French 101


I am about half way through my first French primer book and I’m also halfway between astonished at how much I can read and dismayed by how little I understand verbally.  This has always been my main hurdle with learning French, the complete disconnect with what a word looks like to me and how it is actually pronounced.

For example:

qu’est-ce que c’est     which is pronounced:  kess-kuh-say

WHY DO YOU HAVE SO MANY LETTERS IF YOU AREN”T USING THEM!  Stop being such a letter hoarder!

I hope that eventually I stop seeing French words from an English perspective… but that hasn’t happened yet.  Luckily when I need a good laugh I just put the French phrase into the English side of google translate and listen to the computer’s horrible attempt (left side):’est-ce%20que%20c’est

Now don’t you feel better, I know I do 🙂

So halfway through the book and after about 12 hours of studying I know a variety of basic nouns like colors, numbers, animals, family members, days of the week, months, basic weather, telling time, and basic adjectives, verbs and prepositions.  I believe the next section is going to be the rules for conjugating verbs in past, present and future… yay!

Since understanding spoken French has been my biggest hurdle I found a few super basic French Kid’s videos and basic French learning videos online to listen to to help my ears acclimate.  First I watched several episodes of this series:

This series is definitely at my comprehension level… but it is so boring!  It reminds me of the horrible learning films we had to watch in Spanish class.  SO while I could understand it, it didn’t really hold my attention for long. So I switched to the BBC’s Muzzy.  This is definitely a kid’s show and yet I find it much more interesting than the one above

I’m going to stick with Muzzy for now, I’ll let you know how it goes!



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