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Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

  Tags: Italian | French
 Language Learning Forum : Language Learning Log Post Reply
19 messages over 3 pages: 1 2 3  Next >>
Robierre
Tetraglot
Newbie
Croatia
Joined 2144 days ago

16 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: Croatian*, Italian, French, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 1 of 19
20 June 2015 at 6:30pm | IP Logged 
I admire very much all of you writing on this forum! Finally I decided to start my
log. First of all, let me introduce myself briefly:

My name is Robierre. I am here to share with you my day-to-day progress in French and
Italian, two languages that are currently in the focus of my interest. If I exclude
school courses during early teenage years, these languages are important part of my
life from 2006 (FR) and 2010 (IT). Currently, I am in the middle of the most exciting
part of every language learning process: it is the stage when you are able to read
books or newspapers, watch TV or movies, listen to radio stations, write long e-mails,
speak with your friends or use the language at work. More or less to do the same
activities as with your mother language. But with one important difference: it is
still a foreign language that you are learning and every each of these activities is
full of obstacles and challenges.

So what are my goals?

Let's just continue to learn while having fun and enjoying in exploring different
facets of both languages. To get you know with the direction that I am taking, I will
discover you briefly my weak points.

FR:
Langue familière and argot. I agree very much with those of you saying that
there is a huge difference between everyday French and the formal register. I can feel
this gap. You can easily notice from my spoken French that I learned the language from
grammar textbooks, university teachers, newspapers like Le Temps or Le Monde, media
like France Culture or TV5Monde. That's great, but - when you're at the party with
native French speakers commenting soccer, girls or telling jokes, you will need a
different kind of register, that's for sure.

Literature. I love to read and if you want to read classics, you have to have a
very rich vocabulary. By combining extensive and intensive reading I have already
great results, but I want to continue that way.

Listening skills. I have to admit that I have problems with some movies in
French. My ears are used to deal with clear academic French and not so much with movie
characters speaking while yelling or crying or eating. A lot of work here. The example
of the show that is very hard for me to follow is On n'est pas couché on France2 - I
always get depressed when I try to understand the jokes.

Speaking more fluently. I have a good pronunciation of separate words and even
groups of words, but it would be great to develop the fast way of speaking for the
occasions where you have to react fast in conversations - it is also connected with
the low register where you have to pronounce the words in a different way.

Writing. Maybe it is not on the top of my priorities but it would be also nice
to make some progress - maybe to try to use some forums.

Some more complex grammar. From time to time I plan to work on some specific
points of grammar, specially concordance des temps and subjonctif; I always come back
on this.

IT:
Reading quality literature. No problems here with popular literature and
newspapers. When it comes to Moravia or Pasolini, it gets more difficult. So what I
need is extensive reading of classics and contemporary writers and more analytical
approach (using dictionary) with some complex articles dealing with, let's say,
philosophy or art.

Administrative Italian. Specific sort of language; not easy at all. I already
work quite well on this task.

Writing on social networks. Sometimes when I write e-mails or messages to my
friends I struggle with the style - I want to stay grammatically correct while adding
some words that are more used among younger generation. I think I need a bit of slang
to spice up my linguaggio familiare (which is much better then in French).

Speaking with Italians. Very often when I have an occasion to speak with
Italians I realize that I can do it much better. Or is it the complex because I want
to sound completely native. I don't know, it might be that I need more practice to
make a response that is more than just one sentence; sometimes I have this weird
impression that my responses are to short. It must be a cultural thing. Concerning the
prononciation, I am a bit obsessed how my e&o aperta/chiusa sound in some words, but
I know that it is not a big deal for Italians.

Get to know a dialect. Contrary to French, Italian is the language of dialects.
I feel the need to get familiar with this part of the culture. Napoletano and Veneto
are on my list but I still have to work on this idea.

Listening. Generally I don't have problems with listening. The only exception
is fast speaking - I noticed it on some tv-shows, for example Gazebo on Rai3, I really
get lost from time to time. The same goes for some jokes of Luciana Litizzetto in Che
tempo che fa.

Some grammar. From time to time some exercises, just to refresh some things.


Hope to have your support in all this, specially if you're on the same level with
these languages. Cheers

Edited by Robierre on 21 June 2015 at 2:24pm

6 persons have voted this message useful



Sarnek
Diglot
Senior Member
Italy
Joined 2355 days ago

308 posts - 414 votes 
Speaks: Italian*, English
Studies: German, Swedish

 
 Message 2 of 19
20 June 2015 at 7:25pm | IP Logged 
In bocca al lupo, Robierre!

You may want to add English as well amongst the languages you speak :)

Also, I suggest you read more essays or accademic writings (if you are into it, that is) if you want to get better in reading more classical
literature. I know this sounds twisted, but you'll both read something interesting and easier than proper literature and you'll eventually get
used to less frequent vocabulary and different writing styles.
And yeah, don't worry about the vowels. I come from the South and I only use the open ones. Here in the North where I live they only use the closed
ones. That distinction between closed and open vowels only applies to some places in Tuscany (Florence, Pisa, etc.) and very few other parts of
central Italy.

Edited by Sarnek on 20 June 2015 at 7:26pm

3 persons have voted this message useful



Robierre
Tetraglot
Newbie
Croatia
Joined 2144 days ago

16 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: Croatian*, Italian, French, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 3 of 19
20 June 2015 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Grazie Sarnek, hai ragione, devo aggiungiere anche l'inglese! :-)

Alora, essays and articles sound great for intensive reading! Actually, I would be
happy to have some web-site with well written articles. I don't have any Italian web-
portal that I read regularly; from time to time I read some articles liked by my
friends on social networks. One of the sites I checked recently was
I fiori del male - the title sounds promising
and some of the articles are interesting as well.

Regarding the pronunciation, my vowels are also quite open, not a perfect Croatian
standard pronunciation, but
applied in Italian they sound as lingua toscana in bocca ambrosiana. :)) But I like
phonetics and the differences that some good standard speakers make between
aperto/chiuso depending of the words.

Edited by Robierre on 20 June 2015 at 9:39pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Robierre
Tetraglot
Newbie
Croatia
Joined 2144 days ago

16 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: Croatian*, Italian, French, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 4 of 19
20 June 2015 at 10:35pm | IP Logged 
To start my journal, here is the resume of the first week.

French
Few weeks ago I started to read articles on the cultural web-site of Nouvel Obs,
called BibliObs. It's a good portion of
vocabulary, normally I write daily about 50-100 new words in my notebook - much more
than I would find in "normal" news articles; BibliObs uses a really high register of
writing. For example, there is a long article about Jamce Joyce and Bloomsday:
Joyce .

I'm also doing a parallel reading/listening of the book Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain
Fourier (classic novel from 1913). It is the first time that I'm using this method of
reading and I find it useful; you can relate spoken word with the written text. The
book is not easy as I though it would be (teenagers read it in French schools) but I
don't have major problems in following the story.

During my commuting time I listen to podcasts from France culture. I will put here
from
time to time some interesting tracks. For example, there is an interesting conference
about Histoire et symbolique du blu
Bleu.

Italian
I had my last four hours of language course this week. I am preparing tomorrow for the
written exam next week (mostly grammar: passato remoto, concordanze, congiuntivo...).

Edited by Robierre on 21 June 2015 at 1:13pm

1 person has voted this message useful



garyb
Triglot
Senior Member
ScotlandRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3347 days ago

1468 posts - 2411 votes 
Speaks: English*, Italian, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 5 of 19
22 June 2015 at 10:07am | IP Logged 
Welcome and good luck Robierre! Your languages and goals are similar to mine so I'll be following with interest.
2 persons have voted this message useful





emk
Diglot
Moderator
United States
Joined 3672 days ago

2615 posts - 8805 votes 
Speaks: English*, FrenchB2
Studies: Spanish, Ancient Egyptian
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 6 of 19
22 June 2015 at 1:40pm | IP Logged 
Robierre wrote:
Langue familière and argot. I agree very much with those of you saying that
there is a huge difference between everyday French and the formal register. I can feel
this gap. You can easily notice from my spoken French that I learned the language from
grammar textbooks, university teachers, newspapers like Le Temps or Le Monde, media
like France Culture or TV5Monde. That's great, but - when you're at the party with
native French speakers commenting soccer, girls or telling jokes, you will need a
different kind of register, that's for sure.

Yes, this is a common challenge with French. :-) Here are some of my favorite sources of colloquial French:

Vie de merde. Short stories of days gone wrong, written in colloquial but generally correct French. These also make perfect sentence cards for Anki if you discover an especially interesting detail.

Topito (thanks, sctroyenne). Humorous "top 10"-style lists about many subjects. Articles will sometimes veer between the formal and informal registers for humorous effect, which makes it an especially useful source.

Bandes dessinées & Izneo. BDs are a goldmine of colloquial speech, and there's something available for every taste, ranging from science fiction to police thrillers to brilliant social commentary. BDs are expensive, unless you read using Izneo, which offers both online rentals and monthly plan with access to a huge library.

Television and movies. Television and movies contain vast amounts of colloquial speech, of course. Consider getting access to a VPN service (they've gotten a lot cheaper in the last couple of years) so you can access French TV channels and choose among many movies and TV series. Also consider taking a look at SensCritique for recommendations. You'll quickly notice that the French watch lots of US TV and movies, but they tend to dub them very well. If you try to limit yourself to 100% original French content, your selection will be much worse than that of the average French native, who has access to lots of dubbed media.

Girls and geeks. A blog by Titiou Lecoq, a professional writer. Not always 100% work-safe. I mention this because she absolutely nails a certain register of highly-informal yet highly-educated French when writing for her blog.

3 persons have voted this message useful



Robierre
Tetraglot
Newbie
Croatia
Joined 2144 days ago

16 posts - 29 votes
Speaks: Croatian*, Italian, French, English
Studies: German

 
 Message 7 of 19
23 June 2015 at 12:21am | IP Logged 
garyb & emk, thank you for your support! Hope to read more of you here!

emk: wow, you gave me a lot of sources. I will definitely check them all, specially the
blogs! I have a lot of French TV-channels, but my problem is that I always watch the
programs with standard French speakers: documentaries, serious conversations,
reportages... I think I need some simple TV-series (hm...I never watch them in any
language).

Bandes dessinées sounds great! What do you think about PIF?
Pif

Edited by Robierre on 23 June 2015 at 12:54am

1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3149 days ago

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

 
 Message 8 of 19
23 June 2015 at 7:35pm | IP Logged 
Great log, I'm looking forward to following you.

Simple (or "stupid") TV-series are not necessarily the same thing as colloquial language using tv series, even though some are both.

Engrenages is certainly not a simple series, it got some awards etc. And there is a lot of normal informal French. It is very popular and highly praised by critics as well.

On the other hand, Hero Corp and Kaamelot are comedies, not art, but the language is far from simple. When you can understand those, you are quite sure to understand anything. And learning some of the phrases there, trying to speak like the characters, that has been very fun for me and enriched my speaking skills as well.

About books. A.Dumas uses surprisingly normal and modern language, despite being classics. But usually, you need the lighter genres for the everyday language. I can recommend polars by Fred Vargas as a good example.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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