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    (almost) French

ductypu's Achievements


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  1. Just posting to give you guys a hint that has helped me improve my grasp of the language by leaps and bounds-- Read Philosophy! Seriously it keeps you on your toes like nothing else that I've encountered, especially with complex arguments made by the likes of Sartre, Derrida, and Foucalt. I would recommend Voltaire as a good starting point as there are plenty of readily available translations and guides to help the student of French work your way through. I saw that a few people have mentioned Candide, but his "Dictionnaire philosophique" is also an incredibly interesting work. Plus, the fact that it is structured like an encyclopedia makes it somewhat easier to manage. Rather than facing down the terrifying prospect of tackling a whole book written in a foreign language, you can break up your reading into smaller chunks. It does get easier! Bon chance mes amis!
  2. It's not the first french film I've ever seen, but I have to highly recommend "The Intouchables" The film gives a cool perspective of both the more affluent french and that which is spoken by the lower 'class.' Basically, the movie focuses around the friendship of a poor, black, algerian caretaker who becomes the unlikely caretaker of a filthy-rich quadriplegic. I'm normally not into that sentimental nonsense, but it's a solid french-film that exposes you to different facets of the language-- Enjoy!
  3. I always use vouloir when I'm ordering, because commander has a harsh connotation in English. Am I right in thinking that it doesn't sound particularly nice in French either? Or is it perfectly fine to say "Je commande le chat pour mon dîner." Well, I'm sure it's not perfectly fine to say that in any language, but you catch my drift.
  4. Hey guys, I was thinking that it would be really cool if we could have a sub-forum dedicated to providing a place for finding a French-buddy to help learn the language with. We could organize skype conferences, find pen-pals, and just make this place an overall closer community. It's difficult to practice conversation for those of us who are learning on our own, so I think that it would provide a great deal of value to see something like that. Any other ideas to help getting us talking? Let me know!
  5. I understand what you're saying, but PIN has become so idiomatic that it's going to be used that way no matter what. I completely agree with you, but I think it's just best to let it slide, rather than correct people on it. Another favorite of mine is "I have to go to the ATM Machine." Ugh, I'm getting heated just thinking about it.
  6. From what I understand, a lot of the bad-rap that French speakers have for giving non-native french speakers a problem when they try and speak French is from these exchanges occurring in Paris. You have to remember that Paris, like NYC, is a tourist magnet. Unlike New Yorkers though, most Parisians speak English. I'm sure that you'd be annoyed if you ran into thirty people every day struggling to ask for directions to the Eiffel tower en français, when both of you would clearly have a much easier time just getting through the exchange in English. Apparently once you get out of Paris, people tend to warm up to non-native speakers.
  7. I would highly recommend Milan Kundera's "Unbearable Lightness of Being". It's not at all an easy read, so beware if you're inexperienced, but it's a beautiful and insightful book-- a real modern(ish) classic. Plus, I believe that Kundera himself penned the French translation, so if that's the language you're coming from, then you'd be able to read the two side-by-side! "Tropic of Cancer" by Henry Miller, and "Hollywood" by Charles Bukowski are the last two that I've read and both are excellent as well.
  8. I like calling people nonsensical things, because it usually confuses them so much to the point that they don't know whether you're insulting them or complimenting them. Some examples would be: Turnip, Farfanoogin, mail-box, bean-bag. I'm not sure if this would help non-native speakers though...Actually, it would be brilliant, because people would think that you were confusing your nonsensical word with a real word and would be just fill in the blanks themselves, haha!
  9. Je m'appelle Josh! Okay, that's enough for now, I'm still a bit nervous to use my french, but I'm slowly getting over it. I just wanted to say hi to you all, and let you know that I'm glad to have finally found a forum to start getting my sh*t together. I've got about 4 years of HS french, and a year in College, so I'm proficient, but nowhere near fluent. My conversational and listening skills have a long way to go! Looking forward to meeting you all! Talk to you soon!
  10. I'm particulalry fond of 'ennui'. It's not beautiful in the sense that it is pleasant to hear, though it certainly isn't grating. For one it's beautifully tragic how it so succinctly defines an era of disenfranchised and dismayed french youth struggling for reform in the 60s. Plus, I just like to be a bit gloomy sometimes :devil: :ninja:
  11. I've always found that the hardest part about speaking french, was having the gall to actually start speaking! I mean, compared to my classmates, I'm always far ahead of them in terms of ability, but there's always something that makes me too nervous to actually speak it in real scenarios. I feel as though french speakers are a bit protective about their language, so I really have to just dive right in and accept that I'm going to be criticized to hell, if I ever want to attain fluency.
  12. In case you don't know what I'm talking about, Duolingo is a completely free app available on web, ios, and android. You can check it out at Duolingo.com. Its format is similar to that of Rosetta stone, but, of-course it's free, so it's not nearly as sophisticated. Just so you know where I'm coming from, I have 4 years of French from high school, so I'd consider my skill range from intermediate-novice. I haven't taken the language since high school, which was back in 2008, so needless to say-- I've become a bit rusty. Since I've started using the app this January, I've noticed a huge increase in my vocab, but not so much in my listening/conversational skills. If you’re looking to achieve fluency, you’re not going to do it solely through Duolingo, but it’s certainly not going to hurt. The convenience that the app affords lets you work on French no matter where you may be, whether you’re at the doctor’s office, on the toilet, in church, or playing on your phone in French class. I’d like to hear if you more experienced guys have tried the app, and what you’d have to say about it, so please let me know! (PS- If you’d like to add me on Duolingo, my username is ‘duct’… I’m up to level 9! :-D)
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