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French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

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emk
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 Message 1209 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 3:00pm | IP Logged 
PeterMollenburg wrote:
I tried to switch my account from US amazon to amazon.fr once quickly purchased a couple ebooks and promptly got told off.

I got told off very nicely when I tried that with Amazon.fr. In the past, I've worked around it by paying for a VPN and using a French address with Amazon.fr gift cards, and then using various dubious Calibre plugins to move the ebooks to a different ebook reader. It's completely ridiculous, but Amazon doesn't have much choice: They don't actually have the legal right to sell most of those books anywhere but in France. Blame the French publishers for this one.

But I'd like to set up something permanent. Maybe configure a permanent VPN using my home router, get a prepaid French debit card, and then set up a Kindle to think it actually lives in France.

The end goal would be the ability to browse a bunch of recommended French titles, and to tap on a book and start reading. The US Kindle store isn't good enough for this, because (1) its French ebooks are either public domain classics or self-published stuff, and (2) it's bad at recommending French titles. I need to make the French-language ebooks as easy and as tempting as the English-language ones!

patrickwilken wrote:
Would it be easier for you to get a Canadian CC or at least Amazon.ca account? I am assuming that there would be a lot of French content there as well.

The selection in Quebec is more limited than in France, and prices are higher. Might as well go straight for the mother-lode. :-)

Easy and attractive French media, step 2: Audible

Well, this was easier than expected. It seems that Audible does many of their own recordings, so they own lots of international rights. I just signed into Audible.fr with a US credit card and US IP address, and they happily sold me Le crépuscule des elfes. And I could listen to it with the new iPod setup in my car! Let's just hope they don't decide to punt me out of Audible.fr in a few days.

And now, when I visit the Audible.fr website, it actually recommends interesting audiobooks:



Yes, Audible, I would love to listen to a French translation of Zelazny's Nine Princes in Amber! And do you have his Lord of Light in French? And what's that Autre Monde stuff? Might be fun.

This is the way it needs to work if French media is going to be a part of my "normal", non-studying, non-Super Challenge life. I need the same push-button convenience I have in English, with the same personalized recommendations of recent, high-quality titles. Or at least fun and brainless titles, for when I'm not feeling especially virtuous. :-)
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Jeffers
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 Message 1210 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 3:05pm | IP Logged 
If you set up an independent account with amazon.fr, and connect your kindle to that account, then it doesn't matter where in the world that kindle is when it makes purchases. My parents use their US based kindles when they are all over the world and have no trouble making purchases. They do have the 3G versions, but I don't see why the wifi version wouldn't work the same way.

So once you set up the account you don't need to worry about the VPN, but you would still need the French debit card set up for the purchases.
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garyb
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 Message 1211 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 3:49pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

But one of the reasons why study is frustrating at my level is that 90% of my remaining practical weaknesses seem to involve "activation" of knowledge I already know.


I agree that this is the most difficult part - you're talking to the guy with the "TACtivation" log ;). I have all this great knowledge, now if only I could actually use it. I've not solved the mystery either, but my experience and the discussion on here are giving me a more practical perspective. At the moment I have quite the same idea as you to use French but not study it in the hope that I'll at least acquire more knowledge that could potentially be activated if and when necessary, while focusing my "active" efforts on Italian.

I also hear you on the ebook frustrations. Most of my reading these days is in Italian and, yes, English, because getting the ebooks is so much easier. The Italian publishers must have the appropriate agreements with Amazon that the French ones don't.
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daegga
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 Message 1212 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 4:02pm | IP Logged 
What about shops other than amazon? If you have an epub reader, this shouldn't be much trouble (you might need Windows for this Adobe Digital Publishing DRM stuff though). I don't know about the publishing rights, but small shops are usually more easily fooled or might not even ask about your address and don't care about your IP.

Edited by daegga on 03 June 2015 at 4:24pm

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Serpent
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 Message 1213 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 5:54pm | IP Logged 
hola.org is a free VPN service/add-on :)
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bryanpeabody
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 Message 1214 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 5:58pm | IP Logged 
I'd keep my distance from Hola VPN: http://bgr.com/2015/06/01/hola-vpn-service-botnet-threat/
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sctroyenne
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 Message 1215 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 6:28pm | IP Logged 
I'm alive as well :) Just tiptoeing in to mention a few things (will return to a greater degree a little later).

For getting some kind of debit card or pre-paid card from France - from my experience this is very hard to do outside of the country. Even for pre-paid cash cards you need to send copies of your ID/passport with proof of your address and all that to get it activated. I'm thinking it's not really possible to do from abroad. Does your wife have family/friends in France who'd be willing to help (maybe in exchange for getting some American content)? Otherwise maybe getting a gift card from Amazon.fr would work.

Another option is to take advantage of your local Alliance française. In addition to their onsite library which should include audiobooks, AF membership now gets you access to their digital collection Culturthèque. It includes ebooks, audiobooks, scholarly journals (I think just in social sciences for now), video, etc.

And finally, some additional science podcast options:
Science on France Inter
Science on France Culture
Science on France Info
Science on Europe1
Collège de France

And I'm sure there's more...

Oh, and it is possible to get a subscription to Le Canard Enchaîné. Here's a site that sells them, otherwise if you get a paper copy of one there will be a number to call for subscriptions
Uni Presse Le Canard Enchaîné. Sciences et Avenirs should be easy to get as well.
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patrickwilken
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 Message 1216 of 1317
03 June 2015 at 7:15pm | IP Logged 
Have you thought about trying to buy outside of Amazon:

http://www.ebouquin.fr/2010/02/27/ou-trouver-des-livres-elec troniques/ ?

You've probably already seen this, but here's an interesting discussion over a couple of years about how to get Amazon.fr books in the US: French books on US Kindle?

One interesting comment (don't know if it is true) is that Amazon.fr actually doesn't have the best selection and you'd be better off looking at FNAC. Though I am not sure if Calibre converts nicely from FNAC format to Mobi (assuming you don't want to buy a FNAC reader).

http://www.fnac.com

EDIT: Also this discussion might be of interest: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=206278

BTW: I noticed that FNAC takes Paypal payments, not sure if you need a French billing address with the Paypal account, or if a normal Paypal account plus a French billing address would suffice.

EDIT EDIT: Have you heard of Moustache Books? They only sell print books but they sound really cool > buying-french-books-in-north-america

Edited by patrickwilken on 03 June 2015 at 7:55pm



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