Interview: With – Lindsay does Languages

Polyglot Interview

This is an e-mail interview with Lindsay Williams from “Lindsay does languages”.

Lindsay works as Language Tutor and Blogger. She is based in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Lindsay Does Languages

Lindsay has a language learning blog with all kinds of fun and exciting games and resources for language learners at;

http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/

I first discovered Lindsay on her Facebook page, where she has wonderful tricks and tips for language learners, along with movie and music recommendations.

https://www.facebook.com/lindsaydoeslanguages/

Interview

Learning French: Hello Lindsay.

Lindsay

Lindsay: Hi Todd

LF: Just for the record how many languages do you know at this time? Including languages that you have just started learning?

Lindsay: I’m a native English speaker, then in order how much I’ve studied/how well I know them – French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Dutch, Esperanto, and Korean.

LF: (Wow!) What language/s are you working on at this time?

Lindsay: Indonesian at the moment!

LF: What first attracted you to learning other languages?

Lindsay: Croissants and Shakira! Haha.
I went to French club in primary school and kept going because they gave us croissants and orange juice at the end of term.

And Shakira is the reasons I wanted to learn Spanish – to translate lyrics on her Laundry Service album!

Shakira

[Note: Shakira is also a bit of a polyglot. She was born Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, in Barranquilla, Atlántico, Colombia. She grew up speaking Spanish and learned Portuguese while touring in Brazil as a teenager. Shakira also speaks English, Italian, and Arabic.]

LF: Ha ha! I love Shakira!
I’m learning French at this time and would like to learn Italian next? What languages would you like to learn?

Lindsay: Ooo, so many! I’ve been drawn to Burmese for a few years now but haven’t got there yet. I’d also like to look a little closer at Russian and Arabic but I think there are others I’ll end up studying before that.

LF: I make a bucket list from time to time of all the languages I’d like to learn. (I’d like to learn Greek and Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and German at some point and many more.) Do you have a bucket list of languages? What attracts you to a language and or culture?

Lindsay: I certainly do! Normally it’s travel-related. If I’ve been to a place and fallen in love with it then I’ll be drawn to the language as a way to learn more and go beneath the surface. However, sometimes, it can be pure curiosity.

LF: I live in Sydney, Australia, where there are local newspapers printed in Italian, and a few other languages. We used to get the French newspaper Le Monde at newsstands, but only rarely now. Do you read newspapers in your target language/s?

Lindsay: I do online sometimes yes. I really like the website http://newspapermap.com/ to find newspapers in the language I want.

 LF: Thanks for that! (Spends the next few hours at newspapermap.com). Are there any podcasts that you can recommend in French?

Lindsay: Oh yes! I wrote a huge blog post called The Ultimate Guide to Podcasts for Language Learning recently and there’s plenty in French there to get into. (Here’s the link: http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/language-learning-podcasts/)

LF: What is your daily routine when learning a new language? Do you use cue-cards? Or do you have other methods that you have created yourself?

Lindsay: I normally have an hour for language learning each weekday morning (Mon-Fri). I plan my time out using my free monthly planner link:  https://ldlpages.leadpages.co/languageplanner/  ) and that helps me to make the most of my learning time. What I do exactly varies, but it always includes Memorisation and it incorporates a mix of activities such as italki lessons, listening activities, course books, setting myself my own writing and speaking tasks on social media.

LF: When do you, yourself believe that you have reached the level of proficiency with a new language? Is it when you can read a book or hold a conversation? Or is it when you can watch a movie in your target language?

Lindsay: I think it’s when you feel comfortable. If you can hold a conversation, but you’re concentrating so hard to listen to what’s being said, that your answers are a little monosyllabic, then (although that’s a great place to be) there’s still room for improvement. However, as soon as you feel comfortable using a language, that’s where you’re likely to also feel comfortable calling yourself proficient.

LF: What do you do to keep languages alive once you’ve moved on to a new language?

Lindsay: To be honest, not much! Other than my stronger languages of French and Spanish, all the others need a little time to reactivate because I don’t have time to study/use/practise 11 languages each day. But that’s a choice I’ve made. I learn languages because I enjoy learning a little about people, cultures, and places different to where I’m from. People are always so pleased if you can even just say a few words in their language that I’m not worried about reaching crazy native-like fluency in all the languages I’ve studied.

That said, my main language goal for this year is to review the languages I’ve learned so far more or less one at a time because I don’t want them to fade completely.

LF: Do you have any polyglot heroes that have inspired you?

Lindsay: Yes – everyone around me when I’m at a polyglot event. Hearing people’s individual language stories is always crazy inspiring!

LF: Personally I never thought it would be possible for me to learn a new language. I always dreamed that I would. But I found language learning in School really boring. It was only when I went to France a few years ago and then found all the Polyglots, like yourself, giving advice on Facebook on YouTube that I decided to give it a try.
Were you always gifted with languages or was it just a strong desire to learn other languages that turned you into a language learner?

Lindsay: It was definitely a strong desire to learn other languages! By learning French in primary school, I could ask people their names at the park or order a baguette in the morning when I went camping in France.
With Spanish, I had the music that I loved from the start to keep me going. From there, it was a Spanish teacher who said how easy it would be for me to learn Italian or Portuguese with my knowledge of Spanish and I suddenly realised this whole world of multiple languages had opened up to me, which was pretty exciting!

LF: I am looking forward to the day when I can watch movies in French and understand them. I have a way to go. What is your big goal with a new language?

Lindsay: It varies from language to language. With Indonesian at the moment, it’s to get to a level where I can have casual conversations with street food vendors, shop keepers etc. without too much worry.

LF: I see on your blog you just posted your top ten favorite French films. I’m also a big fan of the 1960 movie “Breathless”. Do you have any tips or tricks to watching movies in other languages?

http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/10-essential-french-films/

Lindsay: Ooo yes! Films are great because they’re so versatile. Once you find a film you love, you can start by watching it with subtitles in English or your native language, then change the subtitles to the language you’re learning, then watch without subtitles.

You can also take small segments and focus on pronunciation and vocabulary if you want to take things further and make it more of an active task.

LF: I’m also a big fan of Tintin and Asterix. Do you read comics, graphic novels and or Manga in your target languages?

Lindsay: Sometimes I do, yes! Tintin is one of my favourites!

LF: Thank you so much, Lindsay!

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You can find Lindsay’s Blog at;

http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/

And on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/lindsaydoeslanguages/

My free monthly planner link:
https://ldlpages.leadpages.co/languageplanner/

And Lindsay’s recommended podcast here:
http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/language-learning-podcasts/

Lindsay recommended 10 essential French films.
http://www.lindsaydoeslanguages.com/10-essential-french-films/

Lindsay also recommended the following newspaper site:
http://newspapermap.com/

 

 

2017 is here at last! Time to Set New Goals.

It seems like the New Year has crept up on me rather fast. So it is the First of a New Year. Time to start all over again.

I’ve recently read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg. I highly recommend it along with the book, “Talent is Overrated” by Geoff Colvin.

Talent is Overrated” takes a look at the science behind getting things done. It looks at people like Mozart and Tiger Woods whom everyone assumes to be born talented but were in fact born into families with fathers who were really good coaches. Geoff Colvin looks at different groups of high achievers and how often it is the case that the Highest achievers are just the ones that practice more while also practicing on their weakest areas. The full name of the book is; “Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else“.

It is a kind of feel good book. I never really thought that I was gifted. But now knowing that all it takes is practice and focusing on my weakest areas I am given new hope.

The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg is all about the power of setting up regular habits for greater achievement. The full name of the book is; “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business“. (Wow all these self-improvement books have such long titles these days.)

These books were recommended to me by the very successful self-publishing author Chris Fox. I wasn’t really going to write about self-improvement in this blog, as this is a French language learning blog, however, these are the things that I am thinking about on the first day of 2017.

My daily dose of French.

This time last year I was interested in setting up new and better habits but didn’t know where to start. I did make myself type out the page from my French Living Language Calendar and do a daily session on Duolingo.com. I am currently on day 362 on Duolingo. So habits do work. However, I realize now that I was just doing fun habits, which is an important way to start, but do really reach French fluency I need to start working on my weaker areas. Grammar rules.

I hated Grammar rules in English (as invented by Grammar-Nazis) however I need to mix them into my regular learning. I can really feel that I am not too far from fluency.

I found the video that I posted of Carrie Fisher speaking French very helpful. I could mostly understand her, although the subtitles helped. But it was also nice to see a fellow American struggling and succeeding with the language. It just goes to show that she was a real princess as princesses were often expected to understand a number of different languages.

I had a boss at one time who was German, her father had been a Count but her mother was Jewish and the family was forced to flee, leaving her families title and castle behind. She always told me that it was important when traveling to at least try and start the conversation in the local language.

My goals for 2017
(Subject to Change)

Learn French Grammar: I will work on the how later.

Speak more French. I know a number of French-owned cafes and restaurants in my area. I am going to go in and make my orders in French. I’ve been a bit shy about this in the past. Put I’m really going to push it. What have I got to lose?

Steve Kaufman creator of the LingQ.com website.

Read more French books. – an Hour a day. Polyglot – Steve Kaufmann recommends reading in a new language. Even if it means going over and over again on the same page.

Rocket French: – I am currently working my way through the Rocket French website. I am going to do a lesson a day.

Duolingo: I ran out of new French content in October last year. But I am just going to continue to do review lessons every day until the language becomes second nature.

Goal: I want to be able to watch French movies and or French TV programs and understand the content. (I’m at a strange point right now where I can kind of follow bits of the conversation and pick up a word or a phrase here and there.)

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Sponsors

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Zah Zah Gabor

(Jane Avril, (9 June 1868 – 17 January 1943) in a photograph and in a painting as brought to life by Toulouse-Lautrec and in a movie as portrayed by Zah Zah Gabor.)

I’m sad to hear about the passing of Zah Zah Gabor. While I wasn’t a huge fan I did really like her in John Huston’s 1952 original version of “Moulin Rouge”.
The Original “Moulin Rouge” is a very touching movie depicting the life of painter Toulouse-Lautrec. It was one of the favorite films of my late father and I still think about it every time I see the movie.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born the son of a count, but because of his family’s inbreeding, he never grew very tall. He lived in the golden age of Paris, the “La Belle Époque” {the beautiful era} when the city of lights finally came to life after a century of war and revolution followed by a half century of reconstruction.

Jane Avril dances the can-can in a poster by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Paris became the city of light during Toulouse-Lautrec’s lifetime (because of the installation of gas lighting). It is was to Paris that he traveled from his parents home in Toulouse, in the southwestern French department of Haute-Garonne to make his name and fortune as a painter.

Toulouse-Lautrec’s paintings capture Paris in his day and especially the people that lived and worked in Moulin Rouge.

Writer/Director John Huston was originally a painter and a fan of Toulouse-Lautrec. Huston hired a friend and fellow painter who had worked his way through art school in Paris creating counterfeit Toulouse-Lautrec paintings to play the onscreen hands of the artist as he drew in the movie.

Jane Avril was a friend of Toulouse-Lautrec and she was the subject of a number of his most famous paintings and posters. Like Toulouse-Lautrec Jane Avril came from an upper-class background. She had been born Jeanne Beaudon but escaped to Paris to become a dancer after an abusive childhood.

They seem to be an odd pairing but chances are they were never more than just friends. Toulouse-Lautrec painted Avril in many different aspects of life. On state, at the printers, at the photographers etc. She was one of his favorite subjects.

Little is know about Jane Avril’s personality but she is brought to life by Zah Zah Gabor as only one of the Gabor sisters ever could. Avril died in 1943 just 10 years before the movie “Moulin Rouge” came out.

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Sponsors


Moulin Rouge

 

 

 

 


The Little Prince

 

 

 

 

Rocket French

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