Speaking French

Come and share your tips for learning French or ask a question if you are getting stuck!

Get a book eg 201 French verbs or the like, irregular verbs need to be learnt but once you know them you will be OK, regular verbs follow patterns so if in doubt, ie if you don't know whether a verb is regular or not just stick a regular ending on it, it won't be 'right' but it will probably be comprehensible and your interlocutor will correct you so you will know next time. Just have a go at speaking French, put any amour-propre in your pocket & go for it - we don't care if people make a hash as long as they have a bash. (natty slogan, there - better if it scanned, obviously)

Hmmm...interesting....I have the same problem and will look over your shoulder on this one if I may....

Thanks a lot. It would be very useful and I will pass it on to my friend who has another group in the Maconnais

I'm so pleased, Jane! :-) I'll keep looking to see if there are any other publishers that might have more titles for you!

Hi Veronique, I have ordered five second-hand copies that we can use and annotate.

This is an amazing find for our little group, so many thanks.

Veronique, this is just what we wanted, thanks. I will order a couple of copies of Julian Barnes, Letters from London.

http://www.folio-lesite.fr/Folio/collection.action?idCollection=431 this link gives you the whole list of bilingual books, obviously not all of them are in English/French there are all the other languages they do as well.

Thanks everyone for replying, but we have seen the Penguin Parallel text books and they are not modern books. I will look at the folio Gallimard and go into the bookshop in Cluny.

Ian - en dépit de la date, j'ai répondu ;-)

Veronique - thank you for explaining the difference between "malgré" and "en dépit de".
J'ai reçu une réponse en dépit de l'attente d'une année!

Oh, should have said, that's an answer to the question from Ron Fox about books with both French and English texts.

Penguin Parallel Text, ISBN 0 -14 -003414 - 5

Nouvelles Francaises, Edited by Simon Lee.

Ian - en dépit de isn't quite the same as malgré because there can be an element of judgment (we say en dépit du bon sens but not malgré le bon sens, for example) but they overlap a lot. Malgré is more neutral, I hope this makes sense to you! eg malgré la pluie... (Ok it was raining, no big deal) En dépit de la pluie (it was hurling it down and STILL...)

There's a collection Folio (Gallimard) of bilingual books and probably others as well - if you go to a good bookshop they will probably have them in the bit for educational purposes rather than with their other paperbacks. Ask them to give you a catalogue of all the publishers who do them & then you can choose.


I have seen books in English on the left hand page and French on the right hand page; they were being sold in a bookstore on Blvd. Montparnasse So, they exist.

Can anyone tell me if they have come across bilingual books for adults and if so, where they found them?

We are a group of English and French ladies who meet every Monday morning in the Clunysois to improve our language skills.

We can find the classics, but would like books which use more up to date language.

Help please.

I just encountered "en dépit de" used in place of "malgré", meaning "despite" or "in spite of": could a native francophone tell me if the two are synonymous?

Emma, look at the Useful Links page http://www.survivefrance.com/page/useful-links . There's a section on education which has a lot of suggestions about how to learn French. You may find what you need there.


I have been living in France for the last four years. My spoken French gets me by and I work in our local shop. However, I come very unstuck when it comes to grammar and written French. I am looking to do a French course with a recognised qualification. I have GCSE French. Does anyone have any recommendations, I live in the 25.