FINISHED MY FRENCH TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!
HOORAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEAH!!!!!!!!! After five long months, I have finally finished my French tree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much to everyone that has helped me achieve this goal: the creators of the course and everyone else who has answered my countless questions along the way. Without Duolingo, it would be virtually impossible to learn a language in only five months!! This is my second tree (I finished German and Swedish, but I don't count Swedish because I spoke fluent Swedish before starting the tree), and I am finding it easier and easier to learn a language faster. I think it's really wonderful that there is a place where anyone can learn languages in a mentally stimulating environment! Now it's time to focus on Portuguese and Irish! If anyone has any suggestions about what to do next to continue improving my French, I would gladly accept them! I'm specifically looking for free online newspapers or children's books!
The link below is to a free online French lending e-library with a LARGE jeunesse section.
There are plenty of French newspapers online, the best-known being Le Monde (not sure how to italicize). Read the comments there too, as that will expose you to a less literary style of writing. News in Slow French is an excellent podcast for listening comprehension, and includes conversation, stories and other forms of the language that you will be exposed to and therefore must experience. The last trick I have found is French TED Talks. These are the only thing I have found to have matching audio and subtitles. This allows you to follow along and get the feel of the words being said correctly while also seeing the words written out, leading to a more natural association of the two. I generally watch them once with English subtitles, once with French, and once without, while thinking of the written form on the third round.
I know you asked for more written materials, but I think auditory training is just as, if not more important, especially with French, which has a relatively familiar written form (for English speakers), alongside a spoken form that is unfamiliar and sometimes dissimilar to its own written form.
RFI publishes a daily audio news summary called Journal en Française Facile: "Un journal qui présente l'actualité avec des mots simples et explique les événements dans leur contexte." To make it even more helpful, they publish the text of the broadcast online as well. You can listen to it daily at http://www1.rfi.fr/lffr/articles/001/script_journal_francais_facile.asp or via RFI's app.
Ce dont vous avez certainement besoin en ce moment, au cas où vous voudriez bien être plus à l’aise avec la langue de Molière, c’est l’occasion d’être exposé au langage parlé par les natifs. Je vous conseille vivement, entre autre, “French in Action“ et “Reflets“ (tous les deux sur Youtube), les podcasts “Coffee Break French“ et “Français Authentique“.
Congrats. I'm interested (for myself) to know how good your French is now (especially if you have only done French with Duolingo). Could you tell me what you score on the test below and how good you think you are now at:
- Reading French - sounds like newspapers and children's books are good :)
- Writing French
- Listening to French movies (or French TV shows or the French TV News) without subs
- Talking with a native French person on Skype (or a live conversation)
- Speed and thinking in French compared to "native" levels (or compared to others who are "fluent")
- Any other general points of how your French is good or any areas it is weaker than, say, learning at school
This is an online test that evaluates your French - I'd be interested in your score the first time through (I will give 20 lingots for your efforts although you probably have A LOT by now):
Well done again.
Thanks! I took the proficiency test, and I got one wrong (I didn't know how to say "medium-rare" in French), so I got 96%. I'm pretty good at reading French -- I'd say that I have to look up about one word per every two sentences in French newspapers (which I think use fairly difficult language). I'm currently reading a young adult novel in French from the Bibliothèque des Amériques, and, although I have to look up some words in the dictionary, I can understand the story as if I was reading in English. I'm very good at writing French. Honestly, I think that how well you write depends on how well or how much you read. The more newspapers or books I read, the better I can write. I have not listened to any French movies, TV shows, or news yet. That is a really good idea that had not even occurred to me! Thank you for the suggestion! I am able to hold a fluid conversation with a fluent French speaker, although it's easier for me to comprehend what she is saying rather than produce the spoken language myself (I can still speak very well, though). I think that I am at a point where I can think in French instead of thinking in English and translating. It takes me just a bit longer than in English, however. My French is very good, though I wouldn't say I am fluent yet. There are still quite a few very advanced grammar concepts that I have not yet mastered. On the ILR language proficiency scale, I would say that I am "able to speak the language with sufficient structural accuracy and vocabulary to participate effectively in most conversations on practical, social, and professional topics" (ILR 3- professional working proficiency). I speak with an ILR-4 accent, though. Apparently I have a really really good French accent :) Thank you for your thoughtful questions, and I hope that this helps!
Wow impressive - thanks, that really helps me. I have paid to do French lessons in Paris and learned French at school - I think you have done better for free! Here are those lingots.
For speaking I love Michel Thomas audiobooks on speaking French but you will be beyond his material (maybe the advanced tapes). There are groups out there where you can jump on Skype to practice French in exchange for your native language (eg teach each other, an hour each). Lots of great French movies out there. For French Grammar I like "Collin's Easy Learning French Grammar in Colour" (great use of colour in its notes and it covers all the French Grammar I know of!).
It's great that you come out of Duolingo with good listening - that is hard to master! And French accent - wow - lots of people have trouble with that.
Thanks, I'm glad that helped! That grammar book will definitely be useful! As for the accent, I am a musician, so I find that I am very good at emulating accents and hearing small differences between similar words. I really think that Duolingo is effective. Whenever my friends say, "What are you using to learn French?" and I tell them it is a free website, they don't believe that it could possibly be so effective. Then I make them try it out and they believe me!
congratulations man ! my aim is to finish french this year, I started it maybe a year ago but I just don't have a lot of motivation to study french, there's no logic on the way they write the language but I would really like to know the language because there are so many french speaking countries around the world.
You can do the reverse course (English for French speakers). I heard that the reverse trees can be quite challenging, so this might help you continue improving your French. Also, check out this discussion https://www.duolingo.com/comment/1993816 since it has a link where you can read Le Petit Prince for free. Congratulations on finishing your tree and happy learning ^_^
Congratulations! Would you tell little about your strategy? How much languages do you learn at a time? How much points were you doing per day? I make 30 XP a day doing a review lesson, a new lesson at the tree and translating a few sentences in the immersion session? How do you do it?
Thanks! I can definitely tell you about my "strategy." When I started my French tree, I was about halfway done with my German tree. I took a break from both French and German to zip through the Swedish tree (I already spoke Swedish fluently). After finishing the Swedish course, I started learning Irish. Soon after, I finished the German course. I began Portuguese right after that. So, to simplify that long answer, I learn 2 or 3 languages at a time. I wasn't really paying attention to my XP, as long as I could keep up my 20 pt streak. Some days, I do only review/strengthening, and on other days, I do a bunch of review as well as new lessons. For me, I either do a little bit (maybe one new skill) or a lot (like 5 new skills) per day. I haven't really ever done any immersion translating, but I plan to start so I can strengthen my French and German.
FINALLY!!! My French tree is regilded! The revised tree left me with so many colored orbs that, for a while, I couldn't face it and didn't do many lessons, just Immersion. That had the obvious result of letting the tree deteriorate further, more discouragement, etc.
A few weeks ago, I set out to see if I couldn't get back that nice Golden look. It took a lot of effort - but it paid off today.
Phew! Now to keep it that way!