A few months ago, I realized that I had forgotten a great deal of my French. My book was taking up 40-50 hours of every week, so I didn’t have extra time to study, and I didn’t really want to study French, either. This year is my Hungarian year, and what little time I have, I like to spend on that language. Languages benefit from focus, and so I try to avoid studying two of them at once.
I needed some way to bring back my French without actually having towork at it, and I found it in the form of television. Continue reading →
I’ve talked about using iMacros in the past. Basically, you click a button, a dialogue pops up and asks you “Which word do you want to look up?” and in 4 seconds, you have a Google Images link to the word, a Forvo.com recording, a bilingual dictionary entry and a monolingual dictionary entry. Magic. Typically, it’s a bit of a pain to set up, but in preparation for an upcoming workshop, I’ve decided to make it a lot easier.
This is some early bookstore research for a bunch of foreign language dictionary reviews. I went to two large bookstores (The enormous Half Price Books and the equally enormous Barnes & Noble in Dallas) and wrote down the names of pretty-much every dictionary they had in every language they carried, and also noted whether they included pronunciation information (and if so, whether it was IPA, some formal system (pinyin, romaji), some random system they invented, or some terrible English approximation [Bawn-JOOR]). I’ve tried to provide Amazon links to as many dictionaries as possible.
I’ve been fielding questions about my methods for Hungarian and how they might work for a less phonetic language like French, with multiple ways of spelling a single sound. Today, I made a 44-card sample deck for French, which you’re welcome to download and use as a model here.
The first French video is done, and it should be helpful for learners of any language. French is an extremely vowel-heavy language, and the stuff I recommend in this video for developing those vowel sounds in your ear/mouth will be applicable to any new vowels.
Recently, a reader asked me whether I had heard of the Assimil method, and whether I’d recommend it or not. I had never really looked into them, and now that I’ve done a bit of research, I can comment a bit.