Bob has fun with a kindle

Discussion in 'Language Learning Logs & Super Challenges' started by Bob, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I'm an avid reader of the "classics". I like reading me some Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. I went back to Jules Verne and thought that I could pull my French skills out of the basement and try to read it in the original. The first thing that I noticed is that the widely used English translation is loosely translated, and greatly abridged. So I attempted to read it on it's own and I don't think I would have lasted long without my Kindle.

    First thing was to get a French-English dictionary. I just got one from Amazon and it worked. Conjugations included. It doesn't have every last word from my book in it, but it's more than adequate. With this I could read at a nice pace, but I would come back and read the same thing about three times. Wow what a time saver. I have satisfactory gone through the first chapter now.

    By the way if you get beyond kindle 3, apparently, the foreign dictionaries start getting confused about when they are supposed to be used, because they now try to be smart.. in a way reminiscent of Microsoft Word.

    Now, somehow I got on the track of what the longest (published) novel is, and I found out that it is also in French. "The Great Cyrus". If I underline the words I'm having trouble with (or that were not in the dictionary, then I can later bring them up like this...

    vocab_list.JPG

    and then do whatever vocaby thing I want to do.

    I've noticed that in this book there's some endings my dictionary doesn't know, and that there are some y's instead of i's and z's instead of s's.

    I don't know if I'll finish these but at least I had some fun.

    BTW if you have a dictionary file that's text, you can make it a kindle dictionary using this. But I wouldn't use their link for a file. And I'm not sure how it word work with different forms of the same word.
  2. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Active Member

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    I have never been overly tempted by Kindle, as I prefer to read either a physical book or on the computer with pdfs where available. Apparently there is a PC program one can use to read Kindle books too. Wrt the problem you mention with later Kindles and foreign language dictionaries, I wonder if they have not fixed that by now. Also when recently checking out what was available, the most recent Paperwhites appear to have a vocabulary training tool, similar to flashcards, that one can use with the combination of a book and a foreign language dictionary. That might tempt me shortly to get one, and one's highlights can downloaded anyway, somewhat circuitously, and placed in Anki or another program. The Fire series does not do much for me as it seems to be a very poor attempt at a tablet. I would rather just have a tablet with the Kindle PC program and actually have a little more real computing power and ability to run programs and have more storage.

    E-readers seem like Star Trek tech coming into reality. When will we get a food replicator?
  3. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I've heard of issues with getting the L2-L1 dictionary to work on an app. But apparantly you get l2-l2 dictionaries free. I didn't see these in the Amazon store. I haven't figured out the logic of this yet.
  4. Bryan

    Bryan New Member

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    In my experience, before I bought a Kindle Paperwhite, most L2->L1 dictionaries won't work on the high end Kindles (Fire HD, etc) or on Android devices using the Kindle app. They do seem to work on the low-end Kindle devices (Paperwhite, etc) and iOS devices but that's been about it. It doesn't seem to make sense why it wouldn't work on all of them. Especially Android since Fire OS is just a forked version of Android.

    @Bob is right, the built in L2->L2 dictionaries are fine on all the devices/Kindle apps I tried too. Which is great if your L2 level is high enough.

    I wouldn't trade the Kindle for foreign language reading. It's hard to beat the ease of looking up words/phrases, highlighting things for later, automatically generating flashcards, etc.
  5. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Active Member

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    Does anyone know if there is a problem purchasing a kindle book off of one of Amazon's international sites and downloading that to one's Kindle? Currently I can use my normal Amazon account info to log into Amazon.de, the German site, but how does one manage a Kindle with purchases from multiple Amazon sites? Do all the purchases from wherever show up on one's US account Kindle management page?
  6. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    well if you are lucky, when you find the book, you can change the ".de" address to ".com" address manually, and if it is also in the American store it will be there. If anyone figures out how I can get this on my kindle, please let me know. There's an international model out there would I be able to purchase worldwide on that?

    edit:
    Here it is folks: Why can't I get Kindle books from Germany?
    Short answer, publishers think that DRM makes computer files secure.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  7. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Active Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bob. I think you meant to say "insecure". So it looks as if the answer is no. While as thread said, many german books are available through the US site, it is also true that many are not, as I checked for the physical book I am currently reading, which is available only from the German site. That thread was 3 years old though so perhaps it is worth looking into further. If the answer is still no, then Kindle is worthless for my needs as I am not just going to read out of copyright classics.
  8. Peregrinus

    Peregrinus Active Member

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    Yeah so I just went to Amazon.de to check out a title written by an author whom I just read. It had a notice on the page where the price and buy button usually is, saying no Kindle titles are available for my country from their site and referred me to the main US site. I then searched for the same title on Amazon US and found only offers for used physical books, i.e. no Kindle German version for that title. Screw them. No Kindle for me. I guess that thread was right and you have to have a physical German address to order Kindle books, although one can buy physical books and have them shipped to the US.

    Edit to add: So I just went to buecher.com as well to test the waters and started the process of buying an e-book. In the signup for an account process there are only options for European countries, so I guess this is the same everywhere. I seem to remember emk saying on HTLAL that he could not get French e-books and vids, so I guess there is no option for us in the US. I presume that it works in reverse too for digital media for those living in Europe, but maybe not.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  9. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    Can someone lend me a German address?
  10. Arnaud

    Arnaud Member VIP member

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    The text is written in old french. I'm not sure it's a good idea to learn french with such a source...except if you want to learn old french, of course :)
  11. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    I suspected as such, but once I figured those two details out it wasn't so hard anymore. I'm not reading it for French per se, I just want to read this :) If I go to Belgium anytime soon I might change my mind ;)
  12. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    How can you tell?
  13. Arnaud

    Arnaud Member VIP member

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    You're right, I didn't express myself correctly: it's modern french but with an old orthography, the text is dating from around 1650. Probably my previous comment was stupid :oops:
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
  14. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Not at all - I was curious because I read French classics. I wonder if they are "old French". I'm guessing not, but I don't really know what the term means.

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