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Tar Heel update

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Tar Heel update

Postby metrodorus » Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:53 am

There are now over 300 titles on the site, all illustrated childrens' readers. Those with the yellow kite mark have been edited and approved by Laura Gibbs, the voluntary Latin-language editor)
http://tarheelreader.org
Some of the new readers are targetted to Oerberg, others to the CLC.

My declension reader - based on Comenius' methodology - is proving popular, and several teachers have written to me telling me they are using it in their classrooms, or assigning it for homework study.
You can find it by searching tarheel for 'declensions' in the search box.


One question bothered me about this reader - some people queried why I use my thumb as the first counting finger, and I was criticised for this. I was unsure why.

The difference appears to be a cultural difference in how to number using the fingers. - an article I read today clears the matter up -

A study by the University of Alberta's Elena Nicoladis, an experimental psychologist, and Simone Pika, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, examines cultural differences in the use of hand gestures that could lead to miscommunications or misunderstandings.

Nicoladis drew her interest for the subject from her own lost-in-digital translation experience while riding on Berlin's transit system.
"I asked for directions on the U-Bahn to an older woman and she told me to get off in four stops, so I said, 'ja, vier' and held up my four fingers," she said. "She went off on a tirade saying 'nein, nein, vier' and held up the conventional gesture (using her thumb and three fingers)." The differentiation is because, in Germany for instance, the thumb is automatically counted as a numerical value. Thus, Nicoladis was showing five digits instead of four.
This important little piece of advice could have also saved the life of an unlucky British spy in Quentin Tarantino's new film Inglourious Basterds; in which a character, an English army officer posing as a German SS captain, is exposed when he orders drinks without using his thumb in the count. He and his colleagues are shot for his faux pas.
Nicoladis and colleagues studied one and two-hand counting gestures and cultural differences between Germans and French and English Canadians. While the majority of Germans use their thumb to begin to sequentially count, the majority of Canadians, both French and English, use their index finger as the numerical kick-off point when counting with their hands
I run various Latin sites, including Schola and the Latinum YouTube channel - the main portal to these is http://latinum.org.uk
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Re: Tar Heel update

Postby adrianus » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:56 pm

People won't learn from travelling if they can't see what's under their nose.
Qui longè commeat multa discet, tantùm ut ante pedes videre possit.
I'm writing in Latin hoping for correction, and not because I'm confident in how I express myself. Latinè scribo ut ab omnibus corrigar, non quod confidenter me exprimam.
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Re: Tar Heel update

Postby modus.irrealis » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:48 pm

I don't get the thumb anecdote there. Nicoladis held up four fingers (I assume with her thumb closed in) and the German woman took it as five because she automatically counts the thumb whether it's showing or not? I must be missing something. Surely Germans who have lost a thumb are not deprived of indicating numbers using their fingers.
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