https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Help with learning French

I've been learning French since the beginning of the year, yet I feel like my tactic haven't been very effective. I was wondering if someone could share with me their way on how to learn French. It'd be greatly appreciated.

March 12, 2016

44 Comments


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

Do a little bit every single day. Language is something that you acquire slowly and with consistency. You can't learn it quickly, and you can't learn it by putting in one or two days a week. Slow and steady wins the race here, for sure.

March 12, 2016

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

I totally second Lrtward's advice and recommend keeping a notebook where you write sentences and conjugations down. Don't compare your progress with others, either. Some people have a natural gift for language learning and for the rest of us, we have to work a little longer at it. Bonne chance!

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Might write it down, too. Yeah, sometimes I compare my progress and get a litlle frustrated, I'll try not to do it anymore. Merci beaucoup!

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jay568913

I completely agree with Jolynne, keep a journal! I take notes like I would a normal class and it helps immensely. I agree that you should practice everyday, I would recommend doing at least one old lesson and one new lesson each day.

I also use quizlet, which helps a lot! I just make flashcards for verb groups, nouns, idioms, etc. etc. and that has helped me a lot.

Watching movies in French with English subtitles, or English movies with French subtitles, have both helped tremendously, as well as youtube videos, music, etc (any form of visual or auditory immersion seems to help me).

Check out your local library for children's books (or if you think you're past that, young adult books/magazines) in French.

Bonne chance !

March 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

I agree with you completely with little by little. To be frank, I'm not very consistent and I need to change that. Thank you for the good advice!

March 13, 2016

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

That's good advice

March 14, 2016

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

I am not sure if my tactic is a good one for you (and others) because we are all different and we learn in different ways and we have different things which motivates us (and I think the motivation is the most important key). Anyway, long time ago I tried to learn French (year and a half) in a language school, with a private teacher and after with some self-study program. At that time I was A2 level but I stopped and after few year I've forgot everything!

____My mistakes: ________

1) Even though I liked French I wasn't so motivate in learning it.

2) I didn't make a good schedule and I just studied one or two times (for maximum 2 hours) per week.

3) I didn't have any goals.

4) I didn't use a language apart of being in a class.

5) I was focused on grammar (which is good but it isn't motivating when you can't use your knowledge because you know too less words).

__Recently I've tried it again but with different approach:_____

1) I am really motivate in learning. I am currently studying with: a) Duolingo b) Lingvist (https://lingvist.io/) c) Memrise (www.memrise.com/)

2) I didn't start with learning a grammar but primarily vocabulary.

3) I am studying every day! And I think this is very important! Study as much as you can but every day! If you only can 20 minutes than take these 20 minutes every time. It is better than two or three times for one or more hours by week. This means that you should make a good schedule so you can't say that you don't have time for studying a language.

4) Of course, sometimes you aren't in a mood of studying. That is fine but in that period try to repeat (or in Duolingo strengthen your skills). It won't be a big challenge for you because you are repeating but it is a really important for learning as well.

5) If you like music than try to listen something in French. If you like movies/ cartoons/ anime/ etc. than try it in French. However, I think you need to be concentrate on this tasks. You will not understand the sentences but just try to perceive words and find out words which you already know. In the begging don't take this so serious because you will be just frustrate how much you don't know. This should be mainly for fun (if you are beginner). For example, I may watch anime which I've already watched for 10 minutes per day. If I watch more I start to be frustrate because I am interested in watching but I don't understand the words.

__When I learn more of French I think to make some changes and focus on:____

6) Watching the movies/ reading the books in French

7) Talking with others in French (very important!)

8) Understanding more grammar

9) Taking some French courses.

This is just my plan. I am beginner and I don't like "boring courses and books" so I start first with this, in my opinion, interesting web sites and programs and after when I learn enough I am thinking to infiltrate "boring methods" as well. I hope, I helped you at least a little bit with my failures and new approaches.

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Thank you for all of those helpful tips, might apply a few of the. I appreciate that you shared with me your experience with learning French. Again, thanks a lot!

March 13, 2016

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

Tout le plaisir est pour moi. :)

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Hm, that means: "The pleasure is mine" right? : D

March 13, 2016

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

C'est vrai. :). I read that they usually reply on "Thank you" with: (1) De rien, (2) Je vous en prie (more polite) and (3) Tout le plaisir est pour moi. If I am right, it also depends on place (e.g. Canada, different parts of France, etc.) so there is more of this replies but I know for this three.

PS. But I guess people usually don't reply with "tout le plaisir est pour moi." :D

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Yeah, I don't know what either "vrai" nor "en prie" means : | Mon français ne est tres bon. Je suis nouveau en le français. (I think I said that correctly) : )

March 14, 2016

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

'Vrai' means right, but I am pretty sure it has more meaning. "en prie" - well, I don't know translation of it but I know the whole sentence ("Je vous en prie") is similar to "You're welcome". Currently, I don't try to know every word of some sentence, I am happy just to know where to applied/ to know whole meaning of the sentence.

Oh, I've just started with French so I can't tell you if you wrote well (I haven't started with grammar). :D Only small thing which I can notice is your "ne est" which I think should be written as "n'est".

March 14, 2016

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

I believe Je vous en prie translates as I beg of you. I saw it more used as a courtesy, like if you hold the door for someone and you are welcoming them to go through first, you might say je vous en prie. Or I heard some people use it where we would say "you're welcome" as you describe above. In English, it seems a little quaint, but it was quite common and current in usage when I lived in France.

March 14, 2016

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

Merci @Jolynnedougherty for your answer. It is nice to learn a new things :).

@wienerbrod, "c'est vrai" may be translate as "it's right" but also with "it's true". Actually, I think it is better to translate as "it's true" (but the meaning is kind of similar). But don't forget, I am also beginner as you and I may accidentally say something wrong. We are all in the same boat :D

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Yay, another beginner, like me : D I personally try to learn the meaning of each word, I prefer that and I find it better. Though yours is really good too : D

March 14, 2016

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

Bonjour EvaBlue2. So " c'est vrai " means That's right in English ?I'm a beginner too..

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Angeline140

just go with the flow and fail some questions because when you fail a question it is given to you again then you get used to it!!

March 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Thanks for the advice!

March 12, 2016

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

I watch an episode of Parlez-Moi every day. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC91jtIfx9bZkQaM2bGmCQOA

Take breaks too. In the morning, I study one new lesson a day, and strengthen a task I've recently completed. In the evening, I may strengthen another skill, but I rarely do more than two in a row.

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Hm, I tend to do that too. : D Thanks for the advice though, it's helpful!

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaaTwe1

I usually study the words for some time and get the hang of it. If you study, maybe it might help you.

March 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

I tend to take a lesson for one day and that's it; done. I'll take your davice and take more time!

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJPAUL0

you should practice the main pronunciations which are ( A,E,I,O,U) THE A sounds like AH THE E sounds like uh(eh) it like saying an a but with an e THE I sounds like 'ee' THE O sounds like oh an THE U sounds like ooh but also search up the french alphabet , get a better understanding of what each letter sounds like by its self. like l'ea(u)(water) l'ooh or repas(meal) reh-pah & jolie(pretty) joh-lee /you will get the hang of it also search up the accent in french and you'll see what i mean

March 12, 2016

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

Depending on the accents on top of the character, the letters will sound vastly different!

"é " sounds like the stereotypical Canadian "eh", whereas "è " or "ê " sound like the soft "e" in "set". Also double consonants (like "tt" and "ss") will make the soft "e" sound, followed by their own sound, if there is an "e" before them.

"ç " sounds like an "s", which is why it is important for words like Français(e).

Also a note: "LL" or "gn" will often sound like a "y". (Like in "Abeille" or "Gagner" -- a bee, to win)

I think you pretty much summed it up otherwise! ;D

March 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

The different sounds can be rather hard to understand, but I'll learn them! Thanks for the help!

March 13, 2016

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

You'll get them eventually. I still have trouble with words like "Après", which I unfortunately always pronounce AH-PRAY.

Aussi, de rien.

P.S. Thank-you to whoever gave me that lingot. ;)

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

I hope I do. My pronunciation isn'the the best but I'll get it right. : D

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Yeah, I've thought about checking out the complete alphabet, might do so. Thanks for the advice.

March 13, 2016

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

I am 15 percent fluent! Woo! I selected 10 minutes per day (regular), yet I do an hour or more every day. I'm motivated to keep going.

March 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JJPAUL0

then you should go to serious sure you can keep up :-)

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AbbyL104

Thanks for the awesome advice

March 12, 2016

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

Maybe you need a partner so that you can monitor each other's progress since persistence is not that easy to do alone.

March 16, 2016

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

Yes. I have a discussion called "I need a learning buddy for French". Maybe you could check it out?

March 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philly17

Set yourself a target of 20 xps a day and stick to it.

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YaaTwe1

I am doing 30 XP everyday.

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philly17

Good for you. I started low to ensure I stuck to it.

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

I actually changed it yesterday to 20xp, I think it's a better option. : D

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/philly17

Concentrate on learning the verbs. Once mastered you can easily add the more simple conjunction words.

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DayDreamer74

Yeah, that's what I try; but words can be forgotten and I've forgotten a few : |

March 15, 2016

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

Yeah, so I just have trouble when a sentence is written with dashes between words.

March 16, 2016

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

Now I am really confused. I am in the questions section, and I just dont understand any of it. It`s going by too fast maybe. Could you help me?

March 15, 2016

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

So... which parts of "Questions" do you understand, so that time is not wasted telling you things you already know? Or is it literally ALL of it that is confusing? ;D

I can relate, though. I still have trouble sometimes knowing when to use "Est-ce que" and phrases like that.

March 15, 2016

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

I keep going back to the questions too. I never really feel like I've mastered it.

March 16, 2016
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