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Thread: Learning a new language

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    Learning a new language

    I am hoping to learn French. Does anyone know any tools that are useful? I tried duolingo but I don't think it has been working very well. Thanks!

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    Tripping on the Podium DenissVFan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1904sk8 View Post
    I am hoping to learn French. Does anyone know any tools that are useful? I tried duolingo but I don't think it has been working very well. Thanks!
    Quizlet to learn vocabulary.

    I also used Lang-8 in the past, I think it can help you with any language.

  3. #3
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    For any language, I'd imagine:

    Dictionaries, books and Wikipedia for the basics. For getting the real language in action, MUSIC. Seriously. You have to be careful to cross-reference everything with a dictionary/textbook/etc. or you can pick up some odd phrasing and word choice, but all my best "Japanese teachers" were and still are rock bands.

    Just be warned that you might end up liking the music of the language you're studying so much that it ruins your own country's music for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1904sk8 View Post
    I am hoping to learn French. Does anyone know any tools that are useful? I tried duolingo but I don't think it has been working very well. Thanks!
    Besides getting a French boyfriend/girlfriend? See if there are any low level French classes at a community college. Endless flash cards for vocab.

    Also, you might want to check out the amazing Telefrancais, a French Canadian tv show for French language learners. It's like Sesame Street on an acid trip in the best possible way. Here's a link to the first episode on YouTube.

    The New York Times will sometimes offer articles in French as well as in English if the article is on Montreal, or Quebec or French culture. Liberation.fr allows you to click on words and get translations (I think, it's been a while since I read them... I generally just read Le Monde). If you can, try and find the French language versions of Tintin and Asterix.

    Other than that, watch tv shows and movies in French. Netflix offers a few series with Call My Agent being the best. The Returned is amazing. And French cinema is generally consistently good.

    My new musical obsession is La Femme, a French psych-pop band. You may like them too.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    Besides getting a French boyfriend/girlfriend? See if there are any low level French classes at a community college. Endless flash cards for vocab.

    Also, you might want to check out the amazing Telefrancais, a French Canadian tv show for French language learners. It's like Sesame Street on an acid trip in the best possible way. Here's a link to the first episode on YouTube.

    The New York Times will sometimes offer articles in French as well as in English if the article is on Montreal, or Quebec or French culture. Liberation.fr allows you to click on words and get translations (I think, it's been a while since I read them... I generally just read Le Monde). If you can, try and find the French language versions of Tintin and Asterix.

    Other than that, watch tv shows and movies in French. Netflix offers a few series with Call My Agent being the best. The Returned is amazing. And French cinema is generally consistently good.

    My new musical obsession is La Femme, a French psych-pop band. You may like them too.

    Good luck!
    Thank you so much. I have been listening to some french commentary and interviews of skaters so I might have gotten a basic understanding of skating french. Your recommendations are very helpful

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1904sk8 View Post
    Thank you so much. I have been listening to some french commentary and interviews of skaters so I might have gotten a basic understanding of skating french. Your recommendations are very helpful
    There's also a podcast called "News in Slow French". They have versions for beginners, intermediate and advanced.

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    GS Supporter elbkup's Avatar
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    Choose a specific work by an author who is fluent in the language you want to learn, someone whose work/philosophy you admire and want to earn more about.. Albert Camus, for example. Read the book in two sources simultaneously.. a volume in your first language (a really good, chapter-by-chapter translation is essential) and a volume in the original language. Add an unabridged book tape of the work in the original language recorded with a native speaker to get a sense of pronunciation/phrasing, then work your way through all three. The driving force behind the process is learning about the concept/philosophy in the original; it will take time but you will come away with a true sense of the language and culture you are studying. The language is absorbed in the process very like, I suspect, new choreography is learned by skaters, i.e., absorbed bit by bit..

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    I've been listening to this guy's (I Will Teach You a Language) podcast for a long time. He's excellent. This is the part of his website that pertains to French: https://www.iwillteachyoualanguage.c...h/french-tips/ Gabriel Wyner's book, Fluent Forever, also has good tips and resources for any language, but quite a few for French in the back of the book.
    Most professional language teachers and students say that DuoLingo won't really teach you the language in the long run and that basically you're spending a lot of time learning sentences you'll never use. Still, if you're sticking with DuoLingo and find it's fun, that's a good indication that you're ready to proceed to seriously learning your target language.

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    GS Supporter el henry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky View Post
    There's also a podcast called "News in Slow French". They have versions for beginners, intermediate and advanced.
    I looove this idea. What a time to be alive

    Sometimes, learning something 45 plus years later in the modern internet age doesn’t seem so bad. Of course, French is the only foreign (for me) language where I don’t need slow reads

  10. #10
    Rinkside
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    Learning the beginning parts is probably the hardest thing to do on your own. I recommend trying to find a class that you can go to--it will both keep you consistent and give you built in practice partners. If you live in at least a mid-size city you might be able to find a meet-up for French speakers as well. When you get good enough, I recommend watching French shows on Netflix (with French subtitles if you need the subtitles, but of course watching without subtitles at all is preferred. Research says you learn almost nothing from watching foreign language shows with subtitles in your native language) or shows IN French on Netflix; easy to understand shows meant for toddlers and young kids might not be fascinating entertainment, but they are good for learning, and many shows that are "Netflix Originals" have dubs in French. I think I've seen every episode of "Puffin Rock" in French; learned a lot of animal names that way haha. It also helped me to pick up on vocab I never would have had a reason to learn otherwise.

    When you get decent enough to understand a good chunk in real time, one trick I've used was to go to Twitch (twitch.com--it's largely for streaming video games). Click the filters to find people streaming games who speak French. They'll chat with their viewers in French, make comments in French, and it's a great test of your real comprehension. There are also usually people chatting (in text) on the side and it's a good opportunity to learn common online abbreviations etc.

    Bonne chance!

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