Willfr’s French Language Log

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Carmody
Brown Belt
Posts: 1124
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:00 am
Location: NYC, NY
Languages: English (N)
French (B1)
Language Log: http://tinyurl.com/zot7wrs
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby Carmody » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:57 pm

I too am at your level, so I can share the pain.

Points:
1-It is necessary to persevere and to be patient. That means patient with yourself. Make sure you are not putting yourself in a pressure cooker. It is necessary to relax in order to learn. I find that sleep can work wonders.

2-Many people think Reading is important. You can pick up a lot that way. If you want some good ideas for books at your level please do check out https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=10113&start=200 for good ideas for books.

Maybe Checkpoint is too advanced a book at this time. Maybe start with something less demanding and build to Checkpoint.

And Yes, I too have a "massive Collins dictionary." But at your level you don't want to go to that for every word. Rather pick up Larousse Concise French-English/English-French Dictionary (English and French Edition)
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=larousse+french+english+dictionary&i=stripbooks&crid=2OVEKP1HARHSS&sprefix=larousse+french%2Caps%2C143&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_15

If you like Harry Potter, try one of those books that you have already read. Or any book that you have read and liked.

3-It is important to work with comprehensible input so give yourself a try with YouTube and this person:
https://www.youtube.com/user/aliceayel/videos

Easy does it; you are in it for the long haul........ :)
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
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Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby Cavesa » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:29 pm

willfr wrote:2020 Week 2
Do I feel a huge sense of progress? Nah, not yet. I still am struggling to know how and what to focus on and whether I am devoting my time to the right areas. I guess that’s just how it goes when you’re in the country because there are so many new bits of language occurring throughout the day that they always make me wonder if I should switch my focus.

Do I feel a huge sense of achievement? Totally. I’ve really committed to be persistent and consistent with my French work and though I cannot say I love rewriting verbs every day, the sense of achievement I get when I realise voir and recevoir are conjugated differently is highly rewarding. It is still a ‘micro’ achievement rather than something more impressive (like a phone call) but I guess over time these build up to support me with the more challenging tasks.


Don't worry about progress. You do lots of useful things. Keep doing them, and it will come. And with having fun too. My progress from B2 to C2 happened accidentally and on the background, while I was having fun and maintaining the language. Hundreds of hours of having fun did this. Your attitude is absolutely great. Small achievements are a good way to go. It will all add up.

Going over Grammar that I should already know but don’t

Even though I got a high score for my A2 DELF exam, I have terrible foundations. So I am using Kwiziq to go over lots of things that I “should” know before even embarking on the B1 stuff. My biggest challenge at the moment? Prepositions.

Oh if I could somehow commit prepositions to memory. ...

The frustration here is that I have been trying to learn these for years and cannot seem to make it stick. Any advice will be massively appreciated!

When it comes to understanding old, and new, grammatical concepts I have three resources, in addition to Kwiziq, to help me: Grammaire Progressive Debutant, Grammaire Progressive Intermediate, and Schaum’s French Grammar. My partner asked me, which one is the most useful and it struck me that not one is sufficient in helping me understand. I seem to need to go to all four of them and then, eventually, I start to make sense of the rules. In this way I feel that there’s some sort of resistance to “grammar” that might be holding back my progress.

You're absolutely right that grammar can hold one back, especially the gaps in the basics. A friend of mine was complaining about that just earlier today. He's trying to get to B2 for a job, but struggles to get over B1 in any exam area (he actually took an exam recently) and basic vocab and grammar are holding him back.

That's why I find it so unfortunate, that the mainstream in language learning today is against a strong grammar base. You are doing it right. It simply takes several explanations, numerous examples, a lot of exercises, and tons of exposure. It will pay off. It might look like too slow progress now, but you'll profit from it later, when you don't get stuck while speaking or writing, and you don't need to relearn it all to understand more advanced issues.

Every hour invested now saves you several hours of relearning later (months or years later), and numerous mistakes and faux pas.

so I picked up a Marc Levy novel with the intention of underlining words/phrases I don’t know as I go through the book. That’s probably not going to start for at least a few weeks though.

Mark Levy is awesome for learners. The books are great, the language is adequate for an intermediate learner but still rich, the language is contemporary. Which book have you picked?

You might also like Readlang.com and use epub books. That makes it much easier to just tap on words and have them translated and saved for later Anki (or different) use.


TV
I've watched quite a bit of French TV over the week. Totally passive an, except for one programme on Netflix, without subtitles. Not sure I could turn TV watching into a learning activity. By the evening when I do watch TV, the thought of 'thinking' seems like a horrible idea! :lol:

That's an excellent learning activity. It will pay off, just give it the time. You might soon notice yourself using the prepositions better and more naturally. This is exactly one of the areas, where reading and listening helps a lot!
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willfr
White Belt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:33 am
Location: France
Languages: English (N), French (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12172
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby willfr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:02 am

iguanamon wrote:1) Watch a dub of a series with which you may be familiar in English.
2) Go to https://www.opensubtitles.org and get subtitles- if not accurate at least can make the series comprehensible, especially if the English is also available. You can make your own parallel text to use.
3) transcribe the episode as best you can and compare it to an accurate transcript (there's a list somewhere here on the forum of series with accurate transcripts).
4) Search for a synopsis/recap of the episode- many can be found on wikipedia or elsewhere online. These help you to see what's happening in the episode and can give clues to aid in comprehension.
5) Take notes as you watch.
6) Write a review and ask for correction.
7) With a dubbed series- watch first in English then in French or vice-versa or French-> English-> French


This is really interesting, especially as I am watching French TV not as a learning opportunity but simply because that is what’s on TV! There are a couple of series that we’re watching where I get the gist but some little elements of dialogue are lost on me. I didn’t know about opensubtitles so will take a look to see if they carry English translations of some of the french shows. Thanks!
1 x
I'm learning French and these are my current resources:
  • Grammaire Progressive du Français - Beginners & Intermediate
  • Schaum's French Grammar
  • Kwiziq
  • Alter Ego 3

366 Day Challenge: 14 / 366

willfr
White Belt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:33 am
Location: France
Languages: English (N), French (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12172
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby willfr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:09 am

Carmody wrote:
Easy does it; you are in it for the long haul........ :)


Thanks for the pearls of wisdom, Carmody! You’re right about the long haul and avoiding being in a pressure cooker. I guess it’s challenging because the amount of work to be done is limitless - so at times I have thought that persisting throughout the day was a good option. Then the day after I feel pretty reluctant to pick up where I left off, so I appreciate the reminder!

I’m going to persist with Check-point simply out of stubbornness. :lol: I’m noticing that, as people have said in other posts, the author uses the same words over and over again (funny how I never noticed this with English books) and so the checking becomes less frequent. Though I am still only about 5 % into the book. The challenge I am having is recognising the tenses. Argh - back to grammar.

Thank you for the other recommendations, I will check each one out!
1 x
I'm learning French and these are my current resources:
  • Grammaire Progressive du Français - Beginners & Intermediate
  • Schaum's French Grammar
  • Kwiziq
  • Alter Ego 3

366 Day Challenge: 14 / 366

willfr
White Belt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:33 am
Location: France
Languages: English (N), French (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12172
x 62

Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby willfr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:16 am

Cavesa wrote:Mark Levy is awesome for learners. The books are great, the language is adequate for an intermediate learner but still rich, the language is contemporary. Which book have you picked? !


Thanks for your words of encouragement Cavesa. Your posts are what keep me focused on the work of learning french and make sure that I push myself just beyond the point of comfort (which means I have you to thank for sticking with daily grammar drills and exercises!)

The book is called Et si c’était vrai.... I intend to use it a bit like an annotated textbook and heavily markup words and phrases I don’t understand with the hope that, by the time I’m finished, the scribbles are less numerous. We shall see...


I just want to add how appreciative I am to everyone who has taken the time to read my log and respond. It really means a lot to me that people are taking time out to give me advice and support.
2 x
I'm learning French and these are my current resources:
  • Grammaire Progressive du Français - Beginners & Intermediate
  • Schaum's French Grammar
  • Kwiziq
  • Alter Ego 3

366 Day Challenge: 14 / 366

Caromarlyse
White Belt
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2019 2:31 pm
Languages: English (N), French (C1*), German (B1/B2*), Spanish (beginner)

* = estimated levels, French based on Dialang, German based on recent and historic assessments
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby Caromarlyse » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:44 pm

I just wanted to chime in and say that you're doing great and going in the right direction. Also to say that I've just gone through the highest level of Grammaire progressive and getting the prepositions right for towns, regions and countries gets its own chapter! Obviously if you can crack them earlier, then so much the better, but be assured that such errors clearly stick around with learners for a long time!
1 x

willfr
White Belt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:33 am
Location: France
Languages: English (N), French (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12172
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby willfr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:45 pm

Caromarlyse wrote:I just wanted to chime in and say that you're doing great and going in the right direction. Also to say that I've just gone through the highest level of Grammaire progressive and getting the prepositions right for towns, regions and countries gets its own chapter! Obviously if you can crack them earlier, then so much the better, but be assured that such errors clearly stick around with learners for a long time!


Ohhhhh. That really takes some of the pressure off. Thank you.
0 x
I'm learning French and these are my current resources:
  • Grammaire Progressive du Français - Beginners & Intermediate
  • Schaum's French Grammar
  • Kwiziq
  • Alter Ego 3

366 Day Challenge: 14 / 366

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iguanamon
Black Belt - 1st Dan
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Location: Virgin Islands
Languages: Speaks: English (Native); Spanish (C2); Portuguese (C2); Haitian Creole (C1); Ladino/Djudeo-espanyol (C1); Lesser Antilles French Creole (B2)
Studies: Catalan
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=797
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby iguanamon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:38 pm

willfr wrote:... I didn’t know about opensubtitles so will take a look to see if they carry English translations of some of the french shows.

The website, opensubtitles.org, will try to trick you into downloading stuff. Do not click on any big download buttons. Do not download any exe files. Just click on the name of the show plus season/episode number and you'll be fine. The file will be a zipped file and within the folder you will be looking for a file that ends with srt . This file will open up in notepad or your word processor program. Each file contains time stamps that vary widely between sources- different subtitles from different dvd's will have different time stamps.

I wish websites wouldn't try to trick people into downloading stuff but anything "free" will do that.
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willfr
White Belt
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:33 am
Location: France
Languages: English (N), French (A2)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12172
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby willfr » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:33 pm

iguanamon wrote:Do not click on any big download buttons. Do not download any exe files. Just click on the name of the show plus season/episode number and you'll be fine. The file will be a zipped file and within the folder you will be looking for a file that ends with srt


Haha. Yes there are a lot of distractions on the site! No big buttons....

I never knew the srt file format existed so today I’ve ended up learning a lot about them. The internet never ceases to impress me (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SubRip)
0 x
I'm learning French and these are my current resources:
  • Grammaire Progressive du Français - Beginners & Intermediate
  • Schaum's French Grammar
  • Kwiziq
  • Alter Ego 3

366 Day Challenge: 14 / 366

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badger
Orange Belt
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:33 pm
Location: UK
Languages: native: English
intermediate: French
dabbling: Arabic, Spanish
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... p?p=135580
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Re: Willfr’s French Language Log

Postby badger » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:47 am

the quality & availability of subs on opensubtitles.org is a bit variable, but it can be worth persevering. I've had some good subs from there - Stranger Things, Un Village Français, Le Bureau des Légendes, etc.

I do find it strangely difficult to get French subs - or strictly speaking, closed captions - for French programs. are there no deaf people in France who need them?
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