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Question (That is all I do!)

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Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:25 pm

It seems that many of you speak French. So my question is: how did you arrive to the ability to speak French? 8)
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 1:57 pm

My mother has spoken French ever since I can remember-usually when she was discussing something with my grandparents that she didn't want me to understand. Naturally, that fueled my desire to learn! <br /><br />I started out with a wonderful little book that had fairy tales (Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty) in it. Each line of the story was in three lines; one line in French, the next in French with phonetic spelling (i.e., Kess kuh seh? for Qu'est que c'est?) and the third line in English. <br /><br />I read through that book just like any other storybook for several years. When I was about twelve, some friends gave me some very old French grammars, which I loved, and I've been studying in them, off and on, ever since. <br /><br />Also, Mamma has several of her children's books, some of which came over from Belgium with her, and I read them, with the help of a good dictionary. I also use a little French reader that I enjoy very much. <br /><br />All in all, I'm a long way from perfect, but I'm improving! <br /><br />Keesa<br /><br />
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Sun Aug 17, 2003 2:00 pm

Would you recommend to me the French language? I have considered learning it for some time. However, I was discouraged when I was told that it is nearly impossible to master the pronunciation of the language.
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Milito » Sun Aug 17, 2003 5:39 pm

[quote author=Lumen_et_umbra link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4203 date=1061126708]<br />It seems that many of you speak French. So my question is: how did you arrive to the ability to speak French? 8)<br />[/quote]<br /><br />I'm in Canada, so French in school is mandatory up to a certain level. After that, I just kept at it because I enjoyed it. Now working for the government, we're penalized for not knowing it well enough, so I still use it, though not well enough to avoid penalization.... :P<br /><br />On pronounciation, that depends on how you are with languages in general, what other languages you know, and who you're learning the French from. There are many different French accents around, as goes for English, Russian, and probably any other language spoken in multiple parts of the world. I am always going to be fairly lousy as far as speaking without an accent goes, but I can distinguish between around 3 different Quebecois accents, and can tell a Parisian accent apart from those, too. I suspect that there are probably different accents depending on which part of France you're from, too. I wouldn't worry too much about pronounciation - worry about communication. After you have gained the ability to communicate, it's easier to work on pronounciation by immersion, so to speak. Individual accents change as people adapt their ways of speaking - very unconsciously, too! - to conform to the people around them.<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Skylax » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:17 pm

[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4208 date=1061128645]<br />(i.e., Kess kuh seh? for Qu'est que c'est?) and the third line in English. <br /><br />Keesa<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />And Keesa is "Qui ça?", it isn't ?
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Skylax » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:18 pm

[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4208 date=1061128645]<br />(i.e., Kess kuh seh? for Qu'est que c'est?) and the third line in English. <br /><br />Keesa<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />And Keesa is "Qui ça?", it isn't ?
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Episcopus » Sun Aug 17, 2003 8:21 pm

I also in school am in French classes but that is literally memorizing sentences "Ou est-tu allé en vacances?" without actually knowing whence the construction of it comes about. <br />School here is awful and the class is sad...without any grammar books everyone in the class merely says "Ta mère" or "X mon évêque" and the teacher just laughs. Not her fault, it's the set national curriculum; I wish that I could persuade her to teach in a different manner but I'd be suspended for insulting a teacher's teaching skills and I can't do that again :'( <br /><br />I have a french dictionary with grammar in the back. I read it casually de temps en temps ;) <br />It's my friend although it may suck. I am thankful that French is easy as it requires very little effort to be able to converse well. <br /><br />I'm going to France in a week so this will certainly be a welcome test!
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:05 pm

[quote author=Skylax link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4237 date=1061151509]<br />[quote author=Keesa link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4208 date=1061128645]<br />(i.e., Kess kuh seh? for Qu'est que c'est?) and the third line in English. <br /><br />Keesa<br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />And Keesa is "Qui ça?", it isn't ?<br />[/quote]<br /><br />Yes! <br /><br />As far as pronunciation goes, I am still awful at it. However, I can generally make my grandparents understand me, which is something, at least. The pronunciation is not all that hard...not as hard as Gaelic, at least. And apart from that, it's an easy language to learn. I would reccommend it! <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby klewlis » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:19 pm

Well, my brother and I are the only people I know who managed to get through the Canadian school system without ever taking a french class... by the time I was old enough to actually start concentrating on french rather than simply singing the national anthem in french, I was being homeschooled. Then I attended a private school for several years and they did not offer french, and by the time I got back to public school I was in grade 10 and they said there was no point in forcing the issue at such a late age... so they gave me the option of french or spanish, and I took spanish!<br /><br />ok so I'm not really answering your question... however, these days I find myself wishing that I knew my country's second official language so I might take some classes within the next year or two... we will see. :)
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Keesa » Sun Aug 17, 2003 9:59 pm

I enjoy learning French. Someday I hope to know it well enough to impress my grandparents. For now, I"m just glad to know it well enough to be able to read Mamma's children's books and articles from Le Monde, with the help of my beloved dictionary. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Milito » Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:50 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4238 date=1061151663]<br />I also in school am in French classes but that is literally memorizing sentences "Ou est-tu allé en vacances?" without actually knowing whence the construction of it comes about. <br />[/quote]<br /><br />I sympathize, because I got to hate French for exactly that reason, until we got a terrific teacher in Grade 9. (She was Dutch....) She got into the grammar and the why and how it all fit together, and got us actually using it. All of a sudden I liked it a lot better! She did do some of the old boring "standard curriculum" stuff (because she had to...) but did add a whole lot of other work and projects which really caused enthusiasm for the subject to explode. Hang in there - you may yet find a similar teacher! (Who may or may not be Dutch!)<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Episcopus » Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:01 pm

You are lucky then! <br /><br />This teacher whom I have is new and it is unlikely that she be leaving soon. <br />I actually am quite friendly with her; she's great and not arrogant like the majority of teachers. However I can not persuade her to teach differently (we are not allowed to learn!)<br /><br />"I can not persuade her to teach" <br /><br />How would that be done in Latin? Would the "ei" be "eam" as subject of infinitive? And there are two infinitives there! :o
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Milito » Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:07 pm

"Eam" would be the subject of the infinitive (the "to persuade" one).... The other infinitive (the "to teach" one) only LOOKS like an infinitive! In both English and Latin it's actually a gerund!! <br /><br />Example: 'To teach' is what she needs to do..... <br /><br />I suspect that Dr D'Ooge will cover this quite thoroughly at some point.....<br /><br />Kilmeny
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Episcopus » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:19 pm

Indeed he shall, after successive lessons on the 3rd, 4th, 5th declensions. :'(
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Lumen_et_umbra » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:29 pm

[quote author=Milito link=board=6;threadid=492;start=0#4351 date=1061243424]<br />I sympathize, because I got to hate French for exactly that reason, until we got a terrific teacher in Grade 9. (She was Dutch....) She got into the grammar and the why and how it all fit together, and got us actually using it. <br /><br />Kilmeny<br />[/quote]<br /><br />The absolute best way to learn is to learn the basics and build from there naturally (as I have said many times.) The most inefficient means of learning anything is to learn on a "case by case" basis. I absolutely hate it. At its culmination of egregiousness, people learn to respond with an exact phrase after hearing another phrase with which they have associated the former.
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Carola » Tue Aug 19, 2003 4:21 am

We were very lucky at school to have an excellent teacher and also a French lady who came in once a week to conduct a "conversation" class where everything you said had to be in French. Our family also had (this is many years ago) some Egyptian friends who spoke french and I was able to converse with them. We are lucky being such a multicultural country because it is easy to find someone to practice with. I even learnt some Swahili when I was younger (although I can't remember any of it now!) We have always had a lot of overseas students here from Africa & Asia. My French is a bit rusty now but if I have to I get it back again very quickly.
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:26 am

When my mother went back to Belgium a few years ago (by that I mean, a few years before I was born!), she says that for the first week, she was thinking in English, and she had to translate everything from French into English. After a week, though, something "clicked", and she started thinking in French and talking in French and dreaming in French. Then, when she came back to the United States, she had to do it all over again. <br /><br />The funniest thing is, because she was eight years old when she immigrated, she was thinking and dreaming in French, but with the vocabulary of an eight-year-old. <br /><br />Keesa
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Episcopus » Tue Aug 19, 2003 2:15 pm

I agree lumen. <br /><br />I simply do not be able to understand why we must do a 2 YEAR! course memorizing stupid sentences which supposedly teach us to communicate in another language.<br /><br />When all is said and done, all that we do is memorize letters. <br />That is not french. <br /><br />Really 'education' is run here by arrogant adults with no clue. <br />
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Re:Question (That is all I do!)

Postby Keesa » Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:34 pm

[quote author=Episcopus link=board=6;threadid=492;start=15#4418 date=1061302518]<br />I agree lumen. <br /><br />I simply do not be able to understand why we must do a 2 YEAR! course memorizing stupid sentences which supposedly teach us to communicate in another language.<br /><br />When all is said and done, all that we do is memorize letters. <br />That is not french. <br /><br />Really 'education' is run here by arrogant adults with no clue. <br /><br />[/quote]<br /><br />I couldn't agree more, at least about public (and private!) education here in the States...I don't know what i would have done if I hadn't been homeschooled. <br /><br />Have you heard of Charlotte Mason, Episcopus? She was an education pioneer in England sometime within the last two hundred years (okay, hundred and fifty) and Colette and I were raised on her teaching methods. They work so well it's incredible. <br /><br />Keesa
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