Category: Conversation

French Grammar: This, That, These, & Those

  Do you remember what demonstrative adjectives are? Demonstrative adjectives are adjectives used to modify a noun so that you know which specific person, place, or thing is being mentioned. In other words, “this, that, these, and those.” We have four of these in English (as just demonstrated), and four in French as well, although they aren’t exactly the same.… Read more →

20 Fun Activities and Games for French Club

Are you a teacher or student involved in your school’s French club? As you know, finding fun activities and games centered on learning French can be difficult. That’s why we’ve rounded up 20 fun French club ideas to help inspire you. These games and activities will introduce members to both French language and culture. 1. Make a French Music Playlist Using Spotify or Pandora, create your… Read more →



iOS /Android/Website

Price: Free
Duolingo is a free language-learning platform that includes a language-learning website and app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. Duolingo offers all its language courses free of charge.It is one of the most comprehensive and best-rated language-learning apps out there. Grammar, vocabulary, and phrases are organized into different topics which you work through in small, bite-sized lessons. Earn points for correct answers, and level up.

Cool features:

  • Help improve grammar, vocabulary, writing, speaking and comprehension.
  • Cool exercises to practice.
  • Great community.Check out this Facebook group.

2.Le Conjugueur

iOS /Android

Price: Free & paid versions
Brush up on your grammar, this handy app. With le conjugueur, you can look up 9,000 French verbs to find out how to conjugate them in any tense. The best part is that you don’t even have to be connected to the internet. Language learning on the go you say; oui cher ami.
Cool features:

  • Conjugate all French verbs without being connected to the internet
  • Find a verb from a conjugated form
  • Conjugation in active & passive mode.

3.Learn French – Speak French

iOS /Android

Price: Free
This app claims to not just teach you French, but to make you fall in love with it. With over 50 million users worldwide, this app is a must have for every French language learners.
Cool features:

  • Comprehensive understanding of French
  • Vocabulary and grammar units,
  • Audio dialogues
  • Learn the most important 150 topics and 3000 words
  • Test your knowledge
  • And my favorite: submit practice exercises to native speakers that will help you perfect your skills.


iOS /Android

Price: Free
I am a big fan of Memrise. It is one of the most innovative apps for learning French words especially if you’re struggling to remember French words after a while.
Innovative because it doesn’t just teach words through pictures. It teaches you French words through humor.
Just look at what they have on their landing page:
Learning, made joyful
We make learning languages and vocab so full of joy and life, you’ll laugh out loud.
That says it all.
Memrise is a really creative and fun way of tackling one of the most difficult problems that many language learners have acquiring vocabulary.
Cool features:

  • Learn new vocabulary

Podcasts to learn French

1. Daily French Pod

Price: Free & paid
Daily French Pod offers well-planned and succinct lessons to introduce you to the language. They are based on everyday situations. The lessons are entirely in French. The pace of spoken French is normal speed. Please note that it is not suitable for an absolute beginner.
Cool features:

  • Learn French for everyday situation
  • Lessons entirely in French for full immersion
  • Improve comprehension
  • Improve writing (PDF supporting materials including transcripts are available for download).

Free 7-day trial

2. Learn French by frenchpod101

Price: Free
Frenchpod101 has short videos structured around everyday dialogues presented by a native French speaker and a native English speaker.
Cool Features:

  • Learn French for everyday situation
  • Lessons entirely in French for full immersion
  • Improve comprehension
  • Quizzes.



3. Coffee Break French

Price: Free & paid 

Coffee Break French offer highly practical lessons by French language teacher Mark as he coaches his student Ana.
Cool features:

  • Easy to follow lessons (10-15 minutes length)
  • Make the words, grammar and phrases stick in the mind.
  • Each podcast has accompanying notes.


How To Make 2017 A Successful Year: 17 Top Resources To Help You Learn French


Hello! Bonjour tout le monde!

It’s time for your French lesson! From your very first lesson of French, if you’ve had any, you had to learn how to ask a few questions. Basics being “what’s your name?” or “How are you?”. Today I want to share with you the best three techniques to ask a question in French.

Let’s go!

1) Translate “Do you … ?”

In order to translate a questions such as “Do you like to cook”. You need to convert the English semi-auxiliary into the French “magic” question – structure, “est-ce que”. It is impossible to give a proper idea of what that segment means by itself, but just keep in mind that is idiomatic of the French language and necessary in any “do-you” questions.

  • Structure:

Do you like coffee?
=> Est-ce que tu aimes le café ?

Pretty simple, no?

A few more examples:

– Do you have a lighter? = > Est-ce que tu as un briquet ?
– Does he have a wife? => Est-ce qu’il a une femme ?
– Do they want a cat? = Est-ce qu’ils veulent un chat ?

2) WH- questions

Who = Qui
What = Que / qu’
When = Quand
Why = Pourquoi
Where = Où
How = Comment
How many / much = Combien

They are tools to introduce an open question requiring a specific information and not just a yes / no question.

Since “est-ce que” is the main structure for a regular level of communication (that is, not too fancy, not too thug), you’re 95% likely to use your question word with it.

What do you want. = Qu’est-ce que tu veux ?
Where does he go? = Où est-ce qu’il va ?
When do we eat? = Quand est-ce qu’on mange ?
How much does it cost? = Combien est-ce que ça coûte ?

Exception: Most of the time we don’t use “est-ce que” with “qui.
Who’s hungry?

= Qui a faim ? Not “Qui est-ce qui a faim”

3) Inversion

Just like in English, you can ask a question by reversing the subject and verb of a sentence.
You are hungry = Are you hungry?
Tu as faim. = As-tu faim ?


In French, it is less common, therefore, mainly use in the written language or for a fancy / polite conversation.

Is he sick? = Est-il malade ?
Are you English? = Êtes-vous Américain ?

4) The easiest way.

If you want to keep it simple, it is highly common, among friend or close relative, to simply add a question mark.

You are hungry? = Tu as faim ?

If people can hear your intonation rise to ask a question, they will understand that you are not simply stating “You are hungry”. Be careful, this might work in an informal context but not when addressing a teacher, employer or in any written form, since it isn’t grammatically correct. Keep it for chit-chat.

You have a dog? = Tu as un chien ?
She likes fruits? = Elle aime les fruits ?
You have money? = Tu as de l’argent ?
Here you go! You are now a master at asking anything you want, no matter the situation! Congrats!

The 15 Best TV Series to Learn French for All Levels

Watching foreign films or television series are both excellent ways to help you learn French.It helps you gather a better understanding of the daily lifestyle and expressions that French may use whilst consolidating your existing vocabulary. It can help you fine-tune your listening skills to adapt to the various speeds and accents you may encounter.

However, while it can be an enjoyable and productive way to cram a lesson into your day, the truth is that you don’t always have time to sit down to watch a two-hour tear-jerker about a bourgeois quadriplegic and his carer from the suburbs.

Fear not though, you can turn to the more manageable and reliable medium that is television. The two huge advantages that television has over film are those of time management (easier to fit around your schedule) and story depth (longer running time= longer character arcs and plotlines).

For this reason I have compiled a list of the best French language television series out there, past and present.

1. Les Aventures de Tintin

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 39

tintin tv series


Plot: Follow the adventures of a young Belgian detective and his loyal travel companion Snowy the dog as they travel the world, going from one adventure to the next.

Why watch it? Simply put: it’s a timeless classic. Originally a children’s comic book, the language is ideal for beginners, whilst the content is enjoyable for all ages.

2. Un Village Français

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 60



Plot: Drama set in the fictional town of Villeneuve during the Nazi occupation. Seen through the eyes of the populace, the prolonged state of fear brings out the best and worst in people, as the town rallies together to make it through this most trying of times.

Why watch it? One for the history buffs among you. An in-depth portrayal French life during this period, set against the historical backdrop of the Vichy government.

3. Fais pas ci, Fais pas ça

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 56

Fais pas ci, Fais pas ça


Plot: Comedy depicting two contrasting families over the course of a year. While their differences are evident, both families slowly become more and more drawn to one another along the way.

Why watch it? In this classic sitcom format, the viewers are presented with an honest depiction of French humor, and its important role in what it means to be French.

4. Un Gars, une Fille

Difficulty: Advanced.

Number of episodes: 486

Un Gars, une Fille


Plot: A detailed look into the lives and relationship of a French couple. Loving, laughing, crying, shouting and back to loving. No stone is left unturned in this study of their everyday existence, and their consequences that can make or break even the most solid of connections.

Why watch it? One of France’s most popular television series, it is a firm fixture of the country’s pop culture. Originally from Quebec, the French adaptation has shortened the episode lengths down to seven minutes each – making for an ideal bite sized lesson somewhere in your day.

5. Engrenages

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced.

Number of episodes: 52



Plot: Police and legal drama series centering on the working relationship between the Parisian police and the justice system, as they work together to maintain peace and order in society.

Why watch it? Detectives, lawyers, judges, criminals. What’s not to like? Fans of crime shows in particular should make a note of it, as should anyone trying to take their study to the next level, as the language does become quite intricate at times.

6. Braquo

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced.

Number of episodes: 24



Plot: Following false accusations and the resulting suicide of their former colleague, four police officers band together to clear his name and, in doing so, put themselves in the firing line.

Why watch it? A truly action-packed thriller for the adrenaline seekers amongst you. With only twenty-four episodes, it also represents an achievable project.


7. Les Revenants

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 8



Plot: The serenity of a sleepy rural town is shattered by the inexplicable supernatural phenomena that start occurring. Sudden power outages, water levels depleting, weird skin marks and, most significantly, the return of their deceased loved ones.

Why watch it? A fresh take on a familiar supernatural/fantasy genre, breathing some now life into the public’s enduring fascination with zombies.

8. Kaamelott

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced.

Number of episodes: 458


Plot: Centered on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table’s quest to locate the Holy Grail, this is a satirical reimagining of the well-known legends.

Why watch it? Thoroughly entertaining, with its mini episode format (around three and a half minutes) making this an extremely enjoyable way to practice your French comprehension.

9. Bref

Difficulty: Advanced.

Number of episodes: 82

bref-tv series


Plot: Follow ‘I’, a nameless 30 year old, through the monotony of his day-to-day existence, as he struggles to meet the basic goals that he believes constitutes a successful life.

Why watch it? A more insightful view of modern French culture is on offer in this frank series. However, the dialogue is very fast-paced, with most characters speaking at a relatively high-speed. As such, it may not be suitable for beginner to intermediate levels.

10. Plus Belle la Vie

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 2613

Plus Belle la Vie


Plot: Soap opera based in the fictional “le Mistral” neighbourhood in the Mediterranean port-city of Marseille. With more plot twists than a Hollywood movie, and plenty of melodrama, it’s more escapist than realistic in its portrayal of contemporary France.

Why watch it? While perhaps not considered to be the apex of highbrow intellectual viewing, the show is extremely entertaining.

11. Les Mystérieuses Cités d’Or

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 39



Plot: Sixteenth century historical/fantastical adventure anime. A young Spaniard and his navigator father set sail for the New World to search for legendary lost cities of gold.

Why watch it? A joint French and Japanese production, the animation is charming whilst the content is both enchanting and family friendly. It is ideal to watch with the kids before bedtime.

12. H

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 71



Plot: Back to a more conventional format.. The plot revolves around a Parisian hospital’s medical staff, and the  absurd situations that they face.

Why watch it? For the laughs alone, which this show delivers time and time again. Great for when you’re not looking for anything too serious, and just want to relax at the end of a long day.

13. Scène de ménage

Difficulty: Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 886

Scène de ménage


Plot: Adapted from the original Spanish show “Escepas de Matrimonio”, watch three couples of differing generations and the ways they make their relationships work for them. Each of the couples offers a different perspective, depending on where they are in their lives, of the diverse joys and dilemmas that they face.

Why watch it? A closer look into the ‘average’ French household. Well adapted from the original material. At times the humour can be quite dark, which may or may not be your cup of tea.

14. Mafiosa

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced.

Number of episodes: 40



Plot: After the murder of her notorious uncle, Sandra Paoli must take her place at the head of her family’s clan of the Corsican mafia. Assisted out by her brother, she dives head first into a world of violence, drugs, sex and money.

Why watch it? A feminist twist on the tried and tested crime drama genre, allegedly a dramatisation of the life of Sandra Casanova-Germani, sister of Jean-Luc Germani, currently France’s most wanted man. See the rise to power of a woman overcoming adversity (despite she is a criminal…), to prove that she deserves her title in the macho environment of organised crime. If The Sopranos and Weeds got together, then this would be their love child.

15. Il était une fois… la vie

Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate.

Number of episodes: 26



Plot: Another French-Japanese animation creation. Aimed at children, we’re presented with an interactive tour of the human body and its various bits and pieces in an educational format.

Why watch it? Unless they’re particularly interested in expanding their French anatomy vocabulary, adults might want to give this one a miss. It is however, an excellent tool to help teach your kids French, while they might also learn a thing or two about blood vessels along the way.




Listen Up Language Learners: 10 Things You Do Better When Bilingual

We all know that being bilingual (or even multilingual) increases your ability to communicate with more people across the world, which is a pretty cool perk to learning another language. But did you know that being bilingual helps you in far more ways than just communication? Here are 10 things that you can do better when you’re bilingual:

10AdvantagesBilingual (3)

Noisy Classroom? No Problem!

New studies carried out by Anglia Ruskin University have shown that bilingual children are better at tuning out noise. This means that bilingual students are better able to learn and concentrate in a noisy classroom that their monolingual classmates. This ability to concentrate despite the distractions going on around them leads to an overall better school performance. A great reason to start learning a new language while you’re young? We think so.

Improved Problem Solving

According to the New York Times, studies have shown that bilinguals are able to solve certain mental puzzles quicker than their monolingual counterparts. This is because they are used to directing their attention between conflicting thought processes (like two different languages) and are better able to channel this same focus to other tasks.

Closer Attention to Surroundings

Not only are bilinguals better at ignoring distractions, they are also better at paying attention to the environment around them. As they switch between languages, making a judgement on what is being said to them in a certain language and how to respond, sharpens their ability to keep track of their environment and its changes. Observation and Monitoring tasks? Advantage bilinguals!

Superior Listening Skills

Learning other languages also helps with listening skills. Bilinguals are much more adept at recognising other languages – even ones that they don’t actually speak! Not only does this help you when there are foreign accents around you, but it also helps the listening skills in your primary language. You’ll be better at picking up subtle nuances in other people’s speech, thus improving your overall communication.

Better Memory

Learning a second language is beneficial for overall cognitive development, including memory. Since bilinguals have to store two sets of vocabulary in their mind and are used to accessing the correct one, they get great practice at storing and using information. Plus, good memory helps with studying, another reason bilingual students do better in school than monolinguals.

Big Crowds, Better Focus

Trying to find your way in a crowded train station? Studying in a loud coffee shop? No worries if you’re bilingual. In fact, it might actually be easier in the chaos for those who are used to it – zoning out external distractions becomes almost second nature.

A Different Point of View

The great thing about changing between languages is that you’re better able to change your perspective and to think in different ways. An interesting study looked at how people acted differently when they were asked to make decisions with varying degrees of risk and uncertainty. Participants were asked in their first and second language, and showed different behavioural patterns as they switched languages. The idea is that because a different language forces you to think differently, it also influences your behaviour, allowing you to escape a singular paradigm of thought

Master Multitasking

Since bilinguals are used to switching quickly between languages while blocking out distracting influences, this naturally helps in their ability to multitask. And frankly, what better skill could you have in the 21st century, when you’re bombarded with new information and new tasks from all sides? Being able to multitask is an incredibly valuable asset in this busy world. A great added perk of being bilingual!

Life-Long Benefits

An amazing thing about being bilingual is that the benefits extend throughout your whole life. Research has shown that bilinguals have a greater resistance than monolinguals to the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The greater your degree of bilingualism, the later in life these diseases are likely to affect you, if you’re susceptible. Think of learning a second language as a long term investment in your mental health.

More Languages? More Money!

If the cognitive benefits aren’t enough for you, here’s a financial incentive: research shows that people who speak more languages earn more money than people who can speak only one. This makes sense when you consider that we live in a globalised world; contact with foreign countries and other languages is inevitable. Being able to speak another language gives you a competitive advantage in the workplace. You’re more likely to get hired and companies have more incentive to pay you more money. And hey, money talks…

With so many great benefits to learning a second language, from school to old age, what are you waiting for?Contact us today to find a language course near you!


credit: November 19, 2014 by  .