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You may remember some months ago I posted enthusiastically about teaching myself Italian with the help of a couple of friends and some online resources. Here’s the result:
I studied. I tried. I failed.
I can’t teach myself Italian. Sure, I’ve picked up a few words and phrases – and probably enough to keep out of trouble when I finally make it to Italy – but I can’t say I’ve really learned or understood anything about the language.
I came across a number of specific difficulties. I may have been able to solve them if I’d put in more effort […]
The next language on the must learn list is Italian: the language of Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch and the Renaissance. My problem is that I don’t have time right now for organised classes. How then will I learn it?
The shotgun approach, I think, will suffice – at least until some time frees up for classes. This involves attacking and voraciously devouring all the language learning resources I can get my hands on: from podcasts to phrase books to academic text books. As long as I can devote 30-60 minutes a day, I’m learning something. In fact, 30-60 minutes a day […]
Regardless of how often I encounter them, there are a bunch of commonly used French words that I can never quite manage to remember. Every time I hear them or read them I’ve got to look them up in a dictionary. They’re all in one place here.Prepositions and Conjuctions
Check out the Les Conjonctions lesson on french.about.com.
- autant : en même quantité, au même degré, egalement, as much, as many, in proportion (d’autant)
- cependant : pendant ce temps, il signifie plus fréquemment néanmoins ou toutefois, while, meanwhile, nevertheless
- d’ailleurs : d’autre part, en outre, more over, besides
- jadis :
English has definitely become the lingua franca of the world. I was appalled at the ability of the participants at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest to speak not only very good English but current everyday, infomal, even colloquial English. (Unlike like my still formal and rather stilted French.)
Gone was the dual English/French repetition of every statement by the the hosts (although the scoring remains bilingual). Most countries sang in English and those who did not sang in their native lingo. The only real clanger was Latvia whose entry only served to prove that Google translator is not foolproof:
On 17 March, I’ll be sitting the DELF exam for level B1. Whether I pass or not, I reckon that this will mark the end of my formal studies of French. While I’ll not claim to speak the language well, I can be understood and I can understand others as long as they speak clearly. I’ll still read French history in French and watch french cinema. But the only way to become fluent from this point is to spend a significant amount of time in a French-speaking country — and I can’t see that happening in the near future.