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Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Know to Survive

Top 10 French Phrases

Learning a new language can be increasingly challenging—especially if you’re learning a language that dates all the way back to the Roman Empire and has multiple variations all over the world.

According to About-France.com, French is an official or second language in 55 countries worldwide and almost 300 million people speak French as their native or second language.

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My childhood friend’s grandfather was the French teacher at my high school, so instead of taking Spanish—which would have been a tad more useful in the United States—I chose French. (Not to mention my birthday is also Bastille Day, some would call it a sign.)

I started taking French when I was 14 years old. From there, I took French 1, French 2 and Honors French 3 in high school; I was French Club president my senior year of high school; and in college, I took Intensive Elementary French 121 and 221 (the difference is the courses counted for six credit hours instead of three, meaning two semesters were jammed into one).

I was very fortunate to get to travel to multiple European cities with my high school French teacher and some classmates the summer before my high school senior year, including Paris. And let me just say, without knowing some useful French phrases, I’m not sure how I would have made it.

Contrary to (the not-so) popular belief, showing up to Paris only knowing bonjour, merci, and oui will not get you very far à La Ville Lumière (“in the City of Lights”).

However, since not everyone has the ability to take three years of French before traveling to France, here are some tips to get you going with the French basics, or at least teach you some useful French phrases.

Table of Contents

  1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases
  2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive
  3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

1. 4 Ways to Learn Useful French Phrases

Memorise

a. Create Flashcards on Memrise

One of the most traditional (and for many, most effective) studying tricks is creating flashcards. However, trying to create and organize hundreds of flashcards to help you learn a whole new language can be extremely frustrating. You have to subcategorize each word or phrase, make sure your handwriting is legible and also not break the bank with how many index cards you’ll need to buy.

This is why I recommend using Memrise. Memrise is a virtual flashcard website specifically designed to help you learn a new language! Just go to the website and select which language you want to learn!

For example, to help you learn useful French words or phrases, you would need to select “French” and then “Beginner.” From there it will let you either create a Memrise account or sign in through your Facebook or Google account, and you’re ready to start learning!

Instead of you deciding what useful French words and phrases you need to know, Memrise has already done that for you! This will save you a lot of time and effort, and will give you more time to study.

Online Lesson

b. Book a One-on-One Online Lesson

For those who need a little more help than what flashcards can offer, booking an interactive online lesson with a native-speaking teacher (or a teacher who is completely fluent) would prove to be extremely beneficial!

Especially with French, pronunciation is really important. Practicing the pronunciation of any useful French phrases you have memorized with someone completely fluent will serve as a stronger learning tool than you can imagine.

There are words in French that are pretty similar sounding if you don’t know the proper pronunciation, so you could spend all this time memorizing the phrase, but when you try saying it to a francophone (French-speaking) person they won’t have a clue what you’re trying to say.

While online translators (especially Google Translate) have stepped up their game in the past few years, they are certainly not as trustworthy as coaching from someone who is fluent in French.

Watching Movies

c. Watch French movies or television shows and listen to French music

Familiarizing yourself with French entertainment is another great way to help you master pronunciation. Plus with the amazing inventions of Netflix and Hulu, or Spotify and Pandora, this is even easier to do!

For films or television shows, I highly encourage watching with subtitles turned on. This way, you’re not only hearing the pronunciation but you could also pick up on even more helpful phrases!

Since the film industry was historically heavily influenced by France, the United States Netflix honors that with a subcategory called “French films.” If the idea of looking over an entire subcategory of French films overwhelms you, here is a list of the top 20 French films on Netflix.

Likewise, for music I would search for famous French musicians, look up their music and then look up the lyrics while listening. That way you can hear it as you read along!

Two of my favorite French musicians are Stromae, a Belgian-French singer-songwriter-composer; and Carla Bruni, a French-Italian singer-songwriter who also happens to be married to former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Especially if you’re as big into music as I am, being able to listen to music to help you learn a foreign language is way more exciting than textbooks!

Trip to France

d. Take a Trip to France

If your ultimate goal is to become fully fluent in French, I would highly suggest taking a trip to France! I know for me, one thing that really helped was asking for help from French natives while in Paris.

It’s important to acknowledge at first that you aren’t fluent in French. For example, I would start out any conversation with, Bonjour! Je ne sais pas beaucoup de français, mais… (“Hello! I don’t know a lot of French, but (…)”). Instead of just directly asking if the other person speaks English, I attempted to speak their language first, and if I failed miserably at least they knew why.

While it might sound scary to just pick up and head to a country where you aren’t fluent in the language, you don’t understand the culture and you don’t know anyone there, it’s a great way to make yourself vulnerable enough to adapt.

Of course, this isn’t always the easiest (or most financially painless) choice, but if the opportunity ever arises you should consider taking it!

2. Top 30 Useful French Phrases and Expressions You Must Learn to Survive

I mentioned earlier one phrase that definitely saved me while I was in France. Below is a list of 30 other useful French phrases I believe will help you out:

Traveling to France

1.Bonjour, ça va?
“Hello, how’s it going?” This is a friendly, informal way to greet someone. If you’re meeting this person for the first time, it might be helpful to include your name before asking “how’s it going?” Further, if someone says this to you, kindly respond with, Très bien, merci! (“Very well, thank you!”)

2. Comment allez-vous?
“How are you?” If you’re looking to be more formal with someone, you can simply ask them how they’re doing. You can also respond to this question with Très bien, merci! or Pas mal, merci. (“Not bad, thank you.”)

3. Je m’appelle (name).
“My name is (name).” This is extremely important to know when greeting someone for the first time. Especially if you’re asking someone for help, you should at least let them know who you are!

4. Comment t’appelles-tu ?
“What is your name?” If you happen to recall a name, but are not absolutely sure that name belongs to that person, you could even say, Tu es (name), n’est-ce pas? (“You are (name), aren’t you?”)

5. Enchanté(e)!
“Nice to meet you!” After asking someone who they are and what their name is, it is polite to let them know that it is nice to meet them! If you are a woman, it’s important to include that second “e,” or the feminine form.

6. Je vais bien.
“I am fine.” Here is another phrase you can use if someone has asked you how you are or how’s it going, but there are plenty of other situations where letting someone know you’re fine will prove to be important.

7. Très bien, merci. Et vous?
“Very well, thank you. And you?” As I demonstrated earlier, this is a happy, upbeat response when someone asks how you are. However, if someone else asks you first, make sure to always counter with how they are doing! Saying et vous is the easiest way to do that!

8. A bientôt/demain!
“See you soon/tomorrow!” This is a friendlier way to say goodbye to someone.

9. Au revoir!
“Goodbye!” Hello and goodbye are always core phrases someone should know. Instead of saying goodbye, one might even say, Bonne journée! (“Have a nice day!”) or even, Bonne chance! (“Good luck!”)

10. Quelle heure est-il?
“What time is it?” This phrase will always come in handy, especially because most businesses close for a couple hours during lunch time. If you know what the time is, you’ll know when a store will open back up, for example.

11. Est-ce que vous pourriez m’indiquer le chemin pour aller à (…)?
“Could you show me the way to (…)?” If you can at least say this, you can simply follow with the name of the street, business, tourist attraction or restaurant you are trying to get to. Knowing how to ask for directions is very important.

12. Je ne sais pas.
“I don’t know.” This is what I used in my previous example, saying “I don’t know a lot of French.” Below I’ve also included other negatives that could come in handy!

  • ne … pas du tout (“not at all”)
  • ne … pas encore (“not yet”)
  • ne … plus (“not anymore”)
  • ne … jamais (“never”)

13. Je ne crois pas que je connais l’adresse.
“I don’t believe I know the address.” In today’s world, we are a lot luckier and can plug addresses into our smartphones. One useful French phrase to know how to ask is what that address is!

14. Je ne sais pas quoi faire.
“I don’t know what to do.” If you’re just completely unsure about where you are, where you’re going or what you need to do, this could prove to be an incredibly useful French phrase.

15. Que voulez-vous dire?
“What do you mean?” This is a great French phrase to know when you’re trying to keep up with the dialogue but somewhere along the way got lost.

16. De quoi parlez-vous?
“What are you talking about?” This is another great French phrase to know if you’re finding yourself completely confused in a conversation!

17. Que fais-tu?
“What are you doing?” If you’re trying to have more of a friendly conversation with someone, or you see someone doing something you’ve never seen before, this is a useful phrase to ask someone!

18. Quel temps fait-il?
“How’s the weather?” If you’re about to go outside but you’re not sure what the weather currently is, or even how it’s going to be, this is a great phrase to know. Below I’ve also included how to say “It is (…)” in case someone asks you!

  • Il fait (…)
  • chaud (“hot”)
  • beau (“beautiful”)
  • doux (“mild”)
  • du soleil (“sunny”)
  • mauvais (“bad”)
  • Il + pleut (“raining”)
  • il y a du vent (“windy”)

There, of course, are other weather related responses out there, but these phrases are going to be the most useful for you to start with.

19. Où se trouve (…)?
“Where is (…) located?” There’s no better way to ask someone for directions than with this phrase. A person might even respond with, Voilà! which means “Here/There is/are” when pointing something out; they could also responds with (…) dans la rue (street name) (“(…) on (street name.)”)

20. Avez-vous de l’argent/l’eau?
“Do you have some money/water?” While I would hope you would never be in a situation where you need to ask somebody for money or water, I included this phrase just in case you have an emergency. Further, I included this phrase so you will know in case someone asks you.

21. J’ai un peu d’argent.
“I have a little money.” You just never know when this phrase will come in handy. Again, hopefully you’re never in a situation where you have to know this, but it’s one of those I find smart to hold onto.

22. Répondez à ma question!
“Answer my question!” You don’t have to say this in a yelling manner, it’s just how you’d phrase a command. You could follow the phrase with “please,” or s’il vous plait. Similarly, one might say Réponds-moi! (“Answer me!”)

23. Bien sûr!
“Of course!” This is also one of those staple phrases you should always have under your belt. It’s a more polite way to say “no problem,” which makes you look friendlier. If you wanted to show more excitement, you could even say Bien sûr que oui! (“Yes, of course!”)

24. C’est vrai/faux
“That is true/false.” You just never know when you’re going to need to know how to say this. C’est alone is how you would say “this/that is,” you’re welcome to follow with almost any useful French vocabulary word.

25. Je voudrais (…)
“I would like (…)” Use this French phrase when making a request. When ordering food, you can use this or you could simply say, Je veux (…) (“I want …”).

26. Oui, j’en veux.
“Yes, I’d like some.” Especially when it comes to restaurant etiquette, this is a very useful French phrase.

27. C’était dèlicieux!
“It was delicious!” While customers don’t leave tips for waiters and waitresses in most European countries, it is extremely polite to let the employee or chef know that what they prepared for you was delicious!

28. Restes-y.
“Stay there.” This is a useful phrase to say to someone if you’re asking for help with your group of friends. If you have to step away for a second, letting them know to stay will help not confuse the other person!

29. Combien est-ce que ça coûte?
“How much does it cost?” If you’re struggling to understand what the price of something is, and you only have a certain amount of money, this is a very useful French phrase to know!

30. Voulez-vous venir?
“Do you want to come?” Hopefully by using these useful French phrases you’ll be able to make a couple new French friends! Using this phrase could help expand the friendship by inviting them to hang out with you!

3. Bonus: Other Useful French Words

Similar to the useful French phrases, I have compiled a list of useful French words that everyone should know before traveling to France:

Useful French Words

1. Aujourd’hui - “Today.”

2. Maintenant - “Now.”

3. Régardez! - “Look (at)!”

4. Ceux-là! - “Those!”

5. Les langues (étrangères) - “(Foreign) languages.” From here, you might need to know how to say some of the languages in French:

  • Allemand(e): “German”
  • Anglais(e): “English”
  • Espagnol(e): “Spanish”

6. D’accord - “Okay!”

7. Il y a - “There is/are.”

8. C’est ça? - “Right, is that so?”

9. Alors - “So/Therefore.”

10. Quand - “When?”

11. Comment - “How?”

12. Combien de - “How much/many?”

13. Parce que. - “Because.”

14. Pourquoi? - “Why?”

15. Où est (…)? - “Where is (…)?”

16. Oui - “Yes.”

17. Non - “No.”

18. Pas mal - “Not bad.”

19. Francophone - “French-speaking.” (I mentioned this earlier but I wanted to reiterate.)

20. Américain(e) - “American.”

Inevitably, one of the best ways to start learning a foreign language is by learning useful phrases.

While it’s not necessarily learning the basics, learning useful French phrases allows you to learn some pronunciation, along with verb structure and sentence structure.

If you take the time to use these helpful tips, you’ll be ready for a trip to France in no time.

There you’ll find yourself surrounded in French culture, getting to see the country and experience their completely different lifestyle can also help you master the language!

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Now there’s an even more effective way…

Believe it or not, at FrenchPod101, you can find more than 1,370 free audio and video lessons covering almost every day-to-day conversation and topic you might think of.

And that’s not all!

You’ll get personalized help from top native French teachers who correct your assignments and answer your questions.

Join the hundreds of thousands of people already learning French the 21st century way.

Bonne chance !

How to Celebrate April Fools’ Day in French

How to Celebrate April Fools' Day in French!

Most everyone is familiar with this day, as it is celebrated nearly everywhere the world. Yet, when exactly is April Fools’ Day? And where did April Fools come from? April Fools’ Day is observed on April 1st every year. This day of jokes and pranks is believed to have stemmed from the 16th-century calendar change in France, when New Year’s Day was moved from April 1 to January 1. This action was taken due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar.

However, a few people were resistant to the calendar change, so they continued to observe New Year’s Day on April 1st, rather than the new date. They were referred to as the “April Fools”, and others started playing mocking tricks on them. This custom endured, and is practiced to this day around the world!

Table of Contents

  1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day
  2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day
  3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody
  4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?
  5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - Testing New Technology

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1. Top One Million Words You Need to Know for April Fools’ Day

Do you want to know how to say April Fools’ Day in French? Well, there are millions of ways and words, but here are the top one million French words you really need to know! Simply click this link. Here are some of them you will find useful:

  1. funny - drôle
  2. joke - plaisanter
  3. surprise - surprendre
  4. sneaky - sournois
  5. prankster - farceur
  6. prank - farce
  7. lie - mentir
  8. humor - humour
  9. fool - idiot
  10. deceptive - trompeur
  11. April 1st - premier avril
  12. play a joke - faire une blague

2. French Phrases You Can Use on April Fools’ Day

French Phrases for April Fools' Day

Don’t limit yourself to practical jokes - use these April Fools’ phrases in French to prank your favorite French friend or colleague!

  1. I learned French in 1 month.
    • J’ai appris le français en un mois.
  2. All classes for today got canceled.
    • Tous les cours d’aujourd’hui ont été annulés.
  3. I’m sorry, but I’ve just broken your favorite pair of glasses.
    • Je suis désolé, mais je viens de casser votre paire de lunettes préférée.
  4. Someone has just hit your car.
    • Quelqu’un vient de heurter votre voiture.
  5. I’m getting married.
    • Je vais me marier.
  6. You won a free ticket.
    • Vous avez gagné un billet gratuit.
  7. I saw your car being towed.
    • J’ai vu votre voiture se faire remorquer.
  8. They’re giving away free gift cards in front of the building.
    • Ils sont en train de donner des cartes-cadeaux gratuites devant l’immeuble.
  9. A handsome guy is waiting for you outside.
    • Un beau mec vous attend dehors.
  10. A beautiful lady asked me to give this phone number to you.
    • Une jolie femme m’a demandé de vous donner ce numéro de téléphone.
  11. Can you come downstairs? I have something special for you.
    • Pouvez-vous descendre? J’ai quelque chose de spécial pour vous.
  12. Thank you for your love letter this morning. I never could have guessed your feelings.
    • Merci pour votre lettre d’amour de ce matin. Je n’aurais jamais deviné vos sentiments.

Choose your victims carefully, though; the idea is to get them to laugh with you, not to hurt their feelings or humiliate them in front of others. Be extra careful if you choose to play a prank on your boss - you don’t want to antagonize them with an inappropriate joke.

3. Some of the Coolest April Fools’ Pranks To Play on Anybody

Choose Bad or Good

Right, now that you know the top million April Fools’ words in French, let’s look at some super pranks and tricks to play on friends, colleagues and family. Some April Fools ideas never grow old, while new ones are born every year.

Never joke in such a way that it hurts anyone, or humiliates them badly in front of others - the idea is for everybody to laugh and enjoy the fun! Respect is still key, no matter what day of the year it is.

Cockroach prank

1- Infestation

This trick is so simple, yet so creepy, it’s almost unbelievable. Take black paper, cut out the silhouette of a giant cockroach, a spider or another insect, and stick it inside the lampshade of a table lamp. When the lamp is switched on, it will look like a monstrous insect is sitting inside the lampshade. Or, get a whole lot of realistic-looking plastic insects, and spread them over a colleague’s desk and chair, or, at home, over the kids’ beds etc. Creep-factor: stellar.

2- Which One Doesn’t Fit?

Put the photo of a celebrity or a notorious politician in a frame, and take it to work on April Fools’ Day. Hang the photo on the staff picture wall, and wait. You’ll be surprised how long it can take for people to notice that one picture doesn’t fit.

3- Something Weird in the Restroom

At work, replace the air freshener in the restroom with something noxious like insect killer, oven cleaner or your own odious mixture in a spray bottle. Be sure to cover the bottle’s body so no one suspects a swap.

Or paint a bar of soap with clear nail polish, and leave it at the hand wash basin. It will not lather.

Or, if your workplace’s restroom has partitioned toilets with short doors, arrange jeans or trousers and shoes on all but one of the toilet covers, so it looks like every stall is occupied. Now wait for complaints, and see how long it takes for someone to figure out the April Fools’ Day prank. You’ll probably wish you had a camera inside the restroom. But, unless you don’t mind getting fired, don’t put your own recording device in there!

Funny Face

4- Call Me Funny

Prepare and print out a few posters with the following instructions: Lion Roar Challenge! Call this number - XXX XXXXXXX - and leave your best lion’s roar as voicemail! Best roarer will be announced April 10 in the cafeteria. Prize: $100. (Lion’s roar is just an example; you can use any animal call, or even a movie character’s unique sound, such as Chewbacca from Star Wars. The weirder, the funnier. Obviously!) Put the posters up in the office where most of the staff is likely to see them. Now wait for the owner of the number to visit you with murderous intent. Have a conciliatory gift ready that’s not a prank.

5- Minty Cookies

This is another simple but hugely effective prank - simply separate iced cookies, scrape off the icing, and replace it with toothpaste. Serve during lunch or tea break at work, or put in your family’s lunch boxes. Be sure to take photos of your victim’s faces when they first bite into your April Fools’ cookies.

6- Wild Shopping

At your local grocer, place a realistic-looking plastic snake or spider among the fresh vegetables. Now wait around the corner for the first yell.

7- The Oldest Trick in the Book

Don’t forget probably the oldest, yet very effective April Fools’ joke in the book - smearing hand cream or Vaseline on a door handle that most staff, family or friends are likely to use. Yuck to the max!

8- Sneeze On Me

Another golden oldie is also gross, yet harmless and utterly satisfying as a prank. Fill a small spray bottle that you can easily conceal with water. Walk past a friend, colleague or one of your kids, and fake a sneeze while simultaneously spraying them with a bit of water. Expect to be called a totally disgusting person. Add a drop of lovely smelling essential oil to the water for extra confusion.

9- Word Play Repairs

Put a fresh leek in the hand wash basin at home or work, and then tell your housemates or colleagues this: “There’s a huge leak in the restroom/bathroom basin, it’s really serious. Please can someone go have a look?!” Expect exasperation and smiles all around. Note that this prank is only likely to work where people understand English well.

10- Scary Face

Print out a very scary face on an A4 sheet of paper, and place it in a colleague’s, or one of your kid’s drawers, so it’s the first thing they see when they open the drawer. You may not be very popular for a while.

11- Wake Up To Madness

Put foamy shaving cream, or real whipped cream on your hand, and wake your kid up by tickling their nose with it. As long as they get the joke, this could be a wonderful and fun way to start April Fools’ Day.

Computer Prank

12- Computer Prank

This one’s fabulous, if you have a bit of time to fiddle with a colleague, friend or your kid’s computer. It is most effective on a computer where most of the icons they use are on the desktop background itself (as opposed to on the bottom task bar).

Take and save a screenshot of their desktop with the icons. Set this screenshot as their background image. Now delete all the working icons. When they return to their computer, wait for the curses when no amount of clicking on the icons works.

13- Monster Under the Cup

This one will also work well anywhere people meet. Take a paper cup, and write the following on it in black pen: “Danger! Don’t lift, big spider underneath.” Place it upside-down on prominent flat surface, such as a kitchen counter, a colleague’s desk or a restaurant table. Expect some truly interesting responses.

Door Prank

14- Prank Door

Write in large letters on a large and noticeable piece of paper: PUSH. Tape this notice on a door that should be pulled to open, and watch the hilarious struggle of those clever souls who actually read signs.

4. How Can FrenchPod101 Make Your April Fools’ Day Special?

If you happen to visit France, or if you work for any French company, knowing the above French prankster phrases can really lighten up your day. Showing you have a sense of humor can go a long way to cement good relationships in any situation. These phrases are at your disposal for free, as well as are these 100 core French words, which you will learn how to pronounce perfectly.

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Also, don’t stop at learning April Fools’ phrases in French - bone up your French language skills with these FREE key phrases. Yes, FrenchPod101 doesn’t joke when it comes to effective, fun and easy learning.

Now, as a bonus, test our super-learning technology, and learn the Top 1000 most useful phrases in French below! But that’s not all. Read on to learn how you can be eligible for large enrollment discounts at FrenchPod101.

5. Top 1000 Most Useful Phrases in French - testing new technology

Help us by being a language guinea pig! Listen to this video above with embedded cutting-edge, frequency-based learning technology that enables you to learn large amounts of data in record time.

  • Note: This technology is in beta-phase of development, and we invite your input for fine-tuning.
  • To participate: Watch the video for instructions, and leave a comment to rate it. Your comment will make you eligible for large enrollment-fee discounts. To watch the video, please click the play button.

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3 Practical Ways to Improve Your French Listening Skills

3 Practical Ways to Improve Your French Listening Skills

So, you’ve been studying French for a year or two. You feel like you have a pretty good handle on the most romantic of the Romantic languages. So you buy a ticket to a French speaking country. You’re confident about your skills and expect to woo the natives with everything you’ve learned. Then you step off your flight and suddenly reality hits you right between the eyes…

You’ve studied French but you can barely understand native speakers. If they were to write down what they said or simply said it slower you’d probably be fine. You know the vocabulary and grammar they’re using. For some reason when they speak at a faster speed you can’t keep track of what’s going on. You pick out the first word, a few in the middle, and a phrase at the end; but you’re still halfway trying to guess what they’re talking about.

What’s going on? Have you spent all this time learning French in vain?…

This is a common issue that all language learners face at some point or another. The truth is it’s a really good problem to have, because only students with a higher level of French will experience it. When you know a ton of French but have trouble understanding native speakers the problem is almost always with your listening skills.

Learning what French words mean and practicing how to use them in a sentence are both invaluable skills to develop, but people often forget that in addition to speaking, writing, and reading we have to develop our listening skills in a foreign language as well.

In this post we’ll look a 3 practical ways to improve your French listening skills, so you don’t have to show up to a place like Paris French-struck and dumbfounded. You’ve made it this far in your learning, now it’s time to add that tiny missing piece that will take your conversation skills to the next level.

Listening Skills

1) Practice active French Listening

One of the best ways to practice listening to French is to well….listen to French (shocking right?). But this doesn’t mean putting on some French music and listening to it in the background as you bake baguettes or sip wine. You need to practice active listening.

Get your hands on a recording of spoken French. You can use a movie, news broadcast, or podcast. You can even try subscribing to a French Youtube channel Listen to a segment of the audio and do your best to write down what you hear. After a couple tries at this go back and double check what you wrote against the script of what was actually said. If you’re streaming a movie on Netflix or Youtube you can double check yourself by turning on the French subtitles. Just be aware that sometimes Youtube has auto generated subtitles which aren’t always correct.

FrenchPod101 is one of the best tools for developing your listening skills. You can listen to the French conversation in a lesson and then check back against the lesson transcripts. This is simple, easy, and you can be sure that the transcripts are correct.

There is also a free site called Lyrics training which lets you practice your listening skills by listening to a French song and typing in the missing lyrics as the song plays. It’s a bit more fast paced than using a podcast but it’s also effective and can be fun too.

2) Practice pronunciation

Any problems you have pronouncing French words correctly will be reflected back in your listening skills. It’s hard for your brain to decipher and remember a sound (be it a letter or a word), that you don’t know how to make yourself. A good French accent will give you the ability to hear and pick out the otherwise unnatural (to a native English speaker) French sounds.

To develop your accent focus on any sounds or letters that feel difficult or unnatural for you. In the French alphabet there are a total of 26 letters. Of those 26 there are 3 consonant sounds and 6 vowel sounds that each could pose difficulties for native English speakers. Once you get more comfortable with the basic sounds, start to combine them using words and whole sentences.

Listen to native French speakers as much as possible, and take note of how words and sounds can blend, morph, or get dropped in rapid speech. Do your best to listen to this phenomenon and imitate what you hear. Focus more on how the syllables are said together rather than simply saying the words “next to each other”. There is often a significant difference between how words are said individually and how they are said when spoken together in a rapid fire sentence. This is a big part of the reason French learners can know a lot of French but still not understand native speakers.

I should also point out that FrenchPod101’s playback feature is great for pronunciation practice. You can play back the podcast itself or listen to words individually. You can even listen back at a slower speed! I wish I had known about this tool when I first started learning a foreign language!

Listening

3) Make French listening part of your routine

Now that you’ve started practicing active listening and pronunciation, make it a part of of your regular French learning! I recommend that you allot a specific amount of time for each of your listening activities. For example: you might practice 10 minutes of active listening, followed by 10 minutes of practicing French vowels, and then 10 minutes of imitation practice with a French podcast.

Now, you don’t have to use this schedule exactly. Tailor it to your own needs and availability. The point is that you should make a conscious and decisive effort to practice your French listening skills on a regular basis. It could be 30 minutes a day or it might be 10. What matters most is that you practice consistently.

Final thoughts

These 3 tips will help you close any gap that might exist between your knowledge of the French language and your speaking abilities. Understand native speakers may seem daunting at first, but with a little time and perseverance you will see your abilities improve!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in French

How to Say Thank You in French

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power - use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in French
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How FrenchPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in French? You can learn easily! Below, FrenchPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways French speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in French

1- Thank you.

Merci !

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

C’est très gentil à vous/ à toi.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Merci pour ces gentilles paroles!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Je vous remercie d’être venu(e)s aujourd’hui.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with French speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your French guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Merci pour votre considération.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Merci beaucoup!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in French. Use this in an informal setting with your French friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Les enseignants comme vous ne sont pas faciles à trouver.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your FrenchPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Merci de passer du temps avec nous.

Any host at a gathering with French speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your French language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Merci d’être patient(e) et de m’aider à m’améliorer.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal French teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in France, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee - gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Vous êtes le/la meilleur(e) professeur(e) que je n’ai jamais eu(e)!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Merci pour le cadeau.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

J’ai tellement appris grâce à vous.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

In French, you only need one word for expressing gratitude: merci. And for emphasis, you can say merci beaucoup. In either case, in no situation is merci or merci beaucoup considered inappropriate. You can use them as often as you like without regard for age difference, gender difference, formality, or casualness. However, since there is no other way to express gratitude in speech, we often say merci in a mechanical way. In the Cultural Insight section of this lesson, we will look at two ways in which to make merci more personal.

Cultural Insights
A Little Something Extra Politeness-Wise

As we just mentioned, you can never say merci too much in France. Showing gratitude, especially for newcomers, can be a very successful way to have the French warm up to you. So one way to make merci more personal is to use it generously. For instance, if you ask a question in a shop or restaurant, it is a good idea to make eye contact and say merci or merci beaucoup at the end of the exchange. This is the same when getting off a bus or out of a taxi, after an exchange with a waiter, or really after speaking with anyone. If you make the extra effort to look the person in the eye and say merci, the person will feel acknowledged. It can be refreshing, especially in a culture that can be quite formal and make gratitude somewhat automatic. However, on the flip side, don’t be surprised if you don’t have as many mercis coming back to you-at first.

You can show gratitude with people you don’t know personally by adding the word monsieur or madame at the end. For instance, if someone-say a shopkeeper-helps you and you want to show your appreciation while keeping a distance, say Merci, monsieur (”Thank you, sir”.) for a man and Merci, madame (”Thank you, madam.” ) for a woman. In fact, you can add monsieur or madame at the end of any address to a stranger to make it ring with more politeness and respect.

On the run to France? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the French language will only improve their impression of you! FrenchPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in French in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases - Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in French

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in French, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of French in France!

Click Here to Listen to the Free Audio Lesson!

At FrenchPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in French that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in France, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in French’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language - it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would FrenchPod101 be the perfect choice to learn French?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in French - why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special French friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

FrenchPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At FrenchPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and FrenchPod101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak French in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in French on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now - you will thank us for it.

How to Start Thinking in French

Learn 4 tools and techniques to stop translating in your head and start thinking in French

Going through French lessons is enough to get by and learn the basics of French, but to truly become fluent you need to be able to think in French. This will allow you to have conversations with ease, read smoothly, and comprehensively understand natives. To do this, you need to go beyond just completing daily or weekly lessons.

We naturally translate in our heads because it’s viewed as the easiest way to learn the definitions needed when learning a language. This way of learning can actually hinder your skills and fluency later on. If your brain has to make neural connections between the word you’re learning, what it means in your native tongue, and the physical object the connection will not be nearly as strong. When you bypass the original translation between French and your native language then there is a more basic and strong connection between just the French vocabulary word and the tangible object.

start thinking in French

In this blog post, you will learn the 4 important techniques to easily and naturally begin to speculate about the daily occurrences in your life. The best part is all of these techniques are supported and can be achieved through FrenchPod101.com.

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1. Surround yourself with French

Surround Yourself

By surrounding yourself with French constantly you will completely immerse yourself in the language. Without realizing it you’ll be learning pronunciation, sentence structures, grammar, and new vocabulary. You can play music in the background while you’re cooking or have a French radio station on while you study. Immersion is a key factor with this learning process because it is one of the easiest things to do, but very effective. Even if you are not giving the program your full attention you will be learning.

One great feature of FrenchPod101.com is the endless podcasts that are available to you. You can even download and listen to them on the go. These podcasts are interesting and are perfect for the intention of immersion, they are easy to listen to as background noise and are interesting enough to give your full attention. Many of them contain stories that you follow as you go through the lessons which push you to keep going.

2. Learn through observation
learn through observation

Learning through observation is the most natural way to learn. Observation is how we all learned our native languages as infants and it’s a wonder why we stop learning this way. If you have patience and learn through observation then French words will have their own meanings rather than meanings in reference to your native language. Ideally, you should skip the bilingual dictionary and just buy a dictionary in French.

FrenchPod101.com also offers the materials to learn this way. We have numerous video lessons which present situational usage of each word or phrase instead of just a direct translation. This holds true for many of our videos and how we teach French.

3. Speak out loud to yourself
talk to yourself

Speaking to yourself in French not only gets you in the mindset of French, but also makes you listen to how you speak. It forces you to correct any errors with pronunciation and makes it easy to spot grammar mistakes. When you speak out loud talk about what you did that day and what you plan to do the next day. Your goal is to be the most comfortable speaking out loud and to easily create sentences. Once you feel comfortable talking to yourself start consciously thinking in your head about your daily activities and what is going on around you throughout the day.

With FrenchPod101.com you start speaking right away, not only this, but they have you repeat words and conversations after a native French speaker. This makes your pronunciation very accurate! With this help, you are on the fast path to making clear and complex sentences and then actively thinking about your day.

4. Practice daily

If you don’t practice daily then your progress will be greatly slowed. Many people are tempted to take the 20-30 minutes they should be practicing a day and practice 120 in one day and skip the other days. This isn’t nearly as effective because everyday you practice you are reinforcing the skills and knowledge you have learned. If you practice all in one day you don’t retain the information because the brain can realistically only focus for 30 minutes at most. If you’re studying for 120 minutes on the same subject little of the information will be absorbed. Studying everyday allows you to review material that you went over previous days and absorb a small amount of information at a time.

It’s tough to find motivation to study everyday, but FrenchPod101.com can help. It’s easy to stay motivated with FrenchPod101.com because we give you a set learning path, with this path we show how much progress you’ve made. This makes you stick to your goals and keep going!

Conclusion

Following the steps and having patience is the hardest part to achieving your goals, it’s not easy learning a new language. You are essentially teaching your brain to categorize the world in a completely new way. Stick with it and you can do it just remember the 4 tools I taught you today! With them, conversations, reading, and understanding will become much easier. The most important thing to remember is to use the tools that FrenchPod101.com provides and you will be on your way to being fluent!

Learn French With FrenchPod101 Today!

French Word of the Day - toilet paper (noun)

Learn a little French everyday with the free French Word of the Day Widget. Check back daily for more vocabulary!

papier toilette toilet paper (noun)

J’ai acheté deux rouleaux de papier toilette.
I bought two rolls of toilet paper.

Sois sûr de toujours avoir du papier toilette en plus dans la salle de bain.
Make sure you keep extra toilet paper in the bathroom.

rouleau de papier toilette
roll of toilet paper

Own a blog or website? Share free language content with your readers with the French Word of the Day with Audio Widget. Click here for instructions on how to embed and customize this free widget!

Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

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Your Learning, Streamlined – The New Lesson Interface

Your learning is about to get a whole lot easier.

More than ever, learners are choosing mobile as the platform to study French. Mobile has always been a part of our DNA. We began our life on your iPod, and have remained by your side ever since.

In our 11th year, we’re returning to our roots as a way to learn French on-the-go. How? With a brand-new lesson interface just for you.

Hint: It will launch in beta later this month!

If you want to secure access to this brand new upgrade, take advantage of the upcoming All Access Pass Sale! Click Here to Get 25% OFF All FrenchPod101 Subscriptions!

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

It’s built from the ground-up to be a great experience on your phone, tablet, and computer.

You don’t have to compromise anymore.

Take the whole lesson experience with you wherever you go.

Our lessons are the heart of our learning system and now they’re the heart of the interface as well. Just tap the big play button to start learning right away.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

As you scroll through the lesson contents, the player sticks with you at the bottom of your screen.

Pause, rewind or adjust your speed and volume without losing your place.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

Navigation is also just a tap away.

Quickly jump to the dialogue, vocabulary, or lesson notes with our new lesson navigation bar. Available at the top of your screen wherever you are.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

And for the first time ever, you don’t need to download a PDF or jump between tabs to read the lesson notes and transcript. Read it all on your mobile browser as you listen.

(example taken from japanesepod101.com)

There are many more small improvements but the end result is this: a drastically improved lesson experience on mobile and desktop.

Spend less time squinting at your screen and more time reaching your French goals.

The new lesson interface will launch in beta this month.

We can’t wait to hear what you think. Keep on studying!

Sneak peek! And if you take advantage of our upcoming 25% OFF All Access Pass Sale, you secure full access to this new update! You unlock our complete French learning program – ALL Audio/Video Courses from Beginner to Advanced, Premium Study Tools, Bonus Apps and much more!

Click Here to Get 25% OFF All Plans until March 31st, 2017.

To your fluency,

Team FrenchPod101

P.S. Get 25% OFF ANY Plan! Master French with YOUR All-Access Pass!

Want to learn French fast with an ALL-ACCESS PASS to our entire learning system? Get 25% OFF Basic, Premium and Premium PLUS and unlock ALL audio/video lessons, study tools and exclusive apps that you’ll ever need. And with Premium PLUS, you get your own teacher! Just $3 a month & up to $137 in savings. Ends March 31st, 2017.

Get Your French All-Access Pass! Click here to get 25% OFF ALL Plans!

The 5 Review Tactics that Will Sharpen Your French

top 5 review tactics to boost your french

Have you ever returned to FrenchPod101 lessons you’ve completed?

Accessing a lesson once is enough to learn more French. But to master what you’ve learned, to understand French the second you hear it, to read with just a quick glance, and to speak smoothly, without thinking… you need to review.

In this blog post, you’ll learn the 5 review tactics and learning tools that will truly sharpen your French (all of which I’ve been able to resources for on FrenchPod101.com).

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1. Listen to lines over and over again!

One of the best ways to learn French (or any language) is to listen to native speakers over and over again until you understand what they are saying. By listening closely and often, you start to pick up the rhythm of a language and pronunciation from a native speaker. It’s not surprising, then, that Innovative Language offers a great line-by-line feature that lets you listen (and read along!) as many times as you’d like. I really recommend taking advantage of this feature— aside from moving to France, it is the best way to immerse yourself in the language.

2. Use a voice-recording tool to perfect pronunciation.

No one likes to hear themselves recorded, but it is a great way to perfect your pronunciation! Record yourself and compare against a fluent speaker. If you sound different, repeat after the fluent speaker until your pronunciation matches. Innovative Language has a great voice-recording feature that makes recording super easy. Never hesitate or be shy about your pronunciation again.

review tactics

3. Master recorded conversations.

Another excellent way to review your French is to record conversations and go over them again and again until you have the entire conversation mastered and can repeat it line by line. Now, it might be kind of awkward trying to explain to someone why you are recording them speak so it is fortunate that Innovative Language has dialogues available for download right off of their website. I found these also come with transcripts of the entire conversation, which is great if you don’t want to spend tons of time translating the conversation yourself.

4. Use mobile devices to reinforce previously learned conversations.

It might sound redundant at this point, but constant review is the best, and only, way to perfect French. In that spirit, I strongly recommend downloading the recorded dialogue to your mobile device and incorporating it into your music playlist. You’ll be amazed how effectively quick reviews throughout a day can reinforce what you’ve learned.

review tactics

Start Learning-on-the-Go with Your Free App

5. Read with line by line notes.

The guaranteed accurate transcript of the recorded dialogues is one of the most useful features Innovative Language offers. You can read along with a fluent speaker to really master pronunciation and natural conversation. You should start slow at first, then slowly increase the speed with each pass through. Every time you read through, your pronunciation will become more intuitive and your ability to understand fluent speakers will greatly increase.

Imagine a child who just learned how to read. At first, they slowly struggle through a sentence, but on the second try, they know what the most of the words sound like and so they read a bit faster and easier and on the third try, they read that sentence at normal, native speed.

review tactics

Improve Now your Reading Skills by Learning More Vocabulary

Using these five simple review techniques the most challenging parts of learning French will become your areas of comfort. Conversations will no longer be excruciating and embarrassing, but rather offer a chance to show off your new skills and communicate with someone from a different culture in their natural language. You will be able to casually listen to French and understand everything. Reading, too, will become natural and enjoyable.

Learning any language takes time and dedication. With the right focus, however, you can ensure the maximum impact of your efforts. Consistently listening to fluent speakers, recording your own voice and comparing it against fluent speakers, mastering conversations, listening to them on go, and following along with written transcripts will put you on the path to becoming fluent in French. Learn from the mistakes that so many have made, myself included, don’t let what you’ve already learned slip away.

Review, review, review!

How to Overcome the Top 4 French Learning Fears

Every French learner will have these fears“I’m not good enough yet.” “I don’t think I’m making any progress.” “What if I never reach my goals?” French learning fears – we all get them from time to time. What are yours? And are they worth being scared of?

how to overcome learning fears

In this blog post, we’re killing the top 4 French learning fears – 1) what are the fears learners tend to have the most and 2) how you can overcome them!

Here are the top 4 language learning fears according to our users:

1. “I’m not good enough to start speaking yet.”

Do you feel like you’re not good enough to start speaking yet? It’s a pretty common fear or misconception that most learners have. Here’s how you overcome it:

  • The best way to get good at speaking is to start speaking from day 1.
    So if you’re holding yourself back, because you think you’re not good enough, well, that’s exactly why you’re not good enough. You need to open your mouth and start talking!
  • If you think you’re not good enough, just learn French lines you want to say!
    In our lessons, you get the exact phrases and scripts for introducing yourself making small talk, ordering food, expressing opinions, and much more! So if you think you’re not good enough, the lessons will give you the exact lines to say.
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    2. “I’m afraid I’ll never be fluent.”

    Many successful French learners worried about that, only as a beginner. They started learning French and, it’s funny because the better their French got, the less they were worried about that. So, how can you overcome this?

  • You’ve got to set small, specific goals.
    Fluency is a big vague goal. Arguably, we don’t even speak fluent in our native language. There are over a million words and we use about 2,000 words only. So you should focus on smaller goals like being able to introduce yourself or having a 5-minute conversation. Or 10 minutes. Something you can measure so you know you reached it because you can’t really measure fluency. It’s a pretty vague goal! But you can measure small goals like having a 5-minute conversation. And as these small goals add up, you’ll be speaking very comfortably!
  • learn french

    Discover now 10 Monthly Goals that will help you on your way to French fluency!

    3. “I’m afraid that I’m not making any progress.”

    In other words, getting stuck. If you’re afraid you’re not making progress, there are two things you can do right now.

  • Use the dashboard to track your progress.
    If you need numbers to believe it, our dashboard tracks all the lessons you’ve completed and shows how much you’ve accomplished.
  • Try a harder lesson on the site.
    It sounds crazy and you might not understand it but you will in minutes. Our lessons come with line-by-line translations and the lesson hosts explain everything. THEN, you’ll be making progress because you now understand something you didn’t minutes ago.
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    From Beginner to Advanced, get the lesson that is perfect for you! Start learning French now!

    4. “I’m afraid of not understanding anything I hear”.

    This is very common. You hear advanced grammar and vocabulary and it goes completely over your head. To beat this…

  • If you’re taking an advanced lesson, simply read along.
    Reading along with our line-by-line tool is the best way to instantly understand advanced conversations. The translations and scripts are right in front of you.
  • For real-life situations, learn useful phrases.
    Like “Can you say it more slowly?,” “Can you use simpler words?” or “I don’t understand what that meant.” There’s nothing wrong with saying that you didn’t understand something or with asking for help. And our Survival Phrases lessons cover must-know phrases like this.
  • learn french

    So, these are the top 4 fears and how to overcome them. And if you want to have the perfect tools to overcome them, don’t forget to create your Free Lifetime Account at FrenchPod101.com!

    3 Reasons Why Playing Games Helps You Learn German Faster

    Discover 3 ways that German learning games and video games can help you learn and master German faster, retain more, and enhance your language skills.

    reasons why playing games helps you learn faster

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    Can You Learn German Using Games?

    Yes, German learning games and even video games can help you learn and master German faster and improve overall comprehension. Research studies have concluded that video games enhance traditional learning methods and make mastering a new language like German fun and exciting. Without the firm foundation in grammar and vocabulary provided by conventional learning programs, however, you will not be able to learn German with games alone. But when you combine the solid educational foundation like you’ll get at GermanPod101 with the benefits of German learning games, you learn faster and retain more than with traditional learning alone.

    Let’s now take a look at three of the biggest benefits of using video games to learn German:

    Video Games Help Improve Linguistic Skills and Cognitive Development

    When combined with a solid foundation in vocabulary and grammar, video games help students improve reading, comprehension, and even speaking skills. The results are even more pronounced in struggling students. According to a recent national survey, more than 78% of teachers noted that learning games, even video games, were effective in helping struggling students compensate for learning gaps in their traditional studies.

    So how do German learning games, or even video games, help students improve their linguistic skills and cognitive development? The key is practice, practice, and more practice!
    Learning games and video games naturally require the integration of several linguistic skills including reading, listening, speaking, and even writing in some games. And by removing the fear of making mistakes so common in students in traditional classroom settings, students are free to practice the language and further develop their linguistic and cognitive abilities in the process.

    Do a compliment in German? Break-Up Lines? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

    Learning Games/Video Games Provide In-Context Learning

    Students naturally learn faster and comprehend more when they are forced to use the information often and in real-world situations, even the fake ones created by German learning games and video games. Essentially, this is immersion-based learning or contextual learning very similar to what one experiences when living abroad and being forced to interact with people in another language. So by providing both context and constant feedback, video games allow students to actually use the knowledge they gain in classrooms or conventional study to learn and master German or any new language faster.

    German Learning Games Make Studying Fun and Alleviate Stress

    Homework, quizzes, tests, and even in-class assignments can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety in students, particularly those who may be struggling to keep up. This stress and anxiety can actually derail a student’s progress and cause them to feel isolated from their more successful peers. But video games and even most learning games are the great equalizer because they help alleviate stress, increase social engagement, and yes, even help students have fun while learning German or any new language.
    In fact, research recently published in The Washington Post shows a wide range of health benefits from video games and learning games including the fact that they:

  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Depression
  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Insomnia
  • Help Alleviate Transitory Stress Symptoms
  • Scientists have indeed discovered that not only can you learn German or any new language faster thanks to video games, they can also provide a wide range of potential health benefits as well. However, learning languages through video games alone is not really a feasible alternative to progressive, structured learning like you find in classrooms or programs like GermanPod101.

    Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Start Learning One of our 34 Languages!

    The Limitations of Learning Languages Through Video Games

    While great supplemental learning tools, video games and even more formal learning games are simply no substitute for structured learning programs for two reasons:

  • Learning Games Not Designed to Provide a Foundation in Grammar or Vocabulary: Without the foundation provided by structured German learning (classroom or online), video games or even language learning games only teach specific phrases and concepts. Now within the context of the video game, these phrases and concepts make sense but most would have little practical value in the real world.
  • Lessons Are Not Structured or Progressive in Nature: Structured learning requires students to be provided with basic building blocks of knowledge (like grammar or vocab lessons) that are then expanded upon in a progressive fashion until mastery. Video games and even many language learning games really only quiz and reinforce what students already know instead of providing structured lessons that can be built upon for future learning.
  • German learning games and even video games are great supplemental tools to help students learn and master a language faster. Scientific studies and recent research reveal that video games can help contextualize formal lessons from structured learning, enhance linguistic skills, alleviate stress, and even provide a wide range of potential health benefits. However, learning languages through video games (even learning games) has limitations and is no substitute for structured lessons that provide a firm foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    GermanPod101 is the world’s most advanced online learning system with tons of HD video lessons created by real German instructors. With more than 500 million lesson downloads and 10,000’s of success stories, GermanPod101 can provide you with a world-class foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    Combined with German learning games, our cutting edge online language system can propel you to mastering the language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classroom instruction.