Tuesday, 10 January 2012

12 months of being in France

And crucially I lack both a job and any real grasp of the language. While a hunt for the former won't really benefit from my blogging about it, I'm told that having a language log is a useful thing. And I may as well do it here, as it's more or less what I use this thing for.

How am I trying to learn?

-Anki. This is a "flashcard" program which is freely available and seems to have a fair old bit of content. It shows you a card and you translate it before hitting the reveal button. If you were right you can express how easy it was (this controls when you'll see the card again), get it wrong and it goes back in the deck. Personally, I find doing this extraordinarily awful. My short term memory is so bad that I seem to take much longer than necessary. Right now I'm rolling with these decks (Which I downloaded for free from the handy included database): Intermediate French, French 101 and French Linguistic Glue. I need to force myself through 20 cards from each every day. Joy.

-Assorted French learning books. I've picked up three or four of these. They're good because they have exercises inside that give me some structure.

-Being in France. It's amazing how I manage to get buy with minimal conversation. I can merrily ask for bread or whatnot but when somebody in the street stops me for directions it can take a while and involve more than a little mime work.

-And now: A strange Irish Guy called Benny. He's a guy who had no real ability with language, but at 21 ended up in Spain and got frustrated that he wasn't really learning, so he decided to try a new approach. Hopefully his insights will help me along.

-And a random collection of CDs I've gathered. Including "Earworms", which was a Christmas gift. Where you hear terrible ambient music with a conversation over it.