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Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3179 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 689 of 1317
28 August 2013 at 1:56am | IP Logged 
Teango, I actually thought of something similar on a smaller scale. So many friends are travelling to the countries wherefrom I'd like a book or a dvd. And I would love to bring some to them from my travels (or other things, like food specific for the country and so on). But I am a coward afraid of being called silly and refused so I haven't told anyone yet. Perhaps, your idea would be totally realistic. I have recently looked at the Fund Me webside and people are getting funded by friends or even strangers even for weirder things. But don't forget to fund the overweight fee for the airlines as well :-)
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2703 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 690 of 1317
28 August 2013 at 8:01am | IP Logged 
Teango wrote:

Maybe we should all chip in and send emk to France with an entourage of massively oversized suitcases, so that he can buy up as many quality materials in French over there as he can, and get in some real immersion and a few tasty croissants at the same time, and then we all meet up later or use the US postal service to share in the spoils of fortune on his return. ;)


I don't think there is any need to send suitably large suitcases. As I understand it:

1. When publishers and authors sign a contract they agree on a region of distribution. This is usually not global, and might for instance for English books include the old Commonwealth countries, but exclude the USA. For French books it might include France, Belgium, Monaco etc. Let's call that Region X.

2. Anyone is allowed to sell books (digital/hard copy) under this license from Region X.

3. The rights for hard copy books are considered to be owned by the owners of the books, not the publishers or authors. So a bookstore in Paris can sell a hard copy anywhere in the world as they own the rights for the books they sell.

4. However, the digital rights for a book remain with the publisher, not the seller, and remain what was agreed by author and publisher (i.e., Region X), and so it's not the point of sale, but the point of purchase that matters. If you you don't live in Region X (say France) you can't buy the e-book.

I must say this seems to make a moral, if not legal argument, for pirating books outside their regions of distribution.

Edited by patrickwilken on 28 August 2013 at 8:07am

4 persons have voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3432 days ago

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

 
 Message 691 of 1317
28 August 2013 at 12:17pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
... I must say this seems to make a moral, if not legal argument, for pirating books outside their regions of distribution.


Yes it does. The digital fence between me and Spain and me and Brazil is as high and nearly impossible to cross as the Berlin wall once was. The physical products are way too expensive for what you get considering shipping, etc. Luckily, I found a way around it by other means. Without Calibre software, pdf writer software, some friendly websites and my Firefox flash downloader plugin, I'd be dead in the water for most of my reading in Spanish and Portuguese. It's a shame and a pity that the industry forces me to do this but they do and apparently they don't care, yet.

How ridiculous it is to make me go through nine kinds of trouble to read a book or watch a video when I am virtually standing at the cash register with my credit card in hand ready to pay for the items but can't because my money isn't good enough or acceptable to the sellers, just because of where I live. Well, appropriately enough for someone who lives in the Caribbean, I say Aaaargh, matey, splice the main brace!

Edited by iguanamon on 28 August 2013 at 12:22pm

4 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3702 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 692 of 1317
27 September 2013 at 9:28pm | IP Logged 
Hello. I am still among the living. :-) I'm still studying French, but after 4 months of intense study, and 14 months of still pretty serious study, I'm taking a short break and just doing maintenance-level work—a little reading, some TV, a bit of Anki here and there, and so on.

I've been busy with a work project and with getting back into shape. I now weigh less than I did when I started studying French in earnest, and I can run faster, so that's good. Give me another month or two and I should be better off than when I picked up Assimil New French with Ease back in the fall of 2007.

One thing that I've noticed is that lots of popular and successful fitness plans follow a very "Assimil-like" structure: small, bite-sized pieces, arranged so you don't have to think about what to do next, and there's an expected payoff at the end of the process. For example, look up "Couch to 5K", "Starting Strength" or "YAYOG". I think more language courses should seriously consider this structure in place of the usual structure with longer chapters.

Also, fitness and nutritional French is, as always, a whole new world with hundreds of bits of specialized terminology. Fun, fun.
4 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3079 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 693 of 1317
28 September 2013 at 10:06am | IP Logged 
This all sounds very interesting. I've never been able to justify gym fees, but the school I just started at has a gym which staff can use, so I've just signed up. Do you listen to anything in French while working out? I've usually used audiobooks or FSI while walking or biking, but a proper workout would be too intense for that.

If you make a list of fitness words in French, could you share it here or on the other parts of the forums?
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James29
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3545 days ago

1265 posts - 2113 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 
 Message 694 of 1317
28 September 2013 at 1:12pm | IP Logged 
Amazing to see "Starting Strength" mentioned on this forum. That program has changed my life over the past year. On about three hours a week (one hour a day three times a week) it is transformative. What is even better about it is that about half of the time in the gym is spent resting between sets... perfect for studying Spanish.

I think the "Assimil-like" formula for success that you mention actually comes from the original "self-help" books. If you pick up any of those motivational/inspirational books they all have the same type of concept... they tell you to make small positive changes at first that will then become habit. They all have the same basic "formula" that you mention whether they are telling you how to get rich, lose weight, quit smoking, invest successfully, like your job, etc.


4 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3702 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 695 of 1317
29 September 2013 at 6:12pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
This all sounds very interesting. I've never been able to justify gym fees, but the school I just started at has a gym which staff can use, so I've just signed up. Do you listen to anything in French while working out? I've usually used audiobooks or FSI while walking or biking, but a proper workout would be too intense for that.

My workouts tend to be short and intense. With weightlifting/bodyweight stuff, I get a few minutes between sets to do whatever I want. And if I do cardio safely away from traffic (and water), I'll often sing along to MC Solaar.

For extra fun, I've challenged French speakers to see who can do the most pushups in several days, or whatever. This allows me to practice my trash talk in French. :-)

Jeffers wrote:
If you make a list of fitness words in French, could you share it here or on the other parts of the forums?

I don't usually make vocabulary lists, but here are a few that stick in mind:

Quote:
une pompe: a push-up
un haltère: a dumbbell
une traction: a pull-up
un glucide: a carbohydrate
une lipide: a fat
une protéine: a protein


James29 wrote:
I think the "Assimil-like" formula for success that you mention actually comes from the original "self-help" books. If you pick up any of those motivational/inspirational books they all have the same type of concept... they tell you to make small positive changes at first that will then become habit. They all have the same basic "formula" that you mention whether they are telling you how to get rich, lose weight, quit smoking, invest successfully, like your job, etc.

More specifically, I was thinking about the W1D1, W1D2, W1D3, W2D1 formula that spells out what you do for each week and day. Assimil is basically a 7-days-a-week version of this, and indeed, the very first Assimil course was actually a calendar with one English lesson per day.

I think it's enormously motivating to tell people, "Do an Assimil lesson every day, taking 20 to 40 minutes, and at the end of 5 months, you should reach roughly A2, where you can muddle through conversations and easy native materials." Or to tell somebody, "Run the following intervals three times per week, as specified, and you'll be able to run 5K at the end of 9 weeks."

This turns a big challenge into a simple matter of consistently following instructions for several months, which can in turn be dealt with using techniques such a Seinfeld calendar.

Statistics in French

As previously mentioned, I've signed up for an online statistics course in French given by several professors from L'École polytechnique. Since I've never done any math in French, let alone university-level math, I'm working on my vocabulary in advance. For now, I'm taking videos on statistics from the French version of the Khan Academy, and working through them in quite a bit of detail.

Right now, I'm working on Poisson distributions. You can see my notes on nbviewer, a tool which displays IPython Notebooks. These are cool: I can mix text, LaTeX equations, Python code, graphs and even R code if I want. I have access to symbolic math, high-quality data loading&munging, scientific libraries, statistical tools, and all sorts of other good stuff. For the geeks in the audience, if you're not familiar with Pandas, you should check it out.


(Complete Notes)

This review process is pretty much like writing any technical text in a second language. I spend a lot of time on Linguee and Wikipedia trying to find the idiomatic way to say, "Let x equal…" (Soit x égal à…). And simultaneously trying to remember weird limits.

And these two topics (exercise and statistics) are a good illustration of how I like to find a subject, to put myself in situations where I need to communicate, and to keep working away at it. I don't know any easier way to advance at my level, not in the long run.

Edited by emk on 29 September 2013 at 9:56pm

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3702 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 696 of 1317
30 September 2013 at 5:06pm | IP Logged 
Still chipping away at probability and statistics in French:

- Distribution binomiale
- Distribution de Poisson
- Code source de tous mes « notebooks »

These notes have embedded French-language videos from the Khan Academy, plots, equations, code and other good stuff.

You can see an introductory video on the course page. Happily, all four instructors speak very clearly, with excellent enunciation. But looking at the video and the latest materials, it seems like I probably already know a lot of the material in the course. This is not necessarily a problem; I don't mind reviewing the basics, and besides, I'm doing this to help improve my French.

If you'd like to take courses in French, there's a couple of other good ones listed on the Cousera page. The course Calvin - Histoire et réception d'une Réforme looks particularly interesting.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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