Level 3 conversation speed


I have just started level 3 in Rocket French, and have noticed a definite increase in the speed of the dialogues.
I have no complaints about this, I assume that it is nearer to the speed that would be expected in normal French, by a native speaker, and therefore we students need to be able to understand what is being said at this speed.

But does anyone have any tips on how best to get to grips with this? I confess that at the previous level, on hearing a new dialogue, I was able to get the 'gist' of a conversation relatively easily, but at level 3 I need to listen several times, and even then find (when I look at the text) that I haven't caught all of it. (And in real life you don't have a 'replay' button!)

No doubt one piece of advice would be 'practice, practice, practice', which I expect, but do any advanced learners or tutors have any ideas from their own experience which might help? And does it get easier with practice?
One possibility might be: try to identify important keywords (even if I don't catch them all) and try to figure out the general meaning.



Salut Peter--252 !

Native French speakers do like to talk at quite a clip! It's also true that to non-francophone ears, native French speakers can seem to almost drop words or parts of words when they're speaking quickly. All of this can make it quite difficult for learners to understand what's being said!

As you say yourself, the main advice here will indeed be "practice, practice, practice" - and it does absolutely get easier! It's about training your ear to hear the things that are usually glossed over, and about training your brain to keep up with rapid-fire French! 

It's not a very high-tech solution, but something that may help you to hear those words that get dropped is to keep your cursor or finger over the text being read as you listen to the audio. Move your cursor/finger along the text as the speaker speaks - as you keep time with them and listen carefully, you should be able to start to catch the bits of speech that are dropped, or at least see where you're missing things. Wearing headphones while you do this will make this easier, as it will help you to isolate the sound of the speaker's voice.

As for comprehension in general, it is absolutely useful to keep an ear out for certain keywords that you know should come up in the sentence. Another thing is just to accept that you may not understand absolutely everything a native speaker says at the start. It's like when you start reading more complicated texts: you aren't going to know every word on the page either. The key thing is to try to get the gist, and to catch the words that at least give you the main topic of the sentence. Then, as you get more practice, you will understand more and more of the sentence.

I hope that this was helpful! Perhaps someone else on the forum will be able to offer their own advice as well.

Bon courage !



Salut Liss,
I'll try that cursor/finger trick for now.
Merci !


De rien, Peter--252 ! 

I hope that you find it helpful!

À la prochaine,


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