With only cing mois before we depart on our adventure it is time to appuyer sur le champignon and learn the language of our soon-to-be home.
You are required to progress through the lessons in order, and have to pass each short lesson before moving forward. A game-like reward system awards tokens as you pass lessons, and there is a social aspect that lets you track your progress against friends en ligne, and share tips on learning french on public forums.
A study by university professors "estimated that 34 hours on Duolingo may yield reading and writing ability of a US first-year beginners' course college semester, which takes in the order of 130+ hours." The same study showed that the popular Rosetta Stone course takes almost twice as long to attain the same level of proficiency (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duolingo).
And all this is absolutely free, with no hidden up-charges (they make their money by crowd-sourcing the translation of documents, which Duolingo is paid for by the companies whose documents are translated).
moi = me
ma femme = my wife (f)
ma fille = my daughter (f)
mon fils = my son (m)
cing mois = 5 months
appuyer sur le champignon = step on the gas
professeur français = french professor
en ligne = on-line
bon courage = have courage (literally "good courage")