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Learning French

November 12, 2000

If you have decided to learn French, you are not alone. French is the official language of 33 countries and is spoken by 125 million people around the world. Immerse yourself in French by singing songs, hearing conversations, playing interactive games, and discovering the richness of French culture through these direct links on The Times Launch Point Web site:

Level 1

Les Chiffres de 0 a 20: Find out how to count from 0 (zero) to 20 (vingt) by going to this colorful animated site.

Learn French for Kids: With roughly 40% to 50% of English words coming from French, you can easily recognize many French words, such as le chocolat and le biscuit. Click on the French word to hear how to say such useful phrases as "Comment ca va?" for "How are you?" and "C'est combien?" for "How much?"

Daniel's English-French Children's Songs: Singing songs is a fun way to learn another language. Listen to French versions of such familiar tunes as "The ABC Song" as well as "Frere Jacques."

Level 2

A Beginner's Guide to French: Learn about letters, numbers and special characters, find out why French and English words that are very similar are called cognates, and explore French culture by learning how to order in a French restaurant and sing the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise."

French Vocabulary and Pronunciation for Beginners: Learn useful words and phrases ranging from colors, clothing and the calendar to useful basics such as introductions, greetings, travel phrases and the weather.

Mont Bleu Greeting Cards: Now that you know the basics, practice what you've learned by sending birthday wishes, thank you notes and other greetings to your friends from this whimsical French card "boutique."

Level 3

BBC Knowledge-Languages: French: Whether you are at the beginning, intermediate or advanced levels, listening to video and audio clips and trying interactive activities can help you practice your French and learn about French culture and daily life, including useful business and travel phrases and even some French fashion tips.

Quia French Top 20 Activities: Practice your new vocabulary by playing special games of concentration, hangman, and other games in written French. Topics include numbers, days of the week, clothes, and family.

Tex's French Grammar: Let Tex the armadillo give you illustrated and clear explanations of grammar and parts of speech. Each explanation comes with a short quiz, which is a great way to prepare for intermediate and advanced exams!


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

What number between 1 and 20 is spelled the same in French and English?

CLUE: See Les Chiffres de 0 a 20

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 150 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: Reunification Day celebrates the reunion of the former East and West Germany.

Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Sonia Velazquez, Maureen Callaghan and Anna Manring.

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