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tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 1233 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 6:13pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
Thanks for reminding me why I will be choosing Spanish as my first Romance language.

Certainly true that French people are less "accepting" in this way than Italians or Hispanophones. Though much will be forgiven if you work on having a decent pronunciation from the start.

Edited by tastyonions on 06 June 2015 at 6:14pm

3 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3719 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 1234 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 11:12pm | IP Logged 
I've always found the French to be very kind about my dodgy French. Of course, it helps
that I almost never speak to Parisians, who have a reputation for occasionally being grumpy
about that sort of thing.

Arnaud25 wrote:
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 !!)

Thank you for explaining the replay system. It sounds really horrible and primitive
compared to a normal DVR or something like Amazon or Netflix. :-/ But there actually is
some good stuff on French TV, especially with access to a premium channel or two.

The FrancophoneTV replay system was working yesterday around lunch, but it was almost
completely out of action when my wife came home and I tried to show it to her. I'm guessing
some of this is first-week growing pains.

Arnaud25 wrote:
It's "3..2..1.. mise à feu", you didn't hear correctly.
An update is "mise à jour".

Thank you for the corrections! Those are super helpful.
1 person has voted this message useful



1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2477 days ago

1013 posts - 1587 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish, Italian
Studies: German, Danish, Russian, Catalan

 
 Message 1235 of 1317
06 June 2015 at 11:51pm | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
patrickwilken wrote:
Thanks for reminding me why I will be
choosing Spanish as my first Romance language.

Certainly true that French people are less "accepting" in this way than Italians or
Hispanophones. Though much will be forgiven if you work on having a decent
pronunciation from the start.


I think that Anglophones are the most "accepting" if you count is that, although many
times it is because they just do not want to speak any other language. Try being a
non-native A-level English speaker speaking to a native Anglophone American, Briton,
Australian, or New Zealander and repeat the experiment 10000 times over to see how
many of those native Anglophones switch to the target language of the interlocutor.

I started doing mini-experiments by pretending to be a Hispanophone in the UK and USA
who knows 0 English to native Americans and Britons and seeing how they react. So far
no one has switched to Spanish with me. Maybe it is an eccentric thing to do, but I
talk about it in my own log.

Hispanophones are extremely forgiving though, which has always been my experience.
Italophones almost the same, but Hispanophones tend to really stick at all costs to
Spanish and entertain no matter how horrible the interlocutor's Spanish is. Even
serious blunders like "el televisión".

In France my experience is that people stick to French more often than not at least
ouside Paris. I was in the Belfort/Mulhouse region 10 years ago, and as a teenager who
spoke at quite obviously less than B2 level, no one ever switched to English with me
there. Even after seeing my passports. So that is always a good thing.

Edited by 1e4e6 on 06 June 2015 at 11:58pm

1 person has voted this message useful



PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3663 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 
 Message 1236 of 1317
07 June 2015 at 1:19am | IP Logged 
Regarding French language purity- an extensive background

The following is taken almost word for word but condensed somewhat from "The Story of French" by Jean-
Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow:

French language purism begain with the poet François de Malherbe (1555-1628). Few francophones have
actually read his works. Malherbe very dramatically influenced the way the entire French population regarded
their language. He was a lawyer he gained notice on the French literary scene in the early 1600s. He became
famous for his mastery of the alexandrine, the twelve-foot verse that was the standard of French poetry and
theatre until the Romantic era. He became the official poet of King Henri IV in 1605 and retained that status
under Louis XIII. His literary criticism (not his poetry) gained him repute among his contemporaries and
turned him into the French language's first real guru. In his criticism Malherbe preached the values of clarity,
precision and rigour. He argued that good writing had to be stripped of ornamentation, repetition, archaisms,
regionalisms and hyperbole. He rejected synonyms; in his view each word should have a definition, and a
definition should apply to only one word. He abhorred the baroque aesthetic of his predecessors. He detested
the idea of creating new words for the sake of it. His famous follower, grammarian Vaugelas, wrote, "It is not
permitted to anyone to make up new words, not even the King!"

As a pastime, Malherbe edited Rosnard's poetry, removing about half the words. His future biographer,
Honorat de Racan, once asked him, "Does this mean you approve of the rest?" Malherbe resp;onded by
erasing what was left on the page. Most of his ideas about the French language has been penned by 1606,
when he wrote his 'Commentaires sur Desportes', a scathing criticism of his contemporary, the poet Philippe
Desportes.

Malherbe was quite possibly the biggest and most brazen language snob the world has ever seen.
Biographers describe him as a fretful fault-finder who spent his life attacking, both verbally and in writing,
every mistake-or what he regarded as mistakes-he could find and anyone who made one. He wanted to
banish the word 'vent' (wind) because it was a synonym for fart, and 'pouls' (pulse) because it sounded like
'pou' (louse). He feared no-one and even reproached King Henri's son for signing his name 'Loys' rather than
'Louys'. He hated regionalisms to the point that, when asked whether the best word for 'spent' was 'dépensé'
or 'dépendu', he replied that the former was more French, because 'pendu' (which also means 'hanged')
sounded like Gascon, a southern dialect.

He was a tyrant with vocabularly but sought common ground on grammar. Malherbe imposed the idea that
the French negative 'ne' should be followed by 'pas' or 'point'. He also argued that poets can only be
understood by other poets and that they should use plain language so they could be more easily understood
by a larger number of readers.

Malherbe's doctrine of clarity gained him support from Henri IV due to propoganda about Louis XIV (and later
the French monarchy).

By 1615 Malherbe was regarded as not only a master of poetry, but also a master of language. He had
become so influential that people created their own academies and salons to either refute his ideas or spread
them. As a result of his work and that of his disciples, entire segments of French vocabulary- regionalisms,
archaisms, synonyms and duplicates- lost currency and virtually disappeared from the mouths of the well-
read and the writing of most authors. Historian Ferdinand Brunot put it, before Malherbe it was common to
borrow terms from other languages; because of him, it became a mark of ignorance. That standard would last
for the next two centuries, and still remains the root of the debate over anglicisms.

One reason it became so successful (language purity) in France (as opposed to England for example) was
that few people in France actually spoke fluent French-less than fifteen percent of the population, by some
estimates, and mostly among the urban elite. On the other hand English belonged to all classes of society,
making it more difficult for an elitist doctrine of the language to prevail.

"Modernity" also aided the spread of language puritism (as opposed to Latin and Greek) aided the spread of
French. Malherbe's propaganda made French the only living lanuage along with Italian that had normative
rules comparable to the the classical languages.

Out of the powerful language salons developing in France at the time and aiding to spread the language in
Europe an elitist view of language. Malherbe spawned the lasting trend of "remarqueurs/remarquistes"
(commentators). They made it their life's cause to comment on the quality of French being used in writing and
speaking. Grammarian Claude Favre de Vaugelas (1585-1650) was one such commentator who regarded
himself as Malherbe's intellectual son. He gave Malherbe's quest for language purity an edge of elitism that
has survived the past four centuries virtually intact and remains unique to francophones. Vaugelas's view was
that the language spoken "par la plus saine partie de la Cour et de la ville" (by the best members of the Court
and the city) should become the standard. He coined the term 'bon usage' which would become the credo of
the soon to be created French Academy.
----------------------------------------
It goes on....

One can gain some perspective here on why French/French speakers have the (?well deserved?) reputation
of being harsh in many instances- to guard their language over-zealously. Of course this isn't necessarily a
stereotype that holds true for the majority of French language speakers but it's still evident throughout the
Francophone sphere.

PM
3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3196 days ago

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

 
 Message 1237 of 1317
07 June 2015 at 4:19am | IP Logged 
As my answer took some time, it grew too long, so I am gonna shorten it a bit, or at least structure it. Sorry if it is still too long

1. Thanks for pointing out several things about being advanced and struggling to keep the top level, ready for any challenge that may or may not come tommorrow or in a year. I am glad I am not the only one struggling and you give me hope :-)

2.
emk wrote:

Yeah, but I think French is sort of a special case, at least in the US. If I say, "Wow, the Eloquent Peasant feels surprisingly modern for something written in hieroglyphics," I mostly just sound geeky. But if I say, "Voltaire is actually a lot of fun," I suddenly start feeling like some kind of clichė wannabe intellectual. :-) Maybe this is just in my head!


The "problem" is that you are a true intelectual interested in Voltaire and the French language is just the final touch. It is much easier for people around to think "what a wannabe" than "ouch, there might be some gaps in my education", it is not a US specific thinking. I don't have this trouble, I sound geeky when speaking about my French reading just like about any other reading. :-D But I think we've got some common interests, thanks for the Beauverger tip.

3.
garyb wrote:

Personally I found that recognising and accepting the necessity of "learning" as well as "using" was the most important thing to keep making progress at the high-intermediate/low-advanced stage.


So true. Fortunately, we, French learners, are spoilt with wide selection of resources for active studying past the typical intermediate levels. But I have no clue whether such a luxury will be available for some of my hitlist languages.

4.Thanks for the link to Les annees lumieres.
And the Culturtheque is a good thing but I totally agree it is too intelectual-reader aimed.

5.About VPN. I've read a few articles and it looks like quite a complicated thing. Could you recommend me a good foolproof information resource? Is it difficult to get such a service? Is it a reliable investment? I heard about Hola, which is free, and about some problems it was causing, even though I cannot remember any details.What are reliable vpn providers? I've seen a few offers, can one get a VPN for free or at least cheaply? (Sorry, if my questions are totally stupid)

6.
daegga wrote:
What about shops other than amazon?

While I haven't been checking for ebooks in particular, what struck me about the French eshops with fun (books, dvds, online streaming services) was the uniformity of their unpleasant approach towards foreigners. All the other markets I've checked (Germany/Austria, Spain, Italy, UK) have shown significant differences between individual shops, unlike France. As an EU citizen, I felt really disciminated and offended and "what the hell do we have the EU common market for"-like. All the streaming services refuse outside access, all the tv archives are useless outside the country (the French should really look up to the Spanish tvs that share at least their own works), most delivery fees to "newer" eu members tend to be outrageous. Really, 2004, that wasn't yesterday. FNAC that has been mentioned in the thread actually turned out to be one of the least foreinger friendly shops I encountered.

So, I doubt the ebooks will be an exception. The publishers hold the reigns and I doubt the system is gonna have any holes :-(

Francophone tv is a good idea, I wish there was something like that for nonfrench europeans who do not have tv. Yeah, an all-EU netflix.

5.Thanks a lot for the links about current copyright development. It is sad the EU market is a much easier thing to unite when it comes to huge things that need to be transported in camions than for ebook/audio/video files that could just fly freely through the cables and wifis as soon as a few euros fly the opposite direction. Fortunately, the authors finally appear to more widely accept the thought that this business model is actually hurting them.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3096 days ago

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

 
 Message 1238 of 1317
09 June 2015 at 5:08pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
While I haven't been checking for ebooks in particular, what struck me about the French eshops with fun (books, dvds, online streaming services) was the uniformity of their unpleasant approach towards foreigners. All the other markets I've checked (Germany/Austria, Spain, Italy, UK) have shown significant differences between individual shops, unlike France. As an EU citizen, I felt really disciminated and offended and "what the hell do we have the EU common market for"-like. All the streaming services refuse outside access, all the tv archives are useless outside the country (the French should really look up to the Spanish tvs that share at least their own works), most delivery fees to "newer" eu members tend to be outrageous. Really, 2004, that wasn't yesterday. FNAC that has been mentioned in the thread actually turned out to be one of the least foreinger friendly shops I encountered.


I agree with this in terms of most digital content. However, I've found Amazon.fr to be excellent for ordering French books and DVDs, which often arrive here in the UK within 3 days of ordering.

I did have a fairly good experience dealing with the customer service of http://www.mondesenvf.fr/. It was regarding an ebook I bought from Amazon.co.uk, but I needed help downloading the audio and they were very helpful even though the French in my email was pretty broken.
2 persons have voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2875 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 1239 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 1:37am | IP Logged 
1e4e6 wrote:


I think that Anglophones are the most "accepting" if you count is that, although many
times it is because they just do not want to speak any other language. Try being a
non-native A-level English speaker speaking to a native Anglophone American, Briton,
Australian, or New Zealander and repeat the experiment 10000 times over to see how
many of those native Anglophones switch to the target language of the interlocutor.


Touché.

1e4e6 wrote:

I started doing mini-experiments by pretending to be a Hispanophone in the UK and USA
who knows 0 English to native Americans and Britons and seeing how they react. So far
no one has switched to Spanish with me. Maybe it is an eccentric thing to do, but I
talk about it in my own log.


Was that you in the parking lot? J/k. I've run into that situation before (someone lost and trying to get directions)
and I try as much as possible to use Spanish to explain, but my active vocabulary in Spanish is basically non-
existent, so you couldn't really call it switching to Spanish.

1e4e6 wrote:

In France my experience is that people stick to French more often than not at least
ouside Paris. I was in the Belfort/Mulhouse region 10 years ago, and as a teenager who
spoke at quite obviously less than B2 level, no one ever switched to English with me
there. Even after seeing my passports. So that is always a good thing.


I wish they would have switched to English in Paris back in the 80s--we might have actually figured out where we
were heading!
2 persons have voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2875 days ago

1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
Studies: Modern Hebrew, French, Dutch, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 1240 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 1:45am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:


The "problem" is that you are a true intelectual interested in Voltaire and the French language is just the final
touch. It is much easier for people around to think "what a wannabe" than "ouch, there might be some gaps in my
education", it is not a US specific thinking. I don't have this trouble, I sound geeky when speaking about my French
reading just like about any other reading. :-D


Maybe the stereotype based in truth hasn't made it's way to you, or maybe you're just being kind and circumspect.
My experience was that there is a common attitude in US culture that being brainy or an intellectual is, in and of
itself, something to be ashamed of, and something that makes you less macho, if male, or less feminine, if female
(strange, but true). Perhaps the rise of the Geek and the dot-com economy pushed back against this a bit, but I
think the underlying attitude is still here, and has old and deep roots.



4 persons have voted this message useful



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