studying a language from scratch

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hyacinth77
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#1
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#1
Hello,

I'm currently planning on picking up French as I've decided to study languages at university. I studied Spanish as an A Level and whilst doing research on university courses I found out that you can actually pick up another language from scratch. I thought it would be great to study French mainly because I've got some relatives who are fluent in it so it'd be fun to talk with them and learn more about French culture (btw I'm not French but I've got family members who've lived there for many years)

I was just wondering if anyone had any good websites/apps/books to start using. I'm thinking of just easing myself into French. I'm also going to take a gap year from September onwards so I'll have a lot of time to start familiarising myself with French (whilst maintaining my Spanish!)

Many thanks,
hyacinth
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TriplexA
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#2
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#2
(Original post by hyacinth77)
Hello,

I'm currently planning on picking up French as I've decided to study languages at university. I studied Spanish as an A Level and whilst doing research on university courses I found out that you can actually pick up another language from scratch. I thought it would be great to study French mainly because I've got some relatives who are fluent in it so it'd be fun to talk with them and learn more about French culture (btw I'm not French but I've got family members who've lived there for many years)

I was just wondering if anyone had any good websites/apps/books to start using. I'm thinking of just easing myself into French. I'm also going to take a gap year from September onwards so I'll have a lot of time to start familiarising myself with French (whilst maintaining my Spanish!)

Many thanks,
hyacinth
Hi there.

It's me again.

Duolingo is a great app to learn languages from scratch. Otherwise I recommend un jour un actu which do almost daily 1 minute videos, on different topics, in French. This site can help to improve your listening skills and vocab. Meduse may have some other app/site recommendations.

Best wishes.

Hope this helps.
Last edited by TriplexA; 1 month ago
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hyacinth77
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#3
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#3
Many thanks!
hyacinth
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Meduse
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#4
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#4
(Original post by hyacinth77)
Hello,

I'm currently planning on picking up French as I've decided to study languages at university. I studied Spanish as an A Level and whilst doing research on university courses I found out that you can actually pick up another language from scratch. I thought it would be great to study French mainly because I've got some relatives who are fluent in it so it'd be fun to talk with them and learn more about French culture (btw I'm not French but I've got family members who've lived there for many years)

I was just wondering if anyone had any good websites/apps/books to start using. I'm thinking of just easing myself into French. I'm also going to take a gap year from September onwards so I'll have a lot of time to start familiarising myself with French (whilst maintaining my Spanish!)

Many thanks,
hyacinth
Bonsoir (buenas tardes).

I study French and Spanish, both post A-Level, (and soon ab-initio Persian) at university.

French and Spanish have many lexical similarities, so this can either benefit you or create a little confusion. Generally, I've not found it to be a problem. Just throwing that out there. At most, your knowledge of Spanish may help you to recognise more words or to just have a guess at what they mean. It can be fun to identify them.

While apps can be farly helpful for beginners, I don't believe them to be the best tool possible when it comes to language introduction. If you are serious about learning, I'd recommend investing in some sort of grammar textbook. Collins do an Easy Learning French Complete Grammar book, which would be well-suited to your learning level. After you have gotten to grips with the basics, you can move onto trickier grammatical aspects, and for this, I'd recommend a more solid/detailed textbook. Since you are considering studying French at university, I'd wait until you find out what textbook they'd prefer you to purchase and use. If you'd like a recommendation to purchase prior to university, I'd recommend French Grammar and Usage (Routledge Reference Grammars). They also have a practice book which I've found useful. Please don't feel these are necessary, though. The internet has a whole host of resources for learning grammar to a high level, which leads me onto my next point...

For websites, Lawless French is a good one. They have fairly detailed explanations of grammatical concepts with plenty of examples, as well as several interactive resources available, including listening practice. Easy French on YouTube is a really good channel where you can listen to native speakers being interviewed on the streets about various topics.

If you want to push yourself a bit more, you can delve into some of the literature. Do some internet browsing and perhaps find a book that is in French but has a parallel English translation. Any phrases/words that keep appearing you can make a note of. Quizlet comes in handy here, and I'm sure you'll be familiar with it already. Here is a website with some recommendations: https://www.frenchwithagnes.com/10-f...for-beginners/

While memorising the grammar and vocabulary certainly helps, the only real way you'll be able to communicate is if you practice. Having people close to you who are fluent in French will certainly give you an advantage, so definitely use it as much as possible. It's a good way to differentiate between conversational, colloquial French vs. how it is often taught in classes.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Bonne chance (buena suerte).
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hyacinth77
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#5
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#5
(Original post by TriplexA)
Hi there.

It's me again.

Duolingo is a great app to learn languages from scratch. Otherwise I recommend un jour un actu which do almost daily 1 minute videos, on different topics, in French. This site can help to improve your listening skills and vocab. Meduse may have some other app/site recommendations.

Best wishes.

Hope this helps.
Many thanks!
I actually use the Duolingo Spanish podcast for listening practice, so I'll definitely consider using Duolingo more, alongside un jour un actu

hyacinth
Last edited by hyacinth77; 1 month ago
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hyacinth77
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Meduse)
Bonsoir (buenas tardes).

I study French and Spanish, both post A-Level, (and soon ab-initio Persian) at university.

French and Spanish have many lexical similarities, so this can either benefit you or create a little confusion. Generally, I've not found it to be a problem. Just throwing that out there. At most, your knowledge of Spanish may help you to recognise more words or to just have a guess at what they mean. It can be fun to identify them.

While apps can be farly helpful for beginners, I don't believe them to be the best tool possible when it comes to language introduction. If you are serious about learning, I'd recommend investing in some sort of grammar textbook. Collins do an Easy Learning French Complete Grammar book, which would be well-suited to your learning level. After you have gotten to grips with the basics, you can move onto trickier grammatical aspects, and for this, I'd recommend a more solid/detailed textbook. Since you are considering studying French at university, I'd wait until you find out what textbook they'd prefer you to purchase and use. If you'd like a recommendation to purchase prior to university, I'd recommend French Grammar and Usage (Routledge Reference Grammars). They also have a practice book which I've found useful. Please don't feel these are necessary, though. The internet has a whole host of resources for learning grammar to a high level, which leads me onto my next point...

For websites, Lawless French is a good one. They have fairly detailed explanations of grammatical concepts with plenty of examples, as well as several interactive resources available, including listening practice. Easy French on YouTube is a really good channel where you can listen to native speakers being interviewed on the streets about various topics.

If you want to push yourself a bit more, you can delve into some of the literature. Do some internet browsing and perhaps find a book that is in French but has a parallel English translation. Any phrases/words that keep appearing you can make a note of. Quizlet comes in handy here, and I'm sure you'll be familiar with it already. Here is a website with some recommendations: https://www.frenchwithagnes.com/10-f...for-beginners/

While memorising the grammar and vocabulary certainly helps, the only real way you'll be able to communicate is if you practice. Having people close to you who are fluent in French will certainly give you an advantage, so definitely use it as much as possible. It's a good way to differentiate between conversational, colloquial French vs. how it is often taught in classes.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Bonne chance (buena suerte).
Oh wow thank you very much for the lengthy response, it's much appreciated!
Luckily I actually have some relatives who are fluent in French so I'm considering starting a language exchange with a few of my cousins.

I'm just curious what career are you thinking of going into? At first I was considering going into law after uni but I'm now thinking I might be more into radio/broadcasting. Or maybe even translation but there's just so much choice I'm not sure what to choose!
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Meduse
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#7
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#7
(Original post by hyacinth77)
I'm just curious what career are you thinking of going into? At first I was considering going into law after uni but I'm now thinking I might be more into radio/broadcasting. Or maybe even translation but there's just so much choice I'm not sure what to choose!
I'm still working on that. Probably government intelligence, though. That's one of my reasons for selecting Persian.

Definitely explore your interests/passions whilst at university and see what you like. There's no major rush right now but it helps to have something in mind. You could even combine this passion with another. There are plenty of options.
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hyacinth77
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Meduse)
I'm still working on that. Probably government intelligence, though. That's one of my reasons for selecting Persian.

Definitely explore your interests/passions whilst at university and see what you like. There's no major rush right now but it helps to have something in mind. You could even combine this passion with another. There are plenty of options.
That sounds really cool!

And yes, I'll try my best not to rush into things. I've learnt the hard way that sometimes that isn't the best approach.
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diorella
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#9
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#9
(Original post by hyacinth77)
Many thanks!
hyacinth
why do you keep replying with your name .

diorella .
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Meduse
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(Original post by diorella)
why do you keep replying with your name .

diorella .
They're just signing off their name. Not a big deal.
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hyacinth77
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#11
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#11
(Original post by diorella)
why do you keep replying with your name .

diorella .
It's just something I tend to do with emails and stuff like that. Nothing more nothing less
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diorella
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#12
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#12
its funny
(Original post by Meduse)
They're just signing off their name. Not a big deal.
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