Kirsten (kirstenlouise) wrote in linguaphiles,

Beginning French Recommendations

I would pretend that I’m at least qualified enough to greet you in French, but it would be a lie.

I come to you today seeing recommendations for a book that will help me with learning French. I’ll be taking an introductory course at university this coming fall and I’ve gathered from user reviews that the textbook we’ll be using (Mais Oui!) is disappointing at best. I think the gist of one review, which may not have been on Amazon, was that it would take an incredible teacher to drag students through such an awful book.

I don’t need verb books or dictionaries, but something more along the lines of a teach-yourself-at-home sort of course that I can work through this summer just to give me some bearings in the language. I’ve taken four years of Latin, so I at least have some experience with learning a foreign language, but for some reason I’m really nervous about learning French and I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up in the course if I’m not already a few steps ahead. Latin, after all, never required me to be able to hold a conversation.

Naturally, I don’t expect to learn a language in two months. I’d just like a sort of passing familiarity with the road map, if you will, so I don’t panic when anything especially nasty comes up. I’m especially worried about my pronunciation and accent being atrocious, if that has any effect on recommendations.

I’d appreciate any wisdom you can offer, and I apologize if this question has been frequently asked and I’ve just missed it. Thank you. :)

P.S. I wondered if the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Learning French is a waste of money, or if it would be okay for my purposes.

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