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Senior Member
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819 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: Portuguese*, French, EnglishC2, GermanB1, Italian, Spanish
Studies: Sanskrit, Arabic (classical)

 Message 689 of 766
03 January 2015 at 11:00am | IP Logged 
One small contribution for learners of Italian:

The RAI Radio has podcasts of many classics of Italian literature (as well as many other items, it seems). Apparently, they are also available for download. It's called "il terzo anello".

I didn't manage to find just one exact place for downloading, as they seem to archive older recordings somewhere else, but you may begin your search with "radio3", "il terzo anello", and "". You may navigate from there.

Just one caveat: the texts are slightly abridged (a few descriptive tracts now and then, etc.). In my experience, it doesn't affect the story, and I wouldn't probably have the discipline to read Il Gattopardo or Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini in three days, so it's ok. It's not some wild screenplay adaptation, and you may always read the book later, if you're inclined to do so.

Edited by Luso on 03 January 2015 at 1:23pm

5 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
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1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 Message 690 of 766
07 January 2015 at 11:48pm | IP Logged 
December Mini-Challenge

Five phrases Djodjo learned in Le Petit Nicolas.

Djodjo arrived in class not speaking a word of French. But he was a fast learner, and picked all these up on his first day of school:

dingue dingue dingue - crazy crazy crazy
espèce guignol - you clown (a guignol is a theater puppet)
sale menteur - dirty liar
vilain cafard - ugly cockroach
mal élevé - raised poorly

Le Petit Nicolas is also on the web ... though I think it's more fun to read the actual book; you don't get the illustrations online.

Bonus link: Les 50 répliques cultes de Kaamelott
2 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
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9753 posts - 15778 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 691 of 766
10 March 2015 at 11:14pm | IP Logged 
How is everyone doing?
I finally got the golden activity badge for the first time!!! So happy :)))) also because I got it by watching a very special match ♥
I've just, eh, cruised through "Death on the Nile" by Agatha Christie (thanks to Criminal Case). I expected to get the badge this morning but realized I hadn't watched enough football in Portuguese :D OMG this badge is *hard* to get, at least if you learn several languages but probably also if you learn one. I'm so impressed by everyone who has it, really.
Also got the third star.

Edited by Serpent on 10 March 2015 at 11:19pm

3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 3601 days ago

1386 posts - 3054 votes 
Speaks: English*, French, Marshallese
Studies: Italian, Spanish

 Message 692 of 766
11 March 2015 at 3:05am | IP Logged 

I'm a little bit behind the curve, but nothing too serious: 48 French books and 68
films / podcasts; and 38 Italian books and 48 films / podcasts.

I've been thinking a fair amount about where I'm at, and how this compares to my first
super challenge. It's been a very different experience. I'm curious to hear how
others have been faring!

First Stages

I had been studying French regularly for eight months at the beginning of SC-1, and
had already struggled through two short books and a few graphic novels. I was able to
hit the ground running, and jumped right into some classics. It was still hard, but it
was immediately rewarding. I kept up my book studying, but it was on and off. I could
really focus on books and movies. At the end of the first year I could read hard copy
books rather than relying on my kindle dictionary.

I had only been studying Italian for three months, and am still working on Assimil and
Living Language. As such, I have less time for actual reading. It took me five months
before I could handle my first piece of actual literature. And even now it's a
struggle; some days I can read without much trouble, and other days I need to keep
referring back to the English text.   

Because I started from such different levels it's hard to draw a lot of comparisons
... but I'm still going to try!

50-page vs 100-page books

SC-1 was intense. We had to average 100 pages a week, so there was no time to
slack off. As such, we all made huge progress. The down side, for me, was that there
was not much time for outside reading. It was true immersion: all French, all the

But even though I really advocated keeping the reading level at 100-pages for a book,
I don't think I could have handled that intensity this round. And there is no way I
could attempt two challenges.   50-page books makes the challenge much more
accessible, even though we lose that level of intense immersion.   It also means that
I can finally read some of the English-language books that have been sitting lonely
and forgotten on my book shelf.

Podcasts vs Movies

For SC-1 I only focused on movies. This was also intense. I learned that I don't
actually like French movies as much as I thought, although I also watched great films
that I would have never seen otherwise.

This round I've been listening to a lot of French podcasts. From a language-
learning perspective, this has been much more useful for me than watching movies. I
still have trouble understanding the dialogue in most French flics, though I can
understand some tv shows without subtitles.   

However, there was a cultural component that I got from just watching movies. I can
hold my own now on any discussion on French cinema, and have definite opinions on
which directors are great, which are overrated, and which have been unfairly ignored.
I have my favorite actors and actresses, I've suffered through the decline of the
avant-garde and could probably pinpoint the exact moment when la nouvelle
started to suck.

I haven't gotten that during SC-II. And I miss it, so at least for Italian I'm going
to go back to focusing only on movies for awhile. I've made a list of the great
classic directors (Rosselini, de Sica, Visconti, Antonioni, Bertolucci, and Fellini),
and I'm going to start by working my way though them.

Twitter and the Bot

I love tracking graphs that surrealix designed. I wish I had them for all my studies!

I gave up looking at the main page. I don't recognize most of the names, so it doesn't
have a lot of meaning for me. I also stopped trying to log every week to keep my flags
and banners active, and that has been liberating. It's much easier to just log things
when I have a chance.


Some HTLAL regulars used to urge people to jump into native materials as soon as
possible, and to move away from the text books early on. After 1 1/2 Super Challenges
I feel the opposite. Immersion in native materials was really useful for me
after I had a solid base in the language. It was just frustrating before that.

The good news is that I feel like I'm finally at that point in Italian.

And because I'm a fool, I'm already pondering whether I want to do Spanish or German
(or both!) if and when Super Challenge 3 comes along.

Edited by kanewai on 11 March 2015 at 3:06am

4 persons have voted this message useful

Solfrid Cristin
Winner TAC 2011 & 2012
Senior Member
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4143 posts - 8863 votes 
Speaks: Norwegian*, Spanish, Swedish, French, English, German, Italian
Studies: Russian

 Message 693 of 766
11 March 2015 at 3:58pm | IP Logged 
@serpent: Congratulations!!!! I am so proud of you.

@Kanewai: I love your enthusiasm!


This month's challenge will be two fold:

1. Remember to log everything you have done up to now (says the one who has not
updated what she has watched since may 2014...)

2. Answer Serpent's question by giving a short status report: How much have you done,
what are you satisfied with/dissatisfied with when it comes to your own performance,
have you seen any progress yet?

Go, go go!!!

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
AustraliaRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4188 days ago

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

 Message 694 of 766
11 March 2015 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
I've never taken part in any monthly challenges as I've always had sufficient motivation to proceed with my
own activities (procrastination, pfft, never had it at all, like ever, even, for realz). Let's face it I'm a bit special ;)
(special interpreted however you like).

Now... I've already been logging all my activities (big tick for that one thanks)... and with regards to Serpent
aka Serpatonium - and the question posed, well.... I could be doing a lot better as my stats are not great so
I'm not the best person to get feedback from... I'm doing ok I guess, the reading does help, but i've not done
anywhere near the amount that many others have done. Mind you I was never a huge reader of books in
English in my youth - maybe that's why I'm so 'special'? (special again interpreted however you like- oh and if
someone could please answer that I'd appreciate it).

I'm sure if I'd read a lot more up to this point my results would be... ummm... better. Thing is, I didn't feel
ready to read too much, preferring to use courses heavily, and as time goes on I'm sure I'll read a little more
as I grow in confidence (and height, as I'm currently only 1 foot 3 inches tall- at the start of the SC I was only
3 and 3/4 inches tall). Anyway I've at least felt the need to ditch my constant obsession with flashcards up to
this point in favour for more reading and other activities instead- coupled with very limited use of FC's. That at
least is an improvement for me in which the SC has helped. As for watching, not much improvement on the
comprehension that's overly significant, but still some improvement. Btw well done Serpent, you've been
putting in some big hours lately, good work, and thanks for your help with regards to my FC dilemma.

Skate on player haters, skate on
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
Joined 3295 days ago

689 posts - 1119 votes 
Speaks: English*, German, Esperanto
Studies: Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian

 Message 695 of 766
11 March 2015 at 10:06pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:
2. Answer Serpent's question by giving a short status report:
How much have you done, what are you satisfied with/dissatisfied with when it comes to
your own performance, have you seen any progress yet?

I finally reached 100 films and completed the challenge at the start of February :)
I'm now on 205 books and 106 films which reflects the fact that I have found reading
twice as easy as watching films!

I've slowed down a bit with the reading over the past few weeks, but that isn't
because I've given up; I'm just finding the book I'm reading at the moment a bit
boring. I have plenty more books on my shelves waiting to be read, including the
complete works of the Croatian novelist August Šenoa. I'm hoping to be able to read at
least some of those this year and perhaps write about them in the HTLAL Book Club

Over the past couple of months I've noticed a huge improvement in my listening
abilities so I'm really glad that I signed up for this challenge :) When I started in
May I was just trying to pick out odd words and phrases that I recognised, whereas now
I can watch a Montenegrin soap opera (for example) and understand enough to enjoy it
and laugh at it without it feeling like "work". I've still got a long way to go before
I can understand everything, but it's huge progress.

I'd like to keep going with watching TV series and perhaps complete the Double
Challenge, but not sure whether I'll have enough time to commit to it. I've signed up
to the Output Challenge now as well so intend to give that higher priority for the
rest of the year as I feel like I've had an awful lot of input and hardly any output
3 persons have voted this message useful

Senior Member
United Kingdom
rdearman.orgRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3948 days ago

881 posts - 1812 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, French, Mandarin

 Message 696 of 766
11 March 2015 at 10:56pm | IP Logged 
Solfrid Cristin wrote:

1. Remember to log everything you have done up to now (says the one who has not
updated what she has watched since may 2014...)

I obsessively log everything that I've done, although I messed up a week or so and ago and didn't log my French work and hence lost my 44 weeks winning streak in French. Although luckily I did log the work I've been doing in Italian.

Solfrid Cristin wrote:

2. Answer Serpent's question by giving a short status report: How much have you done,
what are you satisfied with/dissatisfied with when it comes to your own performance,
have you seen any progress yet?

Personally I have seen progress although not nearly as much as I'd hoped. I can happily watch TV in French or Italian without subtitles and I "get" most of it, so this is a good improvement. I think the improvement is too slow, so I don't really notice much of a difference, although others have commented that I've gotten much better. I hate course work, so I prefer the native materials, the issue with that is I'm not getting enough study of grammar, etc.

So I'm doing the output challenge too, in order to 'activate' some of this input. Already Radioclare has surpassed me in this challenge too!

1 person has voted this message useful

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