My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

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garyb
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby garyb » Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:16 am

I think English-based resources always have their place. Sometimes it's just far easier and more precise to get an explanation or a comparison in English than to try to bluff it in a second language, even an advanced one, especially when it comes to understanding subtle differences in usage. I have no shame in saying that I prefer bilingual dictionaries to monolingual ones in all my languages and sometimes even - gasp - use English subtitles. A course like Using French is designed with that in mind: explaining tricky concepts in ways that make sense to an English speaker in particular, and that's a big part of its value.

Using French isn't indispensable though (not that any course is) and I have mixed feelings about it. The advanced Assimil courses are partly a continuation of the basic ones and partly a brief introduction to domain-specific language: literature, geography, journalism, sports, etc. In the two I've done (Using French, Perfectionnement Italien) I found the latter part "too advanced", in the sense that it mostly wasn't relevant to everyday conversation which is what I prefer to focus on and it feels like they've just stuffed in as much variety as possible in order to justify the "advanced" label and make students feel like they're at a higher level than they are. Kinda like when bad tutors teach their more advanced students a bunch of obscure idioms instead of focusing on improving the language they'll actually use: more new and exotic material fools both parties into thinking that more progress is being made. I would have preferred an "intermediate Assimil" that just continues along the lines of the first part. The advanced stuff is interesting from a cultural point of view and just to get a little exposure to these subjects, but I would not waste time doing an active wave on anything beyond the first half of the book, except maybe for lessons that are particularly relevant to your interests.

Overall I think it's a worthwhile course if you keep that in mind and you find Assimil's style useful, but with all the other courses in your list you probably wouldn't miss out on much.
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:39 am

UPDATE:

I have completed FSI Metro French FAST and Immersion French Deluxe. FSI FAST was a solid course, and helped with my pronunciation tremendously! I was able to get a "WOW, how many years did you learn French for during your stay in Paris? You have mastered the French "r" so well!" response when I ordered something in French in a French restaurant. Clearly, I am gaming the French language system reasonably well because I have been dreaming in French now. CLEARLY drowning one's mind in French for 10.5 hours a day works! Immersion French Deluxe was rather disappointing, because it was of the glorified phrase book ilk.

FSI Metro French FAST and Immersion French Deluxe are being replaced with even more sessions of RFI Le Journal en Francais Facile also known as RFI French Category 5 Hurricane. (Wondering if Lawyer&Mom can squeeze my hand before I take a leap, and am sucked up into this impending vortex. :lol: )
Last edited by Skynet on Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Sat Aug 11, 2018 10:58 am

garyb wrote:Overall I think it's a worthwhile course if you keep that in mind and you find Assimil's style useful, but with all the other courses in your list you probably wouldn't miss out on much.

PeterMollenburg wrote: I do know that had I had my time over, there are a few French courses I would skip altogether. Assmil's French (edit: Assimil’s Using French), is absolutely NOT one of them. I highly recommend it...

tastyonions wrote:As far as textbooks and learner books, I mainly used Assimil (both the "With Ease" and "Using" levels) for both languages...German...French...


OK, THREE French (and German) scions have recommended that Assimil Using French (German too) is worthwhile. I will heed your advice! Using French (and German) is back on the agenda! :)

Ani wrote:I've done the CLE vocabulaire & grammaire books through intermédiaire (not every exercise in grammaire). If I could do it again, I'd probably do something like the practice makes perfect series and go from CLE GPdF débutant right to avancé. Maybe with the conjugation book in there too


Ani, thanks for confirming that these courses are beneficial to one's French studies! :)

Lawyer&Mom wrote: (The stereotype at the Uni was that as bad as the Americans’ German was, the French students were worse!)


I hope that I do not end up superimposing my newly-acquired French accent/pronunciation in German. :lol:
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:10 am

I have started watching French In Action and all that I can say is that I may have bitten off much more than I can chew! Whilst each episode is only 30 min long, I spend about 2 hours working on my listening. The result: I experience a massive BSOD (blue screen of death) event as my brain liquefies. :lol:

To quote Lavengro,
lavengro wrote: once your brain actually melts.

I have reached this stage now.

Feedback would be most welcome!
Attachments
BSOD2.jpg
French-induced BSOD 1
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bretagne
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby bretagne » Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:05 pm

I read page 1 of your log, then, as time is limited, jumped to your most recent post. Wow. I feel like I've seen the movie trailer and now need to go watch the film! :D

Looking forward to when I have more time to read everything in-between and learn about your journey. Sounds fascinating!
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1: 666 / 10000 Clozemaster 10,000 French Fluency Fast Track Cards
2: 11 / 100 Assimil New French with Ease (100 lessons)

Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:11 pm

UPDATE:

I finished Cortina (1954) a couple of weeks ago (yes, I still mourn its completion)...so I looked for earlier versions and found 1914 (16th ed.) and 1918 (33rd ed.) The differences, at least to me at 01:12, are inexistent. I always considered Cortina (1954) to have had a steep learning curve...but I was left shell-shocked when I saw the futur simple (indicatif) "je choisirai" used in the 9th sentence of the SECOND (!!!) lesson of the 1918 (33rd ed).

I have now completed Linguaphone 1950 (what a stunning course! It trumps Linguaphone (1971), Living Language Ultimate (2000) and Assimil NFWE (1998)) and am replacing it with Cortina 1918 (33rd ed.) and G. Mauger's Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises I (1953).

I haven't had a BSOD instigated-by-French-In-Action event in two days. I think that my mind is sloooooowly beginning to process the French barrage :lol:

Addendum: 20/08/2018 10:30 am

I have just realised that G. Mauger's Cours de Langue et de Civilisation Francaises I (1953) uses children's voices in the lessons. Clearly Hachette's strategy is "No-one would possibly resist being taught French pronunciation by French children." :lol: Learning a new language is truly addictive. I propose the following: (see attached)

Addendum: 22/08/2018 10:25 am

I have added Teach Yourself French (1918) to the list of courses that I am working through.
Attachments
How addictive is Language learning.jpg
LANGUAGE LEARNING ADDICTION "CURVE"
How addictive is Language learning.jpg (68.75 KiB) Viewed 469 times
CORTINA 1918.PNG
CORTINA FRENCH 1918: LESSON 2
CORTINA 1918.PNG (96.89 KiB) Viewed 489 times
Last edited by Skynet on Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:39 am

WARNING: THIS IS JUST A RANT AND A TOURISM PROMOTION AS THERE IS CURRENTLY A STAGGERING DISCOUNT ON EVERYTHING IN TURKEY!

I am fairly sure that everyone has heard about the recent currency upheavals in Turkey? Well, I was one of the myriads of tourists who spontaneously booked tickets to Turkey after finding themselves up to 90% richer (in lira terms) over night. (Who can resist the allure of 6 euro/night 3-star hotels?)

Istanbul has always been a beautiful city, and I was able to see it again this time in a whole new light as I deliberately avoided all of the tourist spots. One of the gems that I discovered whilst off the beaten path was a bookstore that sold language learning self-study books. These books were on sale (75% off!) and also on a fire sale (the lira's 90% implosion this year!) I speak no Turkish, and relied on my Iranian friend (who's been teaching me spoken Farsi - I am not willing to learn the Perso-Arabic script BEFORE I have B2 certificates in both French and German!) to interpret and translate everything for me. The lack of English knowledge in even the Levent district is nothing short of breathtaking. To make matters worse, French will no longer be taught in Turkish universities:
1. https://ahvalnews.com/higher-education/ ... ch-courses
2. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/05/ ... 19016.html
3. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turk ... SKBN1IB1EW

I found books - Assimil, Linguaphone and Teach Yourself - from the 1914 all the way to 1990 for Latin (Old and Classical), Aramaic, Sanskrit, Arabic, Greek (modern, old and Koine), Middle Egyptian, Hitite, Avestan, Biblical Hebrew, Portuguese, ...and then I went ballistic and just took anything that I had never even considered learning: Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Pushto, Gujarati, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Czech (I thought of Cavesa and bought it!), Norwegian, (I thought of Ani + Lawyer&Mom) and Swedish. :shock:

It looks like my language time machine will be up and running very soon! :ugeek:

The total cost of this buying frenzy? US 10!!! The total cost of flying two large boxes to Cyprus as a student? US0! Books are free on Turkish Airlines (for students)! :lol:

I also met four French tourists who confused me for a Paris-educated Ivorian. They thought I was lying when I told them I am not from a Francophone country and had never studied in France. I understood 40 - 50% of what they said as they buffeted my ears with French at lightning speed and would have to fill the 50 - 60% gap with inference and outright guessing. Ruse successful! :lol: :lol:

I also met a British couple who spoke Esperanto :shock: . All I am going to say is that when you hear "Esperanto" and you see the people talking about said language wearing green :? and are adorned with garlands, then YOU SHOULD RUN FOR YOUR LIFE :o ! To say that they were extremely eccentric is to seriously understate it. How a simple conversation degraded to something resembling New Age-cum-Dianetics in 30 seconds was astounding.

IronMike wrote:Well, I'm slowly getting over my reservations about meeting actual, real-life Esperanto-speakers. I'm not an introvert, far from it. I've got two major reservations about meeting Esperantists: a) my speaking ability in the language and b) the kookiness and peace-love-hippie-ness of (some?) Esperantists. ... I But too often in FB groups and mailing lists the majority of Esperanto speakers come across as kooks, using the language to slam capitalism, America, the West, instead of sticking to the original aim of Zamenhof: human rights (I hardly ever hear Esperantists slamming ISIS and some governments in the world who treat women and homosexuals as second-class citizens as much as they love to slam America).


Radioclare wrote:I understand your reservations about meeting Esperantists :lol: There are definitely some oddballs out there, and I think unfortunately those who participate most enthusiastically in online discussion groups etc are often the weirdest. I've long since unsubscribed from every Esperanto discussion list I've been a member of and don't follow the Esperanto group on Facebook because I find the constant petty arguments too depressing. But the people who talk the most and the loudest aren't necessarily representative of everyone and there are all sorts of people who have learned the language for all sorts of reasons. Once you've been to a few events I think you start to develop a sixth sense for the people you want to avoid (definitely anyone festooned in green!)...
Attachments
STRANGER DANGER(1).jpg
FORREST GUMP? NOPE! ESPERANTISTS CLAD IN GREENERY? RUN, YOUR FOOLS!
STRANGER DANGER(1).jpg (37.35 KiB) Viewed 452 times
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Cavesa
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Cavesa » Wed Aug 22, 2018 8:46 pm

I envy you the book shopping frenzy!!!

And your progress is awesome!

It is also very sad one of the political changes in Turkey means eliminating French from the universities. One of the official reasons that France doesn't reciprocate makes very little sense. 1.it is normal. not all the countries are considered equal. It is not fair but it is the reality. 2.such a change can only bring damage to the turkish universities and not fame. Some of the most well known and respected departments of the Charles University in Prague are exactly those studying and teaching the languages and cultures of countries that certainly don't reciprocate. I doubt Egypt or Korea (either one) have tons of bohemists. :-D 3.some of the more controversial countries take this lack of reciprocity as an advantage and a natural "firewall" partially protecting their science and other information, and for free. The Chinese scientists read journals in English, few foreigners read the ones in Mandarin.

It also shows again that foreign languages are a gateway to more freedom. That's why every totalitarian regime looks at language learning with suspicion. People forget about this too easily.

Skynet wrote:I found books - Assimil, Linguaphone and Teach Yourself - from the 1914 all the way to 1990 for Latin (Old and Classical), Aramaic, Sanskrit, Arabic, Greek (modern, old and Koine), Middle Egyptian, Hitite, Avestan, Biblical Hebrew, Portuguese, ...and then I went ballistic and just took anything that I had never even considered learning: Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Pushto, Gujarati, Turkish, Dutch, Russian, Czech (I thought of Cavesa and bought it!), Norwegian, (I thought of Ani + Lawyer&Mom) and Swedish. :shock:

For the rest, you must have been thinking of Expugnator and Systematiker! :-)

I understood 40 - 50% of what they said as they buffeted my ears with French at lightning speed and would have to fill the 50 - 60% gap with inference and outright guessing. Ruse successful! :lol: :lol:

To quote a few very wise animals from animated movies:
"Just keep swimming"
"Just smile and wave boys... smile and wave"
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Wed Aug 22, 2018 10:05 pm

Cavesa wrote:I envy you the book shopping frenzy!!!

I need therapy! Language learning is highly addictive! :lol:

Cavesa wrote: And your progress is awesome!

Thanks for the encouragement! It means a lot coming from someone with a C2! 8-)

Cavesa wrote: It is also very sad one of the political changes in Turkey means eliminating French from the universities. One of the official reasons that France doesn't reciprocate makes very little sense. 1.it is normal. not all the countries are considered equal. It is not fair but it is the reality. 2.such a change can only bring damage to the turkish universities and not fame. Some of the most well known and respected departments of the Charles University in Prague are exactly those studying and teaching the languages and cultures of countries that certainly don't reciprocate. I doubt Egypt or Korea (either one) have tons of bohemists. :-D


Turkish L1 + L2 = 88 million whilst French L1 + L2 = 275 million. I do not want to sound condescending, but French has the soft-power prestige that Turkish does not. Eliminating French (an international language) from schools and deliberately handicapping your students is only exceeded in asininity by Saudi Arabia's forced withdrawal of 15,000 Saudi students from Canada over a diplomatic spat with Canada. Sabre-rattling-turned-Pyrrhic wars only result in the suffering of the population.

1. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saud ... SKBN1KR1ES
2. http://fortune.com/2018/08/07/saudi-ara ... to-canada/

Fortunately, Assimil is French, so any French student wishing to learn Turkish can pick up Le Turc Sans Peine. :lol:

Cavesa wrote: 3.some of the more controversial countries take this lack of reciprocity as an advantage and a natural "firewall" partially protecting their science and other information, and for free. The Chinese scientists read journals in English, few foreigners read the ones in Mandarin.
I completely agree! We only need to pick up a business weekly to read of Western companies complaining of how they were forced to transfer technology when they set up businesses there (but got nothing in return). Japan is also highly insular, yet they desperately need foreign workers because of the heavy demographic imbalance. Guess what the number one deterrent to working in Japan is? THE LANGUAGE: https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/Languag ... k-in-Japan

Now they want to overcome the language and cultural barrier (more like chasm!) by the 2020 Olympic Games! (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/ ... 020-games/) Unfortunately, Japanese students struggle with English (https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/20 ... g-english/) and the government has resorted to using HAL 9000 to teach them English (https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east- ... ch-english).

Cavesa wrote: It also shows again that foreign languages are a gateway to more freedom. That's why every totalitarian regime looks at language learning with suspicion. People forget about this too easily.
George Orwell illustrated this in 1984, where Oceania's IngSoc political party used Newspeak to control the populace. It is very dangerous to be monolingual, especially in a country where the government controls the media. The usual suspects fall into this category: N. Korea, Iran, Russia, Turkey, most Arabic-speaking countries, Venezuela, most ex-CIS nations, Iran and Pakistan. (Many African countries would fall into this category, but most citizens there have some literacy in an international language.) Learning a new language opens you up to media in that language, and how users of the language think.

Cavesa wrote: To quote a few very wise animals from animated movies:
"Just keep swimming"

Finding Nemo

Cavesa wrote:"Just smile and wave boys... smile and wave"

Madagascar

You have such good taste! :lol:
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Skynet
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Re: My 9 week ultra-intensive French resurrection summer project.

Postby Skynet » Sun Aug 26, 2018 9:57 pm

UPDATE:

Assimil NFWE has been successfully completed!

Does this mean that I am now at B2 as Assimil promises? Well, I used DIALANG and got the following:

Reading: B2
Writing: B2
Listening: B2
Grammatical structures: C1
Vocabulary: B2

I think that this is a deceptive and highly optimistic appraisal of my French situation. Can these "results" solely be accredited to Assimil NFWE? Absolutely not! I have also completed a dozen courses and I still have more to finish before the end of summer. Speaking of courses, Assimil NFWE is replaced with Teach Yourself French Grammar (1961) and MÉTHODE Berlitz: Partie Francaise - 2eme livre (1889). In the highly unlikely event that I find time, I may do the 1st book too.
Attachments
OVERLY OPTIMISTIC DIALANG RESULTS.PNG
OVERLY OPTIMISTIC DIALANG RESULTS
OVERLY OPTIMISTIC DIALANG RESULTS.PNG (256.89 KiB) Viewed 366 times
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