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French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

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emk
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 Message 1313 of 1317
06 July 2015 at 5:09pm | IP Logged 
First of all, it looks like there's going to be a pile of good films on French TV this week.



numerodix wrote:
emk, on the mailing list idea... It doesn't have to be one publisher many consumers where you are saddled with providing all the content. I would think of it as something where everyone posts content to it.

That's a good idea. I was thinking of some kind of moderated list, so it could grow larger without getting too noisy.

Back from another trip to Montreal!

Not much to say; I spent most of it in recovery mode, but I got to spend some time shopping for books with one of my kids. He picked out a Schtroumpfs BD and Les Avions to share with his brother, both of which appear to be excellent choices. I also managed to watch a few films and sneak in some reading.

Les Profs (film). The worst school in France: Only 12% of the students pass the bac. The best teachers have failed. The solution? Send in the worst teachers. If you like very silly comedy, watch the trailer. :-) This is hilarious, in that over-the-top comedy sort of way. Difficulty: lots of adolescents and slang, so it's challenging, but not ridiculously so. Also, there's enough visual comedy here to keep things interesting even for those with weaker comprehension.



Les Avions (film). Another film in Disney's Cars franchise. The dubbing is good, but surprisingly challenging—I needed a good 30 minutes to "tune in", and even then, I was still missing stuff here and there. I got the impression that the kids struggled a bit, too. They have an excellent understanding of "household" French, but the airplane jargon and rapid speech seemed to pose a challenge for them, especially in the beginning. Happily, Disney publishes "learn to read" books in French based on their films, so I should be able to get some more mileage out of this DVD with the kids.

Damné (novel). Finally! A good fantasy novel from Quebec. (I've run across lots of horrible genre fiction published in Quebec.) This is a historical fantasy, set in the middle ages, with lots of background detail and an appealing writing style. It looks like it's going to be fairly dark and violent (but less so than Game of Thrones). The author has won a bunch of awards, if that helps any. For better or worse, this appears to be a multi-volume series of 400-page books. But every chapter ends with ominous foreshadowing, so it's easy to keep reading, at least so far. :-)

Also noticed: Amazon seems to have recently updated its Kindle store interface, making it easier to find French-language books in specific genres. And also, because I aim to encourage everybody to try their favorite genres of trashy French fiction, I feel it's worth mentioning there's a free bundle of romance novels being promoted right now for US Kindles.

It feels good to actually read some French novels again, and I definitely think I've reached a point where watching a lot of films is good for my listening comprehension (because French films are considerably harder than most French TV, and because I need to practice "tuning in" quickly). It's also remarkable how easy it is to pick up more French media when I'm already in "French mode". But when I'm mostly living in English, it's a bit harder to get over that initial inertia and actually watch something in French.
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Cavesa
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 Message 1314 of 1317
06 July 2015 at 6:14pm | IP Logged 
Your kids have good taste :-)

Damné:I need that! Thanks for the tip!

Have I already recommended you Maxime Chattam: L'Autremonde series? I've noticed on a bookfair the fifth part has just been published (even though I still need to wait a bit for a cheaper paperback). I love that series and I suppose you might enjoy it as well.
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sctroyenne
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 Message 1315 of 1317
07 July 2015 at 7:44pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Back from another trip to Montreal!

Not much to say; I spent most of it in recovery mode, but I got to spend some time shopping for books with one of my kids. He picked out a Schtroumpfs BD and Les Avions to share with his brother, both of which appear to be excellent choices. I also managed to watch a few films and sneak in some reading.


Nice! I'm already missing it - I would have liked to stay all summer. I did the little immigration survey to see if I'd qualify for Quebec residency and it said I should so thinking about that...(will need to finally take one of the exams to certify my French level though). Did you catch the fireworks competition? I thought it was ironic that the delegation from the UK was the one that presented their fireworks show the night of July 4th.

Thanks for the movie suggestions! Netflix is getting pretty decent these days but they still don't get really into the dumb yet entertaining films. Though I do suggest checking out other streaming services such as Amazon Prime for their selection. I watched Madame Irma on there, a dumb but entertaining comedy from the guys from the sketch comedy group Les Inconnus (which is mandatory viewing - huge French cultural reference).
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VivianJ5
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 Message 1316 of 1317
10 July 2015 at 3:04am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
Les Profs (film). The worst
school in France: Only 12% of the students pass the bac. The best teachers have failed. The solution? Send in
the worst teachers. If you like very silly comedy, watch the trailer. :-) This is hilarious, in that over-the-top
comedy sort of way. Difficulty: lots of adolescents and slang, so it's challenging, but not ridiculously so. Also,
there's enough visual comedy here to keep things interesting even for those with weaker comprehension.

images/language/les-profs.png">


Oh, I loved "Les Profs"! And I managed to understand about 90%, which is decent considering I don't always
follow all the French slang, especially anything from the last 20 years or so (was a student there in the mid-80's,
so still remember most of what I learned then), but anything from my kids' generation tends to throw me. And
my husband gets annoyed if I bug him for a translation in the middle of a viewing, not really sure why ;-)...

1 person has voted this message useful





emk
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Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 1317 of 1317
23 July 2015 at 5:12pm | IP Logged 
I have not abandoned this log! My postings here may be light for a while, though, because I'm trying to do 6 things at once.

Cavesa: I just started the audio book of Autre Monde, which I was able to buy from Audible.fr in the US without any problems. So far, it's a a lot of fun, but I'm currently short on listening time!

sctroyenne: It was a pleasure to hang out with you in Montreal!

VivianJ5: Apparently there's a sequel to Les Profs, with the same professors called in to help turn around a very stuff English boarding school. It looks very silly.

Last night, I half-watched some episodes on Foudre on France Ô, the "overseas" channel, which features a lot of badly dubbed telenovelas. Foudre appeared to be badly dubbed and it didn't draw me in.

I had much more success with the French dub of Cobra Alerte, a German series that has apparently been running for 20 years now. This features car chases in really expensive cars, lots of property damage, and entertainingly sarcastic police officers. The dubbing is solid (at least in the episode I saw), and it's definitely worth checking out if you like that sort of thing. It's available via the TMC website if you live in France or have a VPN.

(And I paid up my VPN for 6 months, for a grand total of 30€, because I wanted the bulk discount. This is definitely the cheapest way I've found to get access to lots of French television.)

I have also figure out what Crimes et botanique is! It's apparently a 4-episode miniseries involving two women, one of whom is former police officer. They discover dead bodies while working on gardens. I hear that the miniseries was quite popular in France, and I'm determined to track it down. Here's the trailer.

Edited by emk on 23 July 2015 at 5:13pm



2 persons have voted this message useful



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