Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

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Melkor
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby Melkor » Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:51 pm

galaxyrocker wrote:Some people want to speak a language as naturally as possible or like the natives do. Therefore formal language isn't what they're looking for, and it's often out if place when used among friends. I'm one of those people, and actually focus on learning what is natural opposed to what is 'standard'. And there's nothing wrong with wanting to learn both.

Ironically, some natives prefer to speak formally, even to their friends and families. I am reasonably balanced and use both formal and informal registers, however, I am beginning to resist the slippery slope that is "keeping up with the latest slang" because that changes every single day. It is good to use both, but I think that it sounds much better when someone speaks formally, and then you get to find out that the said formal speaker is actually an extremely amazing person.

galaxyrocker wrote: I also disagree with the notion that sounding educated us better than sounding natural. Even among natives. It often comes down to register and why you're using the language.

Clearly, it is a matter of preference. I have recently made friends with someone who talks formally (yes, I am talking about you, Skynet :lol: ). I find the way he speaks very interesting and perfectly natural because he reads a great deal, and yet does not sound affected when speaking. People generally have negative opinions about people who use the formal register, however, I a, intrigued by it, and I am pretty sure that some of the skeptics secretly feel the same way too. :lol:
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Tue Oct 16, 2018 2:16 pm

Melkor wrote:
zjones wrote: It doesn't help that I keep getting comments about how my spoken French sounds too formal due to my use of inversions. :(

I am really surprised that you and your interlocutors would find this to be a bad thing. Why does speaking formally - and sounding educated - sound bad when you are clearly an L2 French speaker? I would rather sound formal (and thus educated) in any language instead of using heavily slang-infused lingo. I am always impressed to hear L2 speakers of English and German speak formally. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Perhaps you need a new circle of friends ;)


Excessively formal speech often sounds antiquated and awkward. Wide vocabulary and variety of expression ≠ formality.

And regardless of what you think of formality, I want to sound natural and to speak well within the context of a situation, especially when I am almost exclusively using tutoiement. I trust my teacher when he says I should prefer "est-ce que" in the context of everyday speech, he's well-educated and well-spoken in both French and English.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:04 pm

edit: double post
Last edited by zjones on Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:05 pm

Daveagain wrote:Cavesa and Xmmm have both mentioned talking to the TV, repeating the dialogue of the TV series they're watching. Perhaps that's something you could consider?

(In the case of Dix Pour Cent you could even buy a copy of the screenplay.)


Oooh, I had never thought of buying a screenplay for Dix Pour Cent. It's not too expensive either. Thanks for the marvelous idea![/quote]
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Melkor
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby Melkor » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:29 am

zjones wrote:Excessively formal speech often sounds antiquated and awkward. Wide vocabulary and variety of expression ≠ formality.

And regardless of what you think of formality, I want to sound natural and to speak well within the context of a situation, especially when I am almost exclusively using tutoiement. I trust my teacher when he says I should prefer "est-ce que" in the context of everyday speech, he's well-educated and well-spoken in both French and English.


Have you tried the Colloquial series before? I certainly used the German versions and found it handy for less formal speech. Oh, and to make yourself sound even less formal, instead of using "est-ce que," why not use a normal sentence and simply raise the pitch at the end? ;)
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:42 pm

It's hard for me to walk the fine line between having a robust goal that is motivating, and having high expectations that make me feel disappointed. I've recently discovered that I can't work without a goal for very long, so I have to set something to work toward. In the past I did well with having goals like "Finish Assimil NFWE" and "Finish Easy French": goals that are structured, have definitive ends, and work well with routines. It's been more difficult to define those goals now that I'm in the intermediate zone, but I'm working at accepting things the way they are without getting stressed. It is what it is. 8-)

I will be starting German next month most likely, with Assimil, Pimsleur and a simple grammar book. The thought of learning a third language from scratch seems incredibly straightforward now. But who knows, maybe I'll be surprised! I don't have any expectations for German, though, which is kind of nice. There's no rush because this language is going to be just for fun.

In non-language related news, I squatted 130lbs the other day, and my deadlifts have regularly been in the 150lbs zone. Two months ago I was squatting 90 and deadlifting about 110.
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MrsStarez
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby MrsStarez » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:54 pm

Hi Zelda. I could echo a lot of what you’ve said about goals (maybe not the weights though!) I need something more structured and to dedicate proper time to French, rather than just fitting it in as and when. Which Assimil course are you on? I’d say I’m a B1/B2, so want to make sure if I buy into it, I’m going for the right level.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Wed Oct 17, 2018 4:38 pm

MrsStarez wrote:Hi Zelda. I could echo a lot of what you’ve said about goals (maybe not the weights though!) I need something more structured and to dedicate proper time to French, rather than just fitting it in as and when. Which Assimil course are you on? I’d say I’m a B1/B2, so want to make sure if I buy into it, I’m going for the right level.


It's great that you're thinking of dedicating proper study time to French! If you are in the B-levels, I would recommend buying Assimil Using French (not Assimil New French With Ease, which is meant for the A-levels). I don't have Using French yet due to the steep price (about $70-80), but I really enjoyed the first Assimil book.

Assimil is made up of individual lessons that include a text in French, a translation in English on the other side of the page, and high-fidelity audio to accompany each lesson. There are usually some short grammar notes in English, too.

Is there any particular area of French that you are trying to improve? Reading, listening comprehension, writing, speaking? If you like workbooks, I recommend CLE's Progressive series which you can buy here: www.cle-international.com. The Progressive books come in several different categories (grammar, writing, vocabulary, conjugation, communication) for specific levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced,
'perfectionnement'). All of their books are entirely in French. They cost about $60 because you have to buy an answer book as well.
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MrsStarez
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby MrsStarez » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:00 pm

Thanks :-)

Officially I have two hours free between finishing work and picking my son up from school on Wednesdays and Fridays and I’m determined to do something productive with the time. I’m trying to improve my French to be able to use it at work. I’ve never really made a plan, just been doing online grammar lessons, watching French TV and listening to podcasts in the car. I think because I don’t have a defined task for each session, it’s easy to let work creep into my alleged spare time.

I’ve had a look on Amazon and the book you mention doesn’t appear anywhere near as expensive - is this the one? (The one in the middle)
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:45 pm

MrsStarez wrote:Thanks :-)

Officially I have two hours free between finishing work and picking my son up from school on Wednesdays and Fridays and I’m determined to do something productive with the time. I’m trying to improve my French to be able to use it at work. I’ve never really made a plan, just been doing online grammar lessons, watching French TV and listening to podcasts in the car. I think because I don’t have a defined task for each session, it’s easy to let work creep into my alleged spare time.

I’ve had a look on Amazon and the book you mention doesn’t appear anywhere near as expensive - is this the one? (The one in the middle)


Yeah, it can be tough to find spare hours if you work and have a kid. I'm glad you're making it work, though!

That is the book for Using Assimil (the older edition). If you bought that, you'd have the texts but you'd be missing out on the amazing audio. I recommend buying the "Superpack" which is a book with CDs, for about $50 (plus international shipping, probably): https://www.amazon.com/Using-French-Sup ... 2700580540. You can buy the audio and the book separately, but it's much easier to buy them together.
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