Blog Archives

Plans for 2013


Please link to me

This channel on YT

I thought I would just round off the year’s blogging personally, rather than just with the machine generated summary in the previous post which is very interesting, maybe more so for me than for the readers, just to give you all my warmest wishes for 2013 and to hope that I may continue to be part of what you look at online in the coming year. Your ratings and comments and hits, both here and on Quoracy.com blog and also on the YouTube channel, on Linked-In and Facebook and several other places are all very highly appreciated and at times of crisis I do derive a certain strength from knowing that I’ve still got my readers,  at least I got my friends:

In the deliciously ironic video to this interesting recent hit, the girl’s friend is a robot, but in my case behind the robot face of the internet and it’s various interfaces are real people who have been willing to share a bit in my life by watching the videos, listening to the voice droning on, reading the posts and the comments. That means a lot to me, and some of you I’ve got to know as well as people I’ve spent time with in the same room, or better.

I didn’t manage to do as much as I wanted to in 2012, partly because I always set my plans too high anyway, but also because I had a bad round of pneumonia in the summer which wiped out July and August. Read the rest of this entry

A conversation with a Russian learner about aspects of verbs.


English: Native language in Ukraine. Legend: U...

English: Native language in Ukraine. Legend: Ukrainian language dominates as the native language Russian language dominates as the native language. Bi-lingual, with a slight Ukrainian language lead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the followers of the video content on YouTube, Dennis, wrote asking about the question of aspects. I answered as I could and also as you will see got his permission to share the conversation so that more language learners would be able to take advantage of the topic.

  • Conversation started Thursday

  • 11:18

     
     

    Dennis Meurders

     

    Dear David,

    Thank you so much of the add. I’m honored! 
    I’m a very big fan of your youtube videos concerning the Russian language. I use them in addition of my Russian language course and I ust say that they give me a headstart of the rest. So they really help!
    I was wondering however if you could tell me which video talks about the time aspect ( поличать vs поличить) if you know what I mean with that. We talked about it yesterday in class and most people (including myself) find it very difficult.

    I hope you can help me out with this one.

    Thank you so much in advance!

    Dennis Meurders Read the rest of this entry

Announcing the Huliganov TV Summer contributors’ competition!


volume

Volume also helps, but is less important than quality

As announced in today’s video uploaded on YouTube, I have produced some Huliganov.TV pens, five of which will be given to the five best contributors over the next 30 days (ie to the 7th August).

Winners will be announced the day after the contest, and if you’re one of the winners, to receive your prize you only need to provide their address and I’ll send the pen there.

The best contributors will be judged on the basis of quality, thought-provoking responses and comments on either the previously existing or the fresh articles that will be appearing daily over the competition period.  Volume also helps, but is less important than quality so spamming or simple repetitive commenting or “me too” style comments won’t earn much by way of points. Especially helpful points like feedback that can help make this whole thing better, collaborations or even referrals of your friends here will count in addition to the comment contributions.

Discussion can be on any of the topics in the articles here.

I am hoping to get some interaction going on here between my group of friends on YT. You never know when YT can simple pull the plug on your account for no apparent reason, and from one day to the next people have been known to lose contact with all the friends they made on YT. Copyright strikes or other strikes are easy to acquire and notoriously hard to work off… This way, if people get used to coming here from time to time, the party goes on even if that happens. Also the ability to have properly threaded discussions without the character limit could enable people do to a lot more than they can when trying to discuss in YT. That’s why it’ll be particularly good if discussions kick off here between contributors, not always just between individual visitors and me, like I was the middle of some exotic flower and you all the petals…

Hope to see a real “summer flowering”  of this blog, and hope we all have fun and learn something.

On the Waterfront at Cape Town (South Africa Series 2/10)


Playout date: 12 November 2006
Camera: Fuji Finepix
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – slight use
Location: Cape Town, South Africa, Victoria and Albert Waterfront
Other people featured: Performers on the waterfront
Genre: Walking with camera
Music used: “This could be heaven for everyone” by Queen – Karaoke version
Languages used: English with some singing in a Bantu language
Animals featured: Red wing starlings Onychognathus morio

This series, possibly beginning with this one, even though it is the 102nd video uploaded to YouTube, marks a certain development in the way I presented the video material. The cutting in of background music, the use of a common intro for series, the gallery shots with background music. This is an early prototype of about 2 or 3 hundred similarly style films from travel to different places. It’s not exactly the mode I settled into, but it’s well on the way there.

One thing I quite like about this one looking back is the attempt to use music in the backing track together with the ambient noises, like the drums of the waterfront performers here on the Victoria and Albert Waterfront in Cape Town. I have great memories of this place and would be happy to go to Cape Town again if ever I get the chance.

 

Apart from anything else, there were friendships made there which gave me a lot of value in my life. Just that alone, even if it had been nothing like the paradise it was, would have been well worth the trip.

Huliganov rants at Borat


Playout date: 26 October 2006
Camera: Logitech Webcam
Post Production: Windows Movie Maker – medium use
Location: Office Jazdow 8a
Other people featured: None
Genre: Hulirant
Music used: Yesterday once more” by the Carpenters – karaoke track
Languages used: English
Animals featured: Fish behind, mainly Ameca splendens

How dare this Sacha Baron Cohen person pretend to be a Kazakhstanian when he is really an English person all along? It is shocking.  Such was the basic idea of this little film, and of course my regular viewers immediately got the irony.  But spare a thought for the casual commentator, who took it all on face value and some of the resulting comments are hilarious! Click on the video box to see them back in YouTube land…

#3 Numa Fan muckaround


Playout date: 22 October 2006
Camera: Logitech Webcam
Post Production: None
Location: Home
Other people featured: Sophie
Genre: Family, musical muckaround
Music used:
Languages used: Romanian, English
Animals featured: None

Early YT legend (and one of my sources) Brookers did a muckaround video called #1 Numa fan, to which someone else called Ognog responded with #2 and this was intended as a response to that, although right now that film has faded into obscurity with only 70 thousand hits to Brookers’ 7 million for the original muckabout, and this one by is only had 700. Leading to the observation that you loose two zeroes off the end whenever you go back one “generation” in spoofing something. Only one in a hundred people actually look at responses, it would seem!

What this all is is part of that whole craze from about 5 years back about the so-called “Numa” song. It was actually “Dragostea din tei” or “Love from the linden trees” by Hajducii, or the Outlaws, a Romanian group who managed to become the Summer hit of the year with this dancey tune. The lyrics to the chorus go “Vrei sa pleci dar nu ma, nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu me iei” and the repetition of “nu ma” gave the song its English name. It’s a bit like the Japanese hit Sukiyaki, which received that name as nobody could say “Ue wo muite arukou”.

The chorus in Romanian actually means “You want to leave, but you are not taking me” and the nu ma is ‘Not me’, so that it sounds like the “not me” song.

Chateaux Drive


Châteaux of the Loire Valley

The big picture - we only saw a handful of the total available!

Occasionally these blog posts will contain more than one video – especially if the video is one item which was split up into separate items as this day chasing chateaux in the Loire Valley was split up in order to keep them on HD in YouTube.

They are all one day out, and they can best be enjoyed from beginning to end as one piece, hence putting them into a single post.

I don’t always do this, but sometimes I just feel like it.

OK, so here are the videolinks in order of their appearance:

Enjoy!

True to Type?


Photo of keyboard and pen

The pen is mightier than the board

Over on YouTube this morning, a viewer called Fightingnate commented on the  second Goldlist film  with the following very good question:

How do you not think you use muscle memory for typing on a keyboard? how do you think some people can type 100 wpm? Why do you think there are typing lessons and programs? Typing (if you type correctly and efficiently) requires just as much memory as writing.

I knew immediately that the answer to this question was going to go well beyond 500 letters (more than 500 words, for that matter) so I left there a request to look the answer up here and I hope the asker and some others who are interested will read it here, and also commenting at length of desired is easier here, as long as you have a wordpress account, or have something like facebook or one of the other methods for logging in here.

I am ready to admit that there are memory functions associated with typing. It’s a perfectly valid observation that there are lessons and programs to learn typing which certainly require the use of memory, including long-term memory and the long-term memory will certainly be involved in learning to type.

Whether it “requires just as much memory as writing” as you claim I would suggest is an unfounded statement. It may be true or it may not be, I am uncertain that it can even be measured reliably. However what I would say is that even if typing is more demanding on the memory than stylus writing is, that still wouldn’t make it optimal for language learning to the long-term memory.

In a sense you might take as an analogy that using GPS will still engage your memory, but working things out with an old fashioned map may be a more natural way of remembering how to get to a place. Typing numbers into a calculator may help you churn numbers out faster at the cashier’s equivalent of the secretary’s standard of 100 wpm, but whether it really helps you retain the parts of maths that need to be rote learned as well as paper and pencil calculations do, well, I doubt it.

Learning to the long-term memory is, I believe, done best when we are not giving to our brains signals that we are making efforts to learn, and not making our brains feel as if they are working. A more relaxed way of writing is preferable. Maybe for Generation Y-ers and Z-ers you feel more relaxed writing in typing than in stylus writing, but that is a bit unnatural. The way of writing with a stylus developed thousands of years ago, if you include knives and brushes as well as pens and pencils in that class of implements, and it was developed in a sense “naturally” in a form basically dictated by the biological shape of the human hand as well as the workings of the human brain. The keyboard layout on the other hand is an attempt to impose a certain predictated logic onto a flat surface and in a sense we have to use an extra layer of effort and memory to remember where, in two dimensional space, a letter is. In a sense the typist can remember the shape of the word and will find that enduring typoes bear witness to the fact that memory – if at times erroneous memory – is involved in that process. But you are only feeling keys. You are not feeling a word being crafted by your hand against the paper. There is no big difference between the feel of one key and another.

The keyboard restricts the movement of your body to one place, while in stylus writing you are moving your hand forward (even in right to left or other systems that still counts as forward) across the sheet. You can also move your body in relation to the writing more easily. You can hold the book at more different angles and in different positions. You can grasp the pen and book from a standing start or take it with you anywhere far more easily than the computer. Even the tiny computers which we now call telephones bear testimony in their new stylus-imitating input methods that the keyboard is not the most relaxed or efficient way of doing things.

Even when the speed typist sits and types her 100 wpm, or his in order not to be sexist, and shows up a certain advantage keyboard writing can have over stylus writing at high speeds, can the substance of what is being typed be remembered just as well as with the typist or handwriter going at much lower speeds? I venture to suggest not. The long-term memory is a subconscious sampler – that’s a key tenet of the Goldlist method and if it were not so then the whole system wouldn’t work. But what determines the sampling rate? Is it the same rate at high speeds or is it a sample of so many passes per second regardless of the amount of material? We don’t know for sure, but I believe that the way perception works will make it a bit of both. You certainly remember more details of a street when you walk down it than when you drive down it, but the ratio of details remembered to time spent could well be lower on the walk, as at slow pass speeds some items will be sampled more than once.

Pen writing doesn’t fade like a screen when you work on it in the sun. You don’t need electricity and you can carry the book with far less weight on a walk. Writing languages in it which are full of diacritics, or writing in Japanese or other character-based languages will be for more English-speaking learners far easier to do. And most of all it will be personal. Your handwriting is special because it is your personal body language in paper form. For literacy, handwriting something rather than typing it is the equivalent to saying something with your own voice instead of letting off a recording of somone else saying it, and just listening. The printed page may be all your words but your body language has not melded with the language as it does with the handwritten page. You do not become one with it. And that is why the specific memory aid that comes with that melding and crafting of the written words in writing as nice as you can make it and done with a sense of the pleasure derived from such craftsmanship, is not really delivered by the process of typing.

Most of us do a lot of typing, sone of us are even threatened with Repetitive Stress Injury from the amount we do, and also we have fewer and fewer occasions to cultuivate the hand and as a result when we need nice handwriting it evades us. The insistence on having Goldlist Method a handwritten method is not anti-machine – it simply reminds us that there is an alternative to the machine and that the computer is not the only tool when it comes to language learning – even a language learning method that bases on a quite mathematical algorithm.

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