mardi 14 mai 2013

Learn French with Draw Something app

A few weeks ago I discovered this app called Draw Something and downloaded it to my phone.
Immediately, I became addicted to it. Now, I don't play computer games at all ever because I'm a really impatient person. I also don't watch tv series or read novels (because I can't handle waiting hours, weeks or months to get to the end!)... however...

This is based on the boardgame Pictionary. A game I used to pay a lot at home with my sister and friends. and to be totally not modest, I am really good at this game... and I don't actually think it's got to do with drawing skills at all, it's more to do with being able to convey a message and get the meaning and context across.  Once I played Cranium with a group of friends. The game lasted 3 hours and my friend and I (we played in pairs) won.  A lot of that has to do with me being a jack of all trades and a master of none ;P

Anyway, so... you're wondering what does drawing cupcakes have to do with learning French? Well I'm not sure if it's because my phone is in French or because I'm in a French-speaking country... but for me, when I loaded the game, it was all in French.

And the strangest thing happened... Here I was thinking I'm pretty much fluent in French and at CEFR C1 level easily by now... BUT I didn't know any of these words! How could I draw these things if I didn't know what they were? So I had to open up on my computer at the same time to be able to play.

And it got me thinking about it... after a little while I realised why I didn't know these words. They were mostly nouns. If you think about it, when you're a kid you learn a ton of nouns and comparatively fewer verbs but when you learn a (second) language as an adult you learn more verbs and less nouns.

For example for those of you learning French (or any other language) - how many different types of flowers can you name in your foreign language compared to your native language? I'll bet the answer is nowhere near as many.

When you're a kid you read story books and you amasse a big vocabulary of animal types, plant types, flower types, objects and stuff like that but as an adult learning a foreign language you're more likely to learn vocabulary you actually use on a daily basis, which doesn't include things like tulips or rhinoceroses (rhinoceri?) ;)

So here are some of the words I learnt thanks to this app.

caniche = poodle
tombeau = gravestone/tombstone
beignet = donut


(mobile phone) app = app/appli/application
board game = jeu de société (society game)

The app matches you up with a random player (I'm guessing via GPS so it's someone quite close geographically) OR you can play against a friend. The more you play the more points or coins you collect and that allows you to get more colours to draw with (which is handy).  If you guess incorrectly the game is over and you start again at round 1. I got up to round 33 with one girl and she left the game! I was hoping to break some kind of record with her. You don't have to stay permanently online, the game remembers where you last left off and there is no need to 'save' or anything which is great. There are also cheaters too and I don't like this. They write the answer on the screen instead of drawing it.

Even if you can't manage to get it in French on your phone it's a fun app anyway... but I'm kind of over it now... hahaha.

Get it for iPhones or for Android.

(image from here)

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