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  1. #21
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    No, I did, it's still there... you're tripping!!!

    I can tell that was a Google translator job lol it's translated every word directly from English word for word, heh, but I can understand it perfectly

    Yeah there are chat rooms like Quebec-francais Portail where you can chat, read and listen. Chat rooms are great for practice cos it's speeding your comprehension and composition up like in speech, but in text too so it improves everything except pronunciation, but try saying things as you type them. Or if you listen to the radio staions that webcast as you're chat-rooming, and occasionally repeat things you hear to try the pronunciation. Radio Courtoisie is a good station with plenty of talking on it - many others are largely English music with little actual talking.
    Thanks for the advice! Living in Canada, I can always watch the French CBC station. There might be an french CBC radio station, too... plus I can watch The Simpsons in french on the DVD's.

    Thanks for the chat portal, too, I'll look over it, and it will be useful when I get to the point I can actually write.

    Do you have any tips on how to improve basic writing skills? To participate in a forum, you'd need to be able to form sentances that make sense... any tips on how to learn to write up to that point?

    And what exactly is the order of words in french? If I knew that, it would probably be a big step forward in learning to write.

  2. #22
    Senior Member sandwich's Avatar
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    I liked the idea of reading something you already know in the language. For Hebrew, I tried reading from the Tanach, but there was the whole issue of it being Biblical vs. modern, so sometimes I'll check Hebrew news sites.

    Fortunately for French they have some great movies! Is there a significant difference between the French in Quebec and France?

  3. #23
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by runvardh View Post
    Your use of German reminds me of my use of French when I was taking it in school - my French teachers loved me

    I have, however been out of practice for almost 9 years so my comprehension is likely down the tubes right now.
    I know, it sucks that you slowly but surely lose it all when you don't practise.
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  4. #24
    Senior Member The Third Rider's Avatar
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    Well English is not my first language (Spanish is). I moved to the USA when I was 11 years old thus I had to learn English to succeed here. I went to mostly Spanish classes for about 3 years and taking English teaching classes for those 3 years. Than when I went to High School they basically told me since they didn’t have any Bilingual classes I was going to be forced to take classes in English even though I could hardly speak it much less write it. As expected I did miserably in almost all of my classes. However there were fellow Spanish speaking students that would help me with my work and over time I started to get more comfortable with the language to the point that is second nature to me now. I think the thing that made me learn it faster was the fact that I was forced to use it after having spent 3 years learning the basics. I do want to learn another language, may be German, I can understand Portuguese quite well actually (very similar to Spanish) or may be some Japanese.
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  5. #25
    No me digas, che! Recoleta's Avatar
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    If you have an ipod there are plenty of free language podcasts available that cover a variety of topics and difficulty levels. Just type something like "free french podcasts" into Google and you should find some useful stuff.

    I use Spanish podcasts every once in awhile, and almost daily listen to Spanish radio just to refresh my speaking and listening skills. I'm finding that since I came back to the U.S. and finished up my Spanish degree my language skills have been deteriorating despite the fact that I still work as a college Spanish tutor. It makes me so sad Reading and writing is still fine, but getting myself to speak with any kind of creative fluidity is really hard.

  6. #26
    にゃん runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    I know, it sucks that you slowly but surely lose it all when you don't practise.
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  7. #27
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwich View Post
    Fortunately for French they have some great movies! Is there a significant difference between the French in Quebec and France?
    Movies are a good idea too... there are definitely some great french movies I've heard of.

    There is a difference between Quebec french and France french. I don't know how significant it is, but the french in Quebec has a lot more english influence in it. The structure is the same, the accent is more or less the same (but it varies so much in France...), but a lot of words, especially new words for new inventions it seems, are more english. Like... I think a good example is that in France, "hot dog" has a seperate word, but in Quebec, they just say "hot dog". Its just small stuff like that, for the most part, to my knowledge. Canadian english also has more french, apparently, but I've never lived anywhere else...

  8. #28
    Senior Member Anentropic IxTx's Avatar
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    Rosetta Stone, and, for a more esoteric method, songs.

  9. #29
    Senior Member SpottingTrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    Yes.
    You have said it. Go ahead.

    The dictionary is an enemy. Never use it before you have learned the language.

    My daughter learned English by herself, at the age of 5. Not one minute of formal learning. If there had been formal learning on the side it would have been impossible.

    School destroys the language learning process.

    Read newspapers, novels, books on different subjects. Never mind if you do not understand anything in the beginning.

    Watch the dvd movie first in English. Do not pick any subtitle. It takes your attention away. Preferably, watch it as many times as you need to know it by heart.

    Then choose both audio and subtitles in French. The same thing: Go on until you know it by heart.

    Then pick up another movie. Again, watch it first in English without the subtitles. You have to learn it by heart. Then French, and only French.

    Do not mix languages. Never try to translate. Translation obstructs understanding.

    If there is a book or an article you know by heart, read it in French ten times over.
    This way appeals to me the most, it actually makes a lot of sense. I've been trying to learn German through Rosetta Stone and I find it very mundane and rigid, which is probably great for certain types of people but I can't stand it.

    Thanks for sharing.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA View Post
    But is there an effective, preferable free, way to learn a language without taking formal lessons?

    I've heard of people learning to read, write, and speak english using these techniques with good results.

    -Watching TV or DVD's (i.e. setting the language setting on a favourite DVD to whatever language you want to learn, or watching a TV channel in the language you want to learn, a little bit each day (30 minutes)

    -Reading articles (i.e. reading an online newspaper or blog in the desired language daily). Once skills improve, reading a short story or novel could be beneficial.

    -Joining message boards/forums (but only once you can actually write decent sentances. This would get a lot of practice if its a topic you enjoy)

    -Setting the language setting on a video game to the desired language (only really helps if the game has a good amount of writing in it and if you enjoy the game).

    -Listning to music in the desired language

    What are your opinions on these techniques? What do you think the best way to learn a language is?

    If I can find an interesting, fun way to gradually learn french, I'll probably do it.
    I moved to Japan got a job and learned the language on the job. Lot's of stress and pressure to perform but you will learn the language.

    Of the ways you mentioned initially reading is good. Especially comics because they are conversational in tone.

    TV/DVD are good when you get more advanced otherwise it will be a river of words.

    Finding some way to combine present hobbies/interests and the language is great.
    I read articles on strength training in Japanese.

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