PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Nov 12, 2018 5:49 am

Ani wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
Ironically, I think Ani, you and I connect in some way, and I believe it is mainly on a language learning level, with a bit of human touch thrown in. Your wanting to steer clear of commenting on my posts at times (which I dare say many ppl do something similar) and that is fair, is equally met by me steering clear of involving myself too much in your posts.


And do you know how much that friggin sucks??

I should probably take this back to PM/email but it started here so.. I had really enjoyed our friendship & conversations. I wanted to be friends. But I don't get what you're doing. I just told you (in not as many words) that I'm really uncomfortable with your ranting on non-language topics, and you respond to my post with a giant wall of it?? I don't want you to avoid my log. I valued our conversions. This is not us avoiding each other to avoid conflict. This is you choosing a soap box over real people who would like to connect with you.


My reply to your comments led into a rant. I'll say no more. I have removed my post.
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Melkor
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby Melkor » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:01 am

Skynet wrote:PM, have you ever heard of a Panopticon? Jeremy Bentham in the 1780s theorised that one could modify the behavior of inmates if the institution had its own Barad-dûr centrally elevated position from which they (inmates) could be monitored by a single watchman. Logically, it is impossible for Sauron a watchman to be omnipresent, the inmates cannot know when they are being watched or not being watched and default to auto-censoring and self-behavioral adjustment.

Fast-forward 23 decades later and you see that we live in a society where people will self-censor because they think that they are being watched. I highly doubt that someone is sitting behind all 200 million CCTVs in China or the 4.5 million in the UK (even with the AI offerings from Amazon Rekognition et al). Just the mere thought that you might possibly be under surveillance is enough for you to act, say and ultimately think in the way Big Brother wants you to.


You and your LOTR references. ;) This is absolutely fascinating. How on earth do you know these things? :shock:

PeterMollenburg wrote:....perhaps I should start a new log once I relocate.... And keep politics/conspiracies out of it? .

I think not! To have a truly diverse community, we should have all view points which can be shared in a sensitive and logical way. This is the reason why people who discuss politics, conspiracies, sexual orientation, preferred genders and faith have not been banned. These topics are all controversial and add nothing to the language learning process, but are embraced by the mods because these opinions are not being weaponized to harm others and cannot be separated from the respective language learners.

Ani wrote: And do you know how much that friggin sucks??

It is very good to see that Ani exemplifies this overarching tolerance. Whilst she does not necessarily agree with your views, she is able to follow your thread and interact with you in a civilized way. :D
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby Xmmm » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:20 am

Hi Peter,


“we cease to be so angry once we cease to be so hopeful”
― Seneca


I need to add Latin to my language list just so I can read the Stoics, sigh ... anyway, just a word to the wise, and I do count you among the wise.

Best,

Xmmm
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Ещё раз сунешь голову туда — окажешься внутри. Поняла, Фемида? -- аигел

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French and a tad of other languages

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:33 am

I just want to make it clear that my posts are not about insulting people. Whether you feel disrespected or insulted, that is not my aim, nor has it ever been (aside from, admittedly, the odd post in anger). I do respect others. I have often made posts to encourage people to self reflect, but it's clear many people do not want to read what I have to say, and often for very good reason.

It's perhaps arrogant of me to think I can or even should attempt to exert change when people are perfectly happy with their own belief systems and ideologies, but what's wrong with a little food for thought (that grows too big!)? While I feel I have been honest/true to what I feel is necessary to be conveyed to others, others equally feel strong conviction for their set of beliefs, so it's likely that many people do not feel comfortable with what I have to say at times, and that makes sense. To be fair to myself however, I guess I've been asking more for self reflection than anything, but the way that I convey it is probably more like it's a solid set of beliefs that one must understand.

I could get annoyed by others trying to convince me of something I simply to do not believe. People come here for language learning and their ideologies political or otherwise are often at odds with mine, thus, as I believe Ani has brought to the forefront of this recent direction of my log, I'm likely choosing the wrong things to discuss in the wrong place. Sure some people appreciate it, even would prefer me to discuss more of the same, yet there exists a good number who, perhaps fairly, do not want to read such things here. But, should I be modifying my behaviour (writing) to appease others? This is what I'm ultimately unsure about. Still, as time marches on, the belief that I should not discuss such topics is likely to grow louder, but that doesn't necessarily make it correct.

In everyday life we curb our enthusiasm, I think. Perhaps I was confusing censorship with, as Ani mentioned, being appropriate for the setting. If you're a devout religious person, you love to share this love with other fellow believers, but you wouldn't normally preach to others who don't want preaching to. if you're a gamer, you love talking about gaming with your gaming friends and generally keep the excitement to your gaming circle. If you're a mad (fill in the blank) you share with other mad (fill in the blank) and tend not to annoy others who aren't interested in such things. Here, we're all about languages, not belief systems, not religion, not corruption, not conspiracies. Ani you were right.... for you. Others do appreciate it. But some definitely do not. Writing online is different too, it's not direct engagement. If you don't like something you really should just avoid it, as opposed to attempting to make the author write how you want him/her to write. So what do I do? Well, one constraint is forum rules. Provided I'm within the rules then technically, I should be able to discuss such topics, but as I said, as time marches on and time waits for no man, and is indeed marching on, the tolerance here and elsewhere is reducing, it seems.

I don't feel I need to take back anything I've said recently, however. Although i did completely remove one post. I should've posted it separately to my reply, that would've been more tactful. Still, there have been some interesting discussions, some more tumultuous than others, and at times I've had some great support for my sharing on my convictions. But this is the place for language learners and enthusiasts, is it not? I guess I've not really drawn a conclusive answer or decision, but it's not necessary for this log, as this log has reached it's end.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With regards to language learning, this log was mainly about my journey in reaching an advanced level of French. Perhaps if I return to focusing on the DALF C1 or C2 exam, then that might warrant reigniting this log, otherwise I think this log has reached it's end. I am not bowing out emotionally, nor in reaction to anything in particular. I just think this has actually reached it's conclusion (at least for now), and its equally fitting, given I can't decide on what's right for the content of my log.

I may or may not write a new log here, time will tell, but I suspect I will.

Thank you all for tagging along for the ride. This log began on HTLAL on the 2nd of Jan 2014 (link on first page of this log if interested) and continued here. It's become massive, as any log would with a person that raises touchy topics, needs a lot of feedback on language learning techniques and loves to write (too much) about himself. Thank you all for your support and for challenging me along the way. I don't feel like I've accomplished my goal as I am not holding a C1 nor a C2 DALF certificate in my hands, but it's not been a failure either, so I'm okay with where I am with my French. No, I don't have the certificate (yet), but I am doing pretty bloody well with the language. Even, if I am not C1, I feel very comfortable now with French, but I will and shall continue to learn the language perhaps for the rest of my life, as there is so much to learn.

I am using French every single day in my life. I am reading, watching, studying, speaking (tons) with my daughter. I'm so impressed with my children and their French! With my daughter there were some tough times, but now she changes effortlessly and fluidly between English solely for those who speak English and French solely with me. She loves French programs on TV just as much as English (if not more), she sings in French, speaks to her brother in French, plays in French (and English too - about 50/50). My son I think has more French words at his disposal than English and hums French songs. Very cute. They both love Kirikou! And they love French story time with their dad.

Dutch is coming into the picture, and I think I love it equally but in a different way to French. I cannot believe 2011 is so long ago now when my wife and I were in the Netherlands. Learning Dutch brings back memories. I have been reading Dutch stories to the kids but I am considering teaching it properly to the children from 2019. That is, a target of speaking in Dutch to them 50% of the time, but we'll see.

As for Arabic, I've no idea what the future holds for me with this language. It may play a big role in my life, it may be small. It's a language I will attempt to get to know because we will be in Saudi Arabia, not because I've always wanted to learn it, nor can I say I've recently become enamored with it, as I haven't it. But to be fair, I still don't know a word yet. That says something - First, I'm busy trying to get ready for the move! Secondly, if I really loved the idea of learning it, i'd probably already know some words. Still, I once hated French (literally), and when I first heard a good deal of Dutch, my ears did not like it! Yet I love them both today!

Norwegian is tugging at me, Spanish is alluring (and very useful/widespread), German is my old friend I lost touch with in high school, and as my hair becomes greyer (yikes), German now feels soooo long ago.

Best of luck people with your language learning!
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby Ogrim » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:57 am

Expugnator wrote:It's always better to read about "conspiracy" than the round of "multiple-languages-learners'" bashing that was the previous page of this thread. And we hadn't had such a session for a long time here at LLORG.

I feel sorry for Norwegian but I'm not jealous of you and Ogrim becoming BFF. Not at all.


PeterMollenburg wrote:I'm not sure Ogrim would agree with any of my above posts, so BFF is only fanciful thinking (out loud) on my part. I do hold him in high esteem however, especially since he has managed to be friendly to me despite my views. You know in the past I absolutely loved the idea of the EU, so I can see aspects in Ogrim of myself. I still love that idea, but feel the reality of the EU is far what we are told, and in fact aims to destroy what I love about Europe (my opinion).


I really did not want to enter this discussion, but as I've been mentioned twice I felt I had to say a couple of things.

Expugnator, I hope you did not think I was part of the "multiple-languages-learners'" bashing - my little rabbit story was on the contrary a (failed?) humorous attempt at showing that learning multiple languages is possible, as long as you focus on one at a time. In any case, I normally don't try to convince others to do this or that - I admire your ability to study so many languages in parallel, it is absolutely amazing, but I also admired PM's persistency and focus on French for so long, resisting any wanderlust. We are all different, and need to find out what works for us as individuals.

As for PM and I being BFF, well, I took that as a good joke since both of us purchased the same Arabic course at the same time. That said, I'd actually like the thought of meeting up with PM in person at one point and talk about languages and life over a beer or two. I'm sure we could have a nice friendly fight, metaphorically speaking :) .

PM, you are right, I don't agree with a lot of what you post, but as I respect you, I choose to ignore and not engage with most of your non-language related postings. I admit that sometimes they annoy me, but you also contribute a lot to the forum and you have interesting things to say about your experience learning French, so of course I am friendly - I always try to be by the way. The thing is, if I want to discuss politics, relgion or conspiracy theories online, I can easily find hundreds of places on the internet to do that, one more outrageous than the other. I don't want to engage in such debates here, I come to LLorg to talk about languages and language-related stuff, like literature, music and travel. Sure, sometimes it is inevitable to touch on politics, but when I do myself I always try to do it in a neutral way, not promoting my own views on Brexit, big business, Russia, the Middle East or whatever. And that is all I have to say in this discussion. Best of luck chasing the French, the Dutch and the Arabic rabbit! ;)
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iguanamon
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby iguanamon » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:15 pm

In regards to the forum specifically, yes, self-censorship is the price we pay for having a nice place to visit without having to deal with the crap on the rest of the internet. Here, the forum is all about languages and language-learning. We grow into a community with this one aspect in common. Outside of the forum we are quite diverse. We are so diverse that if we open that pandora's box of "come on, we're all adults here we can talk about politics and such without any worries" it almost always ends up badly. We make friends here and as a result we often feel like we are probably like minded because of our interaction around and about language-learning... so, it follows that our other interactions outside of language-learning will be fine too? That's not necessarily so in such a diverse, international forum.

There's more than enough controversy in language-learning without having to bring geo-politics and conspiracy theory into it, at least in my opinion. It's not like there are no other places to go to express ourselves freely. There's always twitter, facebook, reddit, blogging, etc. ad-infinitum to provide that outlet.
Expugnator wrote:...iguanamon never managed to convince me of anything. He didn't try that hard, though. ...

As to multiple language bashing, Expug, I have never advised you not to learn multiple languages. I would not have advised PM to pare down his list if he hadn't asked me specifically for my advice. I took into account his language-learning history here over several years and at HTLAL to inform my advice to him specifically and nobody else and I didn't do it in public but privately. My advice to PM was to him personally and based on my observations of him and his learning style and not meant for anyone else on the forum. I respect, admire and am in awe of what you do in language-learning every day, Expug. Many of your votes here are from me. Oh, yeah, PM will still be learning multiple languages simultaneously with what he has chosen to do. He just won't have multiple beginner languages going on at the same time. Knowing PM, he'll probably change his mind back anyway in a month or two :lol:

My position on learning multiple languages simultaneously is very different for monolinguals than for experienced learners who have already learned at least one language to a high level. That's well known here and it is based on my observations of many monolingual (not having learned a language to at least B2 yet) members who have tried learning multiple languages simultaneously without managing to advance any of them to B2 or higher. Personally, I don't care what anyone wants to do in language-learning as long as they're having fun doing it and it is useful for them. If a learner is a monolingual beginner and wants to learn multiple languages simultaneously and asks whether that is a good idea (meaning will they be able to learn all of them to a high level), I respond with what I have observed here over the years of learners in a similar situation, but I may just decide to not say anything from here on out and just let these folks find out for themselves.

I wish you best of luck in language-learning whatever you wish to do, PM. Bòn chans !
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reineke
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby reineke » Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:07 pm

Xmmm wrote:
Seneca



Seneca would love this place.

Veni
Vidi
Fugi
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French, Dutch and Arabic

Postby Expugnator » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:31 pm

Sorry if I added up to the rant and PM's log's derailing, I thought it was over. I didn't mean any criticism, cynicism or sarcasm.

I might agree with most of what you said, PM, but I just don't think this is the place for that.

Moreover, I think if you had added 10 minutes a day on Dutch consistently from 2011 you'd probably be a B2 at Dutch as well by now. You probably needed to be so strict on yourself about language learning in order to avoid an even more constant change of plans, and you had to apply the one-language-rule to its extreme, and it might have been essential for you to reach the level you had in French now, but in the long run it's counterintuitive to my ears. I'm glad you're adding up new languages now. I still hold that perfectionism does more harm than good. I'm a perfectionist in other fields and that prevents me from doing a lot more. I'm not perfectionist about language learning, though I'm a bit so when it comes to finding the ideal circumstances for speaking and writing. No wonder I'm stuck at those skills for my languages.

If you ever decide to get to Spanish, there are some great conspiracy podcasts waiting for you.

Ogrim wrote:Expugnator, I hope you did not think I was part of the "multiple-languages-learners'" bashing - my little rabbit story was on the contrary a (failed?) humorous attempt at showing that learning multiple languages is possible, as long as you focus on one at a time. In any case, I normally don't try to convince others to do this or that - I admire your ability to study so many languages in parallel, it is absolutely amazing, but I also admired PM's persistency and focus on French for so long, resisting any wanderlust. We are all different, and need to find out what works for us as individuals.


Yes, it was an innocent joke related to the fact you'd be using the same textbooks. I still hold that it's possible to learn multiple languages in parallel, so we agree to disagree.

iguanamon wrote:In regards to the forum specifically, yes, self-censorship is the price we pay for having a nice place to visit without having to deal with the crap on the rest of the internet. Here, the forum is all about languages and language-learning. We grow into a community with this one aspect in common. Outside of the forum we are quite diverse. We are so diverse that if we open that pandora's box of "come on, we're all adults here we can talk about politics and such without any worries" it almost always ends up badly. We make friends here and as a result we often feel like we are probably like minded because of our interaction around and about language-learning... so, it follows that our other interactions outside of language-learning will be fine too? That's not necessarily so in such a diverse, international forum.


Wholeheartedly agree with you on this. We probably have different views on what is good for my own country, so I'm not really looking forward to discussing Brazilian politics with you, for example.

As for multiple language learning, I was a monolingual myself. When I started all this, my English wasn't at the C levels yet (you can check an early one of my logs at HTLAL. Had I decided to keep at one language - it could have been French or Georgian or Mandarin - from 2012, I probably would be at a similar level to what I am now, maybe 1 level higher, and I wouldn't have learned any of the other languages I did ever since. Did I struggle at times? Yes I did, I mentioned it more than once in my logs. Still, that was my path and that was how I found out how to handle the routine I have now.

There's always a risk with having some language-learning rules set in stone, some advice sold out as absolute rule, some crystalization of what it means to be a good language learner that may turn into just a set of commandments, delivered as The Truth to every beginner and in the end turning into a LLORG way of thinking. Discussing friendly and keeping an open mind tends to be a better way to get to know oneself and each other and to promote collective learning.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French and a tad of other languages

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:47 am

It seems fitting for me to add another post at this point in time...

I've not done much study for... i'm not sure how long... perhaps it's nearly two months, I don't really care, as I've lost track of time. I do care about my study, but I didn't mind taking a break, I just don't know how long it was and can't be bothered counting something that seems unnecessary.

Mind you, I was keeping in touch with French almost daily, just not sitting down at my desk to study (same for any other languages). While working (driving) I was listening to French and Dutch and even some Norwegian (because I couldn't resist).

It's funny, yesterday, as a family we drove half an hour to some unknown small national park to get out of the house and do something active in nature. On the way I put on Pimsleur's Norwegian and the family (myself, my two kids, my wife) were all imitating the Norwegian. Yes even my little under two year old, was mimicking the sounds.

So, yesterday I thought, it's time to start studying again, now that I'm satisfied I've compiled a pretty decent repertoire of electronic resources in French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Arabic and Norwegian. I'll continue to build on it, but it's pretty beefy now. I even figured out how to make some PDF's of some of my books which I couldn't find ebook versions of. Yes, I've said it before, i'm not a huge fan of electronic devices, but as I've also said, most things that are bad for us (i know, many of you don't agree) are sold to us as a convenience all the while we are getting screwed and we just don't know it. But of course, portability is a major plus.

So I started Fluenz French 5 yesterday, the only level of Fluenz I've not completed and did some Hugo Dutch in 3 Months as well as Dutch VocabuLearn. I'm also reading, watching/listening etc in French and using Glossika level 3 now in the car.

Speaking to a real life living actual French person the other day, I specifically asked for some pronunciation feed-back. She was the second French person in the last couple of weeks who stated that I sounded Belgian. This French woman clarified further and stated "but not necessarily Walloon, but in fact Flemish, as your French 'r' is too strong". She went on to provide examples ("don't say it so strong, just lightly touch the 'r'). Thus I've been actively working to soften it.
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Skynet
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Re: Pete Mollenburg's Adventures in the Matrix in French and a tad of other languages

Postby Skynet » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:44 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:Speaking to a real life living actual French person the other day, I specifically asked for some pronunciation feed-back. She was the second French person in the last couple of weeks who stated that I sounded Belgian. This French woman clarified further and stated "but not necessarily Walloon, but in fact Flemish, as your French 'r' is too strong". She went on to provide examples ("don't say it so strong, just lightly touch the 'r'). Thus I've been actively working to soften it.

Mmmmm, I had been told (on my first thread) that Belgian and Parisian accents were indistinguishable from each other. Perhaps your Dutch is flavouring your Flemish French? ;) I recently gave up the pyrrhic war that I had waged against having a non-native French accent - it's not worth my effort. Congrats on bringing the entire family on the Pimsleur bandwagon!
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