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Old 14.06.2011, 20:55
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French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

Please bear with me, Mods, this really is a language question...

My 15 year old niece is learning French, US high school style, and needs motivation to keep at it. She lives in a mid-sized US midwestern town and has almost no chance of encountering French as a real living language outside the classroom. Moreover, I was dismayed to see that her teachers follow pretty much the same soul-destroying program that we used decades ago ('Translate the following: I have a pencil. My pencil is yellow. I have a dog. My dog is brown...') which pretty much leaves a student hating the process of learning a foreign language, or at best unable to see the point in continuing.

My niece is spending the summer with me; a trip to Paris has opened her eyes and her fired up - I'd like to keep that fire burning if possible. And so I'm looking for 'fun' resources that would continue to inspire her after she goes back home. Novels are probably too much work at this stage, I think something easier is required. Which brings me to my question.

A typical teenager, my niece is very interested in fashion - so I thought a subscription to a French fashion magazine might do the trick. But which one?

Middle-aged frump that I am, I haven't read a fashion mag in decades, nor do I know what would appeal to the under-20 demographic. So all you French-speaking fashionistas , what would you recommend? And those of you who are teachers - are there magazines that you would recommend from a language learning standpoint?

Many thanks.
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Old 15.06.2011, 11:24
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

MC, good idea!

Dont have any specific magazines to recommend (I can only think of Vogue but much too old for a teenager) at all but for learning a new language or improving a current one, I find that gossip magazines helped too!

Also, try music. She wont be able to understand everything but if the tune is catchy, she will keep listening to it and words/sentences will stick for sure. MC Solaar (hip hop) was really popular when I was learning French but I am not sure if he still is.
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Old 15.06.2011, 11:33
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

Get her French films (I watched Un homme et une femme when I was her age, very nice), load her Ipod with this podcast , or get her an mp3 player already packed with French learning podcasts, there are ton online. And, then the mags (I like MarrieClaire, since there actually are articles, not just pretty pics, but check out Canadian Press, as well, I can imagine they'd have some hip and interesting stuff). Then, for reading, I didn't pick up simplified versions, but actual literature, short and sweet, poetry goes well in this age, too, Jacques Prevert is very nice, simple and here is a site in EN and FR. Nathalie Sarraute was fab, short, little 100page-120page reads, theater pieces, very thoughtfull.



Fashion clothes are not all that chicks dig in that age, really. I would also load her mp3 player with nice French music, say Nouvelle Vague for example. Dreamy and poetic (and a tad...rebellious, just a tad). They sing in English, but are French, so they might have some tracks in FR. Ye-ye music is nice and in French, like Francois Hardy, France Gall.
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Old 15.06.2011, 11:49
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

You might see if there are french versions of popular fashion magazines for young women. Well, except I don't know what magazines are popular at that age anymore.... Seventeen comes to mind, also marie-claire, elle.

Another thought, although this may not be the "right" french.

How about magazines for the French Canadian market?

Finally, on one of your trips to French speaking Switzerland, look around at a magazine stand... maybe something there will pique her interest.

French movies are a great idea. I've always loved cocteau's beauty and the beast, which I first saw in high school... of course I wasn't a typical teen either.

But have fun with her this summer! How cool.
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Old 16.06.2011, 01:34
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

Thanks for the great ideas, ladies!

So, movies, music, magazines... hopefully a stead stream of 'fun' French will be helpful at this stage. It's just such a shame that the approach to foreign language teaching in my niece's school is so dreadful.

My niece has been rummaging through my DVD collection, found several that she has enjoyed: La Gloire de Mon Père, Le Château de ma Mère, Jean de Florette/Manon des Sources, Être et Avoir, Les Choristes, Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, 8 Femmes - albeit with the English subtitles turned on. But it's a start.

I've taken a look at the films you mentioned, MC and Edot - both sound quite good. Even if my niece continues to use the subtitles she'll be hearing the language, soaking it in. And learning that French really exists outside the classroom.

My music hasn't been quite as inspiring it seems - the most 'modern' french artist in my collection is Debussy. But maybe I should try stepping out of my comfort zone, too. Ah, the benefits of having a young'un around...

It's rather a shame we're here in the German-speaking area - but hopefully we'll be able to hop over the Rostigraben with some regularity while she is here.

Thanks again for the good ideas, one and all.
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Old 16.06.2011, 07:29
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

If she liked the Parapluies de Cherbourg... Get her to watch "Les Demoiselles de Rochefort". More recent: Huit Femmes, still with Deneuve.

Sciene et Vie Junior is really nice - if she is into that kind of stuff.

My daughter favours Cosmo and Glamour - copies of the US ones. I find that Cosmo isn't always appropriate (that would be an euphemism).

If you want, I have here a little pile (about 7 or 8) teen-like books in french I am getting rid of.
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Old 16.06.2011, 07:59
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

When we lived in the US we had TC5Monde. It may or may not be available in her area. It has pretty much everything you'd want. News, cartoons for the younger kids, teen dramas in the afternoon, sports, reality TV like Pekin express, and movies. My husband is French and this is how he maintained his sanity in the US. Not to mention our girls who still got to watch their favorite programs.

Where I grew up we even had an art house theatre that played foreign films- a lot of them in French. Though they may not be all be age appropriate.

A last thought is the Alliance Francaise. They have offices in many parts of the US that promote French language and culture. Maybe they have a conversation group she could join or a young persons group.

I think she'll have greater success if she has programs to watch or listen to rather then read as she'll hear better pronunciation and colloquial usage of the language.

Bonne chance!
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Old 16.06.2011, 08:15
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

Amelie Poulin is a beautiful french movie.

She will love it.

You can look for Glamour magazine in french. I read it once and it is very teenager talk so she may like it, not so much for a grown up woman...
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Old 16.06.2011, 08:57
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

That's a lovely idea. The movie which Nil mentions is called (in french):
Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Am%C3%A9lie
It's a great movie! Really funny is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bienven...z_les_Ch%27tis
Or try fashion and movie, Audrey Tatou has filmed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coco_Before_Chanel also a great movie.

As for music try some swiss french ones, Sens Unik (funky Hiphop with Carlos Leal), Stress. Or Manau, they make this kind of celtic Hiphop, kind of special. Or the classics, Serge Gainsbourg, Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Mireille Mathieu...

I think it's really nice that you are trying to keep the fire going.
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Old 16.06.2011, 09:17
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

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Sciene et Vie Junior is really nice - if she is into that kind of stuff.
Now that's a good idea - and one her parents would very much appreciate. (They are both scientists - and I suspect that some of my niece's current intense interest in 'girly' may be a bit of teenage rebellion... )

I'm loving all the film suggestions!
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Old 16.06.2011, 09:36
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

I would also let her get some gossip magazines, they are very easy to read but you still practice the language.
Closer is a gossip magazine in France and there is also Grazia for fashion which is a little less serious than Vogue/Elle.
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Old 16.06.2011, 09:38
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

A good way to learn the french also is to watch a french movie with subtitle in her language or to watch some of her favorite movies (she already knows well) in french version.

That helped me no limit with my english and turkish.

Nil
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Old 16.06.2011, 09:39
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

"Si elle lit elle lit Elle"
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Old 16.06.2011, 09:46
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

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A good way to learn the french also is to watch a french movie with subtitle in her language or to watch some of her favorite movies (she already knows well) in french version.

That helped me no limit with my english and turkish.

Nil
Or the other way round is to watch a movie with French subtitles. You will slowly learn to associate if a certain object is male, female etc and sentence structure if you see it often enough. Ugggh...
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Old 16.06.2011, 10:26
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

Somewhat tedious, but our old friend wikipedia has a list of french films by year of production... each year is listed and then each movie has a link to click....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_French_films

I'm very fond of Diva - it's a sort of crime/romance/surrealistic but it might be inappropriate for a teen

Also Jean de FLorette and Manon des Sources from 1986 - historical stuff

I realize a lot of the french films I've seen are historicals released in the US and a lot of Eric Roehmer (not appropriate for teens).


If she is at all interested in reading about science - Eve Curie wrote a biography of her mother, Marie Curie in the late 1930's after her death. I read the English translation when I was about 16 and it made me want to be a scientist. It was rather romantic I suppose, but I remember it also as being really very interesting - and appealing to young women. There are French versions available on amazon.fr Some of the newer published versions have lots of photos too, which are rather fun.
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Old 16.06.2011, 17:56
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

How about L'Artiste? It's a French silent film about silent films. Ok, ok, that might be useless! lol.

Love Amelie. She'll love it too. Also, don't laugh, but I loved Ratatouille in French. I thought it was better than the English version.

You might want to check out the Swiss mag Edelweiss. I thought it was a bit tamer than French cosmo but still has "relationship" stuff. I think they all do so you might want someone to check that. Advantage is a bit like Good House Keeping.

Now that you bring it up and we have like 6 Boston threads I'm getting all nostalgic. When I was 15 I used to take the bus into Harvard Square to go to the international newsstand and buy European fashion magazines and El Pais. This little newsstand had papers & mag from all over the world. I loved just to look at the different languages. All the asian ones were particularly appealing. It's sort of sad that that type of place doesn't exist anymore.

(OMG, I'm turning into those people! )
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Old 16.06.2011, 18:10
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Re: French Fashion Magazine Recommendations?

A little OT, but miniMia made me think of it....My mother was a tailor and one of her best friends was a dressmaker. Between them, they used to subscribe to L'Officiel or something like that. French fashion and in the 1960's it came with fabric samples! On gorgegous, heavy, glossy paper. Loved that stuff..

Oh and also, another movie..... the French version of
Les triplettes de Belleville
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