Hi everyone! It’s Robin and today I am going to make a video in French, for several reasons: First, because I’d like to show you my current level in French I think that it’s very good as an exercise for myself also, to be able to watch and listen to my language. Not only the spoken language but also body language such as my shoulders and my mouth. Also because I would like to talk with you all about the question of the possibility of attaining a native-like level in a language without living in the country. Because for quite a long time I have said that I think it is very possible on multiple levels and I think that it’s quite a controversial question, I would say, Yeah, there are a lot of people who say that it is not possible without living in the country And I don’t totally agree So, we’re going to talk about me and then I’d like to know about your experiences and also what you think. Do you think that I am wrong? I would like to know your experiences, so, yeah please tell me! Myself, I am not a language authority, I’m not a linguist in the academic sense. But I’ll say that I have applied for a Masters Program at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte! And so if you are watching, PLEASE (accept me :D)! But yes, I am going to study foreign language education But at this time, like I said I am no academic authority on the subject, so it is just that I would like to have a discussion. A conversation with you all, in the comments or even personal messages *or if you make your own videos!:D* Yes I’d like to know because I think that even if I am not a qualified academic on the subject, I think that I still have experiences with value, frankly, Right, so for me, in terms of “accent” I think that “accent” is a bit of a different question for me Because to attain a completely native accent, to the point where everybody would think that I am FRENCH for example, that’s not my thing. I think that an accent is a huge part of a person’s identity For example, myself, I am British, but I lived in the US for 6 or 7 years and my British accent was a HUGE huge part of my character over there It was very important for me because it was who I was, I was British, not American. But over time, gradually, my accent changed, in fact So now when I return to England, the people there thing that I have a very particular accent, perhaps a little American But that’s because I spent six years there, all of my adult years were there, so it became a large part of me And so I couldn’t even imagine myself without my current English accent It’s MY accent and there is nobody else who has exactly the same accent as me In English, in French, Japanese, Spanish, German, and any language. And so I think that although it is important to have a comprehensible accent In terms of having a perfect native accent, that is a different question for me. But in terms of vocabulary, for example, command of phrases/idioms, grammatical structure, and all of that, I think that it is very possible to attain a very high level and perhaps one day native-like without living in the country. With French, myself, I have studied it for 15 months right now. 15 months Which is not really a very long time and, I don’t know, while I am still a little far away from speaking at a native level, in the sense that I described just before, But hey I get by! I think that I am well on my way and, well I think that it’s due to my methods, my motivation, etc. Today we’re not discussing ‘practicality’ because I’ve said before to several people that the way I study languages is not exactly practical for everyone There are a lot of people who aren’t going to do the things I do But today we aren’t talking about practicality, we’re talking about the ‘possibility’ “It is possible?” Because often, people talk like that. They ask these types of questions “Is it possible to speak 20 languages?” “Is it possible to learn such-and-such language in 6 months? or in 3 months?” “Is it possible?” So today we’re talking in those terms So, I am going to share with you something that I just finished doing I did a study of a French documentary, well Ithink it was an English documentary but I had the French voice and French subtitles, etc. And it was very very very interesting because, it was a documentary called “Worlds of Ice” and it’s about the arctic and antarctica. The animals that live there, geological phenomena, all that Which interests me ALOT, I love that kind of stuff So what I did is I watched all the episodes, but also I STUDIED them studied the subtitles, I learned all of the unknown words, the idioms, and all of that I listened really hard, and it was just SO interesting I learned many many things, really! For example, now I know the names of various types of animals: Penguins! There are Adélie Penguins, Royal Penguins, Emperor Penguins, For whales, there is the humpback whale, Narwhals, there are killer whales, ok I also learned different types of seals, foxes, so I learned a lot of things like that Words that I think are quite rare, but I also learned new things in general, Things that I didn’t know even in English For example, the phenomenon of “Katabatic Winds” It’s so interesting! I’ll explain it to you very quickly! Katabatic winds are somewhat a polar phenomenon, I think? Something that tends to happen in polar regions And it happens when there is a very large different between the temperatures of warm and cold air So when we have, for example in polar regions there is often a large hill, so there is a hill made of snow, and after that the ocean and so when the spring comes, the air above the ocean water becomes warmer and warmer due to the sun, but the air above the snowy hill, remains much colder and so it is much heavier, because cold air is heavier than warm air and so what happens, because there is a lot of very heavy, cold air on top of the slope, it flows down the hill towards the ocean, and it becomes a large storm, it can be very dangerous, not just a little breeze but it can be very dangerous for the penguins and perhaps even polar bears So, I learned that!! It’s so interesting because I learned something that I didn’t know in English I learned it in French but consequently I understand it in English now too and I’m not just doing this with this documentary, I also started a study of a documentary about modern French Agriculture, it’s something that interests me a lot, so I’m learning a lot of words, terms, different phrases and idioms, that are specialized to those topics Also, I have another documentary about the Mediterranean, the history of the Gaules, the Romans, I’m in the middle of reading a book about French history So I think this is just one example of a way to study, where I think we can attain a native-like vocabulary, at least very advanced And right now like I mentioned, I don’t speak French perfectly, I make mistakes with genders and grammatical things all the time, So like I said I think that I am still a little far away, but I’ve only been studying it for 15 months so I think that perhaps one year later, if I continue like this, it’s very possible that I could have a much more advanced vocabulary than now, and maybe native-like Because it’s not just that I’m “watch” films and documentaries, dramas, I don’t just “read” books I “STUDY” these things It’s so important to me, to search for new phrases and idioms, search for a sense of usage for all of them “how do I use this idiom, or that word?” So with films, ok, I just finished studying a film called “Over night” and it was just, ah it was just a TREASURE for for idioms and things like that so I’d like to quickly show you a few examples of things I learned: For example, “to deliver an ass-whooping” 😀 I find that hilarious, I’m going to use that one 😉 Don’t give up!/ hold on! What’s with you!? to be out of somebody’s league; (we’re friends) until death! I’m going to kill myself (VERY colloquial) Ok now this one is a bit sinister, but it’s a very funny way of saying it, in fact to be left out: “You were fine but I was left out!” to be totally not with it/unfocused make (someone) cry/blubber sacred I knew the literal meaning, like “Sacred Heart” but I learned another usage: for example, in the film, there was a tennis match, and there’s a lady who said “you have one hell of a backhand!” And now, because I learned these things from context, there are many such phrases that I had already heard in other films, so my knowledge of these idioms becomes stronger and stronger, and I have more and more confidence using them So, right, I think that if we study in ways like this, if it’s possible, ok because it depends on the language, but like I said we’re not talking about practicality, etc. we’re talking about if it’s possible or not I think that in today’s world, with the resources that are available to us, it is possible to attain native-like capacities without living in the country.