Presentation Jean-Pierre

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Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  JeanPierreD le Sam 6 Déc - 16:17

Tuesday evening at the end of the polyglot café in Calais Muriel asked me to introduce myself to the forum . « As you are writing from time to time on the forum on different subjects (mostly exhibitions you’ve seen), we MUST know who you are ? » .
No she didn’t ask me that way,  she asked me very nicely so that it was difficult to say « no, I will not do it ». She knows ( or probably not) that I don’t like to speak too much about myself, I don’t think I could be interesting to somebody. If somebody  asks me something about me, my life, my experience ( if I ever can have one), I will be glad to answer. In fact if I made a self-definition I would say that I am more « by nature » prone to listening than speaking …
Luckily Marine translated Muriel’s message, and so I have a kind of table to follow.
Yes I am passionate about language . I remember when I was eighteen years old, a friend of mine spoke to me about Esperanto. I was amazed that at the end the nineteenth century, L.L. Zamenhof, a Polish physician and linguist invented a constructed international auxiliary language that then took the name of Esperanto which means in Esperanto «  one who hopes ». Zamenhof’s goal  was to create an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language that would transcend nationality, foster peace and international understanding between people with different languages.
I was so interested by these generous ideas and ideals that I spend two or three summer holidays in the castle of Grésillon ( 250 km south west of Paris in Baugé, between Angers, Le Mans and Tours)  in the Culture House of French Esperanto Speakers. During these stays I really met extraordinary people from all over the world . The friend who introduced me to Esperanto travelled all over the world with the « Pasporta Servo » (hospitality service for Esperantis »), I, unfortunately  never took advantage of all these opportunities and stopped learning Esperanto because I didn’t use it regularly ( internet was not even in use at these times ) ….
So today I try to speak, write and communicate in English, not because I think English is better, English is not even the first language in the world (it is only ranked the third after Mandarin and Spanish, before Hindi and Arabic) but because it was the first foreign language I learnt at school, and with this language I can travel in a lot of countries and be understood…
I don’t care about finding my way to Trafalgar Square, I use to say « not to starve in a country » is not enough for me . I like to know a lot of things about English and the differences  between languages , because I really think the language is an open door toward a different culture . It is not all about translation, a language is really a different way of seeing the world ….
How do I move forward ? I read books ( I would say a book from time to time), I started with Alice in wonderland ( a bilingual book) then carried on with « Twilight » ( the teeanagers literature full of vampires and first loves. Recently I’ve found in the Library Attica in Paris ( dedicated to foreign languages) the « Harrap’s Yes you can  collection books » with very thrilling stories where the word you may stumble upon are in the margin, which prevent you from checking every 10 seconds through the dictionary which you would not do … And currently I am reading « In one person … by John Irving. I read it first in French, and I read it now in English . As I know the story I can concentrate on the words and the translation itself.
Sometimes I borrow English films at the médiatheque, I choose  films in English or American, that are subtitled in English . Lately I watched Barry Lyndon by Stanley Kubrick . If I stumble on a word I don’t know , I can stop the film, but more and more I try to accept not to understand everything, and I sometimes jot down the word on a peace of paper in order to  look through the dictionary later .
I know that to be able to feel at ease in English , will take me a lot of time, to remember a word or an expression, meet it once is not sufficient, we have to meet it at least 6 times in different contexts. So learning is a long way….
Practising English in living situations ( and the polyglot café are quite an interesting laboratory for it !), watching films, listening to the radio or tv shows or films , reading difficult articles on différents subjects are my goals ….
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  gerardM le Sam 6 Déc - 21:52

Hi Jean-Pierre,

Thanks a lot.

I was very interested in your words.
I will comment on a few parts of your speech and ask you for details (if you want it); I'll do that a bit later as I'm presently busy.


Dernière édition par gerardM le Dim 7 Déc - 20:55, édité 1 fois (Raison : Spelling)

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PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  MurielB le Dim 7 Déc - 20:34

Thank you very much Jean-Pierre for you very interesting presentation message. I am all about love of languages, which is exactly what is useful in our forum.  I am sure that post will be helpful for a lot of people !


Dernière édition par MurielB le Mer 10 Déc - 13:58, édité 1 fois

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Merci de me faire part des grosses fautes dans mes messages en langue étrangère. Grâce à vos remarques, je pourrai m'améliorer :-)
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  JeanPierreD le Dim 7 Déc - 22:45

Hi Muriel and Gérard
Thank you for your reading, feel free to comment if you wish ...
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  Guilaine le Lun 8 Déc - 18:01

Hello Jean-Pierre,

Your presentation report is very interesting, especially your experience in the study of Esperanto, as I myself have always thought it a clever way of communication. I have promised the Calais group to start learning the basic rules, but I haven't so far ....

I leave it to Gérard to comment on your words, as he is the specialist.
I only want to point out 2-3 things you wrote : 
A peace of paper : a piece of paper 
To meet a word : to come across a word is better.
Difficult articles on different subjects : of course both adjectives are invariable.

I think you are right not to worry too much about the meaning of each individual word. Sometimes the context helps. But of course the more you read, the better you understand.

I can see you have been told to repeat 6 times the study of a word. 
I have been told to repeat it 7 times : I think it's because 7 is an indefinite figure, which means you must never stop the study of a language, in order not to forget it...
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Don't trust REVERSO closed eyes...

Message  JeanPierreD le Lun 8 Déc - 22:48

Thank you Guilaine for your remarks.
I loved the « peace of paper » instead of the « piece of paper ». I am very sensitive about the poetry of language and this mistake made me laugh and even enjoy me, as if the words when we stumble on them create (on their own ) strange meanings !
What is even more strange is that I used Reverso before posting this text ; I can admit that this device is unable to guess whether I was making a mistake and not poetry , but It didn’t even see the « s » at the end of the adjective, which is a real , true and serious mistake … From now I think I will less trust this spell-checker !!!

Even more strange : in this text REVERSO noticed « peace of paper » and added : « piece » a separate part of a whole , semble plus adéquat dans ce contexte….
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  gerardM le Mar 9 Déc - 10:42

Hi Jean-Pierre,

> I loved the « peace of paper »
I love it too. That's why I postponed my comments... I decided I needed to have more time to have the opportunity to think twice before writing Smile
English people (still more than Americans, Australians or New-Zealanders) love playing with words.
Do you remember Raymond Devos? He was a Frenchman able to speak like Brits making us laugh even with French words.(which is a bit more difficult than with English ones because in English there're oodles of close words making things easier to switch to another similar meaning) - do you remember the trains to Troyes/3 or to Sète/7?

> made me laugh and even enjoy me
Here, I won't miss! Smile there's a mistake: you should have written "enjoys" or "enjoyed".

Reverso is not a spellchecker.
It is a basic dictionary and you can trust it for the function it's designed for.

...

Sorry I have to leave as I must give a baby bottle to my granddaughter;

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Please feel free to point out big mistakes in my messages in a foreign language. Thanks to your remarks, I'll be able to improve my level.
PS: Pls note that I chose American English for my vocabulary, grammar, spelling, culture, etc.  :-)
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Re: Presentation Jean-Pierre

Message  JeanPierreD le Ven 12 Déc - 15:14

Thank you Gerard for these remarks, they are, as always , clever and very useful.
Enjoy your time with your granddaughter, as the modern grandfather you are , these precious moments in a lifetime are so short !
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