Reader’s advice: Five proven ways to learn French

This material was sent to us by our regular reader Sanzhar Surshanov (his twitter @SanzharS), who shared very interesting ways to learn a new language for you.

Since the beginning of this year, I started studying French. I do this with the help of English, since I started to speak English confidently, I can say I found the key to numerous Internet resources.

Below I want to list and describe how I teach French:

1. Duolingo

The site was founded by the creators of CAPTCHA and RECAPTCHA, students of Carnegie Mellon University. By the way, every time you enter recaptcha, you help digitize thousands of old books. The main idea is that people simultaneously learn languages, translate the Internet into different languages.

All material is divided into different categories.


In every category, there are exercises.


After you finish the exercises, you will be given a translation of the real material taken from the Internet. At first, simple sentences, as they study increasingly complex. By translating sentences you strengthen your knowledge and help translate web pages. You can also look at the translations of other users.

Exercises include text translations, speaking, listening. As such, there is no emphasis on grammar.

In addition to French, you can learn Spanish, German, English, Italian and Portuguese.

There are applications for the iPhone, in May this year, and promise for Android.

By the way, I recently read that studying Spanish with Duolingo can be much more effective in comparison with colleges and the program Rosetta Stone. You can read here. Probably, it can be said not only about Spanish.

For the news duolingo you can follow in the office. twitter – @duolingo.

You can also watch the performances of the duolingo creator on TED:

2. The Michel Thomas method

Michel Thomas himself knows more than 10 languages ​​and is known for teaching Hollywood stars.

On the Internet you can buy or find audio lessons of Michel, except for French there are other languages.

Audio lessons go like this: it comes to 2 students who do not know French. So, you become a 3rd student. Michelle talks with the students and so they learn the language. He explains the difference between English and French, first he talks about new words, then asks to translate from English into French.

The main difference and the rule of the Michel method – do not try to memorize words, phrases, etc.

I do not know how to explain, but after the first lesson, on an intuitive level, you yourself begin to guess how it will be in the language you are studying.

I personally really like this method.

3. Memrise

To update my vocabulary, I use the memrise website.

On the site you can find a lot of different courses, even you can learn the Morse code. I’m studying – Hacking French.


When you study new words, you “grow flowers”. Plant seeds, water, etc.

The main thing is that you create Memes for unfamiliar words and conduct an association with English. I did not create the memes myself, I use the creations of other users.

Grow flowers like this: in the beginning, remember the meaning of words, then repeatedly repeat. Click on the correct answer, write the translation yourself, listening to the phrase choose the correct answer from the list. This ends the first part.

After 4-5 hours, by email you receive a notification that you need to repeat the passed. Repeat the above, if you make a mistake in the translation, the word goes to repeat. That’s about everything and happens.


4. News in slow french

Thanks to Twitter, just recently found a link to another great resource.

A total of 30 acts, in each act there is a conversation between the teacher and the student. At the very beginning the conversation is mainly in English, using several French words. Further more. They promise that in the end all conversations will be only in French.

After the introductory speech, another conversation, there is already an emphasis on grammar. Then pronunciation, expressions and so on. Well, in the end you can take the test.


I use the third day and I am very satisfied.

5. Podcasts

If you have an iPod / iPhone / iPad, then in iTunes you can find different podcasts for learning languages. There is even a special section for French. I’m listening – French for beginngers.


And finally … To learn a language you need to practice every day, to introduce it into a habit. I try to give 20-30 minutes. Since all of the above is difficult to master for 30 minutes, I combine them. I listen to audio lessons on the road, but at home or duolingo, or memrise or, more recently? News in slow french.

In my experience of learning English (thanks to SDU Summer Language School), I know that you need to plunge into the language completely. Watch videos, movies and serials with subtitles, then without. Listen to music with lyrics, audiobooks. Books for beginners, magazines, newspapers, …

For example, now I’m practically all foreign TV series, I watch movies in English. It’s already a habit. You do not have to wait until one or the other TV series is translated.

Almost a month later, I defended the diploma, so at the moment it is not always possible to systematically learn the language. I think in the summer it will be possible to take this more seriously.

P.S. I wanted to learn French as a child, I was inspired by the work of Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and reading Russian classics I often met phrases in this beautiful language. Since my childhood I wanted to, but encouraged me to start this here @freetonik post.

If you have experience, advice on learning French or a new language in general, share in the comments. I will be happy only.