Zelda's 2019 French Log

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zjones
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Fri May 10, 2019 9:37 pm

I’ve settled in at my job and found ways to work French into my day.

I am listening to RFI on the way to work (10m) and then once again when I am at the office (10m) because I arrive 15m early.

I talk to myself in French in the car, and I take advantage of the opportunity to cuss out other drivers in French (not when they can see me though - this is just for practice haha).

When things are very slow at work, I can read on my Kindle, but I admit that I’m reading in English because I bought The Black Count, a biography of Alexandre Dumas Grand-père.

I’m looking closely at French textbooks, because money is not really a concern. Now I’m just short on time!
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Wed May 15, 2019 1:30 am

Something I've noticed since my life doesn't currently revolve around French: using the language is so enjoyable now, and I'm much more forgiving with myself when I make mistakes. I particularly love any chance to speak or write in French, as listening and reading is simply a method to get information. Going easy on myself means that I may not make progress as quickly, but the journey is much more enjoyable. :D

It also feels like my brain has extra space to absorb grammar and vocabulary because I'm not constantly exposing myself to French throughout the day.

That being said, I wish I had joined the 30m/day challenge at the beginning of the year! Being sporadic with my language exposure and study is a new experience, but I'd be more comfortable with a small daily minimum to reach.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby StringerBell » Wed May 15, 2019 5:17 pm

Maybe you can't officially join the 365 challenge and "win" in terms of points, but you could always do your own 365 and have different start/end dates....with maybe some treats along the way for hitting certain mile markers (like minimum 30 min/day every day for a month, or for a 1/4 year). Maybe it can be a dry run for next year's official challenge!
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby garyb » Tue May 21, 2019 10:03 am

zjones wrote:Something I've noticed since my life doesn't currently revolve around French: using the language is so enjoyable now, and I'm much more forgiving with myself when I make mistakes. I particularly love any chance to speak or write in French, as listening and reading is simply a method to get information. Going easy on myself means that I may not make progress as quickly, but the journey is much more enjoyable. :D

I've been feeling like this with my languages in the last year or two, and I'm planning to make a log post touching on the subject later so it's a coincidence that you mention it too! I'm definitely less bothered about making mistakes, and about other things like people switching to English, than when I was more "invested" in my language learning. Of course it also means that my progress is far slower and my speaking ability is rustier. There's always a balance to be found, with some more intense periods and some of just enjoying the ride, putting in enough time to keep things moving, and taking opportunities to use the language when they come up without necessarily trying to create them.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:57 pm

It's been awhile, I keep meaning to post an update but never find the right time.

I haven't quit French. I bought Didier's Edito textbook for level B2 (it still contains a lot of vocabulary and expressions that I'm not familiar with or need to work on) and I've been doing that along with my other French activities like reading Changer L'eau des Fleurs and listening to Journal en Francais Facile. I bought a Nintendo Switch and I'm playing Zelda Breath of the Wild in French - this is super fun because the game has some riddles but for the most part the humor is overt. The learning process is still happening, albeit less quickly than before.

Yesterday I started tracking my French time again, but I'm very relaxed about it. As long as I reach 30 minutes of French per day I am good. ;) This is my own version of the 365 challenge. It should be simple to do because I can read during my down time at work.

I got my DELF B1 certificate in the mail and when I get some time I'm going to have it framed. :) I can't wait until I put up my B2 or C1 certificate next to it (which I haven't even begun to think about signing up for, by the way!)
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:34 pm

So the 30 minutes per day thing did not last long... I got really distracted with a couple life things and the next thing I know, I am barely using French at all. I know I can find the time, but the desire has slacked off. The French things I'm doing are not feeling very inspiring, and at times they feel downright difficult. Over the weekend of the 4th, I probably spent 15-20 hours watching Terrace House, which is a Japanese show. I wish I would have spent a little of that time watching something in French.

Right now my only French exposure is through the Zelda video game, which is not much more than a light ambient exposure. I'd barely consider it part of my French time at all. The game is not text heavy, and conversations do not typically include French audio.

I got a video game called We. The Revolution, which is about the French Revolution. It's a Polish game but you can play it in English or French. I chickened out of the French version because it's document heavy, the text is small and it requires some formal and technical language (you're playing a tribunal judge and have to conduct trials and pass verdicts). I know I could have played the French version with a dictionary nearby, but I chose not to. I guess that sums up how I'm feeling about French at the moment.

Where do I find the mental space (or inspiration) to start using French again? I feel like the initial energy needed to start something in French is pretty high, but once I start then I'm fine.

In good news, I've started taking classical singing lessons again for the first time in 10 years, and my teacher is encouraging me to keep up my spoken French for singing songs in the language.
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby Deinonysus » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:34 pm

zjones wrote:In good news, I've started taking classical singing lessons again for the first time in 10 years, and my teacher is encouraging me to keep up my spoken French for singing songs in the language.

Awesome! What material are you working on?
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:19 pm

Deinonysus wrote:
zjones wrote:In good news, I've started taking classical singing lessons again for the first time in 10 years, and my teacher is encouraging me to keep up my spoken French for singing songs in the language.

Awesome! What material are you working on?


So far I've only had two lessons, and we are working on the Alexander technique and the song Smoke Gets in Your Eyes from Roberta. The first week I couldn't really figure out how to relax my lower back, but this week we figured out a trick or two to get me to let go. Apparently I just walk around with my back and abs contracted all the time... :lol:
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Is it 2020 already?

Postby zjones » Sun Jan 12, 2020 5:45 pm

Hi everyone,

Long time, no see! Considering that my last post was in July 2019, I figured it was time to post an update. I'll separate it into "Life" and "French" so if someone wants to skip my life stuff, they can.

LIFE

French study got away from me in the second half of 2019. I had a lot to focus on with our new rental house, which required lots of attention and money and caused me so much stress that my hair was literally falling out! :shock: (To give you an idea, we moved three times in August, without help from others.) Fortunately, at this time everything has been sorted out, and we finally have a fully functioning house. I feel like the end of 2019 was spent dealing with the emotional fallout of our move, and I wasn't very productive outside of work. I didn't have mental energy for French. My screen time, especially on my phone, increased and became an additional source of stress for me.

In December I put a stop to my phone addiction and regained a lot of that extra energy. I got back into reading (in English), working out, watercolor and yoga. I clawed my way out of my current job position, got assertive with my boss, and I'm now hiring my own replacement so I can be promoted.

FRENCH

During the course of this rollercoaster, I always found a little time to listen to French each week, and I am happy to report that my French listening and reading comprehension has not decreased by much. Can I still write and speak in French? Yes, but I am very rusty. I finished reading Changer L'eau des Fleurs, which only took me... what, 9 months? Maybe more? :oops: I'm keeping my expectations low, but I'd like to start reading another book in French. I was thinking of getting La Vie Secrete des Arbres as an audiobook and/or Kindle book.

Again, the problem at this point is that although I have money to spend on French, I lack the time I used to have for drawn-out French exposure and study. With other hobbies, I've found it useful to commit to a course or "class" - I'm doing a free 30 day yoga program, and I have a watercolor class with Stan Miller starting in a couple weeks. However, I'm not sure that will work with French. I didn't like using iTalki very much, and I'm not familiar with a lot of easily-accessible French programs/courses for my level (B2).

Any recs for B2+ French programs/courses would be awesome.

I'm going to take some time, check out new language logs and see what you guys have been up to in the last 6 months.

Happy 2020 to all!
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Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby MrsStarez » Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm

Welcome back! I can totally empathise with the screen time taking over and have also set myself limits - French study excluded of course!
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