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Learning French

rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
edited December 2010 in Tour & expedition
Hi folks.
After planning a trip to France, my mate has decided that he wants to make an effort to learn a bit of least enough to get us by...asking for things in shops/cafes etc etc.
Can anyone recommend any language tapes/online that we could use.
Something that we could a few hours a week(?) over 6mths?

Heard all about Rosetta Stone.....then saw the prices!! :shock:



  • I have been using this one and think it is pretty good: ... K_000655UK

    The best thing is that it is free on a trial when you go through this link:

    You have to remember to cancel your subscription afterwards unles you want to keep buying audiobooks every month.
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
    It's shocking that I'm 37 and don't speak any other languages. Always had someone else with me to do the talking!
  • I find a pocket phrase book is the answer. The Berlitz Phrase Books series is the best as it has a simplified pronunciation guide underneath the phrase as if it were in English and its small enough to slip it into your pocket.

    Turkish example:

    Do you have a room for tonight?

    Odaniz var mi bu gecelik?
    Oh-dah-nihz vahr mih boo geh-jeh-leek?

    Free language downloads here:
    The more you spend - the faster you go - the less you see.
  • awallaceawallace Posts: 191
    michel thomas, ... 198&sr=1-1

    quite easy to do and feels natural when learning it.
  • This place is free and should get you up and running. It's a bit basic, but still good.
    Kona Jake the Snake
    Merlin Malt 4
  • dealdeal Posts: 857
    my personal recommendations are:

    1. Start with Michel Thomas, great introduction to the language. Amazing how much you can learn in 8 hours.

    2. Pimsleur is very very boring. I mainly used it as background noise while driving for improving vocab and comprehension with little effort.

    3. French in Action is a fantastic resource. 52 lessons each comprising of 30 minute videos, audiotapes and exercises. DVDs can be found cheaply on ebay if not they are all on youtube, audio is downloadable here and the books can be found for a few pounds.
  • crankycrankcrankycrank Posts: 1,830
    If you do go the Rosetta Stone or similar route, buy used from Ebay and re-sell when done. Should cost nothing or very little in the end.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    French au pair, girl friend or mistress?
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • prb007prb007 Posts: 703
    dilemna wrote:
    French au pair, girl friend or mistress?


    +1 for Michel Thomas;
    my French is reasonably good, but stiil listen to MT mp3's in the car
    or whilst at work to 'brush-up' before a trip.
    Off skiing/boarding in Jan so will 'refresh' after Xmas for a couple
    of weeks to get back into it!

    Bon chance......
    If Wales was flattened out, it'd be bigger than England!
    Planet X Ti Sportive for Sportives & tours
    Orange Alpine 160 for Afan,Alps & dodging trees
    Singlespeed Planet X Kaffenback for dodging potholes
    An On-One Inbred for hard-tail shenanigans...
  • rosetta stone is good. torrent it. some langauage packs dont work with certain versions though. you need a good couple of months use on it though before you feel its benefit.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • I'd go with I-tunes loads of stuff on there helped me with my Spanish - I just download most of the podcasts I could find and listened to them all any I didn't like or couldn't get on with I just deleted & it didn't cost me a penny.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • rc856rc856 Posts: 1,139
    Thanks for the replies.
    Gives me a few choices :)
  • BodhbhBodhbh Posts: 117
    Another +1 for the Michael Thomas. He basically teaches you how to put together simple sentances from the gitgo rather than learning by rote. Also he reminds you that a very large amount of english words are of french origin and shows how to 'convert' them', giving you a relatively large sourch of vocabulary to draw on without much pain.

    I've not given Rosetta Stone a proper crack fo the whip yet to comment, but I got stages 1+2 for 80quid on eBay so there's no need to pay the full whack (iirc 200 odd quid for the above).
  • Tim FarrTim Farr Posts: 665
    Go to a book shop and get a phrase book that sits you. Make flash cards - English one side French the other. Carry them with you and practice the French. Some of the cards need to be cycling vocab.
    T Farr
  • grahamcpgrahamcp Posts: 322
    Check out the Coffee Break French series of podcasts, they are really good. There is some paid for content, but more than enough free stuff. ... p-by-step/

    Can also be found in iTunes.
  • I have been learning French for a long time and tried various Methods. I have a Pocket Dictionary Collins French to get me by when I am in France.

    I have just bought Recently a very large Dictionary The Collins Robert Concise French Dictionary.It also has the Online Facilities in www. which is great for Translating anything.

    I also attended a Language Course at my Local VEC College. I could have gone for the Advanced Course but that would be putting the Cart before the Horse. So I went for Beginners and learned a lot of interesting Stuff about the Language from a Young French Woman Teacher,also the way the French think and attitudes.

    The Michel Thomas Language Course is reckoned to be very good.

    I was thinking about Attending a Course at the Alliance Francaise in Kildare Street in Dublin but it is more Expensive but it is reckoned to be the best outside of France.

    Try looking at and Listening to the Online Service of RTL France Facile it is free and you can listen to easy French being Spoken Tré Doucement.

    Also about .com French.

    le the Belgien Newspaper Online.

    The best thing is just go there and enjoy yourself and speak a few Phrases and out of necessity you will pick up a lot.
  • Hi
    There is plenty of free material and if you want pay for more advanced stuff. I would also agree with the BBC site being good stuff.
    Have you looked at vocational classes in the evening at a lo9cal college.

  • bigjimbigjim Posts: 780
    You can get the tapes and CDs from the library. Remember not to copy them though.
  • pshorepshore Posts: 61

    I feel my Frachaise is tres bean maintenant. I can highly recommend watching endless repeats of Allo Allo and Only Fools and Horses.

    Bien sur mes amiees.
  • dabberdabber Posts: 1,646
    I'd also endorse the Michel Thomas courses. They are particularly useful for teaching the structure (something which I'd struggled with previously).
    Have a look here for a free sampler download ]of part of the course.[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@&BV_EngineID=ccchademdmelllhcefecekjdfikdflj.0&ms=1320&uniqueKey=1292330133042&rule=rule7&ms=1320
    His approach is quite different to the norm so it's worth having a listen before buying.
    I'd recommend (in order) The Foundation, Advanced and Language Builder. I personally never thought much of the Vocabulary course which isn't taught by him (he'd died by the time it was produced).
    “You may think that; I couldn’t possibly comment!”

    Wilier Cento Uno SR/Wilier Mortirolo/Specialized Roubaix Comp/Calibre Bossnut
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