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The French language has an undeniable elegance, particularly in its sound. However, many beginners find it challenging to master due to issues such as grammar and spelling complexity. You must have watched the ‘Emily in Paris’ series and wanted to learn French, or maybe you want to study in La France as a fashion designer. Are you wondering how to learn French? Here’s a simple guide to learning French.
Start learning French sounds
The French alphabet contains the same letters as the English alphabet, and more than 28% of English words have French origins. French is one of the easiest languages to learn for English speakers. There is one exception- certain letters have accents.
When learning French, it’s critical to focus on the sounds rather than the letters. The French language contains 23 consonants and 16 vowel sounds. If you speak English, you are already familiar with 20 consonants and 6 vowels. So you have three new consonants and ten new vowels to learn. It is critical to becoming acquainted with the French alphabet and the sounds of each letter.
Start speaking French
You may feel awkward the first time you try to speak French, but getting used to it and gradually building your confidence is an essential first step.
While passive and active listening is simple to incorporate into daily life, conversing with native speakers is much more difficult. Find yourself a tutor to make it much easier for you.
Look for French cultural centers and communities in your area and find ways to participate in their activities. Start taking French classes in art, music, or any other hobby that interests you. If you’re learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby, why not do it in French?
Make the most of French cuisine and beverages. Consider local bars or restaurants where you can practice your French. Take advantage if there is anything similar near your place.
Read in French
It is nearly impossible to master a language without first becoming acquainted with literature. Even if you can’t handle Proust or Hugo right now, that doesn’t mean you should stop reading in French.
If you ask various experts for tips on learning French, they will agree that beginners should start small with simple, easy-to-understand books.
Another excellent suggestion is to seek out books with well-known plots (such as Harry Potter) and attempt to read them in French. You can also read news in French and sign up for newsletters.
Pay attention to audio
Even if you have a high reading comprehension level, you may be perplexed when someone speaks to you in French. It is due to the significant differences between written and spoken French, which can appear to be two different languages.
That is why it is critical to incorporate listening into your French learning routine. Reading is a fun and easy way to expand your French vocabulary, but it won’t help you understand the lady in the patisserie shop.
Listen to French music on Spotify, Apple Music, or your favorite YouTube channels by searching for playlists. Take in audiobooks. Look for French translations of your favorite books on Audible or borrow them from your local library (if available).
Dive deep into YouTube. Consider the types of videos you typically watch (e.g., interior design, personal development, vlogs), and then look for French YouTubers who make videos on those topics.
Binge-watch French movies and series
Movies are a fantastic resource for learning foreign languages. If you enjoy watching movies in your spare time, why not do so in French? This activity will help you understand the language’s communication patterns and culture. Another advantage is that they train your brain to think in French.
You must first watch movies with French subtitles but then turn them off to improve your listening and comprehension without relying on reading. Do not hesitate to take down some notes while watching. You can reach your goals much faster this way.
Practice pronunciation rules
For beginners, French pronunciation can be difficult. The language contains sounds that do not exist in English. It also has many complexities, such as one letter having multiple sounds and exceptions to standard rules.
If someone asks you, “Do you speak French?” you may understand; however, your pronunciation must be good to hold a real French conversation and be understood.
To get you started on your French language learning journey, here is a quick overview of general pronunciation rules
- You must pronounce all the vowels in a word. In contrast, some vowels in English are ‘swallowed’ (not pronounced). For instance, “do you know what I mean?” is pronounced, “due know what I mean?” The words ‘do’ and ‘you’ are combined into a single sound. It is not the case in the French language.
- If a word ends with a consonant and the next word begins with a vowel or a silent ‘h,’ the final consonant joins the following vowel.
Learn French words and phrases
Understanding basic vocabulary, phrases, and numbers are one of the most important things to do when beginning to learn French. Beginners must start by practicing words that will come in handy when meeting French people, asking basic questions, and introducing themselves. Using flashcards will also help you remember previously learned French phrases. Here are some common phrases.
- Bonjour! (bohn-jhoor)- Which means ‘Hello’
- Bonsoir! (bohN-swahr!)- Which means ‘Good evening’
- Au revoir! (ohr-vwahr!)- Which means ‘Goodbye.’
- S’il vous plaît (seel vooh pleh.)- Which means ‘Please.’
- Merci (mehr-see)- Which means ‘Thank you.’
- Learning Frech is challenging, but you can turn it into fun by watching movies and practicing phrases through them.
- Make sure you listen to French audio from time to time. You can explore YouTube, get some Frech audio books or listen to some French podcasts on Spotify.
- Learn common French words and phrases. Communicate with your French circle daily. It will help you master the language soon.
Did you find this blog informative? Please let us know your thoughts and views in the comments below. Click here to contact us for more information on how to learn French. We would be happy to assist you with your queries.
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Q1. Can Duolingo make you fluent?
Answer- According to research, Duolingo is an effective way to learn a language! However, no single course, app, method, or book can help you achieve all of your language objectives.
Q2. How long does it take to learn French?
Answer- According to the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), French is a category 1 language. For most English speakers, learning French will take 23 – 24 weeks (575 – 600 hours).
Q3. Can you learn a language while sleeping?
Answer- While you’re sleeping, your brain can create connections between words in two languages. This means that sophisticated learning can take place while you sleep.