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Cavesa
Triglot
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Czech Republic
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3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
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 Message 785 of 1317
12 November 2013 at 2:50pm | IP Logged 
hmm. your srs collector with anki plugin sounds like a dream :-)
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emk
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 786 of 1317
12 November 2013 at 6:59pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
hmm. your srs collector with anki plugin sounds like a dream :-)

I'm glad to hear you're interested! There's no point in building software if people aren't enthusiastic about using it. :-)

By the way, if anybody wants to try SRS Collector, the web site, the Chrome plugin, and the Anki addon are all available to my testers. Just send me a PM with your email address, and I'll get you set up. All I ask in exchange is that you send me email saying what worked well for you, and what didn't.

Once enough intrepid testers have tried it out, I'll make it available to everybody on HTLAL.

Recently added features:

- Cloze cards. This is still a bit of an "easter egg", or hidden feature. I'm still thinking through the user interface here.

- Images on cards. This costs me a small amount of money, so it's only available to people who support the site in some way: testers, translators, people who help me add languages, and so on. Think of this bribery to help make the site better. :-) Alternatively, you could just download the source code and pay for the various back-end services yourself.

Things I want to support soon:

- Spanish.
- Directly importing Kindle highlight files.

Essentially every single user except me wants Kindle highlight files, so it needs to happen.
1 person has voted this message useful



geoffw
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
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1134 posts - 1865 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Yiddish
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 Message 787 of 1317
18 November 2013 at 8:27pm | IP Logged 
emk wrote:

I'm really glad that I can read first-rate French science fiction these days. There's
actually a surprising amount of it, and I'm getting better at finding it.


Sorry if I missed it, but any hints as to how you've gone about finding good French
Sci-Fi? I'd be interested in both the particulars (for when my French improves, or for
a real "stretch-goal"), as well as the general principles, which I might try to apply
in my (possibly less-likely-to-succeed) search for good German Sci-Fi.

FWIW: I just took a leap and picked up "Das Cusanus Spiel," after looking through the
German Sci-Fi awards for the last 10-15 years or so and then seeing what I could find
still in print and at a reasonable price. This also is a time-travel novel, with some
disappointed amazon reviewers, but also some very pleased reviewers. It seems to have
been panned worse in English translation than in the original, interstingly.
1 person has voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
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United States
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 Message 788 of 1317
20 November 2013 at 5:17am | IP Logged 
geoffw wrote:
Sorry if I missed it, but any hints as to how you've gone about finding good French Sci-Fi? I'd be interested in both the particulars (for when my French improves, or for a real "stretch-goal"), as well as the general principles, which I might try to apply in my (possibly less-likely-to-succeed) search for good German Sci-Fi.

My best tool for finding French media, by far, has been SensCritique. I start with their various "top N" lists, dig down into the theme lists, and then start looking at which users have made lists including a given book. Then I drill down into those lists.

I also get a lot of mileage out of in-person visits to Librairie Planète BD in Montréal and Schoenhof's Boston bookstore. Whenever possible, I ask for personal recommendations and spend an hour picking through books. As for French TV, I've recently found some good series by channel surfing on VoilàTV.

Montreal: The arrival

On my way into the city Friday, I saw this billboard:



This was a good omen, because I had learned de souche "native for generations" using SRS Collector just this past month.

Montreal: The hospital

Unfortunately, Saturday morning started with a broken lamp and an unpleasant electric shock. (Don't worry, I'm fine.) In such cases, it's apparently recommend to get a quick ECG just to make sure you won't drop dead 12 hours later. So I crammed some vocabulary from this excellent article and went dutifully off to the hospital.

This was actually an eye-opening experience, because I've always said, "I'm happy to use French in any situations except those involving doctors or lawyers." But as it turns out, (a) every person I spoke to at the hospital seemed to be near-native bilingual (with a strong Quebecois accent in French), and (b) when people started talking to me in French, it seemed perfectly natural and straightforward to respond the same way. Usually after a couple of minutes we'd wind up using English, especially once they figured out I was from the US, but I've never insisted on speaking French to people who obviously speak English just as well as I do.

Anyway, they ran all the standard tests for 110v electric shock, and sent me on my way with a clean diagnosis and some bills that I'm sure will take months of paperwork to sort out with my insurance company. In a strange way, this actually addressed one of my biggest fears about living in a French-speaking country: I now know that I have a decent chance of dealing with certain kinds of emergencies.

But throughout the experience, my French was in fine form, and I managed to read a quarter of La main gauche de la nuit, which is a perfectly fine French translation of Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness.

I finished up my day with my favorite Sri Lankan/Quebec fusion dish, poutine au kari, which just goes to show how good poutine can be with a quality curry sauce instead of gravy:



Montreal: Crêpes, books and BDs!

Sunday, it was time for trip to my favorite bit of Rue St Denis, which I discovered earlier this year thanks to songlines. First stop was a true Breton crêpe au caramel au beurre salé at La Bulle au Carré, which features BDs lined up along all of its walls:



Next stop was Librairie Michel Fortin, a truly excellent source of books for language learners, where I put in a special order for the MP3 audio to go along with an Assimil course. As usual, no problem using French throughout this entire transaction:



Then it was time to indulge myself with a trip to Librairie Planète BD in Montréal, which is a worthy pilgrimage destination for anyone who loves BDs:



My final acquisitions:



Yes, volume 5 of Antares is out! I picked up La leçon de peche to read to the kids, and another volume of Paul, which I'm confident will be amazing as always. But the big discovery is that gorgeous tome on the right, Sanctuaire. It's everything the cover promises: gorgeous illustrations, a navy submarine, and a sinister, forgotten alien city lurking deep beneath the surface of the ocean. I'll definitely be picking up tomes 2 and 3 at some point.

And yes, all these businesses are really within about a two-block stretch of Rue St Denis.

Waiting for me at home

Just in case I hadn't already been spoiled rotten, I found the following Amazon.fr package waiting for me at home:



Plouf Olly Plouf is an adorable French series for a 5-year-old near you (as long as they're not scared by occasional grumpy marine fauna with teeth), and I've started watching it with my kids. I'm really looking forward to the two series on top, both of which have been extremely well-dubbed so far. And Tintin should be lots of good fun, if not much of a challenge.

Anyway, another awesome weekend in Montreal. When I get enough sleep, and spend an hour or so "warming up", my French is quite serviceable: I can deal with a wide range of situations, I can understand 80% of Quebec French, even between natives, and I can speak fast enough that people with native-sounding English will mostly humor me in French if I'm so inclined.

Now if I could only lock in that level and work on a few weak spots, then I'd feel pretty good about sitting the DALF C1. But my speaking still has a huge range of variability, depending on sleep, colds, activation and similar factors.

In 6 days, I start my trial by fire. :-)
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kanewai
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
justpaste.it/kanewai
Joined 3081 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 
 Message 789 of 1317
20 November 2013 at 8:40am | IP Logged 
I learned about that section of Rue St Denis from songlines' posts also. It's wonderful,
yeah? It should be a place of pilgrimage for everyone on HTLAL!

And Sanctuaire has been on my wishlist ... I look forward to your reviews. I have
a few series I want to finish up before I start on any new ones.

Edited by kanewai on 20 November 2013 at 8:41am

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
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2615 posts - 8805 votes 
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 Message 790 of 1317
20 November 2013 at 1:26pm | IP Logged 
kanewai wrote:
I learned about that section of Rue St Denis from songlines' posts also. It's wonderful, yeah? It should be a place of pilgrimage for everyone on HTLAL!

Between the language books, two BD shops, the crepes and (I think songlines said) a good coffee shop, it's a lovely spot. Just be sure to bring money. :-)

kanewai wrote:
And Sanctuaire has been on my wishlist ... I look forward to your reviews. I have a few series I want to finish up before I start on any new ones.

If you like the cover of Sanctuaire, you'll almost certainly like the book. Like Siegfried, it has some gorgeous illustrations, including a spectacular 2-page spread at one point. Writing-wise, it hits all the necessary notes:



So if you like a good bit of Lovecraftian horror, I'd say it's worth buying.
1 person has voted this message useful



tastyonions
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
goo.gl/UIdChYRegistered users can see my Skype Name
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1044 posts - 1823 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Spanish
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 Message 791 of 1317
21 November 2013 at 11:48am | IP Logged 
Je ne sais pas si ça t'intéresserait, mais hier j'ai vu une vidéo qui parlait de "La Revue Dessinée", un magazine d'actualités (dessinées) qui sort trimestriellement : lien.

Je sais que tu es plutôt côté science-fiction mais je pensais en faire mention. :-)

Edited by tastyonions on 21 November 2013 at 11:48am

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emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3724 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
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 Message 792 of 1317
21 November 2013 at 8:17pm | IP Logged 
tastyonions wrote:
Je ne sais pas si ça t'intéresserait, mais hier j'ai vu une vidéo qui parlait de "La Revue Dessinée", un magazine d'actualités (dessinées) qui sort trimestriellement : lien.


Merci ! C'est très cool.

French TV

For those readers who still appreciate subs, the Tintin TV series has French subs! They're often an abbreviated version of the actual dialog, but I think they'd still be good enough for most intermediate students. Plus the plots track the BDs very, very closely. If you like Tintin, this series is definitely worth getting.

Since several people (including Sg1) have been enjoying Les Revenants lately, I've decided to actually get around to watching more than the first episode. I liked it well enough, but my wife wasn't really into it, so we spent a bunch of time on other series instead.

So I rewatched the first episode yesterday, and I have to say, it's a really good series. It's slow and moody, but the dialog is nicely idiomatic. Let's just hope that it's going somewhere specific, and not wandering around being generically mysterious while the writers try to make up their minds about what happens next.

Edited by emk on 21 November 2013 at 8:19pm



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