Seeking advice on learning French from books
Thread poster: Maria Knorr

Maria Knorr
Local time: 21:45
+ ...
Mar 31, 2003

I am palnning on learning a language (French) from the books and I would like to know people\'s opinion as to how effective this method is. I am doing it for myself, not for translation purposes. Any advice would be great.



Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:45
Flemish to English
+ ...
Language learning Mar 31, 2003

Books are fine to learn the grammatical structure of the language.

Last summer, I lived together with a Ukrainian in Ukraine. Her knowledge of English is very limited. My knowledge of Russian too. She used Russian on a daily basis and explained words with the help of a dictionary. After three weeks, I understood quite some vocabulary, but the syntax (how Russian is structured) is still lacking.

I learned Spanish by a mixture of being a student at a T&I-school and going to Salamanca (the cradle of the Spanish language) every summer for four consecutive years. I also lived with a family in Barcelona for half a year.

If you are forced to use a language in daily life, you will assimilate it faster than by learning from books.

Of course, books and magazines are useful to enhance the language skills already present.


Nina Snoj
Member (2004)
Spanish to Slovenian
+ ...
Everything works Mar 31, 2003

When I study languages, I do with with books, magazines, music, movies, intercambios (language exchange)and it works great-especialy the TV channels (try getting cable or sat TV to watch it on daily basis).As I said, everything helps but cannot compare to living in the country where the language is spoken.




Jeannie Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:45
German to English
+ ...
need to supplement Mar 31, 2003

As learning from a book alone is not the easiest or most effective way to learn a language, I would suggest supplementing this with audio and visual means as much as possible. If you have access via satellite to French TV, watch as often as you can or hire out French language videos. Also tune in to French radio stations or buy French music CDs. It really doesn\'t matter if you understand everything at this stage, but it will help you to \"tune in\" to the language and bit by bit you will be able to pick out words and then phrases you recognise from your learning from books.

You could also check French websites such as yahoo each day and read through the news headlines - as you will be aware of the main themes anyway, you will be able to piece these together and relate to them.

Hope you find some of these suggestions useful



Sara Freitas
Local time: 03:45
French to English
French in Action is wonderful Mar 31, 2003

The French in Action series combines books and video. It really is an effective method to get you started. I also agree with previous comments that spending time with native speakers of the target language is really the best way. When I was learning Turkish, I used books and tapes which certainly was a good start, but none of my knowledge was really consolidated until I lived in the country. Another little trick I used to learn the names of everyday things was to label everything in my apartment with the Turkish word. Also a good conversation topic when you have visitors!!

HTH and bonne chance!



Angel Biojo
United States
Local time: 18:45
English to Spanish
Assimil any time Mar 31, 2003

Among the many methods that I have checked as an English teacher I found that Assimil is one of the best, if not the best. It is easy and totally effective. You can find it for many languages.


Maria Knorr
Local time: 21:45
+ ...
Thank you Mar 31, 2003

Thank you for the suggestions. unfortunately, I am not able to go to France right now but I am probably going to go in the fall so I figured why waste all this time before than when I can at least learn some vocab (hopefully). Does anyone know of any specific books/tapes/videos that you read/watched/listened to?

Thanks again.



To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Seeking advice on learning French from books

Advanced search

Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search