Bonjour les amis!!! For many months now, you have received some basic but important grammar notions of the French language. You have also studies some useful vocabulary, which I have made sure to carefully organize by themes. It is now time to test some of this knowledge using a French dictation.
I will try to achieve two main goals with this dictation, the first of which is to improve your French listening skills. By listening several times to the same audio track, you will quickly train yourself to recognize some speech patterns in French. The second goal is to make you work on your writing skills and teach you to become better spellers in French.
For that, I have opened this new section on my website where you will be able to find some French written texts along with their English translations (my own). I provide the audio tracks of the French dictations here as well as in a downloadable mp3 format. You will also find the pdf version of the text you are hearing, this way, you could train yourself at home at your own pace.
Being able to hear French sounds and spelling them will speed up your learning of new vocabulary and grammar components. You will find below the audio tracks of the French dictation. The first track is recorded at normal speed and the second is at a much slower pace. I also included the English translation (my own) so you know what this dictation is about.
My preferred method to doing accurately a foreign language dictation:
|1. Preparation:||2. Writing the dictation itself:||3. (Re)-Verifying your written text.|
|First, I always make sure to listen to the “normal-speed” audio track two or three times (You may choose to listen to the slower speed if you wish). The first time, I make sure to avoid taking any notes. I just sit there and listen carefully, especially for words that seem “new” to my ears. The second time, I use my pencil and try to write down these “strange-sounding” new words as best as I can. Sometimes, guessing is a greatly involved in that process. I may listen again to the entire audio track a third time, depending on how well I did the second time.||After listening carefully 2-3 times to the normal-speed track and jotting down difficult words (which I guessed), I now start my dictation. I make sure to keep in mind that most sentences will have subject, a verb, and an object. It doesn’t matter the order in which they are stated in the sentences, but I do know that most sentences will follow this pattern. Important: If it is a French dictation, I want to make sure that every single verb is properly associated to its respective subject. Also, I watch closely for the gender of the articles and nouns (le vs. la or un vs. une) and their numbers (singular vs. plural). After verifying all this in each sentence, I make sure the verb agrees with the subject according to its gender and number. I also look at the adjectives and follow the same rule. French adjectives are very tricky, especially for English speakers. French adjectives will vary unlike their English counterparts, which remain invariable. So take a close look at French adjectives and ask yourself: is this adjective masculine or feminine, singular or plural?||When I’m finished with my dictation, I always make sure to reread at least a couple of times before submitting it for correction. As a language instructor, I have found that so many “easy”errors could be avoided by my students if they simply take their time to read their dictation just one more time. I read my dictation with a critical eye, always asking myself: Is this the correct gender? Does the verb agree with its subject? What the the gender of this noun? Is its adjective therefore affected? Did I place all the accent correctly? I know, all this sounds like a real torture to do all this, but following these rules should become easier as you work on more and more dictations. And eventually, this will make you a better French speller.|
|C’est dimanche. Il fait beau aujourd’hui. Les parents de Marina vont
au parc avec elle. Ils font un pique-nique sur l’herbe fraîche.
Marina aime jouer avec les fleurs. Son père lit un journal
et sa mère regarde les oiseaux dans le ciel.
Il y a beaucoup d’enfants dans le parc aujourd’hui.
Ils sont contents. Ils jouent au frisbee et au football.
Demain, lundi, Marina va aller à l’école.
Une nouvelle semaine va commencer.
Mais aujourd’hui, elle passe du bon temps
avec sa famille.
|It is Sunday. The weather’s beautiful, today. Marina’s parents
go to the park with her. They are having a picnic on the
fresh grass. Marina loves to play with flowers.
Her father is reading a newspaper and her mother is
looking at the birds in the sky. There are a lot of children in the park.
They are happy. They are playing Frisbee and soccer.
Tomorrow, Monday, Marina is going to go to school.
A new week is beginning. But today, she is having a
good time with her family.