Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

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Morgana
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Postby Morgana » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:20 am

Last edited by Morgana on Mon Nov 25, 2019 5:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby zjones » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:40 pm

Greek

Words that start with Π/π are driving me crazy. Here are a handful that I'm trying to remember in Greek (I did not include all the variations on each word):

πιο = plus
ποιος = lequel
προς = vers
πίσω = derrière
ποσος = combien
που = qui/que
πού = où

I'm on lesson 24 of Assimil Le Grec, and we're still talking about boats! I understand that island and boats are a large part of Greek culture, but I'm itching to move on from this topic. It looks like it's only on lesson 32 that we get off the boat and onto Kalonissos. Another thing: I'm not sure if Kalonissos is a real island or not, the Greek word is Καλόνησος and apparently the French translation is Kalonissos but if I search Google for that term it directs me to Alonissos or Thassos. Assimil says Kalonissos is close to the Turkish coast. :|
Last edited by zjones on Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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avalon
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby avalon » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:31 pm

Your second π-word should be spelled ποιος. I'm guessing it was merely a typo, but I wanted to make sure you weren't learning it wrong!

Keep up the good work :)
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zjones
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby zjones » Sun Dec 09, 2018 9:56 pm

avalon wrote:Your second π-word should be spelled ποιος. I'm guessing it was merely a typo, but I wanted to make sure you weren't learning it wrong!

Keep up the good work :)


Yes, it was a typo, but thank you for pointing it out so I can fix it! :)
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby avalon » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:22 am

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just here to drop off some π-words.

ποιανού = whose
πάνω = above, up
πως = that (conjunction)
πάλι = again
πια = (no) longer, (no) more
πριν = before, ago
πάντα = always (but it's also a panda, so that's cool)


:P
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby Skynet » Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:42 am

zjones wrote: My goal for 2019 is to take the DELF B1.

I am delighted to see that you want to sit the DELF exam in 2019. That is something great to be working towards.

MamaPata wrote:I wouldn't bother taking the B1. I definitely think you could pass B2 with just a little more work.

I have to second MamaPata that you could easily pass the B2. You have worked really hard on your French this year, and if there is anyone that I know who can do it, it's you!

zjones wrote: I think it would be better to take the B1 and pass, rather than take the B2 and not pass. Later I can take the B2, and I'll know what taking the DELF is like.

I was contemplating postponing my B2 exam and taking the C1 at the end of 2019 instead. I concluded that I would be ready for the C1 since I was already plowing through course books designed for B2+/C1. Perhaps I was being hubristic. In any case, I am happy that I read this because it knocked some sense into me. I would rather pass the B2 comfortably and work towards the C1, instead of quantum-leaping to C1 in one fell swoop.
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby zjones » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:35 am

I've crossed a line with my French!

Before I start reading heavily (probably around September), I could hold written conversations in French for about 30 minutes to an hour, often using English to clarify a point that I couldn't explain or to ask how to write a specific sentence. My sentences were very simple and contained lots of mistakes. After an hour I was exhausted and often ended the conversation or switched to English entirely. For October and November, I took a break from almost all French social interaction, and I chose to read instead. I read a few Harry Potters and three other YA books.

Now I've found a couple new LEs and I can see the difference in my written conversation abilities. My sentences are longer, I use a greater variety of structures, and it's less exhausting for me to write. I chatted for a total of 6 hours yesterday and today, seulement en français. For certain topics I depend on a dictionary. I only use words that I already know, but some are not in my active vocabulary and need to be refreshed in the middle of a conversation.

Here are some examples (I want to be able to look back on my progress in several months), I'm sure some contain mistakes:

  • Oui, c'est un peu tard en France ! Ne t'en fais pas, je me reveille très tôt, donc la prochaine fois je peux te parler plus tôt dans la journée.
  • Intéressant. J'ai regardé une série sur Netflix qui s'appelle "The Horn" où il y a beaucoup de suisses allemands parler l'anglais. Leurs accents étaient très drôles et plutôt forts.
  • Ah oui, diagnostiquer des apnées sont un élément essentiel dans son travail.
  • J'aime aussi l'histoire française, bien que je ne sache pas beaucoup sur ce sujet. La Révolution est particulièrement intéressante. C'était sanglant, mais j'apprécie les Lumières, et leurs idées (certaines, pas toutes !)

I definitely think that lots of input (i.e. reading) has helped me internalize specific phrases and express myself more easily. I can "hear" specific turns of phrase in my head before I write them, because I purposely sub-vocalize when I read. My new goal is to learn more colloquial expressions and increase my sentence variety, but I'm happy with where I am especially considering that I've barely produced any written French in the last couple months.

All those accent signs are a PITA, though. Sans blague.
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby Cavesa » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:23 pm

Whichever level you pick, I recommend focusing on that one level and practicing and practicing. It is possible to change your mind at the last moment (I was advised C2 instead of C1 shortly before signing up), but I think it is better to choose in time. As I have written in many threads, the French exams differ in form much more from one level to another than for example the Cambridge exams. Especially the writing assignments. I think I shouldn't invade your log and rewrite everything here.

Based on my impressions from your log, I think you could aim for B2. But if you want to be sure, if you want to progress more comfortably and slowly, and if money is not a problem, B1 can be a nice first step. After all, you can take the B2 half a year later, if your B1 result looks too good :-)

6 hours in two days!!!! Awesome!

I definitely think that lots of input (i.e. reading) has helped me internalize specific phrases and express myself more easily. I can "hear" specific turns of phrase in my head before I write them, because I purposely sub-vocalize when I read. My new goal is to learn more colloquial expressions and increase my sentence variety, but I'm happy with where I am especially considering that I've barely produced any written French in the last couple months.


Yes! Welcome to the crowd of people saying this! Reading is important! Let's travel back in time and shout it at all those "but shouldn't you rather study what you are told and spend time more wisely than on reading books for fun, like sports?" people! :-D

There are lots of books with colloquial language used. And they are fun. And you can enjoy them without any shame you may feel about some of them, if you were reading them in English :-D
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby zjones » Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Cavesa wrote:Whichever level you pick, I recommend focusing on that one level and practicing and practicing. It is possible to change your mind at the last moment (I was advised C2 instead of C1 shortly before signing up), but I think it is better to choose in time. As I have written in many threads, the French exams differ in form much more from one level to another than for example the Cambridge exams. Especially the writing assignments. I think I shouldn't invade your log and rewrite everything here.

Based on my impressions from your log, I think you could aim for B2. But if you want to be sure, if you want to progress more comfortably and slowly, and if money is not a problem, B1 can be a nice first step. After all, you can take the B2 half a year later, if your B1 result looks too good :-)

6 hours in two days!!!! Awesome!

I definitely think that lots of input (i.e. reading) has helped me internalize specific phrases and express myself more easily. I can "hear" specific turns of phrase in my head before I write them, because I purposely sub-vocalize when I read. My new goal is to learn more colloquial expressions and increase my sentence variety, but I'm happy with where I am especially considering that I've barely produced any written French in the last couple months.


Yes! Welcome to the crowd of people saying this! Reading is important! Let's travel back in time and shout it at all those "but shouldn't you rather study what you are told and spend time more wisely than on reading books for fun, like sports?" people! :-D

There are lots of books with colloquial language used. And they are fun. And you can enjoy them without any shame you may feel about some of them, if you were reading them in English :-D


Merci Cavesa! Thanks for your tips regarding the DELF. Im January I will make a solid decision about which DELF I'm going to take, although I'm almost certain it will be the B1. Just thinking about taking the B2 and possibly failing makes me want to hide under the covers and never come out. The last time I took a standardized test was my driving test when I was 18 (although I know that's different from an academic test).

I agree, reading widely is important! Young adult books are my favorite way to get French input, but starting in January I'll try to take my French to a new level by adding lots of variety in my reading. I don't like reading news in English, but I want to be able to read it in French. I also want to start reading books intended for adults in multiple genres. I already started reading French poetry and I love all the beautiful vocabulary!

I highly recommend for anyone in the intermediate stage to read native material voraciously. Start with whatever is easiest to understand, and then branch out from there.
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Re: Zelda's French Log (+ Modern Greek)

Postby zjones » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:04 pm

Modern Greek and change in tempo with Assimil Le Grec

I'm not sure if I plan to go ahead with one Assimil lesson per day as I initially planned. I am now at lesson 29 and struggling under the load of new vocabulary and verb conjugations. Lack of time during the day is not the issue, I'm currently spending 90+ minutes per day on this course, doing a mix of listening, reading, writing, chorusing, word lists and occasional flashcards, and I still feel like I'm not really understanding the language (see below for an explanation).

The most worrisome lack of progress is in my listening comprehension. I start each Assimil lesson with several blind listens, and then I follow up by looping each section of text in Audacity several times while still refraining from looking at the text. I barely understand anything, although I have learned at least 60% of the vocabulary in each given lesson. To test my listening, I went back to listen to lessons 8-14, and there were large chunks of audio that I could only understand because I was drawing from memory of learning that lesson. (I'm not sure if that makes sense. Basically when I hear something like γιατί τα εισιτήρια είναι πιο φθηνά I understand it NOT because I know all the constituent parts and recognize the words, but because the previous sentence triggered my memory to say, "Oh yeah, that sentence meant because the tickets are cheaper.")

I'm not saying that I've learned nothing, but that I constantly feel like I'm working with i+3. Maybe this works for some people, but I don't feel like I'm really grasping the vocabulary or sentence structure. It seems like more time is needed to digest the material over days, not just 24 hours. I was just listening to an old polyglot gathering video where Assimil marketers (I think?) mentioned that they recommended doing 1-2 lessons per week when starting with a language like Persian, and spending several months to a year working with the specific course.

This is the Polyglot Gathering video in case you were wondering, the relevant part is at about 53:00, and unlike most of the video this part is in English.

---

I haven't made any decisions about what I'm going to do next, but there are a few options. I can continue from lesson 29 and work on one lesson every 2-3 days, or I can go back to Lesson 10 and try the same thing. I can also continue at my same pace to lesson 50, gaining as much exposure as I can, and then go back to Lesson 10 and do it all over again and hope by the time I reach lesson 50 I have a better foundation in the language.

I'd be curious if anyone else has had to do this with a course. (i.e. Please validate me.)

I started using Iverson's word lists method to help with new vocabulary, which, if you look at this random webpage I found online listing the new vocabulary from each lesson, is about ~10 new words per lesson. Word lists are a lot nicer than Anki in my opinion, but I've even resorted to using Anki, which I hate, to drill the aorist verb forms.
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