La langue francais!

As we all struggle to improve our French I've found this 10 minute daily newscasts invaluable - and you can paste the French script into google translate and listen and follow in english.

Anyone else have similar sites we can share for a daily french lessons - I'm still finding the more I learn the more is out there!

Thanks Geoff - lots of useful stuff to delve into there too.

Thanks Glenn - looks good too

Thanks Sarah I'll take a look

lol touche!

Understandable Michael. My wife took out the subscription with YABLA. Not sure if it is an American company, but the monthly fee comes out of our UK bank account - as dollars ($9.95 a month I think). That converts to £7 quid. (Still not a fiver I know - I shouldn't be so casual on social networks - I'll try better).

Sorry, looked like sterling to me. "We get charged £7.01p."

Like you, Sarah, I can get by reasonably well face-to-face -- and when I have to, on the telephone.

I use both Google Translate and Reverso for emails of a legal/technical/customer service nature. I copy both translations into a Word table to view them side by side, and take the best of both -- sometimes going back to rephrase my English so that the translation comes out in more recognisable French... It seems to work!

You assume Michael that I pay in Stirling. Try paying in US Dollars.

HI Paul

That's a hell of a good rate (£1:€1.4194) including any Forex charges. Best I can get is about 1.24517 from my best broker.

Which bank? Maybe I should change

Actually.. not bad value for 23pence a day. Joking apart.. it is a very useful website. I'm sure there are many others, but for the price, YABLA is the best we have found.

OMG !! Just checked our bank statement. We get charged £7.01p. !! Outrageous! Think I'll lock my wife in a cupboard for a fortnight as punishment.

€9.95 = nearer £8

I agree. RFi is one of the best sites and I love the Journal en français facile. There's also News in Slow French (but you'll need a subscription).

BBC French has some useful stuff in their archives.

If your grammar is rusty or non-existent I'd recommend Lawless French and a good book with exercises is Ribiere & Marriott, Help Yourself to Advanced French Grammar

But since we're all living in France communication skills (speaking/listening) are what it's all about. Listen to real people, write down useful words and colloquial phrases and practise them in a real situations as quickly as possible - you'll remember them then.

I find (French or English) students make a lot more progress if they feel confident about what's coming out of their mouth. One thing you can practise at home is your pronunciation. Getting the vowels right (or nearly right) will make you feel a hell of a lot more French.Vowels do all the work in French and at least 8 of their vowels are fully rounded.

When you start getting it right your lips should feel as if you've been kissed by a caravan of camels. English diphthongs, apparently, make learners' cheeks ache.

You can start here: French vowels spoken by a French Native (

Use Lingvist, excellent site, covers all aspects of the language; structures, memorize, reading, listening; constructed by Baltic/Estonian nationals working in EU institutions and needing to acquire French.....................and, to date, is entirely free with good feedback opportunities................ use it daily

Wow, your son did so well! Good for him. It is all about having coping strategies. If you know them, you can use them. Often I think school is a horrible environment. You learn that making mistakes is wrong. It isn't wrong, it is an important part of learning something!

I am amazed at my progress but I do work hard for it. ;)

Marie, my elder son is dyslexic and only got two decent GCSEs: IT and French. He did well at French because he grew up having friends in France so was both enthusiastic and tuned in to French, but he was also lucky that at that time most of the exam marks related to conversation rather than written work. I think you are so right - children are fluent speakers of one or two languages by the time they start reading and writing, but when school starts teaching another language they are often made to learn the grammar and verbs at the expense of fluent speech. It's a hobby horse of mine!

I went to a rather posh school, where we didn't do the same English course as the Grammar schools did. We learned no grammar whatsoever: our head teacher believed we already understood how to construct complex sentences and didn't need to study grammar as it hindered our development. She also refused to let us take the English Literature exams because they risked putting us off reading for life, and we would be getting enough O Levels without Lit. I think she was right. I did get a French pass, but most of that was of little help when we moved to France 40 years later.

I bet you are proud of your progress. I know how I felt when we completed the import of a UK car to France, visiting the tax office and the admin team in Nantua. Achieving the Cartes Vitales was a milestone too. Face to face is the way children learn language, and it works best for adults, too.

I use podcast Français facile located at,

I find trying to learn like a child works for me! Good job I haven't grown up yet. Children mimic to learn. This is what I tend to do. I mimic the annoying ads on the TV for example. I mimic sentences etc.

I have had two barriers for learning languages. At school I was dyslexic (I don't know if you can grow out of it) so always struggled with English, French, reading and so on. Plus I have hearing problems. Speaking on the telephone is a nightmare in English let alone doing it in French. I have lived in France for less than two years and I can converse with others and I can do simple things on the phone. Just yesterday I booked my car in for a service and made a doctor’s appointment! Proud? Yes.

I go cycling with a group of French ladies who don't speak any English. Mixing something difficult (learning French) with something you enjoy (cycling) is a really good mix. has helped. It is an amazing free site and has helped me improve my spelling. is similar with a paid option, I think. - you can download audio books in a few different languages - for free!

Repeat, evaluate and repeat is key to success in learning a new language... And realising that we never stop learning ;)

Thanks for this site Steven, as I am still in the UK, frantically learning french for permanent arrival next year, such sites are hugely valuable to me as well. I have found listening to podcasts from France Bleu Radio, in particular the France Bleu Midi ensemble downloads, are really useful for me whilst driving, I can immerse myself in listening to French conversations, delighted to understand the content occasionally! I enjoy them because they are on interesting cultural topics that I would find interesting anyway. I long for the day when I can listen to them and not have to translate in my head constantly! For structured learning I love coffee break french, especially the slightly higher levels 3 and 4, which are challenging but highly enjoyable. I have subscribed to the additional lessons, although there is very good quality free content as welL. I do find the written language a real challenge, any ideas of helping with this would be great as well please. Being understood speaking face to face with someone is a possibility, putting my ramblings down in an email is another thing!