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PMs TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

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

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

 
 Message 329 of 451
26 March 2015 at 1:47am | IP Logged 
Jeffers wrote:
luke wrote:
I vote that you don't hang another albatross around your
neck.


https://youtu.be/Z_u7VGiMO0U


Très approprié monsieur :)

Permettez-moi de me présenter... Je m'appelle Monsieur Molembourg, Monsieur Piteor
Molembourg plus exactement, om precies te zijn. Vous n'êtes pas par chance Monsieur
Jeffoer où quoi? Je sais que tu es vraiment en fait un vrai hippocampe. Je le dirai à
tous les gens que je verrai aujourd'hui, avec mes yeux propres- dans la mer bien-sûr !

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 26 March 2015 at 1:48am

2 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3318 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 330 of 451
26 March 2015 at 3:02pm | IP Logged 
So, i've just caught up with your heavily informative log. A few things that came to my mind:

1.your new routine sounds really awesome theoretically but you might want to give yourself some more
wiggle room to just do whatever you feel like at the moment. Despite good intentions, PM is not a robot and
shouldn't treat himself like one :-)

1.1: what is Fluenz like? i consider putting some money aside and saving for it when i'll have time for a more
difficult language as it looks like a very good course frm the demo and presentation. Would you shar your
experience?

2.b2 exam is a nice goal, i wish you lots of energy to keep going all the way. Despite all those cons, i think it
is worth taking. And there are no bad reasons to do so. The discussion reminded me of a friend who wanted
to take a dalf C1 and got talked out of it by the institution's employee asking things like "why do you take it if
you dont need it? It is not worth it, dont do it. It's too much work. Why do you want to pay the money for
something you dont necessarily need for job?" For quite a long time. So, do it even if your only reason is
"because I want to". After all, it's better to spend the money on such a goal than to "invest" it in cigarettes,
isn't it? :-)

3. The fact B2-C2 path took me 5 years doesn't mean it will to anyone else. I think someone more dedicated
with less breaks (and focusing just on French) could do it in 3 years or so. Or someone without pressure
could take more years but still get there. I think it might be better to focus on shorter term goals that lead to
the big one than to take 5 years or whatever as a fix date.

4. Whether you take another language aside of French or not is a decision where both options hold some
pros and cons. I'd just advise you to take the decision soon, whichever one it is, as time spent on self defence
against the Dutch temptation and convincing yourself to resist, that is time wasted, in my honest opinion. If
you need Dutch and can use French resources, I don't think it would be such a desaster for your French
studies.
3 persons have voted this message useful



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

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

 
 Message 331 of 451
26 March 2015 at 11:40pm | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
So, i've just caught up with your heavily informative log. A few
things that came to my mind:

1.your new routine sounds really awesome theoretically but you might want to give
yourself some more
wiggle room to just do whatever you feel like at the moment. Despite good intentions,
PM is not a robot and
shouldn't treat himself like one :-)


Very true indeed. Holes are already appearing and I haven't even started... probably
because like you said I'm not a robot. I should stop posting my routines on my log and
stick to summarizing my activities after I've done them as each month passes because I
keep changing them not long after I declare them the next best thing since sliced
bread. Perhaps you are right- just do what I feel like in the end. Thanks Cavesa :)

Btw up until recently I don't know why but I assumed you were male. It must be my
default setting for HTLAL. I think I assume everyone is male on here until i'm proved
otherwise- and the way I don't notice very obvious facts doesn't help. Maybe I have
asperges- my mastered skill being how to develop plans while ignoring everything else
(but never stick to the plans).

Cavesa wrote:

2.b2 exam is a nice goal, i wish you lots of energy to keep going all the way. Despite
all those cons, i think it
is worth taking. And there are no bad reasons to do so. The discussion reminded me of
a friend who wanted
to take a dalf C1 and got talked out of it by the institution's employee asking things
like "why do you take it if
you dont need it? It is not worth it, dont do it. It's too much work. Why do you want
to pay the money for
something you dont necessarily need for job?" For quite a long time. So, do it even if
your only reason is
"because I want to". After all, it's better to spend the money on such a goal than to
"invest" it in cigarettes,
isn't it? :-)


I'm not sure you've followed me exactly, or perhaps I have confused ppl a little. I
have every intention of doing the B2 exam. While discussing Jeffers possibility of
doing a B1 exam due to his hesitation I was attempting to provide a balanced argument
as to why he should or shouldn't do the exam. Thus I provided some positives as well
as playing the devil's advocate and provide some negatives- not that I necessarily
agree with them (for the most part I don't). However I've come to realise that many
things in life aren't what they seem, so it's good to keep an open mind on anything-
there are always 2 sides to everything. However I'm certainly keen on sitting the B2
exam and C1 and C2 eventually. I'll be sitting further exams in other languages too.
This is a good thing to keep me motivated and moving forward. Thanks for your support
tho Cavesa :) I appreciate it.

Cavesa wrote:

3. The fact B2-C2 path took me 5 years doesn't mean it will to anyone else. I think
someone more dedicated
with less breaks (and focusing just on French) could do it in 3 years or so. Or
someone without pressure
could take more years but still get there. I think it might be better to focus on
shorter term goals that lead to
the big one than to take 5 years or whatever as a fix date.


All useful comments. Thank you. Although I do have a question- How many hours a day
did you average of French study/exposure over those 5 years? (I know I know, focus on
the B2, or even focus on today)

Cavesa wrote:

4. Whether you take another language aside of French or not is a decision where both
options hold some
pros and cons. I'd just advise you to take the decision soon, whichever one it is, as
time spent on self defence
against the Dutch temptation and convincing yourself to resist, that is time wasted,
in my honest opinion. If
you need Dutch and can use French resources, I don't think it would be such a desaster
for your French
studies.


I don't see it as time wasted as they are simply thoughts/wishes that enter my mind
from time to time. I don't stop learning French because I'm thinking about learning
Dutch or Spanish. Likewise I don't stop learning French because I'm thinking of what's
for dinner tonight. Sorry if that sounds a bit blunt, I don't mean it that way, but I
don't think flirting with the idea of doing other languages is doing any harm, and I
don't think I need to make the decision sooner. I think I'm best in fact to proceed
for a bit longer yet with French only all the while other languages keep tempting me.
Perhaps tho, and rightly so, you're just tired of me talking about it (a bit like my
rediculous plans, and how I go on and on about flashcards) I mean this all in good
humour- I'm a bit of twitt to say the least. As long as I keep learning :)

Reveiw of Fluenz (French) to follow...




Edited by PeterMollenburg on 26 March 2015 at 11:41pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3318 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 332 of 451
27 March 2015 at 12:19am | IP Logged 
Why does everyone assume im male? :-D really, guys, there are girls on the internet as well!

That plan making used to be a trouble of mine as well. Nowadays, i prefer not to make many and i still have
trouble sticking to those few i make.

I wish i could answer your questionon the average time spent on French daily over the five years but i simply
cannot. There were months with no french at all. Basically the first year was nearly without any french, i was
prtty rusty when i found htlal. There were days with five or six episodes of a tv show in a row as the other
extreme. It is just impossible to tell. If I really counted an average, I suppose it might be as laughable as ten
minutes or less :-) that is why I believe you can get to the same goal much faster, if you are less lazy than me

I meant no offence, of course you do not stop french for thoughs about Spanish (heh, i overlooked a red light
and almost walked under a car while thinking of Spanish last week). But i think you might simply jump into
dutch and study instead of consideing it, you might already be pretty far on the road. :-P i am not tired of it but
you just keep making me consider my own plans, which i try to avoid :-D and now i cannot and im thinking
about those again!

Im looking forward to the fluenz review!
2 persons have voted this message useful



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

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

 
 Message 333 of 451
27 March 2015 at 1:11am | IP Logged 
Fluenz French review (experience drawn from levels 1-3)

Cavesa wrote:

1.1: what is Fluenz like? i consider putting some money aside and saving for it when
i'll have time for a more
difficult language as it looks like a very good course frm the demo and presentation.
Would you shar your
experience?


Okay so generally I really like Fluenz. My experience is only with Fluenz French (no
other languages). I have used Tell me More Nederlands (toyed with many levels) and
Tell me More French (only very early levels), and so far I'd use Fluenz French any day
over Tell me More. Tell me more is too fiddly and cumbersome. Rosetta Stone for me
personally, is almost rubbish. The price is rediculous and it's in no way a style of
learning that I like- Rosetta Stone is like an expensive flashcard deck (okay so I
have been known to use the odd flashcard or two) that can't do as much as Anki or
other similar flashcard systems. Okay so I am biased due to my personal learning
style, or just simply how I feel about the programs. I mention the other programs to
have something to compare to from the perspective of how I feel about them as an
individual.

Fluenz is not really extremely advanced. I have completed levels 1 and 2 and nearing
the end of 3. There are 30 lessons in each level, i'm to lesson 26 of level 3. I think
this is a review lesson every 10 lessons or so- new material focusing on content
covered up to that point. I have all 5 levels. But on level 3 it's not overly
advanced, but still useful for the intermediate student for sure. It's particularly
good for those that like drills. Although it's not as dry as FSI perhaps simply mainly
because you have a screen in front of you. They are not substitution style drills-
will discuss more below.

During level 1 (Fluenz French 1) I despised the 'tutor's' accent. How can they use
someone without excellent and consistent pronunciation of nasal vowels? That almost
infuriates me. The tutor on levels 2 and 3 is a native French speaker and so the
problem is resolved. Back on level 1 the vast majority of audio is performed by
recorded native French speakers from France, but the grammar and new vocab
explanations are carried out by the tutor with an accent I didn't appreciate. My
accent is far superior to hers and she is the main tutor for Fluenz French 1. Okay so
maybe they are trying to show you that not everyone's perfect at that level, but I
disagree if that's their logic, as such pronunciation can confuse learners or cause
shoddy pronunciation of those who mimmick such things. That's my main issue with the
program, but in the context of the whole program it is in the end a forgiveable issue
that still puts this program far ahead of the others i have used. By focusing on the
native speakers pronunciation in Level 1 you can get around the issue.

Each lesson breakdown follows the same format, so I wouldn't recommend using ONLY this
program as you might start to feel like a broken record. The format is good, but not
something you can do for hours on end every single day, unless you truly are a robot.
Then again most programs can't be done for hours on end every day, as we all need a
break or a change.

Lesson breakdown (Lesson 25, Level 3 as an example):

1. Introduction. (this one is just under a minute long, like most).

The tutor speaks to you and tells you what's ahead for the lesson- where the
conversation will take place and what it's about in summary. In this case it's at a
'laverie'. She discusses what will be covered in terms of vocab and grammar. In this
case she says some new terms around the laverie will be introduced and there will be
some focus on 'y' and 'en'. These pronouns had been introduced in Level 2 but here
they expand on it a little.

2. The conversation
Here is the conversation from lesson 25, level 3:

Bonjour, je voudrais laver des vêtements, mais je ne sais pas où il y a une laverie.
- il y a une laverie en bas de la rue, à côté de la pharmacie. Mais si vous voulez,
vous pouvez me donner vos vêtements et j'y vais pour vous.
- Merci. Alors voilà, cette veste a besoin d'un nettoyage à sec. Et ces jupes sont à
repasser. Les chemises et les pantalons sont à laver. Quand est-ce qu'il vont être
prêts ?
- Normalement demain.
- Très bien, merci. Bonne journée !
- Bonne journée !

As you can see the conversation is not terribly complex. The longer portions of speech
are broken down. You proceed through the conversation by clicking to play the next
sentence/segment. You see the characters- a photo of each one pops up as their portion
of the dialogue is spoken when you click the button. There are fairly consistent
central characters along with random new characters introduced like the lady who will
be taking the clothes to the laverie. Although central characters continue through the
course it doesn't give the feel of a continuing story. It's certainly a gradual build
up in terms of grammar and vocab and themes, but it doesn't feel like an ongoing story
like French in Action in which the story feels more ongoing with each lesson. Here
each lesson although somewhat linked feels like a separate thing altogether in terms
of the conversational theme and what takes place. You can play the conversation as
many times as you like with English or French subtitles, both sets of subtitles, or
none.

3. Grammatical and Vocabuarly breakdown (10-15min perhaps)
Here the tutor breaks down each sentence of the conversation, as she does so the words
appear on the screen in front of her for you to look at while she discussing some
slightly more detailed grammar points or vocab. This can seem over simplified at times
but if you're new to the material being covered it is rather useful. If not you will
find it drags somewhat. So the pace is probably right for someone who is new to the
content and hasn't covered it elsewhere in another course for example.

4. Repeat the words
A short segment of the program in which you click on words, hear them spoken aloud,
and then repeat (if you wish to repeat them). Pretty simplistic but allows you to
focus on words or phrases. Material is drawn from the current lesson with some
variations and some varied words or phrases from earlier lessons. In this lesson there
are 25 of these words/phrases. Examples from the lesson being discussed are as
follows:

se laver
repasser
la chemise
la jupe est à repasser
ce chapeau est à laver
bonn journée !
dix euros la journée
rapidement
normalement
en bas de la rue
elle y vit

5. Match the phrases
In this segment you match 5 sentences. They are not spoken aloud. You have a list of 5
French sentences on the left and 5 English sentences on the right. They are out of
order. You drag the sentence that matches from the French list on the left and drop it
onto the matching English sentence on the right.

example from L25,L3:
French list (on left hand side of screen):
* Les ascenseurs sont au fond du couloir
* Sonia est allée au bar près de la place
* il y a une laverie en haut de la rue
* il y a quelqu'un dans la salle?
* Ta voiture est à côté de la banque?
English list (on right hand side of screen):
* Is there somebody in the room?
* The elevators are at the end of the corridor
* Is your(i) car next to the bank?
* Sonia went to the bar close to the plaza
* There's a laundromat up the street

I think there are 4 lots of such matching exercices in this lesson which is pretty
standard (ie 4 lots of 5- the above being one 'lot')

6. Choose the best image
Here you are presented with 4 images on the screen and one word. You simply click on
the image that matches the word. No spoken words here either, just some soft
background music. The images are very high quality (meaning really nicely
photographed). The exercise is very easy- the easiest segment from the program.

eg
the first one the word is "un pantalon"
the images are: a pile of jeans- about half a dozen pairs, a shirt, a whole lot of
jackets hanging up, and 1 pair of jeans.

There are about 20 of these image choose the best image questions.

7. Write the words you read
You see words in English, you have to write the translation in French

eg
The skirt (you type: la jupe)
to wash (= laver)
to bathe (= se laver)
The skirt is for ironing (= le jupe est à repasser)
This hat is for washing (= ce chapeau est à laver)
The dry-cleaning (=le netoyyage à sec)
It's ready (= c'est prêt)
Have a nice evening! (= bonne soirée)
10 euros a day (=dix euros la journée)
Turn left (= tournez à gauche)
At the intersection (= à l'intersection)
I'm going there (= j'y vais)

There is roughly around 30 or more of these to do. You can click 'answer' in many of
the segments such as this one if you can't work out the answer

8. Write the phrase you read (no voice audio)
A more complex version of the above segment in which you type out in French the
translation of the English that appears on screen. Theres around 20 of these
translation exercises, maybe slightly more.

examples from L25,L3 of English sentences to type out in French:
* We're buying a computer (type the answer in French)
* He bought a new white shirt
* Where can I buy new pants around here?
* They bought a few new clothes at the market next to the bank
* He washes
* He bathes every day
* She washes her clothes quickly
* We still have to wash a lot of clothes before dinner
* He washed his red clothes and his white clothes together
* A place
* I like this place, it's hot (there)
* I like the United States, I travel (there) each year
* I go to this market a lot, I always find (there) what I'm looking for

etc

9. like segment 4 repeat the words except you only hear a word or (simple) phrase (you
don't see it) and you must type the answer. These are words or short phrases you've
already dealt with so far in this lesson. Perhaps there are 20-30 of these in this
lesson [I'm not going to count them all :)]

eg
la jupe
c'est prêt
ce chapeau est à laver
dix euros la journée
à ce soir

10. Write the phrase you hear.
Here you hear a phrase in French and you type it out in French. There will be 5
progressively harder phrases in each 'lot'. Of which there are around 4 lots I
believe. An example:

1st lot/round:
* Nous achetons
* on achète un nouvel ordinateur
* il a acheté une nouvelle chemise blanche
* Où je peux acheter un nouveau pantalon par ici ?
* Elles ont acheté quelques nouveaux vêtements au marché à côté de la banque

2nd lot:
* il lave
* il se lave tous les jours
* Elle lave ses vêtements rapidement
* Nous devons encore laver beaucoup de vêtements avant le dîner
* il a lavé ses vêtements rouges et ses vêtements blancs ensemble

11. Voice recording of the conversational segments
Here you listen to each segment of the original conversation, then record your own
voice saying the same thing and listen to it as much as you like to improve your
pronunciation of the same conversational segments.

12. Role playing of the conversation
Here like segment 11 you use the microphone. It's the original conversation again, but
this time you play the role of one of the people and say all of his/her lines as they
appear on screen. Basically you speak your lines and hear the lines of the other
person so that it flows like the original conversation except you are now one of the
characters. You can play the full recording back after completing it or listen to the
original recording in full if you prefer.

13. Type the conversation
Here you will hear (not see) the original conversation and you type it out.

eg you hear: "Bonjour, je voudrais laver des vêtements, mais je ne sais pas où il y a
une laverie". You type this out. Then you move to the next part of the conversation
doing the same thing.

14.Match the phrases (2)
The same as segment 5 discussed above with different phrases

15. Repeat the phrases
Here you have a list of 5 sentences per round/lot (4 rounds in total = 20 sentences)
that you click to hear spoken by a native speaker and you basically do your best to
imitate each one and move on when you're ready to the next one. There's not right or
wrong way to proceed here. I personally find this segment one of the best if not the
best in the program. I drill it hardcore until I can say every sentence exactly the
same in pronunciation and intonation as those spoken in the program without reading
off the screen but by listening and repeating- only reading for reference occasionally
until I can do so without reading but by listening and repeating only. Of course you
can do this however you like, but the idea I guess is to imitate as best you can to
improve pronunciation, speed, intonation etc.

examples:
* Vous utilisez l'ascenseur pour monter chez vous normalement ?
* La laverie ne ferme pas avant huit heures normalement
* il a seulement choisi une entrée et un plat principal ?
* Je voudrais un verre de ce vin et un jus d'orange pour elle
* Ses parents sont allés à ce marché pour acheter deux vélos

16. A recap with the tutor (some encouragement, tips, clarifications perhaps, around a
minute long)

Edit: Final thoughts
A really good course for 'drilling'. A much more useful course than other French
CD/DVD-rom programs I"ve previously used. Not overly advanced at level 3 but still 2
more levels to go. A pleasant experience, plenty of drills, a good opportunity to hear
your own spoken French compared with the native speakers' French, and some good
photographs for nice presentation. Against other more traditional courses I'd give
Fluenz a 7 out of ten :) For comparison I'd give Assimil New French with Ease perhaps
and French in Action 9.5 out of 10, Tell me More 4.5 out of ten and Rosetta Stone
2/10

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 27 March 2015 at 1:21am

5 persons have voted this message useful



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

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

 
 Message 334 of 451
27 March 2015 at 1:29am | IP Logged 
Cavesa wrote:
Why does everyone assume im male? :-D really, guys, there are girls on
the internet as well!


Like 2 in total right? ;)

Cavesa wrote:

That plan making used to be a trouble of mine as well. Nowadays, i prefer not to make
many and i still have
trouble sticking to those few i make.

I'm beginning to accept i'm just going to continually modifying my plan and that as
long as I keep learning that's the main thing

Cavesa wrote:

I wish i could answer your questionon the average time spent on French daily over the
five years but i simply
cannot. There were months with no french at all. Basically the first year was nearly
without any french, i was
prtty rusty when i found htlal. There were days with five or six episodes of a tv show
in a row as the other
extreme. It is just impossible to tell. If I really counted an average, I suppose it
might be as laughable as ten
minutes or less :-) that is why I believe you can get to the same goal much faster, if
you are less lazy than me


Well that's useful to know. Even if i'm overly generous and say you did an hour a day.
Then I should expect to get there quicker if I don't get too lazy. Although my over
abundance of courses won't help, so if I do a couple hours a day I might get there in
a few years... who knows, but thanks for sharing and helping me remain positive by
knowing this goal is achievable.

Cavesa wrote:

I meant no offence, of course you do not stop french for thoughs about Spanish (heh, i
overlooked a red light
and almost walked under a car while thinking of Spanish last week). But i think you
might simply jump into
dutch and study instead of consideing it, you might already be pretty far on the road.
:-P i am not tired of it but
you just keep making me consider my own plans, which i try to avoid :-D and now i
cannot and im thinking
about those again!

Im looking forward to the fluenz review!


It's all good, we're just generally sharing here and no problemo's. Glad to hear you
didn't walk under the car- you must not be very tall ;) Who knows what the future
holds for plans, studies, which languages and whatever, I'm just glad you've shared
your experiences and advice Cavesa. Thank you. Let's just endeavour to keep moving
forward and not being lazy :)

Hope you enjoy the review of Vrijdag's French Fries Strikes Back Part Seven point two
Revamped (extended Arabic version)
1 person has voted this message useful



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

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

 
 Message 335 of 451
07 April 2015 at 4:46am | IP Logged 
March summary

58hrs 14min total learning time

1hr 52min/day average
1 person has voted this message useful



luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 5514 days ago

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

 
 Message 336 of 451
07 April 2015 at 9:55am | IP Logged 
Viva la PM!

I'm glad you are doing well Peter. Keep up the good work.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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