Unpopular opinion: The Little Prince royally sucks

jnn7E0.md.pngFRENCH
My goal isn’t to be fluent or to get good very quickly. I know how to learn a language while being inconsistent/sporadic in my efforts. I’ve had many half-baked attempts at learning french since 2015?? 2016?? I’m okay with it since there’s only so many hours in a day and I have a lot of stuff I want to do in English, Japanese, Korean and I have a life and I want to practice self-care and all that.

I think once I read 10 books in French I’ll feel more comfortable/intermediate but I have a life so I don’t have time so who knows when I’ll get there (I have zero interest reading french translations !) .  Plus I’m interested in Spanish so I may read 10 books in Spanish first. I’m torn but I have no time anyway! I’m leaning towards French because I love how French doesn’t drop the subject while Spanish like Korean ALWAYS DOES whenever possible which is a nightmare for language learners and it’s a no-biggie for native speakers of course! Plus learning Spanish while knowing English and French is easier than just knowing English right (If I do the French -> Spanish route) ?? I gotta make decisions.

jnnzgA.md.pngI read the little prince in 2016? I had the English translation at hand to reference it so I understood it. Anyway, the Little Prince sucks. I have nothing against kids books but I have something against kids books that are poorly written. I have so many recommendations for interesting, well-written kids books in English for kids between the ages of 5-10. Why is this book being recommended so much? I am truly stumped.

Besides being an awful book it’s horrible for language learning
!

1) I hated it. Unfortunately I read it to the end instead of stopping!!jnnOOD.md.png

It is not because of unwarranted high expectations because I know it’s an extremely old, kids book. Actually, children’s book have STIFF COMPETITION…  I’ve read children’s books in English because I was once a child and this book really sucks compared to whatever I read as a child. There are so many wonderful children’s books out there and some are so good that even adults enjoy them. The little prince was unremarkable in every single way.

2) It’s random and illogical.
Those are pretty much the worst characteristics of sentences/word-choice for language learning. I don’t mind random if it’s executed well ie when it’s witty, funny, interesting, entertaining. For the little prince it is never any of those adjectives.

It felt like random for the sake random in the worst way pjnnSsM.md.pngossible. I never knew random could be this dull. The
sentences are not conducive to language learning. You could’ve told me ivrogne means thomeless/stripper/dancer/pedestrian/hula-hoop (it really means drunk) etc I would’ve believed you and also promptly forget the word and meaning because it’s arbitrary. I have to mention that I subscribe to STeve Kaufmann’s belief that you may need to encounter the word being used 20-30 times sometimes to have to it stick so I don’t have unrealistic expectations of coming across magical sentences left and right that make the word effortless and easy to remember on the first encounter. Even taking that into account, the sentences/story in Little Prince are not good for language learning.

I also hate alice in wonderland. I never knew how much the book sucked until I actually tried to read it. Holly from girls next door quoted from that book a lot and the quotes make the book seem much better than it actually is. It’s astounding how much a book can suck despite its popularity. Well there’s 50 shades of Gray but I never really tried to read-read it lol.

I listened to the audio using workaudiobook while readinjnneDQ.md.pngg so one thing I definitely learned is that petit prince is pronounced PETI PRAN in French. Or at least that’s what it sounds like to my American ears. I’m still working out the phonetics in French. Which reminds me I can’t pronounce petite prince because of the French R and I can’t pronounce cinq  (probably because I can’t hear it)

For good children’s books in English for people learning English I would recommend Roald Dahl of course and My Father’s Dragon.

i recommend the WHO Is SHE STORIES on lingq for anyone who is beginner. It’s fairly fun and entertaining while the little prince is dull as paint drying on the wall

On a positive note, I learned my lesson and gave up on The Stranger very quickly (maybe after 1 chapter). It was not drawing me in whatsoever. I don’t think I’d read it even if i was fluent in french or only knew french etc. When I read fiction in English that doesn’t click with me I usually just stop or skim like crazy or skip pages like crazy and I may or may not read the end just to get it out of my system. I gotta go with my gut feeling. It’s hard to find good fiction books in English because I’m very picky about writing style. I want to read something that feels enjoyable and effortless or not effortless but worth reading. I recommend the martian, perfume (german book translatd to english and the translation won an award. the translator is brilliant), you by caroline something, and octavia butler ( thanks Oprah).

On an even more positive note, I started reading Jamais Assez Maigre de Victoire Maçon Dauxerre in french with the english translation at-hand and no french audio. I’m confident I can read it to the end and pick up on whatever words/sentence structures that repeat a lot. I listen to korean/japanese music while reading it since it’s not that distracting.

The book isn’t amazing but it’s entertaining enough and useful for learning French. Coincidentally or not I am watching America’s Next Top Model haha. I make anki cards while reading book because I have a .txt of the French book but I don’t go crazy over it. I am very picky because I know words will repeat ajnnHcq.md.pngnd I don’t want to spend too much time making anki cards. If I come across a sentence 2 words I don’t know I usually just choose one or none or if I come across a sentence with 5 words I don’t know (ie list of nouns) I choose one or none. I’ve been trying to hone-in on my decision making skills and I am very aware of natural SRS when you just read a lot! I use autohotkey and excel to collect the text and make cards so I try to keep it efficient. I have to use EXCEL because I can only tolerate cloze cards! Also I can easily make all the words bold/huge/etc  I can’t imagine clozing the whole word. I cloze 1 character usually. I cloze 2 characters if I think the word is easy and I should push myself. I execute that by sending the sentence to one of the 2 different .txt files using authotkey. I haven’t imported any of the cards yet. I think I’ll do it after I finish the book.

Here is an example:

Si elles deviennent gênantes , il suffit de leur jeter un sort pour *-{{c1::b}}rider -* leur magie .
*
If they become annoying , just cast a spell on them . to bind/ *-{{c2::re}}strain -* their magic .

in anki it looks like:

jnvodb.png

mediafire links for librecalc/excel codes:

http://www.mediafire.com/file/rm7f1165hbofeyh/french-cloze-codes.ods/file

http://www.mediafire.com/file/bdv7k1brfyti78v/french-cloze-codes-excel.xlsx/file

As I explained thoroughly in my posts about anki and Korean, anki is merely a tool and
passively reading sentences over and over doesn’t do shit for me unless it’s in the context of REAL LIFE or of reading an actual book if some sentence structure happens to repeat etc. Passively reading sentences in anki is especially unhelpful for remembering or learning words. Cloze facilitates active recall which is so much more useful than passively reading crap. Also like Korean I use very lax settings in anki so I push shit out far which lets me figure out which words are actually hard and which are actually easy.
__-=-=-=-=-

Also I use lingoes pop-up dictionary and DEEPL since I have the .txt of the French book in addition or in lieu of referencing the English translation. In hindsight, I’m very glad that I dragged my feet and didn’t accomplish much French learning in 2015/2016 because DEEPL’s pop-up translation windows program only became available this year or last year.  It’s an amazing tool! It’s superior to google translate for French, German, and a bunch of other languages.

In conclusion, I should have dropped little prince 3 paragraphs in, and the same with The Stranger. I cannot make myself like something and my gut tells me that it has nothing to do with my level of French. English is my native language but that doesn’t mean I love Charles Dickens or How to Kill a Mockingbird or whatever bullshit book that is supposedly amazing. You have to read stuff you actually like. there’s so many books out there and you don’t have to read a book that makes reading feel like a chore. It’s a cardinal rule of AJATT and it’s something I should always keep in my heart and mind.

I was going to blog about what a nightmare it was to read a Korean short story but I can’t find my draft. It’s a nightmare that never happens in Japanese, French, or English.

HAPPY READING!

 

as much as I hate the story, it doesn’t prevent from liking stuff that are inspired by it. So long as nobody forces me to read the original story, I’m aright

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