Grammar Check – Subjunctive with espérer?

This was the top story on lefigaro.fr this afternoon: Les Bleus à quitte ou double contre l’Italie Pour éviter l’élimination, la France devra battre les Italiens, mardi soir, et espérer que la Roumanie ne fasse pas de même contre les Pays-Bas. Years of French grammar classes have drilled into my head that you should never […]

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Learning French Slang

If you really want to become fluent in French, and be able to communicate easily with anyone, you need to learn slang. You don’t necessarily have to use it, but you must be able to understand it. Before I arrived in France, I had never studied French slang. I had only studied textbook French – […]

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French Slang & Idiom Exercises

I love Hot Potatoes. I’ve been making some interactive matching, multiple choice, and gap-fill exercises to go with my Informal French & Slang page. Do you know what une tube is? How about potin? Pige? Toubib? Flotte? Check out the exercises here!

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Books for 2 €

For those who like to read, but are dirt poor like me, Librio publishes books for 1-3 € each. You can find several famous French works, as well as English works translated into French. (But check Project Gutenberg first if you want to download non-copyright protected works for free.) Their collections include literature, poetry, theatre, […]

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Nobody studies French Literature in High School

I recently found out that College Board is going to cancel the AP exam in French Literature as of 2009. Also gone are Latin Literature and Italian Language & Culture. German Literature has been gone for 10 years, so that leaves us with Chinese Language & Culture, French Language, German Language, Japanese Language & Culture, […]

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Translations

Here are the translations from the real French post. I can honestly say I never learned these expressions from my high school or university books/classes. I only learned them when I moved to France. Elle tire le diable par la queue. = She barely gets by (financially). C’est pas vraiment le Pérou. = It’s nothing […]

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Real French.

If you only learned textbook French in school, could you understand these sentences? All of them are from one page of a thread that I found on a random forum. This is why idioms and slang are an essential part of any language course! Elle tire le diable par la queue. C’est pas vraiment le […]

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Learning languages for free with the internet.

Tip of the day: Use the internet to take advantage of the public domain. Foreign Service Institute Language Courses: Designed and written by the US government but with no copyright protection. You can download the texts (PDF format) and audio files (mp3s) for free. Not all languages are available for download as the site depends […]

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Things I learned today

Le premier mai is la fête du travail (labor day) and the only day in France when anyone can sell flowers legally – not just florists. You will see tons of people and places (if they’re open…) selling muguets (lily of the valley) because it’s supposed to bring good luck to whomever you give them […]

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About About.com

There are very few language sites that offer useful, free information to help you actually learn the real language (slang, idioms, informal speech, etc.) About.com’s language sites do include a lot of useful information, but the problem is finding what you want among the bazillion pages and sponsored links that look exactly like the content. […]

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Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In January 2010, I started focusing more on teaching and learning languages in general. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at the university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling (though now my trips are usually in Australia) and being an American abroad.

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Buy My French Books

My Say it in French phrasebook and Great French Short Stories dual-language book (both published by Dover Publications) are available at Amazon.com.

The 2nd edition of French Language Tutorial is now available as a PDF book. It has been updated with much more vocabulary, sample sentences, and cultural information, plus extended vocabulary lists, cross-referenced topics, and an alphabetical index.

Visit the Store to buy the PDF e-book for $14.95 or paperback book for $29.95.

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