French: Fresh, fun native media at my fingertips

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emk
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby emk » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:52 pm

Thank you, everybody, for all the awesome links! I can't reply to everybody individually right now, but I always appreciate learning about new stuff.

tastyonions wrote:I have never watched a dubbed movie in French, but the other week I watched Pulp Fiction in English and today I was wondering if the French dubbed version is any good. I bet it would be fun to see how they translated Tarantino's dialogues.

I find that if I pick out a really good English-language movie or book, and then look for the French translation, the results are often hit-or-miss. I've had much better luck using French-language sources like SensCritique or even just seeing what's on French TV tends to direct me to the French media that natives are actually buying. For example:

  • When I say, "Babylon 5 is a classic SF TV show," can I find a French dub?", I often wind up listening to truly ghastly dubbing.
  • When I say, "Wow, everybody in France is taking about Le Trône de fer," and I try watching it, I wind up listening to top-notch dubbing.
The only exception to this is France Ô, which appears to be legally required to feature at least 75% badly-dubbed telenovelas. But other than that one exception, I almost always find the most awesome stuff by working backwards from what's popular in France.

Serpent wrote:Hm, have you found earworms useful for listening comprehension? I think for me they're mostly useful for speaking.

Yes! This was the really startling thing about subs2srs: Because I was working with a single TV series, and Anki was turning the dialog into ear worms, I could understand a surprising amount of dialog even in episodes that I hadn't studied. I mean, even with my French, there's no way I should ever even approach being able to follow 50% of the dialog in the easiest episodes of Avatar after 30–60 hours of study. And yet, I had so many little dialog fragments stuck in my head that it was easy to match them up to some of what I was hearing. And Sprachprofi reported similar results for Japanese. I actually think that there's some sort of "s_allard effect" going on: The most common 300 words and the most common grammar patterns are so frequent that if you can earworm those, you can pick up an extra comprehension bonus.

Now, I don't know if this will work for everybody. But I think there's some interesting unexplored territory here, especially at the beginner level, for people who want to focus on real TV early.

This has been my pet theory of the day. :-)

daegga wrote:The main hypothesis behind this is that listening mostly works through prediction. Through extensive listening you acquire a statistical model of the language much like through reading, but without the additional abstraction of the written word.

Yes, this very much matches my personal experiences: Listening comprehension is really hard until my brain can more-or-less predict what a native speaker would say, anyway.

Φιλόσοφος wrote:I for one have found I cannot concentrate on the speech if I am following the subtitles in a different language. Closed-captioning is ideal, but materials with it are scarce.

That's why I find it preferable to delay watching TV and movies until I have enough vocabulary to, in principle, be able to understand most of what I'm listening.

Yeah, good subtitles are a pain to find. We actually made a list of French films and TV series with good subtitles to help people out. And I can provide suggestions for Spanish, along with annoyingly-hard-to-find accurate subtitles for the Spanish version of Avatar, La Leyenda de Aang and several Spanish movies.

That said, I do agree that TV isn't very helpful unless you already have some way to understand a lot of it. Using native TV as a total novice would give a boost to listening skills, but it definitely requires very sneaky and creative techniques to artificially boost comprehension a lot.

Gaedheal92 wrote:8 disks @ 16€?! Sold! (Though I'd be willing to spend double that based on the intro alone 8-) ). Thanks for pointing this out.

Ah ha ha ha! My log strikes again, putting fear into media budgets around the world!

Josquin wrote:OMG, I recognize the intro! I used to watch this show as a little kid (in German dubbing, of course). Thanks for bringing this back to my memory!

Seriously, I sometimes sing parts of this intro for French adults in their 30s, and I swear they all know it.

Arnaud wrote:Ah nostalgia, I was watching it when I was a kid, and one of my friend had the bad habit of calling me Nono, as I'm very tall :lol:
Nonetheless, my favorite one was Capitaine Flam, a pure masterpiece, at that time, with the superb music of Yuji Ohno.
Au fin fond de l'univers, à des années et des années-lumières de la Terre, veille celui que le gouvernement intersidéral appelle quand il n'est plus capable de trouver une solution à ses problèmes, quand il ne reste plus aucun espoir: le capitaine Flam !

I first discovered Captaine Flam while listening to an MC Solaar video. I actually worked through that video with my wife, bugging her to explain all the cultural references.

Anyway, I've only seen one episode of Capitaine Flam, and I couldn't find a good set of DVDs when I last tried. But as I understand it, "Capitaine Flam" is sort of an archetypal Boy Scout hero in space. (I recall one episode of the French dub of Angel where somebody accused Angel of thinking he was Capitaine Flam. A fun cultural reference added during translation!) Here's the intro, for fans of late 70s children's television:



SladeWilson wrote:Absolutely. Editions LettMotif have a nice little collection of French screenplays for purchase, including the popular Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain among others I don't personally know but might be good. You can buy in print or electronic. I personally opted for the pdf of Amélie (but they come in epub format also).

Oh, this is just wonderful! Thank you so much for this link.

If you want to read my old log, there's actually a "table of contents" on page 1 that breaks it down into 3 sections: "Taking it to the next level", "Wandering towards C1" and "Fresh, fun and effortless media." There are links to various key turning points in those sections. Someday I should organize it all better or produce a "highlights" version!

astromule wrote:One suggestion: would it be possible to see the new posts of the people that you're following in a sidebar or somewhere visible (such as the "follow" of Facebook)? Or is that function already present in notifications?

Look for the "wrench" icon at the top or bottom of the page, click on it, and choose "Subscribe Topic". You will then see all other posts to that topic in your notifications. I hope this helps!
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emk
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Alerte Cobra: Explosions!

Postby emk » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:10 pm

While digging through TV-Replay last night, I discovered Alerte Cobra, a dubbed French version of a long-running German series. It features expensive cars, high-speed chases, ridiculous property damage, and very sarcastic police officers. How did I not know about this? Here's the générique to give you some flavor:



If you live in France, or you have a VPN (oh, I love my VPN!), you can find last week's episodes online. This is a thing that most French TV channels do.

Here's the episode summary for the episode I watched (spoilers):

Alerte Cobra - Gendarme ou voleur ?

Sami retrouve Laura, une ancienne élève de l'école de police, à l'occasion
d'une enquête liée aux vols de voitures de luxe pour le compte d'une
société d'assurances. Ravissante et conquérante, celle-ci le suit
partout. Elle est, par ailleurs, toujours la première sur le lieu de crime
et sème le doute dans la tête d'Andrea. Sami finit par se demander si elle
poursuit la bande de voleurs ou si elle est leur complice.

The dubbing was very solid, but since the series has been running for 20 years, I don't know if early seasons will be equally as good. Difficulty is moderate: I could follow about 80% straight out the gate with no problem, and the other 20% was filling in nicely by the end of the episode.

I think I need to watch more of these episodes when I want brain candy. :-)

But I also want to stay up to date on the French dub of Flash, and I want to check out Profilage. And while I'm at it, I really want to track down the Crimes et botanique mini-series that just ran on French TV. You can find more information and a promotional video online.
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Re: Alerte Cobra: Explosions!

Postby Arnaud » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:43 pm

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Last edited by Arnaud on Tue Sep 13, 2016 5:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby astromule » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:34 pm

Thank you for the link! I didn't know about it. Would it be possible to do a list for other languages? I can contribute with Swedish. And I'd like very much to see a list of Portuguese subtitles for native material.
And thank you for the "wrench". I didn't know about it either. :)

emk wrote:Yeah, good subtitles are a pain to find. We actually made a list of French films and TV series with good subtitles to help people out. And I can provide suggestions for Spanish, along with annoyingly-hard-to-find accurate subtitles for the Spanish version of Avatar, La Leyenda de Aang and several Spanish movies.

astromule wrote:One suggestion: would it be possible to see the new posts of the people that you're following in a sidebar or somewhere visible (such as the "follow" of Facebook)? Or is that function already present in notifications?

Look for the "wrench" icon at the top or bottom of the page, click on it, and choose "Subscribe Topic". You will then see all other posts to that topic in your notifications. I hope this helps!
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby arthaey » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:39 pm

emk wrote:good subtitles are a pain to find

Isn't that that truth.

I know that there are several projects out there creating databases of multi-lingual subtitles, but the quality varies so much... I wonder if the HTLAL community could do a better job curating such data?

Because I'd really love to have a list of the most "sub2rss-ready" Spanish TV shows, for instance, without having to wade through a bunch of bad subtitles/captions to find one worth the effort... :)
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby RyanSmallwood » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:53 pm

emk wrote:When I say, "Babylon 5 is a classic SF TV show," can I find a French dub?", I often wind up listening to truly ghastly dubbing.


Hah, I actually tried watching Babylon 5 dubbed in French because its included on the US DVDs, and it really is awful.
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby arthaey » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:02 pm

RyanSmallwood wrote:
emk wrote:When I say, "Babylon 5 is a classic SF TV show," can I find a French dub?", I often wind up listening to truly ghastly dubbing.

Hah, I actually tried watching Babylon 5 dubbed in French because its included on the US DVDs, and it really is awful.

I wanted to find a good Spanish dub of Star Trek, but I just couldn't deal with the poor quality of it, at least for Voyager. And don't even get me started ranting on how much awesome Whedon-ness was lost in the Spanish dub of Firefly...
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby Stelle » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:16 pm

arthaey wrote: And don't even get me started ranting on how much awesome Whedon-ness was lost in the Spanish dub of Firefly...


Buffy season 3 wasn't bad! Cordelia didn't do much for me, but Willow was awesome.
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby arthaey » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:18 pm

Stelle wrote:
arthaey wrote: And don't even get me started ranting on how much awesome Whedon-ness was lost in the Spanish dub of Firefly...

Buffy season 3 wasn't bad! Cordelia didn't do much for me, but Willow was awesome.

Good to know that Buffy wasn't as poorly dubbed as Firefly. :)
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Re: French: Fresh, fun & effortless media

Postby sctroyenne » Fri Jul 24, 2015 11:14 pm

arthaey wrote:
Stelle wrote:
arthaey wrote: And don't even get me started ranting on how much awesome Whedon-ness was lost in the Spanish dub of Firefly...

Buffy season 3 wasn't bad! Cordelia didn't do much for me, but Willow was awesome.

Good to know that Buffy wasn't as poorly dubbed as Firefly. :)


I find it helps a lot if you're not watching a show and/or actors that you already know and love. It's a good opportunity to watch that show you've always meant to but never got around to watching. Once you get very attached to certain actors' voices and acting it can be really hard to accept anything else. I can attest to the fact that if you start a series watching the dubbed version and switch back it can seem just as weird (American voices all seem so much more high-pitched than everyone else's for some reason).
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