https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

Can you write in French?

I'm on level 11 in French and now I can read a lot of articles from newspapers, Wikipedia etc without much struggle (although a dictionary is essential).

But when it comes to writing anything in French I get a little bit stuck. How about you? Do you think Duolingo is enough to achieve this level of proficiency or do you turn to other tools or resources? Does anyone have some tips?

Also, if someone would like to chat in French, contact me. This is a strategy I found very useful when I was learning English.

My personal page on Duolingo is https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

(I have changed my username and for some reason Duolingo hasn't updated it on the discussion forums, so you won't be able to get to my page just by clicking at my username... weird.)

August 30, 2015

47 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I find it helpful to start with things that are relatively simple such as a grocery list, then work my way up to writing a paragraph. Here are a few things to try:

  • Write your grocery list in French.

  • Write your to-do list in French.

  • Make an inventory of things in your house (clothes, contents of your cupboards, etc.)

  • Make notes in a meeting in French.

  • Write a list of things you wish that you could do.

  • Write down a diary entry of what you did today or how you were feeling

  • Write a trip/vacation report.

  • Write 10 lines about a person who has influenced your life.

  • Write 10 lines about a book that has influenced your life.

August 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Salut Liz. :) Really admire your enthusiasm embedded in your daily life for French learning. :D Well, I recently changed the language setting for my MP3 player and smartphone from English to French. Think one can do it for PC, TV and other devices also. Felt really uneasy in the beginning but I got the hang of it eventually. lol

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

I did that with my facebook profile, not a bad ideia to apply it to other social media and mobile settings!

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Oui, bonne idée. :D Well it must have been confusing in the beginning. lol Know folks who deliberately configure their laptops to use mouse for left handed when they are right handed as they think such stimulates the part of brain used less often than the other.

I remember my first experience of using an Internet cafe in Paris several years ago. Went to one and paid for just 30 min or less for a quick web surfing, checking email writing to my mum that I arrived in Paris safe sound. Back then I was an exchange student for one semester.

Within 30min., could not send an email to my mum as I was never used to bloody French keyboard lol It took me ages to figure out how to type "@". lol Think Germans also use their own keyboard standard also. :D

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick___777

ended up ruining my phone.. lol xD

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

lol Really? Oh dear :(

Well, almost forgot to mention the safety protocol: Don't be overly positive. lol If your machine asks you twice, do not click Oui yet but triple check as you might be about to delete, reset or format everything. ;p haha

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nick___777

i had my android all rooted and etc etc and yep, lost few valuable files xD mdrrrrr

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

Je pense que je vais rejoindre votre conseil avec ceux de Lrtward: je vais écrire toujours un journal à le website Lang-8, alors je peux pratiquer et je peux savoir si ma texte est correct. Merci pour votre aide !

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Bonne idée! ... et bonne chance! Voilà, vous pouvez écrire déja. Or is it "vous pouvez déja écrire? I'm not sure.

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

Oui, oui ! Mais c'est très dificille encore ... It takes ages for me to write most sentences haha but it's ok, I know it's always a struggle in the beginning. It was like that with English and suddenly it was all natural for me!

September 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lrtward

I have recently finished the French tree and I find it very difficult to write in French. Lang-8 is a website where you can submit writing and native speakers offer corrections and improvements. You are expected to correct the writings of others. It is free.

August 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

This was an extremely useful tip, loved the website, thanks!

August 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gcqueiroz

Thank you for this tip! I hope Duo don't get jealous

August 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gurzixo

I am french and I am learning English, Chinese and Italian, It's very a very good thing to see a film in the language you like to learn but it's better if you put the subtitles, french for example if you want to learn the french, because the way we pronounce the words are very "compact". BIgard, a french comedian, has a sketch about that, when we say "Si tu veux, on peut boire le thé ensemble" (=if you want we can have a cup of tea together). A non-native french can listen "on peut boirleter" ensemble and think we can say "je boirlete, tu boirlete, .. nous boirletâmes ", so it is very important, in the begining to have a written support when you listen a french film

The other important thing is to know by heart some typical phrases like, "je vais à..." "j'aime ..", "d'abord je fais .. puis..." "comment fait-on pour aller à",".. est un .. qui permet de .." then you only need to replace the ... by the words you want. There is a lot of idiomatic expressions in french, if you modify only one word or even it's place, the sentence will be incorrect or worse incomprehensible (maybe like me at this very moment in english :-)

Christian

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bvogel1

I love watching films in the languages I study with subtitles in the same language... that way I can study listening and reading at the same time, and I never have much trouble following the movie.

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zacraysmith

Movies are entertaining and good for learning languages;but they also have very, very corrupting effect on how you think and feel.

August 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

That might depend on what kind of movies you watch.

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/zacraysmith

One of the reasons for learning languages is you become better person by understanding of other cultures; watching movies/tv has the opposite effect, they make you selfish and lazy and as a consequence overweight and diabetic - to the point you become a drain on society.

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

Well, I don't know what to say in response to that Zacraysmith.

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

Mille merci! ;) Great tips indeed.

August 31, 2015

[deactivated user]

    I write in French daily. I keep a journal and in the morning I write about my plans for the day and later in the evening, I write about what happened and if I was able to complete my tasks. In addition to Duolingo I am using Michel Thomas and the previous edition of Living Language French (Ultimate Edition), along with short news articles and books for my level (A2-B1). I plan to move on to Assimil once I'm finished with Living Language.

    August 30, 2015

    https://www.duolingo.com/Bvogel1

    I used to keep my journal in French. Unfortunately I ended up not being a very diligent journaler, so it didn't last more than a few months, but I found it a very useful exercise. I may try it again sometime.

    August 31, 2015

    [deactivated user]

      It was hard to stick to it at first, so I kept my sentences short and did about 2 or 3 at a time. Now it's like a habit and I would feel weird if I didn't write in my journal, especially now that I'm able to write a paragraph or two.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10

      I would suggest watching movies and reading books in French, it helps a lot to improve reading, writing and listening. :) I would gladly chat with someone in French, it's a very good practice for speaking and writing :)

      August 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/shadowhawk.js

      I remember reading once that there are actually two parts of your brain that goes into learning a language, one area for reading or interpreting, and another for speaking and writing. Since I am a programmer I will call these input and output, because that is shorter lol.

      I've known a lot of people who can handle input from another language, but could not output anything in it at all. I worked with a woman that was half Brazilian, and another that was Thai, both claimed they could understand their language just fine but were utterly unable to speak it. Its a muscle, figuratively and literally in fact, you have to develop the tongue and fingers for outputting in another language and it just takes repetition more than anything.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/zacraysmith

      Here is one powerful insight I can share with you for learning French ( or any other subject for that matter). I've tried it this summer and it has improved my French by a factor of 100 I would say. It will require some sacrifice on your part though:

      Wake up 1 or 2 hour before the sun rises, take a shower, have a tiny breakfast, tea and 1 fruit or something like that, then study for 1 or two hours. Do this every day for a month or two and prepare to amaze yourself at the progress you've made!

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Bvogel1

      This is very good advice, especially for those (like me) who are "morning people" and do their best thinking in the earlier part of the day. It becomes almost like an appointment with yourself, and once the routine kicks in it's quite easy to automatically go into study-mode.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/avanade

      Salut. Think the tree exercise covers pretty much new vocabulary, grammar and composition skill at a sentence level. For writing a decent essay or at least several paragraphs in French, one has to read many well written work by others first to initially copy and later develop one's own style., I think. ;p Immersion (Eng=》French translation) exercise should also help.

      Bonne chance, madame ! :D

      August 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Beyragon

      Bonjour milena et autres utilisateurs, je suis Française et je vois que pas mal d'autres vous souhaiteraient avoir une correspondance. Si vous êtes intéressé(e)s, vous pouvez me contacter sur ma page Duolingo ( https://www.duolingo.com/Beyragon ) ou envoyez-moi une invitation sur l'application Line ( ID: sukasa ) Je serais ravie de vous aidez et d'apprendre à vous connaître!

      Hi duolingo users, would you like to chat in French with somebody? I'm French and I will be glad to help you. You can contact me on my duolingo's page ( https://www.duolingo.com/Beyragon ) or send me a friend requst on Line app ( ID: sukasa )

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Jorg.Ancrath

      Yes I can.

      Listen to podcasts daily and after a month you'll improve a lot. I'm able to write full letters to people and in December of last year was able to form a phrase. If I can do it, you can do it as well.

      August 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Marloezzz

      If you like the Duolingo format, you can also take the reverse course, English from French. Some of the vocabulary in the tree section is different (though the 'typing what you hear' exercises do get a bit annoying ;) ) Especially the immersion section will prove very helpful.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

      Yes, I'm doing it! It's quite helpful, but I think writing exercises and chatting are ways to push it further. Do you can deactivate the 'type what you hear' exercises? Just go on Settings > Account, and choose "off" for the Speaker feature. Just remember to turn it on again when doing the regular tree.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

      I opened up a different account for learning French to English reverse tree so that I could have different settings.

      September 1, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Carolyn250

      I have checked through the responses, and find a lot of good advice, but it surprises me that no one has mentioned immersion. I am doing the reverse English-French tree, so have to translate from English to French when I go into immersion. There are many wonderful native French speakers working in this area, who will take the time to correct the details when I have made my best attempt at writing the content in French.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

      I can't speak for anyone else, but I would feel self-conscious translating into French.

      September 1, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

      I don't think you should feel that way, you're just trying to learn, it's not being pretentious or anything, and if you make a mistake, people will just correct it, nobody will judge you, we are all learning here.

      September 2, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

      You're probably right, but I might try lang-8 first to practice my writing. In immersion, people can make updates or adjustments without explanation. Maybe later?

      September 2, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/fraserbooks

      I used to go to a French class run by a very elderly French lady. We used to enjoy exercises like spot the difference between two pictures with the answers in French and find objects beginning with a certain letter. It certainly increases your vocabulary. She would also set exercises like retelling a simple fairy story. These often need obscure words. Busuu is another site which puts you in contact with native speakers. I have always found it easier to write a foreign language than speak it.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/marianamont

      Hi, this is my first day on this website and I decided to learn French to speak another language (probably the basic things). I hope that this page help me to speak this language. Congratulations MilenaLaraReis, I can see that you can write in French.

      September 1, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/gurzixo

      Welcome to you ! Don't forget to read the notes in each level, it will be the only theory you will have but it's the concept of this site. You will try by yourself to find "how the french language works" and it's the best way to learn, it's the way the children does and it works very quickly, they succeed to speak fluently their language in some years

      September 1, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/marianamont

      Thank you so much gurzixo! I'm on unit 1, but I think that you can learn by your step! I agree with you, this is the best way to speak a language.

      September 8, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

      On the contrary, I write french really well with little or no errors but I speak with so many errors. I guess we are opposites then :-)

      August 30, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/Bvogel1

      I like the extra thinking time that writing affords me, rather than feeling a bit "under the gun" to keep up in a conversation. I used to have a couple of French penpals and the writing practice was very helpful.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/mililareis

      True, I feel the same, writing in e-mail format is easier, you can do it at your own pace, but I guess that in a chat the other person surely understands it if you take some time to reply.

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

      Thats exactly how I feel too

      August 31, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/karenawa

      exactly

      December 15, 2015

      https://www.duolingo.com/SophieNGUY12

      J'ai pas compris. Quel est le but de cette discussion ???

      September 1, 2015
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