Post # 1
Has anyone had success in regaining what they learned in French while in school and moving toward fluency? I learned so much French in school, and was really good at it…but now I feel like I need something more to be fluent. I can read it pretty well, but I cannot come up with sentences to write or to say in French. Thats what I want to practice. Has anyone had success with Rosetta Stone for anything more than basics? Anyone have advice?
Post # 3
Rosetta Stone for me was a waste. I’d look to finding some workbooks or watching french movies/tv.
Post # 4
Listen to French music, and pay attention to the lyrics. If you don’t know some, translate the song for yourself (or look it up online) After a while you begin to notice patterns. 🙂
I have an app called DuoLingo, but it’s for VERY basic language learning (trying to re-learn the very small amount of Italian I once knew!).
It’s essentially the same as Rosetta Stone, but for your cellphone! And it’s free 🙂
BTW – you may be able to find a forum or something online where people go to practice French. I am sure it exists out there!
Post # 5
Try the sample of Rosetta Stone online and see what you think. I tried it for a language I already knew and it was a joke.
FWIW — I’ve heard a ton of a bad reviews of it.
Post # 6
I think Rosetta Stone is more for someone who is just starting out with a language – sounds like it would probably be below your level.
I have a friend who was trying to become fluent in Spanish – she looked online and found an older woman who was trying to learn English and was looking for someone to practice with. Instead of the older woman paying her to practice, they worked together on fluency. One week, they would only talk in English and the next, they only spoke Spanish. It really helped both of them and they have a wonderful friendship – it’s really sweet.
Post # 7
Have you tried Duolingo.com?
It’s similar to Rosetta stone but best of all, it’s FREE!
Post # 8
@peachacid: Rosetta Stone isn’t the best for language learning. Beyond being crazy expensive, it doesn’t really teach you the pratical things you need for language learning. This guy does a really good job of breaking down what the issues are: http://www.fluentin3months.com/rosetta-stone-review/
What I recommend to my students are things like podcasts (there will be a TON for French), listen to French radio stations (songs are fantastic for language learning–make yourself a playlist or a CD for the car), and listen to the news (BBC France for example).
As silly as this sounds soap operas/serials are awesome for language learning. There’s tons of repetition & the plots are pretty mindless so it’s easy to follow along.
Post # 9
@peachacid: I had a coworker who used to work for Rosetta Stone. She said it’s a good tool if used in conjunction with something else. It gives you some “building blocks” but won’t help with fluency. Agree with movies, music, etc. suggested by PPs (this is how I brushed up before a trip to Tunisia). Also, I’m not sure where you are, but in my city they have french conversational groups for all levels. I found mine through Meetup.
Post # 10
I was able to learn basic Spanish with Rosetta Stone. However, I don’t think it is any good for someone who wants to become fluent
Post # 11
Thanks everyone! I wasn’t sure whether Rosetta Stone would even be helpful, and it looks like it wouldn’t be.
@BagsnBooks: What are the names of some soap operas or serials you recommend?
Post # 12
The best way to learn a language is to be immersed in it. And it’s much harder for an adult to learn than a kid.. kids just pick it up.
I agree with PPs that watching TV would be good. Maybe take a class or two to brush up on the French grammar.
Post # 13
@peachacid: Sorry, I don’t know any French ones. I teach Russian, but if you google around I’m sure you’ll find some popular ones. I’m sure there’ll be ton of Youtube clips as well.
Also if you can find French movies with English subtitles that works really well and American movies with French subtitles. I loved the movie Across the Universe in Russian because who doesn’t know all the words to Beatles songs?
Post # 14
I’m a Law and French student who had to go to France for a year to study French law and all my lectures were in French! I was passable but nowhere near fluent enough to study a complicated subject like Law and a French friend of mine recommended listening to music because that’s how she improved her English and it’s definitely helped a lot. And believe me if you can understand song lyrics, you’re good enough to be considered fluent.
Also, a little tip is to try to immerse yourself in the language even if you’re not in a French speaking country. When you need to read instructions/directions for something read the french version. When you’re reading a newspaper or a book, attempt to translate a paragraph to french. Like PPs said try to watch french films, listen to french radio and maybe read La Monde (French newspaper) once in a while.
To practice your speaking, look for a buddy. If you live in a city, there are usually French people who would like to improve their English and are willing to meet up once every so often to chat in English for a while and then in French to help you.
Hope it helps, and good luck!
Post # 15
@Chael: I have gmail in French…ha. Reading Le Monde is a great idea! Thanks.
Post # 16
I have heard such bad reviews of Rosetta Stone especially if you already have some grasp of the language you are trying to learn. I think RS is mostly for beginners, and it really won’t help you towards fluency at all. I’ve found the only way to become fluent in a language is to actually speak the language with other speakers. I’m not sure if you took French in high school or college, but maybe look into some college courses so that you can actually communicate with people around you. Also, and this depends on your area, but you may be able to find a French speaking group that you can attend. I speak German, and come from an area where many people do as well, and they hold bi-monthly meetings where everyone just gets together and speaks German. I’m sure there is something like that that you can research in your area. I even have a teacher who plays the French version of bocce ball because everyone that plays speaks French, and she says it’s a good way to learn!