When learning French, we often ask ourselves the following questions: how to learn to write well, how to enrich our vocabulary and improve your ability to express ideas? How can you improve by having fun and having fun?
The best advice is probably to read books, stories, novels, comics in their original version, as much as possible!
Many people think that to read a book you have to have an extraordinary level, but that is not true. 300 well-chosen words can be enough to understand a text globally. From the first weeks of learning the French language, you can enjoy the pleasure of reading directly in French, follow a few tips:
The choice of readings
You can use readings that indicate the level you need to understand: you can find this type of book in many bookshops in the section “Français Langue Etrangère.” Levels agree with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR): A1 (beginner), A2 (elementary), B1 (intermediate), B2 (independent), C1 (advanced), C2 (advanced).
You can also read bilingual books with the original version and the translation into your language on the same page. It is a useful technique for learning new words and sentences because both versions are available at a glance. This way, if you don’t understand a word or a passage, the translation of complicated words is right next door, so you don’t have to look for them!
Method for reading books in French
Don’t try to translate all the words you don’t know, use context to understand the meaning of the sentences. Agree not to understand all the words in the text!
Identify key phrases and if you don’t understand them, search the dictionary for essential words, write down what they mean.
Start with short stories, texts, so you don’t get tired and gain confidence in your knowledge. There is no need to read a thick, complicated book.
Then, continue with the novels, the best thing is to choose the books “that you take,” you will finish them much faster, and you will enjoy the pleasure of reading in French!
Don’t get discouraged at the beginning: sometimes it is necessary to repeat the first chapter several times and get used to this exercise a little before continuing the reading. It is an excellent activity to learn French and develop your reading skills.
3 books to improve your French!
Book n°1 – L’Etranger, by Albert Camus
The story: “Meursault, who lives in French Algeria, learns of his mother’s death. His reaction is cold: he doesn’t have the attitude of expecting a grieving son; he doesn’t cry, doesn’t want to simulate a feeling of sorrow he doesn’t feel…”
Book n°2 – Les Rivières Pourpres, by Jean Christophe Grangé
The Story: “On the same day, almost three hundred kilometers away, two policemen received two unrelated cases. During their investigations, and as the bodies follow one another and the shocking revelations multiply, the paths of the two policemen will cross. By joining forces and sharing information, they will finally unravel the secret of the Purple Rivers plot, and bring to light a truth that no one could have suspected.”
Book n°3 – L’amour dure trois ans, by Frédéric Beigbeder
The story: “In the beginning, everything is beautiful. You can’t believe you’re so in love. You write books about it. You get married as soon as possible, why think when you’re happy? In the second year, things start to change. You make love less and less often, and you think it’s okay. You defend marriage in front of your single friends who don’t recognize you anymore. In the third year, you look at passers-by. You go out more and more often: it prevents you from talking. Soon there comes a time when you can no longer support your wife because you have fallen in love with someone else. You are starting a new book…”