Author Topic: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!  (Read 1875 times)

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« on: March 28, 2019, 02:16:50 PM »
My wife and I are visiting France (Paris, Brittany) for three weeks in June. We have been to Europe many times, but this is our first France visit and we are very excited. (FIRE is not my only motivation for frugality--travel is number 2!!).

I do pretty well with just learning languages when I need them. I did quite well with German (studied it for years in college and on my own), Italian, and Russian. However, my mouth has a difficult time making French sounds. I love the sound of French, basically a very beautiful language, but for me it is difficult to get into the mood of speaking it.

Anyway, I know there is a plethora of options for language learning, but I always start with a plain, boring textbook. I like to learn some of the basic rules of grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary, etc. before I go on to something like Babbel or something like that.

Can you suggest a textbook? I don't want to go to my university bookstore and pay $150 for the latest version; I want to buy one or two editions earlier on eBay for ten bucks!

Can you suggest some free options online for speaking and listening? I have found this one with this enchanting young woman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtJ7RNZsZGw

Any other suggestions? Thanks!
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 02:18:37 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 02:29:27 PM »
Loads of good resources on YouTube.  Not necessarily for learning the language, but Paul Taylor (WTF France) has some great 'British observations' about the language and culture.  That will lead you on to loads of other resources.

This is pretty good https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mr--N4d6lIM

Also, DuoLingo is great for building vocabulary.  Bonne chance!

Polaria

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 02:35:41 PM »
The classical book series for French grammar:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bescherelle

Bonne chance et bon courage surtout!

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 02:42:19 PM »
Thanks! I will look into it. Although mostly Irish by ancestry, I love French culture: the music of Debussy, Rameau, Ravel, Gringny, Couperin family, etc; Popular music by Trenet, Brassens, Piaf, et al.;  Photography by Atget, Marville, Le Gray; Food by Robuchon (we are going to do a very non-mustachinan thing and eat at his restaurant--my wife is a gifted cook and uses his recipes); the gardens of LeNotre, and of course wines (Rhone and Loire especially). As a Celtic-phile, and lover of beaches, seafood and the like, we decided on Brittany for a week of relaxation and sightseeing. We would love to do Alsace, Loire and the Alps, etc in future trips.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 02:46:51 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

TrMama

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 03:07:49 PM »
Votre bibliothèque devrait avoir des outils d'apprentissage pour le français. Ils seront gratuit.

Bon voyage!

froggie

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 04:41:08 PM »
Duolingo worked wonders for me in Spanish.

Bon courage et il faut parler avec des Français. Maybe connect with your local Alliance Française.

Practice makes perfect :)

CheapScholar

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 06:11:31 PM »
I love Duolingo.  With all the free internet tools for learning language I don’t see the need to buy books.  Except maybe your local Friends of the Library book sales where you might pay $1 per book.

Dr Kidstache

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 08:02:43 PM »
Best resource I know (and amazingly FREE) is Language Transfer:
https://www.languagetransfer.org/free-courses-1#french

katsiki

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 08:24:29 PM »
Best resource I know (and amazingly FREE) is Language Transfer:
https://www.languagetransfer.org/free-courses-1#french

Thanks for this!  It also has many other languages which is incredible.


SwordGuy

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 10:44:19 PM »
I was quite surprised how inexpensive a week or two of a language immersion class is in France.

It's not cheap, but it was incredibly less expensive than I expected.

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2019, 02:53:27 AM »
There is a book called Tricolore, which is the standard middle school text book in England for learning french.

Its obviously aimed at 12 year olds, but its cheap, and well structured.

ObviouslyNotAGolfer

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2019, 09:31:22 PM »
Thanks very much for the suggestions; I will certainly follow up on these. I tried for years to keep up on the German, but it became a really unpleasant chore after a while, and I had not much of a practical reason for it--aside from my love of German classical music, poetry, culture, etc. I never really knew anyone over there to correspond or speak to.

I am hoping French may be different and these courses may offer something other than the drudgery of texbooks, lists of words, etc. I have heard that German starts out difficult, becomes more difficult, and then levels off, whereas French (and Spanish) start out easy then progressively become more and more difficult as one advances. We want to spend some time in Montreal and Quebec soon (and eventually Switzerland), so these skills will transfer over there at least.

I want to learn Irish too, but talk about impractical (50k fluent speakers). I am part of the Irish diaspora and visited Ireland a couple of years ago. I feel that I belong there, and we may move at some point (applied for citizenship a few months ago)...

« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 09:34:01 PM by ObviouslyNotAGolfer »

Paul der Krake

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2019, 09:33:54 PM »
I was quite surprised how inexpensive a week or two of a language immersion class is in France.

It's not cheap, but it was incredibly less expensive than I expected.
Welcome to France, where goods are expensive and labor is cheap. Pretty much the reverse of the US. Great for consumers, terrible for wage earners.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2019, 01:09:08 AM »
I was quite surprised how inexpensive a week or two of a language immersion class is in France.

It's not cheap, but it was incredibly less expensive than I expected.
Welcome to France, where goods are expensive and labor is cheap. Pretty much the reverse of the US. Great for consumers, terrible for wage earners.


Just like here in Italy. 

beltim

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2019, 02:27:46 AM »
I really liked Living Languages: Ultimate French.  You can get used copies on Amazon for a few dollars.  It's a good, compact, intro textbook for self-study. 

Also, Kwiziq French is my favorite online learning resource - there's  ton of free resources, and there's a certain amount of quizzes you can do each month to test yourself.

I was never a big fan of Duolingo, so I think these are better alternatives.

accolay

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2019, 03:27:21 AM »
PTF

Malkynn

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2019, 08:08:06 AM »
Be warned, French is a formidable beast to tackle.

DH and I both grew up in Quebec, he's required to know it for work, and I was required to speak it exclusively with clients in my training, and still, neither of us can hold a reasonable conversation in French.

French is tough.

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2019, 05:26:59 PM »
Be warned, French is a formidable beast to tackle.

DH and I both grew up in Quebec, he's required to know it for work, and I was required to speak it exclusively with clients in my training, and still, neither of us can hold a reasonable conversation in French.

French is tough.

Best to practice with a good soundtrack - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeiAkf3eDjE :)

Moonwaves

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2019, 06:46:23 AM »
I have heard that German starts out difficult, becomes more difficult, and then levels off, whereas French (and Spanish) start out easy then progressively become more and more difficult as one advances.
Yep, that would definitely be my thinking. I didn't realise it when I left school though, so chose to do German rather than French in college (because I had been better at French in school and thought I'd keep it up on my own. Ha!).

Thanks for the reminders about duolingo in this thread. I finally installed it last week and am all set to go now. Kind of depressing to see the proof that 5 years of French has left me with way more knowledge than 13 years of Irish did. But I've heard they teach Irish better these days in school so maybe there is hope for the future. At any rate, I'm back to very basic basics on Irish and doing that in turn with French. Will start Russian as soon as I figure out how to set up the keyboard on my phone.

If you're interested in Irish and on twitter, you should follow @theirishfor and @Motherfoclóir (there's a podcast, too) - good fun.

Kris

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2019, 07:43:19 AM »
I haven’t seen this mentioned yet, but for me, Pimsleur is the best of these types of programs. A bit expensive to buy, but easy to find at libraries.

By the way, I am a former professor of French (former because I left the profession a couple of years ago to embark on the next phase of my life). So I’ve been through the journey from novice to bilingual.

margep

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #20 on: April 06, 2019, 04:33:54 PM »
Not a textbook, but you can try out podcasts as a supplement. If I remember correctly, Duolingo has one although I have not tried it personally. There are other podcasts besides that though.

Stashing Swiss-style

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2019, 11:39:00 AM »
PTF

kelvin

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2019, 03:00:25 AM »
I'm using Duoling and a free course provided by my work for grammar/vocabulary /concepts.

Other than that, I play videogames in French (thank you, Bioware, for story-heavy games with subtitles) and Netflix. I'm trying to convince my employer to hire a tutor through Alliance Francaise for me.

I've found I'm very picky about who I practice with. If the person has studied at university in French, if they travel and speak French in multiple locations (Canada/Europe/Africa all have wildly different French) or if they've worked a customer service job in French we're good to go.

I refuse to work with a native speaker who only uses French in their small town, or only with family. It quickly becomes a constant refrain of "That's not French" "That's not how you say that" "Netflix uses Parisian French, that won't help you, don't waste your time with that". It's very unhelpful. Add in the ridiculous vowels and it quickly becomes impossible.

Moonwaves

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2019, 05:02:42 AM »
I'm being fairly consistent with duolingo and doing a little bit every day. I added Spanish to the mix just to see how useful it would be for learning a language from scratch, as I've never learned Spanish before, other than my dad teaching me to count to ten when I was a kid and learning how to say open and closed from Sesame Street once (this has already come in useful for duolingo :D ).
I'm working my way through the German as well though and the quality of it is not good so now I'm wondering about the quality of the other languages. I speak fluent German so it was more just for fun, to do something easy but it really isn't great. The English translations in particular are often just not really correct and there are so many reports and discussions about all of it. I have decided to not report any more though - I would end up spending way too much time on it. Perhaps I'll send them an email and offer to proofread/correct the whole thing for them.

SmileAllDay

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2019, 07:01:11 AM »
Ptf

I'm doing it the opposite way after trying to do it for free and half-assing it:

I'm paying a teacher almost $1000 for a month of daily lessons in Paris. Figuring that putting my money where my (soon-to-be Frenzy speaking) mouth is will serve as motivation.

ApacheStache

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2019, 09:21:25 AM »
If you want some casual background noise you can listen to the various radio stations (France Inter, franceinfo, France Bleu, France Culture and France Musique) on https://www.radiofrance.fr/. It won't directly teach you French, but it will likely you help with the speech cadence and word recognition.

Also if you don't mind watching the news, France 24 en direct: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-M_5rGhPdg on youtube is also another source. The great thing about this is that they have a variety of newscasters, reporters and guests so it will give you a feel for understanding various French accents.

wespellitmoustache

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #26 on: May 01, 2019, 08:25:24 AM »
I actually think French vocab is relatively easy to conquer - lots of English words are in fact French! Duolingo etc will help. The tricky bit is getting to grips with grammar and conjuring up the confidence to speak. A speaking group/class will help loads with this - if you want something more cost effective (free) consider finding an online speaking partner through a language exchange website. I also like Michel Thomas's audiobooks but they're not for everyone. For grammar, I love this book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Practice-Makes-Perfect-Complete-McGraw-Hill/dp/1259642372/ref=asc_df_1259642372/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=311000051962&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3067644618006482511&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1006906&hvtargid=pla-436594834941&psc=1&th=1&psc=1

Irish on the other hand...my mum learnt at school and my grandmother grew up in an Irish speaking village. Irish was my grandma's 1st language and by 88 she claimed to have pretty much lost it, though she could still follow along with Irish soaps on telly. Had to learn some for part of my Irish dancing grade (don't ask) and found it ridiculously difficult.

DoNorth

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Re: Learning FRENCH the mustachian way!
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2019, 09:03:53 AM »
I learned at the defense language institute, then several years later, ended up living here so I have pretty much every french language book around.

By far, on of my favorite resources is coffee break French podcast.  a scottish guy runs it and make it really easy to understand.  you can download them to iphone or android and listen on the go.  I used Mango langauages (my library offers it for free) and that has been helpful.  Of course, just practice every day you can until you're comfortable with word usage, construction, conjugation and vocabulary.