French update

<a href="”><img class="blogimg" src="” alt=”, by ” border=”0″ align=”right”>After stalling out a bit, I’ve returned to studying French. I ordered a copy of Easy French Reader, which has an ugly cover, I’ll admit, but is still a good introductory book. The book is in three parts: Part I contains a set of dialogues between an American teenager, Christine, and her French friend Charles, both of whom live in Paris. Part II is a collection of essays, written in French, about figures from French history. Part III contains several short stories, from writers such as Zola, that are mostly intact but have a few edits to make the vocabulary more suitable for beginning readers.

I’m still also working through French for Reading, but it’s slow-going. The audience for that book is graduate students who need French to do study and research, and so the prose is academic, scientific, and, I think, stilted and dry. I found myself bogging down, so I wanted something a little less erudite.

With my focus so squarely on written French, my pronunciation lags behind. That’s okay to an extent; I don’t foresee conversing in French in the near future, but I would like to read it. I do, however, want to begin developing an ear for the language so that I can understand, for example, the dialogue in French-language movies. Also, I’d eventually like to take a French class, and a head-start in verbal abilities will help.

With that in mind, I’ve been working through the French-language activities offered as part of the BBC’s languages series. Without buying the videos, of course, I can’t view the Beeb’s French programs, but the website offers interactive modules that allow you to listen to and practice conversational French.

It’s standard introductory material–asking for directions, ordering a drink or a meal, buying Metro tickets, inquiring about the price of a piece of merchandise–but it’s a good start to picking up the sounds of French words.


11 thoughts on “French update

  1. I’d recommend listening to french-language radio online, if possible. I enjoy Radio 21 in Brussels primarily for the music, but hearing the speaking between tracks rubs off on you, and makes concerted french listening or speaking that bit easier/natural. Theres a link from my blog, and it can be listened to on iTunes and recorded on RadioLover.

  2. Oh, well now:

    “Record your favourite Internet radio streams as separate songs. Listen to your favourite radio shows on your iPod.”


    Nagl, you’re my latest hero.

  3. Everyone should be a RadioLover lover.

    Highly recommend the 2 hour Cocktail Party prog on Radio21 on Saturdays, by the way. Music’s always ace and the DJ has the most divine voice. It’d be on around 11am your time, I think, so you could set RL to record it for you. SHMOOV!

  4. I know this is an unrelated topic to french, but have heard about RSS feeds? It’s really interesting stuff, and you should check out this site if you want to learn more about it:

    I haven’t yet tried it myself, but I’m going to get signed up so I can monitor all of my blogs more easily. Groovetacular!

  5. I have an RSS aggregator that I was using pretty regularly, but for some reason I haven’t checked it in a while.

    I have an RSS feed here, so if you want to add me to your Bloglines account, feel free.

    Alas, I lost the link to your blog, so send it back to me in e-mail. Do you have an RSS feed?

  6. Kelly Sue – cool! Breut is lovely, hopefully there’ll be live dates one day. If you’re interested in more French-language music, there’s the Belgian equivalent of Amazon which is in English and has helped me out a few times with CDs unavailable outside of Belgium or France – – if you like Belle & Sebastian, Melon Galia are well worth buying, and there’s 2 compilation CDs of the Radio21 show Cocktail Lounge that have a lush mix of tracks, some English, some French, some instrumental, all gorgeous!

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