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Slow Learning: FR, HI, ancGR TAC 2015

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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3584 days ago

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

 
 Message 81 of 164
10 August 2014 at 11:36pm | IP Logged 
Well you're doing well there Jeffers keeping in touch with your languages.

I know what it's like getting an exciting new book or course, so I can imagine you're
itching to get stuck into your Intermediate Hindi Reader. Sounds like it will be a decent
'project' that will 'gift' a lot of hindi unto your brainatarium ;)

I hope that the perhaps seemingly sombre motives for bringing your family together have
created a joyous trip that's helped your family to rejoice in the memory of your
brother's life and
the beauty of family :)

Edited by PeterMollenburg on 10 August 2014 at 11:37pm

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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3017 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 82 of 164
22 September 2014 at 10:37pm | IP Logged 
It has been a long time since I've updated. I've kept churning along with French over the summer holiday, but for the August 6 Week Challenge my focus language was Hindi.

Today I received the CLE workbook, Exercices audio de grammaire, Niveau intermédiaire, so I'll give a brief review of it here. I've only listened to the first 5 lessons (plus previewed a few lessons from the final 10 chapters).

The book is a workbook of 80 lessons, and it comes with an mp3 cd, containing 6.4 hours of audio. There are 80 tracks, each beginning with a dialogue, and then 3-4 sets of exercises, in which you have to answer a question based on a model answer. There are a variety of voices used in the recordings: adult male, adult female, teenage male and teenage female. The recordings are clear, and include a bit of ambiant noise to make them more realistic. The text looks nice, with the point of grammar being reviewed as the title, followed by the dialogue, then the exercises, and finally a brief summary of the grammar at the bottom of the page. There are corrections in the back of the book, but as the answers are given on the audio you don't really need them.

The book isn't what I'd call intermediate, instead I think it would be most useful at A2 level. The audio at the beginning is a bit slower than the middle stages of Assimil, for example, and the exercises are not difficult for me. In comparison to FSI, they are no more difficult than FSI unit 3-4 or so. But I've also listened to a few tracks from the last 10 sections of the book, and I think I will find them a bit more challenging.

I was expecting the book to have more grammar explanation, but that is not a fault of the book. The book is there to give an audio review of grammar in support of the grammar workbooks by CLE, which do explain the points of grammar. So now I think I need to get one of the Grammaire progressive du français books, but I'm not sure if I should get the intermédiaire level or avancé (I'm leaning towards avancé since I'm finding the intermédiaire audio exercises easy).

EDIT: Amazon.co.uk sells two identical versions of the book, with the cheaper one listed with a German publisher (Klett Ernst). The only difference is there is a Klett Ernst sticker over the UPC code on the back cover. The text and audio are 100% in French, so you can save money by buying the "German" edition. I've noticed there's a "German" edition of the Grammaire progressive du français avancé as well, and it's also a bit cheaper than the "normal" edition.

Edited by Jeffers on 22 September 2014 at 10:45pm

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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3017 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 83 of 164
28 September 2014 at 11:05pm | IP Logged 
Well, I finally succumbed and tried out the fameux vocabulary test, found at:
http://www.itt-leipzig.de/static/startseiteeng.html

Here are my results:
1. Les 1000 mots les plus fréquents du français... 28/30
2. Les 2000 mots les plus fréquents du français... 24/30
3. Les 3000 mots les plus fréquents du français... 27/30
4. Les 4000 mots les plus fréquents du français... 17/30
5. Les 5000 mots les plus fréquents du français... 19/30

Not surprisingly, I did okay with the first 3000 words, and struggled with the final two sets. I've been estimating my passive vocabulary at around 3000, and I suppose this test would show my passive vocabulary is a bit over 3000 words.
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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3584 days ago

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

 
 Message 84 of 164
29 September 2014 at 8:55am | IP Logged 
Hey Jeffers,

Good job on the test! I'm sure that's a lot better than you would've done at the start of the year, so you've
certainly come a long way!

You're still going great guns on the 'leaderboard' of the SC btw, good work! I've fallen way down the list, but
i'm not concerned I'm liking my approach currently. Can't say I'll complete the SC tho, why I opted for a
double challenge beats me.. a bit too much enthusiasm there I think. Those near the top of the leaderboard
like yourself are an inspiration of sorts tho. To be able to read/watch so much continuously is a very
commendable effort. Hopefully I can do something similar next SC perhaps. I hope it's doing wonders for your
comprehension and enjoyment with regards to language learning.

I am finding even when I find life gets in the way that I am reading more and more in French and I'm sure the
SC has helped give me the confidence for that. Even when I want to read something about health (I was sick
recently) or about plumbing (I had to unblock my sink a month or so back), or I want to read about silly topic
like the latest smartphone technology, i'm doing this stuff 90% of the time in French with the confidence that if
I don't know some words, i'll either work them out, or look some up - this is happening for me on my lazier
days when i don't do any/much coursework. So the SC is certainly helping me. How are you finding it Jeffers?
Are you doing something similar with regards to your 'idle' activities (mainly reading)?

Have you decided on one of the Grammaire progressif du français books yet? I've had my eye on them at
times but as you know i've got a mountain of courses already and can only see myself buying more if there's
some kind of natural disaster here that wipes out all my personal belongings. Wouldn't that be awful, having
to buy a whole lot of new French courses! Pffft natural disaster, piece of cake, lack of French courses, that's a
real disaster!
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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3017 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 85 of 164
29 September 2014 at 10:25am | IP Logged 
Thanks for the encouragement. I have slowed down on my SC work as well, which I suppose is natural. But I've tried to make sure I keep my streaks growing in French and Hindi. I tend to work in waves and follow what keeps me motivated. For example, I've gotten back into Duolingo this weekend, and I'm on a two day streak!

I've used the Exercices audio de grammaire several times while walking, and now I'm realizing that it probably is a good level for me. Around the 10th lesson or so it began to be challenging to produce the correct response, and by the 20th lesson I realized I would need to follow the text in the workbook to fully understand what is going on. If you like audio courses, this is a pretty good one since it has 6.4 hours of audio and covers all of the main points of grammar. It is not, however, designed for learning the grammar, but for practicing it. As for their other books, I'm interesting in getting one of the Grammaire progressif books, but I'm still not sure whether I should get intermédiaire or avancé. Then I think about FSI and my Hugo courses sitting there and I think, "Sod it, I have tons of things to be getting on with." So my current idea is to finish what I have, and then try out either the avancé book, or even the perfectionnement, as a thorough review.

So what are these things I'm currently working on in French? I want to finish Pimsleur III, I keep thinking I need to get into Hugo in 3 Months (to clear up issues with some of the basics), and I haven't done much with FSI for a while. I was somewhere in unit 8 of FSI when I was last using it regularly. I think when I finish Pimsleur III, FSI will become my commuting companion (which is only about 20-25 minutes per day).
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PeterMollenburg
Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3584 days ago

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

 
 Message 86 of 164
29 September 2014 at 1:21pm | IP Logged 
Sounds good... Get into Hugo, get it out the way! That's my 2 cents. YOu'll fly through a
lot of it I'm thinking and where you don't fly it will be useful as you said to fill in
the gaps in the basics.

I also haven't touched FSI in some time. Ah well, it'll happen some time. And I tend to
agree, I have enough courses for now, so I'll work with what I have and perhaps one day
those Grammaire Progressif du français will serve a purpose.

It's great to see those of us still heavily active this late in year, well still heavily
active.

Fry on!
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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3017 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 87 of 164
29 September 2014 at 5:52pm | IP Logged 
Thanks for the suggestion. I just went through week 2 of Hugo French in 3 Months. I might do week 3 later this afternoon, keep the ball rolling. One thing that struck me, though, is that the book advances pretty quickly, and I would have had difficulty if I started learning French the Hugo books. For example, in one of the exercises you need to come up with "Exporte-t-il des ordinateurs en France?" I suppose I would have wanted to give it another week or two before using partatives, but Hugo introduces them on week 1 page 1. Note to self: use Hugo books for round two!
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Jeffers
Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3017 days ago

2151 posts - 3960 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Hindi, Ancient Greek, French, Sanskrit, German

 
 Message 88 of 164
04 October 2014 at 10:54pm | IP Logged 
I'm afraid I've been a bit pathetic about posting actual study updates lately. So here's what I can remember from the past little while!

French
I got Histoires à lire le soir for £0.77 on kindle, so I figured I might as well try it out. It is a collection of short stories aimed at kids about 10 years old. Unfortunately, the stories have no point to them. I kept reading waiting for a twist in the tale or an amusing finish of some sort, but they're just stories in which little happens, then they end. Easy enough for practice, but not interesting enough for reading again. Definitely not recommended.

I've started re-reading Les vacances du Petit Nicolas, and it is much more satisfying. Today I received my DVD of Le Petit Nicolas (the live action film), and watched it immediately. It is quite an enjoyable film, with both verbal and visual humour. Clotaire shows off his vélo de course ("racing bicycle"). When one of the boys asks why it has a rack, he said something like, "ben, pour faire des courses" ("well, for shopping").

Thursday night is becoming "Boulevard du palais" night for me. I have to stay up a bit late to watch it, but I figure I can make it through Friday with a bit less sleep. It's become my favourite series, and it just feels a bit more "real" to me than other French policiers. It is based on characters from a couple novels by crime writer Thierry Jonquet, whose real-life death also features in an episode. I am very sad, however, that TV5 Monde is about to start series 15, the most recent series. So once those four episodes are finished I won't know what to do with myself (probably go back to watching Un village francais).

Inspired by some gentle shoving by PM, I worked on weeks 2-4 of Hugo French in 3 Months this week. It's easy, but a very good review. I think the learning curve is too steep, and I wouldn't want to start learning a language with Hugo. The introduction describes "the need for rapid progress", but that's just not my learning style. The demand for rapid progress too often results in rapid burnout. Nevertheless, it looks like it will be a thorough review of the basics of French. I'm also looking forward to using the Advanced book, which is based readings on themes such as politics, culture, etc.

I've also done a bit of work on CLE's Exercices audio de grammaire, which is made up of audio drills a bit like FSI. It's a pretty good course, which I reviewed above.

Lastly, I purchased a 3-CD collection of the band Téléphone. At first listen I liked about half the songs and wasn't sure about the rest, but now I like all of them. Considering that Téléphone was active from 1976 to 1986, the songs and the recordings hold up very well in my opinion.

Hindi
I focused on Hindi for the last 6wc, and ended up listening to a lot of podcasts by Rupert Snell, and working on vocab a lot. I also read a fair chunk from the two Hindi readers I mentioned above. But I haven't done any reading in the last 2 weeks.

Friday night is becoming Hindi film night. In September I first watched Omkara, which is Shakespeare's Othello set among criminals in rural India, and quite a good film. The next week's film was Don 2, and okay sequel to an okay film. It was enjoyable and easy to watch, anyway. Finally, yesterday I watched Fanaa. I had enjoyed it when I first saw it 7 years ago, but last night I just found it more irritating.

Ancient Greek
Unfortunately, I've not done anything in the last couple of weeks.


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