To be an outstanding tourist.

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Cavesa
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby Cavesa » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:25 pm

sfuqua wrote:And...
I can see it now.
I'm sitting in Paris.
People walk by and say to each other, "What an Outstanding Tourist! He is reading a book in French!"


What would a tourist have to do to be outstanding in Paris? :-D
Perhaps throw money from a helicopter? Play two instruments while riding a unicycle? Ride a unicorn in a pedestrian zone? I don't know.

In the middle sized towns and places, it is much easier and those places have so much to offer! I wholeheartedly recommend making a richer itinerary than the most obvious places, if time allows you. Both in France and in Spain. You basically cannot find a place that would not be interesting from the touristy point of view. And you'll get a much better chance to talk.

I think Assimil might be a great choice for you btw. It is efficient and you don't need to learn all the skills at once for your goal, so the weaknesses of the method might not be any concern.
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby Axon » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:56 am

Have you tried writing exercises? Use French or Spanish to answer some of the questions in the Easy Languages videos, describe some of your students, write a biography of someone you know, write out your trip itinerary. I've done a few of these recently and it's tough but it really gets your mind going.

What are your weaknesses in these languages? For example I decided I had a hard time talking about repeated experiences in my past. So I wrote a tiny 200 word piece comparing different gyms I've been to in my life. I had the luxury of immediately getting native corrections but even without them, I could tell the exercise was really pushing my active vocabulary.
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby zenmonkey » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:15 am

Make sure you book at least one short tour with a local guide (lots of website to find those) simply because they are a good way to ask questions, get a perspective and see things you might not think about otherwise. I've taken tours in cities I know really well and am always nicely surprised.

For the language thing - it seems you have an objective of speaking. Yet most of your activity listed isn't conversation focused (shadowing is great but it isn't conversation - it's like shadow boxing is to real boxing. No contact.). So get a tandem or italki or someone to have regular exchanges...
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:34 pm

Thanks for all the visits everybody!
I'm actually enjoying reading Bonjour Tristesse, even though it is way over my head. I've had a burst of comprehension improvement already. Slowly plowing through this book would certainly improve my reading.

Of course I know nobody is going to be impressed with me in Paris. Paris has been being unimpressed by tourists for the past two thousand years.

I figure that the more French I learn, the more fun it will be to be in France.

I probably should just do a thorough job of working through Assimil.

(kidding)After all, after French with Ease and Using French, I'll be at C1.(/kidding)
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:38 pm

I also have _French without Toil_ on my "Assimil shelf".

If I studied and shadowed my way through it, 140 days from now, I would have studied the main points of French grammar, and I would have covered a couple of thousand sentences. If I use a variation of shadowing using the GSR schedule of 5X for 5 days (glossika's algorithm does fewer repetitions each day after the first), I would have done 50 000 "reps" of Assimil. Of course Assimil is not GSR. In many ways it's better. After that much repetition, I probably will have memorized the dialog. Shadowing a lot can do wonders for pronunciation.

Many people have reported that after Assimil, they have been ready for simple extensive reading.

Weirdly enough, I'm not that worried about doing survival stuff in French after Assimil. The same amount of time spent on Pimsleur would have me talking confidently in French about a very narrow part of the language. If my interlocutor goes off of the scripts I have studied, I would be lost. With Assimil, I would be much more likely to understand what was going on, even if I do stumble when I try invite a woman to my hotel to drink beer.

Today I'm having a temptation to just admit I'm a newbie and do Pimsleur and Michel Thomas (if I can survive the other students) before anything else.
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:43 pm

French with Ease and Using French
Leçon: 2 / 158 shadowing and studying
Spanish with Ease and Using Spanish
Lección: 2 / 146 shadowing and studying.

I'll do those other bars once I get Assimil done. I need to be patient and let Assimil work. I'm going to shadow the daylights out of it as I move through. My general plan is to try to "do" the lessons in the general Assimil way.
Passive
1. Read the passage aloud checking the English to understand.
2. Read the notes and do the exercises.
3. Repeat each sentence in the exercise aloud without looking at the book.

Active (when I get there)
1. Read the passage and the exercise aloud.
2. Translate the passage and exercise from English.

I'll also be shadowing using different schedules when I feel like it.
Right now I'm planning to do this:
Each day make a playlist of French and Spanish lessons.
If I'm on lesson 16 my playlist for each language would look like this:
Lesson 16,15,13,9,1 for both French and Spanish. I put them in a playlist, hit shuffle, and shadow for an hour.

I experimented with shadowing to see how this would feel, and I was pleasantly reminded of my earlier experiences with Spanish. In order to avoid the mindless shadowing that you can do when you are already are familiar with a lesson, I'm trying to think about what the lesson is saying. By reviewing at increasing intervals, maybe I can reduce this problem.

After about 30-40 minutes of shadowing, I find myself getting very tired, but if I can continue, I find the results interesting. As fatigue sets in, I find that I sort of relax into the process and my accent and timing improve. Anyway, after an hour of shadowing, I find that I have French and Spanish on the tip of my tongue. This has to be better than learning a few words from Pimsleur.

Last night, when I was done shadowing, the family had already started one of the Filipino soap operas that we usually watch together. I went out and asked some questions about what I'd missed (in Tagalog, of course), and I was shocked to find out, that even with all the French and Spanish bubbling in my head, my Tagalog was fast, fluent, and accurate with a good accent. Tagalog seemed to be positively affected by shadowing French and Spanish.

Go figure... :lol:
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:12 pm

ASSiMiL French
Leçon: 6 / 323 shadowing and studying
ASSiMiL Spanish
Lección: 6 / 282 shadowing and studying.

I have both Without Toil and With Ease versions of the French and Spanish Assimil courses, so I'm working and shadowing through both generations of Assimil. I also have the Using level books.
I'm working through a lesson of the Without Toil and a lesson from the With Ease books each day. If I can keep this up, I will be done with these books before summer.

I quite like the tired, bubbling with L2 feeling that prolonged shadowing gives me. I've pretty thoroughly shadowed Spanish with Ease before, so that part of what I'm doing is easy review. It does seem to tune up the pronunciation a bit still. The other books can be challenging.
I'm shadowing the new lessons each day until they roll smoothly off the tongue, and then I'm reviewing the past few lessons. I really like shadowing...

Edited to fix a detail.
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby DaveBee » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:08 pm

sfuqua wrote:ASSiMiL French
Leçon: 6 / 323 shadowing and studying
ASSiMiL Spanish
Lección: 6 / 282 shadowing and studying.

I have both Without Toil and With Ease versions of the French and Spanish Assimil courses, so I'm working and shadowing through both generations of Assimil. I also have the Using level books.
Is there audio for the Toil books? I thought they were book-only.
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:27 am

I "found" some audio. Some of it is really bad. I had a few of the records.

It's funny, if I do less shadowing, I might be able to do one of the very basic courses like Michel Thomas or Pimsleur. I also miss the intensive reading I was doing.

Clearly, I should abandon my job and family and spend all day playing with French. :lol:
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sfuqua
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Re: To be an outstanding tourist.

Postby sfuqua » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:25 am

I had a moment of sanity and stopped working through Assimil Spanish. It was not completely a waste of time, and I may shadow through it later. It's too easy.

Now for French...

Assimil: 8 / 140 French without Toil and French with Ease.

After a week of Assimil, I can feel it working. I've recently experimented with Pimsleur and Michel Thomas, and they are effective, but they are soooo sloooow.
I still would recommend Pimsleur or Michel Thomas to a complete beginner, but after a little study, they are really, really boring.

So is Assimil, at least in the early lessons, but it covers much more language and I'm pretty sure that it will lead to a much higher level by the end of the 140 lessons. You have to work to get through Assimil too, but I much prefer it. I'm doing French with Ease in parallel with French without Toil. I can get them done in an hour a day, and so far I'm OK.
The later lessons in these books look very exciting.
My current plans are to keep on with Using French after I'm done with French with Ease.

(mostly off topic)
I'm a strange person, I always have some weird thing or another that I'm interested in that tires everyone else. I'm also way, way behind whatever is currently hip. That's me. Medieval cathedrals, observing M81 from a city, Samoan, Yoga, Unix, amateur radio, Buddhism, Vikings, Tai Chi, whatever...

Watching "Breathless" , a movie that I ignored in film class as an undergraduate, I developed an interest in Jean Seberg and the whole French New Wave movement in France. I have a lot to learn, but interests like this lead to healthy things like reading books and articles in French that are way beyond my current French abilities. Seberg seems like such an appealing person, it is very sad to think how she was destroyed by the FBI and her own mental illness. It sets off all of my protective fatherly instincts. Who cares, but I have a creative, dreamy daughter, and it infuriates me that anybody, man or woman, could be subjected to such an abuse from a government (I realize that J. Edgar Hoover's FBI is a far cry from what many people face around the world).
(/mostly off topic)

Anyway, it gets me reading French, and listening to French, even if I'm not counting lessons, minutes, pages, or whatever....
Now, what did Romain Gary say in that interview about...
This has nothing to do with how I'm studying, but I'm not sure that it isn't important on how I'm learning.

A couple of minor edits, mostly for formatting.
Last edited by sfuqua on Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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