006, 12:45 pm

I'm a native English speaker (US), fluent also in French. I've been living in France for many years. It's hard for me now to imagine what it was like before I could speak French! Living in the language is what really helps fluency, both linguistic and cultural.

Even though I'm not too embarassed by my French, I'd hesitate to record in it. Mind you, I haven't even recorded anything in English yet! I'm brand new. But hey, what the hell, if people are doing it, maybe I'll give it a spin. I'll have a look at the Liaisons Dangereuses thread.

Now Proust... Proust would be a blast! Talk about a major project. But is it in the public domain? Does anyone know what the cutoff year is in France? EDIT : Just checked. It seems Proust is in the public domain. I'll get my feet wet here, though, before embarking on anything so vast!

VF pour les francophones : ma langue maternelle est l'anglais am?ricain, mais je vis en France depuis des lustres et je parle couramment le fran?ais. Difficile de me souvenir de ce que c'?tait de ne pas encore parler fran?ais ! Il faut vivre dans le pays de la langue pour devenir vraiment bilingue / biculturel.

Pour parler, je suis assez confiant, mais j'h?siterais ? enregistrer une oeuvre litt?raire en fran?ais. En fait, je n'ai m?me pas encore enregistr? en anglais, je suis un bleu ! Mais bon, si ?a se fait d'enregistrer dans sa deuxi?me langue, pourquoi pas ? J'irai faire un tour dans la discussion sur les Liaisons Dangereuses.

Ah, Proust ! Voil? un projet ambitieux ! Mais est-ce que c'est dans le domaine public ? Qui sait l'ann?e ? partir de laquelle on est dans le domaine public ? MISE A JOUR : Renseignements faits, Proust est bien dans le domaine public. Mais je vais quand m?me m'entrainer un peu ici avant de consid?rer un projet si vaste !

kri
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Post by kri » April 25th, 2006, 1:27 pm

Be careful about Proust Tom, because we're actually relying on US copyright. As long as it's public domain in the US, it doesn't matter (unless it matters to the recorder) if it's public domain elsewhere. However, if it's in the public domain in France, and not the US...well we're out of luck.

kri
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Post by kri » April 25th, 2006, 1:28 pm

Oh yeah, and if you heard my French reading (which is in Liaisons Dangereuses somewhere) you would feel more confident about reading in French. I am certainly not fluent, but other native French speakers have said my reading is OK.

a.r.dobbs
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Post by a.r.dobbs » May 14th, 2006, 12:38 am

Rambling to a point . . .
A friend of mine told me her father learned to play one beautiful song on the piano, only one, very well. I admired that approach, since he was far too busy to learn many songs. And I imagined what it would feel like to play well one song you loved; that against the alternative of spreading that same time over a general effort to learn piano.

I've taken on chapters here that repeatedly require me to speak (briefly) languages I don't know at all (Latin, French). I've been seeking advice, and the more times I do so, the more I realize what a sweet opportunity this gives for . . . oh, can you make the leap for me? English is hard at the moment! To take a phrase or a few sentences from a language I will never master, to be coached by someone who does hold that language, to repeat it till it's nearly smooth . . . it's the pleasure of saying it that is motivating me to ask for coaching now, not the wish to avoid appearing an imbecile, you know?

hum-dee-dum
When I'm not tongue-tied, I mostly speak English (and copyedit) though ramble is my native tongue; high school Spanish, college German (ich habe alles vergessen), bits of wishful-thinking Russian self-study (ochen krasevoy yazik), soshite bigger bits of Japanese (muzukashi desyo). But here ... with more and more help from LibriVoxans, I hope to speak bits of everything I possibly can! oo-lah!

anita royvna

kri
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Post by kri » May 14th, 2006, 11:42 am

a.r.dobbs wrote:Rambling to a point . . .
A friend of mine told me her father learned to play one beautiful song on the piano, only one, very well. I admired that approach, since he was far too busy to learn many songs. And I imagined what it would feel like to play well one song you loved; that against the alternative of spreading that same time over a general effort to learn piano.

I've taken on chapters here that repeatedly require me to speak (briefly) languages I don't know at all (Latin, French). I've been seeking advice, and the more times I do so, the more I realize what a sweet opportunity this gives for . . . oh, can you make the leap for me? English is hard at the moment! To take a phrase or a few sentences from a language I will never master, to be coached by someone who does hold that language, to repeat it till it's nearly smooth . . . it's the pleasure of saying it that is motivating me to ask for coaching now, not the wish to avoid appearing an imbecile, you know?

hum-dee-dum
When I'm not tongue-tied, I mostly speak English (and copyedit) though ramble is my native tongue; high school Spanish, college German (ich habe alles vergessen), bits of wishful-thinking Russian self-study (ochen krasevoy yazik), soshite bigger bits of Japanese (muzukashi desyo). But here ... with more and more help from LibriVoxans, I hope to speak bits of everything I possibly can! oo-lah!

anita royvna
That would be intersting to do a special project with bits of different languages. A mish-mash.

thistlechick
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Post by thistlechick » May 21st, 2006, 9:45 am

We need some help with Italian in the Prince by Machiavelli project... see this post: http://librivox.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=32063#32063
~ Betsie
Multiple projects lead to multiple successes!

KATWAL
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Post by KATWAL » June 16th, 2006, 3:58 pm

Even though the last post on this topic is months old, I'm jumping in anyway because I am fasinated with language.

I am an English native speaker and began learning Spanish when I was 5. My father hired a tutor to learn Spanish and we listened to recordings and spoke at the dinner table. Because I listened to the recordings at such a young age I apparently have a very good Spanish accent. When speaking to native Spanish speakers they often think it is my first language. But I have to quickly correct them because it has been years since I've spoken much and my skills have decreased terribly. The accent is still there, just not the vocabulary or grammer.

I have learned a little bit of Russian, (same grammer structure as Spanish as far as I noticed). And I have learned a little Farsi. But as time passes my phrases begin to escape me.

When visiting in the Soviet Union (1989 so still USSR) I met some people from Soviet Georgia. I loved to listen to them speak their language. Both in the spoken and wirtten word I would guess their language is related to Farsi. It is not the same language but it has the same melody, rhythm, and shares sounds. The script is related too I'm sure. I've never looked this up linguistically. It is merely a supposition on my part. Geographically Iran and Georgia are fairly close, mostly a mountain range apart.

I didn't speak a word of Russian when visiting the USSR. But in person, if you watch body language closely you really can pick up a lot. Add drawing pictures and I found I could communicate. That was a wonderful experience.

Kathy

kri
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Post by kri » June 16th, 2006, 4:16 pm

That's awesome Kathy :) I've never heard of Farsi, it sounds interesting.

You know that's the main problem with my french, lack of vocabulary. I can speak alright I suppose, but I don't speak often so I don't have a vocabulary to draw from.

gypsygirl
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Post by gypsygirl » June 16th, 2006, 6:37 pm

I grew up in Latin America with British parents, so I've spoken both Spanish and English fluently for as long as I can remember.

I took two years of German and one of Italian in university before settling down to major in French. My French is still pretty good, because I taught it for a couple of years and try to read in it as much as possible, but my German and Italian are pretty much gone.

I've always been told that my accents in the various languages I've studied have been very good... to a native speaker I seem to sound like another native speaker but from a different area. I'm thinking of trying my hand at one of the French or German projects when I get this solo job finished.

As for other languages, I learned a few phrases of Taiwanese from a friend, and some Russian words from a former housemate and I can read and understand the basic gist of Portuguese (because of the similarity to Spanish), but I haven't a clue how it's meant to be pronounced.

Karen

Peter Why
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Post by Peter Why » June 17th, 2006, 1:54 am

I've just been working my way down the forum threads, and bumped into this one just after I put a note into the Suggestions thread: in this area of languages other than English, I think it would be useful if we kept a formal list of potential translators (and speakers?) of texts in languages other than English.

Peter
"I think, therefore I am, I think." Solomon Cohen, in Terry Pratchett's Dodger

kri
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Post by kri » June 17th, 2006, 12:23 pm

Peter Why wrote:I've just been working my way down the forum threads, and bumped into this one just after I put a note into the Suggestions thread: in this area of languages other than English, I think it would be useful if we kept a formal list of potential translators (and speakers?) of texts in languages other than English.

Peter
That's a great idea Peter. If I remember, and when I have more time I'll respond to the thread you made about this with some ideas (assuming I come up with some!).

Astreja
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Post by Astreja » July 1st, 2006, 2:25 am

hugh wrote:note too, other than quebec, where many are at least bilingual (french english), the rest of canada is pretty unilingual english.
Sounds about right. I was born in La Belle Province and grew up in a primarily English neighbourhood, but took about nine years of French in school. (At the time, they started French instruction midway through Grade 2; when my younger brother started school, it was taught in kindergarten.)

I was fortunate to have a very strict Grade 7 teacher, who ran us through each and every vowel combination in the language. I was too shy to strike up conversations with the few francophone kids in the neighbourhood, but somehow came out of school with a passable accent.

So, if anything needs to be read en fran?ais, I'm game.

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