November 26, 2013

Minor corrections to page on 'translating French contracts'

A couple of minor typos have been corrected in the page on Translating and Understanding French contracts. But I am always looking out for suggestions. Did you have an issue understanding a French contract? Was there a particular item of vocabulary that you found difficult (or perhaps still are!) that you think should be included on the page? Why not leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

November 20, 2013

Article on the French "h aspiré"

If you have a smattering of French, you are probably used to the notion that the h is "silent" or "not pronounced" in French. In a new article published today, I give a brief overview of why this isn't quite the case.

If you're up to date on your French cinema, then you have probably seen Kassovitz's La Haine (and if you haven't seen it, you should). But you may not have stopped to wonder why it is La Haine and not L'Haine. In may article, I explain why this is, and look more generally at an intriguing phenomenon of French pronunciation and phonology often referred to as "aspirate h" or "h aspiré".

November 13, 2013

Free French language software for iPhone and iPad

On the French Linguistics forum, I have posted a various promo codes for free copies of my French language software. These include French Vocab Games, a complete suite of activities for iPhone to re-enforce basic GCSE vocabulary, along with the Utter French! pronunciation tool.

I also regularly post codes for free software on my Twitter feed @BitterCoffey

June 3, 2013

French Vocab Games for iPhone among iTunes Top 20 GCSE Revision Apps

Firstly, I have a confession. I actually didn't realise that iTunes had a "GCSE Revision Apps" section of the app store. (Did you?)

However, I was pleased to discover that French Vocab Games is listed in the top 20 apps in that section (at no. 17 in the UK at the time of writing).

For more information about French Vocab Games and other apps I have developed for iPhone and iPad, please see the mobile section of the French Linguistics site.

April 5, 2013

Site restart tomorrow 6AM GMT

The French Linguistics site will be briefly unavailable at around 6AM GMT tomorrow morning (Saturday 6 April) for a server restart.

February 20, 2013

LetterMeister for iPhone now includes German

Version 2.2 of LetterMeister, the multilingual word puzzle game for iPhone was released to the App Store earlier. This new version adds German to the list of languages, so that the game is now playable with English, Spanish, French or German vocabulary.

The game is free to download today. Don't miss out!

A key feature of LetterMeister is that the game is customisable to your desired language level. You can set the game difficulty from two points of view: firstly the level time, and secondly the vocabulary level. This means that vocabulary learners can use the EASY option and will generally be presented with levels that contain common, 'easy' words (generally the first few thousand words, depending on the language).

The German vocabulary was added to the game after testing with the beta version of the same LetterMeister word puzzle game for Windows, Linux and Mac OS. This desktop version currently includes Finnish, and new languages are expected to be added regularly to both iPhone and desktop versions. Feedback from language learners regarding the chosen levels of vocabulary is always appreciated.

The game integrates with the iOS Game Center, so that if you so wish, you can compare your progress with other players. The Game Center also sets you various "Achivements", such as completing a certain number of words with certain letters, thus adding a new dimension to the game.

If you do try out LetterMeister and enjoy it, please consider leaving a rating and review on the App Store. This will help other users to find the game and bring further suggestions and improvements for later versions.

February 16, 2013

LetterMeister update (and free copies)

An update to LetterMeister word puzzle game for iPhone is due to be released soon that will allow players to play the game in German, in addition to English, French and Spanish.

In anticipation of the release, I am giving away a few free copies in various places. Don't miss out!

And finally, a couple of codes here: redeem JH9NK46TXXLP or FATEJFH6NKA3 while they are still avaialble!

February 12, 2013

Small bug fix to LetterMeister desktop version

Version 0.76b of LetterMeister was released earlier today. This latest update to the desktop version of the word puzzle game includes a bug fix that affects gameplay when using German vocabulary. Specifically, under some circumstances, marking of the "s sharp" character would not appear correctly; this issue is now fixed in the latest update.

January 24, 2013

Possibility of brief downtime this Sunday 27 January

There is a small chance that the French Linguistics site will be down briefly this Sunday around midday UK time for maintenance. Thank you for your patience!

January 8, 2013

New article on the pronunciation of French stops

The first of a number of articles I will be writing on various aspects of French pronunciation has just been published. This initial article looks at the pronunciation of French stop consonants, considering the important ways in which they differ from their English counterparts.

January 5, 2013

French Word Searches added to info on volume discount program

French Word Searches for iPad has been added to the information on the availability of the site's French software at half price.

The software is available to educational institutions at half price under Apple's volume discount program. Please see the aforementioned page for more information.

January 4, 2013

Suitability of French apps for the Cambridge IGCSE exam

I received a question the other day regarding the suitability of this site's French Vocab app for students taking the IGCSE exam.

Both French Vocab Games and its sister Utter French! (pronunciation) app and French Word Searches for iPad are based on core GCSE vocabulary which is very similar to the core vocabulary specified for the Cambridge IGCSE exam. They are therefore highly suited to students taking the IGCSE French exam.

There is a slight difference in how these apps are intended to be used:

  • French Vocab Games for iPhone is designed to help you learn vocabulary from scratch and then continue to revise that vocabulary throughout your course. In other words, it is designed to be a companion to your studies. As is the nature of iPhone apps, it is also designed to allow you to do "bite sized" revision. To see whether it is suitable for you, you make like to know that a free trial version of French Vocab Games app is available  The trial version only includes a couple of the 20+ vocab topics available in the full version.
  • French Word Searches for iPad is designed to be more of a revision and reinforcement tool than for learning vocab from scratch. Note that it is designed to focus on the written forms of vocab and, unlike the other two apps, does not feature speech.
  • Utter French! focuses specifically on pronunciation. It is designed primarily to help you master the pronunciation of vocabulary that you have already come across. The app will prove to be an invaluable resource for those looking to make themselves clearly understood by French speakers, or get those extra speaking test marks for good pronunciation. Unlike many French pronunciation resources available, it was actually written by a French phonetics specialist and offers a good balance between accuracy and comprehensibility to the "ordinary" student. Although primarily a pronunciation app, since the vocab list is searchable, you can still use its 1,200+ word vocabulary as a mini dictionary/glossary.

Offer: free copy of French Vocab Games for iPhone or French Word Searches for iPad

I am currently running an offer from the French dictionary page whereby people can request a free copy of either French Vocab Games for iPhone or French Word Searches for iPad in exchange for a review of the Utter French! pronunciation app, which will also free for the duration of the offer.

Please note that to qualify for the offer:

  • You must leave a review of Utter French! in the App Store. Only when your review is visible will you be entitled to a free copy of one of the other apps.
  • You must fill in this page, in particular specifying the e-mail address to which you would like to receive your app promo code.