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French Language Resources

Steve Cohen

Some sources of French language audio with accompanying transcripts on the web. Use these sites to practice your French.

Typing French Accents

To type an accent on the message board, hold down ALT and type the corresponding 3 digit number using the number pad:

French Accents

Typing French Accents

Word Reference

Hold down ALT and type numbers using numberpad:

à 133 - - À 0192
â 131 - - Â 0194
ä 132 - - Ä 142
æ 145 - - Æ 146
ç 135 - - Ç 128
é 130 - - É 144
è 138 - - È 0200
ê 136 - - Ê 0202
ë 137 - - Ë 0203
î 140 - - Î 0206
ï 139 - - Ï 0207
ô 147 - - Ô 0212
œ 0156 - - Œ 0140
ù 151 - - Ù 0217
û 150 - - Û 0219
ü 129 - - Ü 154
« 174 - - » 175

Magazines for Learning French

Champs-Elysées: www.champs-elysees.com
You receive one audio magazine on CD per month, spoken in French. You also receive the complete transcript in French and notes, in English, that explain some of the more difficult uses of language. Each issue a selection of articles in various categories, all related to France (e.g. cinema, current events, politics, homage, theater). In addition to learning the French language you also learn about French news, politics and culture. I subscribe to this audio magazine for both Italian and French. It is expensive to subscribe, but I really like this tool for learning language.

French Literature on the Web

Bonne Nouvelles: www.bonnesnouvelles.net
Bonne Nouvelles (good short stories - the site lives up to its name) is a site dedicated to readings of contemporary short stories in French with accompanying text (French only). Authors contribute their works. Locate a title on the "Nouvelles par titre" page, or select a title by a particular author located on the "Nouvelles par auteur" page and display the text. Click on the audio symbol to play the sound (MP3 format). You can also see all the titles in the "Textes audio" page.

Most of the excellent readings are done by the site's creator, Nicole Amann. The site design is intentionally simple and free of graphics to facilitate access to the spoken material by the visually impaired. The audio files are MP3; you can download them to your computer or portable MP3 player.

The home page includes the description:
<Espace littéraire audio dédié aux nouvelles accessible aux personnes voyantes et non voyantes.>
Translation: An audio literary site dedicated to short stories for sighted and non sighted people.

Note: June 2005. Bonne Nouvelles has moved to a new server and domain name.

Lire dans le noir: www.liredanslenoir.com
The site Lire dans le noir sells cassette and CD recordings of French literary works. The recordings are designed to make the works accessible to the sight impaired. This is a commercial site and you need to purchase the CDs. However, samples (around 2 minutes of sound) are available. Since some of the titles are out of copyright classics by well known French authors, it may be possible to locate online versions of the texts which match the readings in the samples (although I haven't managed to locate any online).

French News Broadcasts on the Web

La langue française sur RFI: www.rfi.fr/Fichiers/langue_francaise/index.asp
This site includes several links with French language news broadcasts and some instructional language lessons. Le journal en francais facile provides a daily news summary (11 minutes) and a link with the accompanying text version. Both Real and Media Player versions of the audio are available. The télécharger (download) symbols allow you to save the sound files to your computer.

The link "Audio a la carte" under "Écouter" allows selection of audio from a day's broadcast schedule. Early evening gives current news broadcast. The direct link is:

Broadcast archives provide sound for various programs, searchable by keyword and date. Accompanying text is available for each of the archived broadcasts. An example: the following link accesses editorials by Nicolas Beytout; the text versions are each around one screen length.

Europe 1 Live: www.europe1.fr/infos/chroniques/
A selection of broadcasts aired from 2000-june 2003 (both sound and *approximate* transcripts) by category (politique, sport, economie, etc.).

La Guinguette: www.laguinguette.com
An online magazine of current news and cultural articles for English speakers who are learning French. The site offers a good number of free articles, updated monthly. Additional archived articles and commentary are available with a paid subscription (15 euro annual membership); information on the site says the subscription allows access to over 100 articles containing over 25 hours of sound with printed transcripts plus exclusive access to 3 new articles every month. Guests can see summary versions of the archived content by selecting the "Archives" button at the bottom of the home page.

French Pronunciation and Translations on the Web

Next Up: www.nextup.com/nvdemo.html
This page allows you to type in a word or phrase in French (or a few other languages), then hear it spoken. Enter the word or words, select the language, then click Go to hear it. It is slow to create and download the sound file.


www.transparent.com: They will email you the word of the day in selected languages (click Languages and you will see word of the day).

www.wordreference.com: Harper Collins online dictionary for several languages.

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