Welcome to the Learn French with the Bible weblog! The purpose of this weblog is to provide an opportunity to pursue a greater acquisition of the French language by using French translations of the Bible. The idea for doing this came from helping a friend with French by e-mailing French scriptures with explanations.
By the Bible, I am referring to both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament. The Hebrew scriptures are what Christians call the Old Testament. However, Jews do not consider them to be an old covenant or testament. The term “Hebrew scriptures” is somewhat of a misnomer since parts of them were originally written in Aramaic, e. g., Daniel 2:4 – 7:28; Ezra 4:8-68; 7:12-26; Jeremiah 10:11; and a couple words in Genesis 31:47. Another term that is used for the Hebrew scriptures is Tanakh, an acronym formed from the titles of the three major divisions of the Hebrew canon, Torah (“Law”), Neviim (“Prophets”), and Khetuvim (“Writings”). I may also use French translations of deuterocanonical writings (the apocrypha) and other literature as well. Occasional comments on the original language of texts and the meaning of passages may also be provided.
The blog may interest those involved with theological studies as well as others interested in the French language. Many works in biblical studies, theology, papyrology, archaeology, ancient philology, patristics, etc. are written in French. Some doctoral programs in biblical studies require a competence in ancient Greek, Hebrew, and Latin as well as two modern languages. (Typically, German would be one of the modern languages chosen.)
Most of the French in this blog will be on an elementary level. For those interested in intermediate or advanced French, there are some links that may be helpful.
The presence of a link on the website does NOT imply an endorsement of the contents or materials. The links for materials may provide ideas for the student. I have NOT looked at or evaluated many of the materials mentioned.
It is important for a student of French to have a competent teacher, people with whom one can practice conversation, and adequate textbooks. Language is an interactive and social activity. It is much harder to learn a language without that practice and interaction.
For beginning students, it is helpful to have flash cards to help with vocabulary acquisition. One may have 10, 20, or 50 cards on hand at all times and review the cards as often as possible. However, it is important to realize that words do not have meanings in and of themselves. Words have meanings in context. Language cards usually have a simple gloss or definition of words. The cards normally do not include the full scope of uses of words and do not indicate how words are used in a particular context. It is good to hear and read as much of the language as possible to get a feel for the scope of words, phrases, idioms, and syntax.
Reading French news (such as in the news magazine Le Figaro), watching satellite TV, taking in internet radio and TV, receiving audio magazines, reading dual language books, etc. can all be a part of language acquisition. Again, I would like to refer students to the links.