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PMs TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

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Senior Member
United States
Joined 3345 days ago

187 posts - 222 votes 
Studies: French

 Message 265 of 451
15 January 2015 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
If I had all those courses I would have so many false starts. It's impressive how dedicated to your courses
you are. I too like the structure and routine of a textbook or program and will probably always use one just
to help keep me grounded. Anyways, your progress has been impressive! good luck this year.

Edited by fortheo on 15 January 2015 at 1:42pm

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Senior Member
Joined 2538 days ago

155 posts - 226 votes 
Speaks: German*, English
Studies: French, Dutch

 Message 266 of 451
17 January 2015 at 1:33pm | IP Logged 
As already said - you have my full admiration. I, too, will patiently wait for your review of all these courses, since I am not doing sufficient coursework right now and will have to add this later - and then benefit so much from your experience!
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Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3785 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 267 of 451
18 January 2015 at 5:25am | IP Logged 
Merci Iolanthe, fortheo et Suzie...

Si on étudie tous les jours à peu près à la même heure du jour on peut alors
développer un système avec lequel on accumulera beaucoup d'heures d'études dans une
semaine, dans un mois, dans une année. Si on peut se lever tôt le matin à la même
heure tous les matins avec un projet clair et des buts clairs aussi, alors ça égalera
aussi beaucoup d'heures d'études. Puis si on ajoutera des divertissement pour les
loisirs dans sa langue qu'on étudie, alors ça égalera beaucoup plus d'heures.
Heuresement j'ai un travail avec lequel je peux travailler le plus souvant le soir, et
pour ça c'est plus facile pour moi à développer un bon projet.
Thank you Iolanthe, fortheo, and Suzie

If one studies every day around the same time of day one is able to then develop a
system with which one can accumulate a lot of study hours within a week, a month, a
year. If you can get up early in the morning at the same time every morning with a
clear plan and clear goals as well, that too will equal a lot of study hours. Then if
you at entertainment for leisure in your language of study, that too will equal a lot
more hours. Fortunately I have a job with which I can work mostly in the evening, and
for that reason it's easier for me to develop a good plan.

Les cours sont bons pour comprendre les règles, pour développer un bon accent, pour
analyser une langue. Mais je dois dire que j'ai l'impression apès que j'ai lu beaucoup
d'expériences des autres personnes qui apprennent des langues étrangères que les cours
sont seulement un élément d'un ensemble d'activités q'on doit utiliser pour
perfectionner tous les aspects d'une langue. il y a pas beaucoup de temps je pensais
que j'avais besoin seulement des cours et j'ai voulu parler beaucoup de langues
couramment sans faire beaucoup de travail tous les jours. Maintentant puisque j'ai
acheté tous ces cours and je les aime plutôt, je veux les utiliser. Et ce n'est pas
pour rien, ils vont m'aider. Surtout puisque il y a tellement!
Courses are good to understand the rules, to develop a good accent, to analyse a
language. But I have to say that I have the impression after I've read a lot of
experiences from other people who learn foreign languages that courses are only one
element of a collection of activities that you should use to perfect all aspects of a
language. Not long ago I thought that I only needed courses and I wanted to speak a
lot of languages without doing a lot of work every day. Now since I've bought all
these courses and I quite like them, I want to use them. And it's not for nothing,
they're going to help me. Especially since there are so many!

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Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3785 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 268 of 451
24 January 2015 at 4:17pm | IP Logged 
J'ai décidé d'écrire quelque chose...

1.)J'ai décidé d'écrire dès maintenant en français et en anglais sur HTAL

I decided to write from now on in French and in English on HTLAL

2.)Finalllleeeemmeeenttt!!! Toutes mes cartes sont maintenant actives (flashcards),
alors j'ai commencé de les utiliser activement. Pour expliquer ; quand j'ai commencé à
les utiliser j'ai ajouté beaucoup de mots et j'ai décidé de ne pas revoir les nouvelles
cartes tout de suite. Un ou deux mois plus tard j'ai commencé à revoir les cartes et ça
a duré un an jusqu'à maintenant pour revoir toutes les nouvelles cartes. Maintenant je
peux profiter du système de répétition espacée entièrement.

Finalllllllllyyyyyy!!! All my cards are now active (flashcards), so I have started to
use them actively. To explain; when I started using them I added a lot of words and I
decided to not revew the new cards right away. One or two months later I started to
revew the cards and that took a year up until now to review all the new cards. Now I
can take advantage of the spaced repetition system properly.

3.) Maintenant j'écoute Pimsleur French IV leçon 25 en conduisant au et du travail en
voiture. J'écoute leçon 22 pendant que j'ajoute des nouveaux mots et des phrases comme
des exemples pour des vieux mots ou des nouveaux mots à mes cartes (j'ai récemment
décidé d'ajouter des exemples des mots à toutes mes cartes du contexte que je les
trouve en étudiant avec mes cours de français)

Up to Pimsleur French IV lesson 25 while commuting and lagging behind on lesson 22 for
typing in new words and example sentences of old words or new words into my flash card
deck (i recently decided to add examples to all my cards from the the contexts i come
across them in my courses predominantly)

French in Action
leçon 12

Fluenz French 3
leçon 24

Assimil NFWE
85ème leçon (phase passive)
85th lesson (passive phase)
phase active: Je ne me souviens pas - 50 leçons avant je crois
active phase: I dont' remember - 50 lessons before i believe
note: j'étudie plus ou moins comme actif dans les deux phases. Donc la deuxième phase
pour moi est comme révision
note: i study more or less as active during the two phases. Therefore the second phase
is for me like revision

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 24 January 2015 at 4:42pm

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Senior Member
United States
Joined 5514 days ago

3133 posts - 4350 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 Message 269 of 451
25 January 2015 at 4:17am | IP Logged 
C'est toujours un beau jour quand vous dites ce que vous faites.
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Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3785 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 270 of 451
25 January 2015 at 9:44am | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
C'est toujours un beau jour quand vous dites ce que vous faites.

Merci Monsieur, que tu es très gentil :)
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Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3785 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 271 of 451
28 January 2015 at 3:01am | IP Logged 
Occasionally I find a post that I absolutely resonate with. From last November's 6wc
here's a post that I can absolutely relate to (flashcards piss me off to no end, yet I
so far refuse to denounce them completely from my study routine as the final verdict
on my part has not yet been concluded and is still in deliberations. Nevertheless FC's
can be extremely annoying in part).

linguchan wrote:
kanewai wrote:
I also realized (or re-realized) that I spend more
time building anki decks than actually using them. I think SRS is great, but I can
never commit to it for more than a week or two.

I debated whether or not to use an SRS when starting the challenge for this very
reason. In the end, I chose to embrace the idea of assimilating French through
listening, shadowing and reading the same lessons/chapters/films repeatedly.

My first two years of studying Japanese were almost entirely Anki-based with a bit of
grammar study, and a heck of a lot of anime watching. Even when I would just modify
decks from other people, I was still spending a lot of time editing cards with better
definitions, or adding tags or audio etc. It would get to the point where I wouldn't
even want to open the program because of all the extra work that went into prepping
new cards, and therefore there were many days where my reviews piled up and had to be
subsequently rescheduled. Such is my level of willpower I guess. But you know, I
didn't feel like it was worth the effort.

I found that though I tried vocab cards (studying front to back and back to front),
cloze-deletion cards, and normal sentence cards, the only way that Anki really seemed
useful to me was when I had it show me short paragraphs that included a word I didn't
know, with that word highlighted in blue. I needed to know what that word meant in
that specific context, rather than a list of maybe 15 possible uses for the word.
Really, I could do the same thing by sticking the sentences in Learning with Texts and
making annotated texts to read aloud daily, (or better yet, shadow if I pulled them
out of an audiobook or something). So that's what I do now instead. I find this
process more enjoyable anyway, because you end up getting practice in listening
comprehension, reading comprehension and pronunciation, and I feel the results of
those studies every day.

As my boyfriend puts it, Anki seems to improve your knowledge of one thing: how to do
Anki really well. I wonder if he and I are the only ones that could see one of our
cards and be able to answer it almost instantly based not on our understanding of the
word, but on the vague shape of the paragraph of text that described all of the word's
possible definitions. "Oh, right. The transitive verb that can mean about thirty
different things and takes up two thirds of the screen? That must be あげる. Yep, I'm
going to hit Easy on that one."

Everyone studies differently though, right? Maybe SRS just isn't something that works
well for my language studies, but is just the right fit for someone else. Since
there's no way to know what works for you without some trial and error, I think these
challenges are a good opportunity to experiment. In that way, I'm very happy with my

I don't use Anki. I use Flashcards Deluxe. I have said that I will try Anki, but I am
beginning to see that both programs are very similar and that the frustrations pepole
have with SRS is apparent to both programs. Furthermore Flashcards Deluxe appears to
have more user flexibility, but I could be wrong.

On the positive side I've seemingly come up with a system that 'might' be working (at
least better than previous 'systems'. I no longer enter words in isolation, as I
realised the importance of contextual learning and needed to immitate this with my
FC's somewhat. I no longer enter words with a massive rediculous list of translated
definitions - as rote learning that kind of rubbish is well rubbish. I don't search
dictionaries for example sentences as it's too time consuming. This is what I do:

I enter a word as I come across it in my language courses. Here's an example from
Assimil's NFWE lesson 86:

side 1 (French):

I enter any clarifications (if there are differing definitions I only focus on one
unless the definitions are very similar, providing clarification for which definition
i'm focusing on). I will type [adj or [sub and so on as shortcuts which produce
[adjectif] and [substantif] respectively thereby clarifying between two words that
either sound the same or are spelled the same. The shortcuts [adje and [iv for example
would produce [adjective] and [intransitive verb] on the English side. In the example
below it was not required to type the [adj shortcut to produce [adjectif] as there is
no similar noun that would lead to any confusion. [cla and [clar respectively produce
[clarification : and [clarification: when wanting to hone in on which definition i'm
referring to.


[clarifcation : objet, fer, botanique]

Then I provide an example ONLY from the context I've come across it in. If I uncover
further examples in my courses I add them as I come across them to the previously
created cards. So some cards have multiple examples. Continuing on with the above
card, the example from Assimil's NFWE lesson 86 appears like this on the card:


[clarification : objet, fer, botanique]

(exemple :
Alors, qu'est-ce qu'on fait d'une voiture qui est trop vieille, qui est rouillée et
dont on ne veut plus ?
- On la vend à mon père, mademoiselle !)

On side 2 (English) I enter:


[clarification: object, iron, botany]

So what do people do with a car which is too old, which is rusty and that no-one wants
- They sell it to my father miss!)

Side 3 :
includes phonetic transcription for some but not all words (those I simply find
slightly trickier I tend to type the phonetics for). Then I add an abbreviation of the
type of word (adjective, noun, etc). For this card, side 3 was like this:


I don't expect to get the examples completely correct but when I 'do' a card I expect
to get the translation correct. If there are multiple translations (shades of meaning,
not actually different meanings, then I expect to get some of the translations not all
as a few shades of meaning basically sum up the defintion effectively enough.

All my cards have downloaded Speech to Text. I used to listen to all of them while
working through them, now I don't as I find it quicker to speak myself and better for
reproduction and recall when attempting to reproduce the correct phonetics, but I
still DL the voice in case I want to use it in the car while driving on auto play
(another option) some time.

I have a button selected in the options of the deck that renders anything inside the
round brackest ( .... ) silent. So that if I do play the audio, the examples don't
play and go on forever, just the word and it's clarification, or type eg [verbe
pronominal intransitif] to clarify which of many similar words i'm referring to if
required. side 3 has no voice for obvious reasons.

The main drawback still remains to be the time it takes to create these cards. I often
still need to refer to dictionaries with nearly every single new word, even if i know
what they mean from my courses as I have to be sure I'm not going to get confused with
which definition i'm referring to and whether a word is transitive for example and so
on... I'm also taking a lot of time lately to enter example sentences from context in
my courses of words i've already created cards for but as yet have no examples as I
used to enter them in isolation. Thus this is rather time consuming.

I've only recently begun using my deck 'actively' so i'm yet to confirm whether they
are in fact helping with recall sufficiently enough to warrant the time it takes to
create them.

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 28 January 2015 at 3:12am

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Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3785 days ago

821 posts - 1273 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: FrenchB1

 Message 272 of 451
28 January 2015 at 3:31am | IP Logged 
I've decided to enter the 6 week challenge as much of my study is very thoroughly
tracked by myself anyway. I am borderline eligible for this competition as i'm middle
intermediate I guess. As expressed in the 6wc thread i'm not content with that rule
but not just b/c it rules me out, but i don't agree that advanced learners have an
advantage is this is a challenge in which time counts, not pages like the SC.

I've been thinking about where I can get extra time for study. One area is during bike
riding. There's a couple of issues with this though. One is safety, so I want to get a
mirror on my helmet so that I can effectively see behind me much better (the eyes in
the back of my head are constantly blocked from hair, i know, stating the obvious,
many of us have this issue). A mirror would give back some safety removed by using
earphones. I don't ride in a leisurely fashion so heightened safety is necessary,
fortunately i'm in a low traffic environment (no traffic lights around here). The
second issue is bluetooth, mobile technology on the bike. I use a system that tracks
my riding that is all connected with my phone and speed/cadence, heart rate strap and
so on. I also have excellent bluetooth wireless headphones (ear bud style) that free
you up on a bike very effectively (ie no troublesome wires). But.... I don't like
bluetooth anymore...

Over the past couple of years I'd estimate I've become increasingly disatissfied with
the 'system' around us. I have issues with such things as water fluoridation,
vaccinations, cancer treatments, suppression of natural remedies, the pharmaceutical
industry, GMO foods, pesticides, sugar, food additives, electromagnetic radiation
(mobile phones, their towers, bluetooth, wifi), government rule (puppets controlled by
multi national corps), chemtrails, manipulation of people's behaviour through media,
sun scare campaigns, and so on.... (This is why I prefer to read 'different' material
online a lot that can't be registered for the SC....

Anyway bluetooth is just one gripe, but I want to gradually withdraw from this system
of control as much as possible. I'm even toying with the idea of eventually going back
to predominantly paperbacks (if they still exist by the time I get through all of my
electronic content). We are sheep. Anyone who thinks the government looks out for them
is WRONG (even many those in gov't don't realise this). Anyone who thinks television
is not harming you is wrong, that EMF radiation is not harming us is wrong, that the
medical system is doing it's best to help us is wrong (but many doctors and nurses are
unaware or dont'want to deal with the truth), that the nightly news is reporting the
truth is wrong (like other professions reporters need to have a wage to feed their
families). This whole system on Earth is corruption. Everything is being monitored and
manipulated. Anything that is 'sold' to the public as beneficial is worth
investigating. Labeling someone like myself as a nut is not open mindedness.
Everything deserves critical analysis. Do you trust the source of information? Do you
trust the governments speel on tooth decay treated with water fluoridation? Do you
trust your mobile phone company's research? Think for yourself, don't let others think
for you!

Why do I say all this? Because I want to share my personality on my log and not go
along with the status quo.

Thus getting back to my bike riding - i dont'want to use bluetooth, thus using old
school earbuds with a cord and thereby turning my phone to airplane mode, and finding
a mirror that does the job could prove tricky.

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