We are trying to come up with a short introduction to LingQ followed by an introduction to the language that the learner is studying. The learner would hear the intro and do a short lesson. If he/she completes the simple lessons he would earn a free online discussion with a tutor.
There are two parts, but we may combine them into one. The lessons are short, but the longer introductory narrative would be available to listen to, preferably in the language of the learner.
We are still at an early stage. Please advise.
Also please advise if you would like to do for some other languages what I have attempted to do for French. We can collaborate on this.
Hi,this is Steve, the founder of LingQ.
Welcome. Be prepared to enjoy yourself and learn. LingQ is different from most language learning systems. At LingQ we want you to first understand the language you are learning, and to notice the words and patterns of the language. All of the features in our system are designed to make sure you do that. Once you have done that you will find that speaking and writing will become much easier.
Your main activities are to listen and read and to save words and phrases to your own personal database, for regular review. There are many different items of content in our Library for you to choose from. I recommend that you focus on the items that appear in the My Level shelf in our library, since these should be most appropriate for your level.
Just relax. Do not worry about what you can’t do or can’t remember. Language learning is a gradual, and natural process. You will steadily acquire new habits, the habits of another culture and language.
You will know when you want to speak and write, and LingQ provides you with lots of opportunity to do that. You can easily book discussions with native speakers, or submit writing for correction by our tutors.
I also recommend that you take the time to get to know our community. Make some friends with people who have similar interests. Get to know other members at our Forum.
To start things off, just do the simple lesson here below to get a feel for the pleasures of LingQing.
Your next step will be to study A Brief Introduction to English. If you complete the 5 lessons in A Brief Introduction to French you will receive a free online discussion with the tutor of your choice.
I speak English. Do you speak English?
I know you can learn to speak English at LingQ.
French is, to my ears, a lovely language, with its pleasant nasal sounds. In a way, part of what makes it pleasant is the fact that all the nouns have a gender, either masculine or feminine.
We have “le” for masculine things like “le pays”, the country, and “la” for feminine things like “la pomme” “the apple”. There is no rhyme or reason for the gender, except that the Romans did it. There are rules to help you remember the gender of nouns. You can find these in grammar books and by googling on the Internet. But it will take a long time to get used to the gender of nouns and to get them right. In my experience you will continue to make mistakes. Don’t worry about it, I don’t.
Another fun thing about gender is that the adjectives have to agree with the gender of the nouns. This means that we have “un grand pays” and “une grande pomme”. Another problem is that adjectives sometimes come before the noun, and sometimes come after the noun. You will learn to notice that on your own. Again there are some rules here, but I find that you just get used to it but doing a lot listening and reading, and saving phrases when you create LingQs.
French verbs are a bit of a challenge, and will be a part of your learning for a long time. Decide that you are going to like them and enjoy them.
First of all the form of the verb, that is to say the endings, change with each person. “Je parle, tu parles, il parle, nous parlons, vous parlez, ils parlent”. Since one of the delights of French is that letters are often silent, you may not hear the fact that the endings are different. This is great since you can fake it a little when you speak.
But there are other problems. There are many irregular verbs. So when we talk about going somewhere, we get “je vais, tu vas, il va, nous allons, vous allez, ils vont”. Nowadays it is easy to google “French verbs” and find tables with all of the forms of any verb you want. So I will not give any more examples here.
There are two very important verbs in French that are used to form the past tense. The verb which means “to have” , “avoir”, and the verb that means “to be”, “etre”. The French do not say “I ate”. They say “I have eaten” “j’ai mange”… They do not say “I went”. They say “I am gone” “je suis alle”. “Etre” is used for 16 verbs of motion and “avoir” for all the other verbs. You also need to know that verbs will often agree with the gender of the subject or the object of the verb. You can look up the rules but it will take a long time to get used to this idea. Just be aware of it and watch as the forms of some of the verbs change. If you are confused you can ask on the forum.
There are more tenses and more rules but I would not worry about them now. Rather you should just let yourself get used to the language. I recommend that you save every form of the verb that you come across at LingQ. Each form is a different tense or person, and the phrases that come with it are different each time. Do not be stingy with your LingQing. The more you LingQ the better you will learn.
Pronouns in French can be a little difficult to get used to. Just be aware that the form of the pronoun changes depending on whether the pronoun is a subject or object. Check out the tables you can find by googling “French pronouns”. But mostly just let yourself get used to the pronouns by LingQing them when you see them at LingQ.
That is enough explanation to get you going. French word order is very similar to English. Much of the vocabulary is similar. But there are differences. You are going to discover these differences and gradually get used to them. Be prepared to enjoy your studies and don’t put pressure on yourself.
Do the following five lessons and you will earn your free discussion with the tutor of your choice.
(Header) Nouns are either masculine and feminine. French uses articles, like English.
La pomme est sur la table.
Le livre est ici.
La pomme verte est sur la grade table.
La table est grande.
Le livre est vert.
(Header) Verbs change their form depending on person and tense.
Je mange une pomme.
tu vas a la maison
nous avons mange une grande tarte aux pommes.
Ils sont alles a la maison.
(Header) French verbs always require a subject, and often that is a pronoun. There are many forms of pronouns depending on how they are used. Don’t try to remember them. Just LingQ them and get used to them.
Nous avons vu la maison. Nous l’avons vue.
Je te donne la pomme. Je te la donne.
Je veux manger du pain.
To ask a question in French you can either reverse the word order, much like in English, or use the pattern of “is it that you are going?” “est-ce que vous allez?”.
Voulez-vous du pain?
Est-ce que vous voulez aller a la maison?
A-tu vu la voiture? Oui je l’ai vue.
Est-ce qu c’est la pomme que tu a achetee?
Pourquoi n’est tu pas venu?
Combien coute la voiture?
The French are not happy just saying “I am not”. They like to add another negative word. So they say “Je ne suis pas”. Watch for the double negatives.
Je n’aime pas la pluie.
Est-ce que tu aimes la pluie? Non, je ne l’aime pas.
Je n’ai jamais aime la pluie, mais j’aime la neige.
Moi, je n’aime pas la neige.