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Learning French for free on the internet

It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo (www.duolingo.com). I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site: http://www.bonjourdefrance.com/karaoke-fle/index.php/fr

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.

This entry was also posted at http://dbskyler.dreamwidth.org/256227.html.

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Wonder Woman movie

Got to see the Wonder Woman movie today, and it is as fantastic as everyone is saying it is. Yes there are kick-ass action sequences, but they also take a back seat to the story and the characters.

It's seriously one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. I've never particularly cared about Wonder Woman, but now I'm a total fan.

This entry was also posted at http://dbskyler.dreamwidth.org/255973.html.

Batman Lego Movie

Saw the Batman Lego movie last night, and it was awesome! It's now become my favorite Batman movie ever. Of course, it didn't hurt that it had that surprise appearance by those villains, described wonderfully as:

spoilers for the Batman Lego movieCollapse )

John Hurt

Just heard that John Hurt has passed away. I hadn't realized how important his portrayal of the Doctor was to me until just now. He was absolutely brilliant in that role.

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The Good Place finale

Damn it, now I have to go back and watch The Good Place all over again from the beginning.

(If you've seen the season finale, you know why. If you haven't, be warned that there will probably be spoilers in the comments.)

Timeless Jesse James episode

Just saw the Timeless episode on Jesse James, and OMG you guys, I have seriously not screamed aloud at my TV this much since "The Pandorica Opens."

Spoilers are black? That's AWESOME.Collapse )

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Downtime

OMG you guys, so I just saw Downtime for the first time, and that was the trippiest thing I've watched in a long, long time.

cut for spoilers, if you can actually spoil this thing of wonder, which I doubtCollapse )

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Timeless

I just saw the Benedict Arnold episode, and OMG you guys, this show. This show. They keep upping the ante, and making it so good!

spoilersCollapse )

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Public Call update

My Public Call story has been revealed! Not the one FOR me, but the one I wrote. I can announce because it's not anonymous -- and a good thing, too, since I'm pretty sure I signed "dbskyler wrote this" all over it in big, flashing, neon letters. Anyway, the rules say I'm not allowed to post the fic anywhere else until the fest is over, but I can link to it! So if you're curious, you can check it out here:

http://public-call.livejournal.com/41916.html

Now I just have to wait for that "Mystery Gift" that's been sitting on my AO3 page for ages to un-mystify.

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Public Call and Yuletide updates

Public Call has started posting stories, and I am discovering the benefit of a low number of participants: there is an almost 50% chance that the story for me will be revealed next week! There is also an almost 50% chance that the story I wrote will be revealed next week. There is around a 75% chance that at least one of these two will be revealed next week. And, there is almost a 25% chance that both will be revealed next week.

I can't even decide which one I'm looking forward to more. My favorite thing about writing fic is getting the feedback, and I want the feedback! But then, someone wrote a story just for ME, and after shamelessly shaking tags, I am tremendously excited to read it.

In the meantime, I have started writing a Yuletide treat. Not sure yet if it will be long enough to go in the main collection or if it's going into Madness, but it's very liberating to not have to care about the word count. Also, I can laugh at the default deadline, muah-ha-ha-ha! In fact, I can miss the whole thing and still put my fic into NYR when it's finished, although obviously I would like to get it in by the 25th if I can.