How easy is Occitan for French speakers to learn? Plus how to help out English-speaking students of German

Saturday, January 10, 2009

See below for why a monkey is on the top of the post.

Not too hard, as you can see here. These lessons alone won't transform a French speaker into a fluent speaker of Occitan, but when two languages are this similar you can use this method where you alternate between the student's language and the target language, gradually increasing the latter until it's used throughout. Here's one part:
E: Soi de Toulouse.
P: Toulouse es Tolosa.
E: Alavetz soi de Tolosa.
P: Siás Tolosana.
E: Òc, soi Tolosana, et vous ?
P: Vous se dis Vos.
E: Òc-ben. E vos, d'ont sètz ?
This might be a good idea for another approach in an Occidental textbook after we have a fairly good standard one set up on Wikibooks.

One other approach I've never seen in practice is for German and maybe Dutch: going over the basics first with a bit of a modified spelling, and then later on switching over to the real orthography. The fake German words would be indicated with italics, and when the student wishes he can click (this is done online) on the word in italics to turn it into real German. There could also be hyphens between words in long compound words, so the following:


would turn into


and then the student can click to turn d into t (or it would already be if Dag was already clicked and turned into Tag):


and then finally into the real word.

The reason for this is simple: save the students a lot dictionary usage, and skimming over words that they think they don't know but actually do. Any student of German knows the feeling when you look up a word like Affe (what could Affe possibly mean?) and then see that d'oh! it just means Ape. So why not start out with Ape, click it and watch the p turn into two f's to make it that much easier to remember?


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