A follow up to my previous post ‘How to Learn French…When You Already Speak It’ and the problem advanced French students have with progressing in French. My last post focused more on free resources and now I’m going to list a few that you may need to pay for (but personally I think they’re worth the money)
Read (and listen to) Audio Language Magazine
When I started to feel I was an ‘advanced’ French learner, I started to think I could casually read French magazines, newspapers and watch French movies designed for native speakers. While this isn’t necessarily detrimental, it’s not necessarily the best way to improve. I started reading about ‘audio language magazines’, essentially they’re magazines that are written entirely in a foreign language, but usually come with either a bi-lingual glossary or a transcript. But their most important feature is that they come with native-speaker audio. Continue reading
Many people were shocked to find out that I mainly spoke in French with my French boyfriend. It was the language that we ‘met in’ and we always found it difficult to speak in English together, so French it was. It was definitely a good way to practice my French, until he decided to break the rules of French grammar….
We were sitting in a pub in London and I had introduced him to the typically British (and Australian) ‘Sunday Roast’ but the waitress forgot to bring out my sauce.
So as we’re sitting in this pub and I’m waiting, Matthieu tells me “Elle va l’amener” (She’s going to bring it).
Now this post might be difficult for people who don’t study French, but I’ll try to explain why he confused me. Here Matthieu used the verb ‘amener’ meaning ‘to bring’. However in French you only use this verb when you are talking about bringing a person or an animal somewhere. They have a separate verb ‘apporter’ which you use for objects.
My friend Jennie at ielanguages shared a fascinating article about the lack of “vous” on the internet and the increased appearance of “tu”, even when two people who don’t know each other are communicating.
My own experience with being ‘tued’ and ‘voued’ on social media came from one of my students who added me on Facebook. She sent me a few emails from time to time and she always addressed me with ‘vous’, although I knew I would always address her with ‘tu’ since I was her teacher and she was my student.
However the very day that I stopped being her teacher, she sent me an email and addressed me with ‘tu’. Now as an English speaker, I really didn’t give a shit whether she used tu or vous with me, but it was interesting to see once this idea of a social barrier in her head came down she felt free to talk to me like the young adult I am. Even though we had been more friends than student and teacher for a while, it wasn’t until I had that title of ‘teacher’ taken off that she felt she had the right to use ‘tu’.
This is how hard French conjugation is – you can make a game out of it!
Introducing… Bescherelle, le jeu!
From the back:
Dites-vous un ou une anagramme ? Un ou une astérisque ? Savez-vous conjuguer tous les verbes ? Le pluriel d’un ail ? D’un corail ?… Testez vos connaissances sur la langue française avec les enfants tout en vous amusant !
Translation: Do you say un (masculine) or une (feminine) anagramme? Un or une asterisque? Do you know how to conjugate all the verbs? What’s the plural of garlic? Or of coral? Test your knowledge of the French language with the children all having fun together!