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The annals of Tacitus, audio book and Latin explanations

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The annals of Tacitus, audio book and Latin explanations

Postby Alatius » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:54 am

I'd like to bring your attention to an experimental project I have been working on for a while: an edition of the first book of the Annals by Tacitus, with commentaries and explanations purely in Latin, and everything illustrated with recordings of the original text:

http://la.wikibooks.org/wiki/Taciti_Ann ... ber_Primus

The annotations (which are not complete, I might add) mostly deal with explaining vocabulary and grammatical constructions. But, since the text is placed on a wiki, anyone can edit it, so feel free to add (or correct) comments and explanations, as you see fit. :) If there is some aspect of the text you don't understand, you can always add a note containing only a question, and then someone else can fill in an explanation.

The audio files, in different formats, can also be downloaded here:
http://www.archive.org/details/TacitiAn ... sStudyPace

If you find a erronous vowel quantity in the text, or in my recordings, or for that matter a wrongly placed stress, or where my phrasing reveals that I have misunderstood the construction of the Latin, I would be very grateful if you would report them, and then I will redo the recording.
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Postby Amadeus » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:59 pm

Salve, Alati:

Great job! How long did it take you to do this? It certainly does look like a daunting task for one person. I shall be downloading the audio files to listen while I read the Annals comfortably in my couch, with a cup of cocoa on one hand. :wink: Although... since I'm not a beginner in Latin, the speed of the recording is a little slow, but that can be solved quickly. Yesterday I fiddled with the first audio file and I was able to speed it up by about 60% to reach normal speaking levels (and then I changed the pitch too, because your voice now sounded like the chipmunks :lol: ). But, anywho, great job!

Vale!
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.
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Postby Alatius » Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:29 am

Ugh, I don't want to think about how long time it took me. :lol: I guess close to 100h, all in all. Mainly because I have redone a lot of the chapters.

As for the speed, yes, I forgot to mention that. I had originally planned to record two versions: one in an intentionally very slow pace for beginners or in general for anyone unfamiliar with the text, and then one version in a more natural pace for the rest. But I think I will skip that second half of the project, or at least postpone it, and record something else in between; I'm a bit tired of this particular text now. :wink:

How did you go about changing the pitch, by the way?
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Postby Amadeus » Fri Aug 08, 2008 3:19 pm

Well I'm not much of a computer geek, I just click here and there. :lol:

With Audacity (free software), I choose "Effect" ---> "Change Speed" and type 60 (%). Of course, this is just my preference. Then when the changes are made, I select "Effect" ---> "Change Pitch" and choose "down" to note D. Your original pitch is D#/Eb, but it stills sounds high after the speed-change, so I lowered it one more half-note.

Anyway, I don't know if I did this right, but at least it worked. :P

Keep up the good work. :wink:
Lisa: Relax?! I can't relax! Nor can I yield, relent, or... Only two synonyms? Oh my God! I'm losing my perspicacity! Aaaaa!

Homer: Well it's always in the last place you look.
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Postby Alatius » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:04 am

That sounds like a very interesting feature, and I'm very curious how well it works, because changing the pitch while keeping the speed constant, or changing the speed but keeping the pitch constant, would be very much a non-trivial operation.

Anyway, I must be blind, or there has been some change in the program, but I can't find the effect you talk about in the menu. What version of Audacity are you using?
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Postby metrodorus » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:26 pm

Salve Johanne,
What you want is in effects menu, called "Change Tempo". This is subtitled, -"change speed without changing pitch". I use Audacity 1.3
Evan.
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Postby metrodorus » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:38 pm

I have stitched the files together, putting all of book one into three mp3's, which I have increased in tempo by 20% - still slow, but with more of a flow to the speech pattern, and uploaded the files to Latinum, with full attribution to Johan. So far I have uploaded part one, which is 73 minutes long.
I will also be adding a url link to the internet archive site.
This really is an important contribution to Latinity. I am sure, over the next few years, we will see a profusion of Latin texts rendered into audio - just how the Romans expected their books to be read - aloud!
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Postby Alatius » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:25 pm

Aha! There was a bug in the version of Audacity that came shipped together with my Ubuntu version, which resulted in this effect being missing. :x Anyhow, I got it working now. It's actually pretty good; much better than I had imagined! The only problem I have found yet is that an increase of tempo sometimes distorts the sounds of stops: once in a while (though fairly rarely) they get completely lost.

If there is something I have learned based on the responses I have got, is that I should speak faster in my upcoming recordings! :lol:
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Postby Scribo » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:29 pm

Do you think there's a point to listening and reading along even if I don't really understand? :oops:
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Postby Twpsyn » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:07 pm

Wow, your Latin voice sounds almost exactly like mine ... it gives me the heebie-jeebies. :shock: Though, if (as your 'Location' suggests) you are Swedish, I thought I heard a bit of a Scandinavian twang poking through. Great job, by the way.
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