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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3639 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 585 of 1317
21 May 2013 at 6:06pm | IP Logged 
lorinth wrote:
emk wrote:
1. Le client fait une liste des scénarios qu'il veut que le logiciel
soutient[1].
[1] Ce n'est pas une très bonne traduction. Il me faut un meilleur mot.

We say "prendre en charge" for "to support" as a computing term: "Le logiciel prend en
charge tel format de vidéo, tel module, etc."

Merci ! Ça m'est très utile. Et j'ai oublié le subjonctif aussi :

1. Le client fait une liste des scénarios qu'il veut que le logiciel
prenne en charge.

D'habitude, j'utilise le subjonctif sans y penser. Mais quand le vocabulaire est un peu difficile, je peux avoir des problèmes.

lorinth wrote:
However, people working in the IT business tend to use many many loanwords, so you may
also hear "supporter", strange as it sounds, because "supporter" is often used for
things that are hard to bear.

C'est même parfois un peu marrant. Par exemple :

— Le logiciel ne supporte pas ce système d'exploitation.

En tant que développeur, je suis souvent d'accord. :-)

2 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3639 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 586 of 1317
24 May 2013 at 8:00pm | IP Logged 
I had my first lesson with my French tutor in almost a year! We talked about a number of things: what I've been watching and reading, the various C1 exams, and our fun role-playing project where we're going to pretend that she's one of my consulting clients. Here's a snippet from the email I sent her after the session:

Quote:
- Malheureusement, la publicité en ligne est trop difficile pour les travailleurs indépendants. Elle demande souvent des connaisses très spécialisées et un budget qui est hors de la portée des petites entreprises. Sans ça, on pourra être arnaqué par Google Adwords, mais c'est tout. (Oui, ça m'est déjà arrivé une ou deux fois.)

So this should be fun.

My tutor thinks that the DALF C1 is really a bit too specialized (more so than the DELF B2), with its emphasis on writing synthèses and on a very academic register, and she recommended that I consider studying for the TCF instead. Unlike the DELF/DALF, the TCF diplomas are only good for 2 years, but they test a more general knowledge of French. Of course, now that I have a B2 diploma, I don't actually need any more certificates, except as a study goal.

Anyway, speaking was interesting. Things started out quite well, but towards the end of our hour-long session, I was starting to make lots of dumb mistakes. As usual, I speak either fluently or correctly, but it's hard to do both for any extended period of time. I have a ton of useful passive knowledge that isn't really activated. Interestingly, I didn't have same sensation of pushing through a wall and eventually being able to speak better that I remember from my DELF B2 studying. But really, it's just one data point, and there's never any point in worrying over a single data point when learning languages. You've got to average performance out over time.

What I really need is a 3-hour university bull session every night for a couple of months with a group of native speakers. Unfortunately, there's no easy way to arrange this right now. Even though I speak French at home, it's a little too easy for spouses to communicate. But later this summer, I'll be spending a good chunk of time with my in-laws, so that will be good.

I'm really on unknown ground here, as I try to substantially improve my speaking skills. I want a lot of speed and precision. But there's no way around the fact that casually and convincingly discussing complicated ideas—all while speaking quickly and making very few mistakes—is a very real challenge.

I'm quite certain I can get there. At this point in my journey, doubt seems cliché, a waste of effort. I've overcome every other challenge up to this point, so why should the next challenge be any different?
1 person has voted this message useful



tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2772 days ago

1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 587 of 1317
24 May 2013 at 8:29pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
C'est même parfois un peu marrant. Par exemple :

Le logiciel ne supporte pas ce système d'exploitation.

En tant que développeur, je suis souvent d'accord. :-)

Hahaha. :-)
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3639 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 588 of 1317
31 May 2013 at 6:57pm | IP Logged 
Two great conversations this week. The first was with a lang-8 friend from Quebec. I haven't spoken to her in almost a year, and wow, has my comprehension improved. A year ago, I understood maybe 40% of what she said, and I felt she had an extremely heavy Quebecois accent. Now her accent sounds light and pleasant, and I understand virtually everything. And I've spent very little time working on Quebec accents.

Note to self: Continue to watch lots of French TV. Apparently, it helps.

This morning I spent an hour speaking with my tutor. As I mentioned before, I'm treating her as if she were one of my consulting clients, and I'm trying to find ways to grow and diversify her business. Today we talked about the business models behind various language sites, including french.about.com, AJATT and the Mimic Method courses. We touched briefly on search engine optimization, online advertising, blogging, minimum viable products, and the way that many polyglots use their personal success stories to sell their products. This was a really fun and interesting conversation for both of us, and it went quite well, despite the esoteric subject matter and my lack of subject-specific preparation.

It feels really good to get out of my comfort zone, and I'm delighted to be working with my tutor again. There's something really useful about a patient native speaker with good ears, a sympathetic attitude, and the ability to pick out one or two persistent issues with my speech, plus the ability to gently nudge me out of my comfortable conversational ruts.

During my lesson, I noticed something interesting about specialized professional language: I need a lot less of it than I thought. Sure, I need to know basic business terminology and the kind of vocabulary used by most educated adults. But I don't need to know tons of detailed jargon about internet marketing—because my clients don't know it, either. If I hit a vocabulary gap, I can just give the word in English and then explain it in clear, simple French. Essentially, I'm using the prestige of business English (and the need to define everything anyway) as a coping strategy.

Coping strategies are amazingly useful, in my experience, and some of the really good ones can only be discovered by practice and experimentation.

And this brings me to my final observation for today: If I want to get better at something, it helps if I actually do that specific thing. I learned to read French by buying books and trying to read them. I learned to listen by listening to my wife and by watching TV series. I learned to write by using lang-8. I learned to defend my ideas in French over the course of dozens of conversations. Of course, there's lots of transfer between these different skills, and strong passive skills are essential to build active skills. But there's no substitute for just throwing myself into the language and tackling my weak spots directly.

2 persons have voted this message useful



jhaberstro
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2500 days ago

112 posts - 154 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Portuguese

 
 Message 589 of 1317
31 May 2013 at 10:01pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

During my lesson, I noticed something interesting about specialized professional language: I need a lot less of
it than I thought. Sure, I need to know basic business terminology and the kind of vocabulary used by most
educated adults. But I don't need to know tons of detailed jargon about internet marketing—because my clients
don't know it, either
. If I hit a vocabulary gap, I can just give the word in English and then explain it in clear,
simple French. Essentially, I'm using the prestige of business English (and the need to define everything anyway) as a
coping strategy.

I've recently noticed this, too. I just started an internship at a software company in a francophone country, and
essentially whenever discussing work in French (daily operations are conducted in English, but for example when
casually talking about work over lunch), terminology (related to the product) like "autocompletion", "hyperlinking",
etc are just said in English. For me, being that my oral comprehension isn't the greatest, the extra context and
familiarity actually makes it a lot easier to understand, but interestingly more difficult to speak because I need to
"context switch" between the two languages.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3639 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 590 of 1317
05 June 2013 at 11:44pm | IP Logged 
jhaberstro wrote:
For me, being that my oral comprehension isn't the greatest, the extra context and
familiarity actually makes it a lot easier to understand, but interestingly more difficult to speak because I need to
"context switch" between the two languages.

For me, the tricky part is using French words in an English sentence. If I use French phonemes, my brain has an overwhelming urge to finish the rest of the sentence in French. This is not especially helpful when talking to people who only speak English!



Oh, yeah. At the time of writing, I had 1284 posts and 2573 votes, which is probably the first time I've ever actually had a 2:1 votes-to-posts ratio. Who, me? Vain? Nah.

Speaking progress!

I've had a really good week or two in terms of speaking. I'm less tongue-tied, I'm speaking with a better intonation and accent, and I'm thinking less about the mechanics of language.

What changed? I decided, just for the fun it, to play the "role" of a native French speaker. You know, the way an actor would on stage. And this isn't so hard. I've listened to and understood 1000+ hours of French over the last 6 years (most of it repetitive parenting French, but hundreds of hours of TV and radio, too). I've read over 8,000 pages of French books. So I have a general idea of what native French speakers are supposed to sound like. That's enough raw material to imitate.

Normally my spoken French is a bit of a tug-of-war, a contest between how I hear other people speak and my own habits of self-expression burned in over 30+ years. And sometimes I feel like I'm inflicting my French on the people I'm speaking with. Now, none of this keeps me from speaking French. But it slows me down a bit, and it warps my intonation slightly.

It helps to just let go. To allow myself to fall the rest of the way towards just "being French." I still make mistakes, of course, because my input and practice is just a drop in the ocean compared to a native 5-year-old. But more and more, it feels like those mistakes are simply things I don't know, instead of me flailing around trying to say things that I could understand without thinking.

I'm sure, as with every other advance I've ever made, that this will come and go. But my speaking skills are finally starting to lift themselves out of the basic B2-ish range where they've mostly been stuck for quite a while now.

L'Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air

My wife and I finished the first season this weekend, and we've got the DVDs for seasons two and three. This is surprisingly sophisticated children's television: the characters have been forced to deal with such issues as sexism, how to treat enemy civilians in wartime, and taking on adult responsibilities way too young. Even better, it's a hilarious show, with interesting characters. Some of the villains are basically likeable, and a few of the "good guys" ultimately prove to be monstrous.

It's not as good as a truly first-rate adult drama like The Wire. But it's better than the vast majority of stuff on television. And the French translation is excellent, fast and idiomatic without being slurred into total incomprehensibility.

Listening techniques

I've ripped most of the DVDs to my laptop so I can leave them running in the background once I've watched them. This is more fun than internet radio, and it seems a good way to reinforce and lock in "N+1 content".

When I watch the episodes the first time, I give them my full attention and I often use the rewind button once or twice if I miss something interesting. And sometimes I'll ask my wife to repeat a line I don't understand (but I try to avoid doing this more than a couple of times per episode). A huge fraction of my improvements in listening comprehension have come from doing just this. There's something very helpful about heavily reinforcing content that's just within reach.
3 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3369 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 591 of 1317
06 June 2013 at 1:26am | IP Logged 
Congratulations emk, on reaching the 2:1 vote/post ratio. I'll never catch up to you ;)! Seriously, that's a reflection of how well written and useful your posts are to a large part of the membership, myself included. You have inspired and helped so many people. I was watching you when you wandered into B-2 and I'll be here when you reach C-1- "soon come" as we say here on the island.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3639 days ago

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

 
 Message 592 of 1317
06 June 2013 at 7:46pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, iguanamon, for your kind words!

I was Googling around for Avatar reviews in French, and I found this remarkable site:

SensCritique
The page for Avatar

This is a user-driven review and recommendation site for French TV, movies, books and BDs. I've glanced at just a handful of reviews and recommendations, and I'm really impressed so far. It's big and there's a ton of good stuff there, and there appears to be a bunch of different recommendation systems to help find stuff. Interesting…

More on this later. If you subscribe to my account, I'll probably be posting some reviews and recommendations. I suspect this will do evil things to my media budget.

UPDATE: Here's my post about SensCritique on the main forum. And I've posted some reviews. This site is awesome.

Edited by emk on 07 June 2013 at 12:08am



1 person has voted this message useful



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