Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
1317 messages over 165 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 7 ... 164 165 Next >>


emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3694 days ago

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

 
 Message 49 of 1317
29 March 2012 at 4:11pm | IP Logged 
I'm getting really frustrated with Anki decks that ask me to translate from French to
English (or vice versa). I do not need reflexive translations into English at
this point; it messes with my listening comprehension and reading speed. And I don't
care about cards more than a month old, because if I don't see the vocabulary every
month or two at my current level of input, then I don't need it right now.

It turns out that I really like cloze deletion cards with lots of context. They're a
little harder to answer, but I don't need to use any English, and they force me to
predict what word would be used in French, which is a useful skill for listening.

I've gotten much more aggressive about deleting cards, too. And I often add multiple
cards for the same word. For example, tricky multi-word connectors may get 5 or more
cloze deletion cards.
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 50 of 1317
29 March 2012 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
For a lunchtime listening exercise, I tried to understand and write down the lyrics to
MC Solaar's "Playmate", using a lot of pause & rewind.

The video.

It's a sad song about a women on the train, crying about her boyfriend.

Here's the first verse, with the actual lyrics indented below my rough transcription. I
didn't really bother with spell-check or accent marks.

Quote:

Cela est dedicassé à toutes les filles qu'on reconnait en train
  Celle-là est dédicacée à,
  À toutes les filles qu'on rencontre dans le train
Je suis le muscian, le mec sur le microphone
  Je suis le musicien, le mec sur le microphone
fanatique du rom-com [t'y fusi] sous opium
  Fanatique de Rome comme Tifosi sous opium
il faut [condemn] le maximum sur le podium
  Il faut qu'on donne le maximum sur le podium
même si c'est dur [?] comme l'idiom, nous sommes
  Même si c'est dur comme l'iridium, nous sommes
[soudé] À la [start] de grand [maisse]
  Soudés à l'instar des grains d'maïs
fatigué en [resist] comme j'ai dit sur [franki stel paisse]
  Fatigués on résiste comme jadis aux franquistes, El Pais


That was a pretty fun exercise, and it wasn't totally disappointing—after all, there
are English songs I've heard hundreds of time without understanding more than half the
lyrics.
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 51 of 1317
01 April 2012 at 5:21am | IP Logged 
I went to a talk at the Alliance Française this evening. It took me 90 minutes to get
there, which gave me a nice opportunity to warm up by listening to podcasts.

I was really surprised by how well I could speak this evening. A huge amount of
my passive vocabulary "woke up" and it was right there at my fingertips. My accent and
intonation shaped up quickly, and I spent very little time search for words.

When I called my wife to let her know I was driving home, she said, "Wow, your accent
is really good tonight!"

This is the first time when I really felt that I could "interact with a degree of
fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite
possible without strain for either party," as the B2 definition puts it. I mean, sure,
I can usually speak with my wife without any great difficulty, but I never know how
much she's compensating. But it's really remarkable to speak fluently with half a dozen
people in one evening. Sure, I made mistakes, but I discovered that I really can
socialize in French without any problems. Wow.

There's clearly a difference between the partial immersion that I have at home, and the
full immersion that I would get from living in France. There's something about being
surrounded by a social group that uses French almost exclusively that makes a huge
difference.

Maybe I need to get serious about setting up some Skype chats.

1 person has voted this message useful





songlines
Pro Member
Canada
flickr.com/photos/cp
Joined 3371 days ago

729 posts - 1056 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 52 of 1317
01 April 2012 at 5:27am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I was really surprised by how well I could speak this evening. A huge amount of
my passive vocabulary "woke up" and it was right there at my fingertips. My accent and
intonation shaped up quickly, and I spent very little time search for words.

When I called my wife to let her know I was driving home, she said, "Wow, your accent
is really good tonight!"

This is the first time when I really felt that I could "interact with a degree of
fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite
possible without strain for either party," as the B2 definition puts it. I mean, sure,
I can usually speak with my wife without any great difficulty, but I never know how
much she's compensating. But it's really remarkable to speak fluently with half a dozen
people in one evening. Sure, I made mistakes, but I discovered that I really can
socialize in French without any problems.


Wow indeed. - That's fantastic and inspiring news!
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 53 of 1317
03 April 2012 at 4:31am | IP Logged 
My French was doing great for a couple of days, but things got a bit strange today—I
blew through a Werber novella on the Kindle with no great problems, and my listening
comprehension is still very strong, but my output crashed hard. I'm stumbling all over
my tongue, and I can barely get a sentence out. Basically, the part of my brain that's
good at matching prosody and accents wants an evening off. If I force myself to use a
strong French accent, things get noticeably easier. But it's a struggle.

I'm not especially worried, and I know it will come back. But right now, I can barely
carry on a conversation with my wife, and it's rather frustrating. I need to leave the
radio on in the background tomorrow.

I try to record the ups and downs, in hopes of encouraging other folks who are hitting
a wall. :-) And I've got some great study ideas lined up for the next 3 weeks or so.
More on that later.

For a kick, I wrote a short diary entry in the passé simple on lang-8 this evening.
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 54 of 1317
03 April 2012 at 6:08pm | IP Logged 
The radio is on in the background today, as promised.

I've been listening to talk shows on Europe 1, with 3 or 4 speakers talking at machine-
gun speed, interrupting each other. I've got no context, and I'm not actually paying
much attention.

Occasionally, I can follow the discussion for 20 seconds before I loose the thread.
Some advertisements actually make sense. But even when I can't get everything, it feels
close: Sometimes I'm missing too much vocabulary. Other times, I can get most of
the words, but I don't quite have enough bandwidth left over to get sentences.
Or I can choose to get 1 sentence and miss the next 2. The words are getting clearer
and clearer.

It's a good feeling, almost like I could turn around a corner and everything would
suddenly make sense. I know that things will get harder, soon enough. But today, at
least, I feel like I'm going to eventually make it.

I started this journal 45 days ago, a week or two after resuming my French studies in
earnest. At that point, I could get maybe 80% of RFI Français Facile by the 3rd listen,
except for the harder correspondents. I've come a long way, very quickly. And I have 70
days to go before the DELF exams.
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 55 of 1317
07 April 2012 at 10:17pm | IP Logged 
I just finished 30 straight days of writing practice at Lang-8! And I've definitely
gotten much better. This was a great exercise, because it forced me to really master
some tricky points of grammar. And I can now write several paragraphs on a familiar
subject with under a dozen errors.

Going forward, I have several goals:

1. Improve my speaking abilities, so that I can communicate abstract ideas to my wife
in French more reliably and fluently. Right now, if we're exhausted or stressed, I
stumble all of my tongue, and produce various kinds of horrible word salad when we try
to discuss (say) education options for bilingual kids. I don't like it when my
ability to communicate effectively is fragile and dependent on circumstance. (Of
course, we could always switch to English, but well, I'd rather push through this now
and use French for the rest of my life.)

Tools:
- Lots more practice at home.
- Shadowing?
- Other conversation partners?

2. Take a serious run at DELF B2. Among other things, this means I need to be able to
write semi-coherent 250-word essays defending an idea.

Tools:
- Lang-8.
- Essay connectors.
- French business letter templates.
- A list of sample or previous topics?

I also need to do another round of vocab SRS. I'm currently looking at some custom Anki
plugins and the following books:

- French: Key Words and Expressions, The Combined Book
- Routledge's frequency dictionary for French.

3. I want to boost my listening abilities until I can mostly follow news radio and TV.

Tools:
- Listen to French
- 3 seasons of Engrenages (on the way)
- Subs2SRS? Subtitle ripping software?
- L/R with LingQ at Intermediate 2 and Advanced 1 levels.

Hmm. To many things to work on, not enough time. :-) I'll experiment this week and
narrow down to a few useful choices.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Sunja
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4247 days ago

2020 posts - 2295 votes 
1 sounds
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: French, Mandarin

 
 Message 56 of 1317
08 April 2012 at 2:24pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

Tools:
- Lang-8.
- Essay connectors.
- French business letter templates.
- A list of sample or previous topics?


Your log is inspiring as always! I'm also trying to prepare for June and I have a suggestion. To prepare for writing there are a few things that make good writing topics on exams: l'environnement (préservation), technologie, santé, relations entre les femmes et les hommes, conditions de l'éducation ou travail, to name a few.

Right now I'm searching through articles in journals like Le Monde, Le Figaro, le nouvel Observateur, Le Point, France Soir for topics and their related vocabularies. It's a good idea to start a vocabulary list for each debate topic and then practice making sentences with those words.

"Le Grand Journal" is not bad to watch to see how different speakers interact with eachother, but because the presidential election is coming up in France, they aren't talking about much else at the moment! I'm willing to bet that politics won't be on the test, but since everybody's talking about it anyway, it might be good to know how to say a few words about the election and its candidates. (I only know two of them myself)

edit: these are all just ideas, and since you're already on the right track I'm sure the exam will be a cinch for you :)

Edited by Sunja on 08 April 2012 at 2:28pm



1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 1317 messages over 165 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 68 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.4375 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.