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Learn French with your pet!

The author of an unusual new handy pocket-sized phrasebook is hoping to use humour to inspire people to learn some simple French words and phrases. Unlike many traditional phrasebooks, Teach Your Dog French shows that learning useful expressions doesn’t have to be boring or daunting, and makes picking up a few basics accessible to everyone.

Every phrase is shown in both French and English, accompanied by appealing 1950s-style retro illustrations as well as help with the French pronunciation. There are over 60 expressions to practise, from phrases such as ‘On y va’ (‘Let’s go’) and ‘Je peux avoir le balle ?’(‘Can I have the ball?’) to general phrases such as ‘Il pleut’ (‘It’s raining’) and ‘Tu n’as plus faim?’ (‘Are you full?’). It’s an excellent and really fun introduction to learning French for all ages.

“I studied French at school, but found it difficult to pick up the language as I hadn’t been to France, and didn’t get the chance to practise. I’d love to go back in time and give this book to the teenage me!”

The book is part of a series designed to help you learn a language while engaging with your favourite pet, and was inspired by illustrator Anne Cakebread’s bestseller Teach Your Dog Welsh (Y Lolfa, 2018).

“When I moved to Pembrokeshire, Wales, I adopted Frieda, a rescue whippet who only understood Welsh. Slowly, whilst dealing with Frieda, I realised that I was overcoming my nerves about speaking Welsh aloud, and my Welsh was improving as a result – this gave me the idea of creating a series of books to help others learn. The popularity of the series has been amazing! I was thrilled when Teach Your Dog Welsh was reprinted for the first time – but I’m amazed that it’s been reprinted seven times since! Hopefully this book will encourage people to learn a little French – you don’t even have to go abroad to practise: just have fun learning and speaking a new language!” said Anne Cakebread.

Summoning up the confidence to use a language you’re learning can be intimidating at first. A number of books are available to help with vocabulary and pronunciation, but the light-hearted context and the beautiful illustrations mean that this book is a bit out of the ordinary. It will especially appeal to people who haven’t had much success with languages in the past.

Carolyn Hodges, Head of English Publishing at Y Lolfa, who developed market-leading language-teaching materials for Oxford University Press for many years, said: “One of the key factors in motivating someone to start learning and using a new language is to make it enjoyable.”