carloskilos vs. français 

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carloskilos
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carloskilos vs. français 

Postby carloskilos » Mon Jun 05, 2023 3:40 pm

Hola a todxs!

I'm starting this log as while I've learned Spanish to a fairly high level, I began that language at a fairly early age in school, for better or worse. As such, this is my first time properly learning a new language, and I'm hoping this posting in this thread will help clarify all the thoughts/theory that are circulating in my head into a more tangible/coherent praxis.

My language learning thought process has largely been molded by Refold as well as this forum. While I'm certainly not the strawman Krashenite that some on this forum fabricate to rail against, I am a big believer in larger amounts of input, as that was the key that took my Spanish from "cold sweats in speaking situations" to "walk through Spain extremely confident in my ability to communicate", which is my end goal for all languages--to be able to communicate fluently in conversation with locals.

Having stuck a toe in the water of French, I'm struck by the vast ocean that is learning a new language, vs. coming from being able to understand practically everything of spoken Spanish. In particular, it's always seemed interesting to me when listening to a foreign tongue that it's not even possible to decipher the phonemes into written characters, and therefore meaning. However, does "meaning" come from written characters? How do you "know" a word?

As such, I'm considering Anki "listening" cards, in which a short word or sentence plays, then the back is the written French (and perhaps the translation too). I think it's important not to learn sounds in a vacuum, as I learned from Spanish that romance languages "flow" much more than English does (e.g. liaisons). The hope is that these listening cards will help me bridge the gap above, as I think learning written words is probably the quickest way to expand your vocabulary in the early stages. It would also aid in getting to a point where you hear a word, know what to google, and then can learn vocabulary/phrases via "natural" input, which I think should be the goal of any early language learning process--getting to the point where you can learn via input.

To ruminate on how to do this practically/source material.
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carloskilos
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Re: carloskilos vs. français 

Postby carloskilos » Thu Jun 08, 2023 1:35 pm

Hello all! Somewhat surprisingly, I'm back for more language-related ruminations.

When I went to go do my first "immersion", with the subtitles on, even as everyone talks about how much crossover there is between English/French vocabularly, I was still somewhat shocked how little of it was comprehensible. As such, I think I really need to focus on as much grammar and as many Anki vocab cards as possible in order to even get to entry level immersion, with the ultimate goal being the quickest on-ramp to mostly learning via immersion.

With that being said, I'm wondering if it makes the most sense to hold off on my learning of the sounds for now, and spend that energy in just drilling Anki and grammar as noted above, as I'm realistically not going to be picking out sounds (other than the limited words I have learned, which I achieved via learning the word itself, thus making this exercise a moot point) on my own, nor watching anything without subtitles, for quite some time.

Also, a plug for Kevin Kelly's excellent new collection of aphorisms and proverbs Excellent Advice for Living, as this exercise reminds me of his quote:

Expand your mind by thinking with your feet on a walk or with a hand in your notebook.
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DaveAgain
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Re: carloskilos vs. français 

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Jun 08, 2023 5:02 pm

carloskilos wrote:Hello all! Somewhat surprisingly, I'm back for more language-related ruminations.

When I went to go do my first "immersion", with the subtitles on, even as everyone talks about how much crossover there is between English/French vocabularly, I was still somewhat shocked how little of it was comprehensible.
Given that you have both English and Spanish to draw from for cognates, perhaps you will find the similarities more apparent reading a parallel text, rather than listening?

e.g.
Three men in a boat, English, French (text|audio).
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carloskilos
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Re: carloskilos vs. français 

Postby carloskilos » Fri Jul 21, 2023 11:16 am

DaveAgain wrote:
carloskilos wrote:Hello all! Somewhat surprisingly, I'm back for more language-related ruminations.

When I went to go do my first "immersion", with the subtitles on, even as everyone talks about how much crossover there is between English/French vocabularly, I was still somewhat shocked how little of it was comprehensible.
Given that you have both English and Spanish to draw from for cognates, perhaps you will find the similarities more apparent reading a parallel text, rather than listening?

e.g.
Three men in a boat, English, French (text|audio).


Thank you, this is an excellent idea! I usually read fictional Spanish at the end of every day to help me fall asleep, but this is certainly something I will consider working into my routine.
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carloskilos
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Re: carloskilos vs. français 

Postby carloskilos » Fri Jul 21, 2023 11:37 am

Hello all! Returning to memorialize the routine that I've put together thus far. I've been learning French for about two months now, and last night, in my first brush with "native" content (albeit obviously catered somewhat for learners, although not excessively), I was able to follow a YouTuber talking through her weekly routine with French subtitles with about 70% comprehension, so I'm very pleased with that progress thus far.

I have:
-Skimmed a good grammar book with lots of examples, ignoring the stupid stuff like learning how to say 127 as well as the exercises, and threw any interesting examples or patterns I wanted to learn into Anki.
-Anki vocab cards every day. If they're not cards you created, mnemonics are crucial.
-Completed the French Language Transfer intro class. Moved from that to the second chapter of Coffee Break French, which is good, but a little bit slow for my tastes, as well as has a tendency to just read you lists of irregular verbs, which isn't efficient/advisable in my opinion.

My next steps are:
-In the evenings, watch subtitled French YouTube to get my brain up to speed and starting linking Anki vocab cards to real life usage
-In the mornings, start what Refold calls "Intensive Immersion", basically where you watch a show and look up everything you don't understand. Considering something like Migaku, Yabla, or Lingopie to make this even more efficient and leverage their tech to make Anki cards as I go.
-Finish the Refold FR1K deck for vocab.
-I found a "Sounds of French" deck on Anki's website that has the IPA sounds for French. Will probably keep this low-grade for now, as I'm not in a rush to talk/speak, and am largely leaving pronunciation to a later date. However, I do think the sounds of French might ultimately end up being my biggest challenge.
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