French / Paris

Learning the French Language

paris fall eiffel towerLearning the French Language is not that difficult if you really are determined. One of the best ways are acctually to buy yourself a ticket to France for a couple of months or why not even more? That is acctually the best way of learning the language the way the French people speaks it, by beeing surrounded by it 24h and to be forced speaking it.

With start from grade 6 I started to study French at school for 6 years ahead. Unfortunately I was really not much interested in French by that time, but since my aunt lives in Nice and we used to spend many of our summers in south of France I thought it might be useful. But I never took those lessons seriously and not more than bonjour, je m’appelle and au revoir were the words that got stuck in my head, and ofcourse the different flavors of ice cream such as fraise, chocolat and vanille. Even though I never learned French I had no problem getting understood when I was there on vaccation, they perfectly understood my English.

Not until I turned 28 I challenged myself to learn the most beautiful language on earth and moved to Paris. I studied French 4 months at Sorbonne and worked at the same time at Ladurée in order to practise my language. It turned out I learned more at work than at school (perhaps that had to do with all the macarons I got to eat? Learning French the sweet way?), with my French friends and simply by living in France. When I left Paris after 2 years I was very sad that I would forget everything I had learned…but maintained my French by:

  • watching French movies, each time I went to Paris I bought lots of French DVD’s at Virgin Megastore or Fnac. They usually have offers like 5 DVD’s for 30€.
  • listening to the French radio channel RFI (Radio France Internationale). I still listen to the daily news “Le journal en français facile”, you can download it to iTunes and there is also a script to read and follow. Everyday they also pick a word that they explain, you find it under “Les mots de l’actualité”, it’s the same as the news, you can download and also read the script. Apart from that there are lot’s of exercises on the same page and other interesting news in French to read.
  • dictation, best way of learning and maintaining your writing skills. I find this page at Bescherelle very useful. On the page Les dictées en ligne Bescherelle you find lot’s of dictation on different levels.
  • learning French Online, IE Languages has a great site filled with exercises, grammar, text, mp3 and videos and is a great site for those who wants to learn and practise their French. It’s the best French Online site I’ve found and it’s free.

I receive many mails from people around the world who ask me for tips in learning the French language, above you will find my best ones.

If you have any more tips and recommendations on learning French don’t hesitate to share :-)


About Author

This Paris blog is created and maintained by Solli, a Swedish Expat living in Paris working as a Photographer. When she is not behind the lens or setting off to a new destination she loves to be in the kitchen and play around with whole, organic and seasonal food. In this blog she shares some glimpses of her everyday life as a bonne vivante wherever in the world she might be. Enjoy following her journey through life...


  • Gabriella
    29 October 2013 at 12:14

    Movies are really great for maintaining your french, I do it all the time! I would also suggest a language exchange partner, it’s usually quite easy to find in the bigger cities and student cities around the world. And it’s a really good way to maintain your speaking level! :)

  • Anthony De Guzman
    02 November 2013 at 13:49

    You’re totally right about learning more of the language outside of school! The same is with me in Québec. Surprisingly enough, I have yet to try out listening to the radio to improve my French. That could help a lot since I sometimes have trouble understanding when people speak!

    Thanks for the tips!

  • Solli Kanani
    02 November 2013 at 14:24

    Gabriella – I completely agree with you! I have found a private teacher to improve my French…have my first lesson next week, can’t wait :-)

  • Solli Kanani
    02 November 2013 at 14:27

    Anthony – Radio is always a very good way of learning the language! Shame on me I don’t listen to the French radio more often… Watching French TV is also good, as soon as I have recieved my decoder I will be able to use my TV :-)

  • PROceau
    05 May 2014 at 15:16

    Pour Virgin Megastore, c’est mort maintenant, et la meilleur des manières reste de vivre en France, car les Français parlent de tout façon pas Anglais.

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