Posted this on /his/ too, but I always get the impression that there are far more polyglots here, and that I might get some better advice.
I'm a master's student, painfully making the transition from modern language monolingualism, to being able to read modern scholarship in German and French. Now the French I find marginally easier (because I did some in school, and have good Latin) but with the German I am an absolute beginner, and it is painful.
Now, I've been taking German reading classes, and it isn't going fantastically. Now, for an assignment, I have a couple of articles in German and a couple in French to read. It would be useful to be able to read more, but I simply don't have the time.
It has taken me several days, heavily assisted by google translate, a dictionary and a grammar to translate one 13 page German article, and there remain many crucial sentences that I am not 100% sure of (although much of the paper, I'm happy enough that my translation gets the sense right).
Are there any services that would look over my translation, or that would translate the articles for me? The exercise has been good for my German, but I am under very tight time pressure and need to get these foreign language articles translated and digested, and the bloody work actually written.
Does anybody have any tips, or know of any services where I could get my translations looked over/commission translations? Free would be preferable, but this is technical work and the articles are all 15-30 pages.
Can't help with the assignment but here'sa free bump
>go to gen.lib.rus.ec
>search sandberg german for reading
>search sandberg french for reading
>do one chapter of each a day
Beats the hell out of learning how the teacher wants you to learn when 99% of the time it won't click with you
I can't just suddenly 'know' a language. I am doing what I'm supposed to do, but it is taking an inordinate amount of time. At the end of the day, I am a human being.
I figured that the way I have been tackling the problem was the best way to leverage the small amount of French and even smaller amount of German I possess - better I thought than simply ignoring the body of work in those languages until some theoretical point in the future when I can 'read' French and German.
What would you do? Ignore it because you can't read those languages, or give it a shot?
Like I said, I want somebody to look over my own translations because I can't be sure of them - and have them professionally translated (which I realise will cost) if time runs out.
Thank you very much, I will have a look - the class book is Coles and Dodd's Reading German, and it is very poorly structured (both in terms of progression and presentation).
I will check Sandberg out, thank you.
Learning a language is a fuck ton of work. You do grammar and vocab until you can start reading baby pieces. You do more grammar and more vocab and move up to intermediate pieces. You can work on children's books while you're working your way up etc.
Languages take a lot of time. If you don't have time to learn them, then sorry, you don't have time to learn them.
If you're in a class and you don't have time for it, stop wasting your time and get out of it.
Well, tell my college that. Expected to have Latin and German under my belt in a year, and Attic Greek and French next year.
It's tough when a tutor looks at you quizzically , only the second term in, because you can't read such and such article.
You don't have to tell me how much time is required.
And like I say - this is a requirement. I can't duck class. German isn't an optional extra I took for the hell of it.
Dude, what the fuck are you doing? If you don't have time, you don't have time!
If you have a requirement you can't achieve, you can't do the degree!
You're going to have to re-plan and adjust. Talk to your advisors and let them know the language thing is slowing you down. They will work with you to come up with a plan. You may have to go back to undergrad level courses, no big deal.
There's no magical solution that's going to get you out of this rock-and-hard-place.
Jesus, use your (level) head.
I appreciate the advice - I really do. I only know a couple of people who are linguistically, not in the same boat, and they are students from the continent. The rest of we British students are expected to keep the fuck up.
The course is designed to get you up to pace linguistically in two years - we were told to think of it as essentially an intensive language course, with some history attached.
Unfortunately, there is an imbalance - I get 4 hours of Latin contact time a week, with home work for each class, but just one 2 hour slot for German, so the modern language suffers. Of course, reading your primary sources in the original is much more important.
It just bums me out - it seems like scholars arriving for their undergrad degrees even 20 years ago were better equipped linguistically, and those same people with academic posts now, seem to be aware that the last couple of generations are much, much worse off linguistically, but it is still expected that you 'catch up', because at the end of the day, you can't do the job without that component.
I have also been told that this is a problem that in many ways is confined to History. If you study literature, you usually only have to engage with primary and secondary texts in one language, and with the sciences, the vast majority of work is done in English. Only in history do you still see this diversity, one that most native English speakers are ill prepared for.
I have spoken to my advisors about this many times, and whilst they empathize, there isn't a lot you can do.
Going back to undegrad level wouldn't make any sense - it isn't the history I can't do, it's the languages. I wouldn't have made it on to the course at the institution I have if that were the case.
I honestly didn't think asking if anyone had any translation services they'd recommend for 4 articles was that outrageous a request.