French Dictionary for Non-Native Speakers of French

After skimming (ok, actually reading, because I am that much of a nerd) through my new French dictionary that is designed for non-native speakers, I definitely recommend it for learners of French. It is entirely in French, but it uses simple language to explain the definitions so I think it could be useful for beginners too.  It is a joint publication by Le Robert and CLE International, available on amazon.com (through third party sellers) and amazon.fr:


Dictionnaire du Francais

The pronunciation guide is standard IPA and what is great is that there are pronunciations for conjugated forms of verbs, and not just in the present tense.  The only other book I’ve ever found that provides this is All French Verbs from A to Z by Larousse. I know not everyone knows the IPA, but if you’re serious about learning foreign languages and acquiring proper pronunciation, then it’s extremely helpful.

The most frequent words used in French are marked with an arrow and there are also 350 proper nouns included (with pronunciation, of course.) Throughout the dictionary, relevant false cognates are listed and there is an annex of the full lists in 14 languages at the end. Plural forms of nouns, placement of adjectives, prepositions following verbs, as well as the register (vulgar, informal, standard, formal, etc.) of the word are also included.  Finally, other annexes are sigles, or acronyms and abbreviations, and their pronunciation if they are pronounced as a word instead of letter by letter; geographical names in their original language and the French translation; sections on countries and nationalities, numbers and official time; French governmental institutions; a chronology of French history; and conjugation tables.

The Gradual Progression

+-*Being able to understand 99% of what people say in French is a huge accomplishment, I feel. I remember constantly struggling to understand movies or songs in French when I was in college and then trying to understand actual conversations when I first arrived in France. Today I have no problems understanding any of those […]

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Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières & Partners in Health

+-*Please think about donating. My heart goes out to Haiti. I’ve also donated to Partners in Health, the organization created by the amazing Dr. Paul Farmer to help the poor in Haiti receive health care.  You can read about his life and work in Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man […]

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In the end, I still choose France (for now)

+-*Remember that list of reasons why I live in France that I posted a few months ago? Numbers 2, 5, and 8 are really relevant right now. I’ve only worked two days since December 16, and I still have another week off before the second semester starts. The 3 inches of snow we got last […]

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More Snow and More Vacation

+-*Rhône-Alpes is supposed to get more snow on Friday. The forecast says neige forte, and they’re predicting around 6 inches for Chambéry.  Good thing I don’t have to go anywhere and David’s work is only a few blocks away so he can walk. I’m already back on (paid) vacation after two days of phonetics exams […]

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Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Actually, please stop…

+-*Woke up to this: Did not expect that much snow. I could have sworn the forecast just said flurries. I have to give oral exams tomorrow at the university and I have a feeling I’ll need to take the bus. If this van couldn’t get out of its parking spot, my car is doomed. At […]

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The Beginning Translator’s Workbook (French to English)

+-*I bought The Beginning Translator’s Workbook: Or the ABC of French to English Translation a long time ago when I thought I might want to try translating as a career and I finally got around to reading it this past week. It actually offers a lot of good tips for switching between the two languages […]

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Two Thousand Ten / Deux Mille Dix

+-*Happy 2010! (for those who follow the Gregorian calendar) Happy something else equally pointless! (to those who don’t) I am not a fan of New Year’s except for the fact that it’s a non-religious holiday and we don’t have to work. So yay to that!

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Sight-seeing in Chambéry

+-*Having guests stay with you means you can finally be a tourist in your own town. Jessica, an English assistant from 2 years ago, was back in France to visit her boyfriend, and they stayed with us for 2 days before heading back to Annecy and then up to Strasbourg. Even though we’ve lived here […]

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Third Christmas in France

+-*My first Christmas in France was in 2006. I had just arrived in September and met David shortly after, and since I had no plans (no money) to go back to the US for Christmas, I spent it with his family. It was interesting and different but it just didn’t feel right. Especially when they […]

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