We find the best re­sources for brush­ing up your lan­guage skills.

France - - Bienvenue -

Acon­ver­sa­tion about lan­guages that I had with two teenagers gave me cause for con­cern. They told me that “learn­ing French was point­less”, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. While English is con­sid­ered the lan­guage of busi­ness, learn­ing a for­eign lan­guage will open your mind to a new world of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Any­one wish­ing to un­der­stand and take part in ev­ery­day French con­ver­sa­tions should get a copy of French Slang: Do you speak the real French? (Creates­pace In­de­pen­dent Pub­lish­ing, £6.90). The book fea­tures around 600 col­lo­quial phrases, split into 12 top­ics, and has a use­ful warn­ing sym­bol against some words to pre­vent you from un­wit­tingly of­fend­ing peo­ple!

A cou­ple of apps will also help you to im­prove your con­ver­sa­tional skills. The Rosetta Stone: Learn Lan­guages app (roset­ta­s­ is based on the full

im­mer­sion method and comes with in­ter­ac­tive word games that will ex­pand your vo­cab­u­lary for ev­ery­thing from so­cial­is­ing with friends to hol­i­days. French Lan­guage Guide & Au­dio from World No­mads (jour­­no­ in­cludes a con­ver­sa­tion les­son with a na­tive speaker and con­tains 150 travel phrases. Both apps are free to down­load in their ba­sic form from the App Store.

If your young ones are start­ing to ex­press an in­ter­est in French, they will en­joy Am I small? Je suis pe­tite, moi? (Creates­pace In­de­pen­dent Pub­lish­ing Plat­form, £4.99). Told from the per­spec­tive of mag­i­cal crea­tures, the story is full of sim­ple French words, and re­in­forces learn­ing through rep­e­ti­tions.

For a lit­tle light re­lief, seek out a DVD of the film OSS 117: Le Caire, Nid d’es­pi­ons. This James Bond spoof stars Jean Du­jardin in his pre- Artist days, and will have you learn­ing and laugh­ing si­mul­ta­ne­ously with its hi­lar­i­ous stunts and fast-paced di­a­logue.

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