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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.

4 years ago

68 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
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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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lpybus
lpybus
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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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chjb06
chjb06
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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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lpybus
lpybus
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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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
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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, ...)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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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).

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jkl
jkl
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Probably takes time and practice to know the tricks to it

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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Yea, a bit of practice, and knowing your grammar thoroughly helps too.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seroxus

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enigmasck

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"

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jbarrezueta

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.

7 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/G.Amo
4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learncricket

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'.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IAmJon
IAmJon
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I was very confused about this! I thought something was wrong with my speakers or something! Anyway this website looks cool!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kevinmac200

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?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/89pages

I was confused! Thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/centime
centime
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This happened to me too and then I read "Regardez la vidéo SANS LE SON ", "without sound" :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Seroxus

I'm not getting any sound either.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lilygryffindor

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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learncricket

De rien :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/lamyrtilleverte

Merci beaucoup !

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cjlyphout

While duolingo doesn't necessarily focus on listening skills, there is always the option of clicking the listen button.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enigmasck

The listening part is really bad. This website would benefit from having the ability for native speakers to record an audio translation.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cjlyphout

I agree. What I do is I go to the settings on my apple device and I make it so that she I highlights something 'speak' is one of the options. Then I make Siri's voice have a French accent. When I want to hear something, i highlight it, click speak, and it sounds much more realistic than the voice on duolingo

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/BastouXII
BastouXII
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There's a page in the (unofficial) Duolingo wiki for useful links as this one. Feel free to add the ones recommanded here.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NidaYassmin

merci beaucoup :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/issa22
issa22
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This is great, thanks!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Andrew-Lin
Andrew-Lin
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Yes, reading French text is not very difficult, but I cannot understand what a French man says by just listening.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mb0742

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/enigmasck

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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/illegalliler

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FGBraz
FGBraz
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Another great way to improve listening is through songs: http://lyricstraining.com/

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learncricket

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/kradeka

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/corasan

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EdieHarris

Meri, beaucoup!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pbergergro

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/learncricket

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/aelbashir

Merci beaucoup! très utile

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TrinaDubya

Merci bien!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ekfto456

Can anyone find the Spanish version of this site??

4 years ago

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cjlyphout

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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Point with the mouse to your name (ekfto456) on the blue duolingo tool bar at top. A dropdown menu will appear.

Click on "Settings." A new page will appear.

Click on "Learning language" on the right. A new page will appear.

Drop down the menu next to Learning Language on the left, where it says "I want to learn . . . " (use the little "v" to the right).

Click on one of the "Quiero aprender . . . (Yo sé español)" choices.

Click on the green "Save changes" button. Your screen will change to display Spanish text.

Note that when you change from one base language to another, all the activities--points earned, etc. in the first language--do not show up any longer in the new language. Don't panic. They have not been erased. They will be visible again when you change back to that language--and the points earned, etc., in the second language will then not appear in the old one. This is just the way that Duolingo set things up.

There is a nice choices of languages to learn with Spanish as the base language!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Now why in heaven's name did I get a down vote for that?

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/GregHullender
GregHullender
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Because the person asked if there was a Spanish version of the Monde5 site, and you told them how to convert Duolingo to Spanish.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/slogger
sloggerPlus
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Well, I guess that would do it. Stupid of me. Thanks.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1J84
1J84
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Merci, Merci :D

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MarzipanSky73

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/itsayskeds13

Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Filgueiras17

This is great man, thank you so much.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Joseph1496
Joseph1496
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Thanks men

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/birdra63

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wrenbob
Wrenbob
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Merci!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Wrenbob
Wrenbob
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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.

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/soufianoxx

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/FrenchAddict7

Merci beaucoup!!!!! :DDD

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jmStrange

Thanks for the link!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/katebone

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

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/mltgeorgetownpc

J'aime le site! Merci, beaucoup!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PaulRosine

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! :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/nehadzaky

Thanks :)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Samy1979
Samy1979
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Genial! Merci beaucoup! Je t'aime mon amie! :-)

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SourireCache

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:

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Konniboy

Thanks for the site! Really helpful!

4 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EricJunChen

c'est super, le site. Merci beaucoup!

2 years ago