Hi! I’m basing this guide on this post that I wrote a while ago, and also this fantastic post by @frenchy-french. A lot of the resources that I use will also have been made by @frenchy-french (she’s a gem, honestly, bookmark her blog if you’re learning French).
I would recommend studying this amazing pronunciation guide by, you guessed it, @frenchy-french. Then, I would recommend that you start shadowing and speaking. Try shadowing (i.e. repeat what is being said after the speaker) a beginners podcast like FrenchPod101 (paid) or Coffee Break French (free).
You can try using an app to learn some basic vocabulary. Duolingo and Memrise are my personal favourites. You can also use Drops if you don’t want to translate vocabulary. Try using it daily (it’ll take at most 5 minutes a day).
Complete an online course or textbook. Here is an article with some recommendations for textbooks. Here is a link to a drive full of textbooks, where you will surely find something for French (credit to @salvadorbonaparte for providing this resource). As for online courses, here is a list of some places to find courses: Open Culture, Class central, Effective Language Learning and Loecson.
Make a native friend and start texting them. You can go on r/Language Exchange, or text them on HelloTalk or Tandem. You could also find a buddy on a language discord. Remember to be safe, and not reveal any private information. Look up words as you go, and try texting only in French the whole time. Start doing this as early as possible. Once you have become more confident texting and/or sending voice messages, try a phone call. You can also practice speaking using HiLokal.
Memorise some basic vocabulary and grammar. Really, the post I linked at the beginning by @frenchy-french is the best for this. For vocabulary, you can use flashcards (like Anki, Quizlet and Memrise). Also, try Kwiziq for grammar.
Immerse. For now, try listening to lots of music, and watch a bunch of fun YouTube videos (like the ones by Cyprien, and Montreaux Comedy). Also, use the language filter on AO3 to look up fanfiction in French. Switch your phone’s language to French, and follow a bunch of French people on social media.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope it was useful to you!
"Encore un virage, encore un virage, encore une accélération! Fabio va le faire, Fabio le fait, Fabio l'a fait!!! La moto française a enfin son roi!!! Son nom est Quartararo, il est niçois et il est champion du monde moto gp!!! Fabio Quartararo mérite les Champs-Elysées!"
On October 23rd 1295 the Auld Alliance treaty was signed between John Balliol, King of Scots, and Philippe IV of France.
A bit of background, in the 13th century our country was in crisis. The previous monarch, King Alexander III, had no surviving children. His last legitimate heir, seven year-old granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, died of illness while traveling from Norway to Scotland to be crowned. Beforehand, Edward I of England, who had been asked to secure the would be Queen in position, had secured an agreement in the Treaty of Birgham in July 1290.
The reason for this is that some of the nobility were wary about a female being given the crown, they were circling biding their time and civil war looked on the cards. Margaret’s father, King Eirik II of Norway was not happy sending his daughter into such a situation, he and the guardians of Scotland, a group of leading Scottish nobility, felt that a civil war would result if a foreign mediator did not intervene. And so it was with this that Longshanks started his interfering in Scottish affairs.
Under its terms of the Treaty of Birgham, Margaret, Maid of Norway was betrothed to his son Edward (later Edward II of England). In return Edward I guaranteed Scottish independence, but his son would be joint ruler of both countries. In September she sailed from Norway but never arrived, as she died aged 7 of sea sickness in or near the Orkneys during the voyage.
Again the Guardians looked south to Edward, this time he was to oversee and choose the next King of Scots. Edward seized the occasion as an opportunity to gain something he had long desired—legal recognition that the realm of Scotland was held as a feudal dependency to the throne of England. This process became known as the Great Cause.
I won’t go into the full run down of candidates etc, I have covered this all in posts before, so jumping forward a wee bit, John Balliol was pronounced the “winner” in the Great Hall of Berwick Castle on 17th November 1292, he was crowned accordingly King at Scone on 30th November 1292, St. Andrew's Day, a few weeks later Edward I forced Balliol to swear fealty to him on the 26th December 1292.
Now John Balliol gets slated for this, but a little known fact is that during the Great Cause Edward had pressured all of the claimants to accept him as overlord by the end of 1292.
On 2nd January 1293 King John was also forced to accept that Edward was released from any restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Birgham. By doing this Balliol was compromising Scottish independence by forgetting about the Treaty, he was becoming a puppet king to Edward, who also appointed an Englishman, Master Thomas of Hunsingore as Chancellor in Scotland.
In 1294 Edward summoned Balliol and other Scottish nobles to fight for him in a war against France. This undermined Balliol’s authority further as a leader Edward I was flexing his muscles attempting to demonstrate his superior overlordship over Scotland to demand feudal service from the Scots in his war with France
Balliol’s position was so weak at this point that he had secretly been stripped of his powers by leading Scottish nobles. Those nobles set up a council which reached out to France to form an alliance. England would now have a two-front war on its hands if it attacked Scotland. For his part, Balliol officially renounced his homage to Edward, growing a set of balls, so to speak. The terms of the treaty stipulated that, if either country was attacked by England, the other country would invade English territory.
Edward’s retribution was swift and effective. He sent one of his finest commanders north and crushed the Scottish forces at the Battle of Dunbar. King Balliol soon surrendered. As part of his surrender, Balliol had to renounce the alliance with the French. Edward forced Balliol to surrender his crown at an embarrassing public ceremony at at Stracathro near Montrose on 10th July 1296, during which the arms of Scotland were formally torn from John's surcoat, giving him the abiding name of "Toom Tabard" (empty coat). t Edward imprisoned Balliol in The Tower of London.
The next year William Wallace was beginning his resistance along with other nobles in the south-west of Scotland, Andrew de Moray was similarly doing so in the North, The First War of Scottish Independence was kicking off.
There are reminders of the bond between Scotland and France both at home, here in Scotland, and in France, as seen in the pics, the second pic at Murrayfield stadium and is a nod to those men of both countries that fell in World War one, also remembered in the new trophy the teams play for. The next pic is a plaque on the wall outside number 28 Regent Terrace, where in June 1942 Charles de Galle made a speech that included the lines…
“In every combat where for five centuries the destiny of France was at stake, there were always men of Scotland to fight side by side with men of France, and what Frenchmen feel is that no people has ever been more generous than yours with its friendship.”
Much has been debated about when the Auld Alliance was ended, many cite the times of the Reformation, when the new Scottish Government under The Lords of the Congregation invited English troops into Scotland to help banish the French, who were protecting Mary of Guise during the regency of her daughter Mary Queen of Scots. I have to point again to Charles de Galle in Edinburgh in June 1942, he stated that the Auld Alliance was 'the oldest alliance in the world”
So even though we were no longer at war with the English during the eighteenth century – after the Act of Union was signed – Scotland and France continued to have an active and close relationship, based on the Auld Alliance. Trade flourished between the two countries, even though France was Catholic and Scotland Protestant.
Scottish merchants paid less or no customs at some French ports, whereas some ports would not trade with the English at all.
In return the Scots exported a range of goods including coal, wool and animal skins to France. French exports included salt, wine, luxury cloth, musical instruments, furniture, beds and spectacles.
Despite some difficulties for Protestant Scots, there were well established communities in Bordeaux, Paris and La Rochelle throughout the seventeenth century.
Spring - comes from the Old English springan meaning to spring, as it referred to the way plants sprung up out of the ground. Springan came from the Proto-Germanic *sprengan, from the PIE root *spergh, meaning to move or spring. Spring gradually replaced Lencten, which is the source of the word Lent in Christianity.
Summer - comes from the Old English sumor, from the Proto-Germanic *sumaraz, from the PIE root *semh₂-, meaning summer or year.
Autumn - comes from the Middle English autumpne, from the Old French automne, from the Latin autumnus. Autumnus itself has an unknown etymology, though it may have come from the PIE roots *h₃ewǵ- (cold), *h₂sews- (dry as in dry season), or from the Etruscan atune (autumn).
Winter - comes from the Old English winter, from the Proto-Germanic *wintruz, whose origins are unknown.
Hello! I'm studying French, and for me the hardest concept to remember is verbs and their conjugations in all tenses! I'm having a really hard time remembering exceptions in conjugations and studying passé composé, do you have any tips? Thank you!
Hello!! oh yes that is a very difficult topic because we have so many different conjugations and tenses. But in everything there is some kind of logic. Let's have a look at the regular verbs first: (long post, more under the cut)
There are three groups of regular verbs: (also have a look at this sheet)
1) verbs ending in -er-->ending in -e,-es,-e, -ons,-ez,-ent
2) verbs ending in - dre -> -ds, -ds, -d, -dons, -dez, dent
3) verbs ending in -ir:
a) i - is gone-->-s,-s,-t, -ons, ez, -ent
b) -ss is added in plural->-s,-s,-t,-issons, -issez, -issent
I'm afraid for the irregular verbs, you just have to learn them by heart. However, often there are still some regularities in them- but it depends on the verb.
For the tenses, there are a lot of regularities. Especially in the more complicated tenses you just use one part of a tense and add a second one.
Tenses- an overview
passé composé: avoir/être + participe passé
-->1.st group: é (regardé) , 2nd group -u (attendu) , 3rd group: -i (menti, fini)
imparfait: 1st ps. plural stem + -ais,-ais-ait,-ions,-iez, -aient
(je regardais, nous attendions, ils mentaient)
plus-que parfait: avoir /être in imparfait + participe passé (so here you have the two tenses mixed, and you don't have to learn anything new!)
(j'avais regardé, nous avions attendu, ils avaient menti)
conditionnel II: avoir/ être in conditionel I + participe passé
j'aurais regardé , nous aurions attendu, ils auraient menti
This is just to show you that there are in fact a lot of regularities and combinations. Nevertheless, you still have to learn the irregular forms. I hope this helped you a bit. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!! Best of luck!
Hi! I’ve studied several languages throughout my time in the education system, the main ones being French, Arabic and German. I thought I would give some advice on how to make the most out of classes, and how to study outside of them.
Learn all the vocabulary you are given in class. You can use flashcards (digital ones, like anki, quizlet and memrise, are very good). Personally, I have two sets of flashcards on anki: one for class vocabulary, and one for vocabulary I have learnt outside of class. You can also try to use mneumonics and songs to learn them, so that they stick in your head (when I was a kid, I remember learning the Arabic names for fruit by singing the vocab list to the tune of ‘centuries’ by fall out boy - it was very effective!). Also, try to write them down, and keep on testing yourself on them. Note down any useful extra words as well, though you don’t have to memorise them. They are just nice.
For each topic, try and generate some points to make before you have to write or speak about them. For example, if you have to talk about the generation divide in your target language, then try writing down your opinions in English first. Then, try figuring out a few ways to express those points in your target language. Maybe try memorising some set phrases, or relevant strings of vocabulary (credit to @wilstudies for this idea!).
Do practice questions. Use practice questions for grammar especially. Also, try doing exam specific practice, like reading and listening tasks. You can use work/textbooks for this. You might also be able to find them online.
It’s kind of a no brainer, but don’t waste your lessons. Do all the tasks set for you, even if you don’t like them, and do your homework. Also, make sure to ask your teacher for the meanings of certain words, or to explain grammar you don’t understand. Maybe try speaking in your target language during your lessons with the person you are sitting beside.
Immerse. Try watching youtube videos, and read social media posts in your target language in your free time. Maybe listen to a podcast while you are walking to school, or read fanfiction when you are bored. Switch your phone’s language to your target language. Just try to listen to and read content that you can understand at least 70% of.
Thanks for reading this post! I hope it was useful to you!