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Everything posted by ScratchNSniff

  1. Another possible method is to take a book you know in english, and buy the french translation. Try and read the french, and when you find yourself stuck you'll have the english right there. It's better than trying to use google translate or something, because the direct translation doesn't always work out.
  2. I used to think I had a great accent, but it turned out I was over pronouncing words. Words like "voiture" and “chaussure", that long "u" sound I'm told I say poorly. It's said with more breath than I'm used to. And some other sounds are difficult for me. On the other hand I'm told I say some things perfectly, so it helps with the process of learning to have that kind of feedback.
  3. I find that a good way to discover new movies or songs, is to take the french director or the artist you know and look for their other work. Odds are if you like one you'll like more from the same person. In this case, check out Jean-Pierre Jeunet, he directed Amélie and has done some great films in a similar style, but also other films in different styles.
  4. I've switched most of my language preferences to french. Like facebook, gmail, any site where I can set a language. Just so I'm forced to deal with the language sometimes. When you're writing in another language, switch the spellcheck options to the language. But it's an active process, you have to read, write, speak often. Find some people who speak french and try and tell someone a story, your grammar will be awful but it will force you to explain something in the words you do know. Learn the little phrases like, "What's the word for?", "I don't understand, could you please repeat" in french so that you can use them in conversation. It shows your willing to learn and people will take their time with you.
  5. It's really impressive when people can translate on the fly during a conversation, being a full translator requires some skillsets beyond just knowing 2 languages. Translating on the fly during a film sounds almost impossible. It depends on the movie I suppose, if there aren't many scenes with tons of dialogue then you might be able to keep pace with the movie. And for comedies, and play on words, some things just don't translate well so then you have spend time explaining. Sounds like an exhausting way to watch the movie, for all parties involved.
  6. Just 'bilingualism' doesn't mean much. Just any two languages won't get you very far. Within certain industries, certain languages are more prevalent so it's possible to be more successful if you know the right languages for your career/life. It seems English is a useful language to know in addition to your native language. If your native language is English, think of who your industry does business with? Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, there are some big languages our there that *can* greatly improve your ability to do business and be successful. But necessary? I don't think so.
  7. I've been writing a lot in french lately, especially emails, and I found it annoying to constantly type é, à, ç, etc. You can use Alt-codes on some computers, but I find it tedious. I found an extension for the Chrome web browser Accents Plus, free. It works pretty well though I wish there was a hotkey to turn it on and off. they way it works is you press Alt and/or Ctrl after a letter and it switches through accented variations. Not bad, and I've been using it for about a week. I do most of my writing online, so this extension works for me, but I'd like a system wide solution. What do you use to type characters not on your native keyboard?
  8. One of my favorite things to do is speak a foreign language in public. I live in the United States and it's a fair bet anywhere you go that people won't understand the casual foreign language spoken with reasonable proficiency. I've recently become ’strong' in french, and let me tell you, speaking with a friend in public in another language opens up all sorts of possibilities. It's like a private conversation. You can talk about personal affairs in public, you can talk all the **** you want you want. I know it's incredibly rude, but oh man, is it fun. Especially great if it's your significant other and you can say fun dirty things to each other and no ones the wiser. Anyone else do this?
  9. I took 3 years and high school and kept with it a little bit. I watched movies I knew well in french, or with french subtitles. I pretended like I spoke french ok, then I went to france for a 6 weeks. My french was practically useless to converse but I retained a lot of the rules and conjugations I learned in school. During this time my french rapidly increased and I'm almost fluent now. I plan to go back for a year there. I noticed that at first I while retained a lot, I couldn't think fast enough to reply so I'd just sit there silent trying to find the right words. But after speaking exclusively french for a few months you'll be amazed how much you pick up. I suppose what I'm suggesting is, if you really want to learn french, or any language. Immerse yourself, it's almost the only way to truly learn a language. Speak it, hear it, live it.
  10. J'habite aux États-Unis mais bientôt je vais déménager à France! J'ai connu une fille quand j'y ai visité. Avant j'ai visité j'ai pris 3 ans de la langue française en Lycée. J'ai parlé mauvais quand j'ai quitté les États-Unis. J'espère que mon français est assez pour une année en France. J'ai peur, et j'ai hâte aussi.
  11. I used to be such a stickler for grammar and spelling. I'd get so caught up on the form that I wouldn't even bother trying to understand what the person was trying to say. If it's incomprehensible that's one thing, but good conversations often come to an end simply because a person used the wrong form of 'your'. So long as the person is making an effort and not typing all their words without vowels I'm pretty leniant, but might gently hint or remind them of the correct usage. It irks me still, but I try to let it go.
  12. I am of the belief that you are fully allowed to break any rule you like... once you understand the rules. When a writer purposefully uses bad grammar or odd spellings to convey a message it can enhance the poem or other creative writing piece. One can ask 'why' they made these choices. And it can give more possibilities when you stretch the bounds of conventional language. Now as for the writer who doesn't bother to learn and just writes willy-nilly, it often shows that they don't fully grasp higher-level writing. It can impact how I much I can appreciate the piece.
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