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World Cinema Club: September Discussion (+ GIVEAWAY!)

Why hello end of September! Have you guys watched Delicatessen? What did you think?

In this post (the very first World Cinema Club discussion post!) I’m going to answer some questions that I asked myself during the film and then pose them to you in the comments. I want to know what you thought. Don’t be shy! And if you’ve got a film you’d just love to see shared as part of World Cinema Club then please do let me know!

Ok then, down to business. Let’s discuss Delicatessen!

What did you think of the colour throughout the film?

Personally, I always take an instant dislike to a film when I can’t quite see everything. Brokeback Mountain? No idea what’s going on! Too dark! At first I was feeling the same frustration with Delicatessen (although not to the same extent) but I put it down to the film being set in a post-apocalyptic world, and dust, fog etc filling the air. So I lived with it. At the end, when the sky cleared I appreciated the colour throughout the whole film just for that moment being able to happen, and I didn’t mind it as much.

Did you realise the frog man lived upstairs?

So I watched the film a couple of times as it was, meaning that the third time I watched I decided to add the audio commentary, which I don’t normally do. It turned out to be really interesting! Did you realise that the man with all the frogs and the snails in his apartment lived upstairs? I totally didn’t! According to the commentary, only Japanese audiences got that!

Before the Troglodistes appeared, how did you think the film was going to end?

Ok. So the one thing I didn’t like about this film was the Troglodistes. They kind of cheapened the whole thing for me. You know when you watch a pretty creepy horror movie and then the “scary thing” appears and it’s laughable and it ruins the whole thing. (For me, Jeepers Creepers is the perfect example here!) That was the Troglodistes for me. But then again, I really couldn’t see a possible ending until they appeared. It just felt like the film could have gone on for ages with the same routine, each person in the building gradually being picked off until there’s no one left. Kind of dull. And to be fair, the budget for this film was really low, so I’ll let them off with the Troglodistes.

Could you tell this was the same guy who directed Amélie?

Yes, yes, and yes. Firstly, he clearly has well established relationships with a few good actors who looked rather familiar in this film! Secondly, there’s a few little quirky bits that just had the same…vibe(?) as Amélie. Vibe really isn’t the word I want here. Now I accidentally sound like a surfer dude. Oops. Also, the grain. Remember when Amélie dips her hand in a bag of grain? (It’s one of my favourite bits.) Well, I love that there’s a grain theme here too, as bizarre as that may sound! Anyway, watching this really made me curious to check out other films by the same director.

Any favourite bits?

I loved the creativity of the sex scene. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say. For me, (and this will sound pretentious, apologies) it showed how everyone living in the building was connected to each other. I felt establishing that bond, even if the bond is undesired, was really essential early on in the film because it wasn’t a case of them liking each other, but rather that they needed each other and all lived to a shared rhythm. I also really loved the scene when Louison goes to visit Julie in her apartment and she’s trying to serve him tea without her glasses. There’s something really cute about that scene!

Any bits you didn’t like?

As I said, I didn’t like the Troglodistes, but I see why they were necessary to help give the film an ending.

Finally, what would you rate the film out of 10 French flags?

Hmm…I think I’d have to go for 7 at a first viewing and then 8 on a second viewing. It’s a grower and it definitely, for me, has a charm.

Ok! That’s just what I think. What about you? Did you watch Delicatessen? I’d love to know your thoughts on the film. Answer one or all of the questions above in the comments and let’s chat!

Giveaway time!

Oh, and to celebrate the first month of World Cinema Club I’ve decided to hold a little giveaway! french dvd, book, audio course giveaway lindsay does languages world cinema club blog Due to the fact that Delicatessen was a French film, I’ve added a handful of French films, books and the like into the mix. There’s a feast of 6 Molière books, 4 DVDs (Spider, Après Vous, Le Mytho AND Delicatessen!), a handy verb guide from Harrap, and a brand new Collins Easy Learning Stage Two audio course. I’ve even got a few little extras I’ll throw in for you. Yay!

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment telling me what your favourite French film is and why. Ready?…Go!

The Nitty Gritty

This giveaway is open to UK and international residents. Entrants are entitled to one entry per person. Entry closes at 23.59BST on Tuesday 14th October 2014. The winner will be picked at random on Wednesday 15th October 2014 and contacted via the email given on your Disqus account. If you do not have an email attached to your Disqus account (and alternatively do not provide one in the comment) then I will have to offer the prize to another entrant and pick another winner at random. The winner will be announced on the blog and/or social media should the winner give permission for me to do so. The prize will be dispatched from the UK within one week of the giveaway ending. If you are international, please be patient. There is no sponsorship or affiliate link to this giveaway. It’s purely out of good will! Some of the goods have been used and I’m now passing them on so that other language learners (that’s you!) can enjoy them before passing them on again. One last thing – due to the ratings of the films, you must be over 15 to enter. Thank you!

Happy European Day of Languages!

I hope you’ve all had a glorious European Day of Languages! To celebrate, I decided to make a little video. How could I not?

I have *attempted* to say a little something in the 39 European languages that Google Translate translates. So if your language isn’t there, I apologise. I can only blame Google for not catching up with you!

Also, I didn’t have much time to learn so if you spot a language you know, please feel free to leave comments on YouTube about pronunciation tips and the like. Much appreciated and I read every one!

Enjoy!

4 More Awesome Language Apps.

Thanks to someone you may well have heard of sharing a couple of my posts a few months ago (merci Benny Lewis!) one of my most popular posts of all time is now this one right here all about language learning apps. The post was originally written with little ones in mind, so it seemed fitting to do a more grown-up follow up! I’ve been talking a lot about apps lately (Hello, my name’s Lindsay and I’m an appaholic. I also invent words.) so this is also a bit of a round up in case you’ve missed anything! Here we go then, 4 more awesome language apps.

Lingua.ly

lingua.ly app lindsay does languages blog I’m totally in love with this at the moment! In one word, it’s reading. But it’s better than that! Lingua.ly finds articles for you to read based on words you’ve previously highlighted as new, so it really taps into the idea of constant little reminders when you’re learning words.

Vocab Ninja

cocinero how to vocab ninja language blog You may have spotted a review on the blog for this a wee while ago. Vocab Ninja is swish, effective and really customisable. Very handy! Check out my full review here.

Word Lens

word lens app language learning lindsay does languages blog Me and Ashley had so much fun testing out Word Lens in Vienna back in May! So much so, I thought it was video worthy!

Clever Deck

clever deck language learning app lindsay does languages blog A new SRS app with a similar swiping style to that of Vocab Ninja. Currently available for free (with in-app purchases) in French, Spanish, and Turkish there are lots of other languages coming soon. Clever Deck could be one to watch…if not for the smart name (and cute fox) alone!

Do you have a language learning app that you can’t put down at the moment? I’d love to know what! Please share in the comments!

Nailing Time Management

This post isn’t just about languages. It’s about life. Uh huh. And time. Yep. And looking them both square in the eye and getting the most out of them.

Of course, time management is key to highly effective language learning (if that’s what you want – if you just want something for fun, then don’t be put off by this post!) but time management is a pretty useful skill that can be transferred to all areas of life. This is especially true now we life in a time with so many distractions. Internet, I’m looking at you.

So, here we go. Let’s do this. Today, I want to share what helps me with managing my time in the hope that it will help you too. Time, we’re coming for you.

Lists!

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The best place to start here is with lists! Sit down, have a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate/something stronger (but not too strong – we need to stay focused!), and write down everything you want to get done today. EVERYTHING. Even stuff like put the bins out and buy milk. Why? Well, those things will still take up time and crossing them off will still give you satisfaction!

Then think bigger. What needs to be done this week? This month? This year even? Write them all on separate lists. Don’t worry about filling the paper – you can always add to them later. In fact, you’ll probably want to!

Got everything? Make your lists look pretty! If it’s just black biro scrawl, no one will be inspired to do those things on the list. Now put your lists somewhere useful and visible. Feel better already? Good, time to get down to business.

Timers!

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It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a fancy app, an online stopwatch, or a good old fashioned egg timer, you just need to set it. Ready, set, go! Do stuff! Start crossing the list off!

Personally, I use two app timers, Pomodrone and 30/30. Pomodrone is great when I need to get some hardcore study time in but 30/30 is fantastic if I have too many things to do. The idea is that you do one thing for 30 minutes until the timer beeps, then move straight onto something else. At the end of the day you feel super productive because even if there’s an unfinished task, you’ve devoted some time to it so you feel like a winner.

No time sucks!

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Facebook, YouTube, Angry Birds…garr! They have their place but can end up being rather time consuming. This is the hardest thing to do – but also one of the most useful. Depending on your internet browser, you can download a plug-in to limit time allowed on certain sites each day. Alternatively, you could say to yourself, “Ok, I’m only going to open Candy Crush Saga/Twitter/Tumblr when I’m waiting for the bus/after 8pm/before 9am.” Setting your own limits on time sucks is the best way. If you’re more productive in the morning then don’t even touch Pinterest until after lunch! But if you’re more of a night owl then maybe limit HayDay to 5 minute intervals in between jobs – but not after 5pm. It’s like Big Brother – you decide!

Post-It!

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You’re bound to forget to add stuff to that list you’ve written. Don’t worry! If it’s urgent, write yourself a Post-It note and stick it on your desk. There’s something infinitely rewarding about screwing them up and aiming for the bin when you’ve done them.

Well, seeing as this is about time management I’d better not keep you too long today. Go write some lists, have a staring competition with time, and win. Woop. Do you have any tips for making the most of your time? I’d love to know what helps you – just let me know in the comments!

World Cinema Club: October Film – Ponyo!

Woah, September, where did you go?! So that happened. We’re in the middle of September, guys! That means the leaves are starting to fall from the trees, the nights are drawing in, and it’s time to announce next month’s World Cinema Club selection!

I’m very excited at the moment because my French course is so nearly over. That means I’ll have from October to Feburary to give my other languages a bit of a brush up…and maybe learn another…but more on that very soon. Right now, I want to share October’s film choice.
ponyo
Ponyo! This is truly one of my favourite films. It’s just…Too. Darn. Cute. Seriously, you’ll enjoy this one. Even if you think “oh, but it’s for kids!” I’d highly recommend giving Ponyo a chance. So head out and pick up a copy, or find it on Netfilx, and grab some popcorn (or sushi) because this will keep a smile on your face as the nights draw in. I’m so looking forward to seeing what you all think of Ponyo at the end of October!

In the meantime, have you checked out September’s film, Delicatessen? The discussion post will be coming your way at the end of the month so if you haven’t had a chance to watch yet you’ve still got a couple of weeks!

Do you have any great suggestions for World Cinema Club? I’d love to check out your film ideas – just share them below and I’ll add them to the list!

Reasons Not To Learn A Language

No, don’t worry! I haven’t gone crazy – I still love languages! Allow me to explain…

So this week I came across an article on the internet called “Reasons why we should not learn foreign languages”. Reasons not to learn a language? I was confused. I had to read it. So I did, and I was even more confused. How?! Just what?! That doesn’t even make sense! I needed a rant, and it came in the form of this week’s video. Enjoy!

So what do you think? Do these reasons hold any ground? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Blogging and Vlogging Workshop with Khameleon Kompany!

*UPDATE – the workshop date has been changed to 20th October!*

Exciting news today! The lovely ladies over at Khameleon Kompany have invited me to present a blogging and vlogging workshop. Yay! I’m so pleased to be collaborating with Billie and Kirsty and their team to bring this to the local area. So what’s it all about? Let me fill you in…

The workshop aims to give you an introduction into blogging and vlogging for business. Over the course of three and a half hours, I’ll give you insights into how I’ve build my brand online so far and how I’m continuing to keep it growing, as well as lots of enjoyable activities to get you started on the road to writing your own blog and making your own videos. Not only that, making them work for you, and your brand.

The workshop will take place on Monday 20th October from 10.30am to 2pm in the Daventry, Northants area (new venue to be confirmed very shortly!) and costs £25 including lunch.

I’m currently putting the finishing touches to a very special workbook that you’ll be given for free at the workshop. We’ll work through some activities together and the rest will be handy information to help you get started once you’ve left feeling inspired!

Psst! Did you see a sneak peak over on Instagram earlier this week?

I hope to see you there! If you’re planning on coming, please register your interest right here on the Facebook event. Alternatively, if you don’t use Facebook, email me and I’ll send you the registration forms.

If you have any questions, please don’t be shy! Just ask in the comments below or email me at lindsay[at]doeslanguages[dot]com.

8 Uniquely Scottish Words

Scotland. Potentially on the brink of independence from the UK. But are the Scottish different when it comes to language? Today I want to talk about 8 of my favourite uniquely Scottish words.

Wee

Meaning: little

wee scottish english words lindsay does languages blog This is one of my favourites! My grandparents are Scottish and when I was younger, they used to make me laugh by saying “In the name of the wee man!” whenever something shocking (or not really shocking – mock shock) would happen.

Ken

Meaning: know

ken scottish english words lindsay does languages blog Ken is one of those words that creeps up on you when you visit Scotland. You hear it and you think you’re mishearing it, then you hear it everywhere and you realise it must mean something!

Och aye

Meaning: yes

och aye scottish english words lindsay does languages blog If you ask someone in Edinburgh where the toilets are and they say ‘aye’, please do not wee (oh yes, that means small now!) urinate on their eye…they’re just trying to help!

Bampot/eejit

Meaning: idiot

bampot-eedjit scottish english words lindsay does languages blog The Scots have a great way of talking about stupid people without sounding too rude. Bampot and eejit? I don’t think I’d be as offended as I would if someone called me a mother******* ******ing *****er.

Bonnie

Meaning: pretty

bonnie scottish english words lindsay does languages blog Such a cute word! Definitely not one to be offended by!

Tattie

Meaning: potato

tatties scottish english words lindsay does languages blog On Burn’s Night in Scotland, you’d be treated to haggis (we all know what that is), neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes)!

Haver

Meaning: to babble

haver scottish english words lindsay does languages blog We’ve all heard this song, right? And we’ve all sung along something like “If I get drunk, well, I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you, And if I mhavmah?!”. Well now we know what it means! Yay!

Peely-wally

Meaning: pale

peely-wally scottish english words lindsay does languages blog When you’re ill and you look ill, a Scot might describe you as peely-wally (and me too, I always use this one!).

What Scottish words do you love? What’s your favourite from the words above? Share them in the comments below!

VACANCY: Spanish Tutor – could that be you?

As I’m sure you know by now because I’m super excited about it, I’m moving house soon! This means I will no longer be able to continue teaching my current “real life” students. I have been looking locally to find someone to take over my Spanish lessons in the Daventry area when I move but have so far been unsuccessful in my search. Sigh.

There must be someone out there! Maybe it’s you?

spanish tutor job vacancy daventry lindsay does languages blog
The role in question is very flexible dependant on the suitable candidate’s wishes and experience. You can have complete control over the lessons and I have nothing to do with it, full control over lessons but using my resources, or if you wish, I can plan lessons for students and you can simply teach.

This would be a paid part time role. At present, I have 7 young, and eager, and lovely Spanish students aged between 3 and 7 (and a couple of older ones!) in the area per week who are hoping for a new Spanish tutor when I move, as well as an additional number of students on my waiting list should the suitable candidate wish to expand and teach more.

No teaching experience is necessary but a passion for languages and an interest in working with children is essential.

You are very welcome to contact me for more information on the role if you’re local to the Daventry area and might be interested in this position. Please email me at lindsaydoeslanguages[at]gmail[dot]com to find out more. I look forward to meeting you!

Language Quest: My Francophone Thoughts

Bonjour! Guess what? I enjoy French again! Hooray! I wanted to give you a quick update today and share some interesting things I’ve learnt so far about ‘Francophone Culture’ (if that’s even a thing…ooo…)

For my final dissertation, I’ve been given the option of 6 questions. The question I’ve picked to answer is, in a nutshell, “Is there one Francophone culture or multiple Francophone cultures?”. Now, I don’t know about you, but to me, there’s a pretty obvious answer there!

I’ve started by reading around the topic to give myself a wider knowledge than just my own brain and I’ve learnt about some interesting ideas. Just to be clear, this isn’t my essay and I’m not asking for help, although of course your opinions are welcome in the comments!

Tiken Jah Fakoly


Ok, I have an addiction. French reggae. I love this guy so much. Partly because he fits perfectly into my essay plan and partly because his music actually has meaning. There ain’t nothin’ goin’ down, and ain’t nobody yellin’ timber. Tiken Jah Fakoly is an Ivorian who sings in French. Ok, so that’s Francophone, right? But he’s pretty much dissing France, colonization and all that jazz in 90% of his songs. So is that still ‘Francophone’?

What is ‘Francophone’ anyway?

Francophone is often used to describe someone or somewhere or something ‘French speaking’. This would mean that ‘Francophone culture’ was culture from French-speaking countries across the globe, including France. However, some folks (by ‘folks’ I mean essay writing chaps who probably have a lot of letters after their names) claim that ‘Francophone’ means someone or somewhere or something that uses the French language but isn’t from l’Hexagone. Whether the term includes France or not, how can countries so diverse share a culture purely based on their language?

Colonisation

Yes, the French (and Belgians to a lesser degree) did their fair share of colonisation, and yes, this spread their language across the world to these countries now considered ‘Francophone’. However, if you compare somewhere like Vietnam, where the French were beaten in the First Indochina War by the Viet Minh, with somewhere like French Polynesia, where citizens vote in the French elections, the impact of colonisation surely can’t be similar enough to group them together as having one culture.

Francophone cultures

With the definition of the term ‘Francophone’ being disputed, how could you claim there is one ‘Francophone’ culture? To me, the answer is clear: there are a multiple of cultures within the French speaking world, some of which may not even be directly influenced by the French way of life, even if their existence is due to French colonisation. For example, if someone takes all you have, when they disappear and leave your country in a mess, do you aspire to their way of life, those who attacked you and took your freedom; or do you look to the past, to your ancestors who created what was before the French?

This still poses an interesting question – why do people like Tiken Jah Fakoly express themselves in French when their message is so rooted in their own, in this case African, culture and almost ‘anti-French’? That’s what I intend to get to the bottom of in my dissertation. Bring it on!

Have you studied something similar? Do you have any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments!
And, a reminder, as I said above, this is not my essay, rather a collection of a few thoughts buzzing around right now that I wanted to share. I am not looking for answers, I merely wish to share what I’ve found with you lovely people!

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