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Polyliteracy - Ten Year Reading Plan

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6931 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 41 of 77
07 September 2007 at 6:54am | IP Logged 
Got some French audiobooks in the mail, which is pretty exciting. I hope to listen to them in the car and then do some listening-reading with them as well. I don't have a parallel text, but I do have the paper books in both English and French. They are non-fiction, which I tend to prefer.

Have continued to listen to an Assimil lesson per day, although I'm not actually studying it, nor reading the notes. My primary goal has been to understand the audio.

No French in Action video watching for several weeks now. I think I may be up a pound or two on the scale.

I've started studying something other languages, and that may crimp things a bit.

I listened to some Jen Nia Mondo in the car this week, as well as followed a Spanish audiobook while commuting. I've also been listening to some English audiobooks. The audiobook thread started by Volte has some good English selections. Although they aren't professional, most of the speakers have very pleasant voices. One from thoughtaudio.com mispronounces some low-frequency words, which is the only marker that says "non-professional". I.E., his voice is deep and rich as is typical for a narrator.
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6931 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 42 of 77
24 September 2007 at 9:31pm | IP Logged 
I watched a little bit of FiA in the last couple of days. I'd like to return to both it and the exercise bike.

Continuing with one lesson per day of Assimil while shaving. At the moment, just looking for comprehension. This has been the most consistent part of my French study lately, which isn't saying much.

Haven't done much with audiobooks, although I'd like to get back to doing at least a few minutes per day of listen-reading.

On the Esperanto front, I'm listening to some old courses and repeating after some of the edited recordings I've made. Right now, Jen Nia Mondo is the centerpiece of this study. I listened to the Teach Yourself Esperanto cassette yesterday and it is almost completely in Esperanto. When I direct my attention at that course, I think it will be quite helpful.

Spanish has been relegated to bits of news. I will fire it up again once I've brought Esperanto (and probably French) up a notch or two.
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Sim
Diglot
Groupie
Canada
thehelper.net/forums
Joined 6016 days ago

45 posts - 48 votes
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 43 of 77
25 September 2007 at 7:58pm | IP Logged 
Are you good enough yet to watch a movie in French with English subtitles?

If so, I recommend it.

Reading a book in French might also help you out ;) Get this vocabulary list longer!

Even a book for kids would do it, as long as it's a book and that you don't waste 90% of your time searching for words. About 8 words per page should be nearly enough. If more, read an easier book.
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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6931 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 44 of 77
25 September 2007 at 9:59pm | IP Logged 
Sim wrote:
Are you good enough yet to watch a movie in French with English subtitles?

I can read English fairly well. Is that what you're asking?

I've got some Petit Nicolas books. I think they are targeted for 12 year old children. I don't have any audio for them though.

I haven't started speaking yet and I want to get to that point before I start reading with earnest. That is, I want to be reasonably confident in how things are pronounced before I start using text-only sources. Maybe I should bust out Pimsleur if I'm going to start talking.

Right now, Esperanto is on the front burner. I'm listening to some French every day, and a bit of Spanish as well.

Is French phonetic? I know the pronunciation rules aren't as simple as Spanish, but if one sees a word, is it clear how it is pronounced if you've never heard it before?

English has some general rules and computers are getting fairly good at reading text, but there are numerous exceptions. Some words are spelt similarly but are pronounced differently, such as bough, cough, through and tough. To me, that aspect is more challenging than the fact that there are multiple spellings for the same sound. For instance, the words true, crew, and through all rhyme.

Edited by luke on 25 September 2007 at 10:12pm

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Sim
Diglot
Groupie
Canada
thehelper.net/forums
Joined 6016 days ago

45 posts - 48 votes
Speaks: French*, English
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 45 of 77
26 September 2007 at 5:31pm | IP Logged 
> I can read English fairly well. Is that what you're asking?

I'm sorry I meant French subtitles ;)

> but if one sees a word, is it clear how it is pronounced if you've never heard it before?

Well there are some letters that their pronounciation depends on the letters around them.

For example: the letter c

"c" followed by "e", "i", and I believe "y" is pronounced as "soft" (As the "s" in English)

"c" followed by "a", "o", and "u" is pronounced as "hard" (Like a "k" in English)

If you want a "c" followed by an "a", "o", or "u" pronounced soft, you need to add a "cédille" underneath it: ç

That way your "c" will be soft, even if it was followed by the "hard" letters.

There are other things like that too, like the s being pronounced as z sometimes or the "g" being hard or soft.

Edited by Sim on 26 September 2007 at 5:31pm

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236factorial
Triglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6266 days ago

192 posts - 213 votes 
Speaks: Mandarin, English*, French
Studies: Spanish

 
 Message 46 of 77
28 September 2007 at 9:28pm | IP Logged 
luke wrote:
Is French phonetic? I know the pronunciation rules aren't as simple as Spanish, but if one sees a word, is it clear how it is pronounced if you've never heard it before?


Usually it is quite clear how a word is pronounced when you see it. But sometimes consonants at the end of words are not pronounced at all, and there is no sure way to predict whether they are. Other times the "e" in words is silent, called an "e muet" I believe, and this can depend on the context of the word.

Like in English, there are many ways to write certain sounds. In certain areas of the French-speaking world, the /e/ (like Spanish "e") can be represented as "é", e(z or r) ait, ais, ei, and others that I can't recall.

Also, silent or non-silent consonants at the end of one word are often "carried on" to the next word if the word starts with a vowel. In my opinion, this makes French very difficult to understand orally.

But with practice, the pronunciation will come naturally and without second thought.

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6931 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 47 of 77
28 September 2007 at 10:29pm | IP Logged 
Thank you both for illuminating what probably seems such a pedestrian detail.

This morning I was listening to Pimsleur lesson 2 and it has a reading lesson at the end. I don't have the reading booklet, but they did talk about phoneticism and how two words can sound the same and be be spelled differently.

I'm planning to continue with a Pimsleur lesson a day while commuting. I sped up the lesson by 20% just so it doesn't take so long. Although they are quite basic, and five minutes into the lesson I wonder how close I was to the end, it seems like it will be worthwhile in the long term as one component of my French studies. Pulling out the quick conversation at the beginning has crossed my mind. That may seem crazy, but if one imagines setting the language down for 10 years and then deciding to pick it up again, it may be handy to have a 45 hour course boiled down to 15 minutes just to get back on one's feet. Then again, a 2 hour trip through Assimil may be even better. Nonetheless, I think it is handy to be able to use the original materials you learned from in a condensed form for re-learning. A bit of nostalgia perhaps.

Edited by luke on 28 September 2007 at 10:39pm

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luke
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
Joined 6931 days ago

3133 posts - 4351 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Esperanto, French

 
 Message 48 of 77
06 October 2007 at 8:09pm | IP Logged 
The Pimsleur plan didn't last but three days. Although I can see the benefit of getting the 500 or so words that it teaches down well, it's a bit dull at times. I've been thinking of just doing the Assimil lesson and French in Action videos for now. The FiA video while exercising lasted one day this week. I'm determined to make the exercise/FiA video a regular habit. It just hasn't happened yet.

I've bumped the priority of French down a few notches, but I figure if I continue with Assimil and FiA, over time I'll build a foundation. At the moment, Esperanto, English, and Spanish are getting more focus, and I think that makes sense for the time being.

Edited by luke on 06 October 2007 at 8:12pm



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