UPDATE - Any French speaking Moms? Especially any familiar with Leap Frog? See post 26 - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted this in Parenting but I haven't gotten any responses yet.

I am looking for French speaking Moms that can help me figure out a cost effective way to find French editions for the following: Little Touch, My First Leap Pad, and Leap Pad.

I have seen the French edition of Leap Pad and books/cartridges on Ebay but they are kind of expensive. And I have seen the books/cartridges for one Little Touch title and a few My First titles on the US Leap Frog site, and it looks like they are on clearance, but they don't have the toy to play them on. I spoke with Customer Service yesterday and she says the Leap Pad French edition has been discontinued. I think she is referring to all three versions.

While I can't read French, it doesn't look like any of these are on the French Leap Pad site. But there are a number of French toy sites that have them and they seem cheaper than what I'm seeing on Ebay, not to mention that there is more variety.

Aside from the fact that I'm uncertain of the security on these sites, they aren't intuitive enough to figure out how to navigate and buy something without being able to read French.

So, if anyone can point me towards a reputable French/English site that may still have these in stock --and if I'm really lucky-- at clearance prices, I would be very grateful.

~Cath
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#2 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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Edited because I didn't read the OP properly. It stinks that the Frnech editions are being phased out! If you'd like me to translete anything for you, let me know.

If you're looking for good unilingual resources, I really like bayardjeunnesse.com: my 4 year old GLOWS each month when her "Pomme D'Api" ma-zah-geen arrives. I think they have an English version of the site.

Michelle, mama to Isabelle (03/04) and Tom (02/07)
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#3 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Ou est-tu?

The Bay has many V.smile game consoles and smartridges. When I was looking for one for DS, French smartridges were the only ones I could find.

I'm not sure about the other learning systems. Can I assume you are in Canada? If not, I would suggest checking out some Canadian sources.

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#4 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by miche28 View Post
Edited because I didn't read the OP properly. It stinks that the Frnech editions are being phased out! If you'd like me to translete anything for you, let me know.

If you're looking for good unilingual resources, I really like bayardjeunnesse.com: my 4 year old GLOWS each month when her "Pomme D'Api" ma-zah-geen arrives. I think they have an English version of the site.
Miche28,
I'm wondering if the whole Leap Pad line will eventually be replaced by "Leapster", whatever that is. I'm kind of committed to the Leap Pad thing since I finally unearthed the "Little Touch" version we have (English edition) and both DD1 and DD2 seem to enjoying it.

And I just bought two of the French Leap Pads from a Canadian Ebay seller, at a pretty reasonable price. It looks like I can pick up two or three books/cartridges, but generally they are pretty expensive.

I appreciate your offer to translate but what I need first is a recommendation for a reputable web site. It looks like there a plenty of places selling them but I'm hesitant enough buying online, let alone across the border.

I will try to locate the English version of bayardjeunnesse.com. Is "Pomme D'Api" a book club or a monthly magazine?

BTW, I might try to pick up a Spanish version of the "My First" Leap Pad but there is a much wider variety of Spanish titles that are readily available at pretty reasonable prices.

Thanks,
~Cath
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#5 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ou est-tu?

The Bay has many V.smile game consoles and smartridges. When I was looking for one for DS, French smartridges were the only ones I could find.

I'm not sure about the other learning systems. Can I assume you are in Canada? If not, I would suggest checking out some Canadian sources.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I am in the U.S. Which is why I am trying to find a reputable online source, likely out of Canada.

As I noted in the post above, I'm pretty much committed to the regular Leap Pad and I can probably get enough titles (books/cartridges) on Ebay if necessary but I'd like to get more titles for less money if possible. Especially anything with Math. I think it would be really cool if they could learn Math in a second language.

~Cath
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#6 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found the English site for Bayard Jeunesse but it lead me to the French site.

English Version
http://www.bayard-jeunesse.com/bayar...rig=BJ_ST_JEUN

Publications English & French
http://www.bayard-jeunesse.com/inter...?langue=toutes

Magazines page, in French
http://www.bayardjeunesse.ca/

I think I'll concentrate on more interactive media for now to try and simulate an immersive experience as best I can.

Thanks,
~Cath
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#7 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 02:25 PM
 
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we got a lot of toys from the Canadian toy stores. Toys R us is a good one. There is probably an "english" link in the corner.

It is easier to find French things in French.

Also, I have a ton of Childrens books on Amazon.com's us site that are in French. Good luck! I'm sure there are more then a few mamas here that can translate for you, any of us will help!

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#8 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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we got a lot of toys from the Canadian toy stores. Toys R us is a good one. There is probably an "english" link in the corner.

It is easier to find French things in French.

Also, I have a ton of Childrens books on Amazon.com's us site that are in French. Good luck! I'm sure there are more then a few mamas here that can translate for you, any of us will help!
kriket,
Unfortunately this Toys R Us site has a very limited number of Leap Frog items. Most of them are for "Lil Leaps", not "Little Touch", "My First Leap Pad", or "Leap Pad". In fact it doesn't even have the Toy/Unit that these "Lil Leaps" cartridges fit in.

They do have Word Whammer en Anglaise. I would love to have it in French.

I would also love the memory game "Memory Mate" in french but I don't see that either.

I already have the Muzzy videos and a lot of French books but my French is extremely limited and I would like something more interactive that gets them away from the TV. Plus they've seen the Muzzy videos pretty often and I'm not sure how much they are getting out of them.

Thanks,
~Cath
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#9 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 03:47 PM
 
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sounds like you just need to make a trip to Quebec for a toy store run!

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#10 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sounds like you just need to make a trip to Quebec for a toy store run!
kriket,
It may be too late for that. It looks like they've been clearing the French stuff out for awhile now.

Otherwise I might be inclined to work up the nerve to ask DH's cousin if she could pick them up and ship them to us if we were to reimburse her. I'm friendly with her sister and I could try asking through her I wouldn't want to inconvenience her for nothing.
~Cath
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#11 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 06:55 PM
 
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If your local library has a subscription to Tumble Books, you can get all sorts of audio books online (in Eng, Fr, and Spanish).

This link works for me, I'm not sure if it will out of Canada, but try linking to Tumble Books on the right hand side, then clicking on "Language Learning" link from there. Great stuff! (though maybe too advanced?)

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#12 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 07:08 PM
 
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I never had any luck buying in the States. I relied on my in-laws or when we were in France. The titles of books/cartridges we found for the Petit LeapPad are: "Un ours dans ma chambre," Si j'etais...," "Les petits des animaux," "La danse des animaux," and "Winnie t'aime a la folie!"

You could try an internet search for these titles and see if it reveals anything. Maybe something would even show up on Ebay. ??

It's so hard, I think, to find French electronics in the US. Good luck to you!
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#13 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 07:59 PM
 
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In Quebec, most stores only have the French versions of those toys because it kind of is the law. Most websites are not even allowed to ship English Leap Pad products to Quebec. I would check out Quebec stores or Candian versions of Toyrus and such. I do not know about them shiping to the US though. Otherwise you can always just PM me and I can go get them for you and ship them myself.

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#14 of 38 Old 01-11-2009, 10:23 PM
 
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ebay.fr, but you need to speak French!

I buy things regularly from France (well, a couple times a year) and I've never had a problem. I would not worry about paying from a site just because it is .fr, myself.

For French we go to poissonrouge.com.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#15 of 38 Old 01-12-2009, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ebay.fr, but you need to speak French!

I buy things regularly from France (well, a couple times a year) and I've never had a problem. I would not worry about paying from a site just because it is .fr, myself.

For French we go to poissonrouge.com.
Edna,
I did check out Ebay.Fr which has the advantage of a familiar format. I could give it a shot if I could use PayPal, and if I could find a nice lot with a LeapPad and 3 to 5 books/cartridges.

Where are you located? What is your experience with the exchange rate, the additional cost of shipping and dealing with customs?
Thanks,
~Cath
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#16 of 38 Old 01-13-2009, 07:47 PM
 
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I'm in the U.S. Customs is no problem at all, unless you are importing for a business. It's just personal goods. We buy stuff all the time. I think you need to declare like, $50 K worth of personal purchases or some such amount, but seriously... if you are doing that, ask your personal accountant, hah, hah. Exchange: I use http://www.xe.com to check the prices' in dollars, and you can just ask the seller ahead of time if they will take dollars. I don't recall any big fees for paying in Euros via paypal or my credit card but the bank does take a small fee.

Shipping is really expensive IF they send FedEx, DHL, or UPS. However, if they send overseas using their national postal system (equivalent to our USPS), then it is usually a really good deal. Most recently I got swaddling cloths from Australia for just $7 one week shipping. Maybe that was 5 - 9 days but who cares? It was awesome!

It would be ideal if you could at least confirm the shipping costs in French with the seller beforehand, but worst case scenario, you could type your question into an online translation machine and send it that way, and then do the same with the answer. My husband sells on e-bay and he gets questions in English like that (from a translation machine) from all over the world often. It's funny sounding but he understands them and answers and they manage. The machines work best with very short sentences and no commas, like: "I am in the U.S.A. I want to know about shipping to the U.S.A. How much does it cost? I want to buy your item # XXXXXX. Can you send me a quote for shipping? Thank you!"

They will know it's a translation machine but will appreciate it more than English.

http://translation.langenberg.com/

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#17 of 38 Old 01-13-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that the whole LeapPad consumer product line (English, French, and Spanish) has been discontinued. Shortly before Christmas 2007, LeapFrog.com had almost all the titles and accessories on clearance for 75% off. As of last fall, there was practically nothing left -- either on the web site, or in stores -- and they were heavily pushing the new books with the pen gizmo, whatever it's called. Their academic website, LeapFrog Schoolhouse, still sells the original LeapPads and "series books" (Phonics, Quantum, etc.), but nothing in French, I guess since they're marketing to the US school system.

HOWEVER... we have both the French and English "systems," and the machines are identical. It's just the books/cartridges that are different. So you can absolutely use any of the French books on the equivalent English LeapPad. You'd be missing the demo books that come with the players, but IMO those aren't the greatest anyway... definitely not worth spending the extra $$$ on shipping a bulky player from who knows where. The books and cartridges themselves are pretty cheap to ship, and we've had good luck buying from eBay or Amazon sellers.

If you need any information about specific French titles, feel free to ask. We have a bunch, and I've found some of them to be a disappointment. For instance, the Disney Princesses (for My First LeapPad)... when you touch an object, it doesn't include the article when saying the name, so it's inadequate for learning new vocabulary. OTOH, some of the others -- like the Richard Scarry word book for LeapPad, or the LittleTouch baby animals -- are very good.
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#18 of 38 Old 01-13-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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A PS, for what it's worth: I just remembered that Canadian Toys R Us wouldn't ship the LeapPad stuff to the USA. Not sure if this was some sort of weird customs thing, or something that LeapFrog had stipulated to protect their pricing structure, or what. Anyway, we had to get it shipped to a Canadian family member, who kept it until we could get it in person.
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#19 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in the U.S. Customs is no problem at all, unless you are importing for a business. ... Shipping is really expensive IF they send FedEx, DHL, or UPS. However, if they send overseas using their national postal system (equivalent to our USPS), then it is usually a really good deal. Most recently I got swaddling cloths from Australia for just $7 one week shipping. Maybe that was 5 - 9 days but who cares? It was awesome!

It would be ideal if you could at least confirm the shipping costs in French with the seller beforehand, but worst case scenario, you could type your question into an online translation machine and send it that way, and then do the same with the answer. My husband sells on e-bay and he gets questions in English like that (from a translation machine) from all over the world often. It's funny sounding but he understands them and answers and they manage. The machines work best with very short sentences and no commas, like: "I am in the U.S.A. I want to know about shipping to the U.S.A. How much does it cost? I want to buy your item # XXXXXX. Can you send me a quote for shipping? Thank you!"

They will know it's a translation machine but will appreciate it more than English.

http://translation.langenberg.com/
EdnaMarie,
Thanks for the practical tips. I cross posted in the Parenting forum and someone suggested the Canadian Classifieds "Kijiji". (Ebay's answer to Craig's List).

Oddly enough there are a lot more LeapFrog listings in Montreal as opposed to Quebec.

I have been using the translation site "Babel Fish" and I would plan on paying with a United States Postal Service International Money Order in Canadian dollars, which would eliminate the need for doing the math on converting.

I have gotten one email reply on a Little Touch system. She didn't specify but I think she would use the National Postal Service.

I now have two emails out on a My First LeapPad and a LeapPad as well.

Thanks,
~Cath
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#20 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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...

HOWEVER... we have both the French and English "systems," and the machines are identical. It's just the books/cartridges that are different. So you can absolutely use any of the French books on the equivalent English LeapPad. You'd be missing the demo books that come with the players, but IMO those aren't the greatest anyway... definitely not worth spending the extra $$$ on shipping a bulky player from who knows where. The books and cartridges themselves are pretty cheap to ship, and we've had good luck buying from eBay or Amazon sellers. ...
hummingmom,
Thanks for the info.

I have already bought the French LeapPad through a Canadian Ebayer. They were cheap enough that I got two, one for each kid and the second one as insurance in case the first one broke.

We already have the English Little Touch and while DD1 is supposedly too old for it she seems to be enjoying it so I thought it would be fun to have the same books in English and French, not to mention that it might make it easier to pick up the concepts if they are already familiar with them in English. This would be true of the Demo book as well which I don't love but it is kind of cute and it does cover some of the basics.

However, I will certainly keep this in mind if I have a chance to pick up the "My First" French titles without the playing unit. I'll know that I can simply pick up the English one.

~Cath
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#21 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 11:58 AM
 
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Oddly enough there are a lot more LeapFrog listings in Montreal as opposed to Quebec.

Well, Montreal is about 4 or 5 times the size of Quebec (the city, not the province).

I'm pretty sure Montreal has a Craigslist website as well if you want to look that up.
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#22 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 02:44 PM
 
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EdnaMarie,
Thanks for the practical tips. I cross posted in the Parenting forum and someone suggested the Canadian Classifieds "Kijiji". (Ebay's answer to Craig's List).

Oddly enough there are a lot more LeapFrog listings in Montreal as opposed to Quebec.

I have been using the translation site "Babel Fish" and I would plan on paying with a United States Postal Service International Money Order in Canadian dollars, which would eliminate the need for doing the math on converting.

I have gotten one email reply on a Little Touch system. She didn't specify but I think she would use the National Postal Service.

I now have two emails out on a My First LeapPad and a LeapPad as well.

Thanks,
~Cath
Great! Good luck!

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#23 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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Okay, just wanted to let you know! I was personally a little bummed that our systems didn't come with a French player. The writing on the players is in English, and so is the default spoken message that tells you to insert a cartridge. They're exactly like the ones we already had. Still, as you said, it's nice to have a spare.

Just in case anyone is interested in buying the demo books separately (I've seen some for sale on eBay), the titles are:

LittleTouch -- "Un ours dans ma chambre" (One Bear in the Bedroom)

My First LeapPad -- "La journee extraordinaire de Flop" (Leap's Big Day)


As it happens, I'm in the middle of packing away all our French stuff, as my children have started clamoring to learn Spanish instead. : This is okay by me, as there are lots of native speakers in our area, and plenty of resources available. I don't know Spanish, so it will mean some learning on my part, but I guess that's a good thing.
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#24 of 38 Old 01-14-2009, 08:22 PM
 
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Cath:

You might want to ask a local toystore if they can simply order the French version for you. We found a French FisherPrice Laugh and Learn Puppy at our Toys-R-Us. My kids love it.


Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#25 of 38 Old 01-27-2009, 11:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cath:

You might want to ask a local toystore if they can simply order the French version for you. We found a French FisherPrice Laugh and Learn Puppy at our Toys-R-Us. My kids love it.

Umsami,
Sorry for the delayed response. I seem to remember looking into that awhile ago. They might do it under normal circumstances but the problem may have been that this is merchandise that was discontinued some time ago.

I will keep this in mind if I decide to upgrade to "Tag" which is LeapFrog's replacement to the LeapPad line. It isn't anywhere near as bulky since you don't have the "Pad" or base. But it is much more limiting because you can only store 5 titles to the elecronic pen at a time. Which is especially problematic if you have any real age gap between your kids.

~Cath
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#26 of 38 Old 01-27-2009, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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In case anyone is curious. After much effort I was finally able to buy a French "LittleTouch" with 3 French titles.

I was also able to pick up two of the more advanced "LeapPad" but I don't have any French titles yet.

I am considering picking up the intermediary "My First" on Amazon France but I shudder to think what the shipping might be. Would anyone happen to know whether they might offer free or reduced shipping to the US.

Also, I have translated one of the Little Touch titles I now have but I'm having trouble with a couple of colloquialisms (sp?).

Winnie t'aime a la folie (Winnie likes or loves you madly????)

En haut, en bas; Touche le sol.

Etire-toi (note the missing accent over the first e in "etire")

Jolis pots ou ballons a pois. (peas = polka dots?)

Winnie aime son lit tout doux et tout moelleux (marrowy? comfy?)

There are a couple of others I think I was able to make sense of but these were a little trickier. I'd appreciate any input on these.

Oh, DD1 may be absorbing some of the "Behind the Wheel French" audio CDs we sometimes listen to at dinner.

After hearing one of the books' titles in French, Si j'etais, she said it in English "If I were". She didn't get that from me.

Thanks,
~Cath

ETA
I hesitate to start a new thread on this but if anyone here reading this is familiar with LSF (French Sign Language) I'm wondering if LSF DVDs might be a good way to reinforce French vocabulary.

I think ASL is similar to FSL. In any case, I don't anticipate she'll ever need ASL and I'm not sure it would be a bad thing to be familiar with both.

~Cath
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#27 of 38 Old 01-27-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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ETA
I hesitate to start a new thread on this but if anyone here reading this is familiar with LSF (French Sign Language) I'm wondering if LSF DVDs might be a good way to reinforce French vocabulary.

I think ASL is similar to FSL. In any case, I don't anticipate she'll ever need ASL and I'm not sure it would be a bad thing to be familiar with both.

~Cath
Hi Cath,

Just for the record, from someone who has taken courses in ASL and LSQ (langue des signes quebecoises) and knows a teacher of the Deaf from France who is conversant in LSF, the two are patently different. Sorry to deflate that balloon for you. Every Deaf community in every country has its own distinct sign language.

You would be better off purchasing stuff in ASL for children, and just signing ASL and saying the word in French, since there isn't much for the kid's market in LSF. They have storybooks and pictoral dictionaries, but not much beyond that.

ASL is the 3rd most common language in the US, after English and Spanish, not to mention it is used with children who have special needs and learning disability. I think it's sad that you think your child won't ever have to interact and socialize with families of children with different abilities. Take a look at Signing Time! DVDs if you want to be inspired. No French equivalent exists in the market, in my knowledge.

I belong to a number of online communities with Multi-cultural and multi-lingual families, and I find it fascinating that you are pursuing exposure of a minority language through the use of LeapFrog. I live in Montreal, which happens to be the largest city in Quebec the province. Quebec City is a lot smaller, which may help to explain less ads on Kijiji or Craigslist.

Speaking of which, here's a local Craigslist that includes 2 French cartridges for Leapfrog Leappad http://montreal.en.craigslist.ca/bab/978861751.html

Sorry for the rant. Just had to clear up a few issues with geography and ASL.

Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
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#28 of 38 Old 01-27-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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Hi again,

Since you appear to be having success with audio CDs, perhaps you've already looked into this series by Henriette Major (book + CD)
Chansons Droles Chansons folles
# Publisher: FIDES INC. (Nov 25 2004)
# Language: French
# ISBN-13: 978-2762122602

Chansons Douces Chansons Tendres
ISBN-13: 978-2762122725

Chansons et rondes pour s'amuser
ISBN-13: 978-2762124149

These are Quebec in origin, so perhaps they will be easier to ship from www.Renaud-Bray.com instead of France.

Good luck and hope this helps!

Sign hanging in Albert Einstein's office at Princeton: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted, counts.
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#29 of 38 Old 01-27-2009, 11:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CathMac View Post
Also, I have translated one of the Little Touch titles I now have but I'm having trouble with a couple of colloquialisms (sp?).

Winnie t'aime a la folie (Winnie likes or loves you madly????)

En haut, en bas; Touche le sol.

Etire-toi (note the missing accent over the first e in "etire")

Jolis pots ou ballons a pois. (peas = polka dots?)

Winnie aime son lit tout doux et tout moelleux (marrowy? comfy?)
Glad you found what you wanted!

Here are some translations:

Winnie t'aime a la folie = Winnie loves you madly

En haut, en bas; Touche le sol = Up high, down low, Touch the ground

Etire-toi = Stretch yourself (missing accent is no big deal, often accents are dropped on capital letters)

Joli pots ou ballons a pois = Pretty pots or polka-dot balloons

Winnie aime son lit tout doux et tout moelleux = Winnie loves her soft and comfy bed

HTH.

Re: shipping from Amazon France-- I don't think it would be free or reduced, but if it's small cartridges it probably won't be too much, either.
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#30 of 38 Old 01-28-2009, 02:37 AM
 
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What a lot of neat resources! I really hope to share French with my little ones some day soon... it's coming!
The exchange about ASL and the Quebec Sign Language was interesting to me. When I taught in Northern Canada there was a married couple who were both hearing impaird - he was Cree and she was Swedish and they used the same sign language which allowed them to communicate with one another even though they didn't have a common verbally spoken language. I had always wondered at the signing in Sweden being the same as the signing in English Canada. Anyhow. This is tangential. The thread seemed like a good one to jump in on as my first MDC post in a year or so of once every couple of months curious lurking!

I wonder if Leapfrog will be my path into French exposure with my kiddos!
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