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French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

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emk
Diglot
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 Message 1225 of 1317
05 June 2015 at 3:08pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, everybody, for your suggestions!

Another piece of the plan just fell into place: My VoilaTV subscription just upgraded itself to FrancophoneTV. And there's some very good news:

- I've got Canal+!
- Using the program guide, I can go back in time several days, and choose a show I missed.

And this all works in the US, with no special effort.

Right now, I'm watching Les Guignols de l'info on Canal+, which was broadcast earlier today in France. It's actually pretty challenging to follow, but then again, my listening comprehension has always been weaker than my reading, at least when (1) it's highly colloquial French and (2) it's not my wife speaking. But now that I have access to lots of interesting materials, it will be easier to work on this.

Effortless and interesting French media: Progress

My progress so far:

- Lots of up-to-date podcasts in the car, with very little effort.
- Painless purchasing of new French music for the car.
- French audiobooks, audiobook recommendations, and painless purchasing via Audible.fr.
- Canal+ and some other quality channels.
- The ability to go back in time several days to find something to watch.

Total cost: about $35 month, for the TV, plus extra for any media I buy. And in most cases, it's now almost as easy to find something cool in French as it is in English. Which is how this is going to have to work if I'm going to have a lot of French in life. :-)
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sctroyenne
Diglot
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United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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 Message 1226 of 1317
05 June 2015 at 5:53pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Right now, I'm watching Les Guignols de l'info on Canal+, which was broadcast earlier today in France. It's actually pretty challenging to follow, but then again, my listening comprehension has always been weaker than my reading, at least when (1) it's highly colloquial French and (2) it's not my wife speaking. But now that I have access to lots of interesting materials, it will be easier to work on this.


It's best to watch Les Guignols 2 to 3 times. It's very fast-paced so it's only natural to miss stuff - even now I find that I need to watch it twice to catch everything. There's also a learning curve with political satire - you need to have some knowledge of what's going on in the news, understand some of the larger main issues, and be familiar with the different political figures to understand their characterizations. With a bit of time, you'll gain familiarity with the different layers of comprehension needed to be able to understand the jokes.

Do you know if there's any possibility to set up Francophone TV to come in through my laptop?

Edited by sctroyenne on 05 June 2015 at 6:52pm

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emk
Diglot
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 Message 1227 of 1317
05 June 2015 at 10:49pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
Do you know if there's any possibility to set up Francophone TV to come in through my laptop?

Well, I think they just went on the air yesterday, and started migrating VoilaTV customers over. They don't even have a signup option on their website yet. But as far as I know, VoilaTV always required a tiny box plugged into an actual TV, and it cost about $35/month.

FrancophoneTV review

I left this running in the background a bit today, and fooled with it during lunch. The channel list is much better than VoilaTV's—they stripped out a bunch of useless filler channels like ZenTV, and replaced them with regular TV channels. A few useful news channels like BFM Business have also gone missing. But the real star of the lineup is Canal+, which is an actual premium channel. Anyway, here's the list:

Quote:
TF1 HD
France 2
France 3
Canal+
France 5
M6
arte
D8
W9
TMC
France Ô
NJR 12
D17
Gulli
BFM TV
iTELE
LCP
I24news
France 4
L'Equipe 21
I télé

Almost all of these channels are available in two versions: One version is "live", showing the same shows as France. The other version is offset for my local timezone, so I get a nice choice of TV dramas or whatever after dinner.

Some of the channels, including Canal+, allow me to go back in time and view shows that were broadcast recently. Other channels seem to be missing the recordings, which might be deliberate, and which might simply be the sort of chaos you'd expect the day after launch.

All in all, it's not as nice as (say) Netflix, because it works more like a slightly older generation of digital cable box, and it's not HD. But it's a huge improvement over VoilaTV. Specifically, thanks to the new channels and the ability to scroll back in time for something better, I'll have probably 20 times as many choices in the evenings as I used to.

Two nice examples of extensive watching

During a late lunch, I watched parts of two dubbed episodes of Stargate SG-1 out of the corner of my eye. It's a middle-of-the-road dub, neither as good as Buffy contre les vampires, Le trône de fer or Avatar, nor as awful as the original first-season dub of Babylon 5.

Anyway, I noticed two great little details:

1. A rocket on a launch pad, with a countdown. 3... 2... 1... Mise en feu! Here, I already knew mise au jour "update" and mise en scène "placing on stage" and mise en place "putting in place (ingredients and tools for cooking)". And of course I already knew feu "fire". So I can conclude that mise en feu means "set on fire" or (here) "Ignition!". And I also learned what a reasonably idiomatic rocket countdown might sound like in French.

2. A Russian satellite is shot down by an orbital defense system. La cible a été détruite. "The target (cible) has been destroyed." Here, the interesting bit is the gender of cible, which is known to trip up even native adults sometimes[1], and which I always forget. Now, if you've been reading my log for long time, you might remember that I spent a long time training myself to "hear" the gender of articles and adjectives, and to notice when a word is used with an unexpected gender. I'd listen to people speaking, and try to figure out the gender of words using agreements. And now for me, détruit is strongly marked as masculine, and détruite as feminine, and it just leaps right out at me.[2]

Now, I strongly suspect that extensive learning is like an iceberg: Sure, I can actually notice a few examples like these, but also there's a huge mass of things I'm learning that are invisible. But still, I get worried if I'm not picking up little details like this on a regular basis.


[1] Don't take this study too seriously. I've noticed that some French adults use words with the correct gender, but they don't seem to have conscious access to that information, any more than I could tell you which syllable in an English word carries the stress. I always find this hugely bizarre, but I've learned to never ask certain native speakers the gender of a word.

[2] The downside of hearing gender clearly is that beginner French Meetups can occasionally be pretty painful.
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1e4e6
Octoglot
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United Kingdom
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 Message 1228 of 1317
05 June 2015 at 11:59pm | IP Logged 
Are any of those channels available for we who are "financially inclined" so to speak? I
know of those channels, but I usually content myself with France24 and BFMTV because they
are free, and 30€ a month is seriously expensive. I have a subscription to Atresplayer, a
Spanish television online player, and costs me around 24€ a year(!).

I have no television set right now, but not like it matters, Anglophone countries usually
do not show Canal+ programmes on simple TV packages.

Even this I consider reasonable but anything more would hurt the wallet.

Edited by 1e4e6 on 06 June 2015 at 12:02am

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daegga
Tetraglot
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Austria
lang-8.com/553301
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 Message 1229 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 12:14am | IP Logged 
I don't think ARTE has georestrictions. At
least their own productions should work in the +7 section.
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Arnaud25
Diglot
Senior Member
France
Joined 2005 days ago

129 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: Russian

 
 Message 1230 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 6:55am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:


All in all, it's not as nice as (say) Netflix, because it works more like a slightly older generation of digital cable box, and it's not HD. But it's a huge improvement over VoilaTV. Specifically, thanks to the new channels and the ability to scroll back in time for something better, I'll have probably 20 times as many choices in the evenings as I used to.

In France, currently, only a few channels are broadcasted in HD: TF1, F2, F3 (online), Arte, M6 (not sure) and a few other commercial channel but all the other are still in SD.
Also all the channels don't offer the "replay" (called also "Tv de rattrapage" or "le rattrapage" if your a member of the french Academy) and when the replay works, all the programs are not available (copyrights for films, etc)
All in all, french TV is crap (except Arte that I watch regularly), so 35$ is expensive to wash your brain, but I can understand your interest as I watch the russian Tv on my Smart Tv (8$/month) and the quality of the russian Tv is far worse than the french one...(double brainwash, yeah !!)
emk wrote:

1. A rocket on a launch pad, with a countdown. 3... 2... 1... Mise en feu! Here, I already knew mise au jour "update" and mise en scène "placing on stage" and mise en place "putting in place (ingredients and tools for cooking)". And of course I already knew feu "fire". So I can conclude that mise en feu means "set on fire" or (here) "Ignition!". And I also learned what a reasonably idiomatic rocket countdown might sound like in French.


It's "3..2..1.. mise à feu", you didn't hear correctly.
An update is "mise à jour".
"Une mise au jour" is possible if you're an archeologist and unearth something that was hidden in the ground, for exemple. It's also used figuratively when you reveal something hidden (drug traffic, etc)

emk wrote:
[2] The downside of hearing gender clearly is that beginner French Meetups can occasionally be pretty painful.

Lol, perhaps you can understand why french people are reputed to be intolerant with foreigners throwing their bad french at us (and it's even not true, imho, we're very patient and tolerant, but add bad gender to bad grammar to bad conjugaison to bad accent and you have a severe desire to run away or switch to English not to suffer too much :))


Edited by Arnaud25 on 06 June 2015 at 12:40pm

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tastyonions
Triglot
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 Message 1231 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 12:51pm | IP Logged 
Another useful piece of vocabulary: the expression for "countdown," which I did not know until this thread provoked me to look it up, is "compte à rebours."

Which in turn brings to mind another expression the radio reminded me of the other day, "laissé-pour-compte."



Edited by tastyonions on 06 June 2015 at 12:55pm

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patrickwilken
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Germany
radiant-flux.net
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 Message 1232 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 4:51pm | IP Logged 
EMK this might be of interest to you:
Hollywood’s content geo-blocking draws attention of antitrust regulators


and

EU’s Digital Single Market: Limited reforms for geo-blocking and copyright, which unfortunately sounds like regulators aren't yet ready to level the playing field WRT digital rights content across the EU; though that seems to be the direction we are slowly moving in.

Arnaud25 wrote:
Lol, perhaps you can understand why french people are reputed to be intolerant with foreigners throwing their bad french at us (and it's even not true, imho, we're very patient and tolerant, but add bad gender to bad grammar to bad conjugaison to bad accent and you have a severe desire to run away or switch to English not to suffer too much :))


Thanks for reminding me why I will be choosing Spanish as my first Romance language. :)

Edited by patrickwilken on 06 June 2015 at 4:56pm



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