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 Aug 13, 2020 1:52 pm

tungemål wrote:How long is it since you put Spanish on the shelf? I wouldn't worry, and just focus on French. When you get back to Spanish you'll pick it up again fast enough. In my experience even one year break shouldn't really be a problem.

I put Spanish on the shelf back in December, although I still read in Spanish once in a while up until June. Hopefully a one-year break won't be a problem; that's probably how long it'll take me to feel comfortable enough with French to start studying Spanish more frequently. In the meantime, maybe I should make more of an effort to watch TV or read in Spanish from time to time.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:09 pm

I'm going to stop working on my July 24 - August 16 goals a day early, because I'm too eager to start a new set of goals. :lol: Here's how I did on them:
philomath wrote:Goals for July 24 - August 16
[ ] Do 6 hours of listening practice. Accomplished: 2 hours 45 minutes
[ ] Do Lessons 1-3 of the FSI French Phonology course. Accomplished: Lesson 1
[ ] Practice speaking for 3 hours. Accomplished: 2 hours 20 minutes
[ ] Keep practicing conjugating verbs in the present tense, passé composé, imparfait, and futur simple. Also practice conjugating verbs in the present subjunctive and past subjunctive. Accomplished: Learned about the present subjunctive.
[ ] Make 150 flashcards. Accomplished: 52 flashcards
[ ] Read for 3 hours. Accomplished: 40 minutes.
[ ] Write 1,500 words. Accomplished: 286 words


I want to set fewer goals for my next set of goals, as I think that'll keep me more motivated. I still want to improve my pronunciation, and lately I've been really wanting to do more listening and reading in French. Therefore, my next goals are:
[ ] Do all of the FSI French Phonology course.
[ ] Do 10 hours of listening (podcasts, TV shows, YouTube, etc.). (Bonus points if I branch out from the InnerFrench podcast, because it's a bit too easy and if I write down interesting vocab.)
[ ] Finish reading Le Petit Prince.

I wasn't sure what my deadline should be, and then I thought, "What if I don't have a deadline?" I'll just try to complete these goals as fast as I can without getting burnt out, and as soon as I finish one goal I can pick another one to replace it. Maybe the lack of a deadline will actually help me. As I've mentioned before, sometimes I lose motivation if I can sense that I'll fail to meet my deadline. On the other hand, a deadline keeps me on track. So we'll see...
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:42 am

I'm off to a good start with my new French goals! Today I read the second chapter of Le Petit Prince while listening to the audiobook, pausing to look up words I didn't know. I made 8 cloze deletion flashcards in Anki from sentences in the chapter. :) Next I wrote 246 words in French about my day, and then I did Lesson 2, Part 1 of the FSI French Phonology Course.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:57 am

Today I read Chapter 3 of Le Petit Prince, paying extra attention to the verb conjugations. Before, I was a little worried I would have trouble with the passé simple while reading, but it doesn't seem too complicated. I'm glad I don't have to worry about that tense while speaking though!

I also made a few more Anki flashcards. One thing I'm nervous about is that I don't too much of the vocabulary from Le Petit Prince to enter my active vocabulary, since some of the words might be too old-fashioned. Therefore I added a tag to my Anki flashcards so I know the words came from Le Petit Prince, and I started making basic front-->back flashcards instead of cloze deletion flashcards. So now the flashcards look like this:

Front
le chef-d’œuvre

Back
masterpiece
J’ai montré mon chef-d’œuvre aux grandes personnes.

Since these flashcards are testing my ability to recall the English translation rather than produce the French word, I don't think I'll have to worry about getting these words stuck in my active vocabulary. Of course, if I see the words elsewhere (in a more modern context), then I'll know I can start using them in my speech.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Aug 20, 2020 3:34 am

Yesterday I listened to another episode of the InnerFrench podcast, but I was too tired after work to do anything else. Today I read Chapter 5 of Le Petit Prince and made 16 flashcards. I learned lots of interesting phrases in this chapter, like "se moquer de" ("to scoff at"), "un conte de fées" ("a fairy tale"), and "se tromper" ("to make a mistake"). Then I watched the final two episodes of The Circle: France. The end of the show was really good! I won't give any spoilers though. :)

I guess I need to find a new TV show to watch in French. I keep seeing Call My Agent recommended on Netflix, but the premise doesn't seem super interesting to me. Some series I might try are:

  • The Bonfire of Destiny
  • Osmosis
  • Twice Upon a Time
  • Ad Vitam
Otherwise I may need to look somewhere else other than Netflix.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Aug 22, 2020 1:02 am

On Thursday I read two chapters of Le Petit Prince, finished Lesson 2 of FSI French Phonology, and watched random YouTube videos in French for 20 minutes.

Today I practiced speaking for 10 minutes and did Lesson 3, Part 1 of FSI French Phonology.

Some observations and thoughts about my French studies:
  • I moved apartments last week, and at first I was feeling shy about practicing French in the new apartment because it is so quiet. Even if I was in one room and my boyfriend was in another, I kept wondering if he could hear me doing French pronunciation drills or rambling to myself in French. Plus, it was so quiet in the room that I felt awkward speaking out loud even if no one was in the next room. But this week I found a simple solution to my problem: if I turn on the little fan on my desk, it makes enough background noise that I don't feel as weird when I'm speaking. It's a silly fix but it works. :)
  • I think my new goals are a real game-changer! Getting rid of the deadline has made me really motivated, and making just three goals instead of five or six has made me feel a lot more focused. When I sit down to study French, it's easier to decide what to do now. I've even been more motivated to speak and write in French, even though those aren't part of my goals right now.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby jmar257 » Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:36 am

How are you liking FSI French Phonology? I plan on starting it next week. I have a roommate, but I'm less concerned what he thinks about me spitting out random French sounds (we're pretty good friends). At one point I would've been more self-conscious, but it's whatever at this point.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Sat Aug 22, 2020 5:37 pm

This morning I had another lesson with my French tutor. We talked for the first half of the lesson, and then for the second part of the lesson I read aloud from Le Petit Prince and he corrected me on my pronunciation. It felt like he corrected me on practically every other word. :( I'm glad I started doing the FSI French Phonology course again because I definitely need the help. We were focusing on the vowel sounds and I kept confusing when to use [ɛ] and when to use [e]. At the end of the lesson he sent me an Anki deck for French pronunciation that I will download and study.
jmar257 wrote:How are you liking FSI French Phonology? I plan on starting it next week. I have a roommate, but I'm less concerned what he thinks about me spitting out random French sounds (we're pretty good friends). At one point I would've been more self-conscious, but it's whatever at this point.

It's a little tedious, but I like it! I think it is more useful to me now than it was when I tried it back in December, when I had just started studying French. I was too impatient back then and gave up after three or four lessons.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby jmar257 » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:20 pm

philomath wrote:It's a little tedious, but I like it! I think it is more useful to me now than it was when I tried it back in December, when I had just started studying French. I was too impatient back then and gave up after three or four lessons.

That's good to hear, since I'm not a total beginner in French either. I kind of noticed the same with FSI Spanish, which I started when I could already read novels unassisted--it made it a lot more useful for activating and drilling stuff since 99% of it I wasn't learning for the first time (or it was making something I'd seen a bunch into conscious knowledge). I bet jumping into one of those courses with little grounding in the language would be daunting.
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Re: Amanda's 2020 Log: Spanish, French, and Occasionally Ancient Greek

Postby philomath » Thu Aug 27, 2020 3:25 am

I've been busy with work this week, but I finished Lesson 3 of the FSI French Phonology course yesterday. I think it's helping me improve my pronunciation. These are some of the things I want to work on:

  • Pronouncing the vowels correctly
  • Splitting sentences into syllables correctly (e.g., 'il est' should be pronounced more like 'i lest')
  • Using the right intonation in questions (e.g., in 'Quand allez-vous déjeuner?' your intonation should rise after 'Quand' but fall at the end of the sentence)

Today I reviewed my Anki flashcards, and then I started watching Call My Agent! (Dix pour cent). I don't know why I was so hesitant to watch it before--I guess the Netflix preview wasn't interesting enough. I really liked the first episode. I watched it using the 'Language Learning with Netflix' Chrome extension so I could see the French subtitles and English subtitles at the same time. For the most part, I tried to read just the French subtitles, but sometimes I peeked at the English subtitles to understand the jokes. It would be nice to make some subs2srs flashcards for the show, but the episodes are an hour long and it would be so time-consuming to make and review so many cards. Maybe instead I will go back and rewatch the first episode more intensively some time.

Also, in order to immerse myself more in French, I started looking for French Instagram accounts to follow. Not accounts for French learners, but accounts run by native speakers. I chose Instagram because I use it relatively often and people write longer posts on that platform compared to say, Twitter. (Also because I never really got the hang of using Twitter.) I like writing and reading about other writers' projects and writing routines, so I searched for writing-related tags, like #écrireunroman. I found a few accounts to follow but I need to find some more. I really want to learn some colloquial phrases and learn to speak more casually.
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