cunning linguists

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by jazzkat, 30 Jul 2012.

  1. jazzkat

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    Are there any French language teachers out there?

    I learnt to French at school like many my age, but dropped it when I reached fourth year. About 10 years ago I had another go, this time with a private teacher one-to-one. It was going great and in no time was up to doing gcse type stuff, but I had to stop due to other commitments/lack of time/blah, blah.
    I want to restart and before I go hunting for a teacher (I've moved a long way away from the original teacher) I wanted to brush up on everything I've forgotten.

    Is there a good text book that I can buy that will give me a good reminder? I know it will all come back, but it's the rules and bits of grammar that I can't remember so I need a fairly comprehensive review of it to get me back into the swing of things.
    I don't want a "get by" "two beers please and room for the night" type book.

    Ta in advance!
  2. Fab Foodie

    Fab Foodie hanging-on in quiet desperation ...

    Je ne sais pas ...
  3. BigonaBianchi

    BigonaBianchi Yes I can, Yes I am, Yes I did...Repeat.

    I bet there are lots of cheap or even free lessons on line.
    I need to do the same but in American.
    Pat "5mph" likes this.
  4. OP

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    The only sites on line either assume a good basic knowledge already or are of the "does this room have a bath" type of language learning.

    Also its tricky reading a web site in bed or on the loo!
  5. TVC

    TVC Guest

    My experience with French and the French people is that you give it go speaking to them in French and fail miserably. They feel smug and superior, and talk to you in perfect English from then on - result :thumbsup:
    BrianEvesham likes this.
  6. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    My brother-in-law tried ordering a meal in French in Paris. The waiter watched him with withering contempt for a minute or two before rolling his eyes and saying "Come now monsieur, zees would be zo much easier in Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenglish, non?"

    Snide bastard - I'd have stood up, uttered a very loud "Merde!" and walked out! :cursing:
  7. OP

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    Ha ha, when I went to Belgium a few years ago my low level French got me by quite nicely until we headed north into the flemish regions. I got a right telling off in one shop where the young lady quite angrily expressed to me " why do you English insist on speaking french to us!"
    I knew it was a flemish area but I'd just got into the habit of trotting out my schoolboy French. We both managed in English in the end lol.
  8. ColinJ

    ColinJ It's a puzzle ...

    There was almost a fist fight when some drunken friends of mine tried telling some Greek Cypriots that they were actually Greek - they said it was like saying that someone from Northern Ireland was Welsh! :whistle:
  9. Hover Fly

    Hover Fly Lover of the bunny

    When I first started courting Mme Syrphe she arranged for me to have French lessons with a chum of hers who teaches on two week courses in Bordeaux. After the usual introduction and kisses on both cheeks she asked "Hover, have you ever had any lessons in French in England?" "No." "Ah, that is a very good start."
    marinyork likes this.
  10. Davidc

    Davidc Guru

    Somerset UK
    You need to remember that Belgium is a Flemish (=Dutch) speaking country with a small French speaking minority and an even smaller German speaking minority.

    The Flemish and French speaking communities have a very bad history and don't like one another, although the last time there was large scale violence was about 50 years ago. The refusal of the French speakers to learn the majority language and use it in Flemish areas doesn't help either.

    By far the safest (and that's in a physical safety sense as well) bet in Belgium is to stick to English unless you are certain which language area you're in. Brussels is predominantly a French speaking city but even there there are Flemish areas where the use of French is unwise.

    I speak reasonable French, but in Belgium I work on the principle of only speaking French if I'm spoken to in French. My brother lives there and speaks fluent Dutch, and works on the same principle with that.
  11. Hover Fly

    Hover Fly Lover of the bunny

    to the OP, you're probably better of getting a French children's school book if you can, they seem to explain the grammar a lot better than English French text books which seem by comparison to treat grammar as boring and concentrate on "useful sentences" in the early stages.
  12. OP

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    Do you have any recommendations?
  13. Hover Fly

    Hover Fly Lover of the bunny

    The ones I used were mainly Mme Syrphe's from the 1980s and I've just checked Amazon Fr. where they aren't available. I'll have a word with people who should know tomorrow and come back.
  14. OP

    jazzkat Fixed wheel fanatic.

    Thanks. ^_^
  15. RhythMick

    RhythMick Über Member

    There are some very good CDs by a guy called Michel Thomas. PM for details.
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