Learning French - Difficulties And Tips



How to Learn French

Four Methods:

French is a language spoken fluently by approximately 175 million people worldwide. Although originating in France, today it is spoken in all different countries all over the world, and officially in a total of 30. It is the second most frequently taught language in the world after English--thus, the reasons to learn it abound. This guide will help you on your journey to speak French.

Steps

Getting Acquainted

  1. Buy a dictionary.This is the first step to starting a new language. Whenever you run into a problem, you'll be able to get back on the right path within seconds.
    • The Collins Robert French Unabridged Dictionary or the Larousse Concise French-English Dictionary are both good standards. Of course, if you're not thinking to get too heavily involved, a pocket dictionary will suffice.
    • For a more concise approach, consider investing in a frequency dictionary. A frequency dictionary contains the most common words in a language, allowing you to quickly gain the core vocabulary you need, without wasting time learning uncommon vocabulary.
    • There are tons of websites out there that act as dictionaries. Be careful! They're not always correct. Wordreference.com is a good place to start. Always exercise caution when translating complete sentences.
  2. Take advantage of technology.With allles optionsout there, this is easier than ever. Of course, your local library is a sturdy option, but you can find resources in the comfort of your own home.
    • iTunes offers free 24/7 radio stations and podcasts that are in French (some for beginners!) and most cable packages will have at least occasional French programming.
    • There are many mobile apps that can help you memorize words - the most popular one is LingLing based on spaced repetition - you can spend 20 minutes per day to memorize 750 words monthly.
    • YouTube has dozens upon dozens of resources for French beginners.
    • Amélie isn't the only French movie out there. Go to your local video store or do some research on the net--sometimes more obscure ones (or documentaries) can be found for free.
      • View your favorite English movies with French voiceovers or subtitles. Even if you don't know French at all, picking a movie you're familiar with will help establish context for the language.
    • Watch the "French in Action" program on your local public broadcasting station.
  3. Label objects in your home.Sure, you sat down to memorize words like "chair," "window," and "bed," but a week later they escaped you. Labeling the objects in your home creates long-term memories that can't be easily forgotten. Either create your own or buy an off-the-shelf product - FlashSticks. They produce colored flashcards (blue - masculine; pink - feminine). Recently, they have launched FlashAcademy, an app that brings effective language learning and fun together.scan, recognize and then translate the items. Such an app is FlashAcademy. They have a built-in object tr
    • Remember to include the pronouns! Commonly used: masculine et feminine (French is also gender neutral). This will be handy when you want to refer to it by the pronoun later.
      • It's "la chaise," "la fenêtre," and "le lit," by the way. Go grab your pen now!
    • Include the pronunciation on the side, if you need help remembering.
      • l'ordinateur - lor-dee-nah-tur -Computer
      • la chaine hi fi - shen-hi-fi -Stereo
      • la télévision - tay-lay-vee-zee-ohn -Television
      • le réfrigérateur - ray-free-zhay-rah-tir -Refrigerator
      • le congélateur - kon-zhay-lah-tur -Freezer
      • la cuisinière - kwee-zeen-yehr -Stove
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Method 1 Quiz

How can you hone your long-term French memorizing skills?

Use an Object Translator

  1. Use an app that it will scan, recognize and then translate the items.Such an app is FlashAcademy. They have a built-in object translator. Just point your camera at an object, take a picture and it will recognize then translate the object into any language. A good way to go around this is to scan the objects in your room because you know them very well and just try to randomly remember. This is a great tool to enhance your vocabulary. Amazing tool to have when traveling. Just go out and scan everything!
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Method 2 Quiz

How can an object scanner help you test your French knowledge?

Start a Program

  1. Buy a learning tool.Some require a hefty fee, some do not. Ask around forune opinionor if a friend has a set of CDs or a program you can borrow. Popular options are Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, or Michele Thomas. Every program is best for a different type of learner.
    • Pimsleur does not give you a book. It's a set of CDs--good for aural learners and those with long commutes. Itdoesuse English and allows you to translate. It utilizes backchaining, as in, "porte," "la porte," "-ez la porte," "Fermez la porte," to practice pronunciation.
    • Rosetta Stone is a computer program and does not allow any English and relies heavily on pictures. It plays memory games and is ideal for visual and sensory learners.
    • Michele Thomas (on CD and YouTube) advocates a slightly different style of teaching. He emphasizes patterns in language and utilizing cognates. You start with one basic sentence, such as, "Je vais au restaurant," (I am going to the restaurant.) and he leads you to, "Je vais au restaurant ce soir parce que c'est mon anniversaire." (I am going to the restaurant tonight because it's my birthday.) Your vocabulary expands as you build on the blocks you already have.
    • Duolingo.com is another site which trains you in French: memorizing by training to translate (English-to-French; and French-to-English), listening comprehension and more.
  2. Take a class.The best way to learn a language (apart from living in the country, of course) is to practice every day with others. Taking a class forces learning into your schedule, holds you accountable, and gives you resources in others that you wouldn't otherwise have.
    • Check out your local community college or university. Though the class might be more expensive, the perks of being a student and having access to the facilities lessen the blow to your wallet.
    • Find a language school. These classes are often much cheaper, smaller, and offered on nights or weekends. If you live in a fairly diverse area, one shouldn't be too far away.
  3. Get a tutor.The internet is a beautiful thing. Loads of people are looking for an easy way to make an extra a week. You can cater the learning to your schedule and develop your own curriculum.
    • Don't let just anyone be your tutor. Just because you can speak the language does not mean you can teach it. Aim for someone who has done it before, not someone with four years of high school French.
  4. Join a group.Odds are there are loads of people just like you of all demographics and ages. Visit your local area colleges or language institutes for information.
    • Practice with someone. You can find a penpal online or you can visit your local chapter of the Alliance Française. Delve deep into your online contacts for anyone who might be able to move you forward--that friend from high school who studied abroad? Your cousin Alberta who moved to Vancouver? Do whatever you can to guarantee success.
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Method 3 Quiz

What type of learner will benefit from the Rosetta Stone program?

Keep At It

  1. Practice every day.Learning a language is unlike learning any other subject. Your knowledge must build and become as intrinsic as possible. Practicing every day is the only way you'll be able to maintain and improve your skills.
    • Incorporate review in your learning until it's solid. You cannot build complex sentences if you've forgotten how to structure simple ones.
    • Even if it's just for half an hour, it's worth it. Get your mind thinking in French. Developing habits makes it harder to quit.
  2. Learn cognates.Depending on your source, about 30% of all English words originate from French. If you're just beginning, an easy way to dive in is to familiarize yourself with the concepts.
    • Often, the "fancier" verb is French and the "normal" verb is German. Think "start" versus "commence"; "help" versus "aid"; "understand" versus "comprehend." The French for those verbs is, respectively, in their infinitive form, "commencer," "aider," and "comprendre."
    • Certain word endings are giveaways that they're French. Think words with "-ion," "-ance," or "ite." Television, billion, religion, nuance, endurance, granite, opposite -- those are allFrench words. Not English.French. Well, English, too.
  3. Memorize new phrases.Never let your vocabulary stagnate. As your knowledge grows, take time to incorporate new phrases into your phrasal pool.
    • Think of a new topic. If you're lacking in time vocabulary, zero-in on that department. If you need to learn the names of food, concentrate on that. Expand yourself.
      • Quelle heure est-il?(What time is it?)
        Bon, heu, je ne sais pas...(Uhh, I don't know...)
        Oh, non ! Il est déjà 17 h ! Je dois étudier mon vocabulaire de français !(Oh no! It's already 5:00! I have to study my French vocabulary!)
  4. Review verb conjugations.The biggest difference between English and French is that French conjugates their verbs to match the tense and subject. Generally speaking, verb charts go in "I, you, he/she/it, we, you (plural), they" order.
    • Start with the simple present of -er verbs (manger -to eat):
      • Je mange - tu manges - il/elle/on mange - nous mangeons - vous mangez - ils/elles mangent
    • Simple present of -ir verbs (choisir -to choose):
      • Je choisis - tu choisis - il/elle/on choisit - nous choisissons - vous choisissez - ils/elles choisissent
    • Simple present of -re verbs (vendre -to sell):
      • Je vends - tu vends - il/elle/on vend - nous vendons - vous vendez - ils/elles vendent
    • Often, the ending of words is not pronounced. "Je choisis" sounds more like "Zhuh schwazee," and "ils mangent" sounds like, "eel monge."
    • Learn the other tenses later. Once you've mastered the simple present, continue onto thepassé composé(past tense).
  5. Think out loud.If you're around others, they might get irritated, but it's worth it! They don't have to understand you, onlyyouhave to understand you. It's abonne idée, isn't it?
    • French is a language that's highly encorporated into English. In addition to using simple phrases like, "Bonjour !", "Merci beaucoup," or "Je ne sais pas" that some people know, use slightly more difficult ones when talking to yourself -- or let your roommates catch on!
      • Où est mon sac? -Where is my bag?
      • Je veux boire du vin. -I want to drink some wine.
      • Je t'aime. -I love you.
    • If you say to yourself, "Oh, I see an apple!" translate it to French - "Oh, je vois une pomme". Practice this whenever you get a chance - in the car, in bed, in the bathroom, everywhere.
  6. Travel to a French-speaking country.If living there isn't an option, then visiting is the second-best. If you have the finances and ability to takedes vacances, bring your books and CDs with you!
    • Talk to the locals and experience the culture. Sitting at the McDonald's next to the Louvre (or the Starbucks, for that matter) won't exactly get you the educational or cultural experience you're looking for.
    • You don't have to go to France to find a wealth of French speakers. However, know what dialect you're looking to mirror; going to Quebec will expose you to a French culture, but you'll hear Quebecois down the street--and it may be hard to understand!
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Method 4 Quiz

What might indicate that an English word originated in French?

Community Q&A

Search
  • Question
    Will learning French drain my interest in other languages such as English?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Not necessarily. Plenty of people speak and write in more than one language regularly. Learning French also makes it easier to learn other Latin-based languages like Italian and Spanish.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How am I able to learn in a school where the teachers don't assist students?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Learning is something you can take responsibility of yourself. While teachers are one resource in school, they are not the only one. Visit your school library for relevant books, join clubs, get a tutor, start a study group, use apps, etc. In the end, personal practice is your best approach. It is entirely possible to teach yourself nearly anything, provided you put in enough time/energy. Ultimately, don't make poor teaching an excuse for poor learning - you're responsible for yourself.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can I learn French and be perfect at it by reading books only?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No. You have to resort to your friends as well as your teachers to help you out, because some of the books do not have all that you need to learn.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How long will it possibly take to learn French all together?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    You can never learn any language all together. The more you practice a certain language, the more fluent you will become. The most important thing to do is to listen to that language. You can also practice thinking in that language as well.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    Can children learn?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes, and it's proven children learn new languages much faster than older people.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I pronounce an "e" with a ' accent on top?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    If the accent is pointing to the right, it's called 'l'accent aigu' and it's pronounced like a long letter a, like day or ray. If the accent is pointed in the other direction, it's called 'l'accent grave', and doesn't really have any effect on pronunciation at all, but instead mostly serves to say that the next syllable is silent.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How can I learn fast?
    Elonobel
    Community Answer
    By working hard, and regularly. The more you try to insert French in your life, the easier and faster you will learn it.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    How do I learn French fast and easy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Study and live in France for as long as you can. It won't be easy but it is the fastest way.
    Thanks!
  • Question
    What can I do if I have no French tutors in the city I live?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Try the app Duolingo. It is free and very fun!
    Thanks!
  • Question
    I want to learn french, is it difficult or easy?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    As a french teacher (native), I would say difficult but not impossible. The big differences are that some sounds are specific to french (not a lot, but used a lot), and verbs change according to the speaker (like "s" with "he" in English but for all speakers). If you know how to learn, then there will be no problems. You will need to find a native teacher as books alone won't be enough.
    Thanks!
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Video

Quick Summary

The easiest way to get started learning French, is to use online technology like mobile apps that help with word memorization, YouTube classes for beginners, and iTunes 24/7 French radio stations. Once you've got the basics, try labeling objects in your home with flashcards, which will help cement the vocabulary in your long-term memory. Additionally, taking a class at your local community college or language school will give you the opportunity to practice your skills with others and keep you accountable. Finally, practice daily to maintain and improve your skills!

Did this summary help you?
  • Have a positive attitude. Sometimes, you may be discouraged and forget why you wanted to speak French in the first place. The reality that 175 million people worldwide speak French is a good motivation. Also, think how few people are monolingual these days - two or more languages is more and more the norm.
  • You can find native French speakers on many websites, such as Students Of The World. It'll be easier to make friends and improve your French. Ask them to improve your skills and you'll teach them English in return.
  • Invest in a good Bescherelle. This is a book with every verb for quick and easy conjugation. French speakers swear by these.
  • For easy reference, keep a notebook handy in which you can write vocabulary that you come across. Seeing that huge book full of words and phrases you know will give you a confidence boost to keep on learning and loving French!
  • At the store, count how many fruits you're putting in the cart in French.
  • Make French the first thing you see on your computer. Get your homepage to be a French website.
  • Print or buy a French calendar and replace your regular calendar. So whenever you look at the date, you'd quickly learn French numbers, days, and months. And when you write in events, look it up in your dictionary and write in French.
  • Consider France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monaco, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Québec, New Brunswick, or Louisiana, among others, for your travel destination.
  • Try hard put in the effort required and eventually you will get it. But it will take time.
  • Understand that learning a language is a full-time commitment. If you muck around with it and only learn bits and pieces, you will likely regret this later in life when you actually want to converse in French.

Warnings

  • Learning a language is a difficult, time-consuming endeavor. You will get nothing out of it if you cannot fully commit yourself.
  • Watch for masculine and feminine as well as plural nouns for verb and adjective matching.

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Date: 06.12.2018, 14:53 / Views: 61241