English Ad Slogans in Non-Anglophone Countries

-+*This Spiegel article is about German of course, but just replace “Germany” and “German” with “France” and “French” and the outcome is the same. How Germans Really See English Ad Slogans: English is all the rage in Germany — the height of fashion, except that many people don’t understand it. Consumer groups would like to […]

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More Free Language Resources Online

-+*Publisher Websites. A lot of publishing companies have companion websites for their foreign language textbooks. Most offer extra exercises in grammar and vocabulary, while some even offer free downloads of  mp3s and a sample chapter. McGraw-Hill World Languages: Free audio downloads to accompany textbook & workbook (in the Student Edition section) Heinle World Languages: Mostly […]

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First Semester Language

-+*We all laugh at these songs that make fun of beginning language classes and the somewhat useless words and phrases we learn. How many times in French have I ever said “Où est la bibliothèque ?” Um, probably never. But these videos also show the poor attempt at language teaching and/or the poor attempt at […]

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Everyone speaks Franglais.

-+*Have I mentioned lately how annoying English words are in French? Just over the past few days, I’ve heard people speaking French say speed, soft, borderline, bad trip, VIP, people, and flashy when they could have just used French words in their sentences. And of course they pronounce these words with French accents, which is […]

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More Language Learning Tips

-+*Websites I found these past few weeks: Dialang is a neat program that you can use to determine your European Level in a foreign language. There are 5 tests – reading, writing, listening, grammar and vocabulary – available for 14 languages – Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish […]

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Olympics Vocabulary in French

-+*I’ve never been a big fan of the Olympics or of watching sports on TV, but I have caught a few events on French TV this week. If nothing else, it helps with learning sports vocabulary in French. [And why did I never notice before that the French use Pékin whereas we use Beijing? ] […]

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Foreign Service Institute French Basic Course

-+*If you haven’t already checked out (and/or downloaded) the free Foreign Service Institute language courses at fsi-language-courses.com, you need to go there right now. The FSI courses were designed by the Department of State, mostly in the 1960’s, to teach languages to employees being sent overseas. They’re actually quite comprehensive, if a bit boring with […]

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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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