Do You Want To Learn A Foreign Language? Try French With The Help Of These 5 Websites

April 2, 2012 | In: Uncategorized

learn frenchLearning a foreign language is not about communication alone. Though that’s the main motive, a new language helps to understand a different culture and expand your horizons. It’s also a linguistic challenge which can only help you think more actively. It also looks pretty neat on your resume.

I had a simpler reason for the language I chose – French. The French make pretty good films. I simply wanted to watch films like Amélie and Mésrine (and more) in their original glory.

English is the world’s second language. Chances are it could be your first. There’s always room for one more. If it’s going to be French in the near future, let’s see how we can immerse ourselves in it with the help of these five websites.

Why Pick French As The Foreign Language To Learn?

No, it shouldn’t be because Madonna is learning French too. In some small measure it could be because French was ranked second by Bloomberg among the top languages worldwide for business other than English last year. Mandarin for obvious reasons was at one.

That makes it a world language and it’s definitely one of the languages you should hold close to your tongue if you are an international traveler. It is the third most spoken language in the European Union after English and German. One of the other reasons I had for choosing French was that many English words have found their way here from French. So, the familiarity could be the balance against the nasal tongue twisting.

5 French Language Sites for the Beginner

BBC Languages

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This is one of my favorite resources for learning French. It has something for everyone. You can take the step-by-step interactive course and grasp the basics of the language in 12 weeks. It covers what you would be expected to speak the first time you land in France. Remember, you can’t learn French without audio help, and this site has it in plenty. Then there are the interactive video courses too which are like short films and should help you really brush up the language. Then there are language learning games, slang guides, and other assorted audio files. You can stay on here or move to the other six on the list.

French Assistant

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This French language site comes with 150000 sound files (in WAV and MP3). You gave to do a free registration to start with your lessons. Lessons are arranged according to beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Pop-ups take you through the lessons and you have to pick the right answers that come up. You can keep reviewing your progress as you hop from one lesson to the next. The site has existed since 2002 and is quite interesting and has a fun element that takes the chore out of learning a new language.

Digital Dialects

learn french online

Kids can easily pick up the basics of the language from this interactive but simple site. The language learning games on these pages are for the beginners and those on the lower-intermediate levels of French language. As the screen above shows, the games are simple click – guess the answer – hear the answer affairs.

About.com – Learning French

learn french online

As a beginner, if you are looking to get a quick overview and not be overwhelmed with a second language, head here. Along with the BBC lessons, the About.com guide will help you grasp the nuances of the language quickly. You have lessons, sound files, study tips, online tests, practice ideas, Q & A forum, links to online translators, dictionaries, and more. There’s a link to a toolbar which you can choose to install as a study aid. You can also sign-up for the weekly newsletter and e-course from the guide author. Don’t forget to read – Top 10 Beginning French Mistakes.

Open Learning Initiative – Carnegie Mellon University

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I haven’t come here yet, because I am still shoring up my basics. But the Open Initiative French course could be the one to round off your learning. The course is totally free and is built around 15 chapters. The courses are introductory, interactive video-based courses that can be used by students and independent learners on the Internet. The course is divided into two main parts and should take a learner about 30 weeks to complete. The lessons are very neatly laid out and the quality is top notch.

Before I started out with learning French, I Googled and found that it would take me about 10 months to learn French. After that regular practice should smoothen my stuttering tongue. The web has made it so easy to learn a new language. We have seen it before too with our previously published posts:

Which is the one foreign language you have always wanted to learn? Have you ever felt handicapped by a language in your travels abroad? Tell us about your language travails.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons


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