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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 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 41 of 336
20 June 2012 at 12:19pm | IP Logged 
Continued working through the Spanish book. I keep meaning to switch back to Madrigal’s
Magical Key and Assimil, but I’m going at a pretty good pace right now. I’ve done 25
units – a fifth of the book. It’s started getting a bit harder: ese vs. aquel,
remembering that tanto goes with como and is variable, cualquiera, etc. I've noted that
those are the more difficult topics and I'll put them into Anki and wait until I
encounter them elsewhere (Assimil, reading). Also the book has been using a lot more
vocabulary than at the beginning so I have to stop and look things up more often
(though sometimes I manage to figure out what would grammatically make sense even when
I don’t understand most of the sentence). I really ought to get back to Assimil and the
dialogues, though. But the book is great for cramming all the “grammar words” into my
head which I’ll now recognize when reading. I also downloaded some learner’s podcasts.

I started turning on Veronica Mars in Spanish but I only caught words here and there so
I’m nowhere near being able to sit back and follow a show (though this one would be
more difficult than say, Law and Order). Switched to French – it’s entertaining hearing
the French voices for Dwight from The Office and Barney from How I Met Your Mother and
Bulldog from Frasier doing minor roles on this show (and Barney’s/Bulldog’s voice actor
obviously not anywhere near high school age). One expression keeps jumping out at me:
“être à côté de la plaque” meaning to be wrong, to miss the mark, to go off track, etc.

Saw a play: Piege @ Matignon. It was ok, apart from one character who was incredibly
obnoxious and the climax relied on his obnoxiousness being even more over the top. It’s
about a politician who, upon hearing that his party’s candidate won the presidential
election, has hopes of being named premier ministre (hence the reference to Matignon)
only to have them dashed when a video of him dressed in drag coming home from a costume
party is leaked on the internet. They would sometimes fit in little puns based on real
politicians that it seemed only I understood (or that I understood quicker than the
rest of the audience). One being the politician holding up two blue shirts asking which
one he should wear and his wife says “le bleu marine – ca fait tendance en ce moment”
which is a reference to Marine Le Pen. Though I did miss a couple punch lines and I
hated the aforementioned character who was supposed to be funny so I missed out on some
laughs.

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sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 42 of 336
08 July 2012 at 8:15pm | IP Logged 
I've been negligent in updating and in studying. Trying to enjoy what could likely be
my last moments in Paris/France. Some things that I've been doing: last week I went to
Versailles for the last night of "Mois Moliere" a sort of theatre and arts festival
held every day of June in Versailles centered around Moliere. I saw L'Ecole des Femmes
which wasn't easy to follow without having read it first. I did read a synopsis
beforehand so I could follow the story at least. It was a great day - I had gone
earlier to explore Versailles a bit and I managed to sneak into the palace gardens (I
wasn't looking to but an opportunity presented itself and I didn't even know if the
wide open gate I found led to the gardens or not). When coming out of the play, we all
saw fireworks behind the palace which was just magical. On the train back home I had a
full view of Paris with the sparkling Eiffel Tower - which seriously never gets old. I
also visited Parc Saint Cloud, advertised as one of the most beautiful parks in Europe
and it can certainly live up to that name.

Yesterday I participated in the Chasse aux Tresors de Paris. Each arrondissement
presents a sort of scavenger hunt with cryptic clues which were hidden in the form of a
series of love letters. My team did the expert version for the 9th arrondissement and
we did quite well. The clues were challenging but far from impossible and I even
managed to figure out a few of them for my team which I was proud of. For example the
letter referred to "ivresse" in a sort of throwaway sentence that no one was paying
much attention to which I suspected was significant, then I spotted a wine shop "Le
repaire de Bacchus".

Later last night I went to the last showing of the season of Panic Cinema with a group
from OVS. It's an indie cinema that shows strange, cheesy, unique, etc films on
Saturday nights which has a strong geek following. They try to create a sort of Rocky
Horror atmosphere where everyone is encouraged to have fun. They have special series of
horror and porn films in addition to the more "mainstream" ones. If you still have a
stereotypical view of Paris it would surprise you to find this gem there. They showed
the 80s film "Megaforce" with Barry Bostwick in VF. It was a classic "nanar" - a film
that's so bad it's good (as opposed to a "navet" which is simply a bad film). They
invited the director team that happens to be called Megaforce and who directed videos
for Britney Spears and Madonna and they played some of their work beforehand. The guy
who runs the site Nanarland was there as well.

Other than that I've been doing a bit of Spanish - got to relatives in my book and
picking up Assimil again. I'm also developing plans/ideas for tutoring once I get home.
Thumbed through my Irish book but decided to put it off for the time being.
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Swift
Senior Member
Ireland
Joined 3296 days ago

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

 
 Message 43 of 336
09 July 2012 at 12:04am | IP Logged 
Wow, it sounds like you have been having fun! That theater sounds cool, I wish I had known about it last night as I am leaving on Thursday. Perhaps next time!

Would you like to meet up in Paris for a chat or something? I am here with two friends. No problem if you don't. I would send a PM but they seem to take about 15 days to arrive.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 44 of 336
09 July 2012 at 12:22am | IP Logged 
Well if you end up going to school in Paris you can be a regular.

And yes, I have tons of free time other than early evenings. I'll try to send you some
contact info.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 45 of 336
10 July 2012 at 2:28pm | IP Logged 
My Spanish grammar book is starting to become too hard because of vocabulary (it covers
A1-B2) so I'll switch back to focusing primarily on Assimil and Madrigal's. I got all the
way through interrogatives and exclamatives which I'll also need to review later on (most
likely in whatever Spanish class I end up taking). It still serves as a way to get an
idea of what all the "grammar words" are which helps with basic reading which ought to
help me absorb the basic patterns.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 46 of 336
13 July 2012 at 11:46pm | IP Logged 
Checked out Slow News in Spanish - a great site. I'll be trying to incorporate as much listening practice
as I can in addition to work with courses. The quicker I develop my ear for "real" Spanish the better.
Just one week left here :( Starting work on my future. I contacted my local parks and recreation district
which offers various classes for the community each quarter. They often have conversational classes for
various languages but I emailed them suggesting a class in language learning strategies. They sent me a
proposal form which I'll work on filling out as well as creating a rough class outline and starting
promotion (the proposal is stronger if you can demonstrate interest). My sister works with the chamber
of commerce so I ought to get some help drumming up interest. If I can share my knowledge of how to
achieve language goals with people who would have otherwise shelled out a ton of money on Rosetta
Stone without knowing any better and manage to make a bit of money doing it then that would be
awesome.
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 47 of 336
23 July 2012 at 3:19am | IP Logged 
So this is the last week :'( I had a pretty rough time accepting it the end of last
week but I'm doing better for the moment. I fit in a little Spanish study - some
Assimil and then review of regular verbs before diving into the irregulars. I'm doing
okay with those though it's clearly still in the intellectual part of my brain and not
the habit/instinct part.

Set up my accounts for my little language tutoring business (hope I get students). Need
to give the site/blog a little style, write up a few blog posts and sketch out others,
set up my Amazon affiliate store (I get to make a collection of essential resources AND
potentially make a little money off of it? Sweet) and my local language learning
resource list, convert what I have into my proposal for a "How to Learn a Language"
class for my local parks and rec district and adult school and finalize my business
plan for tutoring. Oh, and I have to pack and take advantage of my last days in Paris.
I think my not-able-to-sleep-on-planes problem won't be much of a problem this time.

I was starting to chicken out about having a blog and all that. Thinking, "Who am I to
pretend to be some kind of expert?" but then I remember that I mainly have it to
support my local tutoring. I can put a URL on the fliers I post up around town so
potential students who want to learn but who aren't the type to spend hours browsing
the internet for guidance can see that I have some useful knowledge that could
potentially help them. Plus I get valuable experience in working freelance, copywriting
and promoting myself using the internet and social media (I did a little stint in
social media marketing at my last job and it seems to be one to harness for future
work). And then I relax a bit. Maybe one day I'll open it up to distance tutoring but
one step at a time. Anyone interested in sharing tips and wisdom through a guest post
let me know!

And in unrelated news, since I have to take some community college courses to be
eligible for the visa program for my next potential move, I've been looking at ways to
make it useful. As a humanities/social sciences person I have a resume filled with soft
skills and a lot of people have been recommending web/programming skills to complement
them. I discovered some web development and web programming certification programs that
won't take too long and will be quite a useful line item on my resume. And my little
side business will give me the opportunity to practice a bit as well. I already thought
of a potentially cool idea for a language learning site (hint: it would work on
listening comprehension) but it'd probably take quite a while for me to get to the
point where I could develop it. But stay tuned... :)
1 person has voted this message useful



sctroyenne
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4079 days ago

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

 
 Message 48 of 336
12 August 2012 at 8:29pm | IP Logged 
So I've been back two weeks. I spent most of my flight home (which was comprised of 4
legs) working on Spanish. Finished Madrigal's Magical Key, reviewed some Michel Thomas
advanced and did quite a few Assimil lessons. Now that I've been through the Madrigal
book I can see how dense an Assimil lesson is. One line will have content that gets
covered over several chapters in Madrigal.

I finished my class proposal and sent it in shortly after I arrived but I haven't heard
anything back yet.

I dived striaght into the job hunt and selling stuff on the side and that's been
consuming most of my time. But it's been slowing down a bit since now I've worked
through the backlog of job postings and now I work on new ones as they come in and
following up on what I've applied to.

With the Olympics being on I end up in front of the TV a lot and I've been catching up
on all the trash TV I've missed. I do switch over from time to time to Spanish TV. On
newscasts and similar stlye programming I can pick out some words here and there and
I've started even being able to pick out some verbs (which I find "disappear" more).
Some commercials I can understand fairly well. What I'm happy to discover is that for
this kind of programming my comprehension seems mostly limited by vocabulary and lack
of strong verb practice but I don't find it overwhelmingly fast. I can sense some
separation of words which is a huge step in being able to comprehend native speech.
Talk shows are pretty hard and series are maybe just a notch or two easier. I also
never noticed just how many Spanish channels there are so it's very easy to immerse.

I definitely need to organize to get some regular French work done. I'll be working on
my fluidity of speech, building up my general active vocabulary in order to talk/write
about a wide range of subjects (lots of Wikipedia) and ironing out some of the major
mistakes I still make such as gender (need to reinforce my rules vs exceptions to the
rules lists), prepositions, concordance des temps, some Franglais structures, etc. How
will I go about all this? I think I'll try making my own phrase tapes from the audio
that I have and just practice, practice, practice. I'll work with some of my many books
for grammar and use Anki to engrain some morphology. And I'll try translating myself
some more to get a better handle on how to say everything I say in English in correct
French.

In addition, I'll be carving out some time to get through my Irish course even if I
have to do it slowly and steadily.


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