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adaptive software question

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adaptive software question

Postby Damascena » Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:50 pm

I a not sure if this is the right forum topic for this, but I couldn't find a better one, so, if I've mis-posted, shove me in the right irection, please. I'm new to Textkit and new to this forum, and I am looking forwar to a long and productive association. Here's my question. I'm going to download the reccommeded Latin beginners" texts and teach myself Latin. I took itin hih school, but we won't go into how long ago *that* was! The problem is this. I am severey visually impaired, and use JAWS, a screen reader. I love it, and it does a grand job ...in English. I can buy (forover $500) add ons tha will let t read many modern languages, but *not* Latin. This means that all Latin words are given Englih pronuciations ...which can get weird, at best. The only remedy I hae found, so far, is to teach JAWS to pronounce each and everyLatin word I come across correctly. Surely you see the issue????? I as wondeingif anyone knows of any JAWS scripts already available whih will do thi for me. I did ask n the JAWS specific list, and I gt the virtual version of astounded looks, and reactions like: "why on Earth would youwant *that*?" Any direction would be *very* much appreciatd. Meanwhile ...of to go a-downloading (unless th books requite software I can't use, which I doubt.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Lex » Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:12 am

I'm afraid I don't know anything about JAWS, but the Adobe Acrobat Reader program has a zoom function which allows one to zoom in on the image of the PDF file up to 6400%. This allows me, on my laptop, to zoom til one word fills most of my screen. Hope this helps.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Damascena » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:22 am

I'd rather not have to do this by reading print, visually. I *can*, but it is incredibly slow, and very uncomfortable, at best. I also use a magnification software, mostly for navigation ...but I was hoping not to have to go that route. I will, if necessary, though ...better than being bombarded by incorrect pronunciation, I suspect!
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Lex » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:49 am

I'm sorry I can't help more, but as I said, I know nothing about JAWS. Does JAWS use optical character recognition to read scanned material, or does it only recognize ANSI, ASCII, Unicode, etc., encodings? If the latter is the case, you may have trouble with some of the PDF files here on Textkit. Many of them are scans of old out-of-copyright books, which have not been run through OCR software. They also have funky table formats, and there are spots on some pages which may throw off the software, especially with respect to long and short vowel marks.

If JAWS does work with the PDF files, are the pronunciations just incorrect, or does it pronounce distinct Latin words with the same pronunciation? The latter would most definitely be a problem. The first case would be annoying, but could be tolerable. I study Greek; as I understand it, the typical pronunciation of Greek in many schools was based on Latin pronunciation, even though Greek was really pronounced nothing like Latin. But it didn't matter, as long as everyone was following the same convention. I guess it just depends on which is more annoying for you, mispronunciation or magnification software.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby quendidil » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:20 pm

No offence, but if you don't want to or can't read visually, what would you gain out of learning a primarily literary language?

I think some of the other members here are working on Latin text-to-speech programs.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby edonnelly » Thu Jan 29, 2009 1:31 pm

Another thing you might consider is the latinum podcast started by one of the members here. It is an audio-intensive way to work through the Adler textbook.
The lists:
G'Oogle and the Internet Pharrchive - 1100 or so free Latin and Greek books.
DownLOEBables - Free books from the Loeb Classical Library
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Damascena » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:37 am

I just ran into the problem you spoke about, Lex. Apparently, the Beginning Latin text I downloaded is in a graphic PDF file, and, nope, JAWS won't read *that*! So ...my next question is ...does anyone know of a beginning Latin textbook on Textkit that is in a PDF text file? Or any sort of text file? If not ...this is going to be a *very* long and difficult project!
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Lex » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:17 am

Damascena wrote:does anyone know of a beginning Latin textbook on Textkit that is in a PDF text file?


Nope. There are only two first year textbooks in the "Learning Latin" section, and they are both graphic scans.

I did find this site, http://publicliterature.org/books/latin ... rs/xaa.php. It is the book by Benjamin D'Ooge that has a forum here at Textkit. There is a text PDF file here, but the characters look funky. Perhaps this one? http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18251/18251-0.txt
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby vastor » Mon Feb 02, 2009 8:31 am



I use the html version from the gutenberg site. It's much nicer reading it in a browser. In addition, I want to endorse the latinum podcast site which is excellent for all who desire to hear spoken latin.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby metrodorus » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:52 pm

Latinum could be useful - please note it is having slow response times this week - up to 60 seconds before a clip begins to play. My total daily downloads have doubled this past month, which is possibly why the site is slowing down. I complained to tech support, and things seem to be faster today.
If you tried Latinum, and had difficulty getting a file to play, try it again at a different time.
The site does work - I had over 330 000 audio files downloaded in January alone - but - and who would have thought - it is getting perhaps too popular for its own good.
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: adaptive software question

Postby metrodorus » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:59 pm

Damascena,
I am willing to buy a big usb stick ( around 16GB ) and load it up with all my Latin audio - the entire Latinum course, which is now fully recorded, plus all the other readings I have, and post it to you.
I'll simply include a receipt of how much the usb stick cost me, and the postage, and you can reimburse me via PayPal after you receive it.

This is not something I'd usually do, but I think having to negotiate the site with visual impairment must be quite hard, especially as the site isn't working terribly well at the moment.

Evan.
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: adaptive software question

Postby Damascena » Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:46 pm

metrodorus wrote:Damascena,
I am willing to buy a big usb stick ( around 16GB ) and load it up with all my Latin audio - the entire Latinum course, which is now fully recorded, plus all the other readings I have, and post it to you.
I'll simply include a receipt of how much the usb stick cost me, and the postage, and you can reimburse me via PayPal after you receive it.

This is not something I'd usually do, but I think having to negotiate the site with visual impairment must be quite hard, especially as the site isn't working terribly well at the moment.

Evan.

I did try Latinum yesteday, andI'll admit to being a tad confused. I can play the podcasts (although it was slow), bt if I'm downloading them, I have *no* idea where they are being stored o my computer, if they are. Are these files intended to be played only from the site, o can I,in fact, download and store them somewhere, so that I cn haveaccess to them? I don't use an externaldevice, so I'll be doing all my work on my deskop computer. If this goes well, I'll ge the text book (I see tha one can download that, too,but is it a text file or graphic file? PDF text files are fine, it's the graphic files that defeat me :)! One other thing ...it isn't that I don't *want* to read visually, it's that I can't. This is why the internet has opened such an abundance of rches Among other things I want to read Latin texts in Latin, not in translation, and I beong to a group of Latin enthusiasts, who write and speak Latin among themselves.
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby Lex » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:29 am

This file (http://publicliterature.org/pdf/18251-mac.pdf) is a text PDF file, but it's intended for a Macintosh. The encoding used for the Latin characters looks really strange on my Windows Vista-based laptop, and might not be useful if you run Windows.

The three text files linked below were all readable on my PC, but use slightly different ways of representing long vowels. For a human, the first one is best, but I don't know which one is best for JAWS.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18251/18251-0.txt
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18251/18251-8.txt
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/18251/18251.txt
I, Lex Llama, super genius, will one day rule this planet! And then you'll rue the day you messed with me, you damned dirty apes!
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Re: adaptive software question

Postby vastor » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:39 pm

Damascena,

Here is the html version I use (I made a shortened url in case you wish to copy the link):
http://tinyurl.com/b9mlpc

You can save the link in your browser's bookmarks, or save the file to disk and open later with a browser.
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