Sunday, February 6, 2011

Progress with French numbers

So, I sort of already learned the numbers 1-100... a week early. I was so motivated today that I studied them for, like, three hours. I think maybe the French "r" makes my throat go all wonky. I was saying quatre-vingt so many times, which is the beginning of all numbers in the 80s and 90s, and that silly "r" is very prominent there. When I finished my language lesson, I suddenly had to keep clearing my throat. I wonder what it feels like to try to speak French with post-nasal drip. Or maybe the French never get that.

I know that part of setting a "smart" goal is timeliness. That's why I took my long-term goal and broke it up into the component parts to make it happen. I've been making a lot of goals lately... but they are pretty helpful. I like them and they keep life interesting. I just have to be careful not to have too many. Then I get confused and never accomplish any of them.

Here is a fantastic page with audio quizzes in French numbers. I was actually doing really well hearing the spoken numbers and writing them down quickly. It's another site. French Numbers: Listen & Repeat. If you scroll down a bit, you can click on "Listen" and a new tab will open up with an audio clip of a woman rattling off numbers faster than you can write them down on the page (if you're new to it, that is). Exercise 1 is slower than exercise 2. With another set of numbers (1-69, I think) there is an even faster exercise 3. Craziness. I got good at hearing and recognizing the numbers with this, though. It is a great tool for learning to hear the numbers. After listening and writing all the numbers down, you can click on "List," which is under "Listen," and you can check to see how many you got correct.

Then, once I had heard the way the numbers sounded enough times, I went to test myself with some Quia games that some nice person had cooked up. I was then able to say them on my own aloud. Hoorah.

BIG QUESTION. Who invented the French counting system? It's absolutely ridiculous. I wonder if that guy was shot or bowed-and-arrowed. Or clubbed over the head. Certainly deserves it, by the way.

10 = dix (ten)
20 = vingt (twenty)
30 = trente (trente)
40 = quarante (forty)
50 = quincante (fifty)
60 = soixante (sixty)
61 = soixante-et-un (sixty-and-one)
62 = soixante-deux (sixty-two)
63 = soixante-trois (sixty-three)

Up to this point, the French numbers have a number structure similar to both English and Spanish. Up to this point, things seem rather normal. Things quickly move downhill from here as the you-know-what starts to hit the fan.

70 = soixante-dix (sixty-ten)
71 = soixante-et-onze (sixty-and-eleven)
72 = soixante-deux (sixty-twelve)
73 = soixante-treize (sixty-thirteen)

Wait, really?
It goes on like that for a bit until...

80 = quatre-vingts (four-twentys)
81 = quatre-vingt-un (four-twenty-one)
82 = quatre-vingt-deux (four-twenty-two)
83 = quatre-vingt-trois (four-twenty-three)

Awesome. Then it gets even better...

90 = quatre-vingt-dix (four-twenty-ten)
91 = quatre-vingt-onze (four-twenty-eleven)
92 = quatre-vingt-douze (four-twenty-twelve)
93 = quatre-vingt-treize (four-twenty-thirteen)

My roommate: "So you have to do math just to say the numbers? If you wanted to add, you'd have to add before you add?"
Me: "Yeah, makes me think maybe French people aren't that good with numbers."

Anyway, I knew the French numbers were severely messed up before I started. That's why I made it this week's goal. I'll keep plugging away.

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