PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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PeterMollenburg
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16235
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:38 am

rlnv wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Slight dilemma:

When to begin studying my next language:
The sooner I start studying my next chosen language (while continuing with French) the quicker I will reach a decent level in that next language.

Which language:
German would theoretically very much open doors in Switzerland, Luxembourg (stiff competition, maybe wouldn't get qualifications recognised there) and ever so slightly help for Belgium.

Dutch like German for Switzerland would help for Belgium. And like German for Switzerland, Dutch is a majority language for the country. Still I am aiming for Francophone regions, but a smattering of another language would be nice.

Considering I've spent a lot of time in the Netherlands, I think it makes sense to aim for Dutch, and it's the language i'm more interested in currently.

Dutch doesn't open as many doors on a grander scale than German, and the wages in Belgium are not as good as Switzerland.

I guess i'm just talking out loud. Once again I feel like Dutch is what I should go with, mainly because that is what I'm motivated to do. Still any one with a different opinion is totally welcome to say something if you feel like it.

When do I start that next language?
Maybe I will introduce Dutch sooner rather than later. I'd really like to open up job opportunities in Belgium by increasing my skills in Dutch aka Flemish, but at the same time I've always said I ought to pass a C1/C2 exam in French before introducing any other language.

Any thoughts anyone? keep going with French for another 12months/24months or introduce Dutch much sooner and balance between the 2 languages? I'm afraid of ruining my French. I really want to master it and don't want any other language to hurt that mission. If only I was already much more accomplished in French already... ah, first world problems. Don't I love creating imaginary dilemmas?

Disclaimer: please if you want to comment, do so, but I must say given my track record/pig headedness I"m likely to still do what I want despite logic.


I think the motivation factor is one of the most important considerations. There was a thread where, I believe the most common sentiment expressed was desire before usefulness. With Dutch you have desire and usefulness, both. A one-two punch, a rope-a-dope, a chest full of tools giving you coverage of both the two official Belgium languages.

Perhaps you could start off with some causal Dutch study after you pass your French B2? You are still planning to sit that soon, right? In my humble opinion, juggling more than one language as a beginner is a bad choice, but you are far from being a beginner. And you are far from having a lack of motivation and commitment to numbero uno, French. So at whatever point you feel ready to introduce a second language, I'm sure you will succeed and keep the flame burning with French too.

Go for it!


Thanks Ron,

I think you're making a lot of sense, I can't argue with your logic. And yeah, I'm planning on sitting the B2 in 6 months which is the next possible date (May 2017), which could see me pass without much of an issue I believe, but you never know. The one thing I'll need to step up majorly in the new year will be some conversational practise with tutors and conversational partners etc to really bring my comfort with speaking with natives up to a quietly confident level in prep for exam.

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

DaveBee wrote:
rlnv wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Slight dilemma:

When to begin studying my next language:
The sooner I start studying my next chosen language (while continuing with French) the quicker I will reach a decent level in that next language.

Which language:
German would theoretically very much open doors in Switzerland, Luxembourg (stiff competition, maybe wouldn't get qualifications recognised there) and ever so slightly help for Belgium.

Dutch like German for Switzerland would help for Belgium. And like German for Switzerland, Dutch is a majority language for the country. Still I am aiming for Francophone regions, but a smattering of another language would be nice.

Considering I've spent a lot of time in the Netherlands, I think it makes sense to aim for Dutch, and it's the language i'm more interested in currently.

Dutch doesn't open as many doors on a grander scale than German, and the wages in Belgium are not as good as Switzerland.

I guess i'm just talking out loud. Once again I feel like Dutch is what I should go with, mainly because that is what I'm motivated to do. Still any one with a different opinion is totally welcome to say something if you feel like it.

When do I start that next language?
Maybe I will introduce Dutch sooner rather than later. I'd really like to open up job opportunities in Belgium by increasing my skills in Dutch aka Flemish, but at the same time I've always said I ought to pass a C1/C2 exam in French before introducing any other language.

Any thoughts anyone? keep going with French for another 12months/24months or introduce Dutch much sooner and balance between the 2 languages? I'm afraid of ruining my French. I really want to master it and don't want any other language to hurt that mission. If only I was already much more accomplished in French already... ah, first world problems. Don't I love creating imaginary dilemmas?

Disclaimer: please if you want to comment, do so, but I must say given my track record/pig headedness I"m likely to still do what I want despite logic.


I think the motivation factor is one of the most important considerations. There was a thread where, I believe the most common sentiment expressed was desire before usefulness. With Dutch you have desire and usefulness, both. A one-two punch, a rope-a-dope, a chest full of tools giving you coverage of both the two official Belgium languages.
Plus isn't Dutch supposed to be the closest relative of English? Presumably you could be up and running in Dutch much faster than German.

(With Switzerland the situation seems to be further complicated by several different varieties of German. Standard-german for written communication, dialect Swiss-german for speech. That said, German of course opens up Germany and Austria too.)
but at the same time I've always said I ought to pass a C1/C2 exam in French before introducing any other language.
I have a lot of sympathy with that notion. Perhaps see how your B2 exam goes, and then consider how much work you feel would be needed for the C1. You might think you're already there if you ace your B2.


Frisian is supposedly the closest language to English, which is situated, linguistically between Dutch and English. But for bigger languages Dutch is indeed the closest to English.

I also have some background in both languages. German was the first language I ever attempted to learn via school, which didn't last long as I moved schools a few months later. Still the desire stayed with me and many years later I tried my hand at German again, making my way through some extremely basic courses and then later again around 2/3 through Hugo German in 3 months. Thus, my attained level was perhaps A1.

Dutch was a more serious affair, one in which I even spent considerable time (just shy of 6 months) in the Netherlands in 2011 with my wife. We both studied hard to bring our Dutch up to scratch (like 600 hours). Thus I have a strong background in Dutch of a B1 level I believe. I attempted to start Dutch again a year or two back (lost track of when it was) and decided I had not progressed enough with French yet so put it aside again, arguing for a more sensible approach.

Dutch really does seem like the logical choice. I'm very keen to get into it, but very keen to not finish a job half done with regards to my French. When I say 'finish', well yes language learning is life long and I will always be learning French I believe, but I have strong sentiments that I ought not introduce another language until I can pass a C1 or C2 exam.

I'm talking out loud here, and not arguing in contrast with anything you've mentioned Davebee. I think both yourself and Ron offer very sound advice- sit the B2 and see where i'm at.

So, I shall study very wisely and thoroughly for 6 months straight, sit the exam and re-evaluate.

;)
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smallwhite
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby smallwhite » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:47 pm

I suggest yet another option (not saying it's better than your current options): taking French TCF in Feb 2017, aiming for C1. TCF works like those placement tests you take when you first join a language school - everyone does the same test, and your final score tells you what level you're currently at. So you can't "fail" a TCF; you'll always get a certificate, in your case a B2 or a C1.

I think this is a good option for you because (1) it's in Feb which means less waiting (2) you're a self-learner, you don't really know your exact level, and you don't really know how much more of what to study in order to pass B2 or C1, and with TCF you don't need to know, you just study as much as possible and your efforts will reflect in your score (3) if you end up with a B2 score (and a certificate in hand) then you can decide what you want to do next - Dutch or German or C1 French - while there's always a chance that you'd end up with a C1 score, in which case your only dilemma left would be which Dutch course to use.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:55 pm

smallwhite wrote:I suggest yet another option (not saying it's better than your current options): taking French TCF in Feb 2017, aiming for C1. TCF works like those placement tests you take when you first join a language school - everyone does the same test, and your final score tells you what level you're currently at. So you can't "fail" a TCF; you'll always get a certificate, in your case a B2 or a C1.

I think this is a good option for you because (1) it's in Feb which means less waiting (2) you're a self-learner, you don't really know your exact level, and you don't really know how much more of what to study in order to pass B2 or C1, and with TCF you don't need to know, you just study as much as possible and your efforts will reflect in your score (3) if you end up with a B2 score (and a certificate in hand) then you can decide what you want to do next - Dutch or German or C1 French - while there's always a chance that you'd end up with a C1 score, in which case your only dilemma left would be which Dutch course to use.


It's a logical option, and given my apparent hurry to add another language, it makes sense to have a decent official assessment of my level, arming me with the knowledge of what remains to reach the stated objectives. However, although I'm in a hurry, February is bad timing for me, as it's a month in which there will be a new addtion to our family.

Also, I originally assumed the DELF/DALF exams were in February based on the timetables of recent years (including this year). But, ironically, although I want to get this done, Feb feels too soon. I'm only just breaking away from heavy course use to more and more native content, and feel like I need some serious work in the use of the subjunctive and conversational practice. So although May might in some ways be overkill, I don't think February is ideal. I also am more keen to have DELF/DALF certificates in my pesky little hand than TCF, for whatever reason. I know that I'm very keen to add another language, but again I don't want to spoil the main objective.

I guess in the end no matter how impatient I am, when it all comes down to it, I'm actually really not prepared to compromise my French learning in any way. Perhaps I know deep down, that I simply will not start Dutch until I truly have reached the desired French level, unless it appears to be many years away. Smallwhite, once again you provide me with a very logical solution, that I argue against, but given all the information I've provided it makes 100% sense why you would suggest it, thank you.
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LadyGrey1986
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby LadyGrey1986 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:25 am

Congratulations on the new addition, Monsieur PM! Are you an absolute beginner at Dutch?
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:51 am

LadyGrey1986 wrote:Congratulations on the new addition, Monsieur PM! Are you an absolute beginner in Dutch?


Thanks LadyGrey,

Nee, eigenlijk wanneer ik zal beslissen om het Nederlands weer te studeren, zal ik het niet vanaf het begin moeten studeren (I've reached a solid B1 in the past, 2011). Dus, ik zal het niet zo vreemd vinden denk ik. Zie je dat ik nog steeds een beetje Nederlands kunnen schrijven? Maar ik moet heel veel hard denken ;) Nu, heb ik een beetje hoofdpijn.

Mjn vader was in Nederland geboren, in Limburg. Maar hij heeft het nooit met ons gesproken, toen wij kinderen waren. Maar mijn vrouw en ik woonden vijf maanden in Maastricht in 2011. Dat is waarom, geloof ik, dat ik me het nog kunnen herinerren- omodat ik het toen heel veel heb gebruikt.
-------------------------
Edit (translation):
No, actually when I decided (will decide) to study Dutch again, I will not have to start from the beginning (I've reached a solid B1 in the past, 2011). So, I will not find it so strange, I believe. You see I can still write a little Dutch?

My father was born in the Netherlands, in Limburg (province). But he never spoke Dutch to us when we were children. But my wife and I lived for five months in Maastricht in 2011. That is why, I believe, that I can still remember it- because I used it so much then.
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:31 pm

I had a habit in the past of logging my hours of French here. I haven't done it for a while, and don't want to waste time sifting through my log to find the last post in which I did that, thus here are my last four months broken down into hours and minutes.

AUGUST
Courses (C): 41hrs 7min
Audio only courses (CA): 16hrs, 18min
French TV (subs or audio) (TVF): 9hrs 59min
Podcasts/Radio (PC/R): 50min
Intensive reading (Li) 0
Extensive reading (LE): 20min

Total: 68hrs 35min
Average: 2hrs 12min
----------------------------------
SEPTEMBER
C 32,22
CA13,47
TVF 7,20
Flashcards (FC): 2,21
PC/R0,36
Li 0
LE0,40

Total: 58,10
Average: 1,56
----------------------------------
OCTOBER
C13,15
TVF11,16
CA8,54
FC8,07
LE5,39
Li4,01
Éch.d'éc. (Written exchanges): 2,35
PC/R1,11

Total: 53,08
Average: 1,42
----------------------------------
NOVEMBER
TVF17,31
C15,13
PC/R11,16
FC11,16
LE10,37
Li5,29
CA2,42

Total: 74,44
Average: 2,29
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PeterMollenburg
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16235
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:31 am

Bloody wanderlust is hitting me again.... And hard

I'm so tempted to introduce Dutch lately, but as previously stated, I ought to sit my French exam in May.

Why is this taking me so long? Normally I'm totally cool with this but all of a sudden I'm impatient and want to move ahead in my French in leaps and bounds. Why does it take me 70 hundred years to get through Assimil compared to others? Angry, angry, angry. I know the answers, pissfarting around lately doesn't help. I think because I know this is a long journey and I want it over with sooner rather than later because I want to introduce Dutch I'm becoming annoyed. Grrrr I am in for the long haul. I'm happy to continue to study French every day for years to come (or be exposed to it), but how damn long does this journey through the intermediate stage take, cozy trying to do 3 hours a day of French lately is starting to frustrate me! Also it almost feels like my vocabulary is not increasing- like I have to study all 3 hours every day or if I miss some here and there (not done anything today! That's rare) I seem to lose words I knew before! I"Ve done so much but nowhere near as much as I thought I would've done in the last 3 years. I've barely scratched the surface of the original course list I had for example. Grrr
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Tillumadoguenirurm
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby Tillumadoguenirurm » Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:24 am

Hello.

I made an Occitan resource list, viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5051 . Sorry for the delay, I suddenly got very busy. Hope some of them will be interesting/useful to you.
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PeterMollenburg
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Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... 15&t=16235
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:55 am

Tillumadoguenirurm wrote:Hello.

I made an Occitan resource list, viewtopic.php?f=19&t=5051 . Sorry for the delay, I suddenly got very busy. Hope some of them will be interesting/useful to you.


Awesome, thank you kindly Tillumadoguenirurm. I will check it out as soon as I get a chance. ;)
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smallwhite
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Re: PM's log: Consistent French, Inconsistent Declarations

Postby smallwhite » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:11 am

I guess this belongs more to your log than to your B2~C1 thread.

> You can understand my wanderlust and keen interest in Dutch then. Sometimes I think I like it more than French, but I think that's more a feeling of wanting to study something different. Still I do really love the language too. Shame...

I imagine it's hard not to like Dutch. The language is different (verb-2nd-place) but not hard, while the country seems interesting with its lowlands, windmills and split culture, has no negative side or negative image (that I know of), and even has a cute side with its wooden clogs. I haven't read much about Dutch culture yet, but I look forward to doing so. And if you've had a pleasant stay there, then naturally you'd like the country and the language even more.

On the other hand, I never particularly liked French or France. Neutral. But I thoroughly enjoyed the learning process - plenty of grammar to learn but nothing too hard, need to work on listening & speaking etc but again not too hard; keeps you intellectually stimulated for a while.

> I was a little hesitant to start this thread in the beginning, ...

It's grown to 9 pages already!

> I say do it! Go for the Spanish exam! But you'll have to find a good way to balance your Dutch it seems with a strong focus on Spanish. What's your Spanish level like currently, out of interest?

You're right, Dutch will be in the way just like your cat will sit on your newspaper whenever you try to read it ;) I don't maintain my Spanish so my level today would be A0... but I think I can pass the C1 exam in Feb 2017. However! I can't afford the A$235 exam fee yet, so meanwhile I'll just stick with Dutch :)
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