French consonants are like chameleons.
Sometimes, they’re silent.
Other times, they speak up.
In some cases, they’re pronounced “soft”; in other cases, they’re pronounced “hard.”
The good news is, there are some rules to help you understand how French consonants …
What lies beyond the veil of mystery?
Qu’est-ce que c’est ? (What is it?)
Ah, the never-ending stream of questions.
It’s enough to make you run away in frustration.
Don’t let it rattle you, though. We’re …
When you first started studying French, you might have been starstruck.
Quelle belle langue! (What a beautiful language!)
You still love the language, of course. But now you’re starting to feel a little… attaché(e) à la terre (Earthbound).…
Are you looking to add a little more glamor to your French conversations?
Want to express yourself in three emotion-packed syllables?
Need a Jacques-of-all-trades interjection that can give voice to your highest highs and lowest lows?
Welcome to Oh Là …
France is famous for its water.
Évian. Perrier. Volvic.
The stuff of life.
But there’s more to water in French than the vogue of bottled water.
Consider La Côte d’Azur (French Riviera).
The Loire. …
Starting French lessons as a beginner can be a lot like dishing out that first slice of pie.
You want it to be picture-perfect.
You slice precisely. You carefully lift your pâtisserie (baking) masterpiece from the pie dish.
…and then, …
The mountainous cathedrals and low, gray skies of Jacques Brel’s beloved plat pays (flat country).
The lure of artisan pralines belges (Belgian chocolates).
The artistic treasures of René Magritte, Peter Paul Rubens and Ambrosius Bosschaert.
Those tantalizing, twice-fried frites (fried …
Were you one of those kids who fought with your parents about eating your vegetables?
Some nights, you waged war over the Battle of the Brussels Sprouts.
Asparagus was met with asperity.
And the dinner table knew no peace when …
Got your lab coat?
We’ll be doing a little chemistry experiment with the French alphabet today.
Because when you get down to it, letters are like elements in the periodic table.
Each of them has certain properties. Some of …
Hallmark cards make it look so easy.
But love is complex. Complicated. It evolves and changes.
A corny card won’t cut it.
Neither will one simple phrase, like Je t’aime (I love you).
If you’ve fallen for a French speaker…
Are you a trendy fashionista?
Do you have an eye for thrift store finds?
Maybe you’re more of an athleisure type.
Whether we like it or not, our clothing is one of our most defining features.
That’s why it’s …
Quand même is like the chameleon of the French language.
It fits in just about anywhere.
Politely declining something? Yep.
Total sarcasm? Yep, that too.
And that’s just the start of it. Some uses of quand même even carry …
Native-sounding French doesn’t just magically happen.
It takes lots of practice listening to and imitating real French speech.
And there’s no reason you have to wait!
With a language learning method called shadowing, you’ll be practicing authentic sounding French …
“Here you are, Monsieur.”
You look up as the waiter approaches your table. Instead of the bowl of soup you were expecting, he hands you a slip of paper. There’s a French word on one side, an English one …
Who doesn’t like a two-for-one?
If you have a Spotify account, you’ve got one of the coolest French learning two-for-one deals there is.
Of course you can stream tons of incredible, authentic French music on Spotify.
But did you know …
Let’s be franc.
Times have changed. French money ain’t what it used to be.
Maybe you’re old enough to remember when the Euro replaced the franc way back in 2002.
The language around money has changed too, since there …
Did you know French picture books go back 17 millennia?
In the Paleolithic age, early man painted his story on the stone of some now-famous caves in Lascaux.
A mere millennium before our time, seamstresses in Bayeux embroidered a …
Have you read any good books lately?
Are you a knit-wit with purls of wisdom?
Have you bowled a spare in your spare time, then despaired that it wasn’t a strike?
Do you prefer pickin’ and grinnin’ to hummin’ …
Better call Julie.
When my Parisian friends asked me to be a guest at their wedding, I thought I’d better brush up on some of the unfamiliar customs.
I needed to get the inside scoop on French culture, which …
When two or more French vowels go walking, which one does the talking?
And when they do the talking, what do these vowels say?
If they’re semi-vowels, they’ll say something that sounds suspiciously like a consonant.
In fact, some …
Do you ever feel like you’re repeating yourself?
Day in, day out.
Same old, same old.
Wash, rinse, repeat: Aussi, tout aussi, aussi que, d’aussi, et aussi, aussi bon, aussi bien…
Are you sensing a pattern here?
…Sure, aussi is …
You stare at the class syllabus in shock.
Sweat beads on your forehead. Your palms become moist. You start to shake.
You feel seasick, even though you’re on dry land.
You frantically flip through the weekly calendar on your smartphone’s …
Wishful thinking doesn’t get you anywhere. Facts and statements only go so far.
So how can you get anything done?
You need some French commands in your tool-belt.
The French imperative can really make things happen.
But if all you …
Today, we’re keeping it casual.
We’re not going to get uptight. We’re not going to get bent out of shape. We’re just going to simmer down, hang loose and chill out.
We might even chillax—you never know.
Want the …
Your kindergarten teacher used one to teach you the alphabet.
Fräulein Maria used one to teach the von Trapp children musical notes.
Schoolhouse Rock used one to show kids how a bill becomes a law.
Chemistry students …
Welcome to the Typosaur Zoo at the FluentU Institute of Modern Communications!
We’re proud to feature one of the most extensive keyboard collections in the world.
One of you had a question?—Yes, you read the sign correctly: Please Do Touch …
Boing… boing… boing…
Spring is right around the corner and I’m bouncing with excitement!
The days are getting longer. The temperatures are inching up.
Soon, Old Man Winter will be retreating to his ice cave to take a long summer’s …
You’ve searched everywhere for a fun way to build your French vocabulary.
And now the search has taken you to your local bookstore.
While perusing the foreign language section, you see a selection of French word game books.
Today, our advice columnist, Polly Glott, is here to help you with your French language conundrums.
My inbox runneth over with questions about learning French!
The most common question is “why can’t I learn French?”
“I’ll take Francophone Trivia for $200, Alex,” your opponent says.
“The name of this variety of French sounds like a place to play video games.”
“I’m sorry, that’s incorrect.”
“What is Atarièle!?”
Alex, the host, shakes his head …
Your itinerary is set. The hotel reservations are made.
All you need to do is finish packing your bags, and you’re off to a grand adventure in France.
Let’s go over your packing list to make sure you’re not forgetting …
You. Over there.
Yes, you. The one holding the magnifying glass up to that hunk of Roquefort.
Look, you’re really not going to learn about French culture that way.
May I make a suggestion?
Why not check …
The best way to learn French starts right at home.
Think of your “spot” in your house.
You know, that chair you always sit in to watch TV. That side of the couch you gravitate to. That corner of your …
Remember when you were in elementary school and your teacher gave you that Styrofoam cup with the potting soil mix in it?
“It’s going to be a plant,” she told you confidently. “You just need to water it, and wait.”…
What can a French language lab do for you?
Well, let me answer that with another question:
Do you ever feel misunderstood in French?
Like no one gets what you’re saying?
If only there were something you could do …
Your plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) is more than perfect.
You know what a reflexive pronoun is, and you’re not afraid to use it.
You mastered all your French classes.
And you can talk circles around Pepé Le Pew.
Yet you …
In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” earthling Arthur Dent is able to instantaneously understand alien languages with the aid of the Babel Fish in his ear.
Imagine reading a classic work of French literature cover to cover—and not stumbling …
Roll over, Beethoven!
Man has a new best friend: The smartphone.
And why not? In just the past decade, smartphones have given us apps that can do all sorts of neat things like conveniently pay our bills, send silly …
When you’re just starting to learn French, you’ve gotta step up and memorize a lot of vocab.
Argot, or slang, can make all that memorizing way more fun.
It gives you a taste of real French, the authentic language …
As a French learner, which would you rather hear?
“Your French is so good!”
“You sound so French!”
If you’re like most people, we’re guessing that it’s the latter.
To achieve that level of French, you’ll need to know …