Monday, May 23, 2011

The Wonderful World of the French Language

I was recently asked for a list of my favorite resources for French language learning.   For better or worse, I use electronics now more than textbooks and anything made of paper products.  Gathering together all my stuff, this is what I came up with.  A huge part of the ease of learning this way is due to the iphone/ipod/ipad.  And use of the apps and podcasts is dependent on them.  Of course, this long list does not even come close to being exhaustive of all that is available out there in cyberspace with which to learn French, at every level.  Isn't technology grand?

Apps (all are free except the dictionary):

Larousse French Dictionary (this one isn't free, maybe $5, but fantastic with complete conjugations and detailed definitions, examples and voice pronunciations).
Le (newspaper)
Le (newspaper)
Le (news magazine)
Libération (newspaper) (news magazine)
RFI (live streaming radio)
France 24 (live streaming of TV news)
Verbe2Verbe Verb Trainer Lite (verb conjugation tester)
French Morning New York (little articles in French about stuff in NY)
Elle (magazine)
TV5Monde (also TV clips of all sorts)
7 jours (news clips and comprehension tester, various levels)

Podcasts (subscribe through itunes, all free):

One Thing in a French Day (short stories of daily life in Paris by a sweet-voiced Parisienne; she includes transcripts for reading along)
RFI - Apprendre le francais  (news bits and descriptions in French of meanings of French words)
Coffee Break French (this is the only one that is possibly easy enough for a true beginner, but not really)
Learn French by Podcast (generally more advanced than Coffee Break French, with much use of idioms)
Le Masque et La Plume (criticism of books, movies or theater, weekly radio show on France Inter)

Websites: ; (French radio - mostly talk, some music) ; (grammar games and tester) ; (conjugations tester) (really good online dictionary - recommended by my French teacher) (French TV) (French TV comedy show ala "The Daily Show," making light fun of French politicians and celebs) (University of Texas French language teaching website) (newspaper; obviously, all the newspapers and magazines available as apps also exist online).
This should be enough to get fully immersed in French without needing a passport!  It's such a great pleasure to even be able to peek through this portal into French culture and perspective on everything from world issues to style through a bit of language understanding.  Of course, now that I've gotten started, I can't stop!  

1 comment:

  1. Such a helpful post! Thank you for this! I even picked up a tip or two (and great for my new iPad!!) :)