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patrickwilken
Senior Member
Germany
radiant-flux.net
Joined 2642 days ago

1546 posts - 3200 votes 
Studies: German

 
 Message 1249 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 7:04pm | IP Logged 
The other side of this is that French scientific output is way behind the UK, Germany and even the Netherlands - and is surprisingly bad given it's relative wealth.

One cause must be the very closed system of French academia. I knew two French neuroscientists when I was at Caltech (one a senior postdoc that had multiple papers in Nature; the other a very smart professor who ended up running a Max Planck Institute in Germany) who told me independently (and with some bitterness) that they could never go back to work in France because having left (or more accurately because they hadn't entered the French academic system on graduation) they were now permanently outside the system.

emk wrote:

- The French dub of The Matrix starts out rather mediocre, but it's pretty fun when Morpheus starts talking a lot. As often happens with dubbed films, my comprehension was over 90% right out the gate. But I had to go to bed pretty early on.


I liked German dub. I find it strange that you are only at 90%, as I am definitely more around +99% for something like the Matrix right out of the gate, while on the other hand my spoken/written L2 is so far behind yours.




Edited by patrickwilken on 10 June 2015 at 7:13pm

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3641 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 1250 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 7:38pm | IP Logged 
patrickwilken wrote:
I liked German dub. I find it strange that you are only at 90%, as I am definitely more around +99% for something like the Matrix right out of the gate, while on the other hand my spoken/written L2 is so far behind yours.

Listening is definitely my weakest skill. My reading is fine—I can sometimes pick up an adult novel and run into maybe 70 words over the course of the book that are (1) unknown, and (2) in any way interesting. Of course, that doesn't mean I don't get beat up occasionally—I'm much stronger with certain subjects and styles than others. And my full reading speed at the end of the Super Challenge was close to 50% my normal reading speed in English.

As far as listening goes, I can understand most people with standard French accents with no problem. I can channel-surf on French TV and find plenty of stuff that I understand well enough to enjoy. I can listen to podcasts under good conditions, and often follow more-or-less everything. But at the same time, I often struggle with some Quebec accents (particularly at full speed), with native French films, and with gritty modern TV like Engrenages or dubs of HBO series.

Part of this has to do with with the sheer number of extra vowels in French, and with the way liaison messes up syllable boundaries. Part of this has to do with a Latin-vocabulary discount when reading that I don't entirely get when I'm listening, because too many sounds have worn away. Part of this is that you've watched like a zillion more movies than me, and that makes a huge difference. :-)
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1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2399 days ago

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

 
 Message 1251 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 8:28pm | IP Logged 
French is often described as "left-wing" in the USA, although most countries in the
developed world are more left-wing than the USA. I have been called a hippie because I
once said to a guy that I learnt Dutch (Amsterdam) and a Communist because I once said
that I learnt Norwegian (comprehensive welfare state).

In the UK at least people are a bit more educated being close to Europe and having the
free movement agreement, so there are actual French, Dutch, and Norwegians in the UK
to meet face to face. So you cannot bullshit people with stereotypes that easily, when
they are right next to you.

Cavesa wrote:
But I must admit I had hard time believing the morons could be
prevalent in such a sucessful country.


About "successful", maybe in the collective? But the few family that I have that live
in the USA are less successful than in their third world homelands. There are a lot of
billionaires, but the poverty rate is much higher than most European countries,
definitely more than the Czech Republic.

When so many of the population already believe that humans coexisted with the
dinosaurs, unfortunately it stops being so hard to believe. I think that this anti-
intellectualism also is starting to extent to languages now (more so than never),
because as I said before, even someone on this forum from California said that her son
learnt 0 foreign language in secondary school. So the son is probably around 18,
entered university knowing only English, because he was not obligated to learn even
the "normal" 2 years of foreign language that is usually a prerequisitie. This would
never happen in the UK, ever.

"Come on, why are you learning a foreign language? People are supposed to learn
English, not the other way round!"

Edited by 1e4e6 on 10 June 2015 at 8:59pm

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sfuqua
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2874 days ago

581 posts - 977 votes 
Speaks: English*, Hawaiian, Tagalog
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 1252 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 8:56pm | IP Logged 
My son had two years of Spanish in high school in California, and somehow learned 0 foreign language.


Edited by sfuqua on 10 June 2015 at 8:57pm

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rdearman
Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3345 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 
 Message 1253 of 1317
10 June 2015 at 9:27pm | IP Logged 
Ogrim wrote:
Great text emk. I think this idea of everything French being sophisticated and classy is quite widespread, not only in the USA but elsewhere.


Well that idea hasn't made it to England... You don't really want to know what the English think about the French. :)

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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3585 days ago

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

 
 Message 1254 of 1317
11 June 2015 at 1:28am | IP Logged 
sfuqua wrote:
My son had two years of Spanish in high school in California, and
somehow learned 0 foreign language.


I did 3 years of French in high school and absolutely despised it. I loved German as I
started learning it at my first high school, then moved to where French was taught. I
learned nothing in those 3 years simply because I took it upon myself to have an
attitude in which i resolved to refuse to learn a rediculous language. I honestly
literally probably learned at an absolute complete maximum 50 passive words and 20
words by heart in 3 years! I guessed my way through any (rare) tests and had the
lowest marks possible. I seriously saw the class as one big joke an opportunity to
'piss fart around'. This attitude was relatively common too but in reality a minority.
Most agreed learning Fernch was a waste of time, but attitudes as bad as mine were not
as common. After leaving high school early my attitude changed. I returned to a
different high school as a mature aged student (a few years older than the rest) and
wanted to study foreign languages but with virtually no background in it I wasn't able
to take on the higher levels offered in the final year of high school.

I didn't like reading either. I was sport obsessed at high school, and a person very
interested in foreign languages but ironically didn't learn any, first due to attitude
then second due to not being proficient enough already again because of my attitude in
the past.

Anyway this isn't my log, but I just thought i'd share. It's not that uncommon in this
country even with students more willing than myself to emerge from high school with
next to zero foreign language ability. Even for those with fantastic marks they find
little opportunity to use the languages in a country so isolated. Italian, Greek,
Vietnamese and Chinese are the main exceptions due to large immigrant populations
especially in the cities.




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geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2797 days ago

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

 
 Message 1255 of 1317
11 June 2015 at 3:02am | IP Logged 
1e4e6 wrote:

I think that this anti-
intellectualism also is starting to extent to languages now (more so than never),


You may recall that when John Kerry was running for President, the fact that he speaks French was considered a
negative and was brought up by the opposition to score the occasional cheap shot. Later on, when Mitt Romney
was running for president, he certainly didn't advertise the fact the he knows French, either, for similar reasons.


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1e4e6
Octoglot
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 2399 days ago

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

 
 Message 1256 of 1317
11 June 2015 at 3:24am | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
1e4e6 wrote:

I think that this anti-
intellectualism also is starting to extent to languages now (more so than never),


You may recall that when John Kerry was running for President, the fact that he speaks
French was considered a
negative and was brought up by the opposition to score the occasional cheap shot.
Later on, when Mitt Romney
was running for president, he certainly didn't advertise the fact the he knows French,
either, for similar reasons.



That is sad, but as I said, this would never happen in the UK, despite both countries
having absolutely deplorable levels of knowledge of foreign language and foreign
language education in schooling.

In the last coalition, the former UK Deputy Prime Minister of the Liberal Democrat
Party, Nick Clegg, speaks Dutch at a more than respectable level (he has a Dutch
mother), and Spanish and has a Spanish wife. I believe that his children speak a bunch
of languages because of their parents as well.

Nick Clegg in het Nederlands

I cannot imagine how badly Clegg would have faired in the USA in terms of election if
he speaks at least Dutch and Peninsular Spanish and probably more than that as well.
Moot point anyway, but Americans would never elect him as well because he is an
atheist. To many Americans that would be like being a polyglot candidate who speaks 50
languages...

Edited by 1e4e6 on 11 June 2015 at 3:28am



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