5 French Books to read for beginners
Hello folks! Comment ça va?
Today I dressed a list of 5 French books to read, that are suitable for beginners to intermediate levels. Though reading a book is a major step when learning a new language, it is important to go through with it. You might not feel like you absolutely need it, or not yet, or that speaking is more important, but eventually, you will feel much more confident about your abilities in the language targeted.
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Here are my top tips:
⦁ Read a book you already know.
The first book I read in English was the first Harry Potter. It was an easy choice. I knew the French version and when a whole paragraph wasn't making much sense, I could always remember more or less what was happening. It gave me the base I needed to keep reading.
⦁ Don't translate everything:
Do not read with a French - English dictionary! I thought, if I take a notebook, write the words, look for them and write down their translations, it would make the rest of the book easier to understand. Just, no. If you really don't understand, then this particular book is not for you, yet. Stopping every five minutes will only make the general comprehension worse.
Instead, when you meet a word you don't know, read again the sentences around it to place it into context. One word particularly bugged me: reckon. I didn't remember learning it at all, but the way it was placed in a sentence, it was obviously not a vital information. Eventually, I got it by myself. And you will too!
⦁ Read slowly
Don't try to rush it! Obviously, you won't be able to read as fast as you do in your mother tongue! And it's fine. You are still at a "deciphering" phase and you simply can't just instantly get everything. I had this problem when reading the Pullman trilogy. And by the time I reached the last book, there was so much I had not previously understood and moved from too quickly that I was completely lost. Settle for a relaxing pace, review briefly and mentally each chapter, its key information and so on, before continuing reading (hoping it'll make more sense!).
⦁ Find something you like.
Finally, choose a book depending on your interests: what is your favorite genre? Favorite author? Style? I left below a list of places to find books online, I recommend you look for something that will go easily with your tastes. If you can't find a book originally in French, you can always settle for an English one in its French translation.
And now 5 books for beginners - intermediate levels:
1. Le Petit Prince (French Language Edition), Saint-Exupéry:
There's a reason why Le Petit Prince is on everyone's recommendation: the simplicity of its language and story makes it very easily understandable for children, yet, many of the stories told by the little prince can be seen as allegories. Translated into 270 languages, it is the most translated book ever after the Bible.Movie available here [Combo Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray +DVD]
2. Asterix et Obélix, Uderzo et Goscinny:
Follow Astérix, his friend Obélix and the adorable Idéfix throughout their adventures! They fight the oppression from the Romans, travel the world and have a secret magic potion! Suitable at any age, it's an easy reading, filled with puns and cultural references.
3. Zazie dans le Métro, Raymond Queneau:
Follow Zazie, a little from the countryside and her erratic trip through Paris. Along with her, a variety of characters appear. The novel, follows a story that isn't really carved in stones, and after all, isn't that the definition of life?Movie available here
4. La pluie et le beau temps, Jacques Prévert:
If you like poetry, I highly recommend starting here. This collection of poems entitled "La pluie et le beau temps "the rain and the good weather" is a reference to conversations, that don't really lead anywhere and are just what they are. Prévert writes about all and nothing and takes on a simple, yet meaningful journey.
5. J'aime lire, Bayard Jeunesse:
Not exactly a book, but rather a collection, the J'aime lire series magazines are a great start for a beginner. The stories are interesting enough to please an adult, yet not too complicated or too long, perfect for creating a good learning habit. You can easily buy a few of them off eBay or visit Bayard Jeunesse website.
Here we are, 5 reading recommendations, let us know below:
What French books have you read? What would you recommend?