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Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 3:24 am
by PeterMollenburg
Serpent wrote:I don't even remember suggesting that you sell/give away your French courses :D Surely I didn't say all of them?

I’m not so sure now whether you specified or were just generalising and I assumed that ‘sell your courses’ meant all of them.

Serpent wrote:Pick a couple of your favourites and get rid of the rest. Maybe not even permanently - you can just store them where you can't easily access them, and preferably where someone (like friends or family) reminds you that you were going to cut down on the courses and do real French :D

Actually, that’s sort of what I did. some were packed away at my house, some at my parents, where they were frequently observed (in their large plastic storage containers). Now almost all of them are back with me due to our plans changing and living in a bigger house. Still, I can’t see myself selling them when I bought the vast majority new when I had more disposable income (and less sense), and were I to sell them and “need” some again, repurchasing even a handful would be too costly and hard to justify when our family has greater needs than more language courses.

The most reasonable and logical approach from here is to store them while there is storage space and it is free/cheap. And I just need to use this resources strictly sensibly (i.e. not be overcome by course lust).

Still, had I my time over, I would absolutely most definitely never purchase a course I wasn’t ready to use. Live and learn! Your selling suggestions, Serpent, draws on this wisdom - don’t collect language leaning material that has little to no functional use on improving my language skills and secondly, that’s going to distract me from moving on. Still, when I purchased them, part of me did feel I was going to complete them all in not so long of a time.

Serpent wrote:Consider (re)reading what Khatzumoto wrote about keeping native materials easily available.
(I don't believe there are any reasons to worry about textbook availability, at least if you don't mind buying them used... you're not the only learner with a huge collection of resources)

I agree. And not only to I have plenty of French courses, but plenty of books, ebooks, websites, etc.

Serpent wrote:Also, a couple of links from Benny's blog: (new to me as well)


Serpent wrote:As for your stats... I expected "worse" tbh :D As long as these are not beginner level textbooks, you're doing fine.

Cheers ;)

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:11 pm
by Skynet
PeterMollenburg wrote:So here's my lists, beginning with courses I have completed in French which has hardly budged much in a very long time:


1 First Thousand Words in French
2 Hugo French in 3 Months
3 Colloquial French
4 Usborne French Dictionary for Beg's
5 Michel Thomas Total French
6 Michel Thomas Perfect French
7 Michel Thomas Masterclass French
8 Pimsleur French I
9 Fluenz French I
10 Pimsleur French II
11 French all talk - Linguaphone
12 Learn French with Paul Noble
13 Rocket French Premium
14 Fluenz French 2
15 Mastering French 1 (FSI units 1-6)
16 Pimsleur French III
17 Living Language Essential French
18 Pimsleur French IV
19 Fluenz French 3
20 Rocket French Premium Plus
21 Assimil New French with Ease
22 Rocket French Platinum
23 Pimsleur French V
24 Teach Yourself Get Started in French
25 Fluenz French 4
26 DLI : Headstart for Belgium
27 Living Language Intermediate French
28 CLE : Gram Prog du FR (débutant)
29 Assimil Using French
30 Glossika EN-FR Level 1
31 Glossika EN-FR Level 2
32 Glossika EN-FR Level 3

What follows are a handful of vocabulary resources. They are not part of my must do course list, they are side projects, that can even be worked on alongside native content here in there in the process of acquiring more vocabulary in an abstract way. I expect to be referring to/using these vocab resources sporadically throughout my French journey, courses or not.

1. Michel Durand's Words, Phrases & Sentences
2. French Vocabulary Lists
3. CLE : Vocabulaire Progressif du Français (débutant)
4. CLE : Vocabulaire Progressif du Français (intermédiaire)
5. A Frequency Dictionary of French (5000 words)
6. Bilingual French Visual Dictionary (6000 words)
7. FR - EN/NL speakers (9000 wds)
8. CLE : Vocabulaire Progressif du Français (avancé)
9. Barron's Mastering French Vocab.
10. Van Dale Groot Beeldwoordenboek (EN/NL/DE/FR/ES) (22,500 words)
11. Mot à Mot New Advanced French Vocabulary
12. Streetwise French Dict / Thesarus
13. Dirty French
14. CLE : Vocabulaire Progressif du Français (perfectionnement)

And here is my massive list of courses. I'm currently working on numbers 1, 2 and 3 as of the last couple of days. I'm not focusing on any components of courses that I know like the back of my hand. In the beginning sections of numbers 1 and 2 for example I'm flying through pages as it's stuff I've covered before, i'm just mining for unkown words and contstructions, avoiding much of the English waffle in Vis-à-vis and not caring too much about detail at the beginner's stages. Unlike in the past, I will not listen to every piece of audio, read every piece of text nor do every exercise. When the content becomes harder I'll slow down and focus.

Tous Mes Manuels et Programmes d’ordinateur :
1. Living Language Advanced French
2. Vis-à-vis
3. Practice Makes Perfect : The French Subjunctive
4. Fluenz French 5
5. La prononciation française pour de vrai (DVD)
6. The Ultimate French Verb Review and Practice
7. Cortina Method : Conv. FR in 20 Lessons
8. The Berlitz Self Teacher French
9. CLE : Gram. en dialogues (déb)
10. Assimil French Without Toil
11. Le Mauger Bleu I : up to Leçon 25 (piste 5, 02,26)
12. Tell Me More (Beginner’s)
13. CLE : Gram Prog du FR (1inter)
14. CLE : Gram. en dialogues (inter)
15. Le Mauger Bleu II
16. Hugo French Advanced
17. Tell Me More (Int-Adv)
18. Colloquial French 2
19. French in Action : up to Leçon 19
20. Le Français par la méthode nature
21. FSI Basic French Vol 1: up to Piste 60, 12,12, A-7
22. Tell Me More (levels 1-10)
23. Le Mauger Bleu III
24. French Verbs Made Simple(r)
25. TY French Grammar
26. The Ultimate FR Rev. & Practice
27. Pract. makes Per. Adv French Gram.
28. DLI French Basic Course
29. CLE : Gram. en dialogues (avancé)
30. CLE : Gram Prog du FR (avancé)
31. Tell Me More (Business/advanced)
32. FSI Basic French Vol 2
33. Linguaphone Français Deuxième étape
34. Peace Corps - Le français basé sur la compétence : Avancé
35. Assimil Business French
36. CLE : Gram Prog du FR (perfect.)
37. French in Action (3rd ed.)
38. Peace Corps - Le français basé sur la compétence : Supérieure
39. Le Mauger Bleu IV
40. Le français des infirmiers
41. Streetwise French
42. Learn French with Jokes 1
43. Learn French with Jokes 2
44. Production écrite : niv. B1 / B2
45. Réussir le Delf B2
46. Préparation à l’examen du Delf B2
47. Activités pour le cadre européen commun de référence : niveau b2
48. Production écrite : niv. C1 / C2
49. Réussir le Dalf : niveaux C1 et C2
50. Dalf C1 : Tests complets corrigés

WOW! I have gone through many courses, but this just takes the cup! Incredible! What's even more unusual is listing and intending to complete DLI Basic, FSI Basic and French In Action.

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:39 pm
by PeterMollenburg
It's interesting you know. Just the other day I had been discussing the coincidences that arise in life. The ones that are too coincedental to really be a coincidence. In fact I was on the phone to her as I was on my way to work, 3 hours from where we are living currently.

Then I seemingly had my own coincidence, or was it fate? Was it an alignment of energies? Was it nothing of the kind. Either way I was very pleased with myself.

So I started work on a surgical ward. At one point a guy walked passed on the corridor... he seemed foreign. Although I later found out he wasn't European, my ponderings at the time were - 'is this guy French, or perhaps Spanish?'. Anyway, then some minutes later... and I tell you, there are certain words in the English language that are burned into a kind of heightened sense, like a shark may smell a drop of blood from some ridiculous distance away. One of those words is "French". I can hear jumbles of words, seemingly incomprehensible mutterings, but then I will hear "FRENCH" stand out much clearer. So yeah, some minutes later I hear some mutterings, from I believe another nurse close to where I'm working, a few rooms away, and I hear that word stand out, or I think I do. Yes it stood out, but the other words were of little importance so I'm unsure I smelled that drop of blood correctly. The nurse comes out, introduces herself to me near the nurses station and I ask, did you just say something about "French"? Yes, she says, do you speak French? I tell her I do... and the rest is history.

Turns out the patient was a young French girl who's level of English was not so great. She was here on exchange and was, well having some medical problems and, well, translations were needed. I was asked to help. I chatted briefly to her, and although I was asked to translate the menu as well, turns out I missed that opportunity as she could read the hospital menu quite well in English (should've jumped at that when I had the chance, didn't matter). So the Consultant needed to have a bit of a serious discussion with her and her host parents and I was called in to translate (I offered my services for this, early when the staff found out that I spoke French, and they were seeking someone to assist). Anyway, it was so much fun I guess is the best way to put it, to translate for the consultant and the patient. Mostly it was the consultant (i.e. the doctor) explaining things to the patient in English and I was translating them into French for the patient and in turn translating her French answers back to English.

To some this may be quite the every day kind of thing, for me it was a really cool situation to find myself in. French speakers are rare in our hospitals, and those who cannot speak English even rarer. Furthermore, French speakers with poor or little English requiring translation are much rarer again. Then, to be in proximity of such rare circumstances... and be able to translate, well that's just.. a coincidence? I dunno. I think there's more to the world than chance, more than accidental occurences.

I don't draw this conclusion based on this one (series of) event(s), or admittedly something that could really just be coincidence, as I've always felt this way anyway. I'm not saying that I strictly believe in fate either, but I think I agree with my friend, that if you're open in life to certain messages, they are there, and perhaps it's similar with events. I think it's something like energies attracting other people and occurences like ions, like magnets, polarities and so on. Some call it synchronicity.

Another occurence a couple of months back. Before, what we thought was going to be our soon departure for Saudi Arabia, I had been trying to contact an old friend, but we were both bad at communicating by phone. I'd leave messages, then he'd call six months later or a year... that kind of thing. Anyway, over the course of perhaps a week, he kept popping up in my mind, and I kept thinking/feeling, I'd really like to make contact with this friend before we leave. We were moving about from place to place for a couple of months at that stage, always within reach of my work. This time we were in an area of the state I don't think I'd ever been, staying for a couple of weeks. One day we wound up in a neighbouring town, and there was a market on. I ran into his girlfriend at the market, she found him and we caught up. It just seemed uncanny. I had even been expressing to my wife a desire to catch up with the guy the couple of days preceding stumbling upon him. I dunno, too coincidental for me.

Anyway after that shift at the hospital, two days later I was on the same ward. The patient had left. I was there for 16 hours! I think it was the longest and hardest shift I ever did in my life. By the time I drove home 3 hours, I arrived home at 2.15am. Sometimes, healthcare just seems insane to me, and this is in western country with a decent health care system. How do nurses and doctor's cope in some other countries??!! Anyway, I was leading to the point that studying has been difficult, but I am still studying when I can and still aiming for a C-level exam end of year. I don't know where 'aiming' will lead, but I'll certainly keep plugging along. I've gone a little Anki crazy lately too, which is really unusual for me, but i'm just going to go with it.

That's it for now.

Edit: Oh and I received a copy of Assimil - Le Néerlandais des Affaires today. I've been digging around for this for quite a while now, so it's great to finally get a copy - purchased online, second hand but in much better condition (almost like new) than I expected. It's also a hardcover, so that's nice. One day I hope to put it to good use! So, what am I doing buying more courses. Hey, this is Assimil we're talking about, courses that I really get a lot out of... AND it's super-rare, so it just had to be done!

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:40 pm
by PeterMollenburg
Serpent wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:
jeff_lindqvist wrote:As for reading books aloud, I've done that in Irish (and a couple of other languages).
Same. All of the books I read in French I do so out loud. Sometimes, due to surrounding company, I can't do this, but 95% of the time or more I can and I do. It's excellent for pronunciation work. Reading silently almost seems wrong to me when learning a FL, since speaking is a big part of my goal.
I've read two books in Ukrainian aloud. It did help a lot, but you'll get diminishing returns soon enough. As I wrote here:
Even in L1 we get tired of reading aloud easily. It's just considered an easy activity because it's one of the first things you normally learn to do, especially in class (and it's an easy test).

See also: reading strategies

We can discuss this in your log but basically it definitely sounds like overkill.

Could be overkill, but until I get bored of it, I’m okay with it, it works for me.

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:15 pm
by PeterMollenburg
Wow, I looked back and this is my 7th year of French! 2013 wasn’t as focused but from 2014 onwards I ramped up the hours. Where does the time go!!! I feel like I’m on the home stretch of French only study, because if I don’t make room for other languages soon, I might just never do so. I did introduce other languages at times, but I kept coming back to focusing on French only, as my underlying passion was to always reach C2.

I’ll have another crack at targeting the C1 or C2 this November, and after that I foresee introducing other languages for the long term with French always in the routine in some form or another, since I can’t see myself not wanting to continue to improve my French in the long-term.

Looking back to 2013/2014, it’s great how far I’ve come and yet I’ve not covered anywhere near as much content as I had hoped to. There still remains a huge amount to learn/cover/play with. Still, I’d say it’s been very successful despite the task has been so much larger than I ever envisaged.

Lately my main activities have been Anki (that’s odd for me!!), intensive reading/vocab study, which I put into Anki, and i’ve recently picked up the DALF C1/C2 preparation books again. Oh and extensively, I’ve been watching a fair amount of TV.

My wife and I have just finished rewatching season 1 of Dark, and now moved onto the second season. I feel this is hands down the best series on Netflix. I’ve taken to syncing playback on my mobile with that of the TV. My wife prefers to watch it in the original German, while I prefer French. The solution? We both watch the TV (set to German with EN subtitles), while I use my headphones to listen to it via my phone (in French) while watching the TV at the same time with my wife. Works great! We can watch the same screen but hear it in our preferred language, each one of us.

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:39 am
by PeterMollenburg
I've discovered, btw that I'm in French, what is called a altermondialiste. I was reading about José Bové, and felt his core stances with regards to where the world was headed from his perspective in the 80s and 90s are spot on with my sentiments, for the most part. I'm not sure where his altermondialiste 'career' ended up in the end, but unfortunately, I suspect he was either worn down by the fight against the system, silenced, corrupted or a combination of these. I don't hold any negative sentiments if he was controlled in the end, as it's fantastic what he set out to do, and if he felt he could not continue, well, he could not. It just is.

I mean it's nice, from an ego perspective to think, 'were I this person or that person, or in that position, I would do so much good'. Well, easier said than done. First of all, if you are not in that position, well it's not your walk in life, and if it is to be your walk in life, get off your ass and walk it! Anyway, once there, I'm sure it's much harder to go against the trend and the trend nowadays all too often seems to be one of corruption and compliance or be slandered, attacked, or damaged in some way. Comply or be dealt with. Ever wonder why so many really don't change a thing?

Why am I so anti everything? If you see problems with the system/the world, is it pessimism? Is it non-acceptance? Is it a chip on my shoulder? Is it some kind of control issue? Am I just a nutcase? I think if you don't question, and you just simply follow without wondering why, why is it you must do certain things, why is it things are set up the way the are... then you are blinded by the picture. You're in a picture and you don't realise it. Do you realise why you arrive at certain conclusions covered in the media? Are they your thoughts/conclusions or are you repeating what someone else has said? If you must comply, then at least think about why you do the things you do.

If you haven't heard of José Bové, look him up.

Edit: Not looking to incite political discussion here. Am looking to incite free, independent thinking.

Edit 1st time for typos. Edited 2nd time to state why I edited the first time (these comments ;) )

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:18 am
by eido
I've had an itch since I was about 12 or 13 to question things. It was a very simple itch. "Why am I feeling the way I'm feeling?"

As I recently told my Spanish teacher, I used to watch anime and feel free, because there was something different about it. Surreality. It was an escape. After watching two or three hours of anime, which I knew wasn't real but had a profound effect on my growing mind, I'd walk my dog on a quiet trail behind my house and feel like a veil had been lifted. I was different somehow. I would talk to trees and wish in vain to these plants to be better so I could draw these characters, and part of the desire was pure, since I really liked the art style. But part of me knew no one wishes to do that, especially not to things that can't talk and can't be magical. But isn't it funny, I can still believe in magic. And isn't sad, there is no magic in the world.

I used to get annoyed at the unrealistic nature of books, too, when I was younger, and vowed to write better than the authors who made them.

But at some point something switched. I started reading the Internet and found out all these thoughts I was having, which I knew weren't original but seemed so, couldn't possibly have come from me. I was just a drop in the ocean of people in the world, a product of my environment, a re-configuration of stardust. Wasn't I? Or what was I?

When I got home from school I went to my room and just started to think about my own mortality and how my parents fought and the fleeting nature of youth. And I wondered why I was thinking about this, down to the root. I pondered narcissism, to no conclusion. I kept wondering if I was a narcissist, because I have such a need for validation and praise that I get sad and paranoid when my needs for these things aren't met. I used to write in my diary with tears streaming down my face, pen engraving ink into the page like blood pouring out of my body. "Save me, I don't want to be a narcissist." Did I know what I was doing? No. I asked my parents, hesitantly, if I was selfish or what I could do better. I flipped my need to ingratiate into a self-punishing cycle so I could be my own experiment and so, if I properly tamped down on my own ego, I could observe well my peers and have more fulfilling relationships -- because all the Internet psychologists said that you needed to actively listen and you needed to put others first, all sorts of things. And I listened. But not unthinkingly. I thought, "Should I listen to them? They're just people on the Internet." But I also thought, "Why shouldn't I listen to them? Aren't people on the Internet real? Shouldn't there be some amount of trust here?" And then I thought, "I read psychologists are narcissists... If they meant that literally, maybe I shouldn't trust what I read because they're trying to manipulate me."

I tried to go about this very rationally. But while my mind was more flexible (and of course it is to a certain degree now), it was constantly, incessantly buzzing with circle-jerking analysis that never found the answers to its questions. It was tiring and scary, because I lived in constant fear of being wrong, in constant elation at having "opened my mind" to the idea of discovery, and in constant despair at not being able to come to some definitive answer.

I felt like a cornered animal.

I tried to take life by the horns at 18 to further this idea of exploration, under the hypothesis that, "If it's true, the truth will make itself evident to me for it is the truth and if I've learned anything by now, it should be how to recognize it. If it's not, I will have renounced all meaning to my life and it should end."

Obviously, it didn't work.

Now my life seems to have no meaning and everything I tried to rationalize by re-wiring my brain has even less.

But I still crave answers.

I just don't know how to get them. And I don't know myself any better, so I'd say I'm a bit insane.

I caution you: be careful how you handle your exploration of the world, for the world may be a picture, and its size is indeed what makes it imposing and quite powerful. But no cage is more of a trap than your own skin.

EDIT: I started analyzing myself because I thought, if I find fault with the world, I should change myself to be better able to combat the world's challenges.

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:01 pm
by Fortheo
I too just re-watched season one of dark! The french dubbing is well done in my opinion. That show is warping my mind, though. It's come to the point where I need to look at the families family trees in nearly each episode :lol: I like it a lot, though.

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 1:04 am
by eido

Re: PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

Posted: Sun Jun 30, 2019 2:55 am
by PeterMollenburg
eido wrote:

My Spanish is nowhere near good enough to follow this, eido.