dbskyler: (DT and Lis)
[personal profile] dbskyler
It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/karaoke-fle/index.php/fr

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-22 12:49 am (UTC)
pitry: (manly muppet)
From: [personal profile] pitry
Duolingo is weird, isn't it? It's fantastic for practicing languages you already have a basis in - and especially vocab, which is forever my nemesis - but it doesn't work as well to learn a language from scratch, I find.

Songs are fantastic for learning language though. I'm back to learning Arabic and I just find them so helpful in learning vocab - they give me an example sentence to use the word in! And I listen to it repeatedly so it works very well. (And also there's that moment of victory when I'm listening to a song for the umpteenth time and finally realise I understand a few more words! \0/)

Anyway, g'luck with French!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-23 02:26 am (UTC)
pitry: (turtle)
From: [personal profile] pitry
Oh, I'm pretty used to studying from patterns! I think though the patterns that I've seen in Duolingo aren't enough, though. But that may just be a linguist rambling thing :) I haven't heard of tinycards though! I'll probably need to look for that.

I am lucky with Arabic in the fact that I've learned the standard language before, so that's not a problem, but now I'm learning the spoken language which is a totally different kettle of fish! (Well, and I'm also lucky in that it has a lot in common with Hebrew :) ) But it's fun, it's a beautiful language.

Hurrah! For youtube - and as for Hebrew letters, I think Duolingo should probably be good for that! I haven't tried their Hebrew course (obviously :D) but they definitely have an alphabet section for languages that don't use the regular Latin one!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-22 07:23 am (UTC)
lost_spook: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Oh, that's really cool! It sounds like a useful and fun way to do it. I'm very impressed at your reading fic in French. (I hope the fic is good!)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-06-22 07:31 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
Cool. :-)

And I insist on my right to be impressed! It's easy to sit back and say you wish you'd kept up with your French, another to actually get up and do it, whatever the means - and well enough to start using it in small ways, too.

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