https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dan68431

What is a helpful way to improve your French?

Hello, I've only been learning French for a week or so but other than duo lingo are there any good ways of learning to understand spoken French? Thank you for your help!

March 10, 2016

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gantlord

I'd suggest listening to France Info, the french radio news, in the background while you're doing other things, good way to get a feel for the sound of the language and over time you'll understand it better.

http://www.franceinfo.fr/

March 10, 2016

[deactivated user]

    RFI has a news podcast that is spoken a bit slower than normal. It's called "Journal en fran├žais facile."

    March 10, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaptainLevi.

    Oui, I have the app for RFI. It has loads of content and I quite enjoy it.

    March 11, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

    Wow, you're advanced. I tried to listen but couldn't understand a thing.

    March 11, 2016

    [deactivated user]

      It does take some time, but the more you do it the easier it becomes. You can search on YouTube for French dialogues for beginners and listen to them. Once you are comfortable, move to more intermediate dialogues and give the RFI podcast another try. This is what I did when I first started (along with getting Assimil & Michel Thomas) and it really helped me since I would constantly translate in my head and confuse myself in the process.

      March 11, 2016

      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

      So you no longer need to translate in your head? That would be a huge step. How long did it take you to get to that step?

      March 11, 2016

      [deactivated user]

        I still need to translate the more complex stuff, but for news briefs and articles, certain stories/novels and television shows it has become second nature. I'm at the point in my studies that it doesn't feel like learning, just a part of my daily life.

        It took just over 11 months to not translate the beginner stuff; I'm three years in now testing above B1 and sometimes B2. Speaking really helps as well so check for a French speaking group in your area on meetup.com or see if local colleges will let you join their French club(s).

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

        Wow, my ultimate goal is to read the news and watch TV. So you are more advanced now than I've dreamed to ever be. Now if I could get there in 11 months like you did, that would be amazing. If you have more tips and tricks to help me get there fast, please, please tell me.

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kimyphan

        I'm not sure about the app but if you access the desktop content of Journal en fran├žais facile, they provide the transcripts of their podcasts so you can follow along.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaptainLevi.

        Like Pomrou said, it becomes easier. I do not understand everything but when I first began it helps to watch the videos they post and listen to them multiple times until you can understand most of what they are saying. :) Words that you've learned will pop out at you, and the more you learn the more that will happen. It is always exciting when you understand most of it. I find that speaking in French to someone face to face is much easier understanding than online. I don't know why, but I have an easier time with it.

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/knownopain

        Captain Levi is that you-

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaptainLevi.

        Yes.

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zzawesome

        cool

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nyCnz

        Tip When you are reading a book, translate the words you can read into French . . . it helps! ^_^*

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/maximillianooo

        really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        March 14, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineE83

        Hi, this method (translating words in books to french)really helps. Thanks! :)

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nyCnz

        : )

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VPeabody

        For listening, I like the podcast called News in Slow French. For more in depth learning that is fun and easy, I love Coffee Break French. The free podcast is great, but you can pay for the full version if you want written transcripts and more detailed information. Also, see if there are any Meetups in your area or social groups that get together to practice speaking French.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psimpson1
        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/psimpson1

        Oh wait, I just caught that you said spoken French. This won't help with that, but it helps with grammar.

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Athryl
        • 1611

        Watch videos in French. I prefer to watch things I am familiar with to have an even better chance of understanding the context...like a favorite movie but in French. I still struggle a lot to understand spoken French, it's tough for sure.

        If you don't mind something super kiddy to start with my husband and I have found Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in French to be a good starter. Perhaps not the most entertaining at our age though! But on the simple side with lots of context!

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moogy

        Try easy languages on youtube .You can follow the subtitles and the videos are short.

        https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLA5UIoabheFMYWWnGFFxl8_nvVZWZSykc

        good luck.

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lindrhound

        I like listening to audio versions of books I've already read in my own language. I also like listening to audiobooks while reading along (in the language I'm listening to).

        You can find free public domain audiobooks and texts on librivox.org or litteratureaudio.com.

        The books are old, but a lot of great ones.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

        Does your listening skill improve afterward? I tried this but it didn't work well for me.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lindrhound

        I've been listening to the same story every night for the past few weeks and my listening comprehension has definitely improved. I can recognise words and phrases that I know now even when I'm not paying attention.

        Have you ever tried those language audio courses? It won't teach you anything you don't already know, but it might train your ear.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

        Cool. May I ask which books you're listening to? I'm trying to find a good one. Thanks.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Poissonnier

        When you go to McDonald's, demande un Big Mac avec des pommes frites.

        Oh, but I jest.

        I found that lingvist.com helped me by drilling French vocabulary and grammar. You get a lot more work with conditional, imperfect, and subjunctive tenses there than you do on Duolingo. As you progress in your French tree, the two sites begin to complement each other.

        I also recommend reading simple children's books in French. I like 'Histoires a lire le soir'. I also like the app 'News in Slow French' for listening skills.

        If you have a group in your town you can join to practice speaking, you should do that too. If not, you'll end up like me. I can read the French newspaper, but I can't write or speak even to a 5-year-old.

        C'est la vie.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brit_In_France

        Study the grammar and retain an open mind to the new rules that you'll have to get used to. A lot of people rubbish grammar, but it's hard to understand what people are saying if you don't know the nuances of grammar or understand the word order.

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mensogulo

        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2mv2wEdsVY1Yt2OAQniz0g/videos

        They are really good. Helped me a lot. :)

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

        Spoken french is hard. What I did was looking for TV shows for kids that I like and just leave them on all day long. The best ones are those with catch phrases and transcripts. After listening for a while, you start to notice that some sentences got repeated a lot. Once you figure out the meaning of those sentences, things will get easier quickly.

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mereade

        for now, you might like lyricstraining.com :-)

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LanguageButcher

        Can you actually do well on that site? I tried one and it's just way over my head.

        March 10, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mereade

        Of course you can! Just choose songs you like, so that you'll enjoy practicing them repeatedly. As you practice, you might even happen to learn the lyrics and sing along :-) It is a good way to practice pronunciation too, even though I usually make sure noone is at home before singing :-)

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elephantyu

        you learn fast

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Horsegirl1330

        get some french books, then try and get hold on some french dictionaries. I don't know if thats helpful but it helped me.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EvaBlue2

        I know people who are learning with: http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/. I think the good way for learning a new language is listening songs, watching movies etc. but if you aren't concentrate on it I am not sure if it is useful.

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/country-mouse

        I'm still very new at learning French, so I want something basic and easy.

        Inspired by one of the first comments above, to listen to French radio, I found that I enjoy listening to Spotify France and listening to songs sung in French while I'm working. When not at work, I enjoy turning on the LYRICS function so I can read the lyrics written in French while listening and following along to the song; sometimes the chorus is repeated several times.

        There are several song lists that have primarily songs sung in French, the one I'm listening to currently is "L'essentiel de la Chanson Francaise."

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sherbmania

        hope you tell me if you found a way

        March 11, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zzawesome

        i have been doing french for a long time but i stopped so they made me start over

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zzawesome

        you can practice e a lot go to the country where you are surround by the language or you van go to the language camp so you only speak french

        March 12, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James.leggate

        congrats bro

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KatherineE83

        If you click the button that says "words" while on Duolingo, you will see a list of the words you have learned. You can here the words you learned being spoken, and you can see the translations. It really helps to look at this list every now and then. On this website, http://www.digitaldialects.com/French.htm there is a lot of French practice exercises and there are lots of Youtube videos online with helpful tips about learning French. I hope this helps!

        March 15, 2016

        https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rexfordrat

        Two programs that you can find on YouTube are Comme Une Francaise and Learning French with Alexa. The first one helps with learning "real French" and the second one clearly explains french grammar. In addition to Duolingo, these programs have helped me a lot.

        May 31, 2019
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