Spanish and French for Traveling

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stelingo
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Re: Spanish and French for Traveling

Postby stelingo » Fri May 10, 2024 3:09 pm

ballmin wrote:I’m not starting Portuguese just to visit Brazil, and please don’t tempt me with Cabo Verde, Angola, and Mozambique :)


You think Brazil isn't worth visiting? :o It occupies about half the continent S America and there are more Portuguese speakers than Spanish speakers there. A very different vibe to the one you find in Spanish speaking America, imo. It would be a pity to dismiss Brazil just because they speak another language. I'm going back there this summer, 8th visit
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Lawyer&Mom
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Re: Spanish and French for Traveling

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri May 10, 2024 4:25 pm

I really like Paul Noble French. The native speakers are just the icing on the cake.
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Grammaire progressive du français -
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Grammaire progressive du francais -
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ballmin
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Re: Spanish and French for Traveling

Postby ballmin » Sat May 11, 2024 1:00 am

stelingo wrote:
ballmin wrote:I’m not starting Portuguese just to visit Brazil, and please don’t tempt me with Cabo Verde, Angola, and Mozambique :)


You think Brazil isn't worth visiting? :o It occupies about half the continent S America and there are more Portuguese speakers than Spanish speakers there. A very different vibe to the one you find in Spanish speaking America, imo. It would be a pity to dismiss Brazil just because they speak another language. I'm going back there this summer, 8th visit


I told a few people that I'm starting to learn Spanish, because I want to travel in South America. Everybody asked me why I'm not learning Portuguese to visit Brazil :) I can and probably will visit Brazil, but starting Portuguese and Spanish at the same time does not sound like a great idea.
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Re: Spanish and French for Traveling

Postby Cainntear » Sun May 19, 2024 1:20 pm

Tumlare wrote:
ballmin wrote:Do you know if Michel Thomas' course is better than Paul Noble's? They seem similar, but the latter uses native speakers instead of students.


I can't speak to Michel Thomas's course but I've quite enjoyed Paul Noble's. I've used it for German and I'm now going through French. I greatly appreciate the native speakers.


Lawyer&Mom wrote:I really like Paul Noble French. The native speakers are just the icing on the cake.

Meant to come back to this, but left it on an old tab that came up while I was clearing out my browser tabs (definitely long overdue -- too many tabs!!).

I never tried out the Paul Noble because (IIRC) when they were launched it was all FIGS and I already had MT courses to do that.

However, I think one of the things not really spoken about enough is how MT gave you a feeling of being in a class. Because MT actually just recorded a live lesson, there was a tangible physical reality to the situation -- he was having a conversation with people, and you could tell they were reacting to each other, even if you couldn't see the visual cues they were reacting to.

Also, the on-the-fly corrections of the students had the effect of tactitly saying that it was OK to make mistakes. When doing a self-study course, it's easy to fall into feeling inadequate when you make a mistake and see it as proof your not "good enough". Having someone who is being actually being taught face-to-face make a mistake is a very powerful thing, because it's fair to assume that you're likely to make more mistakes than them. And then there's the various times where I made the same mistake as one of the students; I was just like "well if everybody makes the same mistake, that's the teacher's fault" and yet I'm still happy to recommend MT despite the fact that it's evidence of a teaching error -- I haven't seen any teaching that's more effective, but a lot of courses just hide their errors so you don't know whether the mistake is yours or the teacher's.

The demo examples I listened to from Paul Noble didn't feel like I was listening to a conversation. Paul was clearly following a script in a studio, and the native speaker voices basically came out of nowhere and weren't really part of the "world" of the lessons.

(By contrast, when I was doing the Michel Thomas Method course in Egyptian Arabic, there was a weird dynamic. The English speaking teacher Jane was in the room, but the Arabic speaker Mahmoud sort of wasn't... and sort of was. Even despite the heavy editing there was enough of a classroom feel for my to start getting into it, but when Mahmoud spoke, he felt like a voice coming from the background, and I had this really weird image of him perched on the back of a chair just off to Jane's right and slightly behind. Quite surreal...)

The other thing that I noted about PN was that at the time he was talking about useful phrases (I know he used to post on the MT fan forums, and I think that one of his criticisms about the MT courses was the fact that they didn't teach useful phrases) but my personal feeling is that the lack of useful phrases is a massive bonus of the MT method, because useful phrases are kind of fixed, and become a distraction from grammar.

The overall impression I got was that Paul Noble was going to offer an experience not far off Pimsleur etc -- you are just following the steps mechanically and doing what is expected of you. What those steps were was clearly different, but really, the feeling of a tangible situation was part of the magic of MT.
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