French! Fry! French! IS AWESOME!!!


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French! Fry! French! IS AWESOME!!!

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joulukuu 13, 2008, 5:29 pm

Does anyone know a way to learn french so you remember it well? I tried to learn it and I always forgot the stuff. Anyone know the secret? 0.0

joulukuu 13, 2008, 7:16 pm

Go to France, Quebec, or Tahiti. Fall in love with a French person. Read French with a monolingual dictionary. Watch French teevee and movies.

Bear in mind, you will never please a French person with your pronunciation.


kesäkuu 2, 2009, 12:26 pm

Dear GOD, I don't think I will ever learn to understand spoken French well!

kesäkuu 3, 2009, 12:55 am

Understanding isn't hard, if you take rdurick's advice and immerse yourself. What worked for me was working in an office where French was the main everyday language. It's amazing how quickly you can go from school/holiday basics to understanding the way people actually talk in those circumstances. Making yourself understood might take a bit longer.

kesäkuu 3, 2009, 1:13 am

Quick ways:

1. Girlfriend
2. French Foreign Legion
3. Put yourself in a sealed tank, slowly filling with water, with your arms shackled together, a French dictionary and a copy of Houdini's biography, in French.

kesäkuu 3, 2009, 10:57 am

>5 timspalding:.3 ...slowly filling with vin ordinaire, surely! Do you get the choice of a girlfriend or Legionnaire to turn the pages for you?

kesäkuu 3, 2009, 11:45 am

>5 timspalding: Where does this recent US fascination with drowning come from? I wouldn't go with the Legionnaire option either (unless you aspire to a thick Eastern European accent), as they are by definition not native speakers ...

Song, however, is an easy way to learn a language (and correct pronunciation). Johnny Hallyday & co. have covered most 70'ies and 80'ies songs. Severe Retro Warning.

Poetry is another choice. Youtube has a number of easy but elegant Jacques Prevert poems.

kesäkuu 4, 2009, 4:36 am

...or you could try the Navy

kesäkuu 5, 2009, 4:10 am


Regarding French TV and movies: use subtitles (the French ones). It might take some time to get used to, but it's a good way to learn new vocabulary - or to understand that Scottish strange accent. (I'm German, and I watch British TV to improve my English skills.)

lokakuu 9, 2009, 1:27 pm

Maybe this is the place to ask this question. It seems that in a number of French movies about modern times made since around the mid 90s there is always a joke about tax dodging. Usually, it involves hiding property, i.e. art work and other expensive things. What's the deal with the French tax system that makes this so funny to them?

lokakuu 30, 2009, 4:13 am

Wow, what a helpful topic.... I'd love to learn French!

>9 hnau::
Can you recommend any French subtitled movies or TV shows?

I think I will also try >7 jcbrunner: idea of Jacques Prevert poems on youtube.


lokakuu 30, 2009, 9:17 am

Sorry, I've abandoned French after 10th grade, and I'm learning English at the moment.

Do you live in Europe? Maybe you can receive some French channels via satellite, mostly on Atlantic Bird 3 (5.0W), see also Unfortunately, I don't know which channels provide subtitles.

Regarding DVDs, not all editions of the same film have the same languages. You might have to buy foreign editions (and make sure your player accepts DVDs of that region).

lokakuu 30, 2009, 3:02 pm

>11 seajewel: seajewel, I loved the movies Amelie and A Very Long Engagement.

marraskuu 6, 2009, 6:24 am

Try documentaries, these are easier to understand. Maybe La marche de l’empereur (March of the Penguins).

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 6, 2009, 8:43 pm

To parles francais, you will either have to commit to learning it, or move to France and be forced to go to the store on a daily basis, to procure your food. There is no easy way to speak the language or any other language. If you love it, study it, and make a commitment. Watching movies will not teach you a language.

French is a language in which the words are phonetically sounded linked: 'Je suis American,' can sound like: jasweezamerikan. At which point can you separate the words, when listening to the speaker, so as to ascertain the meaning of the statement? In English, it is 'I am American,' and the words are distinctly separate.

10> There is a luxury tax, and you also pay an annual tax on where you live, depending on the location within the country. It is called fonciere, and/or tax d’habitation. In Deutschland, the sales tax is currently 19% and the income tax is close to 51% for many. It is not inexpensive to live in Europe.

marraskuu 6, 2009, 9:03 pm

In English, it is 'I am American,' and the words are distinctly separate.

Not really. That would be pronounced something like Iyamamerican.

marraskuu 7, 2009, 4:43 am

#15 Watching movies will not teach you a language.

You need at least basic knowledge. Then books and movies can help to improve your language skills. It works for me.

Of course, going to France would be much better.

marraskuu 7, 2009, 5:52 am

Pretty much what K.J. said about commitment. The only time language learning is 'easy' is if you start when you are about a year old. Even then, it takes several years to pick up a decent vocabulary. Living in the chosen country is obviously the most thorough way but that option isn't usually open to most people (except for those fortunate one-year-olds who were born there). Holidays there can give you much-needed opportunities to practise but there is no substitute for getting those books/CDs etc out every day and working, working, working. Different methods suit different people and one that I am finding more enjoyable than most is the Rosetta Stone method ( but even then, I am combining that (for Greek, not French) with around 5 years of classes, 4 years of one-to-one tuition and various books and tapes. Language learning never ends (as you will have noticed if you ever use a dictionary to check unfamiliar words in your own language) but the benefits are huge and it can be great fun. The important thing is to find the method that suits you and stick to it.

Muokkaaja: marraskuu 7, 2009, 12:48 pm

16> Not when pronounced correctly.

Je suis American, when pronounced properly, ties the Je to suis like Jes. It rolls the vowel into the consonant and suis rolls into American, the same way: samerican. This is what I mean when I say that it 'phonetically sounds linked.' I am American, because of the pronunciation, does not have the same characteristic.

huhtikuu 30, 2010, 7:38 pm

A native Japanese speaker learning english, asked my cousin, a native english speaker, "What is the meaning of 'skonabee?'. I tried looking it up in the dictionary, but I can't find it." My cousin said " 'skonabee'? I don't think there's such a word." But the Japanese speaker insisted he
heard it all the time, on the TV, in the street, in the air, everywhere. So my cousin asked him to use it in a sentence. "Easy" says JS, "Skonabee partly cloudy today"

So yes, we elide like crazy.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 1, 2010, 3:27 pm

The Japanese are part and party to the elision. My girlfriend on Okinawa learned her English afoot, so to speak, and said "doanchu" for "Why don't you?" As I remember she had other similar elisions that I now forget. And we round eyes often just didn't use the Japanese particles because they were too much trouble (I used them, but too often wrong).


huhtikuu 30, 2010, 8:26 pm

And speaking of elision, in Texas we have the future tense of the verbs "to go" or "to be" or "to have": "Ommunago ..." "Ommunabe ... " "Ommunaff ..."
Took me forever to learn how to spell that correctly. :)

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 1, 2010, 10:49 pm

I remember when I was trying to get to the first or second rung in french, I mentioned to some of my french friends that it seemed to me that french was somewhat more efficient than english in its use of variable nouns. I had to explain that whereas "thingus" (american) or "thingum-i- bob" (Brittish) was always a noun, "truc" could be any part of speech at all. Asked for examples, I supplied some at which point my informant vigorously denied that "truc" was used that way or that often. Not 5 minutes later he came by with an unopened wine bottle and asked "Vous auriez le truc pour fair le truc avec le truc?" (Would you have the thing to do the thing with the thing) looking for a corkscrew to open the bottle. I just sort of shrugged at him and we all had a good laugh.

ETA ...That's a very old story, and my french has seriously atrophied from even the minor heights it achieved all those years ago.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 5:25 pm

Practise, practise, practise. See if you can find a French radio station that's available online. I assume you're American, as most Librarythingers are. Holidays in Quebec would be cheaper than comng over to Europe and easier than Africa. You'd also have the advantage of being in a place that chose to speak French and actively campaigned to keep the language alive.

syyskuu 8, 2011, 2:28 pm

Don't expect it to just fall in your lap. My daughter teaches Spanish. At a seminar on teaching languages the speaker started the whole session off by saying that not everything in life is easy, fun, or can be made simple.

In the Army I had to run 4 miles every morning before breakfast. The results of this on my health and stamina were were worth it but there was no way on Earth that it could have been made to be fun.

My 3 yr. old granddaughter speaks 3 languages, Russian, Armenian, and English. And you say French is hard? LOL

In this as in anything worth doing in life, you have to sit down and say that I want to do this. Then you have to do the boring, hard things that it takes to do it.

Otherwise go to the beach or go sign up for relief.

Those are pretty much the choices that you have.

BTW: Believe me, if I could get B's in French in college, anybody can learn it.

syyskuu 8, 2011, 4:03 pm

I got through a year of French literature in college, and I still have no facility in it.


syyskuu 8, 2011, 4:30 pm

The younger you start the easier it is. I can speak French better than I can understand it. The problem with this is that when I am expecting a two word reply to a question, I get a twenty word answer, leaving me stymied.