PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:54 am
Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:36 pm

rlnv wrote:I've found myself on multiple occasions making plans for upcoming weeks, laying out a set of activities that I want or think I need to finish, and it never seems to end that way. For me its odd, if I set out a specific list of things to do, and especially if I state it in my log, it doesn't seem to get done. But for me that's cool. Plans always change, but the commitment to learning never does.

Speaking of commitment, I always enjoy your updates. You have certainly been a model of commitment and it sounds like its paying off in dividends. And hey, that's great that you are reading your daughter French books. She is receiving such an amazing gift by you doing that.


Thanks Ron,

I'm glad I'm inspiring some other French learners out there.

Yeah plans are a funny thing.... Almost every single time I've announced new study plans in my log, the very next day or even the same day I've altered it or completely changed it again. I get a sense my current plan will hold on a little longer.

Thanks for the feedback Ron, it helps to act as a positive feedback mechanism patting me on the back and pushing me to keep moving forward. I hope you're having a lot of success with your French lately too!
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2554
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Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:59 pm

Elenia wrote:Reading your update got me all pumped up for you - your commitment and your progress are great to see and all that positivity is infectious! I like your analogy of building the bridges and reclaiming ground. You're using French in such a variety of different ways and, as you said, it is pertinent to your life and your needs right now, so I think you'll be seeing summer soon.


Thanks Elenia :)

Yeah I think language learning does go that way. In the beginning we have very much words in isolation (particularly if it's our first foreign language with no bridges to other languages either)... as we learn, it seems we just build more and more connections and the islands grow bigger and even join in some areas. It's been difficult doing so much intense study to create strong connections early on. I think for myself entering so many isolated words out of context into my SRS deck from intense study materials that equated to very slow study at times (inefficient really), and meant that my bridges were wooden, in tropical areas, left to rot and rarely having much maintenance except for those I used very frequently. I"ve really got the SRS working for me much better now, my study pace is moving forward as my confidence in my accent is assured and I don't slow down as much to focus on pronunciation (this is something unique to French for me- other languages in the past had nowhere near the amount of focused pronunciation time required). I'm also using more extensive materials- as well as the fact that I've done those hard yards meaning that there are a lot of words now I simply no longer need to look up that probably form the basis of the language (most common words) and all this means i'm speeding up. When I look at your log though (as an example) and see how much reading you do (and I know others read soooo much too) I am still MILES behind in terms of extensive learning. I've never been a big reader, so the focused study has suited me well, but now i'm opening that door. I don't expect to read anywhere near as much as some other learners on here, but eventually i'd like to simply be able to pick up most books and find very few words area an issue (same as my native language) and that conversing and other media simple no longer pose comprehension problems=many years of French learning to come yet.

Thank you for your kind comments btw. We all know though, the journey is not over (is it ever?). As an example, I looked up a word today in the dictionary and found sooo many expressions that I was unfamiliar with and couldn't possibly learn any time soon. My daughter will learn French from me, but it won't be full of idomatic expressions just yet if you know what i mean. Still it's a great head start for her, and a source of motivation and learning for me. I must keep soldiering on so that in a few years I can hopefully use the language much more stylistically with her with a sprinkling of idomatic expressions I have no clue what they would mean right now. It's certainly a journey that's for sure. I just can't fathom studying another language right now, despite really wanting to. I want to make it at least to the C-levels before I wade across to an island where a whole new language is spoken, but at some point I definitely will introduce more langauges, while continuing my French journey.

Cheers,
PM
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PeterMollenburg
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Oct 12, 2015 2:01 am

...a little bit of language wanderlust lately (and procrastination), reading about different languages and so on...

On my distant hit list still remain the regulars: Dutch, Spanish, German. But maybe one day I could do Portuguese, Italian, even something regional like Catalan, Basque, Breton, Corsican or Frisian.

Ahhh so many nice languages out there to learn, so litte time! The major battle will be between Dutch and Spanish when I move onto my next langauge (while maintaining French). I do wonder at times whether I will really want to get to a rediculously high level in them and therefore do one at a time, or do both together and just enjoy the slow journey with French continuing and Spanish and Dutch growing ever so gradually... who knows. I just felt like procrastinating and sharing some thoughts. Not much French study today... ooops... I'm still astounded at how long this French journey is taking and am more and more getting a sense of urgency that i need to SPEAK to get this ball rolling with further momentum.... On with the PeterMollenburg French show...
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Oct 21, 2015 11:27 pm

True to form, despite my success with the last rotation of study materials I"ve fiddled with my study plan multiple times daily for over a week... in fact at times i'm constantly looking at it and changing things around. I think it's my way of distracting myself without losing too much time or money like I used to do in the past with purchasing courses and researching things and waiting for the perfect moment to start studying- and only if I had a very clear schedule. Nowadays I do what I can do, and most of the time that's not my ideal of 3 hours study at least in the day, but despite that i'm progressing ratehr nicely.

So, in almost deciding to change the name of my log recently to reflect a move away from courses.. low and behold I've moved back to fully fledged course mode. I'm not sure how long I will do this for but I decided it was time to step up my game and do some more courses that challenge me a little/are appropriate for my current level. I'm sure I'll return to native materials when I'm ready, but for now this is much schedule:

(each hour is made up of 15minutes flashcard work and 45minutes of the course i'm doing for that hour).

First hour each day:
Assimil Using French & NFWE 2nd phase

Then a rotation of these courses for each remaining hour:
Hugo French Advanced
Rocket French Platinum
Colloquial French 2
Préparation à l'examen du DELF B2
Mastering French 2 (equivalent to FSI units 6 through 12)

I'm aiming for the B2 exam in March at the AF. I'm guessing most aspects will not be much of a problem except speaking. Speaking is my one area really lacking (despite my constant 'out loud' approach to every single French word I come across while studying), so my vocab is not fully active imo. I'm not too concerned as I study more I think it will become more active (although not truly active) and in due time I'll sort that out. Listening, reading, writing are all progressing nicely. My comprehension overall is improving and I know a time will come when my speaking will hit full throttle let's get my shit together mode. Anyway these courses are inspiring me lately (i know many people couldn't think of anything worse), so that's what I'll stick at for now (don't hold me to it). I"m on a mission!

As for nursing... I've dropped the nursing texts for now as I don't think they will necessarily help me pass a B2 exam. I do intend to come back to them. Especially if I get positive feedback from the Swiss Redcross. I have started the process of getting my nursing qualifications assessed for being able to work in Switzerland. My wife and I are considering moving to that neck of the woods in the not to distant future if I can get work there. It's not straightforward, but if I don't start the process we'll never know and we'll never go.

PM
Six fries thanks... yep I said 6, 6 fries, oh and no fries with those fries thanks, including the original 6, so don't go giving me any fries, and hurry up with the fries already!
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:54 am
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:52 pm

A rarity occurred yesterday. I spoke Dutch. Rarely do we have patients in my hospital that speak the languages I have studied/ am studying (except Spanish relatively regularly, and some employees here Speak Spanish). But yesterday a patient's partner was a Dutchman, so naturally I attempted to converse. The conversation flowed ok. My conversational Dutch is probably not too bad, but it doesn't go beyond that. He said that my pronunciation was spot on. He said most foreign learners of Dutch have some detectable accent but he found mine to be exactly right. That was nice feedback. As many know, pronunciation is always a strong focus of mine. I found it odd that French words kept wanting to make their way into my head and that my 'internal computer' was 'slow'. There seemed to be a longer pause between searching for words/expressions in my head and using them in the conversation than there used to be. The conversational flow wasn't delayed much but there was certainly slow processing going on upstairs. And French wanted to take over! In the past it has been the opposite even in times of heavy French study as I simply haven't had much native French language experiences compared with 5 months in the Netherlands a handful of years ago now. Reading Hekje's log too I notice that verbs that were previously quickly recognizable I can't remember what they mean anymore. I don't mind this, I'm on a French mission and no other language will get in the way of that. Even when I speak Spanish occasionally (not much going on upstairs in Spanish mode at all) I really really want to just let my French flow like there's no tomorrow, but alas, no French speakers about (aside from an Italian lady who claimed to speak French but couldn't hold a conversation with me). Maybe one day I will resurrect my Dutch. Now it's, French French and more French! Sorry are you French? Don't want to know you! Are you French? No, pfft, then why even bother living? ;)
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby Cavesa » Sat Oct 24, 2015 2:59 pm

PeterMollenburg wrote:I really really want to just let my French flow like there's no tomorrow


That's some great stuff for the YKYAALN thread :-D
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
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Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Oct 25, 2015 3:25 am

Cavesa wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:I really really want to just let my French flow like there's no tomorrow


That's some great stuff for the YKYAALN thread :-D


Hey Cavesa,

hmm.... can't say I actually know what you're alluding to :?
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby Cavesa » Sun Oct 25, 2015 9:38 am

I don't know whether that wasirony or not, sorry. If not: I was referring to the You Know You Are a Language Nerd thread
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PeterMollenburg
Black Belt - 2nd Dan
Posts: 2554
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2015 11:54 am
Location: Australia
Languages: English (N), French (B2-certified), Dutch (High A2?), Spanish (~A1), German (long-forgotten 99%), Norwegian (just started in 2020)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=12510
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby PeterMollenburg » Sun Oct 25, 2015 10:02 am

Cavesa wrote:I don't know whether that wasirony or not, sorry. If not: I was referring to the You Know You Are a Language Nerd thread


Makes sense now... just wasn't aware of the acronym, but like you say it's ironic- perhaps i've a little way to go before being officially a language nerd (i somehow doubt that though- how much i enjoy courses should put me up there with the worst kind of language nerds- the course obsessed!).
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Montmorency
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Maintaining: German (active skills lapsed somewhat).
Studying: Welsh (advanced beginner/intermediate);
Re-started: Norwegian ("false" beginner (?))
Back-burner: Spanish (intermediate) Danish (beginner).

Have studied: Latin, French, Italian, Dutch; OT Hebrew (briefly) NT Greek (briefly); Norwegian (superficially).
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Re: PM's TAC 2015 crazy? French course mission

Postby Montmorency » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:10 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:
Cavesa wrote:I don't know whether that was irony or not, sorry. If not: I was referring to the You Know You Are a Language Nerd thread


Makes sense now... just wasn't aware of the acronym, but like you say it's ironic- perhaps i've a little way to go before being officially a language nerd (i somehow doubt that though- how much i enjoy courses should put me up there with the worst kind of language nerds- the course obsessed!).


I think anyone who found their way to HTLAL and then here has already graduated as a language nerd. From here on in, it's all post-graduate and post-doc work ... :-) And since I seem to be in a whimsical mood this morning, it occurred to me that we should allow the alternative spelling in the context of language for "nerd": "gnerd" (you know, like gnome, or gnomon or ... er, are there any others...?).

Oh, here we go: https://www.morewords.com/starts-with/gn

(Apologies for diverting your interesting log with my gnerdery....good luck in your endeavours).
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