I'm having trouble with French, HELP!!!!!!!
This is my first time starting a discussion on French from English. I rarely practice French, the pronunciation is so hard, I can't even pronounce French words without the help of Google Translate, and how do I remember the Genders of nouns? It is hard to hear The French voice On DL . And a lot of people say you have to get out and speak the language you are trying to learn, but There are hardly any French speakers in my area. People say French is a beautiful language but I have trouble believing that. I am getting a little discouraged, any suggestions?
My best advice is to keep going on Duolingo even if you only do one lesson per day. The longer that you stick with it, the more enjoyable it will become. It seems overwhelming now because it's new.
If you have the microphone activated for Duolingo, and are finding that frustrating, you can consider turning it off. I did have some difficulty understanding the French voice at first, and I do already speak some French. After a few lessons, I got used to the voice and find it easier to understand. Use the slow speed as much as you need.
If you are interested in speaking French, you will eventually learn to speak the language. However, you can take it just one step at a time. Think about how long it took you to learn to speak English. Most of us don't arrive in the world being able to speak. It was years after that before you learned to read and write.
The gender of each noun just has to be memorized.I do flash cards sometimes and include the gender with the noun. I still make mistakes, but Duo helps me with that. It's all part of the process.
I see you're studying Spanish as well, you can use that to your advantage to guess the gender of a word in French. If you come across a word in French and you know the Spanish word has the same root, it probably has the same gender, but the Spanish one will probably end in -o or -a, which gives away the gender 95 % of the time.
Some examples :
- sp libro -> fr livre (m)
- sp puerta -> fr porte (f)
I had the same problem as you buddy. Just keep on persevering! Take 2 lingots. Good luck!
I don't know if it might help, but you can check out my learning loom - living in the folds of duolingo.
It is my notes - that I have used (and developed) to help me in my learning. They have links - wherever I can find them to audio files and other great links - by clicking on links.
And when you hit a hurdle - try to think of a language related question to ask here.
One of those also on the french learning journey, your friend, Kanga.
Learning Loom Ladder if you hold down the "ctrl" key and click on the light gray writing it will open up my links in a separate tab.
It is all a matter of time and exposure, engagement and finding the enjoyment. It is worth the journey ! It is amazing the doors of adventures it can open up to you. Do not lose heart !
I understand your problem, and I can help! I am studying French as well, and have had problems with pronounciation! Here is a great video to get you started: http://tinyurl.com/frenchpronounce It helped me a ton! And also, gender within words are represented in a difficult way, yes. Example: Un is used as "a" or "an" when the subject is a male, whereas une is used as "a" or "an" when the subject is female (Masculine and feminine. Tell me if you want more lessons :)
When I started the French tree I found that if I listened to about fifteen minutes of French audiobook First I was able to understand the robot better. this does not mean you will understand the audiobook.
I use Google Translate all the time. I asked my dad about this because I was in the same situation, and he said to listen to French radio. Even if you don't understand it, it will help you a LOT. Also, ask around. You might be surprised at who speaks French as a lot of people take it in high school.
I find it helpful to find things to watch or listen to where I have some way to know exactly what words are being said in the target language and more or less what they mean in my native language, and where I can watch or listen over and over again. Songs can be good for this (lyrics are pretty easy to find online); so can films, especially if they have subtitles in both languages.
I once had a German professor who immigrated from Berlin to the United States as a teenager. He had been taught Russian rather than English in school, and so initially he knew very little English. For his first several days in the US, everything was incomprehensible. But one day he started being able to recognize the word "the". Within a week, he could pick out lots of words, and pretty soon everything started falling into place.
It takes time to get a toehold in a language, but once you do, things get progressively easier. Find a few things to listen to or watch where you have some way of knowing what is being said, even if you can't pick out the words at first. After you are able to distinguish the words, move on to other things. You'll find that you get better and better until your comprehension is quite good.
I had the same thing going for me for about 2 levels. I hated it. You just have to get through the rough patches, then you should be in the clear. Have 5 lingots, if it lets me give that many.
For pronunciation there are general rules (unlike in English). I am sure you can find them on the internet. (I only have links for German speakers as that is my native language.) I just read out loud to myself a lot. It's like gymnastics for the mouth and helps the lips and tongue to get used to forming the sounds. On duolingo I repeat all the French phrases, not just those with the microphone.
Listening to radio, or even better an audiobook that you can play over and over, helps too. Just let it run while doing washing-up or whatever, no need to understand, just get used to the sounds.
For gender I sometimes try to visualise the object, male objects to the left of my computer screen, female to the right. Doesn't always work but it's a nice start. Also there are some rules: all words on -tion (or similar -ion endings) are female (la répétition, la nation). Most (not all) words on -age are male (le garage, le mirage, BUT une image). Etc.
BTW: do you know this: http://www.digitaldialects.com/French.htm
Good luck and don't give up. Your brain can do this!
I think most of the English speakers experience the same trials and tribulations when learning French, which is why I posted my study material as I went along with Duolingo French. My blog starts in February 2014 and moves through the year that I studied, with posts of the songs, podcasts, external links, quizlet modules, vocabulary collections, and on and on. It is found here:
I hope you find it useful. In the beginning, I posted a lot of French pronunciation videos, because it is often overlooked by the self-learner...and French is unlike English...because it is phonetic. You just probably don't realize it yet...but when you do, the obstacles start to melt away. I made this pronunciation cheat sheet to prove it (to myself, actually):
If it's any consolation all French speakers I know say that learning English pronounciation is far harder as we have more sounds per letter and less set grammar rules.
Yes I agree. And that is why I support the american initiative to simplify spelling. And also the reforms to the French language. see The French Spelling Wars
It is a pity in certain ways that we have ended up with english as the major global trading language. It is a pity we have not embraced a logically thought out and developed language to share globally (as an example - espiranto) and embellished it with the enriching cloaks of culture. Or at the very least - perhaps allowed a version of english that followed STRICT rules of pronunciation and grammar. Although that too would be an enormous undertaking. ....
You do realise that the reason why English has the grammar it has (no conjugation or declination to speak of) and the weird spelling/pronunciation relation is the fact that it was spoken by so many non-natives? They eroded the grammar and introduced new words, including a different (i.e. their) spelling/pronounciation relation. So you could say that the reason we ended up with the English we have because it became the global trading language. (admittedly very simplified argumentation, but it boils down to this)
But let's assume we could press a reset-button that would give everyone on earth the same language, a language with a direct spelling/pronounciation relation and logical grammar. You have to realise that after a few decades and centuries this would anyway diverge into different accents at first, then dialects, then languages. It's just what happens. It's language evolution. And it has the force of a glacier: slow but unstoppable.
Yes I agree with you Langmut- it is stuff of culture - the way we interact ! And I love the culture, and the depth and diversity of understanding and insights it creates.
EDITED... And I also LOVE us being able to communicate - and why I am so enjoying duolingo:)
In terms of genders, French is a lot like Latin. In Latin EVERYTHING has a gender and you can normally tell what it is by the ending of a word. Anything ending in the following is masculine generally: -us -ee -o -um -orum -ese -os (Nominative, genative, dative, accusative, ablative in that order, singular first then plural, but I skipped the ones that are the same)
Anything ending in the following is generally feminine: -ae -am -a -e -arum -ese -as
(Again, nominative, genative, dative, accusative, ablative in that order with repeats skipped).
I do agree that it's hard to hear the French voice here on Doulingo. What helped me when I was finishing my tree was that often times, and I don't mean this to be a slam on anyone, but the French often throw the ending of the last word onto the beginning of the next in terms of pronunciation as a way to help connect the words.