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geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2850 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 801 of 1317
06 December 2013 at 6:04pm | IP Logged 
garyb wrote:
I often wonder if it ever really goes away, or if the lower limit of
ability at least increases.


I'm sure it never goes away entirely--when I get sufficiently tired my English falls
apart.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ninibo
Diglot
Groupie
Germany
Joined 2178 days ago

88 posts - 116 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: Mandarin

 
 Message 802 of 1317
06 December 2013 at 7:33pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Ninibo wrote:
I just watched the first episode of L'Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air. Thank you for that suggestion! The dubbing is really good, so I guess I'll stick with this series, even if it's still a little bit difficult.

You're welcome! And, yes, it's an excellent dub: unobtrusive, with very natural French.

In general, if a series is "a little bit difficult", it should get a lot easier by the end of the first season or two, once you pick up any specialized vocabulary and get used to the voices. And if you repeat this process with a couple different series (and keep reading books), you'll probably find that you can soon watch most series with reasonable comprehension.


Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. I hope, that I can take a course in french on day, too. Reading is my strongest skill, so I got that covered at least; listening is harder.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3553 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 803 of 1317
06 December 2013 at 9:50pm | IP Logged 
No shame in offering a free membership/premium membership split or in putting up a
donation link! There's a clear reason for making it paid rather than trying to monetize
something that anyone can offer free with just a little coding knowledge.

emk wrote:

Some of these features cost me money :-/

The following SRS Collector features are quite cheap for me to provide:

1. Importing sentences from Kindle highlights or text files.
2. Adding definitions to cards (now in multiple languages!).
3. Exporting cards to Anki using the plugin.
4. Cloze cards.
5. Storing small numbers of cards on the server.

But some of the cool features cost me a tiny sum of money every time somebody uses
them:

6. Adding images or sounds to cards. (I have to host the media files, at least
temporarily.)
7. Machine translation. (The Google Translate API charges by the character.)
8. Anything which involves transcoding audio/video, which will be necessary to make the
video player truly useful.

For features (1–5), I can support a moderately large number of users out of my own
pocket. But for features (6–8), I can only support a few testers, etc., out of pocket
before the costs start eating into my BD budget. And if I subsidized these features
personally, any kind of serious popularity would be a financial disaster.

But some people will probably want these features anyway, so I think the fair thing to
do is to have two types of accounts: free (with access to the features I can provide
cheaply), and paid (with access to the features which cost me money). And I'll still
hand out free access as a "Thank you" to people who help out in major ways.

Of course, since the SRS Collector code is in the public domain, anyone who wants to
can run their own copy. But that involves giving your credit card to Amazon Web
Services, Google and (very soon) ZenCoder and Heroku, so it's not going to be free
either way.

1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3694 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 804 of 1317
07 December 2013 at 12:27am | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
garyb wrote:
I often wonder if it ever really goes away, or if the lower limit of ability at least increases.

I'm sure it never goes away entirely--when I get sufficiently tired my English falls
apart.

I think the lower limit does improve. I can't imagine my speaking dropping below B1 unless there was a serious medical emergency involved (shock and head blows can both do weird things). But that's because I've spent 5 years listening to my wife speak French to my kids, and almost two of those years speaking French on a daily basis myself. That "deep core" of my French may be a bit of a mess, but it's mine, even when suddenly awoken at 2am. It doesn't feel like play-acting, or performing a fancy skill—it's a part of me.

The biggest problems arise when there's a mismatch between the French that I think should be available to me, and the actual French my brain is willing to produce. When this happens, I tend to try to say too much, too quickly and too idiomatically, instead of going for ruthless simplifications.

One of the reasons I did fairly well on my B2 oral presentation and the accompanying Q&A session is that I had laboriously mapped the exact limits of my French for several weeks in advance, and I knew exactly when to push things and when to simplify unobtrusively. And I was at a very high level of activation.

When I can get up to a high level of activation today, it's glorious. For example, if I sleep 8 hours per night for a few nights running, read 100 pages of a French novel, and have a long conversation with my wife, then speaking French is just amazing. I still make errors, but many fewer.

Ninibo wrote:
Thank you, I'll keep that in mind. I hope, that I can take a course in french on day, too. Reading is my strongest skill, so I got that covered at least; listening is harder.

Ah, that's good news. Turning reading skills into listening skills is fun, because you've got an excuse to watch lots of TV series. And the French produce lots of good TV (for any taste, including the inexplicably weird).

sctroyenne wrote:
No shame in offering a free membership/premium membership split or in putting up a donation link! There's a clear reason for making it paid rather than trying to monetize something that anyone can offer free with just a little coding knowledge.

Well, I also dislike the way that free tools are punished by success: When every additional user causes a small company to lose even more money, the software's going to get sold out to the first buyer with a checkbook, in sheer self-defense. This has happened to way too many small companies.

In any case, I'm not trying to make money off of language-learning tools. My back-of-an-envelope financial analysis says the only way to make real money is to sell to novice language-learners, because they outnumber the intermediate and advanced students by a huge margin. And there's a huge gap between the tools I want to use myself, and those which would interest a novice language learner just starting their first language.
3 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3694 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 805 of 1317
07 December 2013 at 12:28pm | IP Logged 
My wife and I watched episode 2 of La legende de Korra yesterday night. At the end of episode, I was suddenly convinced that I had gotten happily lost in the story, and that I had understood every single word.

Looking back, I think I actually missed several lines of dialog, mostly from young children. Still, this is something of a milestone: it's not uncommon for me to understand 90% of a TV show (or 95+% if I've been following the series). But getting virtually everything is new.

One of the things I love about Avatar and Korra is the combination of short episodes and excellent writing. Sitting down to an hour-long episode of Le trône de fer is a major commitment. But it's easy to say, "I'll just watch one episode. It's only 20-something minutes!" And then it's good, and I watch another episode, and another, and actually spend more time doing French TV than I would have with a longer series.

Unfortunately, there are only 73 total episodes of the two series available in French right now, and it's possible to zoom through them at a ridiculous rate. But I do highly recommend the idea of an extremely entertaining series with short episodes.

I also rewatched an episode of Bunny Maloney on the official YouTube channel, and I understood quite a bit more the second time through. This is an exceptionally hard show, particularly for the first few episodes, because it's a bunch of half-crazed rabbits written and voiced by native speakers, and because it's very fast and satirical. Still, every time the inexplicable "chicken cheerleaders" cut scene comes on, and I know they're about to launch the giant robot, I cheer a bit.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3694 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 806 of 1317
13 December 2013 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
Also worth checking out: Un cas pour deux, the French dub of Ein Fall für zwei, a German series about a private detective. This is relatively easy to understand (much more so than, say, Engrenages) and the French voice acting is quite solid. So if you're looking for an easy detective show in French, it's worth a quick look.

On a study front, things are about to get a bit crazy: I'm busy with a big project for one my clients, which means I need to cut back a bit on Anki, and focus my efforts on my online statistics course in French.

It's times like this I'm thankful I can watch French-language TV for fun. It's definitely one of the more agreeable ways to maintain my skills when I'm at risk of mental burnout from non-French activities.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2869 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 807 of 1317
13 December 2013 at 10:44pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
When I can get up to a high level of activation today, it's glorious. For example,
if I sleep 8 hours per night for a few nights running, read 100 pages of a French novel,
and have a long conversation with my wife, then speaking French is just amazing. I still
make errors, but many fewer.


This sort of thing is also my experience.

Edited by tarvos on 13 December 2013 at 11:28pm

1 person has voted this message useful



corjine
Groupie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2182 days ago

55 posts - 74 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 808 of 1317
13 December 2013 at 11:03pm | IP Logged 
EMK, I'm curious, did you read the Little Prince at all? And if so, what level were you
comfortable reading it?

I'm reading it in Italian, but since I'm only at the A1/A2 level, I've been struggling
through it.


1 person has voted this message useful



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