Well, I can't give a simple
1-line answer. It's one of those classic
Original Reason: To learn a few basic
phrases, so that I can rely less on subtitle, and better concentrate on the
(I've seen 80+ French films. Compared to: 140 UK, 11
Italian, 11 German, and 600+ American ones.)
Subsequently: Once I embarked on the initial learning, I had a case of
cross-motivation, and escalation of interests. As I gained abilities, I became
more ambitious. I then revised my goals and objectives.
- better able to understand lyrics & movie dialogs
- fresh adventure and personal challenge
- relive my early days (long forgotten since) of learning English
- understand humanity
- better understand the etymology of English language
- as a study in linguistics in general, and multilingualism in
- understand Hong Kong culture, pronunciation pattern, as related to French influence
- gain access to French culture and literature, in particular: Alexis
De Tocqueville and François de La Rochefoucauld
- as an experiment in teaching techniques and theories
- to see if child-like personality can counter-act relative old age
- as an exercise in creation of personalized CBT
- facilitate my increasingly active involvement in global advocacy
SUMMARY of Purposes/Applications:
Movies, songs, web sites, tourist, newspapers/magazines, radio/tv news, international affairs, software, business
Some subtle but interesting points...
- I'm relying on self-compiled, and sometimes self-generated
materials. I'm playing the role of curriculum designer and "teacher." This
coincides with my recent interest in learning some formal teaching
theories and techniques.
- By chronicling my own progress and path, I serve as a subject
for my on-going experiment and research into human behavior, psychology,
as related to intellectual activities.
- The journey affords me a much needed refresher
lesson on humility―how
completely helpless and vulnerable one is, when facing a completely
foreign language. Overnight, a mature, in-control, articulated
intellectual; is reduced to a struggling, rudimentary beginner, in
- This has been one of the most humbling and
inspirational experience in my adult life. It serves as a catalyze to
other enlightenments. A classic case of serendipity.
(This has been a first
draft. To be revised shortly.)
Q: Why French? Why not Italian or Spanish?
Quite early on, as I ventured out to foreign films
(excluding British), I have noticed my natural gravitation toward
French. I seem to find it culturally &
philosophically more suited to my personality and
French through French songs:
During a recent trip to NYC, my friend Ernie pointed out
that it's not good because liberal "poetic licenses"
means unusual, or grammatically incorrect
agree, for advanced learners like him. I still
think it's a good tool for beginners to be
exposed to basic phrases. In fact, the fun & motivation
factor is invaluable, and out-weighs the short-comings
in my opinion.