Zelda's 2019 French Log

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zjones
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Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:14 pm

2019 Languages
French: Self-evaluated starting level ~B1, speaking weak, reading strong
Greek: Starting level beginner

French Goals and Resolutions
  • Take DELF B1 in March 2019
  • Read at least 12 French books in 2019
  • More goals to be listed

A short history of French. I started learning French seriously in April 2018. At that point I was a false beginner, my knowledge coming from some patchy Duolingo use and previous lazy attempts to learn French. My primary sources for getting from false beginner to A2 were Assimil NFWE and Easy French Step-by-Step (a beginner's grammar book). After Assimil, I started reading Harry Potter and increasing my level with a variety of sources cobbled from the internet and a couple books. I also had some language exchange partners from France, a few of which have become good friends. I think I came to the B1 level sometime around September 2018. I am aiming to take the DELF B1 in March 2019 at the Seattle Alliance Française.

My reasons for learning French include interest in French history, appreciation of the culture and atmosphere of France, the importance of the French language during my favorite historical period, and the beautiful sound and appearance of the language. I feel like French will always be my number one love and top priority as far as languages are concerned.

Greek Goals and Resolutions
  • Finish Assimil Greek
  • Read Hotel Atlantis app (a short graded story in Greek)

A short history of Modern Greek. I started Greek in late October 2018, which I'm rounding to November. I started with Language Transfer Complete Greek and then I bought Assimil Le Grec. Greek has been much more difficult than French. I do Assimil every day, and I supplement with a couple other resources when needed, most importantly Anki.

I am learning Greek because I'm interested in the language, that's all. I think it sounds beautiful and I'd be interested in traveling to Greece at some point. A specific video game set in Ancient Greece may have been to blame, too.
Last edited by zjones on Mon Jan 21, 2019 2:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's 2019 Language Log

Postby zjones » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:15 pm

Last edited by zjones on Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's 2019 Language Log

Postby zjones » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:15 pm

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Weekly Update Jan 1 2019

Postby zjones » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:16 pm

Some thoughts for 2019

In 2019 my focus will be to continue learning languages, but to have greater life balance. I'd like to spend more time making my life flow smoothly in areas outside of languages, notably in physical fitness, cooking, baking and pets/home upkeep. I also plan on having more cultural experiences this year, within my own country and possibly Canada. Technically, I will spend less time on language-learning, but hopefully the time I spend will be more intensive and engaged.

My attitude is also in the spotlight. In 2018 I was fairly steady with my actual language study time, but I was often swayed by my emotions which caused me stress and periods of intense self-doubt. I want to try adjusting my negative or self-defeating thoughts into ones that are positive, or at least neutral. I'm also working on validating my own efforts (in everything I do) instead of relying on others for validation. Life is just too short!

As you can tell my log is well-organized, and I will have less opportunity for fiddling around. All of this is meant to decrease my time on the forum and increase the conciseness and usefulness of my posts, for myself and for others. Except in special circumstances, you will see about one update post per week. If I start getting post-crazy, please yell at me. :D

Weekly Update Jan 1 2019

French

For French, I'm not quite sure what my game plan is. I'd like to target my weak areas, which include speaking and listening. I know I will need to familiarize myself with the DELF B1 which is why I bought Didier's DELF B1 100% Reussite. In January, I plan on choosing and refining my ideas for improving my French.

Greek

My only plan is to keep trucking. I don't have any particular goals with Greek except to finish Assimil, which will take several more months. I usually spend 2 days on each lesson, sometimes more.
Last edited by zjones on Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 Language Log

Postby MamaPata » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:35 pm

An exciting year ahead!
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Weekly Update Jan 6 2019

Postby zjones » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:49 pm

Weekly Update Jan 6, 2019

Greek

I'm continuing at the pace of one lesson every two days, which is working well at the moment. Recently I've been trying to decrease the time I spend on Greek, so my daily limit is 1 hour. Assimil and Anki are filling that time pretty well.

Watching: Easy Greek series and this charming Super Easy Greek video about giving wishes in Greek.

French

In the middle of the week, I took the Dialang French Listening test and received a C1, which is laughable. The listening samples are very clear, almost like a radio show, and are not spoken at everyday normal speeds. They are comparable to DELF B1/B2 audio samples, so I don't think it should be possible for anyone to receive a C1 or above. Dialang might be more accurate at lower levels.

I received Didier's Le DELF 100% réussite B1, an exam preparation book. The content is good, the thin slick pages are horrible -- for that reason alone, I'll probably buy a CLE book next time I need a prep book for the DELF. I'm not sure when I'm going to start using the book as practice material (there isn't enough material to fill the time between now and March 19), but I know what I need to work on for the next couple months:

  • Reading and listening to French news
  • Reading informative articles (like Wikipedia
  • Writing formal letters and informative texts
  • Practicing introducing myself and various aspects of my life
  • Speaking in general, especially in a more formal tone (vouvoyer)

So basically, the boring stuff. I have never wanted to read or listen to news in any language, but it seems like most of the exam material will be formal or informative in tone. I plan on using RFI Journal en français facile for news, because it is recorded in digestible 10-minute chunks. For everything else, I'll need to get creative.

Reading and listening: Autre-Monde, Tome 3 with audiobook
Reading: Harry Potter, Tome 4
Listening: Change ma vie podcast
Listening: RFI Journal en français facile
Watching: Easy French series
Speaking: Recording myself speaking about myself for 10 minutes, every few days. I have also been speaking French more often with my husband, who is a level below me but can still converse about basic things.
Completed: Progresser en français 2019 by Hugo (of the Intermediate French podcast)
Completed: Plan Cœur/The Hookup Plan on Netflix. Cute show, but way above my level. The subtitles didn't match so I had to remove them, which made the show difficult to follow due to speaking speed, emotional voices, and loads of slang.

My goals for this week

I want to listen to RFI Journal en français facile every day, spend some extra time reading random Wikipedia articles in French, send an audio clip of my self-introduction to a French friend and continue regular speaking practice. Bonus if I figure out how to work on formal writing and speaking.
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Re: Weekly Update Jan 6 2019

Postby Skynet » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:44 pm

zjones wrote: Bonus if I figure out how to work on formal writing and speaking.

Writing: I do not see myself doing Assimil Business French in time for my DELF, so I decided on s-l-o-w-l-y working through CLE's Production écrite by D. Dupleix & B. Megre (B1-B2) at the glacial pace of one chapter a week. It is extremely good, and will get the C1-C2 sequel too.

Speaking: CLE Communication Prog. du Francais (int): I have not started it, but it's designed to teach you to speak on a wide variety of issues and even debate. If you feel nostalgic, you could try DLI Basic French and join me in my FSI Basic French course speaking drill challenge.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 Language Log

Postby zjones » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:52 pm

Weekly Update Jan 6, 2019

Greek

My studies have been neglected this week in favor of French. I skipped Assimil three days this week. I don't feel too bad about it, because my main focus needs to be the language that I'll be taking an exam for! However, I want to keep my Greek fresh, so I'm trying to do Anki every day, which contains all sentences and audio from Assimil Greek Lesson 12 to the lesson I'm learning currently.

French

My biggest news: I joined the Output Challenge 2019 for French! Exciting! I know this is the kind of challenge that I need to improve my French.

However... output sucks. If there's one thing that can make me feel like I'm absolute garbage at French, it's speaking spontaneously into a microphone for 10 minutes, or messing up very basic written French like the passé composé -- which happened on my French log the other day. Fortunately, I do think the output is helping me because I'm discovering my weaknesses very quickly. A couple days ago I realized that I was repeatedly saying "ce photo" instead of "cette photo" and let me tell you, that was rough. I think I almost cried.

Now for the good news. I have an iTalki lesson this week with my French friend, the one who came to the US and met me and my husband. He's going to work with me on introducing myself, which is a simple task but I want to be sure I'm comfortable answering questions about my life. I've made good use of the DELF B1 prep book. I'm doing all the writing exercises in order, which can be tedious, for example one of the exercises is writing a very formal letter to a supervisor and sharing an opinion about working from home. Bleh. So far I haven't noticed any increased comfortability with writing or speaking, but I hope that these exercises will be helpful in the long run. For corrections, I am sending them to a native speaker or using bonpatron.com.

I'm not sure if I'll keep listening all of my current resources, so today I'm just going to list the resources that are new or that I'm using to practice for the DELF.

Listening: Balades, L'avis de Marie, RFI Journal en français facile (On the days when Loïc is not doing the news, that is... I don't particularly like his style of presentation.)
Reading: The transcripts from RFI, Balades and L'avis de Marie.
YouTube: Easy French series, ANALEPSE
Speaking: Recording myself speaking for about 10+ minutes per day on different subjects, usually inspired by my DELF book. I also send short audio messages to a French friend every few days.
Writing: Doing several DELF writing exercises every day, writing for my French log, and writing to French friends.

My goals for this week

Continue speaking and writing even when I want to quit! My head feels full of English all the time, so I also want to do another "French Week" which means cutting out English except in specific situations where I must communicate with Anglophones.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 Language Log

Postby Carmody » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:38 pm

I am an avid fan of L'avis de Marie!!!
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Weekly Update Jan 20, 2019

Postby zjones » Sun Jan 20, 2019 6:00 pm

Weekly Update Jan 20, 2019

It's already time for another weekly update?

Greek

I haven't done any Greek this week at all. I don't feel too guilty about this, but I'd like to start using Anki again at least semi-regularly.

French

Lots of production and good news this week! I speak for about 10-15 recorded minutes per day, and I also speak to myself, my pets and my husband in French. It's gotten to the point where I can switch to French in the middle of a conversation with my husband, and he understands me well enough to respond back to me in English. We sometimes continue this way for a short while before I come to a sentence that I don't know how to say in French. It slow the conversation considerably but at least that means I'm not talking at my husband non-stop ! :lol:

Along with my French log here on the site, I'm also keeping a private diary which is hand-written. The private diary is not very well-written because I try not to use a dictionary when I write in it, but I enjoy the process of writing much more. Writing by hand feels meditative and luxurious, especially because it gives me a chance to use my fountain pen and inks.

On Wednesday I had an iTalki session with my French friend, and it was incredible. I mean, I knew he was amazing anyway because he helped me with my French last year, but he has really stepped up his game now that he's teaching full-time. I have another lesson with him tomorrow morning. If anyone is looking for an iTalki community tutor I can highly, highly recommend him, just send me a message and I'll give you his name.

I've had a couple great compliments on my French this week. I found a couple new LE partners on Conversation Exchange, and both of them told me that they were amazed at my French and how few mistakes I make. I'm used to being complimented on my accent, so it's nice to get compliments on my ability to converse by writing. Just in the last two weeks, I have noticed that it's much easier for me to chat in French than before. Lately, my conversation partners and I have been defaulting to French rather than English, which is amazing! Who knew that lots of input and lots of output would increase my French level? ;)

I'm 93% through Harry Potter Tome et la Coupe de Feu (book 4). I've been reading this book since early November, I think? Anyone who has read this book probably knows that the end of the book is absolutely nuts -- it feels like a rollercoaster that just won't stop -- which better than the alternative I guess, because the middle of the book was boring and caused me to put it down for over a month.

I also got the audiobook and Kindle edition of a book titled L'Affaire des Corps sans Tête which is a mystery/detective novel set during the French Revolution. As the title would lead you to believe, there are lots of bodies without heads. The story doesn't seem to be revolutionary (heh) in any way, but it's well-written and I'm learning a lot of weird historical vocabulary.

As for listening, I'm getting a great variety through YouTube, podcasts and other sources. I even listened to some of the debates in Souillac (with President Macron) and got to hear some neat Basque accents from the mayors.

My goals for this week: Continue with lots of input, lots of output. Finish Harry Potter Tome 4. Bonus points if I can find the motivation to do a few Greek Anki sessions.
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