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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3692 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 433 of 1317
24 January 2013 at 11:38pm | IP Logged 
Thanks fezmod!

I woke up before the kids and had a slow day at work. So I was able to spend some time reading L'Étrange vie de Nobody Owens, which is a fine translation of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I read in English a couple of years ago. As I mentioned earlier, there's a fair bit of tricky vocabulary in this book, but once I hit full speed, I stopped noticing it.

Anyway, for the first time ever, I made it through a real French book in day. Well, almost. I was on page 20-something when I went to bed last night, and I finished page 251 a few minutes ago.

This really brings back memories of childhood, when I would check 5 "Hardy Boys" books out of the library every week, because that was the limit. One week, they waived the limit and let me check out 10, which I think I actually finished.

Oh, how fun it would be to have the freedom of childhood again (or even a long college break). I could finish the Super Challenge in 2 months, and it would be glorious.

For those of you like slightly somber fairy tales, I recommend L'Étrange vie de Nobody Owens heartily. For a book about a boy raised by ghosts, it's surprisingly sweet and lyrical. (And much to the annoyance of several reviewers on Amazon.fr, it's some of Gaiman's tightest writing, luxuriating in the essential details but ruthlessly omitting anything that isn't necessary.) But then again, if this book was meant for you, you probably already know who Neil Gaiman is. And if this is the case, well, all I can say is that the translator did a good job with this book.

On an unrelated note, I feel like I've mostly said what I had to say on HTLAL. I'll still be around, and I'll still post reviews, and I'll still comment now and then on logs. But I've noticed lately that I'm mostly rewriting posts that I've already written better, and I have a whole stack of French books and DVDs to I want to look through.

So I want to thank everybody who's followed my along my journey and given me good advice and words of encouragement. You're a great bunch of folks, and I'm proud to know you. It's been really amazing to claw my way up from semi-conversational to reading a book in a day. And for those of you who are doing this for the first time, I just want to say that if you keep working it, there will be ups and downs, but it will keep getting easier and easier. And having a second language—even an imperfect and awkward one—is one of life's marvels.

I'll see you all around!

Edited by emk on 24 January 2013 at 11:41pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



aloysius
Triglot
Winner TAC 2010 & 2012
Senior Member
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4400 days ago

226 posts - 291 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English, German
Studies: French, Greek, Italian, Russian

 
 Message 434 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 12:55am | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
I read Tintin : L'Île Noire in something like a half hour list night. It's one of the easiest Tintin's
that I've read, and the plot follows Chandler's famous advice: "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with
a gun in his hand." My two favorite Tintin volumes, Objective Lune and On a marché sur la lune, are a lot
more substantial.


Well, actually Objectif Lune (that's the spelling of my wall poster) and L'Île Noire were my first BD:s (in Swedish of
course) at the age of 6 or 7 and while I had to postpone reading the former, because it's certainly not one of the
easiest Tinin's to read, I agree that it's one of the best and I soon intend to set my teeth into the Russian edition,
which I bought in Brussels last year (but I've always kept The Black Island close at heart because it was my first love).

And I must certainly read Persepolis in French. I've seen the movie and I really, really love it! Thank you emk for all
your recommendations and a truly inspiring log.

See you around!

//aloysius

Edited by aloysius on 25 January 2013 at 12:56am

1 person has voted this message useful



Expugnator
Hexaglot
Senior Member
Brazil
Joined 3326 days ago

3335 posts - 4349 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, Norwegian, French, English, Italian, Papiamento
Studies: Mandarin, Georgian, Russian

 
 Message 435 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 1:48am | IP Logged 
emk, I really hope you won't abandon us, hope you'll still watch the topic for giving us
some advice =D Thanks a lot.

Btw guys, feel free to visit my log, I'm getting close to the stage emk was when he
started this one and maybe we can help each other:



French:
Business, but not only

1 person has voted this message useful



iguanamon
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Virgin Islands
Speaks: Ladino
Joined 3422 days ago

2224 posts - 6708 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

 
 Message 436 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 4:23am | IP Logged 
Emk, I totally understand the need to take a break. I hope, one day, after you reach your new goal to take your French even farther, that you'll look back over the 55 pages you've written here. I hope you'll use this log (with the trials and tribulations, the techniques and the materials that worked for you) as a basis to write the French version of Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish. It would be well received.

It's all here, you've just got to put it together. Just like Joseph J. Keenan, the non-native Spanish-speaking author of Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish, who better to show a learner of French how to go beyond that first course than someone who was once where they are now!

You have inspired so many of us with your Buffy the Vampire Slayer, BD's, and Subs2srs, myself included. We were all rooting for you to pass your B-2 exam, though, really, we all knew you'd pass with flying colors. You have proved that engaging with the language works. Even though I'm not learning French, reading your log makes me want to do just that. I will continue to recommend your log to anyone who asks "what do I do now that I have finished X course?". Your log shows why you should read logs even if they aren't about your TL. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

Edited by iguanamon on 25 January 2013 at 4:30am

3 persons have voted this message useful





songlines
Pro Member
Canada
flickr.com/photos/cp
Joined 3369 days ago

729 posts - 1056 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 437 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 4:36am | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:
I just saw where you have reached your 1,000th post on HTLAL. Congratulations, emk!
Your posts are always well reasoned and helpful. Your advice is never negative or dismissive. Your votes to posts
ratio serves as a testament to your immense value to this forum.

You have probably written one of the best guides there is to advancing in a second language from a practical
standpoint. When anyone wants to know how to progress after a course, this log is a great place to start to see
what kind of effort is needed to do just that. ...


EMK, I was going to post my congratulations on your millestone, echo Iguanamon's comments, and add my
thanks...

emk wrote:

On an unrelated note, I feel like I've mostly said what I had to say on HTLAL. I'll still be around, and I'll still post
reviews, and I'll still comment now and then on logs. But I've noticed lately that I'm mostly rewriting posts that
I've already written better, and I have a whole stack of French books and DVDs to I want to look through.

So I want to thank everybody who's followed my along my journey and given me good advice and words of
encouragement. You're a great bunch of folks, and I'm proud to know you. It's been really amazing to claw my
way up from semi-conversational to reading a book in a day. And for those of you who are doing this for the first
time, I just want to say that if you keep working it, there will be ups and downs, but it will keep getting easier and
easier....I'll see you all around!


Your log is/has been amazing: interesting, inspiring, and eloquent. As a forum-reader, I'm a little (selfishly)
saddened by your news; but - as a librarian with her own stacks of books awaiting- I entirely understand your
decision to focus more on your own reading and film-viewing. - Glad you'll still be around; I'll always look
forward to your reviews and insights on language learning, whenever and on whichever thread you post them.

emk wrote:

And having a second language—even an imperfect and awkward one—is one of life's marvels.


Yes!

1 person has voted this message useful



tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 2825 days ago

1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
Studies: Italian

 
 Message 438 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 1:42pm | IP Logged 
I definitely understand the feeling of having said everything I wanted to say on a forum. Thanks for your great posts, recommendations, advice, and also for my first conversation in French ever! All the best to you. :-)

Edited by tastyonions on 25 January 2013 at 1:43pm

1 person has voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2848 days ago

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

 
 Message 439 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 2:58pm | IP Logged 
iguanamon wrote:

Even though I'm not learning French, reading your log makes me want to do just that.


I wasn't studying French or planning to when I first started reading this log. Perhaps I was influenced...

emk wrote:

I'll still be around, and I'll still post reviews, and I'll still comment now and then on logs.


Really? And spoil your bravado ending? A strange man wanders into the troubled French frontier town of DELF, shoots a bunch of badguys with his Anki, and then rides off into the sunset while the mayor's beautiful daughter cries while remembering the sweetness of his subtitles? You can't come back after that! ;-)

OK, back in the real world, hope to see you around still!
1 person has voted this message useful



mick33
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4084 days ago

1335 posts - 1632 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Finnish
Studies: Thai, Polish, Afrikaans, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Swedish

 
 Message 440 of 1317
25 January 2013 at 8:52pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
On an unrelated note, I feel like I've mostly said what I had to say on HTLAL. I'll still be around, and I'll still post reviews, and I'll still comment now and then on logs. But I've noticed lately that I'm mostly rewriting posts that I've already written better, and I have a whole stack of French books and DVDs to I want to look through.

So I want to thank everybody who's followed my along my journey and given me good advice and words of encouragement. You're a great bunch of folks, and I'm proud to know you. It's been really amazing to claw my way up from semi-conversational to reading a book in a day. And for those of you who are doing this for the first time, I just want to say that if you keep working it, there will be ups and downs, but it will keep getting easier and easier. And having a second language—even an imperfect and awkward one—is one of life's marvels.

I'll see you all around!
Thank you for this interesting and very informative log. I have followed this log from the beginning. I didn't comment before because I had no advice to give. I figured it was best for me to read what you wrote and learn what it takes to actually get to B2 level, and maybe beyond that as well, in a language. You have explained it very well and I now have a better understanding of what to do to get to that level myself.

Mick



Edited by mick33 on 25 January 2013 at 9:12pm



1 person has voted this message useful



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