First a quick recap: last summer I planned a trip to India with my "original family", my brothers and sisters and my parents. One of my two brothers died of cancer four years ago, and one of his wishes was that some of his ashes would be spread where we used to live in India. So after years of indecision, I pushed everyone to plan a trip together with the immediate family and none of our own spouses or children (to keep things simpler). Since the plan until the trip my language studies were 80% focused on Hindi, but unfortunately I didn't do have the work I did before my last trip to India. Work has been far more demanding and stressful, resulting in less energy for serious study. The trip took place over the two weeks of the Easter holiday, and while I feel my reduced preparation made me less fluent, I made quite an impression on my family and most of our taxi drivers. Also, we saw tigers in the wild!
Now that my India trip is over my focus is back on French. An additional driver is that I have booked a trip to Marseille for 4 days this summer, so I have essentially 2.5 months to get my French up to speed for my first real experience of French in the wild since my first year of study (7 years ago?) My main focus will be on reading and listening/watching for the super challenge, but I also have a few other things I want to do to get ready:
- Finish Hugo French in 3 Months to get a firmer grasp of points of essential grammar. I last stopped on chapter 9, so there isn't too much to do.
- Review Pimsleur 2 & 3 for practice getting my tongue working properly and to review key grammatical forms in a spoken way.
- Finally watch La prononciation française pour de vrai which has been on my shelf for at least two years gathering dust. As this DVD course is 100% in French it also counts for the SC.
- Write a few short bits to memorize and use as "language islands". I'll probably post them on Lang-8 for feedback. This is something I've made several plans to do, but have never actually done. With a trip looming, I think this is probably the most useful preparation I could do to enable me to speak when I get there.
Super Challenge French plans
For reading I have many books on Kindle. The ones I most want to get into are:
Le Petit Nicolas. These lovely books are now all on Kindle, and several volumes now have audiobooks as well. I plan to re-read the volumes I've already read (7 books), and then buy and read the rest one by one (there are another 4 or 5).
In addition, I bought the following books during the last super challenge but never got around to them. This time for sure!
- Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret, by Georges Simenon. I like Maigret's style.
- Un sac de billes by Joseph Joffo. I read about half of it a year ago. I'll probably start again from the beginning, and take a slightly more intensive approach, even taking notes.
- Learn French with Stories. Yeah, yeah, I should be well beyond this sort of thing, but sometimes it's nice to read something easy.
- Les Maquisards, by Hemley Boum, which was highly recommended by the arts editor on 7 jours sur la planête.
- Un aller simple, by Didier van Cauwelaert.
I also bought the following three kindle books this week, just because.
- Mon ami Maigret, by Georges Simenon.
- La passe-miroir (Livre 1) - Les Fiancés de l'hiver, by Christelle Dabos. It looks like an interesting fantasy series, and I wanted something current.
- Le Petit Nicolas et les copains, because I must, and because audible has the audiobook.
Finally, at some point I'd like to re-read Les orpailleurs by Thierry Jonquet, and then read the sequel, Moloch. Les orpailleurs was really tough going; there were times when I had little idea what was going on for pages on end. However, the story got me gripped and I found myself staying up at night for hours reading it.
For my reference, my previous log was https://forum.language-learners.org/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=2612