Best way to learn French?

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JackieMc

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Sean and I have decided that when he takes 'very' early retirement in a couple of years time (I have to say 'very' cos he'll be mortified if everyone thinks he's pushing 60! :wink2:) that we're going to move to France, so we're going to have to start taking French lessons.

We have the 'Rosetta Stone' and 'Michel Thomas' CD courses and have dabbled with those, but I think we need a little more 'discipline' so am thinking about going to evening classes at the local College of FE.

Thing is, I've heard stories, some good, some bad, about various evening classes, so was wondering if people here have any experiences of learning a second language at a college evening class? Obviously I realise each college/tutor will be different, I'm just wondering if anyone has gone to these classes - did you think they were ok? Did you learn enough to get you by on holiday? Would you recommend a different method of learning French?

I must say, the Rosetta Stone course is great, but like I said earlier, you need the discipline to sit down for an hour a day and actually do it.

I've also toyed with the idea of going to a private tutor - has anyone tried this? What did you think?

So any opinions/experiences welcome!

Merci!
Jackie
x
 

MINKUS

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is there any evening classes near you? that could be fun:green:

if you get to grips with the basics here im sure you'll soon get in the swing of it out there.

Sounds fab to me anyhow, happy planning & learning:hug::hug::hug:

amb x
 

Urban Geek

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Hey Jackie - Me and my hubby are relocating at the end of the month and although open minded about where we might end up, France is our preference. I will keep you posted on where we end up. Why not touch base with fellow geek Sharon, aka The French One who is from France originally but now lives in Essex and also teaches French on a 1-2-1 basis.
 

aliceellen1974

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hehehehe I thought you meant french manicures!

sorry !

xxx
 

wickednails

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I studied spanish at my local college for 3 years and it was great. There were people ranging from around age 30 to 75 in my class. At these classes you find people there who genuinely want to learn so you get alot out of it and have a real laugh to. I recommend it.

Good luck to you in your new venture. :)
 

JackieMc

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Hey Jackie - Me and my hubby are relocating at the end of the month and although open minded about where we might end up, France is our preference. I will keep you posted on where we end up. Why not touch base with fellow geek Sharon, aka The French One who is from France originally but now lives in Essex and also teaches French on a 1-2-1 basis.

Ooooh you lucky things! We're going to have to wait approx. 2 years before we can go, hopefully it will go as fast as the last 2 years! Meanwhile we plan on going over there as much as possible. We've more or less decided on Normandy, we fell in love with the place.

Oh, do let us know where you end up, I hope you have a wonderful time in your new home, I'm sure wherever you end up you'll love it! Thanks for letting me know about Sharon, what a great idea, I just know I'll have heaps of questions for her! :lol:

Jackie
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JackieMc

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JackieMc

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is there any evening classes near you? that could be fun:green:

if you get to grips with the basics here im sure you'll soon get in the swing of it out there.

Sounds fab to me anyhow, happy planning & learning:hug::hug::hug:

amb x
There is a local college that does evening classes that start in Sept so might do that, its just a bit of a nuisance with Sean working shifts, he says he'll be able to get a few hours off when his night shift falls on the day the classes are though so we should be ok. I'm just wondering if night classes in general are ok when it comes to learning languages - could always give it a try I suppose! We've been trying to practise the little French we know in the house, learn a word a day, that sort of thing, and like you said, it's amazing just how much you can pick up while actually in France, we were quite surprised at how well we managed when we were over there.

Jackie
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Chameleon

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The only way of learning French is to live in the country itself.

Where in Normandy,upper or lower??
My favourite town i fell in love with was Bayeux in calvados...my husband and i had a wonderful time there.

The people are lovely aswell.

If you need any help with your French i will help,as im fluent,as my mother is French and was brought up bi lingual.

I love the accent in northern France...its more pronounced where as in the south where i was born its more sing song..."ca chante" we call it:)

I feel very home sick now and will not be returning for another 7 weeks:eek:
:cry:

Keep us posted.:hug:
 

JackieMc

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The only way of learning French is to live in the country itself.

Where in Normandy,upper or lower??
My favourite town i fell in love with was Bayeux in calvados...my husband and i had a wonderful time there.

The people are lovely aswell.

If you need any help with your French i will help,as im fluent,as my mother is French and was brought up bi lingual.

I love the accent in northern France...its more pronounced where as in the south where i was born its more sing song..."ca chante" we call it:)

I feel very home sick now and will not be returning for another 7 weeks:eek:
:cry:

Keep us posted.:hug:
OOOh! I'm your new best friend! Thanks so much for the offer of help - I do hope you don't live to regret it! LOL

What a coincidence, it was Bayeux we fell in love with, the whole Calvados area is just wonderful and we can't wait to go back there as soon as possible. We stayed at the Hotel Churchill in Bayeux which was lovely, went on one of the Battlebus Tours - again had a great time. We couldn't get over how friendly the people were, our French was dire but we were armed with phrase books and did our best to speak French rather than English, it's amazing just how many French people do speak English, and the ones that didn't were so very patient with our stutterings! I know I'm gushing, but everyone was so friendly and polite, strangers smiling in the street and you and saying "Bonjour" as we walked past, we felt safe walking around the town at 11:30pm being typical tourists with cameras and camcorders, there's no way we could do that in Dublin! God, I can't wait to get back there and neither can Sean, the whole experience was fantastic!

I'll shut up and reply to your pm! *LMAO*

To anyone who fancies a holiday in Normandy, I can highly recommend Bayeux - wonderful town!

Jackie
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Kim Lawless

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The Michelle Thomas cd's are fantastic. The old grey haired guy who taught every language going. No reading or writing.........just listen and he teaches in a way that you'll remember. xx
PS. You can probably pick up his box of tapes at Costco cheap or on ebay.
 

JackieMc

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The Michelle Thomas cd's are fantastic. The old grey haired guy who taught every language going. No reading or writing.........just listen and he teaches in a way that you'll remember. xx
PS. You can probably pick up his box of tapes at Costco cheap or on ebay.
I have the first 3 CD's and they do seem quite good, at one time I was walking round the house plugged into my personal CD player and listening to the old guy all the time. I had heard reports of the woman on the CD driving people crazy, but I haven't got that far yet...... perhaps I'll hunt them out and give them another go!
 

ValencianNails

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The only way of learning French is to live in the country itself.
I couldn't agree more... we bought the Michel Thomas cd's (for Spanish) and although they were very good as a starting point he didn't teach it as it's spoken over here.
You'll probably find there's regional differences in the pronunciation of certain letters and/or words as there is in Spain.

There really is no better way of learning then being thrown in at the deep end whilst living in the country itself, that's how we learnt and it really is the best way.

If you're going to go to college to learn the language then make doubly sure you're being taught by a native French teacher.

All the best to you both xx
 

VHunter

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The best way to learn it is to SPEAK IT, READ IT, LISTEN TO IT, WRITE IT.
.... and not be shy or afraid of making mistakes. People are always impressed that you tried, and attempted as opposed to not trying at all.

Join a french chat forum. That's a great way to practice. HARD.. VERY HARD.... but you'll pick it up as you go along and there's ALWAYS someone to help. And they're always good spirited about it too.
Join a french nail forum.
And join a regular french 'chat' forum, to chat about movies or the weather or whatever...

I live in Quebec, majority is FRENCH. Then there are nazi-language laws that restrict the rights of the anglophones.

Anyway, long story short... from my own personal experience of learning it, and the experiences of family members and friends... only through speaking, reading and writing will you learn it.
Books get you started but they ARE NOT ENOUGH. NO matter how good the course is.

Try reading comic books, kids books in french. Easy stuff, and work up from there.
And anytime you want to practice with me on MSN, just let me know. I'll be more than glad to help you out.
I'm fluently bilingual..... so I can help no problem.

For fun, pick one time a week where you and hubby can't speak nothing but french and if you have to go crazy with dictionaries and the like, so be it. Might be good for a few laughs.

Have fun!
 

JackieMc

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If you're going to go to college to learn the language then make doubly sure you're being taught by a native French teacher.

What a good idea - thanks, I wouldn't have thought of that.


Veronica, thanks for your advice too, and the children's books were a great idea. The Rosetta Stone course is kind of similar, pictures and words and no translation so I'm hoping that will get us started. Thanks also for your offer of help on MSN - I'll be sure to give you a shout when I'm struggling!

I'm really curious now about the "nazi-language laws that restrict the rights of the anglophones" - do tell!

Thanks again to everyone
Jackie
x
 

VHunter

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It's "Victoria" :lol::lol:

(it's ok, you're in good company, for a while there, Geeg kept calling me the wrong name too :lol:)


In Quebec, the language laws are thus:
- Anglophones must provide PROOF of the right to english education and may only obtain said proof IF their parents attended english school. No matter what the language spoken at home, if the parents attended french school, they can't go to english school.
- There is NO SUCH THING AS ENGLISH elementary/highschool. Only "Bilingual" or "French". ABsolutely NO CHOICE in the matter. (this has been the most recent change, in the last 10yrs or so)
- You may NOT advertise in english only. You MUST advertise in French. If you advertise Bilingual A) French print must take precedence and also be LARGER than the English B) if you are advertising in a bilingual community where the majority is French then you may NOT advertise bilingually (with regards to leaflet drops)
- YOU MUST be able to speak French to work with the public. Services MUST be available in French.
- YOU MUST answer your phone in French, or bilingually, speaking French first.
- If you don't offer english services or have english speaking staff etc.. no one cares and you can't do anything about it.
- etc etc

etc etc the ridiculous nazi-laws go on and on and on and on.
Search 'Quebec Separatism" and 'Quebec Bill 101" etc...

yeah, welcome to my nazi world:rolleyes:
 

marioned

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I've tried evening classes, both conversational and Scottish "H" grade courses to learn Spanish (different language, but the principal is the same). I didn't learn all that much I feel. There was too much talk in English, too many "stories" or off topic chat by tutors and too much time wasting. Maybe I've just been very unlucky. The way I have learned is by going to Spain (done this twice) for 6 or 8 weeks, living with Spanish locals in their house and going to a language school for 3 or 4 hours a day. The talk is all in Spanish (as there are many nationalities) and there is much more focus on the learning.

So, whatever you do decide to do over here, I'd say when you do move to France, go to a language school for 2 hours per day for a month or so to start out with. Don't let it slide by putting off classes and a year down the line you still haven't learned much. By all means make ex-pat friends, but make sure you join in with the local life, maybe joining a club, so that you have opportunities to speak French and to make new French friends.
Good luck in your new adventure!
Marion x
 

JackieMc

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It's "Victoria" :lol::lol:

(it's ok, you're in good company, for a while there, Geeg kept calling me the wrong name too :lol:)
Oh Gosh I am SO sorry! thing is, I know it's Victoria, didn't even realise I'd typed Veronica! When I saw your post just now I thought you must be speaking to someone else! *LOL* Sorry! :o

Goodness, those are some laws eh? Thanks for enlightening me!



Marion, thanks for your experience. Yes, I've heard good and bad about different language courses at evening class, I think I'll just try our local one in Sept (20 week course) and 'share' it with Sean! If it's a load of rubbish then at least we only paid for one person. Oooh - you were lucky being able to spend all that time in Spain, I imagine it would have been much easier to pick up the language like that. Hopefully we'll learn enough to 'get us by' by the time we get over there and then I think we'll do as you suggest and take regular lessons once there. We're actually practising at home now, just a few words at a time, but it's quite good fun!

Thanks again
Jackie
 

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