highlyeccentric: Teacup - text: while there's tea there's hope (while there's tea there's hope)
I finally met the source of the local Sad Cat noises. Sad Cat leveled up to Woeful Cat today, for today he was taken on holiday in a cat carrier.

Details as recounted just now:

[8:24:40 PM] highlyeccentric: did you get my important kitty related text message?
[8:32:46 PM] Jonathan Jarrett: Yes, though how could you be sure it was holiday and not vet?
[8:33:05 PM] highlyeccentric: its owner told me!
[8:34:05 PM] highlyeccentric: with much tutting about how quand il est a la montagne, il est toujours hereux, et ici, il est hereux, mais le voyage, le voyage...
[8:34:40 PM] highlyeccentric: we engaged in an extensive pantomime about le pauvre petit chat, le torture de voyage, c'est horrible! Horrible!
[8:44:11 PM] highlyeccentric: i enquired of m'sieur le chat ca va, and he said unto me 'yoooowwwwl'
[8:45:24 PM] highlyeccentric: truly, a great insult to the dignity of cat was done today

So that's one plus to my French skills. Can now pantomime sympathy for cats.
highlyeccentric: A woman in a tuxedo, looking determined (tux - dressed and ready)
Achievement for the day: I managed to ascertain that the hoarse-voiced lady in the wheelchair wanted a push, and whither she wanted pushing.

I'm still not sure what she actually *said*. I didn't want to assume she needed pushing, even though she was going very slowly, and if she was asking for directions I don't know what directions she neeeded. But I got "if you have the time to help..." and she wanted to go to the crossing nearest the tram line. So I did that.

Meanwhile, I need to stop deferring to [personal profile] leareth as the Competent Adult when we're out, because then I don't pay close enough attention to the waitstaff to actually be able to rescue her and/or the waitstaff from language crises. It'd be one thing if my French was good enough to just swoop in, but I need to be paying attention and planning ahead! (This is not a common problem, but today she was having French-blank-brain, and I totally could've fixed it... if I'd been paying attention. Or if I didn't always default to assuming someone else should do the speaking instead of me.)
highlyeccentric: French vintage postcard - a woman in feminised army uniform of the period (General de l'avenir)
Now, this comes from the Oxford Book of Canadian Verse In English and French, 1960 edition. I don't claim to understand every line of this, but I am charmed by the exuberant Quebeçois linguistic pride. I can't translate, I'm afraid, and I wouldn't if I could - it'd be an offence to the poem's main theme, which is "our language is the best of all languages".

Notre langue naquit aux lèvres des Gaulois.
Ses mots sont caressants, ses règles sont sévères,
Et, faite pour chanter les gloires d'autrefois,
Elle a puisé son souffle aux refrains des trouvères.

Elle a le charme exquis du timbre des Latins,
Le séduisant bri du parles des Hellènes,
Le chaud rayonnement des émaux florentins,
Le diaphne et frais poli des porcelaines.

Elle a les sons moelleux du luth éolien,
Le doux babil du vent dans les blés et les siegles,
La clartée de l'azur, l'eclair olympien,
Les sourpirs du ramier, l'envergure des aigles.

And so on for many stanzas )
highlyeccentric: Ravenclaw: how do you spell "unfuckable" in Latin? (Ravenclaw - unfuckable in latin)
1. Aural test - ugh. I have a stack of podcasts on my MP3 player, and I avoid them, because I hate listening to things I don't understand. Not helpful in listening tests.
2. Reading test - OK. My vocab leans toward literary criticism, not the contents of Figaro, so a bit patchy there.
3. Written test - Grammatically and phraseologically wobbly, but hey, I can bullshit about how to integrate new employees, sure I can!
4. Oral text - scared the examiner.

What. They gave me a prompt about whether or not it's a good idea to have students evaluate their professors. So I subjected the poor woman to ten minutes of MY THOUGHTS ON COURSE EVALUATIONS, FORMAL AND INFORMAL. WITH REFERENCE TO CRITICAL PEDAGOGICAL LITERATURE.

She ran out of things to say to me. Then we talked about Merlin.

Of course, I did make the mistake of calling her 'tu' the whole way through, and I kept misprouncing and re-stating things, and I threw all kinds of inappropriate object pronouns around. But what I lack in grammar I think I may have made up for in sheer terrifyingness.

In other news, the Mitchell Library is pretty.
highlyeccentric: Sir Gawain: as gay as christmas - especially at christmas (Gawain)
The scribe of manuscript BNF f. fr 15260 has made careful changes to the text of The Knight of the Lion so it is even more about the GREAT TWUE WUV OF YVAIN AND GAUVAIN than usual
eg: all other manuscripts say "break off the rein and collar [of marriage] and we will go to the tournament with you" and his manuscript says "and we will go, you and I". Also the others say "do not bring a new standard" whereas his says "I will fight under your standard".

highlyeccentric: Divide by cucumber error: reinstall universe and reboot (Divide by cucumber)
Je suis dans le TGV! Le TGV va trés vite. Je suis excessivement heureux d'être dans un train si rapide. Je n'avais pas utilisé Google Translate pour m'aider de composer cette message, non, pas de tout.

J'ai acheté un café au gare - pourquoi? Le café en Europe d'ouest, c'est terrible. Par ailleurs j'ai decouvré que j'ai oublié tous les mots les plus simple, comme 'droit' et 'haute' et aussi 'deux'. J'ai presque ordonné douze chocolats chaud, au lieu de deux.

Dans le train j'ai eu besoin de expulser un intrus de ma place. Je me glousser.


Jan. 24th, 2011 04:41 pm
highlyeccentric: XKCD - citation needed (citation needed)
I think I won't take Latin this year. I should, I liked it, I should keep up with it. But I think I probably can't cope with teaching two different courses doing a thesis and taking Latin.

I am thinking of taking French conversation classes through the Academie Francaise instead, and then DELF preparation classes in August and the DELF test in October. Expensive (about a thousand dollars total) but it would cover my desperate need for language classes at all times.
highlyeccentric: road sign: car eaten by monster (pic#320259)
Prompted by Tarimanveri's adventures with RadioFrance podcasts, I have been listening to French-language podcasts from Radio-Canada. Well, just one, so far, and only a third of it at that. Comprehension, it is slow, and requires repeat listening.

So far, I have gathered this much:

Charming guy with hilarious Quebecois accent interviews another guy about stuff. Other guy has even more ridiculous accent.
Other guy, Pierre, is an arachnologist working for an American company in Texas. They talk a lot about speleological missions, geological movements, and biodiversity. And also, i think, about the trials and travails of working in Texas. And about a comic-book character, at one point.
The only part I really understood was the mini-lecture on "la taxonomy systematique".* The arachnologist is very passionate about systematic taxonomy.
For some reason they seem to have made a round table joke at the end of the segment, but I can't figure out WHY. Maybe I'm mishearing things.


* Are you proud of me, Trojie?
highlyeccentric: Androgyny by Yakub Merchant: a woman's legs in fishnets; between them, a mirror reflecting a woman adjusting a wasitcoat (Androgyny)
Things I just noticed:
Enide is introduced as her father's 'daughter who is very beautiful'. Laudine is introduced as 'one of the most beautiful ladies that any man has ever seen'.

Lunette is 'a maiden alone'.

<3 <3 <3
highlyeccentric: Literature: words that think they are too clever by half. Mostly written by men. (literature (too clever by half))
If 'fers" is derived from 'fero, ferre', meaning to bear or to carry, I think it's functioning in the same way as "falloir" does in necessity clauses ("il faut que...") in modern French.* And there it is, with ara forming a compound tense! Modern French doesn't do compound futures, does it? But I wouldn't put it past Old French, the bastard.

* ETA: AHAHA. Apparently there is a requirement construction in Latin that uses 'fero'. I WIN.

So we have:

Ja n'i ara fors que t'en fuises

[Then* it will only be necessary that you flee it (me? the situation?).]
*I don't know why I think ja means then, but I do.

And THAT explains why the modern French has translated the clause with *avoir + a + infinitive* and the "fors" has disappeared. NECESSITY CONSTRUCTIONS, THEY CHANGE.

OMG. Efil bloody language. I am so glad I'm taking Latin you guys, this wouldn't have come together if I didn't know fero, ferre.

Also it wouldn't have come together without [profile] tarimanveri explaining modern french grammar to me. Or [personal profile] frith, who put in an impressive go at translating Old French without actually knowing what it *was*. Thanks guys! (Incidentally, Frith, if you ever have an inclination to become a medievalist, I recommend Old French! Many are the students and native speakers of French who can't make head or tail of OF on first sight, you'd do well.)

... for all that, I may have to cut the slide out of the paper. DAMN.
highlyeccentric: Me (portrait by Scarlet Bennet) (Not impressed)
Because I have here a phrase which I cannot understand in either OF *or* modern French, and I don't think anyone else can either, because my English translations don't look much like the original.

Se je t'en oy parler jamais,
Ja n'i ara fors que t'en fuises

First line is fine - "if I ever hear you speak of this...". Second line though, I'm stumped. I'm getting "then it will only *fors* that you *flee/had fled*"

The modern french translation I have of the second line is tu n'auras qu'à t'enfuir, which I do not understand either. I thought ne... que was an "only" construction? I don't know what to make of the à+infinitive construction (it's clearly not the same tense as the OF, but what on earth it IS i do not know, and my Coffman isn't telling me). "You will have to flee?" "You will only flee?"

The two English translations I have give variants on "you'll be sorry you didn't run away". Which sounds nice, but I'm not seeing the negation applied to fuises - it's applied to "i ara fors".

Any french-speakers care to explicate the modern french translation for me? If I can figure out what it says, I can probably sort out the OF.

Damn, I need an OF dictionary.


May. 3rd, 2010 05:23 pm
highlyeccentric: Literature: words that think they are too clever by half. Mostly written by men. (literature (too clever by half))
Things which are weird: taking notes in English from an article in french
Things which are ugly: direct translations from french rendered in English while taking said notes. Observe: "allegorie is a general category in which are arranged diverse more specific classical tropes" And, hah, I've spelt allegory wrong, and although I've fixed it here, I keep putting the adjectives in the wrong order, and it's generally hideous.
Things which are surprising: how much french I apparently understand! The fact that I can knock out acceptable direct translations at all (have never tried translating before - french classes were all composition and/or reading comprehension, not translation).

highlyeccentric: Firefley - Kaylee - text: "shiny" (Shiny)
Cannot has internet connection yet because I wasn't able to print out the passcodes from my inbox yesterday. They're on Sjazz's hard drive instead, but she's off doing exciting Birthday Things for now.

[personal profile] kayloulee and I invented the BEST FOOD EVER.

It is: toasted apple and cheese tortillas.

You get your tortilla, and lay teeeny thin apple slices down the middle of it and then cover them in cheese and toast it and then fold the tortilla in half. THEN YOU HAVE NOMS.

Other things:
1. Latin will kill me
2. Am only capable of comprehending 1000 lines of Old French poetry a day. Some days I can read that in an hour, some days it takes me four hours, but invariably, brain fizzles out after 1000 lines.
3. Going to dinner with some college people tonight.
4. Going latin grammar book shopping with Lucy tomorrow, because we really know how to party.
5. Meeting up with Aissi on Saturday.
6. Going to see french film on Sunday. Thought it was LAST sunday, but no, it is not.
7. Have exam at nine am on monday. FUNZIES.

Finally, you should know that [livejournal.com profile] eggs_maledict and performed some TRULY MAGNIFICENT impromptu interpretive dance renditions of the Seafarer and the Wife's Lament outside the quad yesterday. ("I'm all ALONE in my BOAT and I HAVE NO FRIENDS" and "I'm all ALONE in a HOLE UNDER A TREE and I HAVE NO FRIENDS", respectively.) Classic works of literature living on into a new age, I tell you.


Oct. 20th, 2009 07:06 pm
highlyeccentric: Firefley - Kaylee - text: "shiny" (Shiny)
On digging out the essay I wrote on the Chevalier au Lion, turns out it was - according to the scribbled "question title" thing on the front - about the function of the female characters in the poem.

Odd. I thought it was all about the manlove. CLEARLY NOT. Fortunately for me, it scored pretty highly, and that would explain why I have so many IDEAS about female homosociality in the narrative structure.

HOKEYDAY. Time to re-read the essay, and then dot-point a thesis proposal.
highlyeccentric: road sign: car eaten by monster (pic#320259)
Quel que chose que ma chere Lucy et moi avons établi ce soir:

Merde ce passe.
Merde ce passe SUR TON VISAGE.
Merde ce passe SUR TA MERE.
(Ça, c'est qu'elle a dit.)
highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Tonks)
Dévergonder- to be going to the bad.
French, of course.

AElfric wrote homilies sur les nonnes dévergondées. According to Marguerite-Marie Dubious, anyway. (Dubois, AElfric, 1943, p. 90)


highlyeccentric: Sign on Little Queen St - One Way both directions (Default)

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