PM’s French Adventures in the Matrix

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:59 am

My wife and I have decided to likely to continue with the Belgian path. We will aim to go there for some time and if the "legal issue" raises it's ugly head we will deal with it at the time by remaining within the law but remaining steadfast on our objectives as much as legally possible.

Nonetheless the problem remains and is more of an issue in France, but with part time living the eventual plan. Hopefully we don't have to deal with it.

I think it's important to stick to what feels right. It certainly feels right to continue with French, no question. And it feels right to add Dutch as well. Thus I shall do this, as planned, and hope it works out ok in the end. ;)
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Ani » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:37 am

Quebec is pretty definitely not what you are looking for. One big issue would be the difficulty of getting your daughter into a French immersion school. They are rare and in high demand. I have always found Canadians wonderful and have loved spending time in Montreal. It is late here and can't think of a way to point out the other ways Quebec differs from your goals without sounding snobby, which is not what I want to do so I'll just leave it there.

On the other hand, I think I am aware of the legal issue and I don't see a workaround but it makes Luxembourg seem really nice. I'd be very very hesitant to emigrate to either Belgium or France and then attempt to stand your ground or fly under the radar.. Maybe because I am just too risk adverse. IDK. I have never been to Luxembourg so I am not sure what makes you dislike it as a choice? Seems so marvelous to be so close to everything.


Living on St. Martin would be one heck of a lifestyle :) ahhh.. I adore my husband but he can't stand warm weather and sometimes I have this teeny pang that we are not abandoning our frigid north for something warm and sunny. But then, I start to remember that warm places have bugs (and spiders).
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Ani wrote:Quebec is pretty definitely not what you are looking for. One big issue would be the difficulty of getting your daughter into a French immersion school. They are rare and in high demand. I have always found Canadians wonderful and have loved spending time in Montreal. It is late here and can't think of a way to point out the other ways Quebec differs from your goals without sounding snobby, which is not what I want to do so I'll just leave it there.


Ani, I think you understand me quite well, and I trust your judgement on this. I don't believe it's for me either. Just a question though- why would i need to get my daughter into a French immersion school? Shouldn't almost all schools in Québec be near a 100% French by default, since the the only official language of the province is French?

Ani wrote:On the other hand, I think I am aware of the legal issue and I don't see a workaround but it makes Luxembourg seem really nice. I'd be very very hesitant to emigrate to either Belgium or France and then attempt to stand your ground or fly under the radar.. Maybe because I am just too risk adverse. IDK.


Homeschooling is a way to avoid the issue for the most part. Flying under the radar could be attempted, and if the issue arose, one could simply leave that setting, in which the issue arose, citing some pre-conceived reason likely to appease those concerned. Like testing the waters without allowing the issue to become a real issue. Just a thought. Still, when we only intend on being in France part-time, homeschooling makes sense once again, as it does for us for many other reasons as well. And that would remove the issue, I believe, for 95% of the time (i'm assuming from doing some reading on the topic).

Ani wrote:I have never been to Luxembourg so I am not sure what makes you dislike it as a choice? Seems so marvelous to be so close to everything.

Yeah it seems nice, I agree. I'm hesitant though, as it's not really what we're looking for- it's not southern France really is what it comes down to. Luxembourg might be pretty warm for you coming from your neck of the woods, but for us it's actually pretty cold even coming from the cooler part of Australia, so climate is a factor too. In fact, a lot of Aussies really whinge about the weather (like many ppl world-wide for making general conversation). But even in Melbourne, our climate is very mild in winter compared to most of Europe. Only the hottest parts of southern France only just match our overall average temperatures from Melbourne. Thus, people here (oops- including me!) ought to stop whining about the weather- it's not bad at all.

But Luxembourg, I have visited. It didn't interest me that much. Like I said it's not southern France, and it just didn't appeal to me- not sure exactly why, but it didn't grab me. I do like the mix of languages though. Still, if I truly try to remove myself from the legal problem, then Belgium and France are ruled out. It really narrows down one's prospects for getting a job- only Luxembourg or parts of Switzerland. And I'd need to bring my German up to scratch (B2) to have a chance in Luxembourg and to improve my chances in Switzerland. I'd also have to add some ability in Luxembourgish, or Swiss German respectively. Don't get me wrong, I like a challenge, especially a language challenge, but do I have time, and will it be time well invested? I don't feel like learning German that much right now.

Ani wrote:Living on St. Martin would be one heck of a lifestyle :) ahhh.. I adore my husband but he can't stand warm weather and sometimes I have this teeny pang that we are not abandoning our frigid north for something warm and sunny. But then, I start to remember that warm places have bugs (and spiders).


Yeah it would be nice, I guess. I don't think it's the solution though.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Ani » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:09 am

PeterMollenburg wrote:Ani, I think you understand me quite well, and I trust your judgement on this. I don't believe it's for me either. Just a question though- why would i need to get my daughter into a French immersion school? Shouldn't almost all schools in Québec be near a 100% French by default, since the the only official language of the province is French?

I guess depending on where you would be actually living and working. My impression is that most schools are bilingual. I know there are a ton of school options in Montreal, but that also means closest schools might not be what you need. The French schools are very popular. In other areas of Canada the demand far exceeds supply. Outside Montreal it might be better.

You would not be leaving English behind in Montreal by any means. Shop workers are expected to be bilingual and will always greet you with "hello bonjour". Depending on how you respond, they will match your language for the interaction.

PeterMollenburg wrote:Yeah it seems nice, I agree. I'm hesitant though, as it's not really what we're looking for- it's not southern France really is what it comes down to. Luxembourg might be pretty warm for you coming from your neck of the woods, but for us it's actually pretty cold even coming from the cooler part of Australia, so climate is a factor too. In fact, a lot of Aussies really whinge about the weather (like many ppl world-wide for making general conversation). But even in Melbourne, our climate is very mild in winter compared to most of Europe. Only the hottest parts of southern France only just match our overall average temperatures from Melbourne. Thus, people here (oops- including me!) ought to stop whining about the weather- it's not bad at all.


Bahaha the cold weather! :) It was -15F here yesterday. Cross off Quebec. Icy frigid windy cold and since it is in the East, it is not even dry cold like out here. You know a lot of the city is underground? Because it is too awfully cold to be above ground. The skiing is great though :)
Anyway I don't think you should necessarily settle for second or third option at this point. I see what you are saying in general. I doubt adding German will help the situation.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Fortheo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:25 am

Ani wrote:
PeterMollenburg wrote:Ani, I think you understand me quite well, and I trust your judgement on this. I don't believe it's for me either. Just a question though- why would i need to get my daughter into a French immersion school? Shouldn't almost all schools in Québec be near a 100% French by default, since the the only official language of the province is French?

I guess depending on where you would be actually living and working. My impression is that most schools are bilingual. I know there are a ton of school options in Montreal, but that also means closest schools might not be what you need. The French schools are very popular. In other areas of Canada the demand far exceeds supply. Outside Montreal it might be better.

You would not be leaving English behind in Montreal by any means. Shop workers are expected to be bilingual and will always greet you with "hello bonjour". Depending on how you respond, they will match your language for the interaction.




I'm not an expert on the subject at all, but I was under the impression that the majority of bilingual schools in Montreal were actually immersion schools that were meant to teach English speaking students French in order to integrate them into the French speaking schools. Also, typically all students are put into the french schooling system unless they specifically request to be in an English school, and even then they need to meet certain requirements in order to be placed into the bilingual or immersion schools.


I haven't looked into it in years, but here's an article I remember reading about it back when I wanted to study in Quebec:

http://induecourse.ca/language-in-quebe ... a-rethink/
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:09 pm

Belgium would be practical for the French and Dutch becuase of francophone Wallonia and the proximity of the Neteherlands and Flanders, but the weather is bad. The winter in London is much better (more sun and less cold, although the English think that 2 degrees is "Arctic conditions" haha). In the Ardennes it's not weird to have - 15 for example, and snow.

If you choose Belgium, make sure you don't live in the German speaking region becuase they have banned homeschooling.

In Belgium there are 4 governments, so the German speaking one has made this decision, but it doesn't affect the other 3 (Wallonian, Flemish and Brussels Capital).
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Jan 31, 2017 10:01 pm

January is over...

2 hours of study on average per day.

A rather mixed month. A strong start, weak middle and average finish in terms of hours dedicated each day to French.

I was adamet that I wouldn't return to course only study in my 'desk study routine', but I did anyway, even after receiving much awesome advice. Still, native content did not altogether disappear.

I've resolved myself to simply deciding I MUST make my way through my plethora of courses, or they will forever eat away at me.

So... I've been committed of late to Assimil Using French, but also added in the easiest course on my massive list of courses- DLI Headstart for Belgium. Thus, i'm progressing through my course list of which there are quite a number of easy courses, but still keeping in touch with more advanced grammar as well. Ah well, whatever works.

Suprisingly in the DLI course, i'm coming across a number of new words of late mainly around road rules and eating out. I'm not using the audio as it will considerably slow me down, and it's simply not necessary, and I'm skipping 95% of the exercises as I glance over them very briefly. The aim here is completition while mining the course for unfamiliar language and cultural anecdotes. Some may deem it is not really completing it, but there's no way in hell I'll do all of those rediculously easy exercises. Instead, i'm studying only those things that are relevant, considering my level. I should've finished the course in next to no time, but i've been so busy at work with a change of perspective lately on what's needed for our future (ie i'm working more), and my wife now officially on maternity leave, plus other interruptions of late, means progress is slower than it could be, but considering the relative ease of the course, progress is still quick enough.

Assimil Using French has also been slow progress for the same reasons, but i edge ever closer to completing the first wave. I still very much enjoy this course, despite the lack of consistent progress.

One thing keeping me in contact with native French is my commuting to and from work. It's RFI - Journal en français facile. The content really annoys me at times. It reeks of agenda, terrorism and conflicts, but it's good for learning. At work on occasion on my breaks I can also read the script online, add a few words to anki via the web interface if I'm lucky (no mobile phones allowed in the workplace) and then listen again to the podcast on the way home. I feel my native speed listening comprehension is clearly, yet gradually, still on the improve.

I'm also watching the French news here and there. Sometimes, if I'm not attentive I feel like I'm lost. Other days, hardly no comprehension issues whatsoever. Still I'm starting to wonder. I think I'm a B2 in French currently, not C1 or above. Carmody recentlly started a thread polling language difficulties for learners- some verbs are still very much a challenge for me. I'll get there.

February is likely to be another up and down month, but I will do what I can do. Unfortunately i'm barely reading much (except to my daughter, which is helpful, and the RFI scripts, oh and occasional subtitles if I happen to watch something with FR subtitles - rare of late), and my watching of series in general as a routine has completely evaporated. I know the importance of all this, and have still very much taken on board all the awesome points and knowledge and experience shared from my recent thread on attempting to raise my language level. I'm just also battling with ticking courses off my list. And I have no intentions of adding to that list- at least not at the intermediate or base levels. Onward and upward... or should I say sideways!

à la prochaine !
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PeterMollenburg
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:31 pm

I think that dogs are really cats,
starting with number hat.
And when you're really fat,
you just put on a hat,
and act like a massive acrobat.
one two three four five six seven eight nine cat.

Okay so little study these days. Oh and Guten Tag. Btw, I'm me. A fair amount of RFI Journal en français facile, some of which i've been listening to at 1 and a half speed and still follow rather well, which makes normal speed sound rediculously slow... some course study (both advanced and very easy- yes up to my old tricks), and SRS. Occasional TV, very little reading.

Peace out.
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Jar-Ptitsa
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby Jar-Ptitsa » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:37 pm

Does your daughter reply in french or in English when you speak in french with her?

If you listen to the easy news so fast, why not the normal news? I suppose the langauge would be different, so not only the tempo.

If you want slightly slower normal French, you can watch RBTF becuase in Belgium French is spoken more slowly than in France. Or for me, it seems slower I think, but as you know, the differences apart from that are very small.
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Re: PM's log: French Adventures in The Matrix

Postby PeterMollenburg » Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:07 pm

vogeltje wrote:Does your daughter reply in french or in English when you speak in french with her?


Hi Vogeltje,
Unfortunately 95% of the time she replies in English. I then say "dit : ....." repeating the phrase that she said but in French, and then she will say it back in French. Sometimes I need to slow things down a tad. I think there's 2 things I can do to improve this. 1Spend more time with her. 2 speak in French to my wife. The first is not very plausible, as my wife is now on maternity leave I need to work 5 days a week at least. However, I can begin to speak more French to my wife. She's not finding the time to learn it, although she wants to, but she is not as passionate as I am. Still, she offered at one point recently that I just speak to her in French. I think this might be a win-win. My daughter would hear more French, I would speak even more French, and my wife would eventually learn it, albeit through an odd method. I think I shall charge ahead with this.

vogeltje wrote:If you listen to the easy news so fast, why not the normal news? I suppose the langauge would be different, so not only the tempo.


It has been discussed at least on one occasion in depth on this forum or HTLAL, that RFI Journal en français facile isn't easy per sé- the language is just like any other news broadcast. Why is it 'français facile' then? The argument has been put forward (again on one of the two forums) that since the transcripts are provided, that could be the reason it is labelled 'easy'. Of course French natives may disagree, I don't know. In other words, this broadcast is simply a news broadcast with an odd 'easy' title for whatever reason. Furthermore, I usually will listen at normal speed once or twice, before switching to 1.5x. Thus I know what's coming, having listened to it aleady. Still, there are a number of words and expressions that I don't understand, so still useful. The speed thing at least is getting me used to faster than native speed audio, and I think it's good practise.

vogeltje wrote:If you want slightly slower normal French, you can watch RBTF becuase in Belgium French is spoken more slowly than in France. Or for me, it seems slower I think, but as you know, the differences apart from that are very small.


Thanks for the suggestion Vogeltje :)

On another note, for anyone interested in teaching children a second language from the perspective of a non-native speaker. I found this article interesting, which my wife had sent me a little while back.

https://inews.co.uk/opinion/bring-child-bilingual-dont-follow-received-wisdom/

The article points out to me that my daughter still probably needs more French exposure. And as I stated above, speaking to my wife in French, to bring her into the "French circle" might be a good start.

I particularly 'latched onto' the following from the article:

Professor Francois Grosjean, a well-known specialist in bilingualism and biculturalism Professor is quoted in the article as saying:
“not knowing a language perfectly well and having an accent in it is not a reason for not speaking that language to a child”.
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