italiano vivente

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Lysander
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italiano vivente

Postby Lysander » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:28 am

C'est l'heure.

I am back after an 8-month break from language learning. Though Portuguese went well for what little time I spent with it, French actually has a place in both my work and personal life. edit: I jinxed myself again, so French is now on pause too.

From experience with Portuguese, I decided to start off in a similar way. I edited New French With Ease to my liking, and am doing one lesson a day (I started a couple of weeks ago). This is how I do each lesson:

Morning
1) Read the English side of the dialogue.
2) Listen and silently read along with the French text.
3) Listen, pausing after each line and repeat it out loud twice. Then I compare with the English and read any grammar notes for that particular line.
4) Listen and silently read along with the French. Then listen and read along out loud with the French.
5) Same as #4, except the first time I read along silently with the English while hearing the French.

Evening
Repeat steps 1, 4, and 5 from above.

Since I edited the audio, the longest track of the entire course is only 1 minute and 49 seconds. It makes it quite easy to get in many repetitions.

Tonight, I actually came across Journal en français facile, which is similar in setup to NHK, but much more user friendly, though a bit shorter. I think this may supplant Euro News as my daily news source avec audio.

My library has a decent sized stack of Dover dual readers that I will work through. At that point, unfortunately, the library seems to only have a handful of French novels (an abundance of Spanish and Vietnamese, though), and I will look to transition to either reading French books on Kindle or looking to buy novels cheaply in bulk online.

Anyway, that is about it for now. Assimil, French news with audio, and easy dual readers. Oh, and some French music. I really like this album:



Slow and steady wins the race.
Last edited by Lysander on Sat Nov 28, 2020 6:13 am, edited 6 times in total.
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zjones
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby zjones » Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:59 pm

Welcome to French. :twisted:

I look forward to following your log. If you can listen to Journal en français facile regularly, it will help you a lot. Despite the name, it's not dumbed down, and the speed of the presentation is not particularly slow either - depending on which présentateur you get, of course. There are also plenty of advanced expressions in JeFF that you can learn by checking the transcript.

If you like news, you might want to take a peek at the YouTube channels of RFI and LeMonde. They upload a few new videos every day, and some of them are subtitled. The narrator of LeMonde videos speaks very clearly. Sometimes I get tired of listening to JeFF every day, so I opt to watch a couple videos instead -- and because they're all about the same topic (current affairs) I can reinforce my vocabulary by learning from different sources.

Thanks for the song, too :)
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Fri Mar 22, 2019 12:42 am

Today I finished reading Why We Sleep, which focuses on how poorly most people sleep, and the dire consequences we face on an individual and societal level as a result.

The full scope of benefits one receives from sufficient, qualty sleep goes well beyond matters of concern to this forum, but the list of benefits for a language learner is near endless. The impact of the quality of one's sleep, for better or worse, on one's memory is extreme.

Memorization improvement is one small example of many in the book for why sleep is helpful for language learning, but don't let crushing stacks of flash cards or surfing YouTube to find that perfectly subtitled French/Russia/whatever video keep you from getting enough shut-eye. Both you and your language learning will suffer for it.

If it isn't too close to your bedtime, here is a ~14:00 minute video with the author, made a few year's prior to the publication of the book, giving a taste of the research:


It may not even be news to you, but we can all probably use a reminder once in a while to head to bed on time. Bonne nuit et de beaux rêves!
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:54 pm

zjones wrote:Welcome to French. :twisted:

I look forward to following your log. If you can listen to Journal en français facile regularly, it will help you a lot. Despite the name, it's not dumbed down, and the speed of the presentation is not particularly slow either - depending on which présentateur you get, of course. There are also plenty of advanced expressions in JeFF that you can learn by checking the transcript.

If you like news, you might want to take a peek at the YouTube channels of RFI and LeMonde. They upload a few new videos every day, and some of them are subtitled. The narrator of LeMonde videos speaks very clearly. Sometimes I get tired of listening to JeFF every day, so I opt to watch a couple videos instead -- and because they're all about the same topic (current affairs) I can reinforce my vocabulary by learning from different sources.

Thanks for the song, too :)

Thanks for being my first visitor :) French will definitely be an interesting journey. It somehow feels much more challenging than Brazilian Portuguese did, even though I took some French at university, but had no background in BP when beginning.

Journal en français facile definitely does not seem particularly slow, haha. When you use it, do you just listen and only use the transcript to check if you get lost? It is all feeling new to me, so I mostly just read along with the audio and let the obvious stuff ("Brexit", "Donald Trump", etc...) jump out at me. I figured more and more will come to stand out in time and that, for now at least, I didn't need to work too intensively with it.
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby zjones » Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:00 pm

Hi again!

Yes, I think the way you’re using Journal en français facile sounds great. The more advanced you get the more time you can spend working on pure listening. I’m in the B-levels so I usually focus on listening first and then going through with the transcript and focusing on the more difficult areas. Some days it’s easier, other days seem really difficult to follow.

Good luck!
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:01 pm

I decided to get back into French, just for fun! No work tie-in. A project to keep my mind engaged in the evenings as the sun sets a bit earlier and the weather gets a bit colder for the next ~5 months in my part of the world.

I listen to French music once in a while already.

For now I am doing Assimil daily + something from RFI.

The daily RFI news with atranscript is such a gem. I don't look up everything, but am surprised how transparent a lot of French sentences seem to be, at least partially. I look up a few interesting terms every day. Today, I learned that couvre-feu (couvre-feux in plural) means curfew.

Clicking around the RFI site, I saw things like Les monuments du monde to get a little taste of the world while covid stops travel and an 8-chapter Histoire générale de l’Afrique which looks to have many hours of listening content. Most of these are audio only, so for later on, but it is kind of cool this one little site has so much varied content. I even saw a random article about Millenials on one of their pages that had a ~3-minute audio clip associated with it. Regardless, students of French have a lot of options for native materials to engage with from the beginning.
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:10 pm

Alright, I just finished week one of New French With Ease (NFWE).

I already noticed a few differences from the Brazilian Portuguese (BP) Assimil course.

NFWE seems to have slightly more complex sentences and longer dialogues earlier on, though it may change since I am only a week in. In contrast, the BP course had more cultural notes throughout than NFWE does, though it remains to be seen if NFWE just bakes more cultural info into each lesson.

The other difference is that the review lessons for BP had their own sentences with audio to help review vocab from the previous six lessons. It was a nice way to review without repeating the exact lessons from earlier. The French course does not have audio in in its review lessons and they are grammar notes only. It would have been nice, but it isn't a big deal. Since I invested the time to cut out all the gaps with Audacity, and make it something at least vaguely approaching natural speed, it is under 4 and a half minutes to go through all six lessons. Not a bad way to review.

Surprisingly, when I went back to review just now, I tried to construct the French from just the English first and I was able to get it right for almost all of 4 of the 6 and about 85% in the other two. Not bad for my fairly straight forward study strategy.

Oh, and I did find one mistake. Lesson 3, in the second set of exercises, the English given includes the word "very" but the answer and spaces given are as if the sentence says "We French [people] are all nice" without the très.

Anyway, I like the course so far due to the quality of the recordings and that the lessons are a bit more engaging than the BP ones. Though I am sure as dialogues get longer and grammar gets more tricky, it won't seem as easy as this first week did.
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Wed Oct 21, 2020 10:41 pm

I like how Assimil breaks the 4th wall to address the learner directly with some words of encouragement on occasion.

At the end of Lesson 10 is the following:

There may seem to be a lot of details, but we don't want you to try and remember everything. We always repeat important points several times in different situations so that you can become familiar with them automatically. So relax and enjoy yourself!

It is little things like that that I think set apart Assimil from a lot of other courses. Review is fine, but no need to stress about memorizing.

This particular lesson did show its age some since it mentions Monsieur Duclos turning on his answering machine (le répondeur téléphonique)!

This made me curious to look up voicemail, which is la messagerie vocale. Good to know, though I am curious how it was decided the older tech was masculine but the new one is feminine, haha. Either way, even older courses can teach you if you connect them to modern life :)
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:07 pm

Fourteen lessons down! Before doing my new lesson each day, I have started just listening to the previous day's audio once while reading the English and then reading aloud along with the audio before proceeding to the new lesson. A nice little warm up before beginning the new one.

What I do for the review lessons is run through the lessons from two weeks ago, review the revision notes, and then do the most recent week. For example, I reviewed lessons 1-6, then read the revision notes (#14), and then reviewed 8-13.

As far as the revision lessons, I just read the rules a couple times and move on. I am not focused on memorizing anything, just some recognition of what I have seen..

One odd thing was the grammar note today about Verbs endng in -re references a number of them used in Lesson 10 and says to go back and review the lesson to review them. However, it includes the word décrocher, which is not only not in Lesson 10, but according to the appendix is not referenced in the book at all until Lesson 104, haha. Oh well, problems for later.

One of these days, I may actually write out some sentences. There are already so many little phrases floating around in my head that I feel like just creating a couple of constructions of my own that use them would help lock them in.
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Lysander
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Re: Liberté, égalité, fraternité, français

Postby Lysander » Wed Oct 28, 2020 12:00 am

I'd like to read a real book. I have a high tolerance for ambiguity and a kindle where I can instantly look up words.

I may go with Da Vinci Code since I recall it being quite an easy read in english, and it doesn't look too intimidating in the preview on Amazon.

I've also thought about this massive Stephen King tome since I've always wanted to read the original. But I'm thinking a book I know I can handle in english may be a better first bet.

Even if the one I select is too tough, I own it so I can always come back later.

I'm not set on buying a book yet, I'm just thinking about it since, in english, I read books way more than I read news. Replace what we do and enjoy in our target language, right? Hmm.
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