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TAC ’15 French Spanish Celtic Adv Study

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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3987 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 9 of 336
14 April 2012 at 10:41am | IP Logged 
Merci ! It's really quite dense so by the time I've gone through it learning the vocabulary and figuring out
the puns it's time for the new one. I' ve already been seeing surenchere and pochette-surprise
elsewhere so it's definitely worth it.
1 person has voted this message useful



Swift
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 3204 days ago

137 posts - 191 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 10 of 336
15 April 2012 at 2:37pm | IP Logged 
Very fascinating story. I don't have the time to read all of your posts, but I really
enjoyed reading your basic story. Funnily enough I'm able to relate to some of your
moments, such as when you realised how your fluency had improved. For instance, even at
my basic level, I had a moment of awe when I realised I was speaking to my friend in
French without having to stop to form the next sentence. The words were just coming out
of my mouth! Your story also helped me to garner some more ideas for what I'll be doing
in the future to continue my learning of French.

If you recall, I am the person from the thread in the advice section who was asking for
help with his continuation of French. For the past 6 weeks I have been studying French
like crazy after nearly 8 months of doing nothing. I managed to forget nearly
everything in that time. Luckily the "forgetting" was only temporary, as I was able to
jog my memory fairly quickly.

My ambition is to go to university in France next year as an under-graduate, but seeing
all you have done to attain your fluency makes me feel daunted. It's only an ambition
at the moment, the desire to explore another country and culture. I've researched the
avenues for applying and getting financial support, but no much else so far. I don't
even know if it is possible to attain a high enough level fluency within 15 months to
make it happen, but I'm enjoying what I'm doing right now, so I'm happy (my friend/
teacher says it is).

Studying the school books outside of school is a lot more fun as I can go much quicker,
as opposed to spending 40 minutes in class doing something ridiculous like trying to
write out a list of nouns. Pretty soon I'll be completely finished with them anyway,
Also I can supplement my learning with talking to natives, podcasts, etc. I hope your
statement that one can make a lot more progress by studying a language themselves holds
true! :P

All the same, I must admit that I am taking up a lot of time with the language. My
usual hobbies have either taken a hit, or have been transformed to suit French.

I don't mean to seem like I see myself as some grand linguist; I am still only an
amateur at the language and I know it. Who knows, this may be a fad for me. But
whatever the case, thanks again for your recounting of your journey with the language!

Edited by Swift on 15 April 2012 at 2:39pm

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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3987 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 11 of 336
15 April 2012 at 3:55pm | IP Logged 
Sweet you're going the road less traveled - directly applying to the university rather than as an
exchange. Linguistically you'll want to be as high as you can get, especially in reading and writing (I'd be
reading articles from French publications pronto). You'll need to learn their process for writing so getting
a guide would be good: work on advanced grammar and connectors and writing format (the best
materials come from France so look on amazon.fr especially for the publishers CLE and PUG). If you
can't enter directly, there's no shame in enrolling in a local university and taking some French courses
(those beyond the 4th semester) to practice and to maybe find a prof that will help you get into the
French system. If all else fails you can go over with an exchange program. Mine was governed by Micefa,
which allows you to take classes directly in French universities. And seeing that I just noticed you're in
Ireland you'd obviously go through Erasmus. It can be a good practice run for doing a
degree there. It actually can be easier to apply to a university when you're already in the country since
you can just go to the university itself rather through the confusing Campus France process when you
apply from outside the country. There are some programs that are just one year licence 3 programs for
example (like European Studies at Paris 3). One word of caution: French universities can be very
demotivating, even the best students succumbed to it. But using self study to get your level up to enter
a French university will be a good practice in self-discipline!

Edited by sctroyenne on 15 April 2012 at 3:58pm

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Swift
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 3204 days ago

137 posts - 191 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 12 of 336
15 April 2012 at 5:50pm | IP Logged 
Thanks very much for your advice, I'll definitely look into those things.

You are certainly right when you say that Campus France is confusing. I've been on it
several times and I still don't know if it is some government/ scholastic organisation,
or just something someone not linked to either of those just made to help prospective
students. Is that the sole way in which one applies from outside the country? I found a
PDF (bac europeen) online for european applicants for under-graduate studies here:
www.admission-postbac.fr/index.php?desc=notices

I haven't had the time to read it all (which is not easy anyway at my current level, to
be honest). I realise the guide is for this year, but would it have just directed me to
Campus France if I were to have made an application before the closing date?

This is all stuff I can figure out, but it seems like you can provide some good insight
considering your unique situation! (If you don't mind, of course)
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3987 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 13 of 336
16 April 2012 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
Not sure for applicants within the EU. One of the points of going through Campus France is that it's
needed to get a student visa but those from the EU wouldn't need a visa. I think there's more info on
individual university sites if you look under "relations internationales" which might go into how EU
nationals apply.
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Swift
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 3204 days ago

137 posts - 191 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: French, Russian

 
 Message 14 of 336
16 April 2012 at 11:21pm | IP Logged 
Ok, thanks again. Yeah, having an EU citizenship makes things so much easy for studying
elsewhere in Europe. I look forward to reading anything else on your journey with French
in the future.
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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3987 days ago

739 posts - 1312 votes 
Speaks: English*, French
Studies: Spanish, Irish

 
 Message 15 of 336
17 April 2012 at 6:18pm | IP Logged 
French
As I said before, I've had the impression this year that my accent has gotten worse. It
may just be in my head as I'm confronted with being a foreigner more and more, but it
may be true. One thing I've noticed is that soon after I got TV5 Monde, the inner-voice
that I heard when I read belonged to one of the regular newscasters (whose voice I
happened to like a lot). But now it's my own "flawed" pronunciation and prosody that I
hear. I've decided to remedy this by listening to audio books. Having 10, 20 or
more hours of a single voice ringing in my head ought to help my French inner voice
(and if not then I just get some extra listening practice and listen to great
literature). For now I'm listening to Jane Eyre since it's an old favorite. I have Le
Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal queued up - I've read almost half of it but set it down
when I got busy and haven't picked it up again so this will prompt me to finish. I
happen to love classic literature so this should be enjoyable.

I've also discovered the wonderful world of podcasts! I knew about language learning
podcasts before, of course. But I discovered an Android app devoted to native French
podcasts: Podkast. It's mostly French news radio but there's also a series of lectures
on various subjects from "Collège de France" that may appeal to a lot of people.

Loving Kaamelott. And it's yielding a lot of new vocab. I only have the first season
(or "livre") but one of the kids in my host family has the rest. Went to improv and
understood mostly everything. Learned a couple new words:
écrabouiller: a stronger synonym for écraser (to crush)
en toc: "toc" by itself means knock, but en toc means something that is fake or of
cheap quality.

Spanish
Finished Michel Thomas Basic! Feels really good - espcially considering how much the
method teaches in just 8 hours. I'll be following up with the Advanced and then I have
to decide how to proceed: Pimsleur for accent and activation of conversatoin? FSI to
drill a deep knowledge of grammar? Assimil (have the French to Spanish Assimil)? Do
some L-R? We'll see I guess. Given my decent passive understanding of Spanish I'd kind
of like to dip my toe into some Spanish literature, such as Isabel Allende, Gabriel
Garcia Marquez, Eduardo Galeno, etc. Maybe reading along with a translation would
help...I think I'll make another visit to Gilbert Jeune and check it out to see if it's
not too over my head.

Irish
Wrote up some of the more difficult grammar on index cards: leniation and eclipses and
their effect on pronunciation and the rules for when it happens, cases, basics on
verbs, etc. It's helping me slowly make sense of the complex grammar and pronunciation
and now when I see a text I can start to pick out things that are familiar to me (such
as "an" followed by a word with an h after the first letter I now recognize as a
feminine noun, after breifly reading about the dentals-dots rule I've picked out a few
examples of it, etc). I ordered and received Buntus Cainte for a more conversational
approach after I finish Pimsleur (I've gone through the last CD but I need to repeat
it). On Amazon the seller said they'd send "An Prionsa Beag" along with it. I thought,
great, whatever that is... Turns out it's the Little Prince! Would be nice to have an
audio version though...



Edited by sctroyenne on 17 April 2012 at 7:42pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Gatsby42
Groupie
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3237 days ago

55 posts - 72 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 16 of 336
18 April 2012 at 6:23pm | IP Logged 
Hello, fellow Romantic here dropping by. =)

I was wondering. Just how easy is Spanish now that you've achieved fluency in French?
French is a language I'm really interested in, but I want to wait until I have fluency in
Spanish to try it. If it's that easy, I wager I could just learn French before I went
into something totally unrelated like Japanese.


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