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emk
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 Message 777 of 1317
07 November 2013 at 2:17am | IP Logged 
Random observations:

- Topito (which I learned about from sctroyenne) continues to be an endless source of strange informal slang and occasional bits of archaic vocabulary.

- The French dub of Castle is very good, and it's one of the few series where I can switch between English and French without being shocked by the different voices. There are three episodes on VoilaTV every Monday evening, US Eastern time.

- My listening comprehension has actually decreased slightly since I switched back from massive reading to watching French TV. Nothing serious, but it's often taking me 5 or 10 minutes to fully synchronize with weird things I find on TV.

- I was channel surfing on VoilaTV today and ran into Bunny Maloney, an original French animated series. This is seriously weird and cannot possibly be explained.
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emk
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 Message 778 of 1317
07 November 2013 at 11:01pm | IP Logged 
Ah, there we go. My listening comprehension is back, and my speaking is better. My French is still pretty vulnerable to seasonal illnesses, brain-fry, etc. Anyway, I've been up working since 5:30am, and I'm taking a few minutes to veg out and watch French cartoons on Voiloo.

Cartoons I've seen in French

French classics:

Ulysse 31 (where was this when I was 8? too cool, watched it all)
Captaine Flam (too expensive)
Tintin (clear voices, comes recommended, follows BDs closely from what I can tell)

Kid's stuff:

Caillou (awesome, for very young kids)
Oui-Oui (not actually watchable by adults)
Kiki (not actually watchable by adults)

On Voiloo:

Trio de choc (weird, with an insane Picasso as the villain)
Bunny Maloney (rabbits piloting giant robots, completely surreal, a few episodes legally available online?)
Ploof Olly Ploof (talking submarines, clear voices, suitable for small kids)

Random:

Cobra (awesome 80s theme song, but not to my taste)

Dubbed:

Scobby Doo (decent dub, nice and predictable)
L'Avatar, le dernier maître de l'air (absolutely amazing)

For an intermediate French student, cartoons are sort of a mixed bag. You usually can't get subs, and there's almost always one or two characters with vocal distortions (robots, villains, etc.). But once you've watched a season or three of easy stuff, there's a ton of amusing, easily comprehensible material out there. And the DVDs are often reasonably priced on Amazon.fr.
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sctroyenne
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 Message 779 of 1317
07 November 2013 at 11:09pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

- Topito (which I learned about from sctroyenne)
continues to be an endless source of strange informal slang and occasional bits of
archaic vocabulary.


I just recently saw an article with a tongue-in-cheek take on le tutoiement that
provides some good cultural insight into that topic
here.

Edited by sctroyenne on 07 November 2013 at 11:10pm

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emk
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 Message 780 of 1317
07 November 2013 at 11:34pm | IP Logged 
sctroyenne wrote:
I just recently saw an article with a tongue-in-cheek take on le tutoiement that provides some good cultural insight into that topic
here.

Yeah, I laughed at that one, and snagged quite a few sentences, including this one:

Quote:
2. Quand tu es incarcéré pour une affaire sordide
Peut-être que dans le quartier VIP de la Santé, on met encore les formes entre abus de biens sociaux et faux et usages de faux, mais entre détenus poissés pour trafic de stupéfiants […] en réunion, la camaraderie est de mise et on se tutoie d'emblée.

I'd only learned d'emblée a week or so before, thanks to an article in Le Monde. But that's Topito for you: random combinations of slang and fairly formal vocabulary. Many thanks for introducing me to the site!

Have you seen girlsandgeeks? I wouldn't necessarily read it at the office, because she links to some off-color stuff, but it's an excellent example of an extremely informal but still "educated" style. For example, here's her essay on Anonymous' role in publicizing the Steubenville crimes.

I really treasure informal, written French. It's so hard to find, at least if I want it to be spelled correctly.

Edited by emk on 07 November 2013 at 11:35pm

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sctroyenne
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 Message 781 of 1317
08 November 2013 at 12:08am | IP Logged 
They sure do have a lot of gems. I know I've heard of that other site somewhere (maybe
from you).
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emk
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 Message 782 of 1317
09 November 2013 at 4:26am | IP Logged 
I have an urge to go on a French TV binge. I've got my trusty VoilaTV, and I just placed an Amazon order:

- Le trône de fer, season 2.
- La légende de Korra, season 1, book 1.
- Tintin, l'intégral (21 episodes). A little easy, but everyone keeps praising it.

I've found that massive quantities of reading help with listening comprehension, but they don't help me with speaking. Let's see what lots of listening will do for my speaking skills.

My French math class starts in a few weeks, too. I'm really looking forward to this, and I hope they haven't dumbed it down too much for online consumption.

Edited by emk on 09 November 2013 at 4:37am

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emk
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 Message 783 of 1317
10 November 2013 at 2:49am | IP Logged 
My Anki reviews have been averaging 18 to 20 minutes per day for a while now, and spiked to 25 minutes today. This is still manageable, but I want to keep it below 30 minutes per day. The next big bump in review time will occur in 3 or 4 weeks.

In a few days, I will have seen all cards I created from 3 of my last 5 books. I'm seeing this vocabulary everywhere, which makes me very happy indeed—apparently there were quite a few medium-frequency words that had somehow escaped my extensive reading.

SRS Collector is coming along nicely. I'm working on an Anki plugin that automatically imports cards, media, card models, deck names, etc., from the server. Just select "Import from SRS Collector...", enter your login information, and everything else happens automatically:






There's still more work to do before I make this available to my beta testers. But I'm getting close. Combining the SRS Collector site with the Chrome plugin and the Anki plugin makes it ridiculously easy to learn new vocabulary while reading on the web. And sctroyenne made a wonderful suggestion that I want to implement at some point: Import Kindle highlight files.

For any programmers in the audience, I'll also be providing complete source code and easy-to-use REST APIs.

Speaking

Happy news: My speaking has bounced back considerably over the last few days, including a lot of my automatic gender stuff. This is what happens when I watch a lot of French TV and sleep 8 hours a night for several nights in a row.

Edited by emk on 10 November 2013 at 2:59am

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emk
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 Message 784 of 1317
11 November 2013 at 10:03pm | IP Logged 
I've been interested for a long time by Khatzumoto's MCD format. I've used it before to learn lots of multi-word connector phrases like en tant que. But Khatzumoto also uses it for learning individual vocabulary words. This works especially well in Chinese, where many words are actually two-word compounds.

I'm trying to figure out how to adapt this technique to French. In my usual spirit of "It's impossible to make an Anki card which is too easy to be useful," I've decided to try clozing each half of a word independently. For example:

Quote:
Dans une cage rouillée suspendue aux remparts, un {{c1::écor}}{{c2::ché}} figé dans la glace semblait attendre le dégel. On pouvait voir chaque muscle, chaque organe, et les yeux encore dans leurs globes. À son rictus effroyable, on comprenait qu’il avait été {{c1::écor}}{{c2::ché}} vif…

Qui a perdu sa peau en parlant de personnes.

Here, this would create two cards, each hiding half:

Quote:
…un écor[...] figé…
…un [...]ché figé…

If I'm right, these should be much easier than full-word clozes, but still more effective than my usual recognition cards. Let's see if this works out.

Edited by emk on 12 November 2013 at 3:44pm



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