Originally posted by Agerg
I do have bookmarked a couple of web resources but they act more in the capacity of a "cookbook" in that they teach you basic grammar and vocabulary in a vacuum (and help prepare you for those pesky situations when you seriously, badly, no questions asked, have to know how to say things like "I like that red car a lot" ).
I've even thought about childrens books in french but my web searches so far have revealed no freebies :[
First off, look for a good French-English dictionary (web based). See if you can find one that will pronounce the words for you and give short examples of usage.
Ideally, you want one that can work as a plugin to your browser.
Then you just need to find a few French websites and get translating.
Chinese is a very different task, as the characters are new as well, and there is almost no similarity with English, whereas French has many similar words to English - though watch out for that pronunciation.
Once you have learnt the basics, you should find a lot of DVDs include French subtitles or sound, and you can probably get French TV and radio.