Whenever I ask my students what they think is the most difficult part about learning French, I always hear these three typical answers:
Argh, the infamous French word genders! Why do we have those rules for words, anyway? Who plays heads or tails with each word and decides that a table (une table) is feminine and a book (un livre) is masculine? Sounds like a bunch of nonsense, right?
Well, I can actually feel your pain and that is why I came up with this course to tackle this issue in two major ways:
1. Understand the logic behind the gender: because yes, there is a sort of logic/pattern behind the words)
2. Try to create an automatic reflex when it comes to choosing the gender: our goal here is to develop a reflex when you say the word in French.
Develop “a melody for a word”
French people do not memorize the gender of words. They just see it , hear it everyday and whenever somebody says the wrong gender of a noun, people will automatically cringe and think “hey it does not seem right; it is not le table but la table”.
Imagine your favorite song---the one where you know the lyrics and melody by heart---but suddenly the singer hits a wrong note. You’ll definitely know something’s not right.
This is the same idea for gender.
You have to learn the “melody of a word” by associating the word with the gender automatically. I want you to develop the same logic by creating a daily routine for 30 days.
Spend 15 minutes per day by associating a word with the right gender. I am not asking you to memorize the word itself.
Why does this course use 600 French words in the drills?
Did you know that the 600 most frequently used nouns in French account for 90% of common texts? If you know all of them, you can claim “yes, I speak 90% French” (sounds good, no?)
I break those words down into a 30-day drill session in order to make it as easy as possible for you.
How to use the drills
The idea behind the audio drills is to help you create an automatic reflex so that the gender of the French nouns will become second nature to you. To do this, do not hesitate to listen to the tracks again and again.
Here are some steps to guide you:
1. Go over the list of words provided per day.
2. Listen to the tracks embedded in the lesson. Listen to it 1 or 2 times. You'll notice that first is the slow speed version, followed by the normal speed version, and then the random version.
3. Between each gap in the audio, read the word out loud. Do it 1 or 2 times.
4. Test yourself by listening to the audio quiz. Listen to the word and try to say it before the answer is provided.
So are you ready to get started? Let's go! I wish you the best of luck on your lessons. Should there be anything that you could understand or some issues you encounter, don't hesitate to leave a message in that particular course page and I will be glad to assist you.
Founder, Talk in French
Frequently Asked Questions
You will see the progress bar at the upper left of the screen when you access any course. Once you have completed a lesson and mark it complete, the equivalent percentage of the course taken will be reflected in the progress bar.
Take note that the lessons may be taken in any order and your progress will still be tracked. Though it is highly recommended that you follow the sequence provided.
In lessons that contain quizzes, you need to complete all the quizzes first before you will be able to complete each lesson.
In the upper left corner of the page, you will see the My Account button. Click it and it will lead you to this URL:
Once you enter your details, you will have access to your “profile page”. From there you will be able to access the different courses you purchased.
Yes, you should be able to see the first module called “offline materials” where you can get the downloadable version of your course. We are about to simplify the system to make it even easier. A print version and an e-book version will be provided as well.
Yes, please. I am eager for a challenge. If you don’t like some parts or you think it needs improvement, criticisms are always welcome.
You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or, even better and easier, simply leave a comment on the lesson.
Yes you do have an option to retake the quiz and each time, your new score will be reflected. But for learning purposes, my advice is to take note of your errors and try to do better in the succeeding quizzes.