difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

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yves
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difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby yves » Fri Apr 07, 2017 3:16 am

hey everyone, i wanted to start posting a language log for extra self-accountability and some insight from the community. i'll be to the point.

i've been learning french for a little over a year now–i started in dec 2015 and went through Duolingo, started using youtube channels for instruction, went through MT Foundation, and started up some Anki decks. eventually i signed up for intermediate french after (thankfully) testing into it at my university. unfortunately the school stress and my health (and i think just the fact that french was now an obligation) i didn't do much more than was required for the course. i think i really just did my own flashcards.

then i took almost 2 months off learning any french to try to get better.

right now i have all the free time in the world so i'm spending a lot of that(almost all, the past few days) studying and immersing myself as much as i can without going overboard.

i put myself as somewhere between b1 and b2, but i really have no idea. a medium term goal i have is to take and pass the DELF B2 exam this year. long term i want to be c1 and then c2 level. i love french!

short term goals (for now) that are more pertinent here are: (edited 4/11/17)
- finish watching French in Action: i'm at the halfway point :^)
- watch 25 french movies: 15/25 complete. next up right now is Ne le dis à personne.
- watch Samurai Jack season 1 in french w/ french subtitles (will move on to the next seasons, and probably a real-life show as well)
- finish Assimil NFWE
- read 10 french books: 1/10 complete. currently reading La Chute.


completed:
- finish Lingvist
- get through Grammaire Progressive (niveau débutant)
- get some kind of concrete goal for listening: RFI JFF(intensive), interesting YT content for extensive listening
- pick a course to commit to and finish: going with Assimil for now. Will probably follow this up with Glossika.

dropped:
- finish reading Le Petit Nicolas: too easy/boring.
- finish Michel Thomas Advanced–i've been so damn lazy with this, i don't know why. MT served me well last summer but i'm moving on.

updated routine:
- work through RFI or a podcast with LWT
- add to/review Anki deck(s)
- 1 pomodoro of Grammaire Progressive
- 1 episode of French in Action
- chill in fr Discord when possible
- read current french book

I'm hoping to figure out soon what I'm doing exactly the rest of this year too. I'm dying to go to France for a couple weeks, and hopefully do an immersion program (I hope to study abroad as well but I'm not sure that can happen).
Last edited by yves on Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby rdearman » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:27 am

I think you should go ahead and put a TV series in French on your list of have to do's. It will help you more than you'll realise. I've posted somewhere else about Star Trek on Netflix. All of them have French audio & subtitles (or English sub-titles if you struggle) so if you watched them all you'd end up with about 900+ hours of French under your belt. :)
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby Atinkoriko » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:24 pm

Welcome! I'd recommend Un village Francais, if you're looking for a great tv show. That and the oft mentioned Les Revenants
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby yves » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:43 pm

Atinkoriko wrote:the oft mentioned Les Revenants

rdearman wrote:I think you should go ahead and put a TV series in French on your list of have to do's.:)

yeah i have to find a way to watch Les Revenants. i'll look today! i can give Star Trek a try but i don't think i'd enjoy it that much :s

thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby whatiftheblog » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:08 am

Alright, I apologize if this ends up being a wall of text, but hopefully it'll be a useful wall for you :) I should warn you that I'm one of the forum dwellers whose mantra is always "ditch the courses and go native", so there will be a lot of that.

1. You should add RFI Journal en Français Facile to your schedule. However...

2. With the schedule you've described, I think you're going to hit B2 fairly quickly. At which point - go native. It doesn't have to be 100% native at that point, but make unsubtitled, unscripted listening - news, radio, short vlogs on topics you're interested in - and routine (i.e. not literary criticism or hermeneutics) reading - "lower" fiction, blogs, news sites - a part of your daily schedule. Not simplified versions or learners' editions, actual native-for-natives content. At first you might be at 60% comprehension, but if you do it long enough, that will skyrocket.

3. Since I took many twists and turns to get to where I am in French, I won't use myself as an example of the above, but I do have a good friend who started learning French about 5-6 months ago? He knows a little bit of Spanish and has the benefit of a native francophone girlfriend, although they speak English 99% of the time, but I can't say he's a linguistic wunderkind. I decided to use him as a lab rat (with his permission, of course) to test my Native Early And Very Often (NEAVO!) hypothesis, and about 3-4 months into a Duolingo + a bit of Assimil regimen, he added France24 to the daily routine. A few weeks later, I sent him a short Quotidien clip, which he said he got the gist of, but mostly thanks to the subtitles they sometimes show on screen. A few weeks later, with him still doing Duolingo + Assimil + France24 + random basic conversations with his girlfriend, I sent him another one. Five hours later I get the following string of messages:

(20:30) I've been watching Quotidien for about 5 hours
(20:31) It's now to the point where I'm finding it funny AND UNDERSTANDING WHY IT'S FUNNY
(20:31) Are there any French sitcoms on Netflix?


He's really progressed in a very short time, and I know this because I can now send him screenshots of tweets about the election, and he'll actually understand both the meaning and why it's funny/ridiculous/whatever. While A2 -> B1 is obviously easier than B1 -> C1 and up, that's no reason to neglect NEAVO :D or to exclusively use material that's standardized and often dumbed down.

4. If I can leave you with one piece of advice, it would be to never, ever force yourself to use material you're bored by. Challenging and boring are different things, so make sure you know where that distinction lies for you, as it's very individual, but if you're bored by your Anki deck or course book or whatever, toss it. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that if lots of other people are doing it, you have to as well - unless it's something you need for your degree, you're not forced to use any specific resource(s). We're lucky in that there are millions of free and/or very cheap things out there for us in French - Youtube is going to become your best friend! - and so long as you have internet access, everything is at your fingertips. There are plenty of free French news apps, lots of interesting French vloggers, tons of documentaries on Youtube, at least half a dozen free streaming TV channels (more with a VPN), content is everywhere. Do a Youtube search for whatever you like (make sure it's in French, of course) + "vlog" and start there - you can search for vlogs by students doing the same degree, for instance. If you find yourself losing interest, drop it and find something else that keeps your attention.

I frequently get the sense that the, uh, malaise that can sometimes be found on this forum, with posters getting frustrated with themselves and taking breaks, is largely due to boredom with the resources they're using. Fly free and you'll notice serious progress in no time. Good luck!
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby yves » Sat Apr 08, 2017 11:12 pm

So I finished lingvist today: http://imgur.com/Dd1zUcz
Pretty happy about that, I've been working at it for a long time. I guess I'll be moving on to Clozemaster/Anki now. I love cloze/srs and how it feels like quantifiable progress :)

Definitely going to be adding the RFI JFF into my schedule. The read/listen sections of LV and French podcasts, as well as some French Youtubers and TV will be what I use as native material.

I also started to pinpoint where I should hop into whichever course I choose instead of doing hours of beginner material, so I'm excited to actually pick something soon.

Thanks a lot for your advice, whatiftheblog. I love walls of text, so don't worry about that lol. I'm set on making exposure to native material and having more fun a priority :) I might just drop Le Petit Nicolas because I've been itching to move onto more real novels, like La Peche. Like you said, I don't really have to finish this book and it's hard to get myself to read it anyway because it's so basic. La libérté est douce !
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby whatiftheblog » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:28 am

yves wrote:Thanks a lot for your advice, whatiftheblog. I love walls of text, so don't worry about that lol. I'm set on making exposure to native material and having more fun a priority :) I might just drop Le Petit Nicolas because I've been itching to move onto more real novels, like La Peche. Like you said, I don't really have to finish this book and it's hard to get myself to read it anyway because it's so basic. La libérté est douce !


That's exactly it! We're fortunate in that French is widely spoken and free content of excellent quality is always available - I've been watching/listening to about 7-9 hours of French material daily since last September-ish and I still have something like 340 videos in just one of my several Youtube "watch later" playlists. With this much to go around, there's just no reason to stay with something truly boring. Let us know how it goes!
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:46 am

First of all yves, good luck with your French! I'll be watching your progress.

whatiftheblog wrote:
yves wrote:Thanks a lot for your advice, whatiftheblog. I love walls of text, so don't worry about that lol. I'm set on making exposure to native material and having more fun a priority :) I might just drop Le Petit Nicolas because I've been itching to move onto more real novels, like La Peche. Like you said, I don't really have to finish this book and it's hard to get myself to read it anyway because it's so basic. La libérté est douce !


That's exactly it! We're fortunate in that French is widely spoken and free content of excellent quality is always available - I've been watching/listening to about 7-9 hours of French material daily since last September-ish and I still have something like 340 videos in just one of my several Youtube "watch later" playlists. With this much to go around, there's just no reason to stay with something truly boring. Let us know how it goes!


whatiftheblog. I really have found a lot of your recent posts quite inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experiences and those of your friend as well with relation to advancing in French. Great stuff!
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby whatiftheblog » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:28 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:First of all yves, good luck with your French! I'll be watching your progress.

whatiftheblog wrote:
yves wrote:Thanks a lot for your advice, whatiftheblog. I love walls of text, so don't worry about that lol. I'm set on making exposure to native material and having more fun a priority :) I might just drop Le Petit Nicolas because I've been itching to move onto more real novels, like La Peche. Like you said, I don't really have to finish this book and it's hard to get myself to read it anyway because it's so basic. La libérté est douce !


That's exactly it! We're fortunate in that French is widely spoken and free content of excellent quality is always available - I've been watching/listening to about 7-9 hours of French material daily since last September-ish and I still have something like 340 videos in just one of my several Youtube "watch later" playlists. With this much to go around, there's just no reason to stay with something truly boring. Let us know how it goes!


whatiftheblog. I really have found a lot of your recent posts quite inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experiences and those of your friend as well with relation to advancing in French. Great stuff!


Thanks so much, PM! Let's all keep going strong :D We got this!
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Re: difficile, oui, but yves's determined soul will always manage. (fr-b1+)

Postby yves » Tue Apr 11, 2017 8:08 pm

whatiftheblog wrote:That's exactly it! We're fortunate in that French is widely spoken and free content of excellent quality is always available - I've been watching/listening to about 7-9 hours of French material daily since last September-ish and I still have something like 340 videos in just one of my several Youtube "watch later" playlists. With this much to go around, there's just no reason to stay with something truly boring. Let us know how it goes!


I decided to hunt around youtube and reddit and rebuild my french playlist. I found some great channels too, so I'm pretty excited about actually enjoying and understanding this material.

I also got my hands on Samurai Jack to watch in french, which has been great so far.

Last night I was watching a couple movies(english subtitles still..), and a VOD of the presidential debate(no captions) on 4/4, and I'm pretty pleased with how much I can understand. If I had to put a number to how much I get it's like maybe 60-70%.

Discord has given me a lot more confidence and ease in speaking as well, and there's so much colloquial french to pick up! I'm still not very good at speaking on the fly at all, but the difference between my first day in the group and now is huge :mrgreen:
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