The Free Learn-Conversational-Latin Project FAQ
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This project is not currently being developed due to lack of external interest. I am however using and improving the utilities
I created for the FLCLP to produce my conversational Latin podcast, Talking Vulgar.
If you would like to use these utilities, please contact me.
What does FLCLP stand for?
The Free Learn-Conversational-Latin Project.
Doesn't the name stink?
Yes. I'm not partial to it, don't worry. It's sort of an operational name.
One option will be for different distributions of the project to have their own appropriate names (e.g.,
someone might package all the output aimed at Ecclesiastical Latin enthusiasts under a different
name than the Classicists' distribution). All of these distributions might share lesson scripts while
having different pronunciations or specialized modules (e.g., Cicero vs. St. Leo the Great). Likewise,
a different name might be preferred by a distribution featuring a different instructional language.
What are the design goals?
- All output (transcripts, recordings, etc.) will be completely free---for distribution, modification, whatever. Everythingwill be released
under the GNU Free Documentation License (see FDL) to ensure it remains free.
- Lessons will begin at an introductory level.
- Lessons will be of a digestible length, suitable for burning onto CD-ROM if desired.
- We will strive for correct syllabification and pronunciation. As this will be an open/collaborative project, we will produce the lessons in whatever
pronunciation(s) someone is willing to record them in. The beauty of this project is that people will easily be able to modify the product (e.g., make a new
version in a different pronunciation).
- In addition to basic lesson programs, we may produce topical programs that can be studied after sufficient mastery has been attained. These programs
would introduce additional vocabulary and phrases in a particular topic, additional grammar, etc. As with pronunciation choice, modules will be produced on
the basis of people wanting them.
- The entire project will be, by design, easily extensible. For example, audio files will be recorded in parts and software will then piece together the sections to produce a complete lesson. This will ensure that 1) changes (pronunciation, instruction language, etc.) may be made easily (by changing only the effected portion and then recombining
all the lesson's sections) and 2) our work will be maximally beneficial to other similar projects (e.g., an instructional program for English in Chinese), which might
naturally use the same infrastructure we'll develop.
- Many other decisions, of course, must be made---but those can and ought to be made collectively.
What does free mean?
Free means both free of charge and free as in freedom.
Free means you'll be able to use, distribute, and modify the recordings and all accompanying work (documentation, workbooks, etc.)
free of charge. If you make modifications that you distribute, you'll have to give those improvements back to the community under
the same license. This will ensure that all work which was created free will remain free.
Here are some examples of things you'll be able to do for free:
If you want a more precise answer
of what I mean by free, you should probably read over the GNU Free Documentation License.
- Download the lessons and burn them onto a CD or listen to them on your computer.
- Teachers/homeschoolers: Burn each of your students a copy of the lessons (or just parts of them) for their own use or forgroup activities.
- Translate the lessons into a different language and record the instructional bits in the other language (i.e., people will be able to relatively easily
make a French/Spanish/German/Chinese/... version of the project.
- Re-record the Latin parts in your favorite (other) pronunciation.
- Produce other modules for the course (i.e., a topical module that will introduce a certain vocabulary or grammatical concept).
- Use the software we develop to produce a language instruction program for an entirely different language (other than Latin).
- Lots of other things I haven't thought of.
What is the status of the project?
The project is just now beginning (being planned and organized). Join the mailing list if you'd like to help!
Here's how I see our basic roadmap.
The recorded lessons will then be made available for download in a variety of formats (e.g., MP3,
Ogg Vorbis, Real Audio, etc.). We will also make it as easy as possible to create audio cd's or tapes
which will be playable on standard equipment.
Once we get started, we will be working on several of these tasks in parallel (think assembly line).
- Establish our infrasctructure: discussion list, basic plan, etc.
- Design the lesson layouts.
- Write the lesson transcripts (collectively).
- Proofread the lesson transcripts (collectively).
- Adjudicate the lesson transcripts (collectively).
- Record/edit the lessons.
How can I help?
We're going to need lots of help---EVEN if you don't think you're qualified to help with the Latin!
We'll need proofreaders, document preparers, sound engineers, speakers, programmers, and many other
types of volunteers. Join the mailing list and poke around!
What is Sourceforge?
SourceForge is a free website that facilitates open source projects
like the FLCLP. We're using it for mailing lists, discussion forums, and some limited file hosting---scripts, lesson
plans, etc. (we won't be hosting large files there).
Where are the fora?
They are on the SourceForge project site, at http://sourceforge.net/projects/flclp/.
Where is the mailing list?
You can sign up to receive the mailing list here. Alternatively,
browse the archives.
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