Play and Learn French - Learn to Speak - Audio Book CD
Brand New (1 CD - 1 hour):
About Play and Learn French
The fun, easy, and natural way to get kids started in learning French
Young children have an amazing capacity for picking up new languages, and every parent is a natural-born language teacher. Now Play and Learn French introduces a unique approach to getting kids started in French that is as fun as it is easy.
Instead of drills and boring grammar exercises, you get loads of fun games, activities, and songs that let you seamlessly integrate the French language into your everyday life. From taking a bath to going shopping, making lunch to driving in the car, Play and Learn French turns daily routines into fun learning adventures for you and your child to enjoy together. No need to set aside extra time in your busy schedule—with this program, you learn as you live. And you’ll be amazed at how quickly you see results.
Play and Learn French is packed with lively color illustrations and features:
* Songs, games, and activities that make language learning natural and fun
* Key-word illustrations to help with the retention of important words and phrases
* Whimsical comic strips that put French in a real-world context
* Sidebars with fun cultural information about everyday life in France
* English translations for all activities
* A sixty-minute audio CD containing all of the book's songs, games, and expressions
With Play and Learn French, it won’t be long before you hear your child say he or she wants to give you le gros bisou du soir (a big good-night kiss).
About the French Language
French is the most northerly of the ROMANCE LANGUAGES that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. Historically it is the language of northern France: it became France's national language, and spread to many other parts of the world with French conquest and trade.
The Celtic-speaking inhabitants of Gaul were among the first non-Italians to take a full part in the culture of the Roman Empire. Not surprisingly, there are Celtic loanwords in Latin and in all the Romance languages. There are a few documents and religious texts in French of the 10th and 11th centuries, but the first real flowering of French literature is in epics, the first and greatest being the Chanson de Roland `Song of Roland' of around 1200. They were recorded in manuscript form for oral recitation. From this beginning, French poetry soon became more varied and more consciously literary. Although the language of Paris and of the neighbouring royal monastery of Saint-Denis was already influential, medieval French texts have varied dialect links. This is natural since Paris was not the only major centre of French cultural life. After the Norman conquest in 1066, London was another: for nearly two centuries after that date not English but the Anglo-Norman variety of French was the usual language of literature in England (alongside Latin). The oldest and best manuscript of the Chanson de Roland is Anglo-Norman.
As the connections between England and France grew more distant, Anglo-Norman –instead of developing into a new modern Romance language – regressed to a jargon of lawyers and courtiers. Its descendant, 'Law French', can still be found in fossilised phrases in modern English legal terminology. But English, now revived as a language of culture and literature, had taken in a mass of loanwords from French, involving most aspects of everyday life, often providing near-synonyms to Germanic words: thus while English still uses Germanic terms such as ox, sheep, pig for the domesticated animals, it uses the French loanwords beef, mutton, pork (modern French boeuf 'ox', mouton 'sheep', pore 'pig') for their meat.
Meanwhile Paris was asserting its position at the centre of French culture. The central role of French, the French of Paris, followed from this. Two landmarks are the foundation of the University of Paris, chartered in 1231; the spread of printing, at the end of the 15th century; and the Ordonnance de Villers-Gotteret, 1539, which ruled that legal proceedings in France must be en langaige maternel francois, 'in the French mother tongue'. In practice, this asserted the uniquely privileged status of French not only against Latin but also against OCCITAN, BRETON, BASQUE and the local dialects or patois of French.
Yet French does borrow from its regional languages: bijou 'jewel' is a Breton loanword, while bouillabaisse 'fish soup' is one of many food words borrowed from Occitan dialects.
By the 16th century, French was the language of an astonishingly rich literature – and writings in French were read, admired, translated and imitated across all of western Europe. Among the greatest of older classics had been the poetic Romance of the Rose (adapted in English by Chaucer), the Arthurian romance sequence Lancelot (the main source for Malory's English Morte Darthure) and the vivid chronicles of the Hundred Years War written – in French that was influenced by his native Picard dialect – by Jean Froissart. The 16th century was a period of exciting and varied experiment, and also of much linguistic borrowing from Latin and from Italian.
A reaction followed, often identified with the influence of Francois de Malherbe (1555-1628). Written French became a rule-bound language, with an artificially restricted vocabulary. In spite of the Enlightenment and in spite of the French Revolution and all that has followed, in many ways written French is still rule-bound. Spelling and usage are overseen by the Academie Francaise, a self-elected college of eminent authors and intellectuals, under government patronage. Standard French differs rather widely from most people's everyday speech. Traditional French verse, which some still write, demands a special pronunciation (see box). For all this, French remains the language of a very rich and flourishing literary culture, in some ways the most vital in Europe.