Archive for March, 2010
A visit to the Campus CUEF website is also an encounter with French songs and music. For example, by listening to Lynda Lemay’s song « Les Maudits Français, » the learners of French as a Foreign Language get to hear the French-Canadian accent of the Quebecers. It gives them the chance to learn some words and expressions typical of the way French is spoken in Quebec. They can, in addition, revise the use of the present tense in French.
It is, however, the special lyrics of that song that gives value to this exercise. In « Les Maudits Français, » Lemay paints an amusing and friendly portrait of the way the French from France are perceived by the North-American cousins, the Québécois. The exercise will help you better understand cultural differences between North-American francophones and their French-European counterpart.
So please go to the next stop on our guided tour: http://domus.grenet.fr/cuef/ccuefd/pages/unite/u2.htm#u2_a3 and select activity 4 of the second work unit.
You want more? Click on the following link: http://platea.pntic.mec.es/~cvera/hotpot/les_maudits_francais.htm to directly access the self-grading listening comprehension exercise for that Quebec song.
Finally, for those of you who would like to dig a little deeper into the meaning of the Quebec French vocabulary found in the lyrics, see the short glossary of colloquialisms provided for that song: http://domus.grenet.fr/cuef/ccuefd/hotpot/u2/dico.htm.
Happy French listening!
Learning about French culture and the ways people react to cultures different than their own through listening comprehension exercises, what a great idea! Mastering a second language remains such an incomplete experience without the cultural dimension.
Not surprisingly, the next stop on our guided tour leads us to a CUEF “projet Vercors” webpage where you can do just that: http://domus.grenet.fr/cuef/ccuefd/pages/unite/u1.htm.
The various listening exercises found in activities 3 and 4 of the first unit deal with what the French thinks of other cultural groups.
The expatriate testimonies found in activities 2, 3, and 4 of Unit 4 are also very interesting but slightly more complex. Cultural shock for French people going abroad and cultural shock among the French and the French: a golden opportunity for learning more French while learning about the French!
You cannot fully understand a language if you do not understand its culture(s). The more you learn about French culture and lifestyles in France and other countries, the richer and more exciting your experience of learning French will become. The reading and listening comprehension and writing activity resources of the CUEF are always presented in a humorous way. They will allow you to learn from a distance wherever you are and whatever your schedule.
The first stop on our guided tour is: http://domus.grenet.fr/cuef/ccuefd/hotpot/u2/caric_fr/u2_act1_exo1.htm.
If you are pressed for time, make sure to at least do the first exercise of the second module « Les Français en stéréotypes. » Match pictures illustrating different ways the French is stereotyped around the world to their corresponding statements. This short quiz will give you the opportunity to rethink your own perceptions of the French people who live in France.
A fun reading exercise and a “clin d’oeil” to the French!
As soon as you have acquired enough French vocabulary and mastered basic grammatical structures, you begin to enjoy reading longer and more complex texts, which in turns gives you direct access to the cultural world of native French speakers. Using your newly acquired skills to express yourself in writing in your second language can be a very rewarding experience. It allows to focus on what you really interests you and gives you the power of “choice” rather than leaving you at the mercy of your language limitations.
The series of free interactive online exercises put together by the Centre universitaire d’études françaises de l’Université Stendhal de Grenoble will help you achieve these two things in numerous ways. Make sure to try one of their listening or reading comprehension or writing exercises on your very first visit at http://domus.grenet.fr/cuef/ccuefd/pages/pole/pol1.htm. You will be impressed by the quality and scope of the available learning material.
It goes without saying that in the best of worlds one should stick to the learning path outlined, begin with the first unit, end with the last one, and not skip any of the exercises contained in these units. The problem is that few of us live in that “best of worlds” and most of us are often pressed for time. That is why I will be inviting you on a guided tour of “le monde vu par les français” in the days to come. Stay tuned; we are about to take off. . .
How can you find your way through the host of online translation tools? There are hundreds of them in cyberspace. How can one appraise their value? How can one quickly compare and evaluate them?
When it comes to English-French translation we think that we have found the solution for you.
http://www.stars21.com/translator/english_to_french.html makes it possible for you to choose from eleven different English-French translation resources. It then becomes easy for you to compare results and adopt the tool that more closely meet your needs.
In other daily life situations, when you are away from your computer, always carry a good bilingual pocket dictionary with you to seize every opportunity to enrich your French vocabulary. If you do not have one, you are welcome to visit our online store to get one of the best ones at the best price!
Learning English as a second or foreign language online will enable you to use tools that work at the speed of light. Among the all-time favourites you will inevitably find multilingual translation resources.
Whether you prefer Google’s translation tool, http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=EN , Yahoo’s one http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ or some other free online resources such as http://www.freetranslation.com/ , what matters the most is that you add your preferred tool to your browser’s favourite list or toolbar to make sure that you have it handy whenever you need it.
However, remember to be careful when using online translation devices. It’s not that that they are of poor quality, but rather that these electronic translators have not yet been perfected to the level at which they can replace the thinking capabilities of a human being who truly understands the meaning of a message in context, which is essential to the accuracy of any translation. So while keeping one or more of these useful tools at hand, also make sure to always proofread electronically translated text before using it in any document. A machine cannot replace a human translator.
Dictionaries of synonyms also called thesauruses or thesauri are excellent tools for intermediate or advanced learners who want to better their French vocabulary or the quality of their writing in that second or foreign language.
Here are a few suggestions for good online dictionaries of synonyms:
And remember that your comments and suggestions are always welcome.