Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
1317 messages over 165 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 126 ... 164 165 Next >>
Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2958 days ago

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

 
 Message 1001 of 1317
13 May 2014 at 3:50pm | IP Logged 
I was wondering if you ever heard of:
La fantaisie des dieux

A recent episode of 7 jours sur la planète had a segment on Rawanda 20 years later, and the author Patrick de Saint-Exupéry was their guest.
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1002 of 1317
14 May 2014 at 8:25pm | IP Logged 
If you are able to under most things on TV you must be getting pretty close to C1. Do you think you'll have to change the name of your log soon? ;)

With my current reading I am starting to get the sense of C1. I am not there yet, but I am confident that I'll be in C1 territory for reading/listening within the next twelve months if I keep doing what I am doing. I am still nowhere near that in speaking/writing - and it's going to be interesting to see if I am going to have to do something other than massive input to drag that up. My reading is not yet transparent - what you call 'understanding everything' - but it's getting more transparent all the time.

Congratulations on your +1000 post log. Well deserved!
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

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

 
 Message 1003 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 1:31pm | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
I was wondering if you ever heard of:
La fantaisie des dieux

That looks really, really interesting. Thank you for the link.

patrickwilken wrote:
If you are able to under most things on TV you must be getting pretty close to C1. Do you think you'll have to change the name of your log soon? ;)

When I last looked at the DALF C1 sample exams, some of the reading sections looked extremely straightforward. As in, "I get 50 minutes (or whatever) to read that and answer short questions? I can read the entire passage and understand every word in under 5 minutes." Of course, DALF C1 comprehension questions can be pretty tricky—I'd miss some of them even in English. But overall, going by the actual exams (and my experience with the DELF B2), I'd have no trouble passing a C1 reading exam.

As for listening, I said, "I can understand most of the dialog on most shows that I find channel-surfing on VoilàTV". But it's important to pay attention to the qualifiers in that sentence. I didn't say, "I can understand almost all of almost all the shows on Canal+." What's the difference? Well, "most of most" is very different from "almost all of almost all." And VoilaTV has a heavily bias towards easier material: News, game shows, cartoons, documentaries, talking heads, dubbed series, and easier adult series. There aren't nearly as many hard series like Engrenages, Hero Corp, or—for that matter—Le Trône de fer and Neon Genesis Evangelion, both of which are pretty challenging for dubbed series.

Writing, well, I write a fair bit in French, but since I'm not doing an exam, I don't write with a pencil and paper and without reference materials. I could do that, but it would take practice.

Speaking is the real problem. Theoretically, C1 should be "professional" fluency. But my job consists of two parts: (1) actually writing code and communicating with people about that, and (2) convincing people to employ my company. Now, I could do (1) in French, though it might occasionally be annoying for everybody involved. But I lack the eloquence and persuasiveness that would normally be required for (2). Which is weird—I never thought of myself as being a silver-tongued salesperson, or anything crazy like that—but operating in French has thrown things into sharp perspective. In English, words are a tool that I can use well. In French, I can communicate, and I can defend my opinions. But I can't really impress.

I'm pretty sure I know how to fix my speaking problems. It goes something like this: Start reading at least 150 pages of French per day. (Say, 3.5 hours.) Replace my social circle with French speakers. Replace most of my daily life with French. If I do this for even five days, I speak far more fluidly and naturally. I still make mistakes and hesitate a bit, but at least I have the raw materials for speaking fairly well. Then once I'm in that state, stay there for a few months, so that it "burns in" and I can clean up the rough edges.

At this point, I'm pretty much convinced that the only way for me to improve my spoken French dramatically is to live and work in a French-speaking country. This may be because my "study" methods are based on actually using the language in more-or-less natural situations.
3 persons have voted this message useful



VivianJ5
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2311 days ago

81 posts - 133 votes 
Speaks: English*, French

 
 Message 1004 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 2:35pm | IP Logged 
That last bit towards real fluency is a killer, isn't it? There are days I feel completely at ease expressing myself, and
other days I make the most basic of errors...

And trying to impress someone enough to hire me, or my company (in theory: have no job or company at the
moment)? That takes a subtlety of language use that even native speakers probably have trouble with: how many
people are often in that situation, and how many of those really shine at it? I have trouble with doing that in English;
add stress to the mix, and all bets are off...


3 persons have voted this message useful



James29
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 3424 days ago

1265 posts - 2112 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: French

 
 Message 1005 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
Seeing how much time you put into advancing your French is both a motivation and a discouragement at the same time. It is motivating because it makes me want to do the same thing, but at the same time seeing what you do and what you think you need to do to get to the level I want to be in Spanish is quite discouraging. It makes me realize how long a road it is to wander down.

Question: how much do you think your analysis of where you need to be in order to "impress" customers enough to hire you depends on your language being French? I am really motivated by the same thing you are... to get to a level where I can really appeal to Spanish speakers professionally. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that one (like me) would not need as high a level of Spanish to "impress" Spanish speaking customers in the US as you describe you need to "impress" French speakers. Do you think if you had an equivalent level of Spanish you would feel you could "impress" the Spanish speaking customers in your local big city and carry on a successful business in that community?
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3440 days ago

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

 
 Message 1006 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 7:31pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

As for listening, I said, "I can understand most of the dialog on most shows that I find channel-surfing on
VoilàTV". But it's important to pay attention to the qualifiers in that sentence. I didn't say, "I can
understand almost all of almost all the shows on Canal+." What's the difference? Well, "most of most" is very
different from "almost all of almost all." And VoilaTV has a heavily bias towards easier material: News, game
shows, cartoons, documentaries, talking heads, dubbed series, and easier adult series. There aren't nearly
as many hard series like Engrenages, Hero Corp, or—for that matter—Le Trône de fer and
Neon Genesis Evangelion, both of which are pretty challenging for dubbed


For Neon Genesis I wouldn't get too discouraged. Having watched it in English, I can say that it's difficult to
understand what's going on and it gets very philosophical (especially the last couple episodes which pissed
off the fandom). That was what sucked me into it even though I don't watch anime usually because I was
trying to figure it out. I could say that it might be more C2 territory, at least some episodes.
1 person has voted this message useful



patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2582 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1007 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 8:32pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I'm pretty sure I know how to fix my speaking problems. It goes something like this: Start reading at least 150 pages of French per day. (Say, 3.5 hours.)


Well at least you are a fast reader! :) I can't even do 50 pages/hour in English. I am quite happy to be reading about 50 pages of German/day.

It's interesting that you think reading lots will improve your speech. That gives me some hope. As I said I am now strong B1/early C1 for both speech and written text. I am have someway to go, but I can't see any reason why I won't be C1 for reading/listening within 12 months, perhaps sooner.

Speaking on the other hand is somewhere around B1.

After thinking about for the last couple of weeks I have decided I am just going to keep reading and see where I am in a year. If my speaking really hasn't improved by then I will start doing some other remedial activities, but I am hoping that by really pushing the reading there will be additional benefits in speech. Fingers crossed.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3581 days ago

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

 
 Message 1008 of 1317
17 May 2014 at 9:05pm | IP Logged 
James29 wrote:
Seeing how much time you put into advancing your French is both a motivation and a discouragement at the same time. It is motivating because it makes me want to do the same thing, but at the same time seeing what you do and what you think you need to do to get to the level I want to be in Spanish is quite discouraging. It makes me realize how long a road it is to wander down.

For whatever it might be worth, I'm mostly limited by my opportunities to use French. Whenever I've been able to change my life to use more French, my abilities have always increased to deal with the challenge, often rapidly.

This may just be a limitation of my relatively lazy natural methods. If I learn by actually using French, then I can't really learn to do things I rarely get a chance to do.

James29 wrote:
Question: how much do you think your analysis of where you need to be in order to "impress" customers enough to hire you depends on your language being French? I am really motivated by the same thing you are... to get to a level where I can really appeal to Spanish speakers professionally. Maybe I am wrong, but it seems to me that one (like me) would not need as high a level of Spanish to "impress" Spanish speaking customers in the US as you describe you need to "impress" French speakers. Do you think if you had an equivalent level of Spanish you would feel you could "impress" the Spanish speaking customers in your local big city and carry on a successful business in that community?

This is a really good question. My answer, however, is a bit complicated, and it's only based on my own personal experience.

Foreign languages are a surprisingly poor way to impress people. Back when I was around B1, French speakers gave me lots of compliments. After all, I was "speaking a foreign language", and everybody thinks that's impressive. But as I got better, people stopped comparing me to other English speakers, and started comparing me to native French speakers. And by that standard, I'm not impressive at all—sure, I can talk, but even toddlers and the hopelessly clueless can talk. Talking is not terribly special. And natives are amazingly good at it. So at the very least, I'd better have something really interesting to say, and not rely fancy oratory to carry the day. :-)

Even an imperfect command of a language can be amazingly useful. Many of the people I speak French with actually speak English. Some of them are extremely good at it, including my wife. Others can get by to varying degrees. But socially speaking, why should they always be the ones at a disadvantage, struggling with English? I cannot even describe how nice it is to be able to share that burden with them. Similarly, I'm deeply grateful that I can understand my wife speaking her native language.

Anytime after B1 or so, it's always possible to be good at one specific thing, but only if you actually do it. If you took a B1 student who was absolutely obsessed with kayaking, and gave them lots of French kayaking magazines, let them go paddling with French kayakers, and so on, it wouldn't be long before they could chatter away quite happily about kayaks. Similarly, if you work with Spanish speakers on a regular basis, you'll quickly become good at using Spanish for those purposes. But I don't spend a lot of time hanging around with French programmers, project managers or startup people, and so I'm a lot weaker at those subjects than at (say) parenting in French. I can be quite persuasive when asking other people's toddlers to play nicely my kids. But if I need to explain why, say, refactoring an existing code base is better than a ground-up rewrite, using French puts me at a disadvantage, because I've never really used French professionally.

So, basically, if your dream were something like, "I want to live my life mostly in English, but on the rare occasions when I need to use Spanish, I want to be judged as though I were a university-educated native speaker, and I want come off looking pretty good by that standard," well, then you'd need to ask somebody else for advice. :-) Personally, I only know how to get good at things I actually do.

But if your dream is to carry on business with Spanish speakers in the United States, then I imagine your language skills would pay off much sooner, because you can start by making people feel welcome, and then work up to more challenging stuff. And of course, once you start actually speaking with people on a regular basis, you'll get better. Or at least that's my guess.

sctroyenne wrote:
For Neon Genesis I wouldn't get too discouraged. Having watched it in English, I can say that it's difficult to understand what's going on and it gets very philosophical (especially the last couple episodes which pissed off the fandom). That was what sucked me into it even though I don't watch anime usually because I was trying to figure it out. I could say that it might be more C2 territory, at least some episodes.

The first time I watched NGE, those last two episodes were a massive drag. But I spent 20 minutes reading through the Wikipedia article, took a month break, and watched the series from the beginning. And the second time went much better: I got 90+% of the dialog, often more, and I was explaining all sorts of weird little details to my wife. And I think I had an easier time with the last two episodes than she did, because I'd figured out something about le plan de complémentarité de l'homme.


3 persons have voted this message useful



This discussion contains 1317 messages over 165 pages: << Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 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 0.4219 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.