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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 993 of 1317
09 April 2014 at 10:08am | IP Logged 
Eagle32 wrote:
I looked at those pages and they reminded me of a film Immortel, ad vitam, apparently with good reason, as the film is based on the first tome of the trilogy.


I just re-watched Immortel in German! Great film and it keeps quite closely to the first book. I have to try to get hold of the second two books.

Did you know that the sport of Chess-Boxing came about because of the books? I want to see an actual match in Berlin sometime.

Edited by patrickwilken on 09 April 2014 at 10:09am

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 994 of 1317
09 April 2014 at 4:04pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, Eagle32. I'd heard of the film, but I've never seen it. Guess it's time to add it to my list. And while we're talking about surrealist science fiction BDs and films, it's worth mentioning that L'Incal was a major inspiration for The Fifth Element, and the classic French BD magazine Métal hurlant inspired the rather odd animated film Heavy Metal.

patrickwilken, when I say that books 2 and 3 are seriously weird, I'm not kidding. The art is, of course, excellent, but the plot becomes rather dreamlike and strange. You may love it, or you may just go, "Huh?" or possibly even a combination of the two.

Paul, continued

As mentioned previously, the Paul BDs are hugely popular in Quebec. Bookstores will often have a huge display right at the front of the BD section, with Cri de Cœur stickers and big stacks of copies. It's hard to capture what's so good about these BDs—the individual pages are fun and interesting, certainly, but when you take an entire volume, full of meandering stories and random slices of life, those individual pages add up to something more. These books fill me with an overwhelming nostalgia for a life I never lived. Don't ask me how they do that, exactly; it's a neat trick.

In Paul a un travail d'été, our hero needs to find some summer employment. He starts out working at a print shop. His older coworkers all speak English, but they appear to understand his French:



Paul does spend most of his time in a Francophone world, but little bits of English poke through from time to time. And of course, if you keep your eyes open, there are lots of little bits of informal Quebecois French.

If you're interested in life in Quebec, I recommend these highly. You can order them online from Amazon.ca.

Edited by emk on 09 April 2014 at 4:13pm

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 995 of 1317
10 April 2014 at 5:41am | IP Logged 
Some vocabulary in Le complexe du chimpanzé

I'm currently reading this three volume series. It's a moderately interesting story so far, but I'll need to wait until the end of volume three to have a real opinion. Anyway, some interesting vocab:



I already knew envergure in une mission d'envergure, literally "a mission of wingspan", or more idiomatically, "a large-scale mission." In light of the recent vocabulary discussion, this is the 3,774th most common word in the French language, at least according to Routeledge. Part of the reason I speak slowly in "mode 1" (discussed previously) is that I have lot of nice expressions like this just on the tip of my tongue, and it's tempting to pause just long enough to find the precise idiom. But usually I'm better plowing ahead at full speed, even if I need to use a more generic expression. Still, especially in writing, I think it's classy for anglophones to use words like this when appropriate: it's too easy to be tempted by cognates.

Now, a word I didn't know:



If somebody had said un orgue d'église "a church organ", I would have understood orgue without any trouble. I didn't actually know it, but it's so transparent that I wouldn't have given it a second glace. But here, with the expression orgues de staline "Stalin's organs", I'm hopelessly out of my depth. It turns out that this is a Katioucha missile-launching truck. Interesting, orgue "organ" is not in the top 5,000 French words, according to Routeledge. It's surprising how many easy, useful words fall outside of that 5,000—including nearly all the words that get added to my Anki deck these days.

Orgues de staline is the sort of minor cultural detail that causes headaches for second language learners, and also for native 9-year-olds. Of course, a native 35-year-old who loves books wouldn't have much trouble with something like this. But well-read, adult natives literally have a lifetime of full-time experience. Even if we don't believe the children are uniquely gifted language learners, it's still hard for an adult to reach the same level of mastery without spending a large chunk of their future operating in an L2. It's much easier to catch up with native kids, who are expected to be a bit clueless about this stuff.

I'm rather unreasonable about my French: In the long run, I want to know lots of little things like this. But unless you're madly in love with a language, it's hard to ignore the fact that you could learn a couple of languages to a basic conversational level for the effort required to pick up these little details.

(You can buy this story on Izneo, or get it at no extra charge as part of the unlimited subscription.)
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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 996 of 1317
10 April 2014 at 2:13pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I'm rather unreasonable about my French: In the long run, I want to know lots of little things like this. But unless you're madly in love with a language, it's hard to ignore the fact that you could learn a couple of languages to a basic conversational level for the effort required to pick up these little details.


Of course, neither of us really think it's unreasonable.

My impression of C1 vs C2 speakers is that there is a huge gap in their use of the language. It was fascinating watching my own wife go from a solid C1 to a very comfortable C2 in English over the last ten years.

I am confident you can't really experience the full beauty of a language until you get to C2 either.
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Avid Learner
Diglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 2711 days ago

100 posts - 156 votes 
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 997 of 1317
01 May 2014 at 4:05am | IP Logged 
I've just see the following site and thought the 3rd image might be something you would find useful, emk! ;)

http://www.ufunk.net/photos/giuseppe-colarusso/
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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 998 of 1317
12 May 2014 at 5:16pm | IP Logged 
Avid Learner wrote:
I've just see the following site and thought the 3rd image might be something you would find useful, emk! ;)
http://www.ufunk.net/photos/giuseppe-colarusso/

That's pretty cool!

This has been a rough few weeks for language study: I've been busy wrapping up one work project, and pitching two new ones. One thing that always strikes me when I'm doing this is how much I rely on my command of English. I need to talk to a lot of people, and explain complicated stuff fairly quickly and convincingly. I'm not ready to do this in French! But I could handle the easier challenge of simply working as a programmer in a French-speaking environment, especially if I had a week of full immersion to warm up.

Anki backlog. I built up a bit of an Anki backlog over the last few months. It's pretty rare that this happens to me, because I typically add 5 or 10 or maybe 15 cards per day, and not every day. So over this weekend, I reviewed a few hundred cards, mostly mature French cards, and now my backlog stands at 170 cards, all in French (Egyptian is up to date). It's best to avoid these backlogs (this is the second time this has happened to me in two years), but they're manageable if I've been adding cards slowly. On the positive side, clearing the backlog makes for a pretty nice review.

Le trône de fer. I just ordered season 3 at Amazon.com. This is finally getting a bit easier—I still use subs after a long break away, but I don't need to look at them much, and my comprehension can occasionally be very solid for an entire episode. I've been deliberately searching out especially difficult shows, and trying to make progress with them.

So all in all, I'm not putting a huge amount of time into languages right now, but neither am I totally neglecting them.

Edited by emk on 13 May 2014 at 4:37pm

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Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3215 days ago

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

 
 Message 999 of 1317
12 May 2014 at 6:52pm | IP Logged 
emk, how much do you usually get from a French comedy without subs?
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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

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

 
 Message 1000 of 1317
13 May 2014 at 2:43pm | IP Logged 
Expugnator wrote:
emk, how much do you usually get from a French comedy without subs

I tend to struggle a bit with comedy, especially standup. Sometimes I do OK; other times I'm pretty lost. It's not a register I hear very much of in real life: I interact with only a few French speakers on a regular basis, and they're all pretty far from current pop-culture because of age, geography or temperament. My current listening project is to get really solid with general TV. I can understand most of the dialog on most shows that I find channel-surfing on VoilàTV, but I'd like to understand virtually everything.

In unrelated news, I'm happy to announce that I'm up to date on Anki again, after clearing a total backlog of something like 450 cards. Yay!

My "one lesson of L'Égyptien per week" plan is still on track, entirely thanks to Beeminder:



I think this is an under-explored area of language learning: Learning things very slowly but consistently using Anki. The one catch is that if I don't have cards for something, I can't retain it. For example, I've lost most of my ability to understand the spoken Egyptian on the Assimil CDs, because I don't have any sound cards. So if you want to do this for a living language, I'd recommend including a variety of card types helping with as many different skills as possible.

EDIT: Woot! 1000 posts! This is officially a huge, giant log now. :-)

Edited by emk on 13 May 2014 at 2:44pm



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