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Improving Your French

What to do this summer in Paris to improve your French ?

How to improve your French ? No more confinement, no more curfew, no more masks outside … The return to normal life is well underway. Let’s keep our hopes up for good weather and wonder what to do in Paris this summer ? Actually many Parisians are going on vacation and because of the Covid …

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7 Verbs that Have No Direct Translation in French

When you imagine a word that has no direct translation into another language, it’s easy to imagine the existence of some exotic, complex word. For example, take the French verb “entarter.” This means, “to hit someone in the face with a pie”. Somehow that seems like exactly the kind of word that would have no direct translation in to English (or possibly any other language). But how about the verb “to kick?”… “To hug”? Seemingly basic English verbs such as these have no direct counterpart in French.

How To Handle A Plateau in Your French Language Learning

ave you hit a plateau with your French language learning? You know… that maddening period when– despite your best efforts – it seems that you’re not retaining anything new, not speaking a jot better, still making the same mistakes, and will never, ever become fluent. Don’t worry. This happens to almost everyone who learns a new language. Keep reading to learn how to push forward and see progress in your French.

7 Polite French Phrases to Learn before Visiting Paris

The French – Parisians, in particular – have a reputation for being rude. But the behavior that foreigners perceive as rudeness is often the result of cultural misunderstandings. To avoid any such misunderstandings, learn the following 7 French phrases before visiting Paris. With these phrases at the ready, we think you’ll see that Parisians are much more friendly than they’re reputed to be!

Retourner, Revenir, Rentrer: What’s the Difference?

Some French verbs are more complicated than others for Anglophones, most especially those that don’t have an exact counterpart in English. Such is the case with the verbs retourner, revenir and rentrer. While each of these verbs do generally indicate someone going back to a place, they must each be used in a specific – and different – set of circumstances. Keep reading to learn more!

Café Talk: 12 French Phrases for Hanging Out in a Parisian Café

Ah, il fait si beau! This spring Paris is flirting with all of us by offering days of golden sun, bright blue skies and breezes as gentle as a caress. This is perfect weather to sit at a café terrace with a glass of rosé and watch the world go by. If you plan on spending time in a Parisian café, here are some handy words, phrases and other tips to make this classic Parisian pastime even more enjoyable!

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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