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emk
Diglot
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United States
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 481 of 1317
27 February 2013 at 6:01pm | IP Logged 
fireballtrouble wrote:
Voilà un autre membre visant au niveau C1 pour la fin de l'année comme vous, je trouve
votre programme et vos tâches d'études très bien fondés et productifs.


Merci ! Ma première tâche est d'améliorer ma compréhension orale jusqu'au point où je puisse comprendre plus de 95 % de presque toutes les émissions que je croise, et ça sans grand effort. Pour ça, il faut améliorer mon décodage de base des sons français.

garyb wrote:
Thanks for the clarification; I suppose I got the wrong idea from reading your stuff about feeling tired out after a certain amount of listening work, and assumed that it was full-on, extremely focused work.


Even when I don't use the rewind button, simply paying close attention can be hard work. Here's the day that melted my brain:

Quote:
23 Feb 2013 : banlieu 13 30 minutes ← Lots of slang.
23 Feb 2013 : les années lumière 45 minutes ← Conversation, lots of Quebec accents.
23 Feb 2013 : la révolution tranquille 52 minutes ← Lots of old Quebec accents.
23 Feb 2013 : planète terre 60 minutes
23 Feb 2013 : europe 1 midi 54 minutes ← Fast conversation.
23 Feb 2013 : planète terre 60 minutes ← Started to fade out during the last 20 minutes.


Obviously, this day was a bit insane, though not quite up to AJATT standards. :-)

My goal was to give all this audio my complete, undivided attention. In reality, my mind would wander a bit, especially when the podcasts had a boring segment, or towards the end of a long listening session. About half of this listening was on my really good headphones, often with my eyes shut. I used subs only for Banlieu 13. I used the rewind button very little.

At the moment, my primary goal isn't to go after the "n+5" audio, but rather to pay attention to the "n+1" and "n+2" audio and turn it all into "n-1" audio through sheer familiarity. When I stop making obvious gains, I'll probably do some more subs2srs to chip away at the hard stuff. Like I said, this may not be the most efficient way to learn, but it's a good fit for my current needs and motivation.

Edited by emk on 27 February 2013 at 6:26pm

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3576 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 482 of 1317
28 February 2013 at 2:21pm | IP Logged 
Look what I discovered this morning: Khan Academy lectures in French. It's about 95% math classes, but hey, I like math.

I've already watched two videos on Poisson distributions. For me this qualifies as really interesting native content, and I already have quite a bit of context.

If you're interested in online classes in your target language, I've started a thread with more links to the Khan Academy and to the Coursera courses that Kerrie recently discovered.
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schoenewaelder
Diglot
Senior Member
Germany
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759 posts - 1197 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: German, Spanish, Dutch

 
 Message 483 of 1317
28 February 2013 at 4:38pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
My goal was to give all this audio my complete, undivided attention. In reality, my mind would wander a bit..


Do you sometimes find that your mind just always wanders at the same point. I mean, sometimes I am trying to listen to quite a short file, and even if I replay it half a dozen times, my mind seems to wander at apparently roughly the same point, even though it doesn't seem to be any less interesting, or more uninteresting, than anything else. Eventually I just give up and move on to something else. It's kind of weird though.

PS. don't worry, I'm not stalking you.
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emk
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Joined 3576 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
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 Message 484 of 1317
04 March 2013 at 1:03am | IP Logged 
schoenewaelder wrote:
Do you sometimes find that your mind just always wanders at the same point. I mean, sometimes I am trying to listen to quite a short file, and even if I replay it half a dozen times, my mind seems to wander at apparently roughly the same point, even though it doesn't seem to be any less interesting, or more uninteresting, than anything else. Eventually I just give up and move on to something else. It's kind of weird though.


My mind does lots of strange things, many of which are not all that helpful. :-) I find it especially hard to pay attention when I'm tired.

Another goal

While I'm in the mood to set specific goals, let's add one more to the list: I would love to earn 5% of my company's revenue from French-speaking clients this year. This will probably mean making a few trips up to Montreal to hang out with folks at technology and business events.

Why? Well, my French is good enough for certain kinds of professional work. And if I have a business reason to use more French, then I can justify more time studying it. :-)
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jhaberstro
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2437 days ago

112 posts - 154 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Portuguese

 
 Message 485 of 1317
04 March 2013 at 2:05am | IP Logged 
If you don't mind me asking, what is your profession? I take it from your interest in the math-related online courses
you posted of that you're in a science or tech field?
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emk
Diglot
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United States
Joined 3576 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
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 Message 486 of 1317
09 March 2013 at 9:40pm | IP Logged 
jhaberstro wrote:
If you don't mind me asking, what is your profession? I take it from your interest in the math-related online courses you posted of that you're in a science or tech field?


I develop software (server-side, client-side and Android), mostly for startups and other companies where the right code can make a big difference. The working language of my field is definitely English, but with luck, I'll be able to find a French-speaking client or two who doesn't want to translate everything into English.

If I'm going to pull this off, I need to practice my French sales pitch. :-) Speaking is actually one of my weaker skills (a lot closer to B2 than C1), and I need to get my speed up without sacrificing correctness. Maybe it's time to get in touch with my old tutor again?

Anyway, I'm crazy busy this month with a large project, and there's a medium-sized one in the pipeline. So I'm going to continue having fun with French this month, but in a more relaxed fashion.

De la démocratie en Amérique

I'm currently reading Tocqueville's De la démocratie en Amérique, which was published in 1835. At this point, the United States was thriving (and relatively peaceful), but France was still suffering from frequent changes of government. The July Monarchy had been established in 1930, and it would be followed by the Second Republic in 1948.

As I understand it, Tocqueville was of noble birth, but he was strong supporter of democracy. However, like much of the old nobility, he recognized that democracy in France was a bit of a mess. His book De la démocratie en Amérique was a serious attempt to figure out how the United States had achieved a prosperous and peaceful democratic order.

I'm really enjoying this book. Tocqueville is an extraordinarily clear writer, and he spends much of his time explaining small-town New England, where I grew up. Interestingly, I now find it considerably easier to understand Tocqueville in French than to understand Hobbes (The Leviathan, 1651) in English.

This is also one of the books which "anchors" my sense of the formal register in French. Tocqueville was an exceptionally good prose stylist, and his language is much less dated than most English-language prose from the 1830s.

Progress

Two bits of good news:

* My French R is finally starting to displace my tapped R. I've been working on this for about 10 months now, on and off. Interesting, I still tap the R in certain phonetic contexts, including in chérie. But with each passing month, a few phonetic contexts will switch to the new form.

* Something is changing in my gender system. More and more, instead of having to manually track gender (except for the most common words), my brain is starting to prompt me with semi-accurate word forms, even in some relatively tricky cases. This is a promising sign. For some reason, I've struggled more with gender in French than almost anything else.

I've been through this process several times before, with the pronoun en and the subjunctive. First I become highly aware of it speech, then my brain starts trying to get it right (this often manifests as a vague sense that something should be happening in a given sentence), and then I eventually start using it automatically. So wish me luck.

Edited by emk on 09 March 2013 at 11:08pm

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tastyonions
Triglot
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goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
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 Message 487 of 1317
09 March 2013 at 11:02pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
* My French R is finally starting to displace my tapped R. I've been working on this for about 10 months now, on and off. Interesting, I still tap the R in certain phonetic contexts, including in chérie. But with each passing month, a few phonetic contexts will switch to the new form.

Heh, one of the weirdest things in my experience of French phonology is that I sometimes feel a strange urge to tap the Rs in "acquérir", but in no other word.

And for some reason I occasionally think that "bailar" is a French word (even though the English verb is so much closer to "dancer", haha). :-)
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jhaberstro
Senior Member
United States
Joined 2437 days ago

112 posts - 154 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Portuguese

 
 Message 488 of 1317
09 March 2013 at 11:53pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:
jhaberstro wrote:
If you don't mind me asking, what is your profession? I take it from your interest
in the math-related online courses you posted of that you're in a science or tech field?


I develop software (server-side, client-side and Android), mostly for startups and other companies where the right
code can make a big difference. The working language of my field is definitely English, but with luck, I'll be able to
find a French-speaking client or two who doesn't want to translate everything into English.

If I'm going to pull this off, I need to practice my French sales pitch. :-) Speaking is actually one of my weaker skills
(a lot closer to B2 than C1), and I need to get my speed up without sacrificing correctness. Maybe it's time to get in
touch with my old tutor again?

Anyway, I'm crazy busy this month with a large project, and there's a medium-sized one in the pipeline. So I'm
going to continue having fun with French this month, but in a more relaxed fashion.

Cool! I'm a CS major with a couple of co-ops/internships under my belt so I'm familiar with the field :-). I'd be
interested to hear, a ways down the road, how your experiences with French and the software industry pans out.

There has been two areas that I've experienced where I've found opportunities one could interact with software in
French. The first that I noticed is the greater focus on software localization by large companies such as Apple. I
think this is purely a byproduct of the fact that the company (and its consumer base) has gotten so large that they
simply can no longer treat non-English translations of their software as an after thought. This is especially true of
their Chinese market, but also of their European markets. For example, some of the interesting areas of work that
I've seen are: (1) designing UI and UX that is language agnostic; this is a lot harder of a problem than at first glance
because of different cultural perceptions of color/symbols, the direction in which different languages are written,
and simple spacing issues caused by varying lengths of translations. And (2), voice controlled "assistants" like Siri. I
saw a talk given by a developer from the Siri team, and it was fascinating to see the lengths that they go through to
get cultural references and jokes correct for each target language. They have whole teams of linguistics and
translators devoted to making sure Siri "acts" correctly dependent on the language, and even the region dialect that
the user speaks (ie, different jokes and references for a French-French speaker and a Canadian-French speaker).

I've also noticed that there is just a huge body of theoretical CS research and PL research that comes out of France.
Also, basically anything ML/OCaml related XD. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised though, considering how big INRIA
is.
It's not quite the same as writing software for French speakers, but still a way to work on software while using
French :-).



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