Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

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philomath
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:03 am

jackb wrote:Hi Philomath,

If you are interested, the FSI Basic course for French is available to help with the speaking part. When doing the drills, they use the kind of 'smooshing' you talk about. I end up repeating the words the way I hear them. You might too. I'm in the early stages of the course, but so far I like it.

Thanks! I think I'll check it out. I tried the FSI Basic course for Spanish a while back and it was too tedious for me, but I'm at a much lower level in French than I was in Spanish, and I could definitely use some more pronunciation training.
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YouTube: 201 / 300
Pimsleur French II Lessons 3-10: 3 / 8
Writing: 625 / 3000

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philomath
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Oct 08, 2020 3:15 am

I don't have many updates; I've been very busy with graduate school applications lately, and I started working on a writing project that's taken up a lot of my free time. I'd like to make some progress with French this weekend though. I think I can finish my listening goal and read the rest of Le Petit Prince. Maybe I can even finish FSI French Phonology this weekend too. :)

Last week I found something amazing: a French Discord group for writers. I follow a YouTuber who makes videos in French about her writing, and she recommended it. I really like writing communities so I was extra excited to find one in my target language. I spent about an hour reading other people's introductory posts so I could write my own, trying to sound as much like a native speaker as possible. I apologized for my bad French and explained that I was still learning, but when I woke up the next day I half-expected to see a bunch of replies telling me to get out of the group if I'm not a native speaker. Instead though, a bunch of people had liked my post and welcomed me. :D Since then, I haven't posted anything else, but I've been reading lots of the messages and I think I've learned a lot of new words. It's very useful to see how native speakers message each other conversationally. When I have time this weekend, I may even make some Anki flashcards with phrases I've learned.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:08 pm

This morning I had another French lesson with my iTalki teacher. I was worried I wouldn’t do a good job at speaking, like last time, but I think I did fine. Even though I didn’t do much active studying last week, I did spend some time every day reading messages in the French Discord group I joined. I guess that helped me maintain my French skills. :)

Today I did Lesson 7 of the FSI French Phonology course. Part 1 was so hard, or maybe I was just too impatient to get through it. I took a break before doing Part 2, which was a lot easier. I also listened to Chapters 13-16 of Le Petit Prince while reading along. I’ve gotten tired of making flashcards for vocab in Le Petit Prince. I did however, make 27 flashcards today from phrases I learned during my iTalki lesson and phrases I saw in the French Discord group. I hope I can keep up this productivity!
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:54 am

I did it: I finished Le Petit Prince! I'm very excited to have finished my first book in French. I think the next book I'll read is Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan. I already have the audiobook on Audible and the ebook is available on Amazon too.

I like the idea of sticking to three French goals at a time, though, and I think my next goal should be something other than reading. So this will be my next goal: Write 3,000 words in French. It doesn't matter how long it takes me to write that many words or what topics I write about, but I hope I'll learn a lot of grammar and words along the way.

There's one issue with my writing goal though: I used to post my writing on iTalki to receive corrections, but recently the website has changed. It looks like I can no longer post notebook entries except on the app, which is a pain. I don't understand why they'd take that function off of their website. :(
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:41 pm

Okay, I give up on the FSI French Phonology course. I've started dreading doing the lessons, and I can't tell if they've really helped me improve my pronunciation. They were so tedious and they usually took up all of my study time for the day. I want to improve my French pronunciation, but at the end of the day, studying French is just a hobby so I don't want to do something that's no longer fun. My new goal is to study French grammar for five hours. Up until now, I haven't studied French grammar much, besides practicing verb conjugations, which is strange because I typically enjoy learning grammatical rules a lot. I think studying grammar for five hours (probably in 20- or 30-minute chunks) will be useful. I can also practice what I learn, since one of my other goals right now is to write 3,000 words.

Anyway, I've been really busy this week with graduate school applications, so tonight I'll be happy if I can just catch up on my Anki flashcard reviews. Maybe I can also finish my listening goal though. :)
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Wed Oct 21, 2020 1:09 pm

Change of plans: lately I've been really stressed out about my grad school applications and work, so I'm going to take a break from French until December. Hopefully it won't be a full break--I'll try to keep watching videos in French, reading messages in the French Discord group I found, and reviewing my Anki flashcards--but I won't be working toward any specific goals. I have the second half of December off from work, so I plan to resume French then. I already let my iTalki teacher know and rescheduled all of my French lessons, so the next one isn't until December 19th. I will try to post on here occasionally though. :)
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby cmia11 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 12:55 pm

Bon courage et repose-toi !
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby jmar257 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 10:13 pm

philomath wrote:Okay, I give up on the FSI French Phonology course. I've started dreading doing the lessons, and I can't tell if they've really helped me improve my pronunciation. They were so tedious and they usually took up all of my study time for the day.

I've kind of run into the same thing recently...how far did you make it? I'm on lesson 8 so I'm gonna power through, but I definitely find myself wanting to do this course less than I did Spanish Basic (which was a slog at times, but still fun at other times). I planned on getting through French Phonology in maybe a month, but it's been like 3.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby MorkTheFiddle » Sat Nov 14, 2020 6:31 pm

Good luck with everything: French, Spanish, Ancient Greek, graduate school!
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Nov 28, 2020 11:45 pm

Hi everyone, I'm back! Thank you for all of the good luck messages--I haven't submitted my grad school applications yet, but I've finished writing all of the essays, so that's a big relief. I'm just waiting for my letters of recommendation to come in, and then I'll really be done! So I think I can resume my language studies now.

I've barely done anything language-related in the past month:
  • I began watching the Spanish show Valeria on Netflix. I was also inspired to start reading the book it's based on, but I've only read a chapter so far. I missed learning Spanish, so it was nice to return to it for a bit. I've definitely forgotten a lot though. I tried speaking to myself and kept using French words by accident.
  • I practiced speaking to myself in French a little bit. I think my pronunciation has definitely gotten worse since I stopped studying French on a daily basis.

I haven't reviewed any of my Anki flashcards in a while. I just checked and I have 215 to review, which isn't too terrible. So right now my goals are:
[ ] Listen to a podcast or watch TV in French.
[ ] Start doing Pimsleur French II.
[ ] Review all of my Anki flashcards.

Since my pronunciation has gotten worse during this hiatus, I think it's important for me to do some listening practice. I also want to go back to doing Pimsleur lessons. I don't know why exactly, but I find Pimsleur lessons so much more enjoyable than the FSI drills.

As for Spanish...I guess it'll be on the back burner again. One of these days I'll take an extended break from French so I can refresh my Spanish, but for now it's too mentally draining and time-consuming to study both languages at once, especially when I'm spending a lot of time on other hobbies too. (I also really want to pick up Ancient Greek some time--I moved all of my Ancient Greek books to a shelf in my living room and now they're always tempting me!)

Anyway, hope everyone else's language studies have been going well!
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YouTube: 201 / 300
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Writing: 625 / 3000


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