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Tips how to learn French

There are many ways to learn a language, regardless of your level. The best way is to move to the country and make a chat in the local cafe every day, but suppose you don't have the expertise yet and you want to prepare. Here we have five tips which will help you learn the language in a fun way in order to understand and speak the language.

Tip 1 – Learn the basics
Tip 2 – Read
Tip 3 – Buy a digital dictionary
Tip 4 – Watch films with French subtitles
Tip 5 – Listen to French radio (programs)

Tip 1 - Learn the basics

If you want to gain basic knowledge buy a children’s book like ´Ik leer Frans/J´apprends Français´ (ISBN 90-447-0809-0). Children’s books are so much more fun than adult literature, they use simple descriptions and the words are limited to the directly usable ones, you can learn a lot from them.

You can also buy books with stories that you can read to children. these are not usually available in the bookstores, but try a search on the French eBay, there you can find a lot for just a few euros.

If you require more guidance, take a course with Alliance Française ( When you have some basic knowledge, you can take a course conversation in French with the same organization.

Tip 2 – Read

Read, read and read, that is the way to learn and understand a language. Buy a French newspaper or magazine that interests you. Don't make it to hard for yourself. A gossip magazine like Voici! ( is written in a popular language with lots of pictures so the story is easier to comprehend, this is somewhat more difficult with a newspaper like le Figaro ( that's more complex to understand. After a while you'll get the hang of it.

Tip 3 – Buy a digital dictionary

Buy a pocket dictionary with a digital version that you can install on your computer. With a program like that at hand you can find words quickly when reading an article. This doesn't mean that you'll understand everything, but if you read enough (daily !) you will intuitively understand the meaning of certain sentence constructions. In the beginning this can be very frustrating because you'll often think: now I translated all the words and I still don't understand what it says. Don't fret, there will be a moment when you will see the light.

Tip 4 – Watch films with French subtitles

Switch the audio of a dvd movie to English and the subtitles (sous-titres) to French. Read the subtitles during the film. It is an effective way to learn spoken French. The reverse is possible to: switch audio to French and subtitling to English, but be aware during the whole movie that you're trying to learn the language and not relax to watch a movie. So take your notepad with you and make notes of the words you find difficult. Or at best set both audio and subtitles to French.

Tip 5 – Listen to French radio (programs)

Listen regularly to a French radio station with a lot of clearly spoken text, use the internet to listen directly to the stations. The station Totem is an example of popular music and speech. There are many more stations to listen to. Find yourself a station where the people speak articulated and not to fast.












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geplaatst op 28 augustus 2006 om 02:17  |  send an e-mail

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