Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘school’

Zak

Zak

When you were a kid, were you ever embarrassed to be seen in public with your parents?

Les Parent is a comical television show from Québec revolving around the day-to-day experiences of a family of five.

In this show, Zak is the youngest child in the family.

Recently, an imaginary text message exchange between Zak and his father was posted on the Les Parent Facebook page. Zak gets embarrassed by something his father does in front of his school…

J’suis devant ton école. Veux-tu un lift?
I’m in front of your school. Do you want a lift?

Non, c’est beau.
No, it’s OK.

Je peux te prendre au coin si ça te gêne.
I can pick you up at the corner if it embarrasses you.

J’m’en vais chez Zoé pour faire un travail.
I’m going to Zoé’s to work on an assignment.

Ah! OK. Donc, t’as pas honte de moi?
Ah! OK. So, you’re not embarrassed by me?

Ben non, voyons.
No, of course not.

Dans ce cas, regarde par la fenêtre. C’est moi qui fais des bye bye dans le stationnement.
In that case, look out the window. That’s me waving at you in the parking lot.

ARRÊTE ÇA!
STOP IT!

Learn the whole text, but here are six sentences in particular that you can learn from the exchange.

1. Veux-tu un lift? Do you want a lift?
2. Non, c’est beau. No, that’s OK. Don’t worry about it.
3. Je peux te prendre au coin. I can pick you up at the corner.
4. Je m’en vais chez Zoé. I’m going to Zoé’s place.
5. Ben non, voyons. No, of course not.
6. Arrête ça! Stop it!

Read Full Post »

When I lived in Istanbul in 2003, I did everything wrong to learn Turkish.

Everything.

  • I took Turkish classes instead of speaking in Turkish with Turkish people.
  • I spoke in English or French with the Turkish friends that I had made, instead of speaking in Turkish.
  • I studied Turkish from a textbook used in my class, instead of reading stuff that Turkish people read.
  • I listened to recordings accompanying the textbook, instead of listening to real conversations and stuff that Turkish people listen to.

I don’t speak Turkish very well today despite all of my hard work. I can have simple conversations, but it’s far from what I’d actually call knowing how to speak Turkish.

If I could do it all over again, here’s what I’d do:

  • Never attend a single Turkish class ever again in my life.
  • Consult a textbook only very occasionally, mostly to resolve a doubt.
  • Speak in Turkish with the Turkish friends that I had made. (Duh!)
  • Perhaps use recordings made for learners, but keep it to a minimum.
  • Listen to insane amounts of real conversations in Turkish and authentic materials (TV, radio).
  • Cultivate my sense of adventure and throw caution to the wind.

In fact, that’s exactly how I learned Spanish.

With Turkish, I took a much more “traditional” approach. By that, I mean that I studied it like a subject. How stupid of me! I was much smarter when the time came for me to learn Spanish.

The truth is that I really didn’t care about learning Spanish at the time. This indifference towards Spanish allowed me to get rid of all my inhibitions.

I spoke when I wanted to, said it any old way I knew how, and just didn’t give a damn what people thought. I listened to anything in Spanish just for the hell of it. I didn’t care if I understood it or not.

I speak fluent Spanish today.

Turkish, on the other hand…

I cared very much about learning Turkish. I might even say too much. I tried to “manage” my learning. I tried to do everything in graded doses so that I wouldn’t scare myself too much by coming up against what I couldn’t understand.

What I should have done was just say to hell with it like I later did with Spanish.

I’m not saying you should stop caring about learning French. That would be silly.

What I’m saying is:

  • Stop worrying about learning French.

What I’m also saying is:

  • Expose yourself to lots of French that you don’t understand. If what you don’t understand exhausts and frustrates you, you’re worrying about learning French. See the bulleted point immediately above.
  • Ditch your inhibitions. They are not your friends. They will only hold you back.
  • Stop trying to manage your learning like at school. You’ll never feel at home in French unless you stop doing that.
  • To hell with what you don’t understand right now. You’ll understand it someday without having to force it.
  • Drop your guard and make mistakes. If you’re not making mistakes, you’re not even trying.

Read Full Post »