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Improve your French listening and reading skills.

Hey guys, Although Duolingo is great for learning a new language (French in this case), it does not focus a lot on improving your listening skills. The lessons mostly just contain a single sentence which you need to translate from one language to another (back and forth) and occasionally there is an audio clip that you need to listen to and write it down. According to me , this is not sufficient to become fluent in a new language (French).

So, I did some research and found this site. http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/ . This site contains videos related to topics ranging from recent events (eg Swiss Immigration laws) to the history of mustard sauce. You can chose your level (A1 for beginners , B2 for advanced). There is a transcription of the video and several exercises related to the videos. Yes, it feels a little difficult at first to understand so much new vocabulary but you get better as the time goes by.

Hope you guys enjoy it.

March 1, 2014



iv started to do french it is a lot harder than spanish or portugues. all of the words sound the same and when it asks you to write it down during the speech to writing section, i dont know what words are even being used.


I took four years of advanced Spanish back in high school and started learning French (from scratch) in December. I think you'll find that there's a lot of overlap, of course, since they're derived from Latin. It certainly is more difficult phonetically but you will pick it up as you listen. The link suggested in this post is great, but also try French in Action, a free streaming PBS immersive television program from the 80's made for beginners.


Thanks for the recommendation about French in Action TV series. I looked it up online and I'm hooked to it now. It is wonderful to see how Paris looked like in the 80's. I'm surprised that some parts of Paris look the same today as it was in the 80's. They are very well preserved.


Thanks, it is a great series. I finished it and have started over to further work on my listening comprehension. The story is super campy but it has a strange charm to it, and it actually gets better towards the middle and the end.


when i type in the answers, i get some wrong. like the le homme example. the correct answer is les hommes, but both versions sound the same. and when the verb mange is used, all of its conjugations sound the same, so i dont know when to use the correct one besides listening to the word before it (nous, vous, ...)


Seroxus has a good point, but in Les hommes, one must make the liaison, so it sounds like "layz' omme". You should hear the zzz sound at the end of the article, if the audio is spoken in a good French (maybe harder to spot in the slow mode, I don't do the course because I'm a native, so I haven't heard it).


Probably takes time and practice to know the tricks to it


Yea, a bit of practice, and knowing your grammar thoroughly helps too.


'Le Homme" doesn't exist... it's "L'homme" so if you hear "Le" you know it's gotta be "Les"


I find the audio to be pretty poor as well. In french the verb conjugations for regular verbs sound the same for 1st,2nd, and 3rd person singular and plural. Vous and Nous are pronounced differently. There are always exceptions (être,prendre, avoir). For your example of L'homme (remember the h is silent and is treated like a vowel) and les homme you should hear a difference. For me it sounds like L'homme => lom. Les hommes => lezom. Since h is silent and treated like a vowel there is "liason" where you pronounce the last letter of the first word. Another example would be "You have" => "Vous avez", which sounds like "vouzavay"


if it sounds like lomme it's l'homme. If it's layz .... then les hommes. listen for Z sound.


I've been using the Duolingo method to learn french for about 3 years now, made some progress reading and writing, but my biggest hurdle still is the listening comprehension. Thanks for the "French in Action" tip I'll look into it.


yes, because the in the first two exercises , they only want you to watch the video (with no sound) and answer the question on the side. If you go to the third exercise , they have sound in that video and the transcription. You can go to different exercise by clicking on one of the numbers below 'Ma Progression'.


I was very confused about this! I thought something was wrong with my speakers or something! Anyway this website looks cool!


Thanks for the link but I haven't the slightest clue what one is supposed to get out of watching a silent clip prior to continuing on. Is there something I'm missing here?


I was confused! Thanks!


This happened to me too and then I read "Regardez la vidéo SANS LE SON ", "without sound" :-)


I'm not getting any sound either.


Thank you so much for that. I had been thinking the same thing and keep going back and forth from watching movies, reading books, and watching news articles on France24, but as they are all more at a more advanced level than i am, it is very hard to keep up. Duolingo is amazing but it needs more advance in the listening and reading (i mean translating one sentence to french from english and vice versa is not enough to learn the language fully) So, yeah, again, thank you.


Merci beaucoup !


There's a page in the (unofficial) Duolingo wiki for useful links as this one. Feel free to add the ones recommanded here.


Another great way to improve listening is through songs: http://lyricstraining.com/


this is a really cool site man....here have a linglot :)


merci beaucoup :D


This is great, thanks!


Yes, reading French text is not very difficult, but I cannot understand what a French man says by just listening.


A site like duolingo couldn't work without a community willing to help each other out. Bravo learncricket!!


Yes, this is a great resource! I also use italki.com. I have some paid tutors, but you can also find other students that will do language exchange (essentially just have a conversation in English and their native language).

This site is great for practicing spelling and vocabulary. If you want to learn how to speak another language you have to actually try to speak another language. Pronunciation is a big thing. I say this from experience. Having been to France many times to visit my girlfriend and her family I was able to write everything I wanted to say, but everyone had a hard time understanding me, even with 3 college level courses of French.


Thanks for this! It does fill a major gap in developing verbal comprehension. Have a Lingot!


Thank you very much. It's a real help.


This seems to be another good learning tool, but... I am at doulingo 6->7 and the easier tv5 videos were difficult for me.


just hang on... they were difficult for me too. As the time goes by , they will seem to be easier.


Merci beaucoup! très utile


Can anyone find the Spanish version of this site??


You can choose for Spanish, I've chosen for English. The default is offcourse French: http://apprendre.tv5monde.com/es


I think that when you first sign up there is an option to have the website in Spanish so I think that if you want a Spanish version, you must make a new account.


Merci, Merci :D


Grazie! Thank you very much, that's really interesting


This is great man, thank you so much.


Wow, thank you for posting this link. Always looking for other ways to improve my fluency.


The best and fast way to speak French or any language from English is Pimsleur.com. It is expensive. But worth every penny and you will have it for ever unlike taking a course for more money. I has apps which are cheaper. Also you might be able to take it out of the library. French now has 4levels.


Hello To teach the language of the best entry talks in written and audio so I would suggest to you who wants to develop themselves to add me in skype : belkouchi.soufiane And enter into talks and develop ourselves


Merci beaucoup!!!!! :DDD


Thanks for the link!


Thanks for this information - it's good to have a range of sources to learn from and understanding continuous french is very difficult.


J'aime le site! Merci, beaucoup!


Thank you for the website! Very useful for people like me who are still starting to do this type of exercises because the ones on Duolingo aren't enough. 2 lingots for you! :)


http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/tr/viewer.aspx is also helpful for fresh french news in French, daily. At least first page.


Genial! Merci beaucoup! Je t'aime mon amie! :-)


You are quite right. Duolingo has it's uses, but also it's limitations as well. It does not focus on building conversational skills quite good enough yet, but I remain hopeful that it will in the future.

As for your posted reference, merci beaucoup! I find myself mostly using DL to learn new phrases/words and remind myself of those from time to time, plus I don't always retain a high streak because I like to do more activities outside of Duo now. I will definitely check this out! c:


Thanks for the site! Really helpful!


c'est super, le site. Merci beaucoup!

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