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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2695 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1073 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 6:32am | IP Logged 
There is a big discussion here about buying ebooks out of region:

It sounds like Amazon.fr doesn't care about CC, but does care about having a French IP and French billing address, which sounds doable.

I don't know if FNAC is better: http://www4.fnac.com

[A discussion of the dark side of the force snipped. Y'all know the forum rules, folks. -emk, w/moderator hat]

Edited by emk on 22 July 2014 at 2:22pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Arnaud25
Diglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2004 days ago

129 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 1074 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 7:45am | IP Logged 
On the legal side, you have also two big "librairie numérique" (Google.fr that if you want to find other sites)
- numilog.com
- immateriel.fr (the best known for trying to sell books without DRM)
I don't know if it's easier to use than Amazon, or if there are the same restrictions (I'm in France, I can't test the restrictions)

In general the price of ebooks in France is ridiculously high, same as paper or even highter than paper, due to the Lang's Law (La loi Lang) that imposes an unique price for the books. The result is that a lot of people go to the dark side of the force to find ebooks.

Edited by Arnaud25 on 22 July 2014 at 7:53am

1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3638 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 1075 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 1:29pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I spent most of Saturday kayaking.


Ok, so it's a little off topic, but what kind of kayaking? Is this a regular thing? I ask because I've done an
extensive amount of kayaking myself over the years.
-----------------------------------
Back on topic... Thanks for sharing the Middlebury clips. They show me once again that immersion has its
definite merits and me being rather fixated on courses needs to keep bearing in mind that immersing oneself
in the culture of one's TL is certainly worthwhile and generally provides better results. I guess I just love my
training wheels :)

emk I know you don't need to hear/read it from me but you've come a long way and done an outstanding job.
You are a source of inspiration for me, and I hope to be as good in French as yourself some day despite
taking the scenic route.
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 1076 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 4:41pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, geoffw, patrickwilken and Arnaud25, for you links to various French ebook sources. As far as I know, FNAC does enforce region restrictions, but only very late in the checkout process. The others I really need to try, especially the DRM-free options. Much appreciated!

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Ok, so it's a little off topic, but what kind of kayaking? Is this a regular thing? I ask because I've done an
extensive amount of kayaking myself over the years.

I do some whitewater, when I get the chance, and a fair number of flatwater and easy down-river runs. Oh, and if any students of French would like a good kayaking book, I recommend this French translation of Nealy's classic highly.

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Back on topic... Thanks for sharing the Middlebury clips. They show me once again that immersion has its
definite merits and me being rather fixated on courses needs to keep bearing in mind that immersing oneself
in the culture of one's TL is certainly worthwhile and generally provides better results. I guess I just love my
training wheels :)

Here's another fun Middlebury video, this one with a student who knew "very little" French when he arrived, and who appears to be a fairly conversational A2 (or maybe a weak B1) in an interview at the 5-week mark. He makes some obvious errors, but he can actually talk and communicate.

Personally, I find that language is all about imitation and communication. If I hear somebody else say something frequently, it's easy and natural to repeat it. And when I need to communicate in French, my brain churns endlessly in the background trying to put things in order. I find that "training wheels" are an excellent way to jumpstart this process, as are parallel texts, audio with transcripts, and so on. But sooner or later, the big gains seem to come from diving in and actually using the language.

Even today, if I need to boost my level of spoken French, I read, listen and speak to people, after which the words tend to flow quickly and easily. I don't review my grammar books—in fact, reviewing grammar actually makes me stumble and hesitate, because it raises the unconscious language-learning process up to the conscious level. This can be very useful, in moderation, for correcting problems and mastering details. But as for actual fast, fluid speech production, well, that comes from a different source: from being surrounded by the language and from needing to actually use it.
3 persons have voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2695 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1077 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 4:59pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Thank you, geoffw, patrickwilken and Arnaud25, for you links to various French ebook sources. As far as I know, FNAC does enforce region restrictions, but only very late in the checkout process. The others I really need to try, especially the DRM-free options. Much appreciated!


From what someone else said so long as you give Amazon.fr a valid address (any address) they are happy to sell you an ebook so long as you have a French IP (no need to have a French CC). Not sure if that's correct, but it would be a fairly simple way to buy French ebooks if true.

Why do you want non-DRM books? I mostly buy from Amazon and then strip the DRM out after buying: in part because I don't like the concept of DRM and in part so I can tweak the ebooks to better suit my needs (page numbers, chapter navigation marks etc).
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 1078 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 5:36pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Back on topic... Thanks for sharing the Middlebury clips. They
show me once again that immersion has its
definite merits and me being rather fixated on courses needs to keep bearing in mind
that immersing oneself
in the culture of one's TL is certainly worthwhile and generally provides better
results. I guess I just love my
training wheels :)

Here's another v=ZRL1b9MIvZg&list=PL441F67D66C7114D3&index=2">fun Middlebury video, this one with
a student who knew "very little" French when he arrived, and who appears to be a fairly
conversational A2 (or maybe a weak B1) in an interview at the 5-week mark. He makes
some obvious errors, but he can actually talk and communicate.


Speaking of Middlebury, the teacher of the class I'm currently taking is an alumnus
(International Relations/Japanese). I'm pretty sure he already had a high/near-native
level of French, though, so I'm not sure how much it did for his language skills.

emk wrote:

Personally, I find that language is all about imitation and communication. If I hear
somebody else say something frequently, it's easy and natural to repeat it. And when I
need to communicate in French, my brain churns endlessly in the background trying to
put things in order. I find that "training wheels" are an excellent way to jumpstart
this process, as are parallel texts, audio with transcripts, and so on. But sooner or
later, the big gains seem to come from diving in and actually using the language.

Even today, if I need to boost my level of spoken French, I read, listen and speak to
people, after which the words tend to flow quickly and easily. I don't review my
grammar books—in fact, reviewing grammar actually makes me stumble and hesitate,
because it raises the unconscious language-learning process up to the conscious level.
This can be very useful, in moderation, for correcting problems and mastering
details. But as for actual fast, fluid speech production, well, that comes from a
different source: from being surrounded by the language and from needing to actually
use it.


I'm experiencing this with Irish. My regular show on the TG4 site wasn't being updated
and we finished the story we were reading in my study group so without the exposure I
can tell my skills have regressed a bit. Good thing I'm going to an immersion weekend
this week!
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 1079 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 5:53pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
From what someone else said so long as you give Amazon.fr a valid address (any address) they are happy to sell you an ebook so long as you have a French IP (no need to have a French CC). Not sure if that's correct, but it would be a fairly simple way to buy French ebooks if true.

Well, all you need to do to buy Kindle ebooks is to change your Kindle country. But within a few working days, the folks at Amazon.fr will notice, and send you an email asking for scans of a French passport or a residency card of some type, and if you can't produce them, they'll ask you to switch your account back. So even if somebody online says that they did X & Y, and it was sufficient, they may just not have received the email yet. Personally, I prefer an account with no ties whatsoever to the US. This can be done without a French credit card.

patrickwilken wrote:
Why do you want non-DRM books? I mostly buy from Amazon and then strip the DRM out after buying: in part because I don't like the concept of DRM and in part so I can tweak the ebooks to better suit my needs (page numbers, chapter navigation marks etc).

Because for English books, I can pop open a Kindle app, and see a list of recommended books that I'll probably like. With a couple of clicks, I'll be able to start reading. But with non-Amazon DRM systems, life is more complicated:

1. I need to sign into an unfamiliar site, possibly using a VPN, gift cards and a French address.
2. I need to boot up a Windows VM and install some dodgy ebook reader that supports the right DRM, or perhaps run everything through an Adobe Digital Editions DRM tool.
3. If I did want to strip the DRM, I'd have to track down a bunch of third-party software, make sure everything was up to date, and generally do a whole bunch of busywork.

Once again, this would be fine if I only wanted a few books to carry me through the mid-intermediate levels. But I want to be able buy cool, modern French-language books on a whim, just like I buy English-language books. And DRM adds one more level of annoying overhead. This is a long-term maintenance problem: Can I make French as easy to access as English?

Like I said, Izneo gets this right for BDs, and I love it, even if I can't download the files. But a French ebook store with a big selection, no region restrictions and as little DRM as possible would also be really useful. I'll try out the possibilities that people have suggested.
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2695 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1080 of 1317
22 July 2014 at 6:48pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
patrickwilken wrote:
From what someone else said so long as you give Amazon.fr a valid address (any address) they are happy to sell you an ebook so long as you have a French IP (no need to have a French CC). Not sure if that's correct, but it would be a fairly simple way to buy French ebooks if true.

Well, all you need to do to buy Kindle ebooks is to change your Kindle country. But within a few working days, the folks at Amazon.fr will notice, and send you an email asking for scans of a French passport or a residency card of some type, and if you can't produce them, they'll ask you to switch your account back.


That's interesting. I've switched b/w USA --> Germany --> UK --> Germany and have never been asked for proof of any kind, but perhaps I was assessed in some other fashion.

patrickwilken wrote:
Why do you want non-DRM books? I mostly buy from Amazon and then strip the DRM out after buying: in part because I don't like the concept of DRM and in part so I can tweak the ebooks to better suit my needs (page numbers, chapter navigation marks etc).

emk wrote:
Because for English books, I can pop open a Kindle app, and see a list of recommended books that I'll probably like. With a couple of clicks, I'll be able to start reading. But with non-Amazon DRM systems, life is more complicated:

1. I need to sign into an unfamiliar site, possibly using a VPN, gift cards and a French address.
2. I need to boot up a Windows VM and install some dodgy ebook reader that supports the right DRM, or perhaps run everything through an Adobe Digital Editions DRM tool.
3. If I did want to strip the DRM, I'd have to track down a bunch of third-party software, make sure everything was up to date, and generally do a whole bunch of busywork.


I quite get that you don't want to strip DRM, but it's really trivial with Calibre and an additional plugin - at least for Amazon and some other major retailers. You simply upload the book into Calibre and the DRM is automatically removed. I then just transfer the book to my Kindle.

emk wrote:

Like I said, Izneo gets this right for BDs, and I love it, even if I can't download the files. But a French ebook store with a big selection, no region restrictions and as little DRM as possible would also be really useful. I'll try out the possibilities that people have suggested.


Sure. The problem is that digital rights for books are screwed up at the moment so it presumably doesn't matter where you go, you'll still have the same legal problem since at its core it's because the original book contracts don't have a provision for the books digital rights to be sold in the US.

Personally I am not sure anyone (publishers, authors, legal entities) really cares if someone uses VPN to pay for a book for personal use. It's at the very least a very gray area.


1 person has voted this message useful



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