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Learning French - advice please?

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#1 · Posted: 23 Mar 2005 14:55
Hi all

Well after dumping French in my 3rd year of High School to take German instead for GCSE the growing collection of Herge books on my shelf in French are starting to get to me.

I want to be able to read them! I'm tired of looking at all the pictures.

Anyone got any advice on a good course to take? I really want something that offers a good reading aspect.

I'm thinking of a French GCSE at night school, anyone have any advice as I'm looking to learn to read my Tintin books rather than ask directions to a nearby 3* hotel.

Any advice appreciated!

#2 · Posted: 23 Mar 2005 15:58
You should get hold of the Tintin French/English dictionary. My brother has one and he used it when he was learning french. I think he gave up though!
#3 · Posted: 23 Mar 2005 16:06 · Edited by: thmthm
If you have a $150 to spend - I suggest you get the "ROSETTA STONE" program - check it out online

there are 2 levels - beginning and advanced - if you buy both together you can save some cash

The way this program works is REPETITION and ASSOCIATION THROUGH PICTURES so that by the end of each session (10 divisions with 10 other subdivisions with 4 different forms of test including Spelling and pronounciation) you cant help but have it imprinted in your memory- but not for too long

The thing is none of this will do you any good unless you keep reading and speaking EVERY DAY - I did the first test but since didnt keep at it - forgot it all - YOU HAVE TO READ ALOT - make it a goal to read couple of pages everyday and IM sure you will get better, but unless you go and live in France, your probably not going to be able to understand others speak because of the tendency of people to speak fast and merge words together in conversation

another thing you can try is the Les Fiches tintin educational cards...

I have the same problem - tons of tintin material that Im dying to read but can hardly understand them
UK Correspondent
#4 · Posted: 23 Mar 2005 16:49 · Edited by: Richard
The problem I have is I'm starting to forget the French I already knew ! That's what comes of not reading French on a daily basis, I guess, but I'm working on rectifying that.

I don't know about any actual courses you can take - I learnt it at secondary school from years 7 - 12, so I was relatively proficient. The best advice I can give, if you're on more of a budget than the Rosetta Stone program, is to pick up a few French GCSE revision guides. I've got one called The Alternative GCSE Guides - French which covers the basics of French and is fairly funny to boot. I personally wouldn't bother with any of these foreign phrasebooks, as if you want to read your Tintin books, like you said, it's pointless knowing directions to hotels, and how to order food and how to ask for help at a garage if you have a flat tyre.

I was always told that the best way to become good at a language is to read a lot, so once you've started learning French, you could try visiting websites of newspapers, television channels, anything really that's in French. Tintin.com has a good news report each month, aimed at French-speaking 8-12 year olds (I'd guess) which has a wide range of vocabulary you can pick up. I think the general idea is to read anything in French - including Tintin books. :o)
Moderator Emeritus
#5 · Posted: 23 Mar 2005 19:25
I would also recommend any school revision guides - they don't have too many everyday phrasebook phrases, so they'd probably be better for reading French, as Richard said.

Also, as Richard said, read as much French as possible, really - that's the key. If you surround yourself (not literally !) with the language, you'll find the actual learning much easier - then you'll find you've come across words before (even if you didn't understand them).
#6 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 12:22
Thanks for all the advice so far, I'll try a GCSE revision guide as a first point before spending a fortune on a language program.

Thanks all

#7 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 14:13 · Edited by: gnolles
Come to Belgium, enjoy good food, van Leffe beer, imported Loch Lomond and warm hearted people!
#8 · Posted: 24 Mar 2005 14:31
That's one of the reasons I want to learn as I intend to visit Belgium later this summer

Moderator Emeritus
#9 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 09:46
Good luck with the learning, Rik ! ;)
#10 · Posted: 25 Mar 2005 17:03
As gnolles told you,come to Belgium,good food,good beer (Trappist of Chimay is very well too !!) and warm hearted people,with many Tintinophiles (me,amongst other ones !), this spring,fine weather,AND from the 1th May,"The Castafiore's Emerald"in Aclots,dialect of Nivelles !!!! Another album for our collection !
We're waiting for you !
Friendly and Tintinally yours !

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