Zelda's 2019 French Log

Continue or start your personal language log here, including logs for challenge participants
User avatar
Chung
Green Belt
Posts: 447
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:39 pm
Languages: SPEAKS: English*, French
STUDIES: German, Italian, Slovak
STUDIED: Azeri, BCMS/SC, Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Korean, Latin, Northern Saami, Polish, Russian, Slovenian, Turkish, Ukrainian
DABBLED: Bashkir, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Inari Saami, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Latvian, Lithuanian, Meadow Mari, Mongolian, Romanian, Tatar, Turkmen, Tuvan, Uzbek
x 1771

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby Chung » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:17 pm

zjones wrote:
Cavesa wrote:That sounds great! Either you'll get one of those jobs, or an even better one, now that you're the Master of Interviews.

Out of curiosity, why on earth have you been adviced to leave French out of your resume?
It is completely weird, as a language or two are considered an awesome addition or even a must in the non anglophone countries.
It would be reasonable, if your level was really low,if you were not certified, you had too many languages there already, or knew your future boss didn't like the language for some reason, or I don't know what else. But why would you leave it out? It says only positive things about you!


I have seen mixed advice given by numerous people (here) and gotten specific advice from hiring managers (reddit). Language learners are more likely to say "Put it on the resume" but from hiring managers I hear "If it doesn't apply, leave it off" and "If they don't need to know you speak a second language if you won't need to speak it on the job." I thought it was a little bizarre.

In the interview, I did get the awkward question, "So, are you fluent?" and I waffled on that question. Looking back I wish I would have just answered in French. :lol:


The rule of thumb that I use with résumés (as applicant and hiring manger alike) is to make them no longer than one page long (i.e. one side only). Outside academia, résumés longer than that are often a turn-off. If on one page you can't fit a line about any foreign languages that you know, and you don't need to know them for the job anyway, then keep it off the résumé. Otherwise, put down in that line the foreign languages that you do know (especially if you're pretty sure that you can answer potential questions in the interview using that language). In a cover letter, I always include a sentence or two about my interest/abilities in foreign languages.

You probably know that CEFR isn't well-known on this side of the ocean so qualify your knowledge of French with something like "French - conversational", "working knowledge of French" or even "basic fluency in French".

For what it's worth, I put down my knolwedge of some foreign languages on my résumé but only those in which I'm confident that I could conduct at least part of the interview in that language. This means that I put it down as: "fluent in French, working knowledge of German, conversational ability in Hungarian, Polish, and Slovak", and it hasn't been a problem even though I've never worked anywhere where I needed to know any language other than English (my experience with Microsoft Office - especially VBA programming - has been more interesting to hiring managers). Sometimes, I've received polite questions about it, but once I got quite lucky when the hiring manager turned out to be a transplanted Slovak who was obviously curious about my skills in the interview. We switched midstream to Slovak for a few minutes and in addition to asking me about salary expectations (a good test of recalling how to use numbers in Slovak, incidentally) and my connection to the language, we found out that we had a few of the same Czech and Slovak acquaintances/friends. These definitely helped me in getting an offer.
2 x

Lawyer&Mom
Blue Belt
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:08 am
Languages: English (N), German (B2), French (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7786
x 1292

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:38 pm

I regularily interview lawyers fresh out of law school. Honestly, I want to see something interesting at the bottom of their CV. Languages, runs marathons, bakes bread, broke a world record (this happened!), whatever. I want *something* to ask them about not related to law, just to see how they interact informally.

I can’t possibly imagine languages being a negative thing, even in the US, but hey, I’m a lawyer. We like language.
3 x

User avatar
zjones
Green Belt
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:22 pm
Location: Northwest USA
Languages: English (N), French (B1 certified)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9860
x 1254

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:18 pm

Wow, lots of interesting things to think about. Thanks for the replies.

I have a resume that is split into two columns, a fat one on the left for previous jobs (3 employers, so nothing too crazy), and then on the right there is a narrow column that lists the extras: Skills, Education and Language. I'm under 30 and have not attended college so my resume is not in danger of being too long.

I can understand that languages might not be relevant for some jobs, but in administration and receptionist positions I don't think it can hurt anything. These jobs are big on communication and language is an extension of that. However I can totally understand how xenophobic employers might not like to see additional languages on resumes -- my guess is that this would be more of a problem in specific areas in the US. In addition, I needed something to refer to when explaining the gap in my work history (this is the only time I got really vague in my interviews - I felt nervous about it and I should have taken the time to practice my answer to this question).

By the way, I'm 99% sure I got the job I wanted! I have an informal offer (the owner just called and said they want me). It's totally laid back, the employer/employees are super genuine and they aren't skimping on the pay. In the interview we didn't even discuss skills, they are looking for a good personality match for their small office. Apparently my love of animals and specifically dogs was one of the main reasons they liked me. :lol:
5 x

Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3579
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
x 10686

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby Cavesa » Fri Apr 12, 2019 6:01 pm

Well, of course the languages are more important in the non anglophone countries. And even more in countries with internationally worthless official language, like mine. English is being overly demanded (even for jobs, where you don't really need it), and two languages are becoming more demanded in some fields (but slowly, as people fail to learn them very often to high level, and the young people knowing them also consider working abroad and in general are a minority on the market).

The languages are supposed to be a part of most CVs here. Perhaps not the jobs for which you don't need much of a CV at all (a basic factory worker, a construction worker, that sort of stuff). Knowing a foreing language or two is always viewed as a sign of an educated person, and associated with some good personal traits.

It sounds awesome, that someone's got such a rich CV that the languages would take away too much space :-D

in administration and receptionist positions I don't think it can hurt anything. These jobs are big on communication and language is an extension of that

Definitely! These are exactly the kinds of jobs, where an extra language (or several) should logically be an asset.

By the way, I'm 99% sure I got the job I wanted! I have an informal offer (the owner just called and said they want me). It's totally laid back, the employer/employees are super genuine and they aren't skimping on the pay. In the interview we didn't even discuss skills, they are looking for a good personality match for their small office. Apparently my love of animals and specifically dogs was one of the main reasons they liked me. :lol:

Congratulations!!!
And love of animals is an excellent quality, no wonder it helped in this context :-)
1 x

User avatar
MamaPata
Brown Belt
Posts: 1010
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:25 am
Location: London
Languages: English (N), French (C1*), Russian (B1), Spanish (B1).

Long lost: Arabic and Latin.
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3004
x 1757

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby MamaPata » Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:20 am

Congratulations!
1 x
Corrections appreciated.

User avatar
zjones
Green Belt
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:22 pm
Location: Northwest USA
Languages: English (N), French (B1 certified)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9860
x 1254

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:55 am

So yes, I did get the job! Tomorrow is my only day to train with the person who is retiring. :shock:

I need to buy a vehicle ASAP, but there is potential house stuff happening so we'll have to put down cash for the car. All of our pets are due for their vet appointments this month. Everything's happening at once and I feel like the days are flying by. Those with kids - how on earth do you do it?!!

I'm wondering how French will fit into all this. I don't want to stop learning, but I feel like it would be easy to do that if I'm not careful. Thanks to this forum I know I can work full-time, manage the household and learn a language on the side, but it's hard to imagine how that will look for me. Even 30 minutes per day of active/intensive French sounds like an accomplishment at this point. I have an hour-long lunch break, but the whole office shuts down during that time so I feel like we will all be taking lunch together.

At the very least I want to keep getting French input. I read before bed and I can watch French shows on the weekend. My 15-minute commute will be just enough time to listen to Journal en Français Facile if I want. Depending on how well I manage home cooking, I will have a few hours in the evening too.

I'm not going to make any decisions yet. After this first week I'll get a good idea of my schedule.
6 x

Lawyer&Mom
Blue Belt
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:08 am
Languages: English (N), German (B2), French (B1)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7786
x 1292

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:30 am

Just embrace the time you have. These days I’m managing 30 min bookwork, 45 minutes TV, 15 minutes reading a day. And I work full time and have two kids. Of course, my housekeeping is, uh, less than ideal. Compromises will be made. It’s okay!
3 x

hedgehog.chess
Orange Belt
Posts: 132
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:46 pm
Languages: Polish (N), English (~B2ish), German (~B2ish)
Language Log: https://tinyurl.com/yaofno9u
x 307

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby hedgehog.chess » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:15 am

zjones wrote:... Those with kids - how on earth do you do it?!!...Even 30 minutes per day of active/intensive French sounds like an accomplishment at this point.

Well the most sure and the least appealing option would be to get up a half an hour earlier then you should. Not entirely pleasant but that’s the way I’ve been doing it for two years now when I have the morning shift. Working in three shifts BTW :) You’ll be fine but you will most probably have to cut corners and prioritize. Too high expectations are your enemy.
2 x

User avatar
MrsStarez
Yellow Belt
Posts: 84
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:31 am
Location: Warwickshire
Languages: I can read and write French, but my spoken capabilities are limited. I'm looking to develop further, especially in a business sense, as I'm getting increasingly asked if I would be able to use French at work.
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... php?t=8933
x 136

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby MrsStarez » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:40 pm

Too high expectations are your enemy.


Agreed... Unfortunately I find that with a 5yo son, another son on his way, and a nearly full-time job, as well as a household to run (apart from selected bits, which I leave to my husband), multi-tasking is the way forward. You just have to accept that you can do lots of things, but probably less well, e.g. listening to a foreign language podcast whilst travelling, half-watching a TV programme whilst cooking or getting ready for work, etc. Just accept that you'll have to lower your expectations in terms of what you can achieve. Sorry, this is probably not what you were hoping to hear!
5 x

User avatar
zjones
Green Belt
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:22 pm
Location: Northwest USA
Languages: English (N), French (B1 certified)
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=9860
x 1254

Re: Zelda's 2019 French Log

Postby zjones » Wed Apr 24, 2019 1:42 pm

Weekly? Update April 23, 2019

The busyness finally died down. We just backed out of a house contract, which was stressful but definitely for the best. I got a used Honda Pilot and I LOVE IT. I've always associated cars with freedom and mobility, and our 1-car household was not ideal for me. My husband on the other hand, sees cars as a necessary evil haha. I need to check the car for an aux port to see about playing French podcasts through the speakers. However, I know there is a 6 CD changer :lol: So at least I can use my Assimil CD.

I've been getting little bits of exposure to French throughout my workday, but nothing intensive. I can play music quietly at work, so I've been opting for French playlists, although I'm still not great at understanding lyrics. Yesterday I tried to listen to a French podcast, but my keyboard was too loud for me to be able to hear over the keys clacking. :roll: Sometimes I read numbers aloud in French when entering amounts.

No reading, no intensive French. A little Journal en français facile when I'm doing my makeup in the morning, that's about it.

I started strength-training again too. I stopped exercising for 2-3 weeks, and my back started hurting more and more and I kept pulling little muscles in my shoulder. As soon as I started working out again, the pain went away.
3 x


Return to “Language logs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests