Are you thinking of buying a house in France or a French speaking country?
You will almost certainly be doing some decorating, and may even be employing the services of a builder! Either way, don’t leave it to chance that they speak good enough English – do your own preparation and groundwork and learn the following terms.
Builder: l’entrepenneur Plumber: le plombier Electrician: l’électricien Cabinet-maker: l’ébéniste Carpentry: la charpenterie Brick layer/mason: le maçon Architect: l’architect Chimney sweep: le ramoneur Craftsman: l’artisan Foreman: le contremaître Locksmith: le serrurier
Damp-proof course: la couche isolante Rising damp: l’infiltration Damp: la humidité Woodworm: le vers de bois Dry rot: la carie sèche Crack: la lézarde / la fissure
Tools and Materials
Partition wall: la paroi Wood-burning stove: le poêle
Central heating: le chauffage central Under-floor heating: le chauffage sous-sol Mains drainage: le tout à l’égout Mains water: l’eau de la ville Stop cock: la robinet de fermeture Septic tank: la fosse septique Fuse-box: le coupe-circuit Mains cable: câble de distribution Chipboard: l’aggloméré
Emulsion paint: la peinture émulsion Masonry paint: la peinture crépi Gloss: la lustre Matt: mat Sandpaper: le papier de verre To prime: apprêter Undercoat: la sous-couche Scaffolding: l’échafaudage Skip: la benne
Listen to the first level 1 article at https://rapidefrench.com. Write it down in French – every word – and then check it against the transcript provided to see if you got all the words right, made any spelling mistakes, missed any accents (or got them the wrong way) etc. Then translate the article into English and check against the translation provided.
Did you find it easy? Then work your way up the levels until you get to the point that you are struggling to understand all the words. At this point use the speedy vocab link (or look up words in a dictionary).
You will now be accelerating your French Language Learning.
Listen to audio or watch recordings – essential if you want to go to French and understand and ultimately speak French.
Get away from straight translation from English – get familiar with phrases and responses that you know well enough to not need to translate it word by word.
Write down your own transcripts of audio or video – French learners often focus only on the gist and pick out the key words but ignore the linking words that give the meaning and context; writing it down forces you to work out every word.
Use repetition – most of us can’t learn a vocab list and then remember it 6 months later – do frequent mini-tests on what you have already learnt; you’ll also be amazed and motivated by what you do remember.
Learn the Grammar – even if you want to focus on speaking and listening you will be held back if you don’t recognise the difference between the future, the past, the present and the conditional; so ensure that basic grammar makes up at least a small part of your weekly routine.
Approach French in topics – study a topic at a time so your mind makes links between related grammar, vocabulary and ideas.
Learn the French that fits you – for example people are likely ask you what you do so learn off by heart the responses to explain why you are in France, what you do and where you are from.
Focus on which words are accented as well as pronunciation – otherwise you’ll struggle to understand or be understood – for example the negative hint ‘ne’ of ‘ne … pas’ is usually just a touch of the ‘n’ or even not heard at all.
Study little and often – 15 minutes in the morning, at lunchtime and in the evening every day on top of a weekly longer lesson or study session is perfect!
Work out what motivates you – if you’re not motivated you will give up, or at best won’t practice every day. Do you need to join a class? Do you need some conversation? Do you need to have a specific target?
Take a recording of a French speaker, translate it with the support of a word list and interactive translation tool, then compare a translation with your effort, and finally go back to the translations and understand it fully. That’s the concept in one sentence.
In this blog we’ll give you some of the supporting grammar and French language tips, and the occasional cultural interest blog. We want you to be motiviated to learn – half the battle is good learning/teaching, the other is motivation.
And we’d like to hear back from you – ideas, suggestions and things you find difficult – all welcome.