Robierre’s French C2 log

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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:45 pm

Hi kimchizzle, sctroyenne, PeterMollenburg and garyb!

@ kimchizzle
About unfamiliar words: I never use French-Croatian dictionary; Petit Robert and Wordreference can resolve 99,9% of my queries; for the rest there is google image search engine. In my notebook I write: if I know the synonym in French, I write down the synonym:

l'hantise - l'obsession
la torpeur - la léthargie
purée! - putain!


If I don't know the synonym, I write the meaning in my language:

s'encanailler - to hang around with shady persons (I hope I understood well the word!)

@ sctroyenne and garyb
Paris à chier is probably full of exaggerations but the approach is very funny and sincere. From the linguistic point of view it is a gold mine - a lot of argot and excellent writing skills.

@garyb
The reason why I love Un giorno in Italia 2 is because of its originality. It is divided in 18 chapters (350 pages) and each chapter starts with an episode (2 pages of text) of a very well written story: the main character is Pierro Ferrari, he works as a ticket inspector in train but he always wanted to be a writer; one day he meets an interesting lady and she proposes him to follow his dream and become a journalist; Pierro moves to Rome, meets the editor in chief of local newspaper; however he finds out that journalism maybe is not the right job for idealists like him (to be continued...). There are also other nice texts (Italo Calvino, Carlo Levi etc.), grammar (periodo ippotetico, congiuntivo...) and vocabulary. Nothing extremely new for me, but it is a good review and I try to focus on details (lessico, modi di dire, listening exercises).
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:26 pm

Arnaud wrote:
Robierre wrote:l'hantise - l'obsession
FYI, no apostrophe before the letter h: la hantise, le haricot. (multi-edit: but the words coming from latin accept the apostrophe: always check on google before saying stupidities: l'homme, l'humanité. I've learned something tonight, I had never noted before that some words starting with h don't accept the apostrophe and other do: it's so automatic in my head that I even don't remark it... :roll: )

Merci! I know for this difference; it is a frequent error that I make: for example, I say "avec des haricots, s'il vous plaît" [dezaʀiko]; it is important because if you learn that the correct spelling is le haricot and not l'haricot, you will also know how tho pronounce the plural [deaʀiko].
After you learn it, it sounds normal to say l'hirondelle and not la hirondelle, la honte and not l'honte.

The only problem is that there are a lot of words that start with H.
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sctroyenne
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby sctroyenne » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:15 am

Robierre wrote:
Arnaud wrote:
Robierre wrote:l'hantise - l'obsession
FYI, no apostrophe before the letter h: la hantise, le haricot. (multi-edit: but the words coming from latin accept the apostrophe: always check on google before saying stupidities: l'homme, l'humanité. I've learned something tonight, I had never noted before that some words starting with h don't accept the apostrophe and other do: it's so automatic in my head that I even don't remark it... :roll: )

Merci! I know for this difference; it is a frequent error that I make: for example, I say "avec des haricots, s'il vous plaît" [dezaʀiko]; it is important because if you learn that the correct spelling is le haricot and not l'haricot, you will also know how tho pronounce the plural [deaʀiko].
After you learn it, it sounds normal to say l'hirondelle and not la hirondelle, la honte and not l'honte.

The only problem is that there are a lot of words that start with H.


That would be the aspirated H which got a whole section in my phonetics class :)
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:05 pm

Week 6

French
This week I am going to write more about methods that I use to improve my listening skills. Everyone will agree, when it comes to listening comprehension, French is a very difficult language. The only way to make improvements in this segment is - listening. A lot of listening.
Two years ago I started to use podcasts on daily basis. At that point I figured out that I have an empty space in my daily routine: at least 1 hour (or more) of precious (commuting) time that can be used in a better way then just watching streets and thinking about daily problems. Yes, it is true that I was reading a lot on the bus, mostly in French, and that now I have less time for books; however, reading in French was not my weakest point and it can be also done at home, before going to sleep for example.

So, once a week I prepare tracks that I am going to use during that week: more or less 6-7 hours of listening material, ideally with duration of 45 minutes each. I download them just from one radio station - France culture. Basically, it is the best French that you will find; very high register with extreme attention on accents and pronunciation; if you want to work on your everyday French, then, definitely, this is not a good place for you. I am trying to find some other resources for colloquial French as well.

When I am choosing listening material, I always pay attention to select something that is interesting for me; because these sessions are not just language learning, it is much more: it is about exploring French culture and society. Let's take for example this week; this was on my playlist: documentary about stereotypes related to Northern France after the film Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis, reportage about a lady who is organizing courses of French etiquette, documentary about exploitation of interns/stagiaires, discussion with a French philosopher on the topic How philosophy can save our life, interview from the 60's with Claude Levy Strauss about ethnology and linguistics... Next week it might be something completely different.

The results are great; some topics are easier others more complicated, my concentration varies depending on the mood, but generally I enjoy it very much. Some days when I prefer just to relax, I skip the session. Big supermarkets are also convenient for this activity. :mrgreen:


Italian
Un giorno in Italia 2 - pages 50-70/350

I am discovering a lot of Italian music lately and I love it very much. Fabrizio de André (pure poetry):


Pino Daniele: Cammina, cammina (I think that I am falling in love with Neapolitan dialect)
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sctroyenne
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby sctroyenne » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:06 am

I've been loading up my podcasts again this past week (I get podcast fatigue every now and then plus a lot of shows are on summer hiatus). There are probably some good writing/speaking exercises that can be done with podcasts to develop the skills needed for C1/C2 exams.
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:44 pm

Week 7

French
I started to dream in French. :mrgreen: It happened on Tuesday, repeated on Wednesday and possibly on Thursday as well. I am not sure what is the reason, I live already almost three years in a francophone environment (Luxembourg), but it never happened before - so I am very excited about it.

As you can see from my posts, most of my study in the recent period is input-based: day-to day intensive reading (focused on new words/synonyms, expressions and idioms) and extensive listening practice (learning new words from the context). I use also a lot of other methods but currently I follow this program.

Italian
It's been a long time since I saw a film in Italian. This week Rai3 was showing Divorzio all'italiana with Marcello Mastroianni (1961). Very nice comedy.
Image

Here is a list of 100 best Italian films filmed between 1942 and 1978. I will try to watch them from time to time:
100 film italiani da salvare
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:27 pm

Week 8

Italian
Not much progress made with my textbook Un giorno in Italia 2; I am on page 70/350 and plan to continue with it in September.
However, this week has brought me some new (bizarre) activities.

I watched two films in Italian, both of them on Rai3. L'assassino è quello con le scarpe gialle, a comedy/giallo-parody from the 80's; there were some fast dialogues but generally it was easy to follow. The second film was a challenge: Le quattro giornate di Napoli, war story about the liberation of Napoli in WW2. In Neapolitan dialect. :mrgreen: Some parts were indeed in standard Italian, mostly radio announcements and few short dialogues with German soldiers, but the rest was pure Naepolitan. To be honest, watching a film in dialect is already an achievement; the comprehension was limited but still sufficient to understand the story and parts of conversations; I was focusing a lot to recognize the closest standard Italian word/expression, to get a general feeling of accents and intonations etc.; very interesting experience - I have to do it more often.

Another strange idea this week: should I try to read Proust in Italian? Last year I bought Un amore di Swann at a flee market in Italy and since then I was scared to move the book from the shelf. Today I am already on page 39; and guess what, it is easier than I thought it would be. Those famous long sentences will be a great exercise for my syntax and surely I will learn a lot of fancy old fashioned words. :)

French
I finished The red and the black by Stendhal; the book was in Croatian and I know that it does't count for this journal. However, I was quite impressed by the novel and I wanted to watch the film as well. So, I found Le rouge et le noir (1954) with Gérard Philipe on Youtube; the sound was horrible, the film could be better, but it was not very difficult to follow (given the fact that I knew the story) and I was enjoying to compare my imagination with the scenes from the film.

Concerning my spoken French, I am considering two possibilities for this autumn: language courses or weekly Italki lessons focused on slang. I will decide in September.
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Sun Sep 06, 2015 11:46 am

Week 9

French
I was on vacations this week, so there were not many activities; I read a book in French, however:

Andrea Camilleri: L'Âge du doute (2008) (original title: L'età del dubbio)
I already mentioned here that I was watching Montalbano series on France 3 last summer, dubbed in French. Now it seems that I am continuing in the same way, I read my first Montalbano thriller. In French again. Comparing to novels that I usually read in French, Montalbano is not difficult. However, the translation was a bit particular; Camilleri's language is a mix of standard Italian and Sicilian dialect; the parts in Sicilian translated to French become an invented French slang (with bizarre words like: tiliphoner, acommencer, pinser instead of penser etc.); partly some southern French words are also used (I am not sure if I will give a good example, but sometimes he uses rin instead of rien; it might be invented also); and finally, some words are left in Sicilian. If it sounds complicated, don't get scared too much; Camilleri has a simple and clear (but still beautiful) language. He is turning 90 years old this week, btw. :)
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby extralean » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:53 am

Robierre wrote:I started to dream in French.



Congratulations, it's definitely a milestone, I still remember the weird feeling I had upon waking up the first time it happened to me!
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Robierre
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Re: Robierre’s French & Italian C1/2 journal

Postby Robierre » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:20 pm

extralean wrote:
Robierre wrote:I started to dream in French.



Congratulations, it's definitely a milestone, I still remember the weird feeling I had upon waking up the first time it happened to me!

Thanx extralean; I just read your log and will follow your progress with preparations for DALF.

Concerning my dreams, it might be the symptom of a dis-balance between the input-based learning (huge amount of new information in the last period) and very limited output/conversation in French. This passive knowledge naturally found a way to circulate in the opposite direction.

PS.
Today I read an interesting information (I don't know if it is true):
[...] l’anglais élargit constamment son vocabulaire: il croît de 5% par an, et viendrait de dépasser le million de mots. Or le français – déjà «de toutes les langues des peuples civilisés du monde (celle) possédant le plus petit nombre de mots», comme gémissaient les frères Goncourt – s’est doté d’une ceinture de chasteté légale et culturelle qui le contient bien en dessous des 100.000 termes.

PPS.
I am trying to work more on idiomatic expressions in both French and Italian; my conclusion so far is that, surprisingly, they use very different idioms. It would be nice if someone from FR/IT native speakers with a high level in the other language could write some experiences. Until recently I was ignoring their existence, especially in French.
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