How To Learn French By Reading (my tips)

At parent evenings throughout my childhood ( I’m 17 now) I’ve always been told to “read more books” in order to improve my English grades and that the “best English students read books”. Ever since I learned to read I’ve always had a book on the go but only recently I’ve starting reading French books. If reading English books improves your English so much then doing the same in French must have great benefits too!

The first book I read was a book of French short stories. This book is great because it’s made for French learners as it has the English translation on the opposite side of the page. I read the French first and if I came across a sentence that I couldn’t understand ( quite a few) then I’d read the English translation. It was the Penguin French short stories and they have a few other versions of it as well!

For the book I’m studying next year at A-Level (The Outsider/ L’etranger) I first read it in English all the way through and now I’m reading the French version without looking up any words. This technique works really well as even though you may not understand the French you can work out what’s happening and figure out what new French words mean because of the fact they you have already read the book in English.

This useful technique can also be used with films! For example I watched Le Silence De La Mer (with English subtitles) and then read the book and found it so much easier to understand than if I hadn’t watched the film first whilst still learning lots of new vocabulary.

Next up I’m going to read Un sac de billes for further reading for my university application.

Check out my other posts on how to learn French with music and a review on a French conversation course by Benny Lewis! ❤️

How To Learn French With Books 🇫🇷

IMG_6130.JPGLanguage Hacking

Language hacking books are a conversation course by Irish polyglot Benny Lewis. Out of all the French books and guides I’ve ever read, these books are by far the most useful! I also totally trust the techniques used in this book because of the fast it was written by a polyglot (someone who speaks a lot of languages). The unique thing about the French language hacking book is that it teaches you to start speaking from day 1!

It comes with online audio so you can get used to hearing French, they also encourage you to speak out loud and write things down which are all essentiel aspects in learning French. My favourite thing about the language hacking books is the fact that they only teach you what you need to know which is great because as a beginner you don’t need to get bogged down with all the grammar rules. The book is split up into different realistic French conversation themes.

You can also get this book for learning Spanish, Italian and German! I’d highly recommend this book for a beginner learning the French language 🇫🇷

You can buy the book on Amazon here.

Check out my last post on how to learn French with music. ❤️

The Best French Songs For Learning French 🇫🇷

 

I love francophone music so I wanted to share the best French songs for learning French.

The first French song I ever heard was when I was 12 years old; Dis-Moi by a French rock band called BB Brunes. The way the singer sings is quite clear and I’d recommend listening to the song whilst reading the lyrics! Another song by the BB Brunes I like is Coups et Blessures.

When I started properly looking for French songs and artists to listen to in order to help my learning, I found Cool by Kendji Girac. This is such a happy song! The chorus is repetitive so easy to learn. A tip I’d give when trying to learn lyrics to French songs is looking up the translation. I found it’s easier to remember the lyrics when you actually know exactly what they mean rather than them just being a bunch of random words. Kendji has a lot of other great songs in French and some Spanish, my favorites being Conmigo, No Me Mires Más and Sonrisa.

One of the most famous modern francophone singers is Stromae, his name being French verlan for maestro! What I find quite funny is that Stromae’s real name is simply Paul. His songs have extremely interesting and original topics which is probably one of the reasons he’s so successful. His song Formidable is slow and one of the best for learning French. But I couldn’t pick a few favorites of his songs as I honestly love all of them!

Finally French rap. This is definitely not the easiest to understand but if you learn a little section of a rap song, say a chorus or a verse, you will sound so sick! Learning French lyrics like this is the best way to help with your prononciation and certainly with getting attuned to the rythme of the French language. My favourite French rapper is MHD! His songs make me so happy and I can’t help dancing and singing! I’d recommend Champions League, La Puissance and Never as the best french songs to listen to.

I can’t not mention Black M, Maître Gims, Sexion D’Assaut and Bigflo et Oli as other great francophone artists with the best songs for learning French!

Check out my latest post on how to learn French with books! ❤️