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tarvos
Super Polyglot
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China
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Joined 2870 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 697 of 1317
30 September 2013 at 5:19pm | IP Logged 
I once read through an ex-gf's French biochemistry notes. Those were fun to puzzle out,
haha...
1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3329 days ago

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Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
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 Message 698 of 1317
30 September 2013 at 11:20pm | IP Logged 
I see we have something else than French in common, emk! I usually can't stand studying
languages hardly during the day if I haven't been to the gym in the morning. I just feel
sleepy and tired for nor reason. I don't have a special method though, I'm mostly
concerned about keeping good health, I tend to gain muscle and lose it next because I
can't eat properly to sustain the new mass, but somehow I still make small but noticeable
progress in the long run, and I just like the idea of keeping my body alive. I believe it
is all about discipline and I like being disciplined, usually doing things that make me
learn and grow as a person and only staying idle once in a while, instead of doing the
other way round.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3554 days ago

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

 
 Message 699 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 4:57am | IP Logged 
Good to hear about your wellness projects. I've been trying to add in some healthy
habits myself but not succeeding very much. I got resistance bands as they're a cheap,
convenient alternative to weights or a gym membership, especially if I intend on
potentially moving again, but they require you to modify a lot of the basic exercises.
I've also tried some meditation which I highly recommend. Before I was all for cramming
every moment with mental exercising but I'm starting to realize that the whole machine
just works better when you take care of it.

Taking university classes in French was at once an ego boost when I realized how much I
was able to keep up with and yet also brought me down to earth when I realized how
behind my output skills were. Someone who passed the DALF C2 recommended
Canal Académie to me saying that some of the
topics came directly from materials he had studied on there. He also suggested
concentrating study on editorials and opinion pieces over regular news articles. I'm
still too lazy, though, to practice writing synthèses - I find my tolerance for that
kind of stuff diminishes greatly the longer I'm out of school.
2 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3695 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 700 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 1:52pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
I once read through an ex-gf's French biochemistry notes. Those were fun to puzzle out, haha...

I totally, completely and utterly despise French cursive writing. It's different from US cursive, and often almost illegible, until you reach a level where you could fill in every other word from context. And the French almost never print. Argh!

Expugnator wrote:
I believe it
is all about discipline and I like being disciplined, usually doing things that make me
learn and grow as a person and only staying idle once in a while, instead of doing the
other way round.

I was always pretty bad at self-discipline, which sounds weird coming from somebody who has done something every day in French for an unbroken 2150+ straight days. But all you really need is a decent roadmap, and the ability to stick to it for a month, and you'll see some nice improvements. That should give you enough faith for another month or two, at which point continuing is natural, and the gains are undeniable.

sctroyenne wrote:
I got resistance bands as they're a cheap,
convenient alternative to weights or a gym membership, especially if I intend on
potentially moving again, but they require you to modify a lot of the basic exercises.

For those who want to get in shape without going to the gym, I'd also like to recommend You Are Your Own Gym (the book and the app). I paid $15 and now I'm learning all kinds of ways to get a "weight" workout in 35 minutes, anywhere.

VoilaTV and Castle

My beloved VoilaTV box was broken all month, and I was reluctant to call tech support, because I hate talking to strangers in French on noisy telephone connections. (Especially when they work for a US company, and they presumably speak English, because then I'm afraid they're going to switch on me, and I'm as egotistical and insecure as anyone else.) But I finally decided to suck it up and make the call. As expected, I could only understand 75% of what they were saying. It turns out that my box had somehow failed to upgrade itself, and that I needed to download a file, save it to a flash drive, and plug it into the VoilaTV box. So I did it, and everything worked, and nobody insisted on switching to English. (As I mentioned in another thread: Native speakers are far less likely to switch to English if you're carrying a book in your L2, or if you're buying a cable package in your L2, etc. At that point, they generally assume you know what you're doing.)

Once the VoilaTV was working, I sat down with my wife and discovered that France 2 was showing recent Castle episodes! And despite a 6-week break from heavy French TV, I could still understand nearly all the dialog. The dubbing was quite good, too. So I warmly recommend Castle to anybody looking for a dubbed series of intermediate difficulty.
1 person has voted this message useful



tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 2870 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 701 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 2:02pm | IP Logged 
Quote:
I totally, completely and utterly despise French cursive writing. It's different
from US cursive, and often almost illegible, until you reach a level where you could
fill in every other word from context. And the French almost never print. Argh!


I found them easy to read. Besides, it's a girl's handwriting, and girls tend to write
with neat loopy handwriting. But our cursive writing is much like theirs (Dutch cursive
writing, that is). But the bigger thing was that she was a med student and had to learn
all this biochemical terminology (which I only know in Dutch or English), and then had
to figure out similar experiments to what I'd done a few years prior (I have a
bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, but there was some obligatory biochemistry
and cell biology involved in year 1). So she was dealing with books and materials that
I could have figured out, if only I had understood the relevant French vocabulary!

Now she graduated from an international school, so she could translate, and technical
terms are among the most transparent ones. But still, that's surprisingly difficult if
you, like me, only had moderate school French as a background back then!

Edited by tarvos on 01 October 2013 at 2:03pm

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3695 days ago

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

 
 Message 702 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 5:57pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
Besides, it's a girl's handwriting, and girls tend to write
with neat loopy handwriting. But our cursive writing is much like theirs (Dutch cursive
writing, that is).

The kind of French handwriting that drives me nuts looks sort of like this:


Except that this example is actually more readable than a lot of the stuff I see, from men and women alike.

Oh, and one more notebook, this one on l'écart type (the standard deviation).
1 person has voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 703 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 6:10pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

The kind of French handwriting that drives me nuts looks sort of like this:


Except that this example is actually more readable than a lot of the stuff I see, from men and women alike.


Huh. What kind of handwriting would not drive you crazy? I fail to see the difference--but I think I learned to
write cursive in Germany, so maybe it's less different for me.
1 person has voted this message useful



Ogrim
Heptaglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2802 days ago

991 posts - 1893 votes 
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 Message 704 of 1317
01 October 2013 at 6:14pm | IP Logged 
emk, I am curious. Is American handwriting really very different from European? I hardly every communicate with people handwriting any more, so can't remember ever having seen an example written by an American.


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