One of the best reasons to have a roommate is having someone to practice foreign languages with. Helen, thankfully has studied as many of years of French as I have, and has the same sort of interest that I do in recapturing and retaining it.
We've been busy bees here, playing with Rosetta Stone (thanks a million, Lloyd!), watching French movies, reading en francais, listening to tapes, etc.
Here's what I think works, and what doesn't.
5+ years of study YES, WORKS but if 6 or 7 years go by without practice, you lose a lot.
Rosetta Stone Program Yes, helpful. IF you already have the background, I think this is a fun way to refresh your vocabulary. Without the background, good luck. Conjugations are barely covered, if at all!
French In Action video series YES run to the nearest library. Radically good for verbs, adjectives, and nouns.
This week we also watched Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, two classics.
The book I've been reading is a collection of short stories by various classic French writers, and it's sort of hit or miss. While I liked L'Etranger well enough 9 years ago, now Camus leaves me wanting... something. His plots are not just sparse but invisible. I just finished L'Hote (The Guest), and while I get it, I just don't get it.
Still working on The Atheist's Mass by Balzac. Slow going, that Balzac.
Anyways, it's almost my birthday month. Why did that seem funner before I typed it?