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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:39 PM
Original message
best way to brush up on a foreign language?

OK, I studied French for 3-1/2 years about 20 years ago in high school and believe I remember a fair amount, but haven't spoken or studied it since (studied Italian in college but seem to have retained more French). I'd like to become fluent in a foreign language and French seems the best choice, though here in the NC boonies there aren't too many French speakers.

Any language instructors out there have suggestions? Listen to French radio? Try to read/translate Le Monde? Combination of the above? Anything? I'm trying to avoid rote memorization from French grammar books and would like something a little more interactive so I don't fall asleep in the grammar book within 10 minutes.
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The Doctor. Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Immersion.
Go somwhere French-speaking for a week.

I was in France for a week once and it did wonders for my proficiency.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. I agree
A week or 10 days totally immersed, no help in English and you will be amazed.
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camby Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. I studied Spanish in college but don't use it frequently
I found that a good way to brush up on it when getting ready for a trip is to read periodicals - magazines, newspapers. Watching movies/tv is OK after you're acclimated a bit, but it's easier if you start with something simple like news articles.
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DrZeeLit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
3. Move-ez vous to Paris? Which is what I would LOVE to do!
Well, maybe take a trip?
If not Paris, Quebec?
That not being a consideration, take a trip through Amazon to see what's out there on instruction.

My step-daughter married into an Italian family and wanted to learn Italian, so I got her a set of CD's at a local bookstore. She says they are great.

Good luck -- or rather...
BON CHANCE!
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Flaxbee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I'd love to go to Paris, going to Helsinki and London in
a few weeks (cold, I know); never been to France though I've been to Italy twice for extended stays. Whatever. My choices frequently make no sense!

Do you remember what CDs you bought? So many of the sets are crummy!
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. DVDs using the French audio tracks?
Edited on Sat Nov-13-04 11:46 PM by qnr
maybe with English subtitles at first?
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FloridaPat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:46 PM
Response to Original message
5. Move to a place where they speak French . France would be nice.
Quebec is a lot closer. Haiti is in the tropics, although probably not a nice place right now thanks to the hurricanes.
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John Q. Citizen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. first you want to identify what kind of learner you are and why you
want to learn.

You sound communicative.


Speaking, comprehending, reading and writing are all different skills though some are more closely related than others.

Try watching French foriegn language movies, reading Le Monde, get a French speaking pen pal and find someone to talk with.



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TexasChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-13-04 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
8. Go to a French chatroom. I studied German for 3 years in High School
and at one time, I looked up a German pen pal on the Net and found one. We exchanged emails all of the time. She would help me correct my German, and I would help her correct her English. Of course, this method isn't good on actually speaking it and getting your pronunciation down, but who knows, the person you find in a chatroom or a pen pal could possibly want to talk on the phone as well. It's a start.
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henslee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
10. my friend learned English by watching TV.
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