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Learning the language of love - useful links for learning French

I always wanted to learn French. I think this desire appeared when I was still a teenager. Why? Because I like the way it sounds, because it's a romantic language, and besides I had a goal to learn to speak English, German and French. When I got married my husband and I led a home group where we had two young people whose mother tongue was French. It was funny how much I could understand because I already spoke English and German. Listening to them talking to each other made me crazy, I wanted to be able to understand everything and to speak it just as fluently as they did!

So when my daughter was 8 months old my journey started. I decided to study French by myself using the Internet. And I found lots of really good resources there!

So, here are some quite useful links that have helped me and hopefully will be useful to you if you decide to learn this increadibly beautiful language: - an absolutely fabulous website with tests and tons of excercises on various topics and grammar issues.
TV5Monde - when I just started learning French I wanted to get used to the rythm of speech, so I watched the news on TV5 Monde every single day. I chose to watch the news because I watch them in Russian anyway, so I more or less know general topics that are going to be covered in each issue.
Telequebec - I just ran across this TV channel recently and I love the cartoons there. They are in easy French and I understand absolutely everything!
TCF - it's a great website with exercises that help people prepare for an internationally recognized exam in French called TCF. I find the exercises there very useful. is a wonderful website where you can get 10 free lessons for beginners (it took me about a week to cover one lesson, so be prepared for lots of information!) and overall it's just a wealth of useful information in French and about learning French + there's a forum where you can train yourself and communicate with French speakers. And they have great audios!

But as I continued my studies I realized that this Internet-based learning process lacked one essential part - a system. Without it, I got a lot of knowledge but as there was no structure I kept stuck on the basic level. So I started looking for textbooks. After trying several not too good textbooks I'd quit the learning process, and then after a few months I'd gather all my strength to start all over again. The vicious circle went round and round: I would resume the studies, come to the point when I realized that I really needed a more structured approach and then I'd quit and get angry and disappointed. This summer I finally made the decision to reach at least the upper-intermediate level by winter, and the Lord has heard me! I finally found a great book that was initially published in 1950s and had the structure that is the easiest for me to "digest". Thanks to it, I finally seem to get the feel of this wonderful language.

Another important step for me was that my friends who I mentioned at the beginning of this post agreed to speak to me in French! They live in Montreal, Canada, now so we meet over Skype. =) The first time we had a conversation they had to write almost everything they said to me. That's how bad I was at oral comprehension after almost a year when I didn't study any French because I thought it was beyond my capabilities! Now I'm slowly getting better. I had to make a break in my Skype lessons for a while, but I will resume them as soon as I can.

So I hope that one day I'll be able to say that I speak French fluently. This will be a happy day =) By the way, if you know of any good resources that I could use, you are more than welcome to recommend them to me!


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