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archiewilkie

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Ottawa, ON
Canada
I am now half way through French upgraded 5. I have enjoyed the journey; and now can read (very slowly) French prose. But I have trouble verbally. It may be a function of my venerable age, but I have difficulty spontaneously formatting complex sentences. (And, I hate to admit, repeating what was said..) Because of this, I find the workout “Repeat the Phrases” most useful, and the flashcards much less so. The latter has a high preponderance of single words and phrases and it is tedious to go through them just to come to the more complex sentences. What I would like to see is the equivalent of flashcards, but only with all your “Repeat the Phrases” sentences randomly given. Also, it would be great if it were possible to slow down the verbal the way it is possible with Yabla. Understanding is difficult at her speed with her accent. Conversation is a complex interplay of compound structures. And I feel that the Fluenz programme does not provide sufficient practice in that. Perhaps a level 6 is called for. Maybe the last 10 lessons would cover that, but I doubt it. Cheers. Archie

I am now half way through French upgraded 5. I have enjoyed the journey; and now can read (very slowly) French prose. But I have trouble verbally. It may be a function of my venerable age, but I have difficulty spontaneously formatting complex sentences. (And, I hate to admit, repeating what was said..) Because of this, I find the workout “Repeat the Phrases” most useful, and the flashcards much less so. The latter has a high preponderance of single words and phrases and it is tedious to go through them just to come to the more complex sentences.

What I would like to see is the equivalent of flashcards, but only with all your “Repeat the Phrases” sentences randomly given. Also, it would be great if it were possible to slow down the verbal the way it is possible with Yabla. Understanding is difficult at her speed with her accent. Conversation is a complex interplay of compound structures. And I feel that the Fluenz programme does not provide sufficient practice in that.

Perhaps a level 6 is called for. Maybe the last 10 lessons would cover that, but I doubt it.

Cheers.

Archie

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Hi Andy: I have just come across the review and comments by Zac Hilliker. They are very sensible. I wrote some similar suggestions some years ago when I was doing Spanish; but they never were put into effect. Your programme is very successful,so far as it goes. I like the build-up at every stage, and find most of the practice exercises useful. But once one memorises the vocabulary, there is not enough emphasis on using the language for conversation. The exercises and flash cards build slowly from single words, and this is very useful at the beginning, but for conversation one needs quick responses to complex sentences. For this, I find the last exercise most helpful (Repeat the Phrases). I close my eyes and press repeat for each phrase and then try to repeat what was said and then make the translation and where appropriate try to formulate a response. The flash cards are frustrating because so much time and space is given to single words and phrases which are easy; and the flash cards use the same sentences as were in the exercises. What I suggested some years ago was that your staff have a festive meeting with lots of drinks; and start with the words/phrases important at every stage and come up with new and original full sentences. Then you could create a new flashcard programme (which you can sell as a supplement) of advanced flashcards consisting only of these complex new sentences. The important thing is to learn the ability to quickly comprehend a complex thought and try to respond to it. From my point of view it is easy to react to single words and phrases, but the more complex the sentence, the harder it gets to remember the beginning by the time I reach the end — and then to format an adequate response. I do not know much about programming, but you have the flashcard template. Surely it would not be too difficult to remove the current content and substitute new original complex sentences which can then be separately sold. Cheers. Archie

Hi Andy:
I have just come across the review and comments by Zac Hilliker. They are very sensible. I wrote some similar suggestions some years ago when I was doing Spanish; but they never were put into effect.
Your programme is very successful,so far as it goes. I like the build-up at every stage, and find most of the practice exercises useful. But once one memorises the vocabulary, there is not enough emphasis on using the language for conversation. The exercises and flash cards build slowly from single words, and this is very useful at the beginning, but for conversation one needs quick responses to complex sentences. For this, I find the last exercise most helpful (Repeat the Phrases). I close my eyes and press repeat for each phrase and then try to repeat what was said and then make the translation and where appropriate try to formulate a response. The flash cards are frustrating because so much time and space is given to single words and phrases which are easy; and the flash cards use the same sentences as were in the
exercises.
What I suggested some years ago was that your staff have a festive meeting with lots of drinks; and start with the words/phrases important at every stage and come up with new and original full sentences. Then you could create a new flashcard programme (which you can sell as a supplement) of advanced flashcards consisting only of these complex new sentences. The important thing is to learn the ability to quickly comprehend a complex thought and try to respond to it. From my point of view it is easy to react to single words and phrases, but the more complex the sentence, the harder it gets to remember the beginning by the time I reach the end — and then to format an adequate
response.
I do not know much about programming, but you have the flashcard template. Surely it would not be too difficult to remove the current content and substitute new original complex sentences which can then be separately sold.
Cheers.
Archie

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archiewilkie
I should have added that it should be possible to listen to the sentences on the flashcards. Conversation is audible.

I should have added that it should be possible to listen to the sentences on the flashcards. Conversation is audible.

andy@fluenz
Archie, I'll be sure to pass this onto Sonia and the rest of our development team. Hopefully we'll get a chance to redo the flashcards at some point. Cheers,Andy ;

Archie, I'll be sure to pass this onto Sonia and the rest of our development team. Hopefully we'll get a chance to redo the flashcards at some point. Cheers,Andy ;

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Hi Andy. I am still stuck with the flashcards. I keep going back to Level 4, session 18, Linear. It is a nuisance now that I am in Level 5 and want Super random. You wrote that your techs were working on it. Have they come up with a solution yet?

Hi Andy. I am still stuck with the flashcards. I keep going back to Level 4, session 18, Linear. It is a nuisance now that I am in Level 5 and want Super random. You wrote that your techs were working on it. Have they come up with a solution yet?

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Devinez qui
My flashcards are also still stuck on level 4, session 23.

My flashcards are also still stuck on level 4, session 23.

andy@fluenz
This is fixed in development on our end, we just have a bit of a delay on publishing the fix because we are waiting to update a few other things at the same time. I'll be sure to post here once it's ready.

This is fixed in development on our end, we just have a bit of a delay on publishing the fix because we are waiting to update a few other things at the same time. I'll be sure to post here once it's ready.

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Hi Andy: I just came across your recommendation for "Extra" for Spanish. Do you know of a similar site for French? Cheers.Archie

Hi Andy: I just came across your recommendation for "Extra" for Spanish. Do you know of a similar site for French? Cheers.Archie

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andy@fluenz
The same show exists in French too! You can search Extra French on Youtube and you'll find it there. Hope this helps

The same show exists in French too! You can search Extra French on Youtube and you'll find it there. Hope this helps

archiewilkie
Thanks, Andy

Thanks, Andy

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Using flashcards, I am stuck. When I finish a level and try to go to the next level, I keep going back to a previous level 4, session 18. Gong to "home" does not get me unstuck. It did not matter so much when I was in level 4, but now that I am in level 5 it is a bit of a nuisance. How can I free the programme? Thanks. Archie.

Using flashcards, I am stuck. When I finish a level and try to go to the next level, I keep going back to a previous level 4, session 18. Gong to "home" does not get me unstuck. It did not matter so much when I was in level 4, but now that I am in level 5 it is a bit of a nuisance. How can I free the programme? Thanks. Archie.

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Pat F.
I use Google on both my work and home computers and I have the same issue on both of them.

I use Google on both my work and home computers and I have the same issue on both of them.

andy@fluenz
I'm working with our engineers now to resolve the issue. I'll post as soon as this has been resolved.

I'm working with our engineers now to resolve the issue. I'll post as soon as this has been resolved.

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I am having a bit of a problem with reflexive verbs. For example: Why is going to bed (se coucher) reflexive whereas going to sleep (dormir) is not?

I am having a bit of a problem with reflexive verbs. For example: Why is going to bed (se coucher) reflexive whereas going to sleep (dormir) is not?

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archiewilkie
I don't want to nit-pick, but I do find it confusing. What about: Il est fatigue as distinct from Il s’est repose? And, the flash cards (French 4) use dormer, not s'endormir,

I don't want to nit-pick, but I do find it confusing. What about: Il est fatigue as distinct from Il s’est repose? And, the flash cards (French 4) use dormer, not s'endormir,

Emilie Poyet
I understand your confusion archiewilkie, the truth is that there's no definite rule as to why a verb is reflexive and another one isn't from the point of view of English, so I think in this case it's a matter of learning exactly what each verb means, here's a little list that I hope might help you retain them: - Se coucher = To go to bed OR To lie down (Elle se couche = She's going to bed OR She's lying down) - S'endormir = To fall asleep (Elle s'endort = She's falling asleep) - Dormir = To sleep (Elle dort = She's sleeping)

I understand your confusion archiewilkie, the truth is that there's no definite rule as to why a verb is reflexive and another one isn't from the point of view of English, so I think in this case it's a matter of learning exactly what each verb means, here's a little list that I hope might help you retain them:
- Se coucher = To go to bed OR To lie down (Elle se couche = She's going to bed OR She's lying down)
- S'endormir = To fall asleep (Elle s'endort = She's falling asleep)
- Dormir = To sleep (Elle dort = She's sleeping)

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I keep having problems with Es and Esta. In the flashcards for Spanish level 3, session 26: the statement is "our apartment is on the fifth floor", and the translation is "Nuestro apartamento ES en il quinto piso". But if I remember correctly, for the statement "the bathroom is next to the elevator", the transition is "el bano ESTA al lado del elevador". What gives?

I keep having problems with Es and Esta.

In the flashcards for Spanish level 3, session 26: the statement is "our apartment is on the fifth floor", and the translation is "Nuestro apartamento ES en il quinto piso". But if I remember correctly, for the statement "the bathroom is next to the elevator", the transition is "el bano ESTA al lado del elevador".

What gives?

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Apolonia D.
Hi Archiewilkie, in general we use "estar" for location, as in "El baño está al lado del elevador". However, we sometimes use "ser" to refer to location because we want to identify a place (building, room, street...) that interests us not for where it is, but for some other reason. So you could use both verbs in that phrase: "Nuestro apartamento es en el quinto piso" or "Nuestro apartamento está en el quinto piso", the program should accept both options. Since the use of "ser" in this context is quite natural, we used it in some sentences in the program because you will probably hear it in real life (for example, in a taxi you could be asked "¿Es aquí?" referring to a street or a building). That said, this is a bit of a grey area, so I'd recommend using "estar" if you're not sure, because you will never be wrong. Hope this helps!

Hi Archiewilkie, in general we use "estar" for location, as in "El baño está al lado del elevador". However, we sometimes use "ser" to refer to location because we want to identify a place (building, room, street...) that interests us not for where it is, but for some other reason. So you could use both verbs in that phrase: "Nuestro apartamento es en el quinto piso" or "Nuestro apartamento está en el quinto piso", the program should accept both options.
Since the use of "ser" in this context is quite natural, we used it in some sentences in the program because you will probably hear it in real life (for example, in a taxi you could be asked "¿Es aquí?" referring to a street or a building). That said, this is a bit of a grey area, so I'd recommend using "estar" if you're not sure, because you will never be wrong. Hope this helps!

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Is there any way to set the flash card programme so that I can log in at the level and lesson I have just used? I keep logging in at a previous level. It is not a major problem, but it is bit of a nuisance.

Is there any way to set the flash card programme so that I can log in at the level and lesson I have just used? I keep logging in at a previous level. It is not a major problem, but it is bit of a nuisance.

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I have just returned to Fluenz after an unfortunately long break. I started my review with the flashcards. Have you figured our a way to mark the phrases that were incorrecty translated so that they could be worked on without having to go through the many more phrases that do not cause probems? If I remember correctly, this is possible writing the translations, but I am reviewing orally because it is much faster.

I have just returned to Fluenz after an unfortunately long break. I started my review with the flashcards. Have you figured our a way to mark the phrases that were incorrecty translated so that they could be worked on without having to go through the many more phrases that do not cause probems? If I remember correctly, this is possible writing the translations, but I am reviewing orally because it is much faster.

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andy@fluenz
@archiewilkie - there isn't a grading system for the oral answers. I hope this helps clear things up. Cheers, Andy

@archiewilkie - there isn't a grading system for the oral answers. I hope this helps clear things up. Cheers, Andy

Hctr Jmnz
I'm sorry, but I think you will have to use the entire course again, from where you choose. Remember that learning a language takes time, and involves learning to write (spelling) as well.

I'm sorry, but I think you will have to use the entire course again, from where you choose. Remember that learning a language takes time, and involves learning to write (spelling) as well.

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Would somebody plase explain the difference between "unos" and "algunos"? This is probably a very basic question, but to my untutored eye they appear to be much the same. Thanks.

Would somebody plase explain the difference between "unos" and "algunos"? This is probably a very basic question, but to my untutored eye they appear to be much the same. Thanks.

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James Putney
Hi; as far as I can recall, Fluenz teaches that they are interchangeable. However, I googled the question, and apparently there are some subtle differences. See http://spanish.about.com/od/translationsfromenglish/a/algunos-unos.htm.

Hi; as far as I can recall, Fluenz teaches that they are interchangeable. However, I googled the question, and apparently there are some subtle differences. See http://spanish.about.com/od/translationsfromenglish/a/algunos-unos.htm.

archiewilkie
Many thanks.

Many thanks.

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