DaveAgain wrote:What are you doing to improve your listening comprehension?drp9341 wrote:I've also been working on my French listening comprehension. I cannot understand (most) French movies and TV series without French subtitles.
I've been using https://languagelearningwithnetflix.com/ with Netflix to repeat all the things I don't understand in the series I'm watching. I will do it many times until I can hear all the sounds/figure out what sounds correspond to each word. I am also letting the Youtube videos, "Francais Authentique" play in the background, since that's very clear, and it helps me to cement what the words should sound like. Also, watching those videos will help my pronunciation, since I very often realize that I've been pronouncing, (or assuming it's pronounced) in a different way than it really is.
I'll take the sentences that really surprised me phonetically, and transcribe them into the IPA. I also read a decent amount about French intonation patterns and using that to help me try and figure out where and how the stress falls and . I'm only using Wikipedia. I've noticed that if I prime myself for what I may expect, then it (I think...) helps me decipher things easier. Like (the wikepdia page for example)
"on the final syllable of every "rhythm group" except the last one in a sentence, there is placed a rising pitch. For example (as before the pitch change arrows ↘ and ↗ apply to the syllable immediately following the arrow):
Hier ↗soir, il m'a off↗ert une ciga↘rette. (The English equivalent would be "Last ↗evening, he ↗offered me a ciga↘rette (BrE) / ↘cigarette (AmE).
Le lendemain ma↗tin, après avoir changé le pansement du ma↗lade, l'infir↗mier est ren↗tré chez ↘lui.
Adjectives are in the same rhythm group as their noun. Each item in a list forms its own rhythm group:
Chez le frui↗tier on trouve des ↗pommes, des o↗ranges, des ba↗nanes, des ↗fraises et des abri↘cots.
Side comments inserted into the middle of a sentence form their own rhythm group:
La grande ↗guerre, si j'ai une bonne mé↗moire, a duré quatre ↘ans.
from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intonation_(linguistics)#French
It seems to me though that in order to understand TV shows and movies I will have to know the French language very well. Unfortunately, it seems there are many sounds and words that are often not pronounced, and one just needs to know (very well) the way French speakers use the language in order to "fill in the gaps." As in, "there's no other thing that would make sense to say there except X."
I thought about it, and I never really "dedicated" much time to French. I studied French for one year in High School for an easy A my senior year, and then I (crappily) studied for an exam to pass out of the first two year courses, (CLEP tests for US Universities.) I then did one semester of French Composition and Conversation.
I got in a lot of speaking practice in and out of classes, but most of it is was with Haitians or Quebecois. I think I still have it as B2 on here, but honestly, it's B1. It may seem like B2 because my other languages prop my French up, but in terms of the French language itself, I actually don't know that much. It was "really easy" back in the day, (6 years ago) and I just kind of did those University courses, did the Assimil Basic course, and then started engaging with the language steadily over the course of years. I go to French language exchanges whenever I'm invited, or if I see one being advertised, but I've never really dedicated any time to French except back in my Sophomore year of college/University, and my attention wasn't so focused on languages back then. French is pretty ubiquitous I guess. I notice, though, that I have to really struggle to keep up with a group of native speakers, and that it wouldn't be so much work, (a year? 18 months?) to get to a C level. I don't know when I will do so, but I've been in the mood to do some phonetics related stuff, and my French could use some improvement. Regardless, right now French is not going to be very useful to me in the short term, as far as I can see. I'm going to continue working on Polish as my "main project" and just try to watch a Francais Authentique or Inner French video every day. Listening comprehension takes years to build, even when you, "know the language really well."
I'm putting Spanish on the backburner until I get news about the courts reopening. I still speak Spanish multiple times a week, and I watch a lot of TV in Spanish just because I like it and it's not mentally taxing as long as it's not some crazy accent. In terms of Italian, I really don't care. I'm not going to be able to maintain the level I had when I was in Italy, but I listen to Alessandro Barbero almost daily, (he's great, seriously) and through the big WhatsApp group message me and my friends in Italy have, and from calling them from time to time. Italian is so entrenched in my life from so many experiences and encounters I've had in Italy, with Italians, or even with family members, that it would be very hard to forget things. In terms of Portuguese, I'm just letting it hang out for now. I've done it before and it doesn't seem to fade. I still use it for online correspondence and random things I come across on the internet as well as talking to students, but it has gotten a little more Spanish like, especially in terms of the way I phrase things, but that's to be expected.