French Language

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Re: What does this mean?

You make some good points Sweet17 and I agree with all of them, I wasnt advocating that you must learn like a child just that is what happens naturally when you relax and go with the flow, formal learning is of course important without it children and adults would not get to grip with grammar,conjugation, the subjonctif tenses, punctuation or just plain spelling.

I havn't had a lesson since 2007 sadly but my learning has gone in in leaps and bounds since thanks then to those very formal lessons as I build on and use the knowledge every day, without them I would become like a few people that I know that have learned in on the cuff or pillow, they understand a,d speak well but dont have the confidence to write.

As for learnin. like a child I did an intensive course of Spanish in Quito and that is exactly how we learned (or is it learnt? still weak in english) using childrens picture cards and games etc, it was a very very powerfull way of learning and I was amazed at how much we learned in such a short space of time, mind you compared to a young child we were nothing, the other key ingredient of this course was 100% total immersion once they had your money no matter what the problem was they refused to speak to me in English at the end of a couple of weeks I thanked them for this.

The first thing I did in France was to travel to Grenoble for an intensive course with a newly qualified native teacher that i met on the great barrier reef, her style of teaching was very up to date compared to my following teacher who had only trained herself some 10-15 years before, the young girl did a lot of teaching in the child type way but reinforced with grammar, tenses etc.

I suppose I am lucky in that my life in France has been 100% immersion although I didnt consider it luck for a very long time.


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Re: What does this mean?

What I am sure we would both agree on, Chance, is that it is a marvellous thing learning a new language and the thrill you get when you can understand someone and, even better, when they can understand you!

To my own surprise, when I spent a few weeks in Spain, I soon remembered lots of Spanish words that I knew from decades ago in school.  Very strange to realise that there was all that information lodged somewhere inside the brain and you can just retrieve it when you need it!


N'allez pas trop vite - Proust
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Re: What does this mean?

I don't suppose that the bar tabac is in Percy in Manche is it?

Now just how did you guess correctly Pommier ??????
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Re: What does this mean?

I was very disheartened after learning what I did of Spanish in 2004 to find that after moving here in 2005 that I rapidly lost it, just as well as I was always confusing the basic things between the languages, to this day I still mistakenly use many Spanish country names having not learned them in French, Mocambique for example.

But as you say its all locked away somewhere and they are gradually coming to the surface again, why? Because I have a young friend half French half Portuguese who also speaks Spanish and English, 4 languages puts me to shame !!! and I often hear him speaking it or Portuguese on the phone, being young of course its always in use! His girlfriend who lives in Portugal is learning French but speaks good English, its great fun when we are together as there are 3 languages going on at any one time.

And then recently to my great joy 3 young girls have joined the keep fit classes that I do, all teachers at the lycée (they might be teaching assistants) one Spanish, one German and une Anglaise, the only common language amongst us is French in which none of us individually are strong, but collectively we are and its a great atmosphere something I have really missed since travelling.

At long last I have found people who are knowledgeable of and with whom I can talk about things that occur outside of a 2km radius without them considering me like an alien or the enemy.


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Re: What does this mean?

 powerdesal wrote:
I don't suppose that the bar tabac is in Percy in Manche is it? Now just how did you guess correctly Pommier ??????

Ha ha - we used to live in Percy and he used to say the same to us, and with such a miserable expression on his face I always thought he was saying 'just push off out of my bar' (or worse!).  


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Re: What does this mean?

I had to smile to myself about an hour ago. I called my son and he wasn't in, so left a message, which was really for his girlfriend.

I don't translate when I speak in french and I heard myself finish the message, 'allez, au voir'. And then I put the phone down and was much amused. I must always say this, as I said it quite naturally. I hadn't realised.


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Re: What does this mean?

My friend who is a bit of a charmer and a salesman always finishes a telephone call with "Saleee!!!" said with a beaming smile, not that the other person can see it but to give you the idea of how it is said.

I asked him once what it meant and even to spell it but was not much the wiser, I think it started from a Belgian friend who pronounced "salut" like "Saleee!". I still cant see why the parting word on the phone would be salut Confused [8-)]

Its not one that I have copied!


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Re: What does this mean?

My sister who lives and works in France told me that she felt she had "got" French when she heard herself describing a table as "elle."

I think I will have arrived when I remember to use "si" instead of "oui" in reply to  a negative statement, and "d'accord" instead of OK.
Has anybody else any milestones they have reached or are aiming to reach in using french?

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