Etikettarkiv: learning French

Parc Monceau

Todays power walk ended up in a few rounds at the fantastic Parc Monceau, and I returned home where the French homework waited. When a task in your life brings no joy only anxiety should you really carry on with it?

Learning French is still on my list, I really want to but the longer it takes for me to get this language gramma the more the anxiety level raise and I am more and more convinced that the way “Inlingua” learn languages is not for me. I actually so stressed each lesson so I can feel my blood pressure go up.

So, if Im not closer to the goal at the end of the year, I have to find another way to learn French. More classroom, more English – French tutoring (or even Swedish – French, much better). I need a book, I need to be allowed to ask questions in English (or Swedish) and get it explained in the same language I actually used asking the question. I need glossary books and I need to learn things I use or will use in daily life. Not how to speak to someone about Nordic Light.

And I really need friends to practice with, friends who can mix French and English, not only expats in Paris a few months and not planning to learn French. I need to find a group of French people loving the Eurovision Song Contest to meet up with and talk ESC, I need some kind of activity (call it a hobby) to do in a group. Cause seriously standing in a Bar talking shit and drinking beer is not a hobby, it might be an important thing in life but you do not meet people that stick.

This post kind of start to sound like a New Years promise… Oh scary, I do not like those at all.

Björn

11th of May 2020

So, President Macron made his speech on how long the French Lock down and confinement will last and the date is the 11th of May 2020.

Expected, but not in the way I thought. I was sure the time will be until the end of May, but I also thought they should give us the bad news in chunks of 14 days. So I do appreciate to have know it will be far into May before we can see some part of the French life return to normal. But I am also sure it won’t be all of us at the same time.

So now the goal is to keep sane in single confinement, since it is not a lot of social contact when you live on your own. Also try to find a way to work from home for one more month. But how work will react on todays news will most likely be for us to take more vacation days.

For me, I will see if I can continue my French lessons on line (even if most are daytime), and maybe add some classes. Get some order in life. One more month in sweatpants is not an option, I need to get up and get dressed, plan the days and go out the hour we can each day. Too see some people and not only for food and HEETS.

Maybe use more social networks to chat and not only post things on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

But as said, we will see how work reacts first but hopefully we will be able to take a longer break during the day for French on line, and be on line for work longer in the evenings.

Keep safe

Björn

TGIF – With the learning French twist.

“Still struggle” I hear my self saying, still a problem with the French language. In fact I also start to have a problem with Fridays cause I have French class on Fridays. Sounded good when we planned it but now after two months of changes, postponed sessions etc I can see I need to change the day in the week I take the classes.

The choice of Fridays is on paper the best choice, not likely to have late meetings, not likely to be away on a business trip or any plans for the evening. But no one counted on the complete close down of the brain at 17h00 on Fridays.

So the second best day to have some kind of continuity in the lessons is Mondays. For the same reasons as Fridays really, not likely on a business trip, no after work activities and late meetings mostly happen between Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So I have now asked Inlingua to look into the possibility to change the day for my classes. We will see if they manage to do this or not.

But deep at heart I really want the classes to be before work or even better, over the lunch hour. But since we don’t have any office space to take the classes it is kind of impossible. And no teacher seems to think a 6 o’clock class is on their menu.

So we will see what happens in the future.

Have a nice TGIF now,

Björn

Da Buzz

Besides being a pop band and the former Prime Minister of Sweden favorite band a buzz is also an rumor flying around and from yesterday the word is that on Friday the strike takes a new turn here in Paris… Well, if true we had 4 normal days. But seriously, the big unrest, sorry, demonstrations been on Thursdays since the beginning of December 2019, awful enough, but on a Friday? People want to go home, prepare the weekend and maybe even start the weekend with a small apéro after work. Apéro, the French AW (After Work), normally also includes food. Not only, as in Sweden, the famous “I stay for one beer”, and 6 beers later you find yourself out clubbin’.

So the unions here have decided to attack the weekends and go crazy on a Friday. Merci Beaucoup!!! For me another issue raised, my French Classes start on Friday and Inlingua is located kind of behind Champs Elysees. A total blockage of Champs Elysees is not unheard of when the Unions and Yellow west movement destroy peoples way back home after work so I don’t know if I shall cancel or not. If I cancel today the lesson is moved into the future but if I cancel tomorrow it’s “used”, strike or no strike.

And in all this I start to think that with Marine Le Pen in charge some order will return to the streets of Paris, remember that Macron did not win the President election cause people loves him, the reason were they don’t like the alternative, in this case Le Pen. But I’m sure she would have contracted the Légion étrangère to take care of the strike horny part of the population.

Yes, that is how tiered I am of the Unions and the Pension discussions in France at the moment. I am so sorry, I will be nicer to you all when life is back to normal.

Björn

Why so surprised

Spoke with a colleague of mine, whom by accident studied in Jönköping for a few years and during this time only learned “Tack så mycket” (Thank you) in Swedish. The reason? As he put it, everyone speaks English.

Me “learning” French is in a way in the same place but the reaction to the phrase “Everyone speaks English” is a bit different. While in Sweden this is 100% normal, you don’t find anyone object telling you to leave the English and learn Swedish (this is of course only if you manage English) but here in France the reaction is “You must learn French”.

Why is it so OK in Sweden to manage your daily life in English but in France a sin? OK, I agree that outside Paris you might struggle if your French is bad or non existing but in Paris most people speaks English. Then of course… If they want too or not is another question.

I also miss anything similar to the “Lättläst på svenska” (“Easy read in Swedish”) here in France. Classic French books adapted to people learning French. I always get the “You need to read more” suggestion and of course I need to read more but seriously… You don’t start to read Moliere and think you will master it in a week. But a Moliere adapted to “kids” (more or less) might be the idea. Trying to read French books now is a nightmare if you don’t enjoy to look up every word in a “dictionnaire”, and doing so it takes to long, and at least I, looses interest.

That was todays thoughts on learning French

Björn (Whom forgot his mobile at home this morning)

So the french test done

And let us say it in real Swedish, “Det gick käpprätt åt helvete” (this is what you say when things not exactly goes as you plan it).

First of all this is the second kind of test I’ve done. Last year I made a Lilate test which was hard enough but at least you have a person on the other side so there is some kind of communication between you two. They can re-phrase if there is a word you don’t know and the person actually notice if you know what to answer, understand the question, but find it hard to express your answer.

The Bright test is 100% on-line and if you don’t get it with the words used the question is kind of dead. You also have a specific amount of time for each question so sometimes you not even ready to read or hear the question or find the alternative among the answers so the question is dead based on that. So what do you do? Yes, 10 seconds left to answer you panic and click on an answer whatever just to not leave the question blank.

This turned out to be a huge mistake. Now, looking back at it the best thing is to leave it blank and not answer at all.

The questions are, as said, set and do not exactly follow your knowledge base. In many cases they included words I never heard before or if heard at least don’t know the meaning of them. The same thing as when 25% of the classes are on line classes to do by yourself alone. You can’t answer them correctly cause you have no idea what they mean. It’s useless. And when it comes to the online learning you sometimes know the answer but write e instead of é and of course get a red result and in my word I try to find another solution and mix things up even worse. I have said it before and say it again self studies and this guy will never be a match, I need lessons.

So the result was as awful as you can imagine and even outside in the real world my French not as bad as I did on this Bright test. It only gave me the feeling of giving up completely and go for the option to never learn French. Frankly, in Paris it’s not needed in your daily life apart from interaction with Governmental institutions and proven today sometimes when you need medical assistance.

But I will address that in another blog post.

Björn (now decided to not even think in French for 14 days)

Je dois “reset” mon cerveau

yes yes yes, might not be perfect French but hopefully people understand what I mean.

I have my test tomorrow and no high hopes for that to go well but during todays studies I actually understood I need to look at this from another angle. So I have some ideas, we will see if it work out at the end.

But I have to make the verbs my friend and not look at them as something that’s there to knock me down.

Björn

Going backwards

As you all know by now I try to learn French and this is my at the moment second most stressful task and problem. I really want to learn French… I have dreamt of learning French since my first visits to France in the 80’s so even if I never expected it to be easy I actually thought I was motivated enough the learn fairly fast.

O la la, not even close. And now I actually go backwards in my knowledge of the French language. A year ago I had my test and ended up as a A2 (not anything to be proud abut after then 3 years in Paris but still…), and doing a second level test a month ago I just learned I’m now a A1+, so I actually getting worse and I have my language class test on Monday and will get a new evaluation. With this speed it might be A1 then…

Björn