View Full Version : Okay, so I want to learn some French.

02-28-2012, 08:13 PM
Here's the deal. I have this certain friend who can speak English very well, and she apparently taught herself. This makes me feel inadequate, and therefore I must learn French in order to even the playing field. But the problem is, I don't know where to start. I know About.com has some newsletters for learning French, and I was considering starting that, but do any of you guys happen to know any good resources for learning French? For those who can speak French here and learned it as a second language, do you have any general tips?

(Right now I'm thinking of starting with a 7 day newsletter from About.com and practicing every morning in the 2 hours I have between my waking up and my catching a bus. Should I bulldoze this plan?)

02-28-2012, 09:15 PM
With any language, I don't think it's super important from where you learn the basics - some sources can be more helpful and pedagogical than others, but you'll figure out the basics soon enough. If you can study every day in the morning, that's great. If you can study regularly later in the day, even better, because your brain will be more alert, perceptive and retain more information.

My main tips concerns how you proceed once you've gotten some basics down. Find a French book, magazine, or well-updated website, something that interests you. Grab a dictionary (or your favourite translation service) and start working your way through it. It's gonna go slow at first as you take several minutes making sense out of a single sentence, but soon you'll start picking up some speed, and eventually you'll start using the dictionary less as you fill in the gaps using context. This is a great way to learn language in a natural manner, similar to how children learn to speak just by listening to adults. In time you might be able to do the same with a French movie - start with English subtitles but concentrate on what they're saying and try to pair the words and phrases with the translated versions. Make conversation (through text, for starters!) with people who speak the language natively (and preferably, are willing to correct your mistakes and give you constructive criticism). The internet is a fantastic place for this. Exchange letters with people, even!

This all probably benefits from using more traditional methods simultaneously - classes, exercises, what have you. I just think you miss out on a lot by only studying grammar rules and vocabulary and not excercising the natural flow of the language.

02-29-2012, 12:16 AM
WWW Resources for French as a Second Language Learning (http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~weinberg/french.html) has a bunch of links, one of which caught my attention : Le Point du FLE - Annuaire du français langue étrangère - Apprendre le français - Learn French - Aprender francés - Französisch lernen (http://www.lepointdufle.net/)
However, that one, while having a lot of material to work with, seems a bit confusing to use, but links to a free textbook for beginners (and you can check both the student and teacher version) : Cestparti.org - Home (http://cestparti.org/)

Anyway, good luck with that, our language is a pain to learn for foreigners ;)

02-29-2012, 02:44 PM
Thanks for the advice so far! I've decided that rather than try to practice in the mornings, I'll practice at around 5:00, when I get home. I've subscribed to one of about.com's week-long beginner newsletters to start, but after I do that I'm going to look through the links you provided, Endless. =) I'm going to try and get the basics down first, and I'm going to make sure my schedule allows for daily practice.

After I get the basics down, I'm going to try and follow your advice, Rantz. I actually had tried studying French before but I had jumped right into trying to make sense of French media before I really grasped anything about the language (I tried to play Chrono Trigger in French :jess:), so now I'm going to take my time and learn the basics first. I already have some ideas on what I might use to practice. (That silent movie "The Artist" comes to mind. I feel like that would be good language practice in general.)

Anywho, I'm starting up tonight so we'll see how it goes.

02-29-2012, 09:57 PM

university french: Français interactif (http://www.laits.utexas.edu/fi/)

join some french-speaking forums, and use google translate liberally.


02-29-2012, 11:58 PM
I just explored those two links, and those look like they're going to be really, really helpful! LiveMocha in particular seems really cool. :D

03-01-2012, 04:47 AM
My college French classes actually followed the curriculum set up by Français Interactif, and a lot of the homework for the first two semesters came from their site

03-01-2012, 02:48 PM
Do you feel like it was an effective curriculum? I'm definitely going to use it if so. :kakapo: