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Best way to learn French and speak it like a French person?

  1. Jul 2, 2011 #1
    What's the best way for someone to learn French and speak it with the correct accent, i.e. speak it like someone in either France or Quebec, preferably France?

    - Given that the person is likely to be immobile in a nursing home for at least the next few years, so no university, no study abroad trips and no immersion opportunities for her.

    - She would like to learn French well enough to be able to speak it as well as she speaks English. So language courses designed for tourists are unlikely to be of much use.

    Any suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 2, 2011 #2


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    Immersion training / living in the country for years. Without it, it will take much, much longer (and even then it's doubtful they will get to the native level).
  4. Jul 2, 2011 #3
    It seems with years of enforced confinement, it should be put to good use somehow. Removal to a bilingual environment would be one possibility if it is feasible. Short of that, having bilingual caretakers could be helpful together with learning materials including tapes and audio books. Is there any French language radio or TV in the area? French movie tapes with English subtitles might also be helpful once she has the basics.

    Having said that, French can be difficult because French speakers tend to speak rapidly and the standard pronunciation does not strictly follow the written language (a lot of silent letters and syllables). The phonetics of Spanish are much easier for English speakers generally and bilingual speakers are much easier to find in the US if that's where the patient is located. Just a suggestion.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  5. Jul 2, 2011 #4
    She is currently in Nevada. I don't think there's any French language TV or radio there. There are plenty of Mexicans around her and she's surrounded by Mexican culture, so yes, Spanish would definitely be easier to pick up than French. But what makes her already very mad is that people mistake her to be Mexican and when she's Native American and many have told her to "go back home." So unfortunately Spanish is the last language she'd want to learn.
  6. Jul 3, 2011 #5
    In lieu of immersion and to at least get started learning...

    There are several French forums. Just google it.

    There are also many French radio streams.



    This site seems interesting. It offers the news in simple French and many other resources as well.


    The above site also links to a radio drama that serves as a learning tool. Here's the linked to site.


    And there are many YouTube videos. The one I want to share with you isn't an educational video per se but it is very funny to anyone who has ever studied French. There is some bad language.

  7. Nov 14, 2011 #6
    Read books and watch movies in French it can help. Movies in French you can find on this web:http://french-quebec.org.ua [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Nov 14, 2011 #7


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    I realize that thread is old, but IMMERSION is the way to learn a new language properly. If one can't travel and reside there, Pimsleur is probably the best way to learn by rote. There may be better systems, now, but Pimsleur French helped me bone up for my consulting work in northern Maine.
  9. Nov 14, 2011 #8


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    I don't say it's impossible but close to. You could more achievably get to being taken in France for, say, a Belgian or vice versa, pass yourself off as French to a Quebecquois or vice versa.

    But I question what is the point of perfection? It would be more useful to be fluent, easily understand and be understood in two languages than to be perfect in one.
  10. Dec 12, 2011 #9
    I come from Quebec and my monther tongue is french. Let me assure you that french is hard to learn and hardly benificial in my opinion.

    I have learned english through school and immersion and find it way easier than french. I still often make mistakes while writing in french because of all the exeptions in the grammar.

    However, if you really wish to learn french, immersion is and will always be the best way. Take in a couple of books for basics, and mix with immersion and you're on the good track.

    PS: Alot of people in Quebec DO NOT speak good english. Thus, alot of people are willing to partake in language learning activities. Clubs, cafes and stuff like that are a + in order for you to become fluent. Not being shy and trying to talk and asking people to correct you is another good way. I know I have learned alot of my mistakes in english by people correcting me. You think it's pronounced this way, the other guy giggles and says you got it all wrong, well believe me next time you think about it :)

    PM me if you ever have any questions, I still live in Quebec however i'm currently working on japanese/spanish/german, in order. Like I said french is not a popular language to learn as it takes ALOT of work and is losing alot of speakers in the years to come.

    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  11. Apr 8, 2012 #10


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    Come on! In the age of the internet, there are a large number of French sites available. Here are some good places to start. For complete beginners, the BBC has some great language learning sites:


    I've found the following site from RFI (Radio France International) to be really good. They have a daily 'Journal en francais facile' (News in easy French), which gives the daily news in slowly spoken French with simple vocabulary. You can read along while listening - this helps gain comprehension rapidly.

    http://www.rfi.fr/lffr/statiques/accueil_apprendre.asp [Broken]

    You can then move on to the actual French TV stations, which have video on demand, although you might have to subscribe to watch these:

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Dec 7, 2012 #11
    Here's the one i'm using: http://www.rapid-french.com

    It's a paid course, but they offer a free introductory course. It's a good (and free!) way to get started if you're just beginning. Then if you like it and are actually following it and being consistent, and if it's working for you, you can consider purchasing it if you like. That's what I did.

    It's been mentioned here as well: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120323130110AAA5CEs

    I also use google translate a lot as well (http://translate.google.com), it works for me, I like it, and the auto translate feature in chrome is great too, it auto translates an antire webpage, but when you rollover the translations, you see the original french, it helps me make connections.

    There's a lot of good suggestions here, I guess you just have to find what works for you. The good thing is that no matter what method you try, as long as you're trying, you'll always be learning something so it's not like you're wasting your time.

    Good luck, and let us know how you're doing!
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