How to read in French, advices to take the plunge!

Here are few advices to read in French without being discouraged.

My first tip: don't stop on the words you don't know!

The important point is not to understand everything but to understand the general idea of ​​what you are reading. The more you read, the more details you will understand. Be patient!

  • Read a paragraph for the first time without focusing on what you don't understand. Try to understand the main idea. If you got the main idea, go ahead. Otherwise, read again and you will see that the second time you will understand more things.

  • Do not look up all the words you do not know in google translate or you will be quickly discouraged. You can obviously search for a few words, but not too many. Otherwise, you will lose the general idea of ​​the sentence.

My second tip: start by reading short stories. Starting by reading a Maupassant novel is not really a good idea because you will get discouraged after reading 3 pages. Short-edition is a website where you can read a lot of short stories for free in very different styles. Some are difficult but others are more accessible. How to choose among all these short stories? If you are not used to reading in French, I advise you to start with the "very very short" short stories. Read the beginning of the story under the headline. If you feel comfortable with these few lines, go for it. If you are feeling adventurous, do not hesitate to try reading longer one. "Step by step" is the key to success! Here is a small selection:

Easy level

Mr Teddy

How will Lily manage to overcome her shyness?

L'exposition d'une photographie

Discover the secret garden of Wadih, a famous painter.

Petite conversation entre amies

Read a conversation between friends (or not?)

Average level

Une part de Noël

A nice Christmas story.

Le lundi (with audio)

The story of an eventful Monday.

Nom d'un chien

For those who like dogs (or not!)

When you're confortable with short stories, plunge into the novels !

Even if you are passionate about science fiction and classic books, maybe you should not start with those novels. Vocabulary and style (for classic books) may be difficult.

I advise you to read more modern litterature instead.

I will write a post on some interesting books later.

In the meantime, have a nice reading!

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