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tarvos
Super Polyglot
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China
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 Message 121 of 1317
15 June 2012 at 2:09pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
je pense que les journalistes mal
comprennent toujours la science. Mais pour expliquer cet avis, j'ai besoin d'un
vocabulaire un peu au-delà mon niveau.


Comme je suis un scientifique qui travaille dans le champ de "sciences et
communication", je peux vous dire que c'est un problème qui se manifeste vice-versa
aussi. Ce n'est pas seulement le cas que "les journalistes comprennent mal les
scientifiques/la science" parce que a) ça veut dire que les scientifiques ont, en fait,
bien compris toutes les sciènces (quelle absurdité) et 2) que les journalistes sont des
vaches qui ne peuvent comprendre rien du tout un champ considéré assez difficile comme
les sciences naturelles. Bien sûr, il y a des journalistes qui sont nul en sciences
(aussi un absurdité; on peut apprendre les sciences comme les langues, avec la même
reservation qu'il y a un distribution de temps nécéssaire afin de vraiment comprendre).

Si il y a un malentendu, ça voudra surtout dire que les scientifiques n'ont pas
expliqué le sujet dans un façon qui correspond aux idées de la population en général.
Souvent les scientifiques n'ont qu'un expérience avec vraiment communiquer et engager
leur public, et ils s'occupent de faire leur récherche au lieu de "vendre" ou
promouvoir leurs idées au public. Ne vous trompez pas - en général c'est pas une
mauvaise conclusion de constater a) une paresse avec la communication au côté des
scientifiques b) si il y a un désir, une manque des capacités afin de vraiment et
correctement communiquer les problèmes et c) une manque de confiance au part du public
qui n'ont pas l'idée d'être associée avec les décisions pris par les scientifiques vis-
à-vis la récherche ou l'apparition des nouvelles technologies, etc.

Je suis désolé de détourner votre log, mais c'est un sujet qui me concerne et donc je
voudrais donner mon avis.

Maintenant, un sujet plus heureux; je souhaite que vous reussissiez au votre examen!
Bonne
chance. Je suis aussi très heureux de m'apercevoir que vous écrites en français - il
faut que plus de nous fassent la même chose!

Edited by tarvos on 15 June 2012 at 9:35pm

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emk
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United States
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Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 122 of 1317
15 June 2012 at 6:05pm | IP Logged 
C'est fini !

Attention conservation notice: Long, rambling discussion of exams, how I got here, and
the general awesomeness that is speaking French. Oh, and the road ahead.

dbag wrote:
sammychanforeve wrote:
EMK,
I look forward to your account of the exam when you have had the time to unwind.


Me to. It would be great if you could post a summary of the last few weeks in English
for us non- Francophones. I've really been finding this log both entertaining and
incredibly useful.


Thank you to all my loyal non-Francophone readers who've been struggling along! After
yesterday's exam, a late-night drive, and 3 hours of sleep, my French is a little
incoherent this morning, so this is an excellent time to post in English. :-)

First things first: The exam.

I had a lot of fun with the oral presentation. As usual, I twisted the subject very
slightly and spent my time telling amusing and relevant stories to support my point.
During the debate, it actually turned into a game. By the end, the examiners were
clearly having fun, lobbing all sorts of crazy questions at me, seeing if they could
trip me up. I responded in all sorts of different ways, "Hey, I can get by in French,
but I can't actually solve all the world's problems today, " and I eventually
resorted to all kinds of delightfully impractical public policy suggestions. It's a
good sign when the examiners are giggling uncontrollably, I think.

The first oral comprehension section was an unmitigated disaster, thanks to a truly
awful sound quality (worse than 95% of what I hear on French radio) and a missing
student who came in halfway through the recording. They fixed the audio problems,
however, so the second, shorter audio passage was a cakewalk.

Reading comprehension was easier than I expected. I was getting tired by the essay,
however. Fatigue is a problem, because I really have two different French "systems" in
my brain: my natural, acquired French, which is OK but a bit weird, and the conscious,
intellectual knowledge that I use to prune and shape my natural French. My conscious
control was starting to slip by 5:30pm, and a couple of the key sentences in my essay
might be a bit hard to follow.

My guess: My final score is going to come down to two things: (1) the quality of my
damage control on the long audio passage, and (2) whether the other 3 sections are
graded strictly enough to eat into my usual safety margin. It's perfectly possible that
this could go either way.

In any case, I'm satisfied. My original goal was to pass a B1 exam, and I put in
a competent showing on a B2 exam. Not bad for a strong A2 and 4 months of half-time
study. And even if I bombed the listening comprehension, it's not a general problem: I
scored 20.5 out of 25 on a DELF B2 Pro practice exam last week, which is an extremely
respectable score.

So I'm basically there, and I'm still getting better quickly.

...

For those of you thinking of taking a DELF B2 exam, some notes. A passing score is 50%,
and a solid score is (say) 70%. It's actually a pretty fun and well-constructed exam.
Well, there's actually a small number of frustrating questions that require you to
guess what the examiner was thinking, which would give me trouble even in English. But
again, the passing score is 50%, so it's not the end of the world.

If you want to take one of these exams as a personal challenge, it's worth stretching a
bit, especially if—like me—you could afford to fail it. 80% of the skills you learn are
generally applicable, and I actually enjoyed getting to use my French skills in
a semi-academic environment with real time pressure.

If nothing else, it's an interesting cultural experience, sort of a mini-bac, so you
can commiserate a bit with people who've sat real-life exams in France.

...

So now, the fun part: My French.

Almost four months ago, I had a strong A2 level in French. I also had B1-ish listening
skills, thanks to a couple of years of my wife speaking French to our children. In a
weird way, I was basically an usually old "heritage" learner: Lots of simplified,
child-friendly input, decent passive skills, but very little active use.

Then I decided to start speaking French with my wife. For a couple of days, this was
part-time, but it quickly became almost exclusive. At first, this was both amazing and
frustrating. Sure, there was this incredible rush ("Hey, I'm actually speaking
French
"), but this was followed by the sober realization that I had the
conversational skills of a toddler.

The good news is this: No self-respecting adult can stand having A2-level
conversational skills for very long. Your brain switches into self-defense mode, you
start learning really quickly, and you want to sleep 9+ hours a day.

I went for some kind of conversational fluency first, with a pretty appalling
error rate. But once I could survive in conversation, my tutor got pretty ruthless
about the errors. And at one point, I spent about 2 weeks working very hard on my
gender errors, for example. At B2, it's not acceptable to have big, systematic errors—
you can still make lots of mistakes, but they should be different mistakes each
time.

I also spent 30 days writing at lang-8, about 100 words per day. This was incredibly
useful, because it helped me see all kinds of little grammar errors and it helped me
tremendously with French spelling. Seriously, go do this, if you haven't
already. Cultivate a network of friends who can correct you well.

Basically, I just kept plugging away, doing this and that, and gradually getting
better. Like Benny, I had a bunch of little mini-projects. Like khatzumoto and
Antimoon, I spent a long time playing around with native media, puzzling over
sentences, doing reps in Anki.

B2 is a deeply rewarding level. I can carry on an adult conversation with pretty much
anybody. I can explain and defend an idea. I can enjoy books and magazines. I can watch
Buffy (or kids' movies) and understand enough dialog to have fun.

I'm really and truly independent in French. I even think in French.

Of course, I still lack nuance and precision. My written French, though generally
comprehensible, is still a bit odd. I can't really persuade yet. But the path
ahead is clear.

Back when I started this log, I felt like I was standing on a foothill, with a valley
of tiny houses behind me, but C1 loomed ahead like the Matterhorn—an impossible
challenge. It feels very different now: I'm standing on a small hill, looking forward
into a long green valley. C1 is somewhere way down in the valley, and I've certainly
got a long hike ahead of me. But I can see a meandering river and some lovely fields of
lupin shimmering in pink and purple. I may get some sore feet along the way, but it's
going to be a really enjoyable hike.
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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3641 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 123 of 1317
15 June 2012 at 6:24pm | IP Logged 
Après l'examen, j'ai dépensé trop d'argent à « Schoenhof's », une grande librairie à coté
de Harvard. Ils ont des livres en vingtaines de langues étrangères. C'est un peu
dangereux, là, si l'on n'est pas riche. Évitez d'apporter une carte de crédit. C'est
mieux d'avoir $100 en espèces, car c'est une limite. Et ça, c'est important, si
l'on est entouré par tellement de livres intéressants.

J'en ai acheté trop, bien sûr. Et j'ai aussi deux colis en route d'Amazon.fr.   

Merci tarvos, de m'avoir écrit un message intéressant. Je veux vous répondre, mais mon
français a besoin d'un jour sans trop de travail. :-)

Edited by emk on 15 June 2012 at 6:34pm

2 persons have voted this message useful



geoffw
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Senior Member
United States
Joined 2797 days ago

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

 
 Message 124 of 1317
15 June 2012 at 6:30pm | IP Logged 
Schoenhof's est super, mais il est beaucoup trop cher, oui! Heureusement, il n'est jamais ouvrir quand je peux y aller...
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3500 days ago

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

 
 Message 125 of 1317
16 June 2012 at 8:11pm | IP Logged 
Congratulations! When do you find out the results? In the end, though, they don't even
matter. The process of improving does, especially now that you can function on a high
level in your wife's native language. For my future goals I'll need to take the C1 (or
the TCF - Canada seems to favor it) so I need to get signed up soon ;-)
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emk
Diglot
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United States
Joined 3641 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
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 Message 126 of 1317
17 June 2012 at 5:04am | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
Congratulations! When do you find out the results? In the end,
though, they don't even matter. The process of improving does, especially now that you
can function on a high level in your wife's native language. For my future goals I'll
need to take the C1 (or the TCF - Canada seems to favor it) so I need to get signed up
soon ;-)


Je ne sais pas quand je les recevrai. Quelques semaines, je pense ?

Tu aimerais Montréal (à part l'hiver). Les gens de cette ville sont très sympas et il y
en a beaucoup qui sont bilingues. Mais il y a aussi un quart de la ville qui parlent ni
le français ni l'anglais comme langue maternelle. Je trouve que Montréal est une ville
très agréable pour ceux qui aiment des langues.

Et maintenant, mon plan. Deux choses :

* Je veux me plonger dans le « Super Challenge ». J'ai besoin de beaucoup d'«
intrants ».

* Je suis vivement tenté par « Assimil : L'Égyptien hiéroglyphique ». Il y a un
tas de critiques très positives. Oui, oui, je suis complètement fou, mais il faut
utiliser le « wanderlust » pour améliorer mon français. Ma femme ne m'empêchera pas
d'acheter ce cours, parce que elle a toujours aimé l’égyptien et les hiéroglyphes. Ce
ne serait pas un projet sérieux — j'aimerais avoir un niveau A1, c'est tout.

Si vous avez une police hiéroglyphique, vous devriez voir des hiéroglyphes ci-dessous :

𓇋𓄿𓅱𓀀

Aegyptus font

Edited by emk on 17 June 2012 at 5:23am

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viedums
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Thailand
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327 posts - 528 votes 
Speaks: Latvian, English*, German, Mandarin, Thai, French
Studies: Vietnamese

 
 Message 127 of 1317
18 June 2012 at 1:15pm | IP Logged 
Reading your last post made me wonder – how do you say “wanderlust” in French? Google Translate gives “bougeotte”, which I’d never heard of. According to my Larousse Maxipoche, “avoir la bougeotte” means “avoir la manie de bouger sans cesse; avoir l’envie de se déplacer, de voyager.” Bouger/to budge is one of those funny pairings that makes French amusing – I think of MC Solaar’s “Bouge de là” as well. But a native speaker would have to render judgment about “bougeotte.”

Or instead of translating the individual word, it might be better to be less literal, and instead of “be tempted by wanderlust” render it as “get sidetracked” (by languages peripheral to your target.) Could it be something like “aller à la dérive”? Perhaps I could defend this usage with the following quote from an essay by Guy Debord: “In a dérive one or more persons during a certain period drop their relations, their work and leisure activities, and all their other usual motives for movement and action, and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters they find there.” A good description of wanderlust, no?

The Debord quote is from here: http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/display/314


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emk
Diglot
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United States
Joined 3641 days ago

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 Message 128 of 1317
18 June 2012 at 2:06pm | IP Logged 
viedums wrote:
Reading your last post made me wonder – how do you say “wanderlust” in
French? Google Translate gives “bougeotte”, which I’d never heard of.


For questions like these, Linguee is seriously awesome. It gives you the actual
parallel texts, and not just a "best guess" like Google Translate, so you can see the
translation in context. If I search on "wanderlust", I generally get "l'envie de
voyager", except for one poetic translator who went with "l'humeur vagabonde", which I
just love.

Linguee

If you read all the translations, you'll see that the translators often go for a major
paraphrase, which is a sign that there's no really great word in formal French. And
given that "wanderlust" is both a lovely English word, and it has a well-established
meaning here on HTLAL, I went for the anglicism.

I spend a lot of time looking at idioms on Linguee. This is part of my campaign to
eventually turn my "processed French language product" (as an FDA-approved food label
in the US might say) into actual French. That and lots of reading and lots of sentences
in Anki.

viedums wrote:
According to my Larousse Maxipoche, “avoir la bougeotte” means “avoir la
manie de bouger sans cesse; avoir l’envie de se déplacer, de voyager.”


Il y a des francophones ici qui peuvent nous conseiller ? Ça me semble d'être élégant
mais un peu familier, et donc pas quelque chose qu'on pourrait chercher sur Linguee,
qui est beaucoup plus forte en ce qui concerne le registre soutenu.

viedums wrote:
Bouger/to budge is one of those funny pairings that makes French amusing
– I think of MC Solaar’s “Bouge de là” as well. But a native speaker would have to
render judgment about “bougeotte.”


Heh. My kids love MC Solaar's lyric "Alors bouge, bouge, bouge contre la bêtise", which
I sang to them one day. The eldest responded "Why bouge bouge bêtise?" followed by
crazy giggles. They understand the practical relationship between "bouger" and
"bêtise", certainly. :-)


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