PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

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PeterMollenburg
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Aug 18, 2022 3:35 pm

Le Baron wrote:I've been knocking around the language interwebs for quite a while (and also in the non-internet world for quite a while) and I've seen much less disdain for earning certificates than for taking official courses. The latter are characterised - especially on here - as people who teach you nothing and steal all your money in the process.

Apparently these institutions guiding students to pass exams (since these are usually part of and the end-goal of the courses), using the same CEFR syllabi designed for passing these exams, are tricking everyone, but the certificates themselves are worthy. However the very enthusiastic and the less enthusiastic alike seem to converge in saying they are mainly for CVs and jobs. No matter what some person might draw as a pre-ordained conclusion upon seeing someone holds a certain certificate.

When I was teaching and met students for tutorials, I would sometimes talk with one who spoke very good English or French, and later either see on a CV, or they would mention, that they had some certificate. Perhaps the Cambridge one or equivalent in French. And I would congratulate them on their achievement. Yet to me the core achievement was in speaking/writing the language well and it wouldn't have mattered to me whether or not they held the certificate. If no-one had mentioned it I would still be impressed, after all I had just spoken to the person! Had I seen the certificate beforehand I could only ever wait until speaking with the person to see any match. And unless the discrepancy was strikingly disappointing, it would again be irrelevant by that point. Being able to manage a discussion of e.g. Kalecki, in whatever language, only depends upon the ability to manage a discussion of Kalecki in whatever language; not a report from their certificate.

So it's pretty clear to me that certificates are 1) currency for officialdom, and 2) personal achievement receipts. Which is not a criticism, but a reminder that both of those are not a necessary condition for when you come to deliver the actual goods. Though officialdom may prevent some people ever getting to that point at all.


Quite eloquently put, i.e. well said. Thank you, Le Baron for sharing.
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frenchfish55
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby frenchfish55 » Fri Aug 19, 2022 7:23 am

It was pleasure to read you French log. So sad that World lost such noble learner of french.
Wishing your francaise peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. :-)
Through God’s love, I pray that He grant you C2 DELF certificate.
What your wife would say? You enforced her to learn French and Spanish and now you told her .Let's forgot it.
WE are now Vikings :-)
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PeterMollenburg
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Aug 19, 2022 1:10 pm

frenchfish55 wrote:It was pleasure to read you French log. So sad that World lost such noble learner of french.
Wishing your francaise peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this time of sorrow. :-)
Through God’s love, I pray that He grant you C2 DELF certificate.
What your wife would say? You enforced her to learn French and Spanish and now you told her .Let's forgot it.
WE are now Vikings :-)


Thank you frenchfish55, but I feel along the way that something has been lost in translation, as my French is still very much active and is the strongest foreign language used in our household (although Dutch seems to be gaining significant ground lately, but still has a long way to go to draw even with French). French is well and truly implanted, settled in, fixed, installed, here to stay. I continue to use the language with the kids - speaking, reading aloud, they watch French programmes on TV, listen to French music, podcasts and audiobooks. For my own enjoyment I also watch French programmes, listen to podcasts, music, news, read for my own enjoyment as well (news, specific insterests, books etc). Occasionally I break out a Bien-dire magazine and learn some new vocabulary. French has not lost me, I will return some time to tackle the C-level exams again.

In the meantime even while learning Norwegian, occasionally I will use a French-based textbook. I've recently gone back to writing new vocabulary in a seperate exercise book. There I have a column for the Norwegian word or expression and there are two other columns for the translations - English and French! Hopefully this helps alleviate some of your disappointment ;)
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Inge
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby Inge » Sat Aug 20, 2022 11:41 am

..
Last edited by Inge on Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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PeterMollenburg
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sat Aug 20, 2022 1:45 pm

Inge wrote:Hei Peter! What is your experience like learning Norwegian? Were you able to use input more quickly compared to your other languages?
I'm currently road tripping through Norway, Denmark and Sweden and I'm finding all of them, but especially Norwegian, surprisingly easy to decode. Based solely on my knowledge of English, Dutch and German since I have studied none.


Hi Inge,

For me it's complicated, so I'll speak generally first...

If you already have learned a foreign language to B2 or beyond, learning Norwegian should be straightforward, even easy. If you speak English and another Germanic language such as German or Dutch, and especially if German or Dutch is your native language, then Norwegian should be no tricky task at all. The grammar is easy, the vocabulary familiar.

My experience? Initially shock, as it had been so long since I learned a new language from scratch - that is, I hadn't even attempted this language many years prior and was trying to revive it and go beyond basics. For me Norwegian was completely new, but many recognizeable features from Engish and Dutch stuck out. English is my native language and I know a good deal of Dutch but nowhere near native level and certainly not at B2 or beyond. Still, Norwegian shouldn't be that tricky for me. I should be able to speedily grasp this language. It's not happening that way, because...


I like to learn to speak as close as possible to how natives speak, through analysis, imitation and repetition. I also want my French to play a role in the acquisition of Norwegian. This means I use my two French-Norwegian dictionaries a lot as well as my Norwegian-English dictionaries. It is not unusual for me to look up one new Norwegian word in four dictionaries. The first to find out what it means in English and how the tones would be applied according to common Oslo dialect (while writing the EN translation in my vocab exercise book). The second to find a French translation (and write that down in the exercise book too). The third and fourth to clarify pronunciation of vowel sounds in particular as the first two dictionaries don't help there. Sometimes I might even then use a dictionary app as well, which is a Norwegian only dictionary with IPA-style phonetic representation.

All this means my learning of Norwegian is dramatically slower than someone who doesn't find it necessary to translate Norwegian to French or memorise tones. I get the feeling lately that I've mainly passed the initial shock, which in Norwegian mainly applies to the tones and pronunciation. I feel like this language could be learned very swiftly. I've had numerous restarts myself even at the basic A0/A1 level which has been partially a waste of time and partially good reinforcement. That's my take on learning Norwegian for you.
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frenchfish55
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby frenchfish55 » Sat Aug 20, 2022 3:11 pm

Here is another guy from Australia who tried a lot of cources and don't like french anymore so he decided to talk with his son in Swedish :-)
Maybe there is something wrong with Australia
People in Europe think that Australis is marvelous country Kangaroo etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb_90a0ImX4
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PeterMollenburg
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sat Aug 20, 2022 11:02 pm

frenchfish55 wrote:Here is another guy from Australia who tried a lot of cources and don't like french anymore so he decided to talk with his son in Swedish :-)
Maybe there is something wrong with Australia
People in Europe think that Australis is marvelous country Kangaroo etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb_90a0ImX4


He waffles a lot, reminds me of me. You know me? I think I know me. Most Australians speak either Swedish, Danish or Norlandic-ish. Most Australians also learn a little French then give up because they realise they ought to learn Spanglish or Chai Latte to speak to the Kangaroos. Thanks for sharing frenchfish55.
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frenchfish55
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby frenchfish55 » Sun Aug 21, 2022 3:12 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
frenchfish55 wrote:Here is another guy from Australia who tried a lot of cources and don't like french anymore so he decided to talk with his son in Swedish :-)
Maybe there is something wrong with Australia
People in Europe think that Australis is marvelous country Kangaroo etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb_90a0ImX4


Most Australians speak either Swedish, Danish or Norlandic-ish. Most Australians also learn a little French

Loos like bs to me. Aren't you just bunch of english and irish prisoners who infested the continent with rabbits and now you just sell natural resources to China , lost relationships with Europe and now can't even learn french properly? :-)
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PeterMollenburg
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Posts: 3039
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Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (false starts in 2020 & 2021)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=18080
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Aug 21, 2022 6:22 am

frenchfish55 wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
frenchfish55 wrote:Here is another guy from Australia who tried a lot of cources and don't like french anymore so he decided to talk with his son in Swedish :-)
Maybe there is something wrong with Australia
People in Europe think that Australis is marvelous country Kangaroo etc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb_90a0ImX4


Most Australians speak either Swedish, Danish or Norlandic-ish. Most Australians also learn a little French

Loos like bs to me. Aren't you just bunch of english and irish prisoners who infested the continent with rabbits and now you just sell natural resources to China , lost relationships with Europe and now can't even learn french properly? :-)


I can't answer for everyone, but for me I was arrested in the year 1785 for stealing a loaf of bread in London. They threw me on a ship and I arrived in Botany Bay a few years later. I brought a bunch of rabbits with me, set them free on arrival and couldn't be bothered with my birthplace nor the mother country anymore. Thus, I started learning French and have tried numerous times to escape this rabbit-infested sunburnt country to continental Europe, only to give up in the end and decide to get rich quickly by selling anything and everything I could/can to China. It seems you know me really really well! ;)
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Inge
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Re: PM's Multilingual Family Adventures in a Monolingual Wasteland

Postby Inge » Sun Aug 21, 2022 7:01 am

..
Last edited by Inge on Sun Oct 02, 2022 9:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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