Monday, October 15, 2018


By Mary Kennedy                                               

If you're like me, Paris is always calling! I had the luxury of living in France during my college days and have traveled back there since then. It's always fun to speak the language when you visit a foreign country and I've found the French to be quite forgiving when I make clumsy mistakes. (I never quite mastered the verb tenses and the subjunctive is always baffling. For example, try to to translate, "If I'd known you were coming, I would have baked a cake.")

If you'd like to study French from at the university level, there are many online options.  
Just google Fluent U, Babbel, the open learning initiative from Carnegie Mellon and more.
Take a beginner course, an intermediate or advanced one and you'll be chatting away in no time!

Another possibility is to use Rosetta Stone or the Pimsleur method. They're quite different approaches to learning French, so be sure to read the reviews before deciding on which is right for you. Watch for sales on both Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur.

If you just want to brush up with your French skills, there are three fun sites that I use. 

1. With Duolingo, you can learn any language for free. You are presented with very short "classes" and then take a quiz on what you've learned before moving on to the next section. There are some bells and whistles and on the whole, it's fun and entertaining.

2, Another site I really enjoy is French Word a Day. It comes out three times a week, and the author, Kristin Espinasse, writes an entertaining blog about her life in France, her family, and always adds some useful phrases. Kristin is an American ex-pat, married to a Frenchman, and lives in the south of France, one of my favorite areas of the country. She's also a gifted photographer. It's free to subscribe to her blog, although she is grateful for donations.

3. Finally, you can subscribe to Frederic's Talk in French newsletter. He provides vocabulary, slang expressions and much more. It's fun!
Hope you try one of these approaches and you'll be chatting away on your next trip to France.

Mary Kennedy

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