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Improving Your French

Does Not Translate: 7 Common Mistakes Anglophones Make In French

When learning French, it’s natural to try to translate phrases word-for-word from English. Sometimes it works. But sometimes the words that form an innocent phrase in English may become something awkward, naughty or incomprehensible in French. Since we don’t want you wandering around France asking about condoms or saying that you’re horny when you intend …

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Practice Your French Vowel Pronunciation

Sometimes one of the hardest aspects of learning French isn’t remembering the right words to use – it’s remembering how to pronounce those words correctly.

As we discussed last month, it’s understandable that non-native speakers have difficulties with pronunciation. The French language is full of silent endings, liaisons, and unfamiliar accents. Your lips, mouth and tongue have to move differently to pronounce these words as French natives do. And you have to learn to hear it when you’re not pronouncing a word properly.

7 Great Songs to Help You Learn French

Last week, the Guardian published an interesting essay about the benefits of learning a foreign language through song. The author claimed that that no one could understand him whenever he tried to speak Spanish or Portuguese – until he learned to sing in those languages. This makes complete sense to us, as French teachers. Most …

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Speak Better French: Learn Your Faux Amis (False Cognates)

Last week, we discussed expanding your French vocabulary with “vrais amis” (true cognates): French and English words that are identical or nearly identical in both spelling and meaning. This week, we’re going to focus on “faux amis” (false cognates): words that look identical in both French and English, but have entirely different meanings. What are …

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Success Story! Former Student Liam Connell Shares His Tale

  We are delighted to share the success story of one of our former students, Liam Connell. Liam, a retired trader living in Chicago, took private French lessons in Paris twice a week with French As You Like It at the beginning of 2013.  It thrills us that he found his lessons so enjoyable and …

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It’s La Chandeleur: Serve up the crêpes!

Crêpe-lovers rejoice! Today is La Chandeleur (Candlemas), which means crêpes!  Many French families will have a massive crêpe-making session tonight, school cafeterias will serve these thin pancakes to children, and while strolling through the market, you may suddenly find a warm, freshly-made crêpe thrust into your hand – for free! Keep reading to find out …

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The Covered Passages of Paris: A Christmas Stroll

“Errer est humain, flâner est parisien.” To err is human, to stroll is Parisian. – Victor Hugo These words were true in the 19th-century and they’re true today. Nothing is more quintessentially Parisian than spending a lazy hour or two strolling through Paris’s streets, gardens, or along the banks of the Seine with no aim …

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Learn French by Singing French Christmas Carols!

‘Tis the season…to hear Christmas carols all day long. Even here in Paris, where playing carols in stores wasn’t a thing until recently, we now stumble through December dreaming of a Bing Crosby White Christmas. With the strains of all these Anglophone carols in the air, you might think that there isn’t such a thing …

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When Parisians Won’t Speak French to You – How to Handle It

Doesn’t it drive you crazy when this happens? Scenario #1: You’ve just settled in at a table in a cozy Parisian bistro. In your very best French, you say to a waiter: “Puis-je avoir la carte, s’il vous plaît?”* He nods and immediately hands you an English menu. Scenario #2: You’re at the fromagerie**, preparing to …

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