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The top reason why you might be interested in learning French as a new language is because almost every second person has a secret wish of visiting France once in their lifetime. It might also just be a good idea to learn the language, even if just the basics if you plan to travel to the country. The French are infamous for their treatment of those who cannot speak their lovely language or do not understand what they might be saying.

Before you start packing your bags at the first opportunity, take some time to learn the language as well as you could possibly grasp. As long as you are able to construct your sentences well enough you'll be alright. You must also be able to read road signs and dish out the right cash when a shopkeeper asks for it.

What is more interesting is that, French is actually spoken by over three hundred and fifty million people worldwide either as a first language or as second. It is the official language for over thirty countries. There is a high probability that you might just find a course in the language handy to you at some time in your life.

Online courses are a very convenient, inexpensive and sometimes free approach to learning French. There are several websites that can be found through a simple search on any search engine. Most of these sites offer a few preliminary and short courses for basic learning for free and you could purchase the higher level of lessons on the website, for a reasonable price.

These lessons are designed to be extremely user friendly and can be changed and set according to your comfort zone with the language. There are audio training sessions also available with your regular course to improve your pronunciation. They work in the same format as any other French training institute would work. They improve your skills in reading and speaking of the language with a certain amount of trained fluency. They help train up your level of pronunciation and continuously test your grammatical skills, laying stress on gender, articles, tenses and such.

Learning French online helps a student to learn the language in a more relaxed atmosphere taking his own time to grasp the language correctly. Errors and areas of doubt can be checked and repeated as many number of times as required. Study online without having to worry about running out of time or patience with the teacher or inviting the giggles of other students if you mispronounce something.

Therefore, online courses have made learning French much simpler. The student can learn at his own pace and can take a class whenever he wants. All he would need is an access to the internet, and he could listen to an audio lesson or take some grammar tests, thus making the process relaxing and simple.

If he wants to make his course portable and carry it around on his iPod or mp3player, he can just download an audio lesson and listen to it at his own leisure. Online courses are interactive, using fun tests in the form of games as well as to teach you a simple grammatical tool and they don't even last long. There is close to no chance that you would be bored and you will find yourself picking up the language very quickly. These online French websites also have interactive forums, where you could post questions if you have a doubt to be cleared and there are teachers who could clarify them for you. Thus the internet has made it so simple to break the language barrier.

Speak French like the French do! Take French language courses and classes online and speak French with confidence. Visit SmartFrench.com for a free demo lesson.

Article Source: Learn French Online before You go to France

 
Ten years ago, a Memorial-area couple by the names of John and Jennifer Randall contacted us. They had just bought a beautiful lot located off of Piney Point drive. Because Jennifer loved the French, and because John was Acadian from Louisiana, they had already decided to have their home built in the style of a modern French country house. The Randall’s wanted to landscape the property in accordance with a European theme, with a paver driveway and partier garden in the front, and a very large and uniquely styled pool in the back to host summer parties. However, the premier element to this landscaping project was to be a private morning garden they asked us to create in the far East corner of their yard. The Randall’s wanted this corner set apart as separate, personal space, consistent with French design elements, but with the consciousness of Zen. It was to be a place just for the two of them to relax, talk quietly, and read in the early morning and evening hours of the day.

To establish the feeling of Zen, we first built a very special kind of fountain in the center of the morning garden known as a disappearing fountain. (Another term you may have heard to describe this feature is vanishing fountain.) The fountain itself was made from a cast iron container shaped like a Louisiana sugar cauldron. This not only supported the French elements of the landscape, but also directly referenced John’s Acadian origins. The concrete water tank was concealed underground beneath the cauldron, and hidden jets filled its center to overflowing, causing it to pour over the sides and onto the steel mesh deck that was concealed under dark gravel. There, it circulated back into the tank, to be returned to the fountain again by a silent pump. This deceptively simple design created the illusion that there was no base to the fountain, and that the water itself was mysteriously vanishing back into the Earth.

To establish geometry and symmetry in the center of the morning garden, we laid down a hardscape/softscape space in the grass that surrounded the fountain. We interspersed travertine blocks through the lawn in such a way as to form proportional, perfectly-shaped squares of green space that alternated like a checkerboard within the stonework. In a few of these places, we further ornamented the softscape with the same gravel that surrounded the vanishing fountain. This sharp contrast of light and darkness provided the ever so subtle suggestion of Yin and Yang that added the Zen element the Randall’s wanted to an otherwise European design theme.

We then planted greenery all along the wooden walls that surrounded the property, deliberately integrating curved spaces into the linear planting areas to soften the sharp right angles of both the walls and the hardscape/softscape design. Palm and bottlebrush trees worked to give the morning garden a sense of private enclosure, while azaleas, seasonal flowers, and boxwoods created gentle ornamental touches and alternating shades of light and dark ground cover that maintained the French theme of the landscape.

The project was completed with the construction of a private patio just large enough to seat two people. Here, the Randall’s could read the paper at sunrise from an elevated vantage point overlooking the fountain and greenery. While their family, friends, and neighbors instantly fell in love with the architecture of the house and the entertainment areas surrounding the pool, the Randall’s always told us that, out of all the many elements we designed in their landscape, they loved their morning garden the most.

Jeff Halper is passionate for Landscaping and wants to share infomation about that passion. At Exterior Worlds you can read more about Morning Gardens or Landscape Design

Article Source: French Morning Garden Landscaping Project

 
People living in the northern United States enjoy making casual trips to Canada for a variety of reasons. It is a beautiful country. Many people go there on vacation, for a weekend away or on business. Visiting a French speaking nation on vacation makes you realize that it can be uncomfortable and even a little scary when you don't understand what someone is saying to you. You may even feel like a burden to the people that have to translate for you. Many people who live near the Canadian border comment that they would love to speak French. But what is the smart way to learn all of the aspects of the French language? Free online French courses are available in a variety of options.

Some people would like to learn French with the use of books. Reading and writing French and being able to speak it are completely different. Books can be an effective way to learn words and phrases, but they do not give you confidence that you are pronouncing the words correctly. Emphasizing the correct word in a sentence is very important in any culture. Saying the same sentence can be either complimentary or offensive, depending on the way you say it. The only way to really understand this is to hear the language spoken fluently and be taught what words should be emphasized and why.

Others like to learn just by listening to the language being spoken by natives in real conversation. You will benefit from this approach because you would understand the accent and pronunciation of words and phrases. This is intriguing; however it leaves a lot to the imagination and a lot to assume. This technique can also take a very long time and since there may be no verification that you are speaking the language correctly and a lot of mistakes can be made. Ask permission to record the conversation so you may listen to it multiple times.

Some people feel that verbal lessons are the smartest way to learn French. While this is a good way to understand how to pronounce words and what phrases are well accepted, the spelling of certain words is not always clear. If you are going to be driving in an area where the signs are French, the last thing you need is to stop and figure out what the sign says. Reading anything from menus to corporate materials, it is important that you not only speak and understand the language, but you have to be able to read and write it as well.

By combining all of the above techniques, you can efficiently and accurately learn to read, write, and speak French. Knowing how to write a sentence in French will do you no good when you are looking for directions in an unfamiliar town. You have to be able to speak French fluently. You have to know and understand every aspect of the language in order to effectively speak and read it. Many free online French courses combine audio and visual techniques to better help you learn French.

Going to another country can be unsettling, especially if you are unprepared. Find a smart and effective way to speak, read, write, and understand the native language. Colleges offer French courses in a classroom atmosphere and you can find any number of online French courses on the Internet. Knowing how to speak French when you're visiting a French speaking country can ease the pressure and you will enjoy your vacation all the more!

Speak French like the French do! Take French language courses and classes online and speak French with confidence. Visit SmartFrench.com for a free demo lesson.

Article Source: Learn French for Your Weekend Getaway or Summer Vacation

 
Learning a new language may sound pretty intimidating to some. With so many differences between languages on Earth, what happens if you pronounce something incorrectly and offend someone unintentionally? Printed books or papers that teach languages often cause just that type of situation simply because it is difficult to "see" accents and pronunciation. Even the most effectively marked punctuation marks may be misunderstood and ultimately mispronounced. Overall, the best method of learning a foreign language is via audio CD or other audible means.

Audio and Video French Lessons

The best way to learn is to do. That simple fact can often be applied to anything in life. CD and Video based French lessons allow each person the opportunity listen, read and speak. Some CD-ROM based French lessons are comprised of print, audio and video to give a better-rounded feel for the language itself. You see the words in print so you can read them while hearing them spoken by a native French-speaking person. This particular method of learning French teaches reading, writing and speaking simultaneously.

Organization and Realism

Like anything else in life, anything worth doing is worth doing well. Organization is a key issue where any type of education is involved. Language CD-ROMs and DVDs are often structured to start slowly and build up gradually. First you will learn words like greetings and salutations that are used on a regular basis in real world situations. After you've mastered greetings and initial conversation-starting words, you'll slowly move on to more complex question and answer situations. The ability to hold a real conversation will come more quickly than you may realize. Within as few as 4 hours of lessons, you should be able to hold conversations in a relatively natural tone.

Anyone can learn to read and speak French. If your primary goal is to simply speak the language, any online French lesson or even offline French lesson will do. Talking word-by-word and using a language-to-language dictionary is something the amateur tourist does just to get by. By doing this travelers are not only more likely to offend someone unintentionally, they may also find themselves in undesirable circumstances. The inability to ask appropriate questions and fully understand the answer could mean the difference between a mistake and a great international vacation.

On the other hand, if you are looking to fit seamlessly into French society on your upcoming European vacation, speaking the language very well is imperative. You must not only be able to speak the words of the language; you must be able to sound French in your pronunciation of their words. French lessons that incorporate print with audio and video are the most desirable and a very smart way to learn French.

CD-ROMs and DVDs on learning foreign languages are nearly endless. When choosing the online French program that works best for you, do thorough research and make the smart decision. Choose a program that implements printed text, audio and video conversations between native French speaking individuals. The best way to learn a language is to hear it, then speak it. French CD-ROM based lessons offer the flexibility of reviewing each lesson as many times as it takes to learn the words, lesson and conversation taught in that lesson.

Speak French like the French do! Take French language courses and classes online and speak French with confidence. Visit SmartFrench.com for a free demo lesson.

Article Source: Learn French the Smart Way

 
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