Get your French up to scratch – for free!

It’s true that a stay in Paris will be even better if you speak the language a little…

The French love it when someone from abroad makes a little effort to speak the language, rather than just grunting and pointing. It’s hard sometimes when you don’t have basic language skills, or you’re just too shy to get the words out. I myself have done my fair share of hopeless stuttering and blushing abroad…

Anyway, a solution may be at hand. And it’s free!

Mango is a new site that has a selection of language courses on offer – including French for English speakers – that you can do on the web at your own rate and when you have the time. There are 100 lessons, broken down into chapters, with help with pronunciation, and amazingly the whole thing is free. You just need to provide your e-mail address.

Like a lot of websites, it’s not clear how Mango is going to make its money (perhaps with ads or additional future services?) and for the moment it’s in beta, but it does look very promising. Try it out, and make your visit to Paris go even better!

Also of note: the new CoffeBreak French course which starts 26th September. It’s a podcast of short weekly lessons that you can subscribe to via iTunes. The basic lessons are free, but you can also pay for a subscription to additional documentation and top-up lessons.

I’ve used their Spanish course in the past, and it was really clear and well-paced. Click here to subscribe (you’ll need iTunes).

And in case you’re wondering, no we are not affiliated with either of the sites in any way, and don’t get any money for recommending them; we just thought they might come in handy! Bonne chance!