Adventures in French and Spanish

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Mohave
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Adventures in French and Spanish

Postby Mohave » Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:44 am

This first post will be a placeholder post to be edited at a future date.


My Adventures in French - HTLAL
Last edited by Mohave on Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:06 pm, edited 5 times in total.
0 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:39 pm

Hi Mohave,

Thanks for the tweet! Without it I wouldn't be here. Bonne continuation !

PM
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Mohave
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Location: Florida, USA
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby Mohave » Fri Jul 24, 2015 5:43 pm

This is a cross-point from HTLAL. As noted in the last paragraph though, I plan to do my future updates here until a way forward on HTLAL is finalized
-------------------
Time for another update! French has become a part of my daily routine. My consumption has been a little
lower the last few days because I've had family visiting, but will hopefully pick up again.

Super Challenge Update
Reading Goal EOM: 150 books Current: 135 books. -- sigh......
Watching Goal EOM: 150 movies; Current 142 movies

- Thanks to PM for recommending Le Retour of Martin
Guerre
- probably in the top 5 French movies that I have seen. I greatly enjoyed this movie, and the
French was relatively straight forward to understand. I will watch it again,and I plan to purchase and read
the book in French.

- Thanks to emk for recommending
http://www.tv-replay.fr Using my VPN, it took about 2 minutes to set-up
and now I always have French TV series that match my preferred genres to watch at my convenience! I have
watched four episodes of Profilage and one of Boulevard du Palais. I have enjoyed them
enough to purchase the earlier series on my next Amazon.fr order.

- Many thanks to AlexTG for recommending
[URL=http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/movies/allsort=metrics.viewCount.last7Days%7Cdesc&language=Fr
ench&service=MoviesByGenre]www.sbs.com.au[/URL]. Again, with my VPN, I always have a ready selection
of French movies such as Rien à Declarer which I enjoyed.

- VPN. Last year, I found a special for a 3-year subscription to VPN Unlimited for $19. At the time, I
purchased it to have more security over unsecure wifi while traveling abroad. One of the things that I have
come to enjoy is VPN has servers in a variety of countries (including France) to get around get-blocked
access. This has quickly become one of my most useful language learning tools!

- I completed reading both Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources by Pagnol This definitely is one of
my favorite French reads so far. I plan to watch the movies as well. I started Marc Levy's Le Premier
Jour
but honestly, it hasn't grabbed my attention after 35 pages so I may start Dumas' Le Compte de
Monte-Cristo.


- I've completed another 4 language Exchanges, completed Pimsleur IV, started Pimsleur V, and started FSI
Phonology - completing the first three lessons. As my listening skills have improved, I find I am hating my
pronounciation of late. Has others experienced this?
.

- I need to get re-focused on my grammar books. I think that will also help me clean up my speech.

Lastly, I plan to hang-out and post at the temporary site until a decision is made on the way forward of
HTLAL. Here is a link to my log there:
NTRHTLAL

--------------------------------------------------
Edit to play with Progress Bars:


Super Challenge Books Read: 135 / 200


Super Challenge Films Watched: 142 / 200
Last edited by Mohave on Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:03 am, edited 3 times in total.
4 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

My Goodreads

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sctroyenne
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Location: Montreal, QC (moved from the SF Bay Area living my dream!)
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby sctroyenne » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:27 am

It's a good year to be reading Pagnol! In a French class we read about all the festivities that are going on for the 120th anniversary of his birth. I think some restauration projects are happening and I think the articles said Daniel Auteuil should be due to finish his Pagnol films.

Le retour de Martin Guerre is great! The book is actually considered a landmark work in the study of history. While everyone else was doing big macro histories (Fernand Braudel and Les Annales), she produced a compelling micro history from a village from an era that has relatively few records and managed to stitch together this slice of life mystery which also revealed a lot about the lives of simple villagers. It's a really fascinating approach which yielded great results!

And a thousand times yes about the accent. I'm not sure if my accent actually varies in quality or if there's a sort of Dunning-Kruger effect going on. I definitely feel the better you get the more you become aware of how far you are from native. Also, an interesting recent phenomenon: when I was taking classes I had some of the strongest French in the class. After classes I would feel like my accent and my speaking skills were astronomically better. Then I'd be in conversation with French natives and I'd feel like a stumbling oaf - might as well be dressed in shorts, a giant American flag tee, and a baseball cap. Perception of my relative French skills definitely has a lot to do with it but I do wonder if confidence makes a noticeable difference in things like accent.
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Mohave
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Location: Florida, USA
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby Mohave » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:43 pm

sctroyenne wrote:It's a good year to be reading Pagnol! In a French class we read about all the festivities that are going on for the 120th anniversary of his birth. I think some restauration projects are happening and I think the articles said Daniel Auteuil should be due to finish his Pagnol films.

Le retour de Martin Guerre is great! The book is actually considered a landmark work in the study of history. While everyone else was doing big macro histories (Fernand Braudel and Les Annales), she produced a compelling micro history from a village from an era that has relatively few records and managed to stitch together this slice of life mystery which also revealed a lot about the lives of simple villagers. It's a really fascinating approach which yielded great results!

And a thousand times yes about the accent. I'm not sure if my accent actually varies in quality or if there's a sort of Dunning-Kruger effect going on. I definitely feel the better you get the more you become aware of how far you are from native. Also, an interesting recent phenomenon: when I was taking classes I had some of the strongest French in the class. After classes I would feel like my accent and my speaking skills were astronomically better. Then I'd be in conversation with French natives and I'd feel like a stumbling oaf - might as well be dressed in shorts, a giant American flag tee, and a baseball cap. Perception of my relative French skills definitely has a lot to do with it but I do wonder if confidence makes a noticeable difference in things like accent.


sctroyenne - Thanks so much for letting me know about the 120th birthday celebration. I watched several videos, read a few news articles on the on-going and planned activities. I plan to add another Pagnol book to my reading list this year as a result. The Retour de Martin Guerre really kept me thinking a long time after watching the movie. Knowing that it was based on a historical case of identity theft in the 16th century France made it all the more powerful and thought-provoking. I will watch the movie again, and will order the book to read as well. Thank you so much for discussing your experiences with your accent and the linkage to listening skills. I have long known that I speak with an American accent, but of late, I have just been horrified, and yet, when I asked my penpals, they didn't hear anything different/worse than normal. I also believe my speaking skills are highly linked to confidence, and when my confidence is low, I notice my accent, grammar, and vocabulary is weaker than normal. It was interesting that you noted that too.


-----------------------------------------------------
What a fun day I had playing with my VPN and http://www.tv-replay.fr!! I needed to do some catch-up on the Super Challenge, and it was so cool to have a bunch of episodes of my preferred series waiting for me!! I watched Profilage, Le Sang de la Vigne, and an episode of a dubbed Scandal. Too easy! Of course my comprehension was highest (90%+) with the dubbed Scandal, a show that I love and had previously watched in English. My weakest was Le Sang de la Vigne - the first time I had watched this series (Probably 50%) I found the 6play app in the U.S. iOS App Store. It appears you need a VPN, but you can watch episodes from French channels M6, W9, and 6ter very easily.

Now if we can just figure out how to easily purchase new French e-books! We've discussed this many times over on the HTLAL site, but here's my latest example. I wanted to buy a free, new-release (May 2015) e-book from Amazon.fr - (1000 Coups de Fouet parce que j'ai osé parler librement de Raif Badawi). The French and English version was not available on Amazon.com at the time. Amazon.fr would not allow me to buy the e-book - even though it was free. I had wanted to read it in French as one of my penpals and I had discussed Badawi's plight several times during our language exchanges. It looks like the English version will be available next month on Amazon - but I hate being forced to read it in English!! I may play with purchasing a used Kindle, Amazon.fr gift certificates and see if I can figure this out. Enough of my rant for today!

Happy Language Learning!
0 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

My Goodreads

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Mohave
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Location: Florida, USA
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby Mohave » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:10 am

I started looking at alternative sources for how to easily get French e-books in the U.S after my frustration of not being able to purchase a free, new-release ebook on Amazon.fr. The good news is, after some research, iBooks carries 1000 Coups de Fouet Parce Que J'ai Osé Parler Librement, and it's free there also! :D Upon further review iBooks seems to carry e-books for several French authors (which Amazon.com did not). However, many French authors such as Houellebecq, Musso, etc are not in the iBooks catalog. Many are though, such as books from the Le Petit Nicolas series and Marc Levy. Not perfect, but a step forward. I still plan to try to experiment with linking a Kindle to an Amazon.fr account.

I've done two language exchanges in the last two days. I just don't have the vocabulary and grammar to have "easy" conversations outside of everyday subjects yet. In today's session, I read a page aloud from a book (without preparation), asking for specific feedback on how to improve my pronounciation. I receive good feedback on how to improve every time I do this. I also read about 20 pages of Le Premier Jour, and watched a few more episodes of Scandal in French, and the classic La Femme Nikita.

In a moment of weakness, I registered for the 6 Week Challenge starting Aug 1. Bad timing because I will be with my husband's family and out of my routine for two weeks, so I don't expect to be in the top ranks, but I want to use the challenge to focus on some specific goals. I mainly need to work on cleaning up grammar and speaking, and I need to catch-up on Super Challenge Reading.

- Complete 15 units in Pimsleur V
- Complete FSI Phonology course to improve pronounciation
- Complete Exercises de Grammaire en Contexte Intermediate
- Complete 50% Grammaire Progressive du Français - Intermediate
- Watch 15 Films (90 min) for the Super Challenge
- Read 1,000 pages for the Super Challenge
-
I'd like to think this would be my last one (because I was B2), but probably I will have at least one more after this - specifically to get my active skills cleaned up.
0 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

My Goodreads

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Mohave
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Location: Florida, USA
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French (enjoying and still learning the language)
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French - Chronicles While in Exile

Postby Mohave » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:14 am

So I finally dreamed in something other than English!!! To my surprise, it was Spanish! Say what???? Yes, I have some very basic Spanish, but my French is much stronger!!

A quick update on the Six Week Challenge - as of this writing, I am ninth on the Six Week Challenge. A review of my goals shows I am relatively on track. I am pleased given what I had going on for about two weeks earlier this month.
- Complete 15 units in Pimsleur V . Currently on Unit 11/15. Review to come
- Complete FSI Phonology course to improve pronounciation. Completed 3/10
- Complete Exercises de Grammaire en Contexte Intermediate Completed 8-) 8-) - Review to come
- Complete 50% Grammaire Progressive du Français - Intermediate (Completed 13/150 pages)
- Watch 15 Films (90 min) for the Super Challenge (watched 7/15)
- Read 1,000 pages for the Super Challenge (Read 725/1000 pages)

Super Challenge Update
Reading Goal EOM: 160 books Current: 150 books. -- made up a little bit, but still behind...sigh......
Watching Goal EOM: 160 movies; Current 159 movies

Best movie of the month:
De Rouille et d'Os is a 2012 French–Belgian romantic drama film directed by Jacques Audiard, starring Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts. It tells the story of an unemployed 25-year-old man who falls in love with a killer whale trainer. Available on SBS



Best quote out of a book during the month: “Perdre quelqu'un qu'on a aimé est terrible, mais le pire serait de ne pas l'avoir rencontré.”
― Marc Levy, Le premier Jour

Language Exchanges: only 3 (no wifi for most of month!)

Happy Language Learning!
2 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

My Goodreads

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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French II

Postby rlnv » Wed Aug 26, 2015 2:52 am

Hi Mohave. Great quote from Le Premier Jour. I'm always looking for good eBooks to add to my queue, and I searched amazon.com and it looks like its just available in paper. How did you like the book? Are you reading most of your books paperback? I'm looking forward to your grammar book reviews.
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Mohave
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French II

Postby Mohave » Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:48 am

rlnv wrote:Hi Mohave. Great quote from Le Premier Jour. I'm always looking for good eBooks to add to my queue, and I searched amazon.com and it looks like its just available in paper. How did you like the book? Are you reading most of your books paperback? I'm looking forward to your grammar book reviews.


Hi rinv - Thanks for stopping by! I would say Le Premier Jour is ok, but honestly, it was my first Marc Levy book, and I was a little disappointed. Also, you must have a second book, La Première Nuit to finish the story. I'll probably read it at some point, but I didnt start it right away.

I read Le Premier Jour in paperback. When I visited Belgium and France last year, I filled up a carry-on suitcase with used books that I bought for 1€ or 2€ each. I vacillate on whether I prefer to read on my iPad or prefer paper books. For me, each one is a slightly different experience, although that experience is not now as far apart as when I first started reading. When I read a "paper" book, I read more extensively. I skip over words that I may not now and I read faster, only looking up words that I see several times that I can't figure out from context. When I read an ebook, I think I read more intensively, more slowly. I enjoy both ways, but slightly different experiences for me. My favorite reads so far are: 1) Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources - Pagnol, 2) Le Petit Nicolas series, 3) Le Silence de la Mer - Vercours (short story). All of these are easy reads.
Last edited by Mohave on Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
2 x
Spanish Motivation: Dec 2018 - Costa Rica
Spanish Pimsleur 3: 6 / 30 Assimil: 56 / 100
Spanish Super Challenge Books: 2 / 50 Movies: 0 / 100
French Super Challenge Books: 24 / 100 Movies: 22 / 100

My Goodreads

rlnv
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Re: Mohave's Adventures in French II

Postby rlnv » Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:30 pm

Mohave wrote:Hi rinv - Thanks for stopping by! I would say Le Premier Jour is ok, but honestly, it was my first Marc Levy book, and I was a little disappointed. Also, you must have a second book, La Première Nuit to finish the story. I'll pobably read it at some point, but I didnt start it right away.

I read Le Premier Jour in paperback. When I visited Belgium and France last year, I filled up a carry-on suitcase with used books that I bought for 1€ or 2€ each. I vacillate on whether I prefer to read on my iPad or prefer paper books. For me, each one is a slightly different experience, although that experience is not now as far apart as when I first started reading. When I read a "paper" book, I read more extensively. I skip over words that I may not now and I read faster, only looking up words that I see several times that I can't figure out from context. When I read an ebook, I think I read more intensively, more slowly. I enjoy both ways, but slightly different experiences for me. My favorite reads so far are: 1) Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources - Pagnol, 2) Le Petit Nicolas series, 3) Le Silence de la Mer - Vercours (short story). All of these are easy reads.


Wow, great. I always enjoy recommendations! I ended up buying Manon des Sources from the Amazon seller Alders Foreign Books. The description looks good, and other reviews are also positive!

You make a good point about paper reading extensively and eBook intensively. I tend to obsess on looking up all unknown words. That works great on a Kindle, but definitely no so much with paper. Some of the earlier paper books I was reading, I would sit with my laptop in my lap ready to use a translation dictionary, and it was still to slooowww. But I've made some pretty good advances since then, so I think I'll look at it like you do and treat the paper books as extensive only, and only look up what I really need to.

So now my paper book queue has: Manon des Source, and also another one I have on my shelf waiting, Stupeur et Tremblements by Amélie Nothomb (It gets good reviews and is said to be pretty funny). :)

Thanks again for the recommendations.
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