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Learn to speak French with the help of the BBC

Updated on August 27, 2011

The First Steps

I have just been checking out the BBC's website. They have a section called French Steps. All about learning French in easy short stages. The whole course will take about twelve weeks and the best part is that it is free.

I did french at secondary school at CSE level, that's showing my age. If I remember right, I got a grade 2 but it was a long time ago. I can just about remember a few words now, like Bonjour and Au revoir. I know a cat is chat and a dog is chien.

As you can see, I am pretty useless. I have never been to France but I have wanted to go camping there, for a few years now. I have been told they have some fabulous campsites there. The French people love camping apparently. In order to do that, I think that, (just maybe) a few more words in French might turn out to be an advantage. We will be driving there in our voiture. Ha Ha, did you see what I did then; the French language is coming back to me. You will find the course here

About the course

All you need is Flash software installed on your computer with an Internet connection. They even show you how to install Flash software, if you don't have Flash installed.

A screen pops up and you just follow the instructions. First you can guess the words, then build sentences and finally speak and write. You can go back at any time.

Stage 1

You will travel to Paris with your French teacher Monsieur Hakim M'Barek. Your first lesson is to take a taxi. Saying hello and telling the driver to take you to your destination, using polite words and phrases.

Next you will be asking for directions. I had better pay attention to this one. (I have a habit of taking the wrong turns on my trips).

Then you will be getting tickets, buying presents and finally getting a snack and a drink. I think that you would agree with me when I say that these are all pretty useful snippets of knowledge.

Stage 2

It's all about chatting. Describing what you do for a living. Asking someone, what he or she does for a living.

Talking about the family and finding out about another person’s family. Then how you would talk in a casual conversation. Introducing yourself and telling people, where you are from.

Stage 3

Ordering a meal and drinks at a restaurant. Going food shopping and asking about quantities. Reading and asking questions about a menu.

Stage 4

Now this one is for me. The country holiday. In this stage we will be buying clothes that fit us. Asking about the campsite rules, finding out about the local area, chatting about the weather and hiring bikes and other stuff.

Stage 5

Planning your time, and making arrangements, Learning how to accept and decline invitations. Making suggestions and planning the week ahead, Travelling by train and asking about timetables. You will be booking rooms over the phone, not forgetting how to say days and dates.

Stage 6

Emergencies. You may need to buy some medicine from a chemist. Try telling them your symptoms. Dealing with a breakdown on the road and asking for help. Reporting lost property and explaining, how you lost it.

Maintenant, vous pouvez parler un petit français

No I am not that good yet. I used a translator for that but hopefully in a couple of month’s time, with the help from the BBC.

You will receive free newsletters containing your updates and encouragement if you register.

If you have ever wanted to learn a new language at your own pace, then this is a good way to go about it.

Au Revoir!


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    • profile image

      d heywood 7 years ago

      I would love to learn french as both my kids learn it at school. It would be nice to be able to answer their questions even from my 7 year old who has only learned simple words. Thanks

    • pe555 profile image

      Peter Donnelly 7 years ago from UK

      This is the URL for the French Steps course with the BBC.

      I hope this helps Paul.

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 7 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      What's the link to the BBC french education center?

    • pe555 profile image

      Peter Donnelly 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the comment Seeker7. I am glad that you found it informative. Bon chance with the course.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 7 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Thanks for this. Have already signed up as I have been wanting to start learning French again for some time. I took it at school as well but the teacher was a horror and I dropped the subject asap. My first teacher was so good as well and I did not bad with him.