2 minutes of French listening: aboutir à…

From the FluentListener newsletter

Hello All,

To help you with your listening habit: 2 minutes of listening today – play this sound 8 times.

It doesn’t matter if you hear one word or all of them. All that matters is that you learn to recognize one or two new words today.

For those of you who have a few more minutes today, go to our…

Free listening comprehension links

My advice for (busy) adults just getting started with listening

  • If fluency were a 3-month sprint, I’d talk to you about getting serious and grinding through verb conjugation exercises. But fluency is not a 3-month sprint. Instead, it’s an 18- to 24-month endeavor, like training to run your first marathon.
  • So: every day should be an easy day. Don’t burn yourself out doing things that are not fun, such as memorizing verb forms.
  • Download interviews from the member’s area into your phone and listen when you can during the day.
  • For the words you cannot catch, come back to the member’s area and use the tools:
    • look at the transcript/translation (It’s not cheating! :-))
    • play the slowed-down version of the sound
    • use the loop feature of the player to repeat short snippets that are hard to catch
    • listen and repeat the slow-echoing versions for interviews that have those versions available
  • Listen when you can during the day until you hear 80% of the words
  • Each time you listen, you’ll catch new words you didn’t hear on previous listens.
  • Give yourself 2 to 4 weeks per interview, listening during your daily walk or while doing housework
  • When you can catch 80% of the words, the choice is up to you: keep listening to get over 80%… or move on to a new interview!

Thanks to all of you who have joined! Having your support helps me finance new interviews and improvements to the site. For those of you considering full access, please click here for details on what you get.

Best regards,
David Tolman
FluentListener.com

Think in French: how to say, “were you expecting that?”

From the FluentListener newsletter.

Direct Link for members : (La Fleuriste – download recordings and pdf here)

Hello All,
Limber up your ears and your lips: we’re going to do some French Oral Gymnastics!
Today, you’ll practice saying the French words for, “did you expect that to happen?” (Update: here is another example of the same expression.)

Please repeat after the speakers 8 times.

Echoing tips:

  • First line:
    • You see two examples of vous. Listen to hear the Z sound at the end of both vous. Without this vowel sound, a fast speaker could run the ou of vous and the ê of êtes together. Then, your ear might think it is hearing one syllable instead of two separate syllables.
  • Second line:
    • Again, you see two vous in this line; but here, only the second one has the Z sound. The first vous is followed by a consonant: no chance of getting confused and thinking that you hear one syllable instead of two. The second vous is followed by a vowel. So that the ou and the following a don’t run together and trick the ear into thinking it is hearing a single syllable, we need a liason to break them apart so that you hear both distinctly.
    • When you pronounce dépité, makes sure that you pronounce that i as eee. (As an English speaker, you are going to tend to pronounce that i like the i in the English word ‘hit.’ But don’t worry: this is not one of those pronunciation mistakes that will cause a French person to misunderstand you.)
  • Third line:
    • Here, you have On twice; but they are pronounced differently. Do you hear the difference? The first On ends with a nasal sound; but the second On has that nasal sound and then a noticeable N sound. Notice that, to the ear, it’s actually O+nasal sound……. n’était. So, it almost sounds as if the N is at the beginning of était, right? This pronounced N helps separate the vowel sound of On from the vowel sound of était. So, again, a liaison to avoid having vowel sounds from separate words running together and tricking you into thinking that you are hearing one syllable instead of two.
  • Fourth line:
    • Notice that the ts at the ends of contents and clients are silent. All you hear is that nasal n sound but no T or S sound.
    • The eu should not sound like the ou in vous. Instead, it should be that tight, front-of-the mouth U sound.

Ok! Now that you know all of that stuff intellectually, now that you hear those sounds, practice echoing them correctly after the native speakers so that all of that becomes automatic and you don’t have to think about it next time.

For members: the slow echoing recordings can be downloaded so that you can practice echoing them in the car. (Not dangerous because it does not require reading while driving!)

If you don’t know what I mean by ‘echoing,’ here you are: I mean repeating just after the speaker. Instead of saying the words at the same time, you allow a slight delay. You may need to turn the sound up a bit in order to hear the speaker’s voice above your own. Look out for words that are hard to pronounce. When you find one, experiment with moving your tongue and lips in new ways until you find a movement that makes that word easier to pronounce. I find this to be challenging but fun. I hope you enjoy it!

Best regards,
David Tolman
Picture of David
Almost 20 years bringing you these recordings!
Thanks for all of your nice emails over the years.

Best regards,
David.Tolman@FluentListener.com
FluentListener.com

Fun French interview – a French ‘fleuriste’ confides that some of her customers drive her crazy

From the FluentListener newsletter.

Direct Link for members : (La Fleuriste – download recordings and pdf here)

Hello All,
Video at the bottom of the email.

Véronique L. is one of out best interviewers. You can hear her laugh in this one.

I hope you enjoy it!

PS: here is a video to explain how to get the most out of these newsletters.

French Listening Comprehension exercise: renting a country cottage in Provence

From the FluentListener newsletter.

Hello French learners!
Welcome to this week’s listening comprehension exercise, you have the 3 versions of recordings that members get when they download this interview: original, slooowed-down 25% and what I call ‘pronuniciation focus.’ (To feel it work for you, repeat after the speakers.)

  • First, read through the transcript/translation.
  • Scroll back up to the “play button” to play the sound.
  • Listen for the words you see in the transcript. Listen over and over, until you hear every word – that should take 15 to 20 listens.

Original :

Slowed-down 25%

Pronunciation focus (listen and repeat)



Get this whole interview (and many others) for $14.85!
Click here to see membership options.
Click here to see the list of interviews

Already a paying member?
Complete interview: Louer un gîte rural en France.
Download the MP3s and PDF

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French Listening Comprehension exercise: how the Popes ended up in France

Hello French learners!
Welcome to this week’s listening comprehension exercise, from the Papal Palace in… Avignon. (That’s right, Avignon and not Rome.)

  • First, read through the transcript/translation.
  • Scroll back up to the “play button” to play the sound.
  • Listen for the words you see in the transcript. Listen over and over, until you hear every word – that should take 15 to 20 listens.
  • If you haven’t taken the ‘How-to-listen‘ course, sign up by clicking here.

Original :

Slowed-down 25%

Get this whole interview (and many others)!
Click here to see membership options.
Click here to see the list of interviews

Already a paying member? Here is the link for the complete interview: La Palais des Papes à Avignon.

Not ready to join but want to improve your French? Sign up for our email newsletter and get a new sample every week.

Still haven’t signed up for membership? Here’s a taste of what you’re missing…