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L-R and parallel texts

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MarcoDiAngelo
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Yugoslavia
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Speaks: Serbian*, English, Spanish, Russian
Studies: Thai, Polish

 
 Message 9 of 34
23 January 2008 at 2:20am | IP Logged 
I will share my experiences here.

I am delighted with parallel texts. At the beginning of this month I had 15 days free just for myself, and I was learning Russian, of which I didn't know even the most common words. I started L-R-ing plays and stories from Chekhov and The Little Prince, but not in one go. What I did was reading a short story or an act of the play and comparing the two languages first (Russian and English), after which I listened the story and looked at Russian text. Words were sticking at my brain and were more and more familiar. I did this only 3 hours a day, for 7-8 days.

After that, I began to apply the same method to The Master and Margarita, doing two chapters a day. You may not believe it, but after 12-13 chapters done this way, I could read the novel almost without looking at English text. Now I can listen to the rest of the book in Russian and to have complete gist of what's going on and what is said. Of course, there are A LOT OF words I still don't understand, but I think I am at the stage of "natural listening".

The succes would be VERY MUCH faster if I had Russian-Serbian texts instead of Russian-English because my native language and Russian belong to the same language family, (both are Slavic languages) even if they are not of the same group (Eastern and Southern Slavic).

It would be much faster, too, if I had done it in one go, because of forgetting and recalling laws of the brain.

My advantages as a learner of Russian were the knowing of Cyrillic letters and similar grammar to my native language. Disadvantages are great amount of false friends between Serbian and Russian, which could lead to confusion (and to funny situations, too).

I am still doing Bulgakov's masterpiece, but now I have very limited time, so it is a chapter in two days now.

As to English, I used the similar approach to learn to read Shakespeare, and I'm extremely satisfied with the result!



Edited by MarcoDiAngelo on 23 January 2008 at 3:03am

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MarcoDiAngelo
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Yugoslavia
Joined 6284 days ago

208 posts - 345 votes 
Speaks: Serbian*, English, Spanish, Russian
Studies: Thai, Polish

 
 Message 10 of 34
23 January 2008 at 2:30am | IP Logged 
I tried to read the Russian topic on this Forum, and I could do it easy.
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jeff_lindqvist
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 Message 11 of 34
23 January 2008 at 7:04am | IP Logged 
I find the original post interesting. If we speak of "familar language" vs. "unfamiliar language", and "easy text" vs. "difficult text", we get a lot of combinations... (we could probably go on to difficult and easy languages, as well as familiar and unfamiliar texts, but the original L-R idea suggested that we should choose something we knew pretty well).

I haven't tried the method enough to fully enjoy it (or discard it - God forbid!), although I did it for a while with a German text that I had recently read in Swedish - thus, not a particularly familiar text (and I didn't find it particularly "easy" either, not even in Swedish), BUT a fairly familiar language (German). Would I have gotten better results with an "easier" text? Most likely.

Now, should I take "Little Prince" (which I haven't yet read, but I assume it is easy, since so many here use it in their studies), and then choose say, Chinese... what would my results be after scores of hours (or whatever was suggested in the original thread)?

Volte wrote:
For relatively difficult texts in languages which are quite unfamiliar, I still don't see the point in parallel texts. Using "The Master and Margarita" for Polish, it was all I could do to map the Polish phrases to the English ones I was reading. Trying to read the Polish was a distraction, and broke my concentration entirely.


I've experienced this with the texts we get in Chinese class. It's like "yes, I have a general idea what this sentence means, I recognize that word but can't 'read' it - yet".

So, would you get better results with Polish using "Little Prince" instead of "Master and Margarita"? And, would "Master and Margarita" work better in Spanish/French/Italian?

Maybe the solution is as simple as:
unfamiliar language -> easy text
familiar language -> any text
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MarcoDiAngelo
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Speaks: Serbian*, English, Spanish, Russian
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 Message 12 of 34
23 January 2008 at 8:32am | IP Logged 
I would say:

any language -> easy texts at first, after that any texts.
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jody
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United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Russian, Bulgarian

 
 Message 13 of 34
23 January 2008 at 9:41am | IP Logged 
This L-R method sounds great...but I am still having trouble finding texts or audio for Bulgarian. Originally I was studying Russian, and there seems to be quite a large amount of Russian materials out there. Not so for Bulgarian. Do any of you know where I might can get some materials? My wife has a copy of Little Prince in Bulgarian, so if I can get the audio it would be nice. But it's a short book and I would like some more options.

Any ideas? Thanks!
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zvilleboy
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 Message 14 of 34
25 January 2008 at 5:58pm | IP Logged 
just thought i'd make note that there are extensive Italian/English parallel texts at http://ercoleguidi.altervista.org/the.htm
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vanityx3
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 Message 15 of 34
26 January 2008 at 2:09am | IP Logged 
I'm looking forward to giving the L-R system a try for my French studies, but I will probably have to do my own variation as most people do. If I'm correct the idea is to know the story well beforehand, and listen to the story in your target language and read it in your native language.

My two question are if I can't find parallel texts but I can find texts in both languages, is that still okay? I would still be able to listen in target language and read in native.


Also will it hinder my progress to listen and read in target language sometimes?
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Vance
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 Message 16 of 34
11 February 2008 at 4:36am | IP Logged 
What happens when the translations in English don’t match those in Italian?

For example: “no way I'm gonna sleep alone with a roach bobbing about. No way!” -   “perché io da sola con uno scarafaggio vivo non ci dormo, punto e basta.”

These just don’t match up. What do I do when the translations aren’t correct? It’s from one of the stories from http://ercoleguidi.altervista.org/


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