FRENCH

About

Without a doubt, French is one of the most popular foreign languages for people from the United States or the United Kingdom to learn. The beautiful nasal sounds, extensive amount of cognates, and vast amounts of resources make taking up French a fun adventure. However, despite all these positive aspects of French, a student will quickly learn that writing the language well and mastering the accent can be frustrating affairs. This is no excuse not to learn French though! As an official language in 29 countries and with well over 200 million speakers French is still a very influential world language. Learn French and you can talk with most of West Africa and spend time exploring the cultures of France, Belgium, and Switzerland.


Online Resources

FSI French is a course offered by the Foreign Service Institute

Duolingo is a popular language learning platform and they offer French. Check out the review here.

BBC French has some good resources to learn French.

Coffee Break French is a podcast-like program with hundreds of episodes which are led by tutors. Highly recommended!

About.com has a French page which is very extensive.


Online News

Le Monde

BBC Afrique

L'Avenir


Top Products

Easy French Step by Step
This popular text focuses on the most important verbs, grammar, and words. Includes many exercises and readings and is meant for the beginner.

Fluenz French
Fluenz is a software program which has been well received by language learners. It uses a tutor system rather than pure immersion like its competitor Rosetta Stone. It may or may not be available in your country.

Living Language French
This book and audio program has 3 workbooks and 9 audio CDs which get progressively more challenging. Highly recommended.

Pimsleur French Conversation Course
Pimsleur is an all audio program for language learning. The French Conversational course has 16 lessons, each 30 minutes long, for a total of 8 hours. If you like the method you can graduate and buy the full version, which is significantly more expensive.

French Made Simple
This book has many reading exercises but also includes basic grammar and lots of vocabulary. Answer key included. Good for someone who already has some French background or the motivated beginner.

Total French - Michel Thomas
This audio program includes 12 hours of listening material in addition to a CD for being able to read what you are listening and speaking. The CD also includes exercises. The method is tutor-like, in that you are listening to a teacher teach two students (with you being the third).

Learn French with Stories for Beginners - Vol. 1
15 stories for learning French and includes free accompanying audio at both slow and normal speed. Text is over 200 pages.

501 French Verbs
Includes the full conjugations of 501 French verbs. Also includes extensive information on verb usage, example sentences, grammar notes, audio CD, and a translation of over 1000 verbs.


Where Can I Study It?

Middlebury Language School offers French immersion programs

San Francisco State University offers a BA or MA in French

Oregon State University offers a BA in French (entirely online)

Stony Brook University offers a BA in French Language and Literature

Texas A&M University offers a BA in Modern Languages - French

University of Central Florida offers a BA in French

University of Alabama offers a BA in Foreign Languages and Literature - French


Famous Speakers

Joan of Arc
Teenage heroine who aided the French cause during the Hundred Years War against England.

Marie Antoinette
She is probably France's most known queen.

Louis Braille
Invented Braille, the system which helps blind persons to read. He himself was blind.

Victor Hugo
Hugo is known for writing Les Miserables.

Napolean I
Known for creating the French empire in Europe...at least temporarily.

Alexandre Dumas
Wrote the books The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers amongst others.

Paul Cezanne
One of many well-known French painters. He is categorized as Post-Impressionist.

Gustave Eiffel
Creater of the world famous Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Audrey Tautou
One of France's most recognizable actresses. She starred in Amelie and also The Da Vinci Code amongst others.

Rene Descartes
One of France's most famous philosophers.

Charles de Gaulle
Military officer and stout President of France over very turbulent and important periods of France's history.

Montesquieu
Political philosopher

Maximilien Robespierre
One of the central figures in the French Revolution time period

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
He wrote The Little Prince, a childrens book which has been translated into dozens of languages.

Claude Monet
Famous Impressionist painter


Cultural Products

Amelie
This famous French film follows Amelie, a young waitress from Paris who finds an old treasure which inspires her to do good for others. Nominated for 5 Academy Awards. The film is in French but English subtitles are included.

Flirting with French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me, and Nearly Broke My Heart
Author William Alexander writes about his experiences living in France and his struggles and triumphs with the French language.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking - Vol. 1
This is probably the most famous French cookbook ever written.

The Story of French
How did French come to be and what sort of impact has French had on the world? The 'Story of French' addresses such questions in an attempt to bring the story of this beautiful language to life.

Putumayo Presents - Paris
This album includes famous artists such as Coralie Clement, Paris Combo, and Carla Bruni. Capture the atmosphere of Paris.