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tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2709 days ago

1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 977 of 1317
16 March 2014 at 11:27pm | IP Logged 
Je suis heureux que ta petite expérience marche.

L'espagnol peut fatiguer facilement mon cerveau et quand j'ai besoin d'une "pause" pendant une période d'immersion espagnole je mets un peu de français (qui semble beaucoup plus facile en comparaison). :-)

Edited by tastyonions on 16 March 2014 at 11:28pm

1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3576 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 978 of 1317
19 March 2014 at 2:29am | IP Logged 
Merci, tastyonions ! J'utilise le français quand je veux me détendre un peu aussi. :-)

Izneo

Qu'est-ce que j'ai lu jusqu'à maintenant, avec mon compte Izneo et mon abonnement ?

XIII, tomes 1–8. Aventure, thriller. Vraiment pas mal si on aime un bon complot et un peu d'action.

Boule à Zéro, tome 1. Humeur. Fortement conseillée, et elle est encore gratuite.

Valérian et Laureline, tome 1. Science-fiction des années 60, et on peut le voir. Très hippie. Pour les enfants.

Thorgal, tome 1. Une BD classique avec un viking et de la magie.

Suvivants : Anomalies quantiques, tomes 1 & 2. Une autre séries liée aux Mondes d'Aldébaran. Facile à lire, et pas mal.

Zaya, tome 1. Une BD un peu comme un manga, et qui a décroché plusieurs prix. 80 pages, mais il n'y a pas beaucoup de texte. Le personnage principal est une artiste et (apparemment) une tueuse retraitée qui va être rappelée au service une fois de plus.

Pas mal pour moins d'une semaine. Les premières cinq pages de chaque BD sont gratuites, et vous pouvez les lire en ligne. Mais tout ceux qui lisent mon journal connaissent ça déjà. :-)

Mon petit expérience d'immersion

Ça va. À part ce grand tas de BDs, j'ai aussi lu beaucoup de choses sur le web, dont plusieurs bons articles sur le feminisme que j'ai trouvés sur Madmoizelle. Mais ça touche la politique et je ne vais plus le discuter, pour donner le bon exemple.

Et une fois de plus, cet après-midi, les mots coulaient à flot. Mais il n'y avait personne sauf moi, et donc je me suis parler pendant une heure où deux, juste pour le plaisir d'utiliser mon français. Les jours comme ça me sont précieux, et ça en fait deux en une semaine.

Ce qu'il manque le plus, ce n'est pas l'entrainement, ni la connaissance, mais une bonne raison pour utiliser mon français. J'ai une petite théorie : mon français est en général à la hauteur de mon environnement, et si je change mon environnement, mon français va répondre à ce changement.
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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3576 days ago

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

 
 Message 979 of 1317
03 April 2014 at 4:30pm | IP Logged 
Wow, I've read so many BDs on Izneo that it's not funny. I think my record is 9 BDs in a single day. Seriously, if you need personalized recommendations, just ask: I can find you anything from great art to light humor, to very specific flavors of your favorite genre. For example, police procedurals: You want classic film noir? Gritty urban corruption? A vampire working with an NYPD officer? Al Capone sent back from purgatory to earn his redemption by helping the police? Seriously, when I say the French publish something for every taste, I'm not kidding. If you prefer, say, romantic comedies, your choices are also pretty respectable.

That Izneo subscription is one of the best French purchases I've made in a long time: For less than the cost of one BD per month, I can read 30 BDs on my old 7" tablet. It's really easy to average 100+ pages per day of BDs, which is equivalent to 40 to 60 pages of mass-market paperbacks. You could do an entire Super Challenge's worth of reading for under US$15/month.

On a related note, I made it up to Montreal last weekend and picked up this rather original title in hardcover. The graphics are stunning, and it would make a fun summer movie.

My French has two modes

Thanks to Izneo and my various Twitter lists, I've been spending more time than usual in my French bubble. And I just made another trip to Montreal, where I spent a lot of time speaking French.

This increased immersion has really made it clear that my French has two basic modes:

Mode 1: My baseline French. This covers all the basics of life, and quite a few parenting tasks. I can answer questions, take care of conversational essentials, ask small children to play nicely, and even contribute several on-topic sentences to a more complicated conversation. This is all roughly B1-level stuff, but I can handle it at a B2 level, or better, even when I'm sick, tired, or distracted. But by itself, this "mode" has one serious limitation: I generally can't produce entire paragraphs of fast speech about arbitrary, abstract subjects, especially not in a fast conversation between native speakers.

Mode 2: The raw materials for professional fluency. I wouldn't call this C1 French, as such, because it still has rough edges and holes I need to fill in before I'd be comfortable with some of those DALF C1 conversational subjects. But at the very least, it's the "raw materials" from which I could build that level of fluency. When my French is in this mode, I can explain why Blacksad is a classy example of film noir, or recount the plots of complex science fiction novels, or talk about the philosophy behind my consulting business, or even tell my wife why I want to read Piketty's Le Capital au 21ième siècle (which looks like a pretty interesting book, actually). Now, this doesn't mean that I won't make grammar errors, or won't back up and correct myself, but despite that, the words tend to flow spontaneously and quickly, and I don't run out of things to say after a few sentences.

Now, as long-time readers of my log know, I've spent the last couple of years frustrated that I can sometimes access "mode 2", but that it's not very reliable. But now that I've been cranking my immersion way up, the pattern is becoming clear: If I read, say, 5 BDs per day, spend some time on Twitter, get at least 7.5 hours of sleep, and maybe watch some television, then I've basically got a 50% chance of accessing "mode 2" whenever I open my mouth. And it's glorious.

But if I spend most of my day in English, and only do basic parenting/family stuff in French, plus maybe an hour of TV every other night, I only have rare access to "mode 2". Mostly this isn't a problem; "mode 1" covers everything I actually need to do in my day-to-day life.

And there's even a pretty accurate test to tell me which mode I'm in: If I'm walking or driving by myself, what language am I thinking in? If I'm thinking spontaneously in French, I'm probably in "mode 2." If not, or if I have to consciously force myself to think in French, then I'm in "mode 1," and I'm probably going to struggle a lot if I decide to discuss something complicated at any length.

So what does this all mean?

For me, this may represent some kind of upper limit to what I can do while living in an anglophone world. My study methods have always been about changing my environment, and making it necessary to function in French. But there's a point beyond which it's hard to maintain constant immersion while living in an anglophone country: I read and watch so much amazing stuff in French, and I can't talk about it with anybody except my wife, and sometimes people here at HTLAL. Honestly, it's kind of obnoxious to the sort of anglophone who walks around saying things like, "Actually, Voltaire's a really awesome writer: some of those French classics have a lovely straightforward style, and all kinds of irony and sarcasm."

I totally understand why Khatzumoto moved to Japan. Thanks to AJATT, he became deeply invested in Japanese culture. But beyond a certain point, this was probably rather lonely, and he wanted to spend his time with other people who were also really into Japanese culture. The biggest concentration of those people, of course, is in Japan.

So I'm slowly becoming resigned to the fact that if I want to access my "mode 2" speaking skills on a moment's notice, I need to maintain a high level immersion on an ongoing basis. And while this is often quite fun (oh, man, do I love that Izneo subscription), it's also a bit strange. I sometimes wish that I would reach a point where I can spontaneously access "mode 2" without living in a French bubble. But I suspect that if I want to reach that point, I'm going to have to spend a good, long time in deep immersion, so that "mode 2" becomes a permanent part of me, the way my English is.

This is, I think, one of the secret strengths of AJATT: Spending all your time in a language has powers that are hard to replicate in any other way. If your environment is all French, or all Japanese, or all anything else, your brain will adapt quickly and dramatically. But if your environment is mostly English, with just a touch of French, then your brain will try to avoid doing any really drastic rewiring, because really, what's the point? And this shows up in tiny ways, too: Every time we drive into Montreal, and I read all the French billboards and street signs, my brain thinks, "Hey, this is a French environment, so let's do French, because that's what everybody around me is doing." Peer pressure and imitation are fundamental human drives, even for adults.
6 persons have voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3210 days ago

3333 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 980 of 1317
03 April 2014 at 5:42pm | IP Logged 
Il me semble intéressant, ce livre de Piketty. Malheureusement, je ne l'ai retrouvé qu'en
traduction anglaise. Par contre, il y en a d'autres ouvrages du même auteur, comme par
exemple L'économie des inégalités. Je m'interèsse beaucoup au sujet des prévisions
économiques!
1 person has voted this message useful



twopossums
Newbie
United States
Joined 2401 days ago

34 posts - 53 votes 
Speaks: English*

 
 Message 981 of 1317
03 April 2014 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
Quick question about the Izneo subscription. Is that any and all comics on the site? They have The Journal de Spriou which I have read in the past and dearly love. It'd be great to stay current with that. And they have the few Soda's that I'm missing.
1 person has voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3306 days ago

2224 posts - 6707 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 982 of 1317
03 April 2014 at 7:34pm | IP Logged 
You're not alone, emk. I find my experiences with both Portuguese and Spanish much the same. There's only so much one can do living and working in an English environment. I don't minimize the act of changing cellphone, computer, television and tablet interfaces to TL and massive input, but it only goes so far. If one has a non-TL speaking family and friends, it isn't polite or fair to impose "false-immersion" upon them.

Sometimes, I'll be watching a film in Portuguese or listening to a podcast while walking and the phone rings or someone speaks to me, in English, and my "bubble" is burst. Nothing quite makes up for being in Spain, Puerto Rico, Brazil or Portugal for me- no matter how much time I spend in a day with Spanish and Portuguese living in my English-speaking environment. Being surrounded by the language there means that the English interruptions are much less bothersome to me.

You've just made a great case for "Loi 101", limiting English signage in Quebec:
emk wrote:
...Every time we drive into Montreal, and I read all the French billboards and street signs, my brain thinks, "Hey, this is a French environment, so let's do French, because that's what everybody around me is doing."

emk wrote:
..."Actually, Voltaire's a really awesome writer: some of those French classics have a lovely straightforward style, and all kinds of irony and sarcasm."
This reminds me of a classic bit of dialog from the BBC Blackadder series:
Blackadder the Third wrote:
Blackadder: Baldrick, have you no idea what "irony" is? Baldrick: Yeah, it's like "goldy" and "bronzy" only it's made out of iron. source
Sorry, couldn't resist that one :). Good luck, emk!

Edited by iguanamon on 03 April 2014 at 10:46pm

1 person has voted this message useful



sfuqua
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2809 days ago

581 posts - 977 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hawaiian, Tagalog
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 983 of 1317
03 April 2014 at 10:20pm | IP Logged 
I just wrote a big long post which I lost, which basically said, "me too."

I think there is a limit to how much one can learn in a nonimmersion environment.

I learned Samoan to a high level after a year in a total immersion environment with several hours of study a day. Duh!

30 years of partial immersion and very little study after the first six months in Tagalog, B2.

2 years of study on Spanish, B1 on a good day.

:)

steve
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3576 days ago

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

 
 Message 984 of 1317
04 April 2014 at 1:53am | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
Il me semble intéressant, ce livre de Piketty. Malheureusement, je ne l'ai retrouvé qu'en traduction anglaise.

Le voilà. On peux commander d'Amazon.fr à partir de n'import où dans le monde, avec la même adresse email et le même mot de passe. Pour réduire les frais de livraison, on peux commander plusieurs livres en même temps.

twopossums wrote:
Quick question about the Izneo subscription. Is that any and all comics on the site? They have The Journal de Spriou which I have read in the past and dearly love. It'd be great to stay current with that. And they have the few Soda's that I'm missing.

There are about 1,500 BDs in the unlimited subscription plan. This generally includes most BDs that are more than several years old, but there are exceptions. Unfortunately, Le Journal de Spirou does not appear to be part of the plan, although two associated series are included:

Le petit Spirou presente…
Spirou et Fantasio

Similarly, Soda can be rented for 1.99€ per volume, but it's not included in the unlimited plan. But just to give you an idea of what's available, check out some of these categories (note that cross-over titles such as supernatural mysteries will appear on multiple lists):

Izneo BDs on the unlimited plan
Aventure
Fantastique
Heroic Fantasy
Historique
Humour
Polar (detective stories)
Science-fiction
Western

Just scrolling through those lists, I'm seeing massive numbers of awesome BDs, stuff that I've read, or drooled over in the store. And for the BDs that aren't on the lists, Izneo's prices are way, way better than buying print editions.

iguanamon wrote:
I don't minimize the act of changing cellphone, computer, television and tablet interfaces to TL and massive input, but it only goes so far. If one has a non-TL speaking family and friends, it isn't polite or fair to impose "false-immersion" upon them.

Heh. You know the real secret advantage to being married to a French speaker? It's not that I get to practice my French everyday; that helps less that many people might think, thanks to marital "telepathy" and years of shared experiences. The real advantage is that we can crash on the couch and watch French TV together. ;-)

iguanamon wrote:
You've just made a great case for "Loi 101", limiting English signage in Quebec:
emk wrote:
...Every time we drive into Montreal, and I read all the French billboards and street signs, my brain thinks, "Hey, this is a French environment, so let's do French, because that's what everybody around me is doing."

Yeah, IIRC, I think somebody actually did some research, and it turned out that this kind of "ambient language" makes a noticeable difference. But I can't find the citation right now.

It would be nice to believe that my language choice is under my conscious control. But to a surprising extent, it's not—my brain has strong opinions about which languages to speak with which people, and when to run my internal monologue in French, and even—I suspect—when to devote the mental resources to improving my French. If I spend a couple of days in French immersion, my internal monologue stays in French for a good 5 or 10 minutes after I start speaking English. The changeover will happen quicker if I'm forced to express complicated ideas in English.

sfuqua wrote:
I just wrote a big long post which I lost, which basically said, "me too."

I think there is a limit to how much one can learn in a nonimmersion environment.

I honestly don't know whether there's a real limit. I've only used a fairly small set of techniques, and I'm fundamentally lazy. It's perfectly possible that some magic combination of FSI drills/writing long essays in French/whatever would push me over the top. But on a strictly personal level, I see the most immediate results from cranking my immersion level way up, and getting my interior monologue to stay in French of its own accord. The idea of grinding through months of hard work to recreate what I can get in a day or two of heavy reading is unappealing.

On the bright side, I've learned an amazing amount of French mostly by goofing off. I mean, you could drop me into a French university and I could survive, even if the first semester wouldn't be very pretty. And the closest I've come to "studying" is the month I spent writing at lang-8. So even if my favorite techniques haven't yet granted me professional-quality French that's "always on", they've certainly taken me very far, and I'm not complaining.


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