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tastyonions
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 Message 329 of 1317
17 December 2012 at 4:03pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the advice.

I actually have very few single-word cards in there so far. Almost all of mine are phrases or full sentences. And when I do add some plain old "vocab" cards for individual words, I intend to put them in a sentence.
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emk
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 Message 330 of 1317
17 December 2012 at 5:44pm | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
Thanks for the advice.

I actually have very few single-word cards in there so far. Almost all of mine are phrases or full sentences. And when I do add some plain old "vocab" cards for individual words, I intend to put them in a sentence.


Yeah, and I should emphasize that there's certainly no problem having single-world L1->L2 cards if that works for you, or if that's the best way to tackle your current challenges. Some folks around here have good luck with that technique.

For me, after I finished Assimil, I read a big non-fiction book in French. I added lots of words to Mnemosyne, an older SRS software. I learned about 10 L1->L2 and 10 L2->L1 cards per day for about 3 months, for a total of just over 2,000 cards. To be fair, this did amazing things for my vocab. But towards the end of those 3 months, things got really grim: 40 minute daily reviews. Tons of cards which I consistently failed once or twice per week. Cards with conflicting synonyms. There was no time left to read French books, and I really grew to hate doing SRS.

I could have avoided 80% of these problems with a more enthusiastic deletion policy. And the other problems could have been reduced by trying different card formats.

And then I repeated my mistakes this past winter by downloading an Anki deck of "intermediate French idioms" with no context. Two weeks later, I was saying, "Vendre la mèche? Which one was that again? Was it 'let the cat out of the bag' or that other one? I can never keep any of these straight. Argh!"

Today, I'd just go search VDM and find a story like this one:

Quote:
Aujourd'hui, après des mois à organiser un anniversaire surprise pour mon chéri, à briefer tous ses amis pour garder le silence, quelqu'un a vendu la mèche : moi. Je parle en dormant. VDM


It's so clear from context that I don't even need to put anything on the back of the card. Now, if I really wanted this expression in my active vocabulary, I might make an MCD card:

Quote:
Aujourd'hui, après des mois à organiser un anniversaire surprise pour mon chéri, à briefer tous ses amis pour garder le silence, quelqu'un a {{c1::vendu}} {{c2::la}} {{c3::mèche}} : moi. Je parle en dormant. VDM


This will create 3 cards, each of which prompts me for one missing word. It's easy, but it's enough. And there's a good chance that I'll get après des mois à organiser for free.

Again, I don't want to say that L1<->L2 cards with a single word are evil. They're easy to make, they work great for some people, and we all have different strengths and weaknesses. Who knows? Perhaps they work great for building active vocabulary A2 but break down for passive vocabulary at B1. Or maybe different folks have different needs and learning styles.
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geoffw
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 Message 331 of 1317
17 December 2012 at 5:46pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

When I read French, it often feels much the same as reading this passage. The text
makes sense, but the grammar is unfamiliar ("come unto me?" "for of such
is..."?). And as with this passage, it sometimes takes me two tries to figure out
what's being said.

...

If you're an intemediate French student, each of these three examples will probably
strike you as odd:


Yes! Reading French constantly seems like reading medieval English, because that's kindof what it is, I guess, or
vice versa.

I guess I'm not yet an intermediate student, because none of your examples seemed all that odd to me! Perhaps it's
because I started extensively reading when I was still a beginner. I expect that my reading strategies that I've
internalized involve first deciphering the meaning above all, and not worrying about whether the construction is or
is not familiar (because from that level, it rarely is).
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emk
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 Message 332 of 1317
19 December 2012 at 7:02pm | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
I guess I'm not yet an intermediate student, because none of your examples seemed all that odd to me!


Maybe you've just been reading different styles of writing, and you're already used to them! Surprise is in the eye of the beholder. :-)

Fun things to read and watch

Looking for fun, short things in French? Here's a selection from Le Monde and elsewhere.

Plus de 3 000 ans après, la vérité sur la mort de Ramsès III
Top 10 des différents styles de metal expliqués à mon fils | Topito (funny, colloquial)
"I Goth my world" ou 30 ans de mouvement gothique (videos)
La langue française, "butin de guerre", prospère en Algérie

And 3 about rock climbing in France. The video doesn't have much actual French in it, and there's a lot of background noise, but the climbing is just amazing, and it apparently inspired a generation of French climbers.

Les derniers sauvages de l'escalade (1/3)
Orpierre, le village sauvé par ses falaises (2/3)
La vie aux bout des doigts (video)

If this is useful, let me know and I'll post more links from time to time.

Edited by emk on 19 December 2012 at 7:04pm

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tastyonions
Triglot
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 Message 333 of 1317
19 December 2012 at 7:21pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Top 10 des différents styles de metal expliqués à mon fils | Topito (funny, colloquial)

This one is pretty amusing.
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emk
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 Message 334 of 1317
21 December 2012 at 3:47am | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
emk wrote:
Top 10 des différents styles de metal expliqués à mon fils | Topito (funny, colloquial)

This one is pretty amusing.


In that case, here are some more fun ones. :-)

Top 10 des ingrédients pour faire une carte de voeux bien dégueulasse pour Noël (warning: may cause epileptic seizures)
Top 10 des personnages de Star Wars expliqués à mon fils

And some more from Le Monde:

L'escalade dans ses murs (3/3)
Les éoliennes flottantes, pari technologique pour les énergies marines
La sélection scientifique de la semaine (no 52) (links! links!)

A beautifully written academic essay

And here is a really elegant piece of French academic writing. It's very approachable and clear, with none of the jargon and horrible prose that one often sees in academic journals. But at the same time, it's written in a formal academic register, and it demonstrates lots of great little turns of phrase that I've been seeing in Le Monde. If you need to write essays in French, this one is worth reading closely.

L’asymptote du français avancé : les difficultés résistantes

Note that I disagree with their ultimate conclusions about the "critical period", for which the actual scientific evidence is hotly contested. But the first part of the essay is great—it analyzes the errors made by advanced French students on TV. It turns out that adults can speak very reasonable French, with minor errors of gender, agreement and prepositions.

And this is a very inspiring bit:

Quote:
À l’intérieur de notre corpus nous avons aussi remarqué que, même en cas d’apprentissage relativement tardif, les enseignants de langue française ou encore ceux qui s’intéressent à la langue en tant que telle, ne font que très peu d’erreurs – ce qui est assez logique : ils se sont intéressés aux mécanismes de la langue en les observant et les étudiant.


In other words: adults who pay attention to the details do very well indeed.

Some parenting French

One of my kids was demanding desert tonight, and my wife replied:

Quote:
Tu en auras quand tu auras fini.
You / of-it / will-have(2nd sing) / when / you / will-have(2nd sing) / finished.
You will have some when you're finished.


There are two tricky things going on here: en by itself basically means "some" or "some of it" in this sentence, and tu auras fini is in the futur antérieur, because that's how this sort of sentence works in French. My tutor strongly encouraged me to use this on the DELF B2 exam (along with the subjunctive), because the examiners like it.

Unfortunately, the futur antérieur isn't yet part of my "organic" French, so I can't use it correctly without making a conscious effort. (The other thing that gives me headaches is using the right verb tenses with si.) Since I'm far too lazy to do FSI drills, it takes me a while to acquire these grammatical constructs.

Instead, I learn to understand the grammar intellectually, and listen carefully for it. Eventually, I will start to hear it clearly when other people use it. And over the next 2 to 6 weeks, the new construct will start to appear in my "organic" French.

Ordered today

These come highly recommended by various folks at HTLAL, and I thought I'd take a look:

Grammaire progressive du français : niveau perfectionnement
Grammaire progressive du français (corrigés) : niveau perfectionnement

This is theoretically for B2–C2, though I may also order Niveau avancé for review purposes. The only grammar book I've ever used is the excellent Essential French Grammar, which I loved, but I need something a little more comprehensive these days.
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tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 335 of 1317
21 December 2012 at 12:59pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for all those links. I tried reading the essay but it's definitely above my level, though I did understand the short quote you posted from it. I'll save it for later. :-)
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DaraghM
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Studies: French, Russian, Hungarian

 
 Message 336 of 1317
21 December 2012 at 4:26pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
L’asymptote du français avancé : les difficultés résistantes



Thanks you for that post. It's exceptionally readable, and highlights some of my own problems with the « erreurs résiduelles ». I'd never heard of the writer Makine until I read his name in Vite et Bien 2 last night. The fact he's popped up again within a day is suprising.


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