Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

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PeterMollenburg
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:57 pm

All this talk of people switching to English greatly disappoints me, and of course I’ve experienced this myself too. In New Caledonia it seems less likely than Europe. Just yesterday, in a very touristy situation on a small bus tour my family and I ended up on our own in the minibus with one other tourist. I ended up playing translator between the female driver and this guy as he launched questions at her and she was looking at me completely lost. Turns out she was filling in and that usually she just does the airport transfers and not the tours in which tourist locations are the objective.

In the Netherlands my wife and I regularly experienced locals switching, and at B1 that makes sense, and it was useful. After some months I was confidently able to avoid them switching or at least not until much later in the conversation. Sometimes, I would continue in Dutch and they would revert back to Dutch seeing that there was really no need for English.

Still, I would much rather a more balanced world. English is creeping in everwhere. Even Netflix is now doing it’s part to spread American cultural and linguistic influence. Music is already predominantly English everywhere, economics/business has seen English grow in the last couple of decades by leaps and bounds, and now American/English TV/cinema via another English dominated medium (the internet) among many other things, is set to drive the desire for the ‘cool’ in the young even further. Globish is well on its way, and I am not a fan.

Rdearman: Excellent advice. I’ll institute regular paid conversations in the near future indeed, as much (all actually) of your points talk a lot of sense. Thank you kind sir.
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Xenops
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby Xenops » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:57 pm

Someone would have to find the original post, but I think it was iguanaman that said “I would love to talk to anyone, in any language.” Being a language forum, obviously we like languages other than our own, but we have to remember the end goal is communication.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:06 am

Xenops wrote:Someone would have to find the original post, but I think it was iguanaman that said “I would love to talk to anyone, in any language.” Being a language forum, obviously we like languages other than our own, but we have to remember the end goal is communication.


Yes and no (imo). Human beings (the way the majority of us are now) will exploit things (sometimes by choice, but mostly by default through the way that we choose to live our lives). Everything has become a commodity in the world of economics and thus to ensure survival, there needs to be a degree of protectionism, so that in the search for money, everything isn’t destroyed in the procesd, there needs to be a sense of value in diversity. I’d imagine, like an ecosystem, the entire planet has a tipping point. Enough ecosystems collapse, there’s likely a very poor future for the planet. If we didn’t value nature then look out planet earth and if we are not careful with regards to language and culture - equate them to ecosystems the cultural and linguistic diversity of the planet fade into oblivion. I think each an every cultural and language has a right to survival and globish will threaten them all given enough time and freedom if the forces behind it continue to grow.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:12 am

I’ve been reading and re-reading this thread a lot. I’m impatient and frustrated (I’m not blaming outside factors as this is my journey and I recognize I’ve travelled a good way too). I do have a plan now though, as sooner or later I need to get down to business (starting in a few days). 2 courses to plow through with a different approach (not looking up words every two seconds) then je mettrai le cap sur le territoire natif. I’m still really wanting to get back to Dutch and the only way to hold it back is to reach C1 (then perhaps C2) very fast as I am getting tired of waiting. Unrealistic perhaps in 12 months, so I could add Dutch without passing C1, but I’ll certainly sit it (the exam) and from there, we’ll see.

Edit: Thanks everyone for the wealth of great advice and putting up with me despite perhaps frustrations from your perpective.
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby Sarafina » Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:21 pm

sillygoose1 wrote:I'm going to go against the grain a bit here. I don't think a C1 or a C2 takes as long as some people make it out to. Then again, I've had some different circumstances. I've stuck to French for three years before I started another language, about six years total now; I'm a young guy with no real responsibilities yet; and I continue to only focus on French a lot.

I could have achieved a higher level earlier. How? By not being afraid of failure early on and just diving right into it. One reason why it took me so long was because if I couldn't understand a dialogue in a show, I'd get frustrated and leave French for a few weeks. I babied myself way too much and didn't want to leave my comfort zone. I was scared that I was wasting time listening to material that I couldn't even understand. One day, I said the hell with this and just decided to marathon a few series because I wanted to see them and there were no subs available in English. After about 50 episodes, everything was clear to me. I caught on and did the same with novels. 500 pages didn't scare me anymore and I learned a lot of vocab. Then I just started to get bored and watch movies. Now I can understand like 90-95% of what I watch in French from shows like Engrenages and Braquo to standup comedy to movies. The marathon of movies, books, and series took me about 6 months. But as I said, I was out of school and work for medical reasons and had literally nothing else to do. I probably reached a higher level in less than 6 months but I didn't notice because it was fun.

Basically, you need to stop "studying." It's time to bust out of your shell and get into it. Pick up some classic literature, watch an easy sitcom then progress onto harder material. I'd recommend H and Nos chers voisins.


That's my exact problem. When I watch a challenging TV series in French and I come across a wall of dialogue that is incomprehensible to me. I get discouraged and avoid listening to French for days.
Did you have a specific listening strategy beyond just binge-watching TV series and movies?
Did you try to transcribe or repeat scenes over and over again if you didn't understand?
Which TV series did you marathon initially?
How hours per day did you spend just listening during that six month period?
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Re: Time from B2 to C1/C2? (frustrated somewhat- seeking some feedback pls)

Postby sillygoose1 » Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:32 pm

Sarafina wrote:That's my exact problem. When I watch a challenging TV series in French and I come across a wall of dialogue that is incomprehensible to me. I get discouraged and avoid listening to French for days.
Did you have a specific listening strategy beyond just binge-watching TV series and movies?
Did you try to transcribe or repeat scenes over and over again if you didn't understand?
Which TV series did you marathon initially?
How hours per day did you spend just listening during that six month period?


Sorry for the late reply.

I didn't have a specific strategy. I'm someone who prefers extensive rather than intensive so I don't rewatch series or use flashcards or transcribe anything. I just bombarded myself with series of all levels. Un gars, une fille with Jean Dujardin and Alexandra Lamy, Camera Cafe, Scenes de Menage, Bref, and Kaamelott were first. With really short episode times. I remember that Bref was hard at first because of how fast he talks. Kaamelott was the most difficult at the time. You need to constantly push your limits but not too much.

I'd say there were days where I reached 5-6 hours a day but I always made sure to do at least 2 hours. I remember being mentally exhausted and light headed from it. I figured this was just my brain adapting to the language.

Films are going to be more difficult than TV series. For me, it's almost like a different skill. You could probably get away with light romcoms, but they will discourage you more until you can successfully understand a TV series. Also use novel length audiobooks without the text.
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