The last time I spoke French with any competence I could say "J'ai seize ans" and mean it. Not that much competence mind but I could get by if the topics of conversation were restricted to the purchasing of meat, pastries and tobacco and the whereabouts of cathedrals and other landmarks.
So my French is a bit ossified, and rather junior.
I don't know if it's possible to estimate my reading or comprehension age for written French - probably a lot lower than 16 years old - but this made me think about communications that are created for non-experts... and the role of science communication.
There are many science blogs and science podcasts that don't require a big vocabulary (or the terms are properly introduced) and it seems reasonable to suppose that a popular-science blogpost or podcast in French or Spanish might be pitched at a level that I could follow and learn from.
Last night I found some French podcasts (
In passing, Kat Arney - who knows a thing or two about science podcasts - told me that transcripts are useful anyway for people who want to know how to spell certain scientific terms and they also add searchable content to your website (which might also increase the number of people finding your podcast.)
I have visited this topic before but didn't get very far... is anyone trying to combine science and language learning in this type of format?
For example, I've not heard of school lessons where two separate classes (French and Chemistry, say) are taught simultaneously to English-speaking pupils but it sounds intriguing in a "killing two birds with one stone" sort of way. There's every chance that it would be a chaotic mess though.
I'd quite like to combine language learning with science information acquisition. If you know of science podcasts or blogs in French, Spanish or Italian - that are pitched to a fairly "young" audience (either children who speak that language or adults who have a basic grasp) then I am toutes oreilles.
I have another flight of fancy if you will indulge me: maybe there could be an annual "translate your blog post into another language" type of thing. Even if it was only run through Google Translate... :)