Hello, bonjour à tous !
Can you guess what is the most commonly read book by my students? No, it's not "Le Petit Prince", "Les Misérables" or whichever French classic you have in mind. The book my student tend to prefer to practice their French, is Harry Potter. Chocker, right?!
When I was gathering a list of books to recommend for an article, I asked around to my students and got some really interesting answers.
2 Italian students read advanced books, not so much because their level is high, but because between the similarities between both languages and the ability to translate anything with one click from their Kindles, reading in a different language is not such a struggle. That allows them to read a book on economics for one and on parenthood from the other.
The point of all this, is to remind you that there isn't just one path to follow. There isn't just one book that you have to master or movie you have to watch to know the language.
And as much as I dislike voice over, they can be pretty helpful. All that matters is that your own interests align with your language practice. This is the best way to ensure your success. After all, you are more likely to continue if you find your material interesting, no?
To go back to the Harry Potter mention, I realized that it could be useful to me as well. I started practising with the Spanish version of book 1 of Game of Thrones that I found a year ago. The issue was that even though I could guess a lot from context, I had no way to check a translation or keep tracks of the new lingo.
That's when LingQ
became my best ally (referral link)
. There's a lot to do from this very simple app and I am really happy to be using it
. It not only has a great translation / flashcards
feature, but you can also upload material that will automatically become part of the material and have the vocabulary feature added. The text can also be cut in segments to make reading easier.
LingQ was founded by Steve Kaufman
, a polyglot who can speak 17 languages and a hero of mine. I encourage you to check his blog here and try a free version of LingQ
In the event that you're not a big fan of the app for a reason or another, you can still apply this idea to progress in learning French. Check Netflix for instance and start watching in French with subtitles for examples.
The key to your success is in your focus, consistency and of course, in enjoying what you're doing!
Tell me below, what's your favorite way to practice?