Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Wed May 09, 2018 3:29 pm

Wow, a lot of replies all at once! Thank you everyone for your advice, it is helpful.

Sgt Schultz wrote:When I learned my first language, Spanish, I felt the same way. I jumped from one course to another, second guessing if I picked the right method, right course, etc. What I end up finding out was that it's more important to do something each day and not worry about what that something is as long as I was enjoying it. Over time each little bit I did added up and formed a solid base. I think the most important thing in this phase of study is to find something (or some things) that you enjoy doing every day and keep doing it.

Another thing that might help, after each month of study look back at what you studied 1 month ago. If it seems easy, you're making progress. That helped keep me motivated and assured me that what I was doing was working.


This is very encouraging to me, thank you for sharing your experience. I'll definitely take your advice and try not to worry too much about my overall progress.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Wed May 09, 2018 5:31 pm

sfuqua wrote:When I said shadowing I was talking about thishttp://learnanylanguage.wikia.com/wiki/Shadowing

I'm a big fan of shadowing, and Assimil is pretty easy to adapt to this approach.


Thanks, I found Professor Arguelles video description of shadowing to be helpful. I'll integrate shadowing into my Assimil course as I continue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=130bOvRpt24
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Thu May 10, 2018 4:48 pm

10 mai 2018

I did some shadowing yesterday with Assimil, walking back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room. Very interesting to shadow over the speaker instead of pausing and repeating.

I planned a short vacation to British Columbia yesterday. Initially I was looking at an AirBnB private room in the house of a speaker of German, English and French. I didn't end up booking it because it looked like it had been inactive for at least a year, and according to the host's AirBnb history, she was off traveling in New Zealand. Instead, I booked a small cabin in the mountains, composting toilet and all! I discovered a nearby French Canadian bakery, so I'll finally get to try fresh croissants (our mission to find them in our home city has been all but fruitless croissantless.) It's my husband's first time in Canada. I know he'll fall in love with the country.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Sun May 13, 2018 3:12 am

I am writing short paragraphs in French when I can. I find that writing is a meditative experience, especially when I write in the present tense with only a dictionary for reference. While I am looking out on a scene, I ask myself, "What stands out to me? What do I know how to say? How can I communicate the feeling of this moment? I see a _____, do I know the word for that, and how best to describe it?"

11 mai 2018. Je prends mon petit-déjeuner dans le café sur le pont. Je vois, en face de moi, deux bernaches du Canada. Ils ont un nid dans une boîte, au-dessus de la rivière, sur une rampe de bois, à côté du bâtiment où je suis assis. Une bernache garde toujours le nid, et l’autre va chercher la nourriture. Les bernaches sont tranquilles comme la nature, comme la rivière, comme les arbres verts. J’espère que les bébés des bernaches grandissent bien.


I'm searching for French conversation partner on one of the common language exchange websites, and I'm hoping that I can send her (when I find her) some of these paragraphs for correction. When people randomly offer to assist me with French, they often don't follow through or they neglect to correct my writing. I hope that those seeking an exchange are more likely to stick around and nit-pick my French while I nit-pick their English. :) I also would love to make some friends who actually live in France.

Currently, I'm making a list of my interests so I can learn vocabulary and craft sentences about my own life experience.

I'm continuing to shadow, but it feels like a sweater that doesn't quite fit.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Sun May 20, 2018 3:14 am

19 mai 2018

I switched from shadowing to chorusing, and I like it much better. With Audacity, I loop short phrases of text and then repeat each section about 50 times at normal speed. At the end of the text, I go back and repeat longer sections of text.

I am about two-thirds of the way through my grammar book and clipping along at a steady pace. When I've completed the book, I'll hand it off to my husband (who is very lovingly learning French so we can speak it together), and then I'll be on the hunt for a higher level grammar book, maybe something I can reference for years to come.

Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast has me hooked yet again as we draw closer and closer to the Reign of Terror. I have no doubt that we'll be listening to several episodes while driving to BC. It's fascinating just how entangled the French Revolution really was. On my shelf I have a water-rippled copy of Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, and on occasion I flip through it just to catch the unstoppable rush of passion and fatality that Simon Schama portrays in his tome.

While searching for words to use to describe my interests to others, I found this: http://board.crossfit.com/archive/index ... 34291.html.

Deadlift = soulevé de terre
For time = contre la montre
Pullups = tractions (à la barre)
Push-ups = extensions de bras
Rope Climbs = montée à la corde
Rope skips = sauts à la corde
Rings = les anneaux de gymnastique
Rower = rameur
Rowing = ramer
Situps = redressement assis
Barbell = barre à disques
Dumbbells = haltères
Handstand = faire le poirier
Jerk = jeté
Weights = poids
Squat = accroupir
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Sgt Schultz
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby Sgt Schultz » Tue May 22, 2018 11:41 am

zjones wrote:19 mai 2018

Mike Duncan's Revolutions podcast has me hooked yet again as we draw closer and closer to the Reign of Terror. I have no doubt that we'll be listening to several episodes while driving to BC. It's fascinating just how entangled the French Revolution really was. On my shelf I have a water-rippled copy of Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, and on occasion I flip through it just to catch the unstoppable rush of passion and fatality that Simon Schama portrays in his tome.



I really enjoy Mike Duncan's podcasts, especially the history of Rome. He announced the other day that he is moving to Paris to write a book. I was a bit jealous :)
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Thu May 24, 2018 2:50 am

Sgt Schultz wrote:I really enjoy Mike Duncan's podcasts, especially the history of Rome. He announced the other day that he is moving to Paris to write a book. I was a bit jealous :)


Oh wow, that's fascinating. I really, really hope that he's going to write a book on the French Revolution. My fingers are crossed! Have you read his recent book? I believe it's called The Storm Before the Storm, but I haven't been able to find a local copy yet.
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby Sgt Schultz » Thu May 24, 2018 12:11 pm

zjones wrote:
Sgt Schultz wrote:I really enjoy Mike Duncan's podcasts, especially the history of Rome. He announced the other day that he is moving to Paris to write a book. I was a bit jealous :)


Oh wow, that's fascinating. I really, really hope that he's going to write a book on the French Revolution. My fingers are crossed! Have you read his recent book? I believe it's called The Storm Before the Storm, but I haven't been able to find a local copy yet.


The new book is sort of on the French Revolution, well, a part of it I guess :) It's about Lafayette.

I bought the Kindle version of The Storm Before the Storm. It's a good read, I really enjoyed it.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Mon May 28, 2018 11:25 pm

I'm currently using a free trial of Kwiziq per Caseva's suggestion, and I like it a lot! It's interesting to discover that I don't really have a tight grasp of A1 grammar (the prepositions of countries and regions... oh lord) but I nearly placed into B1 so that's a good sign. My partner is hooked on it too, so we might end up paying for a few months' worth to solidify our grammar.

I'm planning on buying Routledge's French Grammar and Usage as a reference grammar.

We started playing Assassin's Creed Unity in French, which is set during the French Revolution. I've played the game twice already, but this time I'm playing solely in French. Suddenly I can understand the ambient conversations taking place on the street, which are in French regardless of which language is chosen for gameplay. I also understood a full paragraph of subtitled speech by Mme Tussaud without any trouble. Two years ago, all I heard was French-accented gibberish.

PROGRESS! :D

Update on studying. I'm actively studying about 2 hours per day (not including any French video gaming or shows), using these resources:

  • Assimil: 1 lesson per day
  • Coffee Break French: 1 podcast per day
  • Easy French Step-by-Step: 30+ minutes per day

I fill up the other time with resources like Kwiziq, ThoughtCo's French page, native books, Speechling and Duolingo. I am also regularly emailing conversation partners in French, with Word Reference as my dictionary.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log

Postby zjones » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:52 pm

I just made a change that is going to affect my French a lot, and I'm super excited about it so I wanted to share. I found a great language-exchange partner who speaks fluent English. He is very active in the language community and has a lot of experience helping new French speakers, and he is in a program to become an English teacher in France. For the first time, I am speaking to a native speaker in French via audio files. Although I speak unnaturally slowly, he said my pronunciation is very, very good. Like, surprisingly good. This made me feel amazing, and I'm glad that so many people on this forum recommended that one starts by learning the sounds of a language. I still make pronunciation mistakes, especially with French words that have a related English word, like "préparez". (I tend to pronounce the first vowel as an è sound.)

I credit my above-average pronunciation with the University of Michigan's French phonetics course on YouTube, Assimil chorusing/shadowing/repeating, and perfectionism.
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