The great push to C2 (Extra French Edition)

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whatiftheblog
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:06 am

Oouf. Tout commence à devenir un peu plus réel chaque jour, avec tout ce qu’il me reste à faire, avec tout le travail qui reste en matière de mes compétences linguistiques, mes économies aussi (faut pas l’oublier, hehe), et donc j’ai compris que je dois prendre des mesures assez sérieuses pour mieux gérer mon temps et pour finalement y arriver sur tous les fronts. Je vais commencer par des nouveaux mesures simples – en mettant mon portable de côté quand je reviens chez moi le soir, par exemple, sinon je perds trop de temps avec des messages et des articles sur Facebook et tout ça. J’ai également dû expliquer à mes amis en utilisant des termes assez stricts que non, je ne peux pas passer des heures et des heures aux soirées chaque weekend (ça m’aide aussi à maîtriser mes dépenses), et que malheureusement nos samedis libres des brunchs-champagnes ne le sont désormais plus. Il y avait quand même quelques problèmes avec des gens dont je suis très proche. Je trouve ça assez énervant, le fait que je dois encore leur expliquer que mes études de français sont tout à fait au même niveau d’effort que les leurs effectuées pour leur GMAT/GRE/LSAT/etc, sauf que dans mon cas, c’est un tout petit peu plus compliqué. Je dois faire preuve du fait non seulement que je parle français au niveau requis, mais aussi que j’ai assez d’expérience et de connaissances professionnelles pour entrer dans l’une des grandes écoles françaises les plus célèbres. Donc, je suis désolée mais… non pas du tout en fait.

Je dois quand même avouer que je suis partiellement responsable dans ce cas-là, car l’impression que je donne, c’est-à-dire que je passe mes jours devant mon ordinateur en regardant la télé française, n’est pas fausse en réalité ; c’est justement que derrière ça il y a un gros travail de digestion et de production qui surpasse l’effort requis pour le GMAT ou le LSAT. Même au-delà des compétences linguistiques, et même si heureusement je n’ai pas beaucoup à rattraper sur ces sujets, je dois aussi montrer au jury que je comprends les problématiques françaises dans des domaines compliqués – l’environnement, le terrorisme, la santé publique, les opérations militaires et humanitaires outre-mer, l’histoire même de la France dont je connais beaucoup mais toujours pas assez. Soyons honnêtes, ce sont tous des sujets qui ne sont pas abordés dans le GMAT, par exemple. Je comparerais ce processus plutôt aux examens du barreau, c’est vraiment un travail profond et sérieux, et donc je ne cesserai pas de demander du respect pour celui-ci - ainsi que pour tous les autres en voie d’apprentissage linguistique, bien sûr.

(440 mots, 42 minutes, y compris mon propre temps de réflexion – eeehhh…)

***

Au-delà de ça, pour ceux qui ont demandé des conseils sur des podcasts, si vous vous intéressez à la politique française, On refait le monde sur RTL est très bien fait, il y en a toujours des voix divergentes. D’un point de vue de journalisme pur, ce talent qui reste quand même rare, je trouve Jean-Jacques Bourdin sur RMC excellent :D
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whatiftheblog
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:57 am

I know that it was just a few weeks ago that I posted my fairly exhaustively detailed study schedule, but... I've decided that I need to try and settle down a bit and organize myself better, because otherwise I'm trying to do 52 things at once and it only exacerbates my anxious tendencies. The other thing that seems to be exacerbating my tendencies is this campaign - I'm so invested in it that I want to know all of the things across all of the platforms, but there simply aren't enough hours in the day for that. I end up with a million alerts and dozens of emails with articles I'm meaning to read, and I always feel like I'm falling behind on a schedule that was unrealistic to begin with. That, in turn, creates more stress/psychological tension, and then I end up wasting time feeling bad about it. Totally unproductive. It's impossible to follow... hang on... 19 podcasts, 3 radio stations, 5 TV channels, an entire campaign + all the intervening scandals, every documentary series, books, magazines, MOOCs, etc etc etc - it just doesn't work unless I do literally nothing else with my life.

This isn't a critique of the AJATT method, btw - I think I just went way overboard in my implementation.

Anyway! Following the example set by PM, I'm going to restructure the material I'm working with and set the rest aside for now. This is also motivated by the fact that I really do have to discipline myself to spend enough quality time on the freelance work that will make this all possible, and as I discovered this weekend, it's not entirely possible for me to accurately summarize Spanish-language Argentine tax litigation in English while listening to French cable news on in the background. The only thing missing from that lineup was my playlist of Afrikaans pop, I think.

What's staying:

1. News alerts
2. BFM/Franceinfo in the morning as I'm getting ready, during my commute, and in the evening
3. I'll continue following "my" campaign as closely as I am now - fortunately, the candidate is just prolific enough to never get boring, but still not overwhelmingly so.
4. Practicing writing and speaking daily
5. C dans l'air either on my commute home or when I get home
6. My italki teacher, obviously
7. ONE book at a time. ONE. I will finish Révolution, and then I will finish Un président ne devrait pas dire ça, which I was supposed to have finished before starting Révolution anyway, and ONLY THEN will I be allowed to start the... um, the ones that are arriving on Wednesday. Oops. I'm weak. I... :mrgreen:
8. Le Monde daily, L'Express weekly.

What's going:

1. Most of the podcasts, for now. I have 189 new episodes in my queue, that's just crazy. For longer walks, I'll keep On refait le monde, Les enjeux internationaux, Jean-Jacques Bourdin, and Transfert. For longer drives, which are rare for me these days, I'll also keep Géopolitique, le débat. That's it.
2. Interviews with people I don't care about, documentaries on things I already know, most vlogs unless they're super short, rabbit holes on Twitter, Facebook comment threads, etc. No more superfluous content.
3. The MOOCs. However, since this topic came up in another thread, I wanted to list the ones I've joined. My plan is to build out a sort of side curriculum in some of my weaker policy areas with the help of MOOCs while I'm in school, so I'm joining a bunch of them now and planning to go over them later to see which ones I keep, if any. Here are the ones I have so far:

Coursera:

Gestion et politique de l'eau
Comprendre l'écologie pour une économie innovante
Les alliances qui changent les territoires
Economie du sol et de l'immobilier
Aléatoire: une introduction aux probabilités*
Introduction aux systèmes d'information géographiques*

EdX:

Viabilité et gestion de la dette des pays à faible revenu
A la découverte du théâtre classique français (this is purely for fun)
Les principes de la finance
Introduction à l'économétrie
Ressources naturelles et développement durable
Villes africaines: introduction à la planification urbaine*
Evaluation financière de l'entreprise

The ones marked with asterisks are ones I've already started; some seemed really interesting, others I felt sort of meh about. In any case, I expect to spend a couple hours a week on these, but only after I get in. If I get in. When I get in. :D
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whatiftheblog
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:00 am

Quelques petites notes d’aujourd’hui :

1. Je crois que j’ai finalement établi mon propre point de « déclic » après lequel la production (orale/écrite) de quoi que ce soit devient beaucoup plus facile et plus fluide, et ça vient justement après 5-6 heures du français en continu, sans aucune pause pour quelconque autre langue ou presque. Par exemple, aujourd’hui je me suis préparée sérieusement pour le premier débat présidentiel, ayant commencé quelques heures avant l’émission avec des analyses sur des différents plateaux. Après ~2h d’analyse et 3h30 de débat, tout en continu, j’ai tenté de faire mon petit « vlog », comme d’habitude, et j’ai pu parler quasiment sans arrêt pendant ~45 min avec seulement quelques fautes automatiques que j’ai identifiées et que j’ai pu corriger tout de suite. Donc… si mon entretien est fixé pour 10h du matin, il faudrait juste que je redémarre l'avant-débat suivi par le débat lui-même à 4h le jour même et ça va très bien se passer ! :D

2. Le débat était vraiment excellent, il se trouve que maintenant c’est aperçu comme quelque chose d’assez inattendu pour, euh, une partie de la planète… mais bon, en tout cas ça me fait toujours plaisir d’écouter une vraie discussion sur le fond et d’apprendre des choses nouvelles. Un débat digne d’une démocratie moderne, même compte tenu des affaires. On peut être profondément en désaccord avec ses interlocuteurs et en même temps tenir un discours élevé. Quel concept ! J’ai hâââte d’être là pour le premier tour !

3. Pour les personnes qui veulent faire des études en France, je vous conseille vivement de vous rendre sur la chaîne Youtube du Campus Channel et de passer quelques heures en regardant leurs vidéos sur les établissements qui vous intéressent* (ou ceux qui sont assez similaires à l’école que vous avez choisie). Chacune peut vous apporter plein d’astuces importantes sur votre dossier, sur les épreuves orales, et sur les mots et les principes clés de votre programme. Il y a toujours quelques petites différences entre les points où les accents sont mis par chaque école, et les invités de Champus Channel ont des bons conseils sur ce sujet.

(352 words, 35 min. I need to get this metric up! I guess it's because here I actually stopped to formulate my thoughts properly; I've spit out three times as much in about 40 minutes before, so I know I can do it, it's just... grr. Frustrating.)
Last edited by whatiftheblog on Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby Ani » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:56 am

whatiftheblog wrote:(352 words, 35 min. I need to get this metric up! I guess it's because here I actually stopped to formulate my thoughts properly; I've spit out three times as much in about 40 minutes before, so I know I can do it, it's just... grr. Frustrating.)


How long would it take you in English though? Honestly I sometimes spend that long writing in my log just because of the thinking. Maybe you should time yourself writing stream of consciousness in both languages and see where you really stand. :)
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whatiftheblog
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:49 pm

Ani wrote:
whatiftheblog wrote:(352 words, 35 min. I need to get this metric up! I guess it's because here I actually stopped to formulate my thoughts properly; I've spit out three times as much in about 40 minutes before, so I know I can do it, it's just... grr. Frustrating.)


How long would it take you in English though? Honestly I sometimes spend that long writing in my log just because of the thinking. Maybe you should time yourself writing stream of consciousness in both languages and see where you really stand. :)


You're absolutely right, I should do that :)
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:01 am

Checking in real quick (in English!) with some notes & recs:

1. One of my colleagues, a big surly dude, recently discovered meditation and suggested I try it. Seeing as there have been more and more blocks of time recently where I'm pacing the apartment trying to rearrange my enormous to-do list in my head, I decided to give it a go, even though I was super skeptical because I'm not at all the "crunchy granola" spiritual type. Any English-language meditation apps would mess with my francophone cocoon; fortunately, I found a nice French one: Namatata! I did the first session and it was actually perfectly pleasant, plus in French. I think I'll keep going and see what happens.

2. The extent to which I have become enveloped in this election is best illustrated by the fact that my friends now pick up all French-language political press at various airport lounges around the world and bring it back for me <3 I am absurdly excited for my trip.

3. My reading speed has really picked up, and I've gotten through about 500 pages in the past several weeks, bearing in mind that I stop every few pages to google some obscure factoid about the Balladur government or whatever and then trip and fall into the internet (in French, but still). It has also happened that I'd go on Youtube to find some famous speech being referenced in the book(s) and four hours later I'm watching a documentary about François I. I'm also using this time to start filling in some of the knowledge gaps I have in French history - I don't know much about the early 20th century domestically (I studied/worked on colonization so I'm better with the colonies), and there are many gaps prior. If anyone knows of a Peter Calvocoressi-style French history magnum opus in French, I'd be grateful for your recommendations!

4. Some more podcast options (psst - Transfert has a new episode out!):
- Generation XX is a series of interviews with female startup founders closer to the format of Transfert;
- Du grain à moudre (France Culture) is a current events series with good historical overviews and injections of philosophy/sociology; and
- Affaires Sensibles (France Inter) covers a single significant historical event or story in every episode, some domestic, some international. Really good episodes include the one on the Mohammed Al Dura case, the one about the French hostages in the Sahel, and the ones on the Balkans.

5. I've been neglecting my writing this week, so I need to fix that this weekend. Tweeting doesn't count - although I am getting likes and retweets from real live French people! On the flipside, with all of the political talk shows / panels / debates I watch, I've finally gotten to the point where it's completely natural for me, I never even think about it being in French, I have perfect comprehension and often find myself correctly predicting the rest of the speaker's sentence before they get to it. If a particularly interesting point is raised in the conversation, I'll often starting thinking about it in French. Phew! Now, uh, if only the actual output part could get there...
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:58 pm

I think one of the biggest mistakes I made early on was putting off starting Italki - the reality is I should've started it immediately. I've decided to try to avoid the same mistake with pronunciation work, so I'll be putting up more eLingora clips to that end. Here's today's: http://elingora.com/audio/french/blocages-en-guyane

I put up a "rough" first cut version on purpose here - I need to work on stumbling over words while building speed. At this stage, reading aloud is probably the thing I enjoy the least about my French work, which means I need to keep doing more and more of it :P
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby tastyonions » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:26 pm

Nice recording! A few things I noted:

"ministre de l'intérieur", sounds like "antérieur" (0:34)
"collectif" sounded like "collective" (0:51)
"intentions" sounded like "ententions" (1:13)

"Affaires sensibles" has been one of my favorites for a long time.
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby whatiftheblog » Tue Apr 11, 2017 3:46 am

tastyonions wrote:Nice recording! A few things I noted:

"ministre de l'intérieur", sounds like "antérieur" (0:34)
"collectif" sounded like "collective" (0:51)
"intentions" sounded like "ententions" (1:13)

"Affaires sensibles" has been one of my favorites for a long time.


Oooh, very interesting, thank you! So I definitely know that there's work to be done on the ɛ̃ (?) in "intérieur", "intentions" etc. I'm thinking that may be my brain/face struggling to determine how québécois it actually wants to be and getting super lost along the way 8-) I don't want to quack too much on the nasal sounds, so I have to figure out a way to fix that. The collectif/collective thing makes sense with the same term in Russian - there's a v that's almost an f at the end of коллектив (kollektiv). Another thing to watch out for.

In any case, thanks again!
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Re: The great push to C2 (French)

Postby Arnaud » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:21 am

The u of guyane is pronounced, it's not ги-yane, but г-ui-iane (Google translate says it correctly)
Accord sounds a little like "à coeur"
relayé: re-lai-ié, not re-le-yé (see below)
the è and é sounds are not totally stable: you sometimes replace one by the other. (objet, fermé: "objé", "fermè")
So be careful with the usual suspects: o/e and é/è, you (very) occasionally mix them a little
Needless to say that it's very good... 8-)
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